The fashion world has long interpreted “monochrome” as meaning “black and white,” when in reality the prefix mono means “one” and chrome means “colour,” (I should note that this singular colour can be grey, hence the black and white interpretation). It’s this sentiment that Mecca Lead Artist Sally Axford played on when creating the beauty look for Melbourne Fashion Week’s closing premium runway for the 2017 festival.
“It’s a play on the whole monochromatic makeup that everyone is doing at the moment,” says Sally of the look. “We tend to see it a lot with nudes. For this look, we’ve used the same red in different textures.” The key red here comes from the lip colour- Nars Audacious Lipstick in Rita (for those playing along at home, Rita is a neutral-to-warm tone red. If you prefer a cooler red, you can swap this out for a different lipstick and to achieve the same look).
While painting the lips red seems like a given, what makes this look particularly interesting is how else the Mecca artists have not just used that red, but the lipstick itself. “We’ve used it around the eye area as well as on the lips,” Sally tells me. A fine brush is used to sweep the lipstick along the lower lash line to create less of a precise line and more of a sexy, worn-in smudge (see left). The eye look is finished with red glitter pigments pressed over the eyelid, focusing the product below the crease and keeping the lid bare from crease to brow bone. “The shape of the eye makeup is quite compact rather than creating a big eye, so that the lips and the eyes looked balanced.”
Skin is kept looking fresh, with very little colour used on the complexion so as not to overpower the strong eyes and lips. “We used the Nars Multiple in Copacobana underneath the foundation, rather than on top, blending it in with our fingers,” says Sally. “The skin is supposed to look like a mannequin, like porcelain- radiant, but quite perfect and flawless.”
While this look is undoubtedly more runway-ready than it is for the everyman to wear on the reg, there’s a simple way to pare this look back to make it decidedly more wearable. “Think of it as makeup as jewellery. The makeup becomes your accessory so you don’t need to wear earrings or a necklace.”
Not for the feint of heart.