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The Feminist Beauty Messages That Ruled NYFW Fall 2018

"Society has long expected women to hide behind a mask of makeup."

New York Fashion Week Fall 2018 wraps up tonight and before we move along to London, Milan and Paris, it’s worth noting that New York has set a great precedent of strong beauty messages this season. Full of feminist ideas depicted through hair and makeup, we caught up with the beauty pros backstage at NYFW to talk about their inspirations for the shows’ looks.

Below, some quotes from makeup artists Thomas de Kluyver, Diane Kendal and James Kaliadros, and hairstylist Guido Palau, about what they wanted to say through the hair and makeup at NYFW Fall 2018.


Makeup by Thomas de Kluyver for Maybelline

“I wanted to do makeup that felt playful and fun, rather than making the girls feel they needed to cover up or conform to some kind of beauty ideal,” said Thomas de Kluyver. “With the conversations we’re having in 2018, it’s really important to feel free to express yourself rather than feeling like you need to hide behind heavy foundation or something. It’s not a mask. Society has long expected women to hide behind a mask of makeup. Now’s the time to be using makeup like it’s just an accessory because it makes you feel great.”

Alexander Wang

Hair by Guido Palau for Redken; Makeup by Diane Kendal for NARS

“This is Alex Wang’s take on the power woman, kind of inspired by the ’80s and when we first saw female empowerment in the office,” said Palau. “Alex was looking at the sort of irony of these clips [in the ’80s], they had a bad connotation; we’re sort of seeing them again through different eyes. The look is strong and chic.” On the heavy contouring and otherwise minimal makeup, Kendal explained, “This season, the inspiration is all about powerful beauty.”

Cushnie et Ochs

Makeup by James Kaliadros for Maybelline

“Cushnie et Ochs are celebrating their 10-year anniversary. It’s great to be celebrating two young, independent women in this business that’s dominated by male designers. So they just wanted the girls to look gorgeous and strong. And they wanted to treat each girl as an individual. So if someone needs something different this way or that way, we can do that. It’s not a total robot uniform.”

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