Runway beauty: Get the looks

RUNWAY TO REALITY: Kate Sylvester and Zambesi - these looks are quite avant-garde, but take elements of them, and you have fresh new beauty options.
RUNWAY TO REALITY: Kate Sylvester and Zambesi - these looks are quite avant-garde, but take elements of them, and you have fresh new beauty options.

Call us New Zealand-centric, but the combination of Kiwi labels, makeup artists and hairstylists at last week's Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia (MBFWA) is too alluring. 

We've found out more about the Kate Sylvester and Zambesi Spring/Summer '13/'14 beauty looks so that you can draw ideas from them to update your own makeup.

Kiwi Amber D worked on both shows' makeup for M.A.C. Amber has recently moved from Auckland to Sydney to take up a new role as one of M.A.C's first two Senior Artists for Oceania.

Hair director for Redken for both shows, Richard Kavanagh also left Auckland to base himself in Sydney, in his case two years ago. 

He lives in Bondi and is a freelance hairstylist who works for big brands like Redken and Rodney Wayne (you may have seen their recent ad campaign with some killer blue hair), and glossies like Harper's Bazaar and Vogue Italia.  Richard has just published his first book, 'Love Your Hair.'


The Kate Sylvester show, "The Last Sitting" was inspired by Marilyn Monroe's complex and conflicted beauty and used both soft and sharp silhouettes.


Richard says: "We didn't want to do a Monroe girl, but we wanted to be inspired by Marilyn, like Kate's collection was. It's got that spirit of Monroe in Bert Stern's 'The Last Sitting' portraits, where she was kind of disheveled and a bit drunk, but still nonchalant and effortlessly cool.

We've given a little nod to the '60s in terms of the sweeping fringe and a little bit of dirty texture in the fringe. We do this low sweeping part and then we've locked it in at the back at the nape with a little plait. That was a nice way for us to tie in with Kate's lacing motif seen throughout the clothes. It's really important to use heaps of product to get this look; get the hair texture right - really gritty - then finish off with a little bit of dry shampoo and then some hairspray." 

Get the look: Make dry shampoo and dry texturising products like Redken Powder Refresh your friend. Try them at home before your big night out though, because a little goes a long way. The beauty is they enable you to sculpt (or wrangle) your hair without adding any weight. Failing that, as Richard quipped, "if in doubt snarl at the hair and scare it into place."


"The show look was inspired by Marilyn Monroe in her Joe DiMaggio era", says Amber. "The skin is really fresh and young. We did a super intense pink lip using a cult M.A.C lipstick called Candy Yum Yum, it's the brightest pink of pinks - almost neon.  The lip is slightly drawn up on the side so it looks fuller than it is. To do a lip like this, you have to make sure the skin is flawless and amazing so we paid attention to that."

Get the look: The bold lip is nothing new, but a bold pink is arguably fresher than a red or orange. Try just wearing a stain of bold colour first (dab on with your finger) and progress to a full-blown 'super intense' lip.



Richard says: "Zambesi's collection is beautiful... but they always have this little edge - they're strong but feminine at the same time. So with the hair, we tried to create something that worked with that - it had an edge or a twist, but it was still strong, sleek and minimalist.

We wanted to pull the hair clean off the face and create a nice profile line that didn't interfere with the clothes, but also created a sense of interest. We created a little knot at the back, and then we pulled the hair back over the ponytail and used that as a faux fringe, to get that criss-cross direction of hair."

Get the look: Don't think you are limited by your short or long hair, you can add false hair to create the illusion of long hair, or pull long hair back and be creative with the tail to create the impression of shorter hair.


Amber says: "The look is a cross between Japanese manga comics and '90s Madonna - I don't know where they meet in the middle, but this is what it would be like in my mind [if they did]. So we've got this graphic shape on the eye - just one block colour - and we adjusted that depending on the girls' eye shape. Tonally, we kept to those '90s taupes. So the lip liner is a little combination of 'Stripdown' (creamy brown-beige) first and then a little bit of 'Stone' pencil just to push the lips out - just like Madonna in the '90s.

We've used a highlighter just on the top of the nose, which comes from our M.A.C trend palette. Lashes are left bare, tidy, clean and brows are just pushed up to keep the focus on everything else."

Get the look: We don't recommend you adopt the Zambesi eye unless you are very fashion forward, but do think about trying some of the new eyeliner shapes we are seeing, like the awesome floating liner we first saw at the Autumn/Winter '12 Northern Hemisphere collections (M.A.C. christened the look 'Arti-tech).

You could also have a little fun with your lips for the evening, too, playing with a slightly darker liner than lipcolour.