“Laminated Skin” is taking over London Fashion Week and it’s as simple as that

“Laminated Skin” is taking over London Fashion Week and it’s as simple as that

It’s hard to keep up with the wealth of creative beauty trends every time London Fashion Week comes around. While they’re all incredibly Instagram-worthy, many of them may seem a little too adventurous for everyday wear. Take gold leaf bronzer, for example. Absolutely fascinating, but probably not a look you’d consider while hanging out with friends.

So far this season, it’s all about skin. Specifically, keeping it relatively bare, but seriously increasing the dewiness. However, we seem to have graduated from the school of ‘glass skin’ (far too shiny and expensive to achieve thanks to all the layering). Instead, makeup artists at London Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2023 are championing another glowing skin trend, and it’s probably the easiest to achieve yet.

Enter: ‘laminated skin’.

Courtesy of Terry Barber, MAC’s director of makeup artistry and lead makeup artist at this year’s Fashion East show, laminated skin is the “next level of glow” and it emulates…sweat.

“The skin of the season is sweaty, which is no longer a negative,” Terry told Refinery29. “All the designers I work with talk about sweaty skin, like you’ve just come out of the sea on holiday, or been on a dance floor – or you’ve just had sex.” Terry says it’s not just about accentuated cheekbones or the powdery, shimmery finish that can be typical of highlighters. Instead, it’s about using creamy products to create what he calls a “hypermoisturized” and “laminated” base.

Terry and his squad of professionals, including pro artist Mus Emin, enlisted MAC Studio Radiance Face and Body Radiant Sheer Foundation, £30. “I actually used quite a bit of it,” Terry told R29, “because Face and Body is good when you put a lot on. It absorbs and makes the skin look laminated.” The second step is a generous veil of MAC Fix+ Magic Radiance, £26, which is a dewy-enhancing setting mist. “This baby is key to the whole show,” said Terry. “When we did the make-up, we painted the models’ faces in Magic Radiance and let it sinks in.” Terry says this is especially beautiful over foundation as it gives a “shrink wrap shine” and achieves that glossy, laminated look. Makeup artists sprayed the mist all over. “I’m not afraid of shine in the center of the forehead or on the nose,” said Terry. “This is a really beautiful laminated, hyper-moisturized glow all over.”

Blush was shelved in favor of a smooth cream contour, or in this case eyeshadow: MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pots, £18.50, depending on the model’s skin tone. Terry extolled the virtues of Groundwork and It’s Fabstract in particular, as they are natural skin tones and can be dialed up or down depending on your skin tone.

“I did some invisible contouring to create carved cheekbones,” Terry said, “a Grace Jones-y, ski slope cheekbone.” A touch of the same shade on a dense eyeshadow brush created what Terry called a “little spot” around the eye, to give shape to the face. “It’s a natural Fashion East show this time, but this makeup is more of a mood than a big statement,” said Terry.

If you have acne-prone skin or uneven skin texture, don’t worry. Glossy, laminated skin is for everyone – it’s just a matter of customizing your products. Avoid an oily base and opt for a light gel moisturizer beforehand, such as Face Theory Supergel Oil-free Moisturizer M3 for oily and acne-prone skin, £14.99, The Inkey List Omega Water Cream Moisturizer, £9.99, or Ole Henriksen Cold Plunge Pore Remedy Moisturizer, £40 (we spotted the latter two backstage at Paul Costelloe earlier in the day).

“When it comes to uneven skin or acneic skin, I would avoid frosted powder altogether,” advised Terry. “You’re great with something like Fix+ spray because it has essential oils in it, so when the moisture sinks in, it leaves a nice layer, which gives you an even surface glow.” In comparison, a product with shimmer particles can clump around the skin’s texture. “This makeup look just creates a glow,” said Terry.

Laminated skin is also good news for those with oily skin, as there is no need to use powder or reapply products throughout the day. Your natural facial oils only enhance the glossy, laminated effect. “We’re in a moment where you let the makeup sink in instead of filling it up,” Terry said. “Nobody wants too much density. This is what naturally happens to the skin,” he continued. It’s a look that conjures up images of models walking through a rainforest, getting out of a sauna, or having just been to a spa.

We’re sure Terry won’t be the last makeup artist to shine the spotlight on shiny faces. Any trend that involves just a handful of products, requires little to no refills, and fights oily skin in the process definitely gets our vote.

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