[#image: /photos/5853a58b57dfc3b0230f89e9]||||||From left: Altuzarra, Spring 2011 RTW; Rodarte, Spring 2011 RTW

Why should fabric have all the fun? It's been one big pigment explosion above the neck at the New York shows so far--and we don't just mean makeup. Case in point, the heavy-handed gunks of blue, green, red and burgundy that Tigi's Paul Hanlon combed into the sides of the models' already-textured hair at Altuzarra. Makeup has had its own elements of surprise in the choices of colors that have been used. Orange has been a favorite of makeup artist Tom Pecheux, who colored lips with a sunset-y version at Peter Som, then a more sherbet shade at Derek Lam. Red was used at Carolina Herrera, but not on the lips. Diane Kendall coated eyelids with a Mac red shadow called Antiqued. Even when the standard shades were used, they were amped up to the eleventh degree. Francois Nars intensified the sultry eyes at Marc Jacobs with a metallic forest green, James Kaliardos packed an electric fuchsia at Diane Von Furstenberg and Charlotte Tilbury's deep purple eyelids that took three Lancome eyeshadows to achieve at Victoria Beckham. "Victoria wanted there to be a strong beauty message," said Tilbury. "But she wanted it done with a quirkiness that sets it off." Perhaps the antithesis of all this psychodelic action was what we witnessed at Rodarte. Kate and Laura Mulleavy told Kaliardos that their collection was inspired by the Redwood Forest and the Gold Rush. When he couldn't find gold--or even blond, for that matter--false eyelashes anywhere, he and his team gold-leafed dozens of pairs of falsies on their own. Coupled with gold powdered lips, the effect brought on an ethereal uniformed anonymity that required double takes on even pronounced-feature standouts like Lindsey Wixson.

[#image: /photos/5853a58b9c190ec57ac091ab]||||||From left: Victoria Beckham, Spring 2011 RTW; Marc Jacobs, Spring 2011 RTW