Now that New York Fashion Week has come and gone (in a whirlwind, no less), we've finally had a moment to digest all the beauty looks. We've sifted through our notes, identified the beginnings of trends and caught up on any shows we may have missed. And even after all the analysis, there are a few unique faces, hairstyles and nails that we just can't get out of our heads. Here are our top picks for the most standout beauty looks at the spring 2013 ready-to-wear shows.
MOST COLORFUL EYE SHADOW: JOY CIOCI
Inspired by mermaids, synchronized swimmers and the '20s, the eyes had it at Joy Cioci. NARS makeup lead Uzo used a silver cream shadow as a base and highlighter, then blended a light blue eye shadow into the lid and crease for an aquatic feel. He completed the effect by brushing mascara on upper lashes and just to the middle lower lashes, and running a white eyeliner along the waterline.
Beauty Essential: YSL Pure Chromatics Wet and Dry Eye Shadow in No1.
BEST BOLD BROW: THAKOON
We saw plenty of brows that were filled in or painted black, but our favorite furrow was one that arched in a modern way. At Thakoon, Diane Kendal referenced '20s-era vintage images to create an entirely updated look. "While there was something very fragile about them, the eyes were deep," she said. Kendal used a NARS eyebrow pencil to draw on an exaggeratedly long and thin curve above the natural brow.
Beauty Essential: Shu Uemura Hard Formula eyebrow pencil.
MOST COVETED PONYTAIL: TIMO WEILAND
The trusty, everyday ponytail got a makeover at Timo Weiland with twists and crinkles galore. Reflecting the zigzag patterns in the collection, Joseph DiMaggio chose a modern take on cornrows and crimps for "hip-hop" hair. To strengthen locks for the complicated style and to keep them frizz-free, DiMaggio first prepped strands with a hair oil and smoothed them out with a flat iron. He drew a part from ear to ear and secured the bottom half into a high ponytail. He then twisted strands at the crown, overlapped them to resemble a braid and joined them one by one into the ponytail, which he then crimped all throughout.
Beauty Essential: L'Oréal Professionnel Mythic Oil Reinforcing Milk.
COOLEST NAIL ART: RODARTE
Designers turned away from the popular nail art of seasons past in favor of more simplified, neutral manicures. But Rodarte managed to embrace both aesthetics with its beige crisscrossed creation that nail artist Michele Huynh described as "modern medieval" tips. Huynh put the look together by first blending three matte nude hues and painting the custom color onto a sheet of wax paper. After letting it dry overnight, she peeled the polish off and cut it into strips. She then weaved the strips onto the base of the nail, which was already coated with a combination of two sandy polishes. The total of 30 sets of nails took over 150 hours to create, and then it took 15 minutes to dress each nail on the models' hands.
Beauty Essential: Essie Nail Polish in Mamba.
MOST FLAWLESS RED LIP: JASON WU
Attaining perfection doesn't come easy. It took makeup artist Diane Kendal a whopping five steps to get that immaculate cherry red pout. She began by coating the entire mouth with a scarlet lip pencil and outlining it with a wine pencil. She next added a coat of pink lipstick, which she followed with a magenta lip color and a neon orange pigment just in the center for a gradient effect.
Beauty Essential: MAC Lipstick in Russian Red.
MOST PINTEREST-WORTHY BRAIDS: MARCHESA
There's no doubt that Pinterest has a stockpile of inspirational braided styles to try, and we're betting it won't take long before Marchesa's creation is among the favorites. Hairstylist Renato Campora used the braids as ornaments to complement the collection's intricate India-inspired embroidery. After drawing a center part, Campora divided the hair on either side into two sections each. He gathered the remaining hair in the back into a low ponytail. Campora then braided the two sections on each side of the part, crisscrossed them over the other and wrapped them around the ponytail. After setting the look with hair spray, he gave the whole style a smooth finish with a glossing mist.
Beauty Essential: Fekkai Brilliant Glossing Sheer Shine Mist.
BEST UPDATED SMOKY EYE: JILL STUART
Tossing aside sooty black and gray shadows, the classic smoky eye was revamped this season in neutral hues. Jill Stuart's version stood out with its shiny mahogany appearance. "Faded Hollywood glamour" was the theme, which makeup artist Diane Kendal translated with a look that was both feminine and fragile. Eyes harkened back to the '30s with a reddish-brown grease paint that Kendal slicked over lids to make the area appear hollowed out. Kendal skipped mascara and instead finished with a deep brown Jill Stuart eyeliner that she smudged into lashes.
Beauty Essential: Maybelline Eye Studio Color Tattoo 24HR Cream Gel Shadow in Bad to the Bronze.
