At yesterday's Dior Haute Couture show in Paris, models walked down the runway in swaths of moody, dramatic black, crafted in layers of tulle, silk-velvet, and plenty of feathers. Each look was topped with a black mesh veil by Stephen Jones—meaning the makeup had to be plenty bold and moody to match Maria Grazia Chiuri's vibe for the season. So, according to Peter Philips, the creative and image director of Christian Dior makeup, this called for one thing, and one thing only: a super dramatic, all-black smokey eye. "It's almost a very traditional, haute couture eye makeup," he explained backstage before the show. "For every woman, whatever skin tone you have, a smokey eye always works."
The idea for the look actually dated back to the spring, when the house presented its Cruise show in Marrakech, Morocco, when Philips showed Chiuri the brand's new tri-color eye palette in a trio of silver, grey, and jet black. "I gave her one customized with the name Maria Grazia, because she loves a black eye," he said. "And like every girl who gets a product she really wants, she was showing it to everyone. And she said, 'I was thinking for couture, we do a smokey eye.' So, voila."
Luckily, you don't need a personalized palette to get the look for yourself, thanks to Philips, who broke down how he achieved this particular aesthetic. First, Philips prepped the face with a natural skin look, using a primer and foundation from the Dior Backstage line. "No shading or contouring," he said. "A little bit of [gel] on the eyebrow, and that's it."
The focus, of course, is on the eye, which Philips wanted to look soft and lived in. First, he primed the eye with the Dior Flash Luminizer Radiance Pen on the eyelids. "It makes sure the the actual powder is applied evenly with no botches," he said. From there, he took a black shadow and began to make the eye by "pushing" the powder into the roots of the lashes. "I'm one of the few people who actually uses sponge applicators," he said. "I'll push it into the roots of the lashes, and then I'll take a soft brush and blend out. I brush it upwards, so it blends out a little bit. And on some girl, if the waterline was too visible, I added kohl liner."
And here comes the real trick to making this smokey eye unlike liner: no mascara. Yes, you read that right. "When you apply mascara, it becomes more about seduction," he said. "Without, it's more poetic. You take the harshness out of it, but it's still strong."
To finish the look, Philips kept the lip natural, with just a minor enhancement thanks to a swipe of neutral lip gloss—with another last minute pro secret, of course. "Last minute, we blot to get rid of the shine, so it just looks hydrated," Philips explained. And there you have: a couture look you can actually get yourself.
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Bertrand Rindoff Petroff