Valentino's Trippy Face Tattoos Take The Logomania Trend To New Heights

Can’t. Look. Away.

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Fashion — and beauty by extension — has always centered around the power of outward-facing self-expression. Moody and misunderstood manifests in deep colors, transgressive placements, and avant-garde techniques while a polished ponytail paired with a fresh face imbues confidence the way few other looks can. At the Valentino show, which unfolded smack-dab in the center of Paris Fashion Week S/S ‘23, the event’s standout beauty look had a lot to say. In fact, it screamed. The logo face tattoos at Valentino Spring/Summer 2023, created by legendary makeup artist Pat McGrath to fit the show’s “unboxing” theme, are exciting, out-there, and slightly terrifying — like a high-fashion horror movie in which the tissue paper swaddling your new trousers suddenly becomes sentient.

Meticulously placed to align even across the models’ closed eyelids, the face tattoos took McGrath and her team a mind-bending five hours to perfect, the makeup artist told Vogue. She placed the tattoo decals over just a bit of complexion-enhancing makeup, which served to even out tone and perfect the skin canvas for the logos. Designed to be a physical embodiment of the Valentino logo and, by extension, the historic fashion house, it immediately became one of Paris Fashion Week’s standout beauty looks — possibly of all-time.

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Notably, not every model in the show wore the all-over logos. Just four were chosen to present the look, while the others had hair and makeup tailored to suit and complement their individual features. Hairstylist Guido Palau explained to Vogue that the backstage beauty work consisted of “just tweaks; there weren’t big statements.” Hair looks varied so vastly it was clear how natural they all were, incorporating the models’ own textures, lengths, and attitudes right into the relaxed, casual styles. A few models even had their own (real) tattoos on display, trailing up their chests, necks, and faces in an authentic contrast to the logo decals.

The decision to simply enhance the models as they came rather than morphing them into a more rigid interpretation of the theme is one seen more and more at fashion shows, too. At Victoria Beckham’s first Paris presentation, models had makeup matched to their skin tones and hair colors for a custom, monochrome effect while The Row, Burberry, and Prada — all of which featured McGrath as their makeup leads — focused primarily on glowing, radiant skin.

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It’s brilliant, really — by making four of the models look identical and anonymous, it only heightens the on-display individuality of the rest. And if you need a last-minute Halloween costume that requires only a bit of vinyl printing, this is it. The face tattoos do look a bit like a high-fashion Hellraiser, no?