BEST DYED HAIR: OSCAR DE LA RENTA
Okay, so the hair wasn't actually dyed with these technicolor streaks (they were just extensions), but the effect still has us fantasizing about visiting a colorist next season. The look at Oscar de la Renta was all about Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's with a twist (literally), as Orlando Pita first teased hair into a volumized French twist and then blasted it with a hefty dose of hair spray. Pita explained that artist Keith Haring was the inspiration behind the vibrant highlights, in which he added either blue, pink or yellow strips into strands depending on the model.
Beauty Essential: Redken Quick Tease 15.
MOST LUMINOUS SKIN: REEM ACRA
No one nailed that ever-elusive lit-from-within glow quite like Reem Acra. Makeup artist Pat McGrath created a face that positively beamed by adding shine along the brow bone, along the length of the nose and to the top of the cheekbones and chin. She finished with a touch of pale pink lip gloss on the cupid's bow. The overall effect made skin look like it flickered underneath the runway lights.
Beauty Essential: Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant.
FOXIEST FISHTAIL: BIBHU MOHAPATRA
Inspired by the luna moth, the fishtail braids at Bibhu Mohapatra were coiled to resemble a cocoon. To get the intricate look, hairstylist Amit Abraham first drew a center part from the forehead to the nape of the neck and then worked a milky oil into roots to smooth and flatten the part. After raking a texturizing powder into strands for hold and grit, he wove two fishtail braids on each side, then interlaced them together to form a rectangular bun. To set the style and add a splash of shine, Abraham used a L'Oréal Professionnel hair spray and shimmer spray all over the head. The finishing accent was a swipe of lime green pencil drawn into the center part below the bun in direct homage to the color of the moth.
Beauty Essential: L'Oréal Professionnel Freezing Mist.
THE CATTIEST EYE: MARC JACOBS
Classic winged eyeliner is an evergreen technique seen each and every season. But for spring 2013, Marc Jacobs amped up the look with dramatic swoops inspired by '60s style icon Edie Sedgwick. Makeup artist François Nars was behind the creation, which he prepped by spreading a NARS peachy-beige eye shadow all over lids. Next he heavily defined the crease and lash lines with a black powder that reached outward and slightly downward. To finish, Nars coated lashes with multiple layers of mascara for a nod to mod.
Beauty Essential: NARS Duo Eyeshadow in Pandora.
PRETTIEST HAIR ACCESSORY: HONOR
Hair accessories from feathers to headbands to bows and everything in between have made a resurgence. The hair at Honor continued with the adornment trend, but this version seemed surprisingly wearable and undoubtedly gorgeous. Hairstylist James Pecis achieved the look by first creating a center part all the way down the length of the head and forming two inverted French braids on either side of the part. As the braids traveled down, he veered them both to the right for an intentionally imperfect feel. The braids were then tucked up and under with pins, while geometric rhinestones were sporadically affixed to strands for an organic effect. Pecis finished by spraying a Bumble and Bumble styling spray all over for hold and texture.
Beauty Essential: Bumble and Bumble Does It All Styling Spray.
BEST UNCONVENTIONAL USE OF A PRODUCT: CREATURES OF THE WIND
If there was one technique that traveled from show to show, it was makeup artists using products unintentionally. Eyeliner was drawn onto brows, cream blush was pressed into lips and lip gloss was dabbed onto cheeks. But our favorite atypical purpose for a product was the lipstick painted on eyes at Creatures of the Wind. James Boehmer rubbed a cranberry lip pencil from lashes to brow bones and lined the lower lash lines with a thick silver streak. Boehmer then diffused the red pigment with his fingers to make it look like the models had smudged the color onto eyes themselves.
Beauty Essential: Giorgio Armani Rouge d'Armani Lipstick in 402.
BEST LOOK TO WEAR NOW: PRABAL GURUNG
No need to wait for spring to don the nails at Prabal Gurung. The oxblood shade coupled with the haunting design is entirely appropriate for fall. Besides, can you imagine these nails for Halloween? To get the macabre dripping blood effect, manicurist Tracylee Percival dipped a striper brush into a merlot Sally Hansen polish. She then used the drip formed at the tip of the brush to dot the shade onto a bare nail, which she then dragged to the tip. She completed the creation with a high-shine top coat to even out the texture between the paint and the naked base, giving it a glassy finish.
Beauty Essential: L'Oréal Colour Riche Nail Colour in Haute Couture Red.
What's your favorite look from New York Spring 2013 Fashion Week?
Photos: Courtesy of NARS (Joy Cioci, Thakoon, Marc Jacobs, Creatures of the Wind); Charles Sykes (Timo Weiland); Courtesy of CND (Rodarte); Getty Images (Jason Wu, Jill Stuart, Oscar de la Renta); Courtesy of Fekkai (Marchesa); Makeup.com (Reem Acra, Prabal Gurung); Diane Bondareff for Invision/AP Images (Bibhu Mohapatra); Courtesy of Bumble and Bumble (Honor).