Beauty Trends During Fashion Week In 2009 Proves Everything Is Cyclical — Including The Invisible Brow Trend
“You’re going to regret this one day,” my mom would tell as I'd aggressively pluck away my brows before middle school. And as all moms seem to be, she was right. I didn’t care: Being a typical preteen, I strived to fit in. My thick, full brows were my biggest insecurity growing up, and made me the girl who stood out when Christina Aguilera-level-thin brows were the craze. And looking back at the beauty trends during that time — more specifically, the beauty trends during fashion week in 2009 — I was right on trend. The nonexistent, skinny arch of the ‘00s were still going strong. Makeup artists sent models down the runway with bleached and pencil-thin brows, proving the look was still what the beauty world was craving.
Fast forward years later when bushy, caterpillar-like brows took over, I looked back and wish I'd listened to my mother. Just like fashion trends that reemerge over time (think: seashell anklets, chic flip-flops, and velvet scrunchies), beauty is cyclical, too. But when these looks return, it's in a new, fresh way. “It’s never a complete repeat. The people doing it this time around will be doing it in a different way,” Guido Palau, hairstylist and Global Creative Director for Redken, tells TZR.
The British-born hair expert has an extensive, wildly impressive portfolio — Palau has contributed to luxury labels including Prada, Marc Jacobs, and Proenza Schouler, to name a few. Not to mention he's worked alongside world-famous makeup artist Pat McGrath throughout his career to create some jaw-dropping looks, so it's safe to say Palau has racked up some knowledge about the overall beauty industry. “10 years ago, we saw beauty in another way — it was grunge in the ‘90s. Today it’s all about exclusivity,” he notes.
As for other beauty looks that dominated 2009, ahead, take a look back into 10 shows during fashion month that deserve your full attention.
Jason Wu Fall/Winter 2009 RTW, New York
"Jason told me his collection was inspired by fairy tales and medieval princesses, so I wanted the makeup to have pureness and softness," Gucci Westman, the makeup artist for the show, told Elle back in 2009. Westman gave the models a romantic look with berry lips and a flushed complexion, resulting in a look that she called her version of "a fairy running around in the woods." For the hair, the models sported oversized, chic headbands, another trend making its way back in 2019.
Givenchy Fall/Winter 2009 RTW, Paris
Ah, crimped hair — a trend that always finds its way back into the beauty world, typically when we least except it. Whether you slept in braids or turned to your highly-coveted crimping iron, the textured look was a ‘90s cool-girl style, and made an appearance on the models during the Givenchy Fall/Winter 2009 show. And if your crimper didn’t collect too much dust over the years, consider pulling it out because as of spring 2019, crimped hair is back.
Proenza Schouler Fall/Winter 2009 RTW, New York
“Very worn in and smoky” is how makeup artist Diane Kendal described the end result of the makeup for the Proenza Schouler Fall 2009 show. In a video for Allure, Kendal revealed exactly how she got this ‘90s grungy makeup look. “I used a brown cream base applied on top of the lid blended right up underneath the eye, black cream liner very close to the lashes and also underneath, and no mascara so it gives you perhaps that makeup has been worn for a couple of days,” she explained. The hair for the show was on theme with the slept-in eye makeup; the low pony gave off a tousled, non-brushed appearance.
Prada Fall/Winter 2009 RTW, Milan
Certainly one for the books was Prada’s Fall/Winter 2009 show, where models turned heads in blood-red eye makeup and full, over-the-top hair. “It was very texturized hair — a classic shape but not a classic texture,” Palau tells TZR about the look he created 10 years ago.
And per usual for ‘09, the brows were barely visible. "Paled-out brows open up your face," Pat McGrath told Elle at the time on the nonexistent brows she gave the models. What lacked on the face seemed to be any type of contour or lip products, leaving all the attention for the dramatic eyes and super-sized hair.
