If there’s one thing you can bank on in a Balmain campaign, it’s that members of Olivier Rousteing’s army are going to look like bona fide bombshells. For the house’s latest visuals, Rousteing stayed true to that aesthetic by opting for smoky eyes on each set of siblings (which included Gigi and Bella Hadid, Joan and Erika Smalls, and Kendall and Kylie Jenner). “We talked about the girls looking sultry and powerful in the spirit of Helmut Newton,” said makeup artist Aaron de Mey. The pro’s interpretation of Newton’s iconic beauties was made modern by removing the vibrant color and using “lots of shine and lots of black” to keep the look “cooler” and “monochromatic.”
To devise eye makeup that was as fierce as the women who wore it, de Mey applied “a ton” of black eyeliner pencil—blending it with a small soft brush just below the crease and extending the pigment out into a feline shape. He ran any leftover pigment along the lower lash line before dusting a matte shadow over the top to set the pencil. Next, he reached for a taupe hue and used it to shade around the “edges” of the feline shape, then worked “chunky black mascara” into the roots of lashes on the top and bottom. The finishing touch: Clear lip gloss across the top lids only. “It was a play on textures,” he explained. In lieu of heavy contouring, de Mey said he used “shine to sculpt the face” by placing a dewy moisture balm on cheekbones, the bridge of the nose, center of the chin, and Cupid’s bow. For even more strength and definition, he employed taupe cream in the hollows of the cheeks.
While one might assume there would be competition with multiple sister powerhouses on set, de Mey said it was quite relaxed. “The previous night the Met ball had taken place, so everyone had funny stories to share,” he said. And despite the fact that Gigi holds the cosmetics contract in the Hadid household (at least for now) and provides the makeovers, it was never up for debate as to which sister would wield the lipstick. “It was established immediately that Bella would hold the lipstick,” said de Mey. “It gave the picture a gesture and certain sense of movement.” In this instance, little sis holds the power.
—Amber Kallor, Style.com