Runway Retrospective: The Best NZFW Beauty Looks Of The Last 20 Years

Viva beauty writer Ash Cometti takes a look back at 20 years of show-stopping NZFW beauty looks


THE YEAR: 2001


THE LOOK: Deconstructed halo braids stole the show at Silk Road in 2001. Hair was separated into a deep side parting, with face framing tendrils kept free. The rest was swept up into a loose braid and roughed up for a messy, boho feel.

Photo / Getty Images

THE YEAR: 2005


THE LOOK: Miromoda is always a stand-out for its contemporary approach to hair and beauty. This gravity-defying hair look from its 2005 show highlighted a number of styling techniques, including backcombing, braiding and crimping. The result was an edgy Mohawk with a fluffy plume. For makeup, hand drawn patterns adorned model’s under eye area.

Photo / Getty Images

THE YEAR: 2007


THE LOOK: Forget fluffy mink lashes, makeup artists at Hailwood’s 2007 went all out by applying black feathers to model’s upper eye lids for this modish look. A zig zag centre parting was reminiscent of the style popular in the mid Noughties, but with added volume through ends for oomph.

Photo / Getty Images

THE YEAR: 2011


THE LOOK: Famed for pushing proverbial boundaries when it comes to fashion, the equally edgy beauty look from Jimmy D’s 2011 show was memorable for many reasons. First, it inspired us to grow our hair to mermaid-length proportions, and second, we were encouraged to explore our inner artist by crafting a painterly print across eye lids, temples and inner corners of model’s eyes.

Photo / Getty Images

THE YEAR: 2013

THE DESIGNER: Stolen Girlfriend’s Club

THE LOOK: A barely-there base proved the perfect canvas for the striking look Stolen Girlfriend’s Club debuted at its 2013 show. Artists at M.A.C used a combination of smoky charcoal, navy and blood red dressed eyes in a circular pattern – making model’s eye colour pop. Fluffy brows and a slick of gloss was all that was needed to polish things off.

Photo / Karen Ishiguro for M.A.C Cosmetics

THE YEAR: 2016


THE LOOK: You can’t blame us for feeling just a little bit nostalgic looking back at snaps from Miss Crabb’s previous shows at NZFW. After closing doors to its Ponsonby boutique earlier this year, we’re reminiscing with this bold beauty look from its 2016 – which highlighted lips and eyes in contrasting shades of sky blue and crimson red. A far cry from the natural bases we’ve been accustomed to today, this was an all-out, full coverage foundation look that left little room for error.

Photo / Karen Ishiguro for M.A.C Cosmetics

THE YEAR: 2017

THE DESIGNER: Kate Sylvester

THE LOOK: That’s it – we’re throwing out all our eyeshadow palettes after witnessing how strong the mono eye look was at Kate Sylvester’s 2017 show. M.A.C artists used watercolour painting techniques to apply one single colour across model’s eye lids and temples. The rest of the face was kept relatively bare, saved for mattified foundation.

Photo / Karen Ishiguro for M.A.C Cosmetics

THE YEAR: 2008


THE LOOK: Famed for its avant garde approach to fashion, World took things to dizzying heights in 2008, when an array of jet black, sculptural wigs appeared on the runway. For makeup, pops of lavender were visible in the inner corners of models’ eyes, while heavy handed blush helped to chisel their cheekbones.

Photo / Getty Images

THE YEAR: 2010


THE LOOK: Don’t be fooled – that dusting of white powder down the model’s centre-part isn’t dry shampoo. It was all part of the vibe Zambesi created at their 2010 show, which saw faces painted in various black and white patterns. Conspicuous-looking white powder aside, hair was textured and tousled, save for a few loose braids.

Photo / Getty Images

THE YEAR: 2012

THE DESIGNER: New Zealand Weddings Magazine Collection Show

THE LOOK: Whimsical romance was the order of the day at the New Zealand Weddings Magazine Collection show, complete with oversized floral headpieces adorned with David Austin roses, blooming chrysanthemums, and sprigs of white stock. Pretty pink lips and plenty of highlighter ensured that newlywed glow.

Photo / Getty Images

THE YEAR: 2015


THE LOOK: Off-duty ballerina meets Jane Birkin was the makeup brief at Ruby’s 2015 show. Long fringes were created using clip in bangs, complemented by relaxed waves which were personalised to suit each model’s hair. Makeup artists used a lick of white lip mix to ‘pastelise’ a darker shade of purple lipstick, to create a kind of offbeat lilac prettiness.

Photo / Olivia Hemus for M.A.C Cosmetics

THE YEAR: 2018

THE DESIGNER: Twenty Seven Names

THE LOOK: Last year, the beauty look at Twenty Seven Names show proved millennial pink is not dead. Models stepped out wearing candy pink liner on lids – a punchy update to an otherwise demure, barely-there makeup look.

Photo / Karen Ishiguro for M.A.C Cosmetics

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