French couturier Julien Fournié’s Autumn 2013 couture collection, christened “Premières Chimères” – that’ll be “first chimaera” for us non-French speaking folks – was a gorgeously grotesque menagerie of contorted construction, baronial brocade and voluminous furs, as was befitting the show’s titular Greek monster.

And while we were struck by the scholarly spark that ignited the designer’s mind – Fournié was reportedly heavily influenced by the erotic female form in Austrian artist Gustav Klimt’s oeuvre – the most exciting takeaway for us beauty watchers was the infinitely wearable makeup of the gangly girls gracing the runway: Ditch the distressed leathers and heavy mink and you’d have a face you could rock with a tee and jeans for the weekend.

Under the tutelage of M.A.C Director of Makeup Artistry Romero Jennings, the Singapore team picked up the grainy mustards, chestnut coppers and warm ambers of Fournié’s collection to create a cafe au lait lip and dark chocolate eye – dripping with sex and oh, so very delicious.

Here’s how to get a face delectable enough to eat. First, select a stiff brush (I’d use my tried-and-true No. 208 angled brush for precision stippling) to fill in the natural contours of your brow with M.A.C’s Fluidline Brow Gelcreme in Deep Dark Brunette. If you’re leery of messy gel pots, any extra creamy brown pencil will do: We’re aiming for a lustrous, almost glazed brow as a counterpoint to the matte planes elsewhere.

Backstage beauty: Brown smoky eyes & nude lips at Julien Fournié

Moving on to the eyes proper, start with a smooth canvas: Try M.A.C’s wondrously comforting Prep + Prime Vibrancy Eye for budge-proof, crease-free application. Crimp your upper lashes and wiggle on a few coats of a brown-black mascara, skipping the lower lashes.

Wielding the same No. 208 brush you used for your brows, pick up M.A.C’s Expresso eyeshadow, working the line to get a relatively thick winged tip [read our primer on nailing eyeliner here]. Line the outer third of your lower lashline and smudge gently with warm fingers or a No. 214 Short Shader brush. Finish by using a moistened cotton swab to sop up stray marks and undereye mascara flecks, focusing on getting a really clean, tapered end.

Next, grab a No. 224 tapered blending brush (my favourite tool whenever the occasion calls for some serious eye smoking) to buff in M.A.C’s Charcoal Brown shadow, starting from the middle of the socket and going back and forth in a window-wiping motion. Don’t be afraid of bringing the brown all the way to your tear duct!

To get a truly intense, multi-dimensional smoke, switch back to the No. 208 and Expresso shadow, following the curve of your winged tip and building up the shade at your outer socket.

At this point, all the sooty shades on your socket might leave you concerned about looking bruised. Clearly, we’d need to balance out all the “flat” browns on our eye with a pop of white. Use a clean No. 224 to blend in an accent layer of Blanc Type or similar pale beige shadow under the brow bone and on the inner half of the lid.

Now, most of us with a glancing knowledge of makeup will know that white liner on your waterline, which is the pinkish rim around your eyes, will give the illusion of brighter eyes. 

Backstage beauty: Brown smoky eyes & nude lips at Julien Fournié

Here’s how. Starting from the inner corner and using a decisive hand, deftly trace the contours of your lower waterline with M.A.C’s Eye Kohl in Fascinating, then blink rapidly to transfer some of the matte white pigment to your upper waterline. Overlay the lower waterline with a second wash of Gesso white shadow, and you’re done with your eyes.

The lips are left nude, which means prepping them beforehand with a gentle exfoliator is crucial to preventing unsightly feathering. Spread on a soothing salve, wait for it to sink in, then daub on a creamy concealer from your Studio Finish palette. This will give you a nice, neutral base to work with.

Use a similar flesh-toned lip liner to define the edges of your pout before picking up a soft, densely bristled brush (I’d use a No. 215) to apply colour.

Here’s how I do my nudes: I dab on a rosy tint – I use Half N Half from M.A.C’s Pro Lip Palette – before cloaking it in a creamy coffee brown. The peach underlay gives my puckers a blush of colour: Very important if you’re pale like me and want to do a neutral lip without appearing anaemic.

The final flourish is a brisk sweep of bronzer on the V-shaped plane between your temples and cheekbones. Set with translucent powder, and voila, you’re now a sultry, sun-kissed siren.

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