Fall 2011 Couture Beauty: Chanel, Dior, Armani & Valentino

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A riot of color and incredible artistry was displayed during the Fall/Winter 2011 Haute Couture shows this week, not only in the beautiful gowns that floated down the runway but through a divine application of inspiring makeup and techniques. Here, Beautylish highlights some of the shows that captured our imagination.

Christian Dior

Pastel colors resembling beautiful sorbets and graphic, geometric-shaped eye shadow with extreme black-as-the-night winged eyeliner were the dramatic makeup that P&G creative director Pat McGrath dreamed up to match the frothy, fairy-like teacup skirts, colors and patterns in Christian Dior's haute couture show. In contrast to the pastel shadow, matte pale skin and dark ruby lips added to the cartoonish feel.

Appliqué crystals were nestled amongst blue and black sparkly eye shadow and super high, voluminous hair (somewhat similar to fairy floss) held up unique headpieces by milliner Stephen Jones. 

Chanel

To match the somber black, gray, and navy tones in the collection, creative director of makeup Peter Phillips stuck with a classic palette of black and white makeup backstage at Chanel's couture show yesterday. For a dramatic hint of mystery, Peter draped a sheer lace mask over models' eyes, adding more shadow to the black smoky eyes that were already heavily lined with Illusion d'Ombre cream shadow in Mirique. Skin was perfected with Chanel's new Vitalumiére Aqua Foundation and meant to appear bare (as were lips), leaving the focus on the models' moody eyes.

Armani Privé

Armani Privé also opted for a dramatic eye, highlighted with an unexpected burst of apricot from the inner corners, a tone which appeared throughout the entire collection in Japanese-inspired flower print fabrics. The graphic makeup featured a double-winged cat eye, extending from the lower and upper lashes to match the sleek, straight lines punctuating the collection through jackets and cropped trousers. Hair was pulled straight off the face, allowing no distraction for Philip Treacy's origami-style hats.

Valentino

Valentino's feminine, neutral-toned collection was perfectly complimented by ethereal makeup and simple center parted hair that was pulled back loosely and adorned with thin garlands of gold that seemed almost Grecian. For a flushed angelic effect, like the models had been out frolicking in a garden, dewy radiant skin was highlighted with rosy blush and pink lips were topped with a subtle gold highlight. These gold and blush tones also featured in the floor length gowns that made up most of the collection, as well as the lightly applied eye shadow.

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