In Defense of "Real Girl" Beauty on the Runways

Celia Ellenberg

"Dreamy": The glittering script on the lamé T-shirt model Jamie Bochert wore to open the Lanvin show was the perfect adjective for the shine-inflected, tinsel-fringed frocks and glittering, oversize accessories Alber Elbaz sent down his spring runway. Backstage, however, the conversation was grounded firmly in reality-Bochert's off-duty style specifically. "[Alber] really loved the way Jamie looked in the collection when she came in," Pat McGrath explained of the deliberately "natural, individualized" makeup she'd devised for the show. "We're keeping them as they are, but it's enhanced," she added, swiping on a slight contour, a hint of highlighter, and a bit of blush that was purposefully muted to offset the flush that many girls had acquired naturally, thanks to the unusually warm fall temperatures that have been the talk of the Paris collections. She finished by applying mascara only at the roots of lashes, grooming the brows, and giving the eyelids a wash of taupe shadow for definition.

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"It's a very simple look-again," hairstylist Guido Palau added of the side-parted, low-slung ponytails he was prepping with Redken Guts 10 Volume Spray Foam for a lived-in texture, alluding to one of the season's overarching themes that calls for easy, effortless beauty, over anything too complicated or fussy.

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"It's how girls would really wear these clothes," he noted while applying a few spritzes of the brand's Quick Tease 15 Backcombing Finishing Spray for a small dose of volume at the crown, breaking apart strands across the forehead for a "bed-head" quality. He had a point: With anything too contrived, model Janice Alida's full-length, glimmering copper jumpsuit might have veered into costumey terrain. Worn with Palau's pared-down updos and McGrath's "anti-makeup makeup," on the other hand, it captured just the kind of unstudied glamour that is so utterly wantable-and yet often so hard to achieve.

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