Runway Report: Snake Charming at The Blonds

“We want to turn the models into femme fatales inspired by the art deco women in the paintings of Tamara de Lempicka as well as Catherine Deneuve in The Hunger,” says MAC makeup lead Kabuki of the extreme brow and lid he’s crafted for The Blonds Fall/Winter 2017 show. It’s not surprising that femme fatales are a source of inspiration; The Blonds often outfit female performers (think: Jennifer Lopez and Madonna) who epitomize strong, sexy women. And these same women might wear this makeup, which Kabuki says is like “the ’20s seen through the lens of the ’80s.” To achieve a geometric, elongated eye, Kabuki first lays down MAC Paint Pot in Constructive as a base, and then layers on metallic pigments depending on the color story (either MAC Gold Pigment or Silver Pigment). He then blends the eye shape into the skin using MAC Definitive Sculpting Powder, and finishes by brushing gloss over the design for a slick effect. The brows, however, are what truly transport the design to ’20s; “we wanted the models to look lifted, so we’re concealing the tail of the brow and then drawing it out straight,” Kabuki explains. “It makes their faces look pulled, lifted and a little bit wicked.”

Also definitely wicked: the slithering hair snakes on each model’s head, which Oribe hair lead Kien Hoang says he created based off of the python prints that star in the collection. “We’re first creating an asymmetric chignon, and rolling it to the side. It really has a cinematic feel—and The Blonds always have cinematic references,” Hoang says, citing the designer duo’s interest in the upcoming film The Mummy, due out this fall. To craft the snake-like waves that twist and wind all over the head, Hoang saturates hair in Oribe Hair Care Rock Hard Gel, saying, “As the gel hardens you’ll really see the snakes!” Mega doses of Superfine Strong Hair Spray keep the snaking shapes from slithering around. “The cool thing about this is we’re having each team member make the waves and snakes how they want, so it will be unique to each girl!” Hoang says.

And what is a The Blonds show without femme fatale nail art? “The designers always have a unique perspective with a cinematic tie, and this season’s tie-in, The Mummy, is about a woman who becomes entombed in mercury for centuries and then breaks out and is pissed off! She, of course, uses her nails as her source of empowerment,” CND Creative Lead Roxanne Valinoti explains. Nails sculpted to look like precious stones (think: split geodes and veined lapis lazuli) and 3-D python scales are truly sights to behold, but a new technique is what captures the eye of editors: Several tips feature what the CND nail pros are calling “spines.”

“It’s a raised contour, where we build up the middle of the nail so it looks like you are looking down inside of the nail,” says CND Design Lab Team Member Heather Davis. “When [designer] Phillipe saw it, he freaked out; he wanted a spine on every nail!” (That didn’t happen, though several designs boast the eye-catching technique.) Think of the spine as a magnifying glass: The clear arc amplifies what’s below. “The spine illuminates the nail art techniques we’re using,” Davis explains.

“We really want to inspire the nail pro,” Valinoti adds. “This season, it’s not about creating the craziest nails—we’ve done that. Instead, we want to show techs nails that they can do in their salon.” —Karie L. Frost

[PHOTOS: Courtesy of Oribe Hair Care and CND]

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