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Twinkling above psychedelic baroque prints and prismatic sequin embroidery, the Swarovski crystal-studded jolts of pigment on the eyes at tonight’s Valentino show were beauty escapism at its finest. And considering designer Pierpaolo Piccioli has never been afraid of embellishment, nor has makeup legend Pat McGrath, it’s no surprise they went for it.
While many girls wore neutral, minimal makeup with just a slick of clear balm on the lips and swirl of rosy blush on the cheeks, a throng of models got the graphic, glitter-washed, and hand-applied crystal eye treatments. “Pierpaolo wanted the shades to complement the clothes—quite paled out, but rich,” explained McGrath backstage, referring to the muted interpretations of lavender, chartreuse, and magenta she custom mixed.
“They’re very eccentric, but in a completely modern way,” said McGrath of the myriad of gleaming, hieroglyphic-like eye designs in the mix. Supermodel-in-training Kaia Gerber donned the most elaborate of them all: Lime-green crystals were placed along the upper and lower lash lines toward the outer corners of the eye in a rounded wing shape that extended across the brows to extraterrestrial effect. In other instances, Netherlands newcomer Nikki Tissen’s blue eyes were swooshed with taffy-pink gems in extreme feline flicks that accentuated her chiseled bone structure alongside her newly shorn pixie cut, while Dutch star Rianne Van Rompaey’s exaggerated neon cat-eyes lit up her porcelain complexion and auburn lengths.
But the sparkle didn’t end there. Peeking out from underneath the oversize peach straw hats with whimsical petal appliqué, there were cool fuchsia and classic red pouts (courtesy of McGrath’s MatteTrance Lipstick in shades Extravaganza and Forbidden Love, respectively) topped with color-coordinated crystals for yet another unexpected pop.
For McGrath, Piccioli’s vision for spring hinged on sparking the imagination and encouraging women to take more vibrant, directional looks to the streets. Her call to action? “Don’t be afraid to be extravagant!” A command in keeping with any self respecting Valentino girl.
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