The biggest catwalk trend set to sparkle at the races has nothing to do with dresses, or even hats, although it is being touted by some as "millinery for the face".
In a case of life imitating music festivals, face jewels, from tiny pearls to coloured rhinestones, are emerging as a surprise fashion and beauty trend this spring carnival.
Makeup artist Kerry Tseros (right) applies eye embellishment to model Amer Athiu at the David Jones-Sephora beauty bar at Caulfield Racecourse.Credit:Simon Schluter
Embellished make-up was a strong beauty trend on the catwalks of Paris and New York during the recent fashion month. At Anna Sui, models had tiny stars hugging their lower eyelids, while at Dries Van Noten, faces were spruced with jewels and feathers. And at Off White, the party centred around the bridge of the nose and the inner eye to create a cosmic vibe.
The look is tipped to be popular at Saturday's Caulfield Cup, where Sephora artists will offer free eye-bling sessions in the beauty bar in the David Jones public area.
Alphie Sadsad, national artistry lead for Sephora, said that while the nature of runway looks is that they can be extreme, it's easy to experiment with the trend at any level that's comfortable for the wearer. He said a simple diamante placed at the inner and outer corners of the eye is a foolproof way to begin.
The finished look, as seen on model Amer Athiu.Credit:Simon Schluter
And gems aren't the only way to get an embellished look, Sadsad said. Another idea is finding a glitter product that contains shapes, such as stars, that can be swiped on the cheekbone or outer eye.
"If you're making the eyes the focus, it's about keeping the rest of the face quite neutral," he said. "Your hat or headpiece will probably be embellished as well … less is more on lips."
To differentiate the look from music festival fashions, Sadsad suggests opting for a symmetrical design, rather than focusing on one eye or creating a different look for each side of the face.
It’s about taking the extreme runway looks and making them your own.Credit:Getty Images
"For festivals, it's a little more organic and carefree. For the races you want something more composed. You want to look more polished."
To ensure a good grip, he suggests a waterproof latex glue or high-quality lash glue over a primer, so the adhesive isn't resting on bare skin. To remove, use a cleansing oil for gems, and for glitter, oil on a soft cloth.
Maintaining the condition of the eye area is also a concern for Specsavers optometrist and trained make-up artist Karen Welsh.
As the skin around the eyes is more delicate, she suggests patch-testing any glues or glitter products at least a week before an event. And try not to get any product inside the eye itself, especially if the person wears contact lenses.
"The biggest risk could be an abrasion or scratch to your cornea – glitters and things, if they get in the eye, they can be quite rough," she said.
Ms Welsh suggested products that are a finer grade glitter, as well as those suspended in an adhesive liquid that dries quickly to minimise the risk of the product travelling into the eye.
As a contact lens wearer, Ms Welsh said she avoids glitter but that it can be safe for all, so long as people keep it away from the delicate meibomian glands along the inner rim of the eyelid, known as the waterline.
Sophie Koh, national professional services adviser for Optometry Australia, added that it's best to avoid formaldehyde-based adhesives, "as these are often linked to allergic reactions. If there is any discomfort afterwards, red eyes or any noticeable inflammation of the eyelid, grittiness or blurred vision, you should see your optometrist immediately."
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