Catwalk Cut: The Beauty of Carolina Herrera Spring 2013 Wednesday 03 October, 2012

Spring 2013 backstage beauty alert: Floating hair sections, moody charcoal eyelids and feminine nails get to the heart of the sophisticated woman at Carolina Herrera.

Sometimes, a reference point isn’t needed to conjure beautiful hair. So often, beauty influencers—the hairstylists, makeup artists and manicurists—cobble together an amazing backstory to their creation. But not this day, not this show. At Carolina Herrera‘s Spring 2013 showing, the designer cites “timeless influence” as her guiding force, and hairstylist Orlando Pita (working with Moroccanoil) follows suit, making it clear that the hairstyle, a floating panel secured in place with nothing more than copious amounts of Moroccanoil Luminous Hairspray Strong, isn’t sourced from the past or present.

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“It’s simply a sleek, architectural and modern style,” he relays. To ensure the panel stays put, Pita takes horizontal ½-inch sections at the crown, working from the back to the hairline, and mists each section with Luminous Hairspray Strong in a pattern: The first section receives a blast of spray one inch from the root; the next section 1 ½-inches from the root; and so on. Each section is dried painstakingly with a blow dryer.

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To sleeken the style further, he flat-irons the lengths into silky sheets and banishes flyaways with a light misting of Moroccanoil Frizz Control. Asked by one reporter, “why no barrette—certainly that would be easier?”—Orlando laughs. “If you did a barrette, it would be too ‘school girl.’ But also, too easy.”

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Whereas the hair inspiration remains open to interpretation, makeup takes on the dreamy, melancholy vibe of ’60s model-turned-photographer Sarah Moon’s work. The eyes are central to the look. MAC makeup lead Diane Kendal canvases eyelids from lash line to eyebrow in diffused layers of moody charcoal and taupe, blending the color up into the brows.

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To accentuate the crease, she etches MAC Eye Kohl in Phone Number in the eyelid fold and then blends it outward using her fingers. “There’s really no line,” she says. “We’re just patting and smudging and blending the color so that it softens out.” It’s like creating a halo effect around the eye, yet with darker tones.


Subtle touches, like cheeks flushed with a hint of MAC Blush in Cubic and highlighted with Luna Cream Color Base, lighten the look.


Nails follow suit with this lighter sensibility: Fingers and toes receive two coats of Essie Adore-a-ball, an “off-pink that goes with any skin tone,” Essie lead tech Ana-Maria declares. She notes that the nail shape, oval with rounded edges, looks feminine, elegant and sophisticated. It’s typical Carolina Herrera to not draw too much attention to the nails, though Ana-Maria does note excitedly, “At least this season it’s not sheer. You actually do see the pigment!”

Fearless Beauty Quotient (scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the most fearless): 5. One thing I can say about smoky eyes: It’s not often you see your everyday woman wearing lash line-to-brow color on their lids. And I’m not talking about dabbing a bit of highlighter on the brow bone or sweeping some ivory eye shadow beneath the arches. I mean color—grey included. And yet, this iteration seems quite wearable, perhaps because it’s so soft and blended all the way up. I believe, as far as smoky eyes that reach the eyebrows go, you can tackle this look quite fearlessly. Just be sure to blend, blend, blend—but also, pay attention to that crease to give the design dimension. As for the hair: Why not? Maybe the process to make that section float could be viewed as a bit laborious, but it’s certainly a wearable look that has a bit of pow! And, if you must, throw a barrette in. Just don’t tell Orlando Pita I told you to.

 What do you think of Orlando Pita’s floating hair section? Would you try this?

Karie L. Frost Signature

(1st, 5th and 9th images: courtesy of Moroccanoil; all others property of Karie L. Frost/


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HAIR(raised), MAKEUP(minded), NAIL(tipped)

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