The major fashion shows aren’t just a preview of what we’ll be wearing six months from now, they also flash some massive clues about the latest beauty trends.

Think of it as the cosmetic culture’s version of a crystal ball, a chance to peer into the future and glimpse the latest looks, as seen on four world runways.

This year, if there’s anything conclusive to say about the recent Autumn/Winter 2010/11 ready-to-wear shows in Europe and New York, it’s that we’ll still be wearing nude lipstick in September.


Unless of course, we’re wearing bright orange lipstick instead. That’s the eternal seesaw of beauty. For every trend, a countervailing trend.

New York
Bright springlike colours were a definite theme on Gotham’s runways: orange lips at Max Azria and Richard Chai, ice blue eye shadow at Jason Wu. Maybelline New York’s global makeup artist Charlotte Willer giddily underlined eyes in vivid green for Michael Angel (see Maybelline’s Irresistibly Ivy Eye Studio palette, $12), then paired it with a subtle, nude lip colour (Maybelline Color Sensational lipstick in Born with It, $10) dabbed on by finger for a soft, edgeless look.

Lush and seductive were the bywords in Londontown. Stained berry lips at Pringle of Scotland, eyeliner lining mouths at Vivienne Westwood. At Mulberry the smoky cat eye added an edge of retro allure to the bright, flirty clothes. Unlike a precise cat-eye rendered in liquid eyeliner, the smoky look is virtually goof-proof because the smudgier it looks the better it looks. Try it with Covergirl’s Smoky ShadowBlast in Onyx Smoke ($9).

Nothing gives you more impact for less effort than bright red lips. This attention-getting trend appeared all over Milan: with minimal eye makeup at Gianfranco Ferre; with a smoky cat eye at DSquared; and in an over-the-top trifecta of red, at Luisa Beccaria, MAC’s makeup artists went all out using MAC’s Cherry pencil ($15.50), Ruby Woo lipstick ($16.50) and Russian Red lip glass ($16.50). La Dolce Vita indeed.

A healthy glow? Mais, non! Pale skin dominated the Paris shows, paired with a defined brow and a soft pink mouth at Nina Ricci, Balmain, and Dries Van Noten. At Balenciaga the girls were as translucent as space aliens with only a soft circle of blush for colour. Get the look with Clarins Cotton Flower Collector Face Palette ($42), a subtle shimmery veil that evens skin tone and adds luminosity.

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