French Girl Beauty Is Easier Than Ever, Courtesy of Chanel

Chanel Spring/Summer 2020 backstage beauty
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It takes a delicate touch to create a beauty look for a runway show that has a very specific reference to the past. It’s even more difficult to capture the essence when the past has been so well-documented and so deeply mined for inspiration. We’re talking, of course, about Chanel’s Spring/Summer 2020 show and its beauty look, which was influenced by the Nouvelle Vague movement.

Highbrow French films prior to the Nouvelle Vague era were typically shot at posh salons and private gathering spots of the elites, but a new tide swept in during the 1960s, addressing the lives of real people. French New Wave cinema typically focused on the streets, narrow alleyways, and terraces of the city, where the working class gathered, worked, and lived. Nouvelle Vague beauty was simple and accessible. Icons of this era influenced each beauty element, like Anna Karina’s wide eyes flecked with a tiny hint of eyeliner and fringed with babydoll lashes, or Catherine Deneuve’s undone, tousled locks and youthful pink cheeks.

Chanel’s Global Creative Make-up and Color Director, Lucia Pica, is a master of capturing the story behind each collection and, this time around, her approach was so spot on that it singlehandedly reignited our interest in doing our makeup like a French girl – but not just any French girl. Instead, our desire is to capture the look of a cool Nouvelle Vague French girl in the league of Karina and DeneuveIt starts with healthy skin, full brows, a flush of color on the cheeks, and stained lips. This look is the opposite of trying too hard. It’s fresh, it’s gorgeous, and it’s as luxurious as the collection it complemented.

Chanel Spring/Summer 2020 backstage beauty
Photo: Courtesy of Chanel

Skin

To achieve the “super fresh” beauty look that Creative Director Virginie Viard asked Lucia Pica to create for the show, the skin was prepped and moisturized with Chanel’s ‘Hydra Beauty’ line to give it luminosity. On top of that, Pica applied one of her favorite products, saying, “I loved using the Chanel ‘Baume Essentiel’ in Golden Light” because of the natural sun-kissed glow that it imparts to the skin. Unfortunately, Chanel hasn’t released this shade yet, but the ‘Baume Essentiel’ product is currently available in lighter shades.

 

Eyes

Eyebrows were brushed through with a transparent gel and lightly filled with the ‘Stylo Sourcils’ eyebrow-defining pencil . Eye makeup was light, relying on a new rose quartz shade from the ‘Ombre Première Laque’ line (due to launch in 2020) to highlight the lid and brow bone.

Lips

One of the more interesting aspects of the Chanel Spring/Summer 2020 beauty look was the lips – think: stained rather than glossed. This was achieved with the ‘Rouge Allure Liquid Powder’ that creates a unique blurred effect, which was topped with a clear gloss to seal the stain.

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