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From rose gold foiled lips (Jeremy Scott) to flowers sewn into coiffures (Rodarte) to manicures that incorporate actual human hair (Libertine), there are countless wild beauty moves made during fashion week. While a good amount of backstage beauty pushes the creative limits in terms of what should stay on the runway and what you can bring to the street, sometimes looks toe the line.
Such was the case at Ulla Johnson’s NYFW SS19 show, where lead makeup artist Romy Soleimani — key makeup artist for Bobbi Brown — painted pink mascara onto each of the models’ lashes. It was whimsical, girlish, and firmly planted in “dreamy springtime garden” soil.
“Believe it or not it looked good on every model regardless of skin color or eye color. Anyone can pull it off. It made green eyes greener [and] brown eyes had a subtle amber quality,” Soleimani told The Lookbook. “I think that people are generally afraid of pink near the eyes because they think that it will make them look tired. That may be when used on the lid but definitely not on the lash. The effect is pretty and very subtle — just a hint of unexpected pink.”
Trying the Look
Feeling emboldened and craving a bit of change from my go-to blackest black, I figured I’d try on a little pink mascara for myself. It definitely wouldn’t be the first time I stepped out of my comfort zone for makeup (like that one time I wore yellow blush), and I really had nothing to lose but 30 minutes of my time and perhaps a few odd stares. I even asked Soleimani for a little advice.
“Definitely keep everything else low key,” she advised. “Gorgeous fresh skin, a little healthy cheek, and any color on the lip would be gorgeous — pink, coral, red, deep, etc. “I would keep the lid clean so that the lash really stands out.”
I started by prepping my skin. My goal was to create a super glow-y base, so after cleansing and I applied a few drops of Herbivore’s PRISM Exfoliating Glow Potion ($62) followed by Pili Ani’s Youthful Glow Facial Cream ($48). After letting it sink into my skin, I used my fingers to apply Charlotte Tilbury’s Hollywood Flawless Filter ($44) followed by Skin79 Super Plush BB Cream Pink ($20).
Following orders from Soleimani, I kept everything else super simple. Just a touch of Tom Ford’s Shade and Illuminate in Sublimate ($85), Glossier’s Haloscope in Moonstone ($22), and NCLA’s Silverlake Serenade Lipstick ($16).
The icing on the cake was the mascara. I scoured the Internet for options but was somewhat surprised to find that pink mascara just isn’t very common. Even Soleimani said she had to whip up her own with Bobbi Brown for the Ulla Johnson runway. I did find one solid contender, though: NYX Professional Makeup Color Mascara in Pink Petals ($7), a creamy pastel pink.
The Finished Look
As expected, the look feels very editorial versus “everyday wearable.” It’s definitely striking, and as Soleimani said, just subtle enough.
The first thing my boyfriend said to me when he saw me was, “…Something’s different.” He stared at me trying to figure it out for a solid minute, but only until I helpfully pointed to my eye lashes did a lightbulb go off.
Though there’s something definitely striking and unusual about the pink mascara, I don’t think it necessarily translates as well as I’d like it to for streetwear. That said, it makes for a super fun Instagram story, and I felt like a bolder version of myself for the six hours that I wore it. As is the case whenever makeup is involved, I say have fun with experimenting and, if you hate it, wipe it off and try something else.
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