Rodarte Fall/Winter 2009 RTW, New York
The eye-catching hair stole the show at Rodarte Fall/Winter 2009. "The shape of the chignon is simple, but the texture is complex," Odile Gilbert, the mastermind behind the look, told Elle. "Like the collection, which plays with fabric and texture, the look is sleek in front with an architectural, modern chignon in back." Gilbert was inspired by the crisscrossed laces on the boots from the show, where he took the image of the product and made it come to life in the hair.
And the makeup was just as detailed and elegant. "The look is a stone face. The idea behind it is sculpture," makeup artist James Kaliardos told Vogue UK in 2009. "[We wanted] to deconstruct and reconstruct the face in an abstract way, emphasizing each part." The final result was somewhat ghostly, where the contour powders created an angular appearance on the face.
Balmain Spring/Summer 2010 RTW, Paris
"The makeup is done in a very transparent way, so you don't see it at all. It's a completely clean face," makeup artist Tom Pecheux told Allure. "People backstage can't tell which models have had their makeup done, and which ones haven't —it's that natural-looking." For the look, Pecheux emphasized the models' under-eye circles, only putting on a light coat of foundation and concealer. And unlike many of the shows during fashion month in ‘09, the brows were bold, Pecheux filled them in with a pencil, then added a darker layer with brown mascara on top.
The hair for the show was just as minimal as the makeup. "It's no-frills hair," hairstylist Sam McKnight explained to Allure in 2009. "We wanted it to have that natural, almost child-like quality. It's the ultimate summer hair — it doesn't get any easier than this."
Chloé Spring/Summer 2010 RTW, Paris
The no-makeup, makeup look that emerged over the last few years was the theme for Chloé’s Spring/Summer 2010 show. "It's the Brooke Shields type of all-American, classic beauty," makeup artist Diane Kendal told Glamour at the time. "It's natural, but we've done things that give it strength, such as softly contouring the cheeks and filling in the brows."
The hair for the show was done in middle parts, and left models looking like they just woke up and ran out the door, while still looking gorgeous. Naturally.
Alexander Wang Spring/Summer 2010 RTW, New York
“It's a hairstyle I never imagined would be so popular,” Palau tells TZR about the side braid he created for Alexander Wang's Spring/Summer 2010 show, seen here on a young Karlie Kloss. “It’s ‘80s in an American way — a girl just out of college. "It's very simple with a slight lift in the hair, that’s something girls feel comfortable in.” And the makeup, or lack of, was all about the brows — fierce, spiked brows shown above Freja Beha Erichsen. Let's bring that back again, shall we?
Marc Jacobs Fall/Winter 2009 RTW, New York
The beauty for Marc Jacobs' Fall/Winter 2009 show was inspired by the early '80s celebrating the New York club scene, Palau, lead hairstylist for the show, tells TZR. The outrageous hair was inspired by styles worn in the decade, some sticking straight up in the air, others pulled back in a large bun.
François Nars made a not-so-subtle return at the show after a 10-year hiatus, where he was the lead makeup artist. Nars went above and beyond and created 65 individual looks on each one of the 65 models (go big or go home, right?). And the reason behind the challenging task was inspiring. “But from the very beginning, Marc said that he wanted all of the girls to have a different look, to celebrate their individuality," Nars told WWD at the time. Each one of the 65 models looked like they just walked out of the club in thick black liner and vibrant eyeshadow.
Lanvin Spring/Summer 2010 RTW, Paris
For the Lanvin Spring/Summer 2010 show, the eyes were the highlight of the face. "It's all about this destroyed black eye makeup," McGrath explained to Allure in 2009. "We're putting it on, then wiping it off so it looks smeared and lived-in." The rest of the face remained subtle with bleached brows, pale lips, and minimal contour. However, the hair was a bold statement, a beehive sized bun was shown on the girls. Just like the eyes, the bun that rested on the models head was messy and portrayed that lived-in look.