What does modern sex appeal mean? The answer may evolve from season to season, year to year—but chez Donatella Versace, the bombshell equation of swingy hair and smoldering eye makeup always makes good. Who could forget Jennifer Lopez’s epic walk down the runway last season in that iconic emerald gown—you know, the one that sparked the creation of Google Images—accented with a kohl-rimmed gaze, of course.
At the Milan Fashion Week show today, models (and perhaps a surprise VIP guest or two) will no doubt lounge around backstage looking like the certified power babes they are. And while excellent genes have no doubt helped their case, there is something to be learned by mere mortals from the designer’s more-is-more beauty philosophy. Here, four rules—stolen from backstage power duo Guido Palau and Pat McGrath—to consider this month.
1. There is nothing more important than a black kohl pencil.
Each season, the Versace woman walks the runway with a fresh incarnation of the smoky eye. “It’s pencil drawn all around the inside and the outside of the lashes,” makeup artist Pat McGrath has said, taking her cues from the bold shapes or slit-to-there lines of the house’s collections, or occasionally winging the shape into a take-no-prisoner’s cat eye. “It makes things tougher, sharper, it brings out the color of your eyes.”
2. Do not, we repeat—do not—leave the house with less than three coats of mascara.
In fact, you are going to need “massive” amounts of inky black pigment swiped along the lashes, according to McGrath, who curls them before going over each little hair repeatedly with a thick brush formula, like her own formula, FetishEyes.
3. You are going to want to consider growing your hair out—and possibly getting bangs.
Swingy, below-the-shoulder hair is key to your look—because what better accessory is there for a body-con power suit? Whatever your preferred length, however, if you’re thinking of making a bold change, the brow-grazing fringe spotted on models like Mica Arganaraz and Bella Hadid is an appropriately iconic option.
4. Remember that old saying about looking in the mirror before you go out for the night and taking one thing off?
It does not apply to you. Because whether it’s clouds the hair for a sleek and “expensive” texture or a high-impact gleam on the eyelids , standing out is most definitely your thing.