At Paris Fashion Week, dark circles are allowed to shine. “I’m all for French beauty—I think there’s a real sexiness in enhancing those gorgeous tones on your eyes,” said makeup artist Hannah Murray backstage at Chloé, where she left Amber Valetta’s moody gaze seemingly bare: No mascara, no curled lashes, no brow stenciling, and no heavy concealer. “Too much concealer changes the shape of your face—you lose dimension,” she says. The honesty of undereye circles has been an attitude seen throughout the week at Loewe, Meryll Rogge, Anne Isabella, and even at the (Rihanna-blessed) Dior show, where makeup artist Peter Philips skipped undereye concealer for an unbothered look fitting for a collection that Maria Grazia Chiuri intended to represent a time in the future when women run the world—and create their own beauty codes.
Murray called it “raw, tough, strong” makeup at Chloé. “They need to look cool,” she said of the cast of personalities. Backstage at the Serres du Parc André Citroën venue (essentially an enormous greenhouse filled with earth and skin-baring sunlight), everything started with Tata Harper facials, where Restorative Eye Creme replaced opaque coverage. “My goal was to amplify the model’s natural beauty,” Harper explained outside, steps away from a giant hot air balloon ascending from the park next door. “For me, healthy skin is the best makeup.” Murray seconds that opinion. “There are ways of freshening and bringing the face alive with skin-care products—without needing to blank it out.” The British-born artist recently moved to Paris and says she loves “seeing French beauty around me all the time, I’m fascinated by that effortlessness.”
When I run into French-born model Helene Diap, wearing a covetable layering of green and pink plaid at Cool TM’s Galerie Vivienne showroom this evening, she tells me she’s done her own makeup. Designer Thomas Monet is her boyfriend, so it’s been a busy week with little sleep, and Diap is the solo model for the presentation—not to mention the fit model for the entire collection. “I literally grab these to wear every day,” she says of the rainbow of fluffy, shiny, oversized, wonderfully genderless pieces. When I ask if she, too, skips concealer, Diap admits she uses a little strategically. “I just try to keep it natural,” she says. “I think it’s not my personality to cover so much—I accept to be tired,” she adds with a laugh that letting her undereye circles show through is like a gentle social signal to “leave me alone.” Diap emotes through Cool TM’s clothing in the same way she does makeup: “Use everything you want to express how you feel—if you feel moody or you want to be strong,” she says, “you don’t have to be perfect.”