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The 6 Main Beauty Trends I Saw Everywhere at London Fashion Week

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Main image – Courtesy of writer

Being invited backstage at fashion week is like getting a golden ticket – it’s a privilege for few and far between and it’s like entering a world of pure imagination.

For London Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2024, I was one of the lucky few and let me tell you – the experience was magic.

The air was tingling with buzzy energy (and copious amounts of hairspray) and the room was packed with models, designers, stylists, make-up artists, nail artists and press all eager to get the scoop. It’s especially exciting for beauty lovers such as myself.

Why? Because I wanted to be the first to know the beauty trends that are set to take off later this year. 

Fuelled by caffeine, I’ve spent LFW hanging out backstage with creatives in order to discover the latest and – boy oh boy – we are in for some treats this year.


Backstage at Helen Anthony. Image – Courtesy of writer


Personally, I love a bold, make-up look and big hair and, typically, fashion week is dominated by minimal colour and slicked-back strands. I’ll admit, clean skin was definitely a trend, but I also saw big, voluminous updos at Sabirah, impressive, bright-red claws at Helen Anthony and inviting vampy lips at Jasive. 

In 2023, we saw ‘no make-up make-up’ looks reign supreme, but AW24 promises something extra. Glossy skin is enhanced with a pop of glitter or colour – there were both sparkly teardrops and orange eyeshadows on show at SUNCUN.

Make-up artists even talked about ‘velvet skin’ at Helen Anthony, and how to use foundation to sculpt the face (fun). So, create a new Pinterest board and prepare to be inspired it’s time acquaint yourself with the key London Fashion Week beauty trends to try this year. 


1. Dark romance

Model Cristina Torres backstage at Jasive. Make-up by Tarryn Lea for AOFM Pro under make-up lead Mandy Gakhal. Image – Courtesy of writer


I’ve written about my love of dark, dramatic make-up before so you can imagine my delight when I found myself in a sea of models with maroon-painted pouts.

If you use, you know, the internet, you’ll have noticed that ‘vamp’ make-up was everywhere at the end of 2023 (#vampmakeup has 8.5 million views on TikTok). It’s no surprise then, that the trend appeared on the Jasive runway. 

In line with bare make-up trends (more on that later) the rest of the look was fairly straight forward – but that blood-red lip was commanding my attention.

I asked lead make-up artist Mandy Gakhal the whys and the hows. She said, “The skin was minimalistic, and the goal was to create a bold, strong lip. Jasive usually opt for a more vibrant red tone but today they wanted to focus on red with a twist, which is why we created that berry-toned shade.”


2. Get a grip

Backstage at Alex S. Yu. Image – Courtesy of writer


When I headed backstage at Alex S. Yu I immediately bumped into a group of models wearing the most dazzling, sparkly star-shaped grips (love).

I don’t know about you, but my Instagram feed is inundated with Y2K nostalgia and these shimmering accessories feel very on trend. And, Alex S. Yu wasn’t the only one pinning the trend, I spotted large, oversized hair grips securing strands at Sabirah.  


3. Peach Fuzz

The SUNCUN runway. Image – Courtesy of writer


Peach Fuzz is the Pantone colour of the year and it reminds me of happy times watching sunsets with an offensively large glass of rosé wine.

In fact, Pantone’s executive director Leatrice Eiseman said in a statement, “In seeking a hue that echoes our innate yearning for closeness and connection, we chose a colour radiant with warmth and modern elegance.”

SUNCUN’s models looked pretty elegant to me, and the orangey-pink colour added a certain je ne sais quois to pared-back glossy skin and lips. Peachy tones were also noticeable at Helen Anthony, where eyes were swept with a translucent gold shimmer. 


4. Bare but better

The Sabirah runway. Image – Chris Yates/Olu Ogunshakin


Subtle make-up reflected modest-wear brand Sabirah’s ethos. The show’s lead makeup artist, Neusa Neves, says the goal was to look “elegant. We’re using bold lip gloss shades Nigeria and Morroco by Emolyne to enhance natural undertones in the lips. We will also add a touch of black and brown eyeliner.

“Skin will be seamless – extra gloss will be applied just before the models walk onto the runway.”

Mandy Gakhal confirmed the minimal make-up trend, “One thing that I have noticed from this year’s shows is that stylists have particularly wanted a focus on minimalist skin. I’m talking really sheered out complexions and, in some cases, no foundation at all.”

Helen Anthony embraced this trend, but with a twist. “For us, we decided to make the skin look velvety. It has a beautiful, ethereal glow but, instead of wet-looking skin or an all-over glow, it’s positioned to work in synergy with the features. We have carefully placed highlighter to enhance the bone structure,” says the show’s makeup artist, Amanda Bell.


5. Stray strands 

The SUNCUN runway. Image – Courtesy of writer


It wasn’t the updos that I noticed at Jasive and SUNCUN (which included intricate top knots and straight-cut fringes) but the fact that the stylists had allowed loose threads to escape the confines of hairspray and ties and sway in the breeze.

It felt refreshing to see a slightly more laid-back approach to the usual scraped-back hair that typically dominates fashion weeks. Fittingly, I had a great chat with Phillip Haug, lead hair stylist at Helen Anthony, about letting hair breathe.

He explained, “We want to create softness and movement in hair. Texture is actually quite cool, and it works well for a night out – it’s great to have hair mostly off the face but the movement keeps it pretty.” At Helen Anthony, most models wore hair down yet pulled off the face with a few threads running free.

As an extremely low maintenance gal (plus I don’t like it where my ponytail is too tight and my brain hurts) I’m here for allowing a stray strand (or ten) to escape around my face. 


6. Pillar-box red 

Backstage at Sabirah. Image – Asia Werbel


Red nails at Sabirah, red lips at Helen Anthony… bold, bright scarlet was everywhere. We’ve seen a lot of ‘subtle make-up with a twist’ looks on the AW24 catwalks, and the nails you’re looking at at Sabirah added a bright pop of colour to the designer’s elegant creations.

Plus, vibrant lips matched Helen Anthony’s popping runway show (think loud bops that make you jiggle in your seat) and Amanda Bell confirmed my case “The focus on the show is very much on statement lips, with make-up becoming the ultimate accessory to compliment the collection – which is very modern.” 


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Freelance Beauty Writer

Shannan is a freelance beauty journalist with over seven years of experience working on beauty desks.  You’ll see her work published in the likes of Harrods' own magazine, Red, Women’s Wear Daily, Canvas8 and more. She regularly guest lectures on various courses at Condé Nast College of Fashion and Design about digital content. Shannan is obsessed with all-things beauty, and particularly loves writing about scent – she was a finalist for the 'Rising Star' category at The Jasmine Awards 2023, one of the most prestigious journalistic awards in the beauty industry.

Expertise: Makeup, skincare
Education: Falmouth University

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