A definitive ranking of NYFW Fall 2016 beauty looks (from best to OMFG never)

New York Fashion Week has officially wrapped, which means we’ve got nothing but time to reflect on the runway, the fashion, and of course, the weird beauty trends.

And did they ever deliver. Keeping in step with the anything goes approach that’s taken over the past several seasons, beauty played it far from safe, with models donning everything from a near-complete lack of makeup to dirty nails to single silver tears (which I thought were reserved only for me, when reading my mentions on Twitter).

And some trends looked great. Others looked great only in context. And then there were three that I had full-body reactions to and wrote about them quickly so I’d never have to see photos of them again. (Turns out I have an issue with texture and nails.) But, regardless of my personal feelings, it’s exciting to find ourselves approaching beauty from less traditional angles. Arguably, New York Fashion Week has sent a strong message: that there’s room for everybody’s beauty tastes, on every scale, and in every realm.

But, because ranking things is fun, here’s how we broke down some of our favourites.

A photo posted by Jeremy Scott (@itsjeremyscott) on


The cream of the crop. The good, the bad, and the ugly-in-a-really beautiful way. See also: the reason you might see some of us in very, very dark eye makeup again.

Jeremy Scott
Dolly Parton said it best: the higher the hair, the closer to God. (And I’ll happily champion anything that brings us nearer to Beyoncé.) Teased roots and blue eyeshadow pay homage to late sixties kitsch, but most importantly evoke the majesty of Sam’s super cool mom in Now and Then. (Lest we forget.)

A photo posted by Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) on

Marc Jacobs
Bless us everyone: Marc Jacobs and Nars revived the dark, creepy nature of the Victorian era, keeping eyes smoky and eyebrows light, while creating serious drama in the process. Effectively transforming the likes of Kendall Jenner and Lady Gaga into steampunk spokespeople, Jacobs curated a look ideal for a night out, since you probably can’t show up to work in it — although if you do, you’ll likely be promoted because of how intimidating you’ve become.

A photo posted by @narsissist on

Thanks to Nars, Rodarte’s “beautifully romantic” contrast of colours stresses dark lips and eyebrows, effectively framing the face and creating an Edwardian-esque approach to beauty. Think: Lady Mary meets Winona Ryder (which is how I try to describe myself).

Proenza Schouler
If the concept of “all-natural” and “fresh-faced” scares you, welcome to my world. But thanks to Diane Kendal, Proenza Schouler’s prepped out models proved you could keep makeup to a minimum while still making an impact — especially since hair looked wet and messy, like it all ain’t no thing.

A video posted by tompecheux (@tompecheux) on

Um, okay. Sure.

They did…things. And they were fine — better than fine, even. So that being said, if you can find a way to wear these looks in your day-to-day life, we’ll be in your debt forever.

Like, okay. At Altuzarra, Tom Pecheux drew asymmetrical designs on models’ faces as a Fashion Week in-between (read: tons of makeup or none at all), and gave us all an excuse to do the same whenever we feel like asserting our aesthetic awareness. (Translation: this is the fastest way to prove how high fashion you are to everyone you went to school with at a former classmate’s stag and doe.)

Photography via Pinterest

One single, dramatic silver tear serves but two purposes: 1) to illustrate to the masses how people on the Internet tend to make you feel, and 2) to see just how many so-called friends will tell you they think your eyeshadow is running. Both of which I can get behind.

A photo posted by Gigi Hadid (@gigihadid) on

FENTY x Puma
This is an example of a look that works fantastic in context (so great! so powerful!) but in real life would lead to questions about why you went out with your hair dye still in or why don’t you know how to use dry shampoo. The black lips though? Wear them every day, precious treasures.

Alexander Wang
Ultimately, Alexander Wang’s tribute to punk is ideal if it’s already in your aesthetic wheelhouse. But if you’re just a girl, standing in front of the mirror, asking if you’re really sure if you want to dye your eyebrows, it might be best to stick to the under-eye shadow and carry on with your life.


No. Go to jail. Go to directly to jail. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. Instead, I will take your $200 and invest it in three other looks I won’t nearly pass out while looking at. (Seriously, you guys: it was a full-body reaction.)

Nope. No way. Looking at these — and imagining what can/will get caught in the fur — makes me want to pass out and pass away. It’s too much. The texture makes me want to sob. You know when you accidentally pet a cat the wrong way? This is the nail equivalent of that. How dare this, and how dare all of you for making me look at it.

A photo posted by @jasonwu on

Jason Wu
Behold: the aesthetic equivalent of Elaine Benes yelling, “Hey! Flip your dog’s ears back!” It’s unfair and unnatural. It’s flashbacks and memories of all-ages dances at the YMCA where you thought you had to re-apply your drugstore mascara as often as you did lipgloss. It’s cruel and unusual punishment. No.

A photo posted by DAWN STERLING (@nailglam) on

Hood by Air
I understand the deconstructed look that nail artist Dawn Sterling was going for. But this doesn’t mean I didn’t immediately stifle my screams upon seeing what looks like the hands of a deceased person on CSI. I mean, some of us have nail “things.” (And some of us nearly threw up during that part in Black Swan.) Some of us can’t even watch our nails being filed because the sound and feeling is just too much. Some of us almost didn’t write about this trend because it’d mean we’d have to look at the photos again.