Pick any beauty look synonymous with a decade throughout history, and you're likely find its influences running throughout the wider culture. The look of this decade? If Chanel's Cruise Collection 2021 is the bar against which we measure the mood of this era, the new roaring Twenties are set to be characterised not by the glamour of its predecessor, but by a channelling of rebellion.
While the fashion was punctuated by quintessential Chanel pieces, the beauty stood firm and unapologetic in its Parisian homage to feminine punk; make-up was more polished than the Blitz Kids of the 1980s but with a severity that the washed out complexions of the 1990s lacked.
Make-up artist Lucia Pica alluded to an atmosphere of revolution by playing up the role of eyeliner to its fullest potential. Minimalism was not the order of the day; Gwyneth Paltrow's liner in The Royal Tenenbaums looked subtle in comparison to Chanel's inky lines. Pica balanced precision with freedom, rimming the eyes with black before extending outwards into disjointed double-edged wings, while other models were adorned with etched fluid shapes around the lash line.
While the clothes didn't stray far from the black and white palette that Viard drew from Jean Cocteau's 1960 film The Testament of Orpheus, colour was allowed more freedom to play out across the faces. The odd wash of pink shadow softened the liner and subtly ushered in a feminine attitude without the frills.
Lips were kept balmy, sometimes accented with a hint of berry but mainly understated, bar a show-stealing Chanel monogram lip ring which adorned the occasional lucky model.
Blusher came in different strokes too; a restrained and neutral flush here, a blown-out New Romantic-esque fuschia rush there. The usual air of sangfroid that accompanies the Chanel model was replaced with something more impassioned. Viard understood that the modern woman wants to be seen in a way that resonated with the women entwined in the 1980s punk subculture. Their make-up, of course, a crucial tool of individualism.
The hair invited just as much experimentation at the hands of hairstylist Damien Boissinot. Curled and tousled waves were teased into an undone look, natural hair was celebrated rather than restrained. With others, he was not so delicate, tapering the ends of fringes with razor-like finishes.
Side partings replaced the groomed centre parts we saw at Chanel's SS21 show, with fringes hanging heavy with the purposefulness of an angsty teenager. The over-arching message, through whichever flick of eyeliner or swipe of blush it presented itself, was a celebration of liberation, intemperance, with a whisper of anarchy thrown in for good measure.
Because really, what is beauty without a little bit of rebellion?
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