Milan Fashion Week showcased some of the biggest names in fashion and was an eye-opener in more ways than one – where but Italy could we expect so much drama? This A/W, it’s the eyes that have it.
We noticed two distinct themes on the Milan runways. Feathers set eyes a-flutter, with looks ranging from a soft, solitary feather (Armani, Fendi) to vibrant, exotic plumage (Prada and Cavalli). Elsewhere, eye makeup was simple but bold; eyes at Byblos, Ferragamo and Versace were all shaded with a single, strong block of dark shadow. On darker eyes, texture was kept matte, whereas brighter colours were iridescent. Throughout, colour on the rest of the face was minimal and limited to contouring. In all its guises, eyes were the focal point at many of Milan’s biggest shows.
For a strong eye that lasts all day, it’s essential to prep the area with a good primer. Here are some of the best:
Laura Mercier Eye Basics
A cream that sets immediately to a budge-proof finish, this eye primer is unbeatable at creating the perfect base for eye makeup that lasts all day. Available in 6 shades (+1 blue-based shade to neutralise redness), this can even be used on its own.
Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion
Urban Decay’s best-selling product and one of the most popular eye priming products on the market. This primer promises to make eye makeup last for over 24 hours and, like Laura Mercier’s, comes in several shades so it can also be worn as a shadow/highlighter.
NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base
A lightweight, colourless eye primer that creates a matte base for makeup, extending wear and maximising colour. This is fragrance free, dermatologist and ophthalmologist tested so suitable for more sensitive skin types.
Matte or shimmery, bright or dark, the key to this look is blendability. Apply product with fingers for a slick of colour or use with brushes for sheerness and precision.
Illamasqua Cream Pigment
For an intensely bright eye, choose from any of these eight matte shades. Whether applied with a finger or a brush, this product delivers vibrant, buildable colour.
Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Colour
Smokey eyes in a stick. Blendable upon application, this eye colour sets to a smudgeproof finish so work quickly. Apply under the eye a la Byblos or all around for a super-smokey look.
Chanel Illusion D’Ombre Long Wear Luminous Eyeshadow
Ateh Jewel, Beauty Journalist: “I’m obsessed with this new mousse-like eyeshadow. It takes five seconds to slick on with my fingers and doesn’t crease, which is great when I’m shooting all day – I never have time to reapply my make-up.”
Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense Shadow
Sasha Wilkins, Liberty London Girl: “…this makes your eyes look made up in seconds when brushed over the entire lid. I have it on good authority that it’s very sexy too!”
MAC Carbon Black Eyeshadow
Janine Bird, International MUA: “It should be prosaic to find a matte, super black eyeshadow, but most look promising in the pot but go on grey and uneven. Carbon however, is punchy, full of pigment and blends well, no matter how natural or fanciful the look it never disappoints!”
For more bright eye colour ideas and recommended products, look no further than our AW12 Report: New York.