Romance Was Born Resort 2022: ‘Couture Beauty’ At Australian Fashion Week

When it comes to Sydney Fashion Week, every beauty aficionado knows to keep their eyes peeled for Romance Was Born’s eclecticism, and this year was no exception.

Showcasing two lines, ‘Arts & Crafts’ and ‘RWB Forever’, every piece was a lesson in candy-like tones, endless ruffles and an ode to childhood games of ‘dress up’. And much like the garments, Romance Was Born’s beauty moments were a perfect fit for the youthful and resourceful theme of the show. After all, if each garment was made using dead stock and pre-loved fabrics, who said the bold and ‘passé’ shadows collecting dust in your makeup collection can’t also be put to good use?

Magical and whimsical, the catwalk saw model-after-model adorned in a splash of bold colour, reminding this writer of sifting through their mother’s makeup collection as a child, hastefully selecting the boldest and brightest colours that caught their eye.

The impressive and show-stopping eye of makeup director for MECCA MAX, Nicole Thomson, transported viewers back to childhoods filled with chaotic makeup experimentation, sans the chaos, of course.

Getty Images.

Thompson used MECCA MAX’s collection of vibrant, luxurious and glittery products to bring a decadently romantic date night fantasy to life and to play to the show’s theme of child-like experimentation and fun, even describing the looks as “pure makeup euphoria.”

“All 38 looks were individually designed using MECCA MAX to enhance our models’ beauty and inner joyous spirit,” Thompson said. “Artistry varied from pressed on glitter, crystals and holographic pieces making the skin beam and twinkle under the lights, to soft washes of sorbet tones in lemon yellow, pistachio, lavender, pinks and baby blue.”

Using MECCA MAX’s single shadows (in shades ‘Like Whatever’, ‘That’s Hot’ and ‘Radical’) and Zoom Liners (in shades Lavender, Denim, Lilac, Baby Blue), Thompson chose to concentrate each wash of colour over the entire lid, down the sides of the nose and up to the brow bone, even blending the shades out as far as the temples and onto the forehead to create a dramatic look that Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette would approve of.

Getty Images.
Getty Images.

“The most dramatic looks were inspired by the best of ’80s glam and beauty illustrators like Peter Sato and Antonio Lopez. What was a dream for a makeup artist to apply was a dream to see dancing down the catwalk, each character shining brightly. Couture dresses? This is couture beauty.”

As for the rest of the face, Thompson kept each look relatively paired back, sticking to MECCA MAx’s Off-Duty Glow Stick and Blush Stick for natural-looking skin, with only a handful complimented with stick-on jewels under the eyes—and elegant brows.

The last remaining pop of colour—for beauty, at least—was left for the lips, with each model sporting jewel-toned pouts in MECCA MAX’s Pout Pop Lipstick in the shades ‘Sweet Thing’, ‘Power’, ‘Luxe’ and ‘Crush It’.

Getty Images.
Getty Images.

As for their locks, Romance Was Born’s signature eccentricity and penchant for the out of the ordinary wasn’t forgotten when it came to styling strands. In partnership with ghd, leading creative artist and hair stylist, Natalie-Anne, and Redken Hair Director, Richard Kavanagh, were the brains behind the show’s dreamy hair moments.

Creating a raw elegance to compliment the show’s eclectic fabrics, each style was designed to bring a sense of grown-up simplicity to the collection. To do that, hair was harmoniously balanced between effortless and undone, by creating a finger-combed wet look, cinched in at the nape of the neck and worked into a loose chignon.

But of course, not every model sported the look, others’ hair was simply pulled back into a low ponytail—some slicked back and others textured—while some sported their natural braids.

Image by Dan Goud.
Image by Dan Goud.

The show featured over 20 looks, each styled by Kavanagh and uniquely inspired by sustainability and the idea of reworking and recycling what is already there. Each style was created to look tough yet elegant, strong and textured, raw yet sophisticated.

“This year’s hair is super natural, really paired back and undone. We are seeing a lot of natural texture and we will be using the ghd Professional Hair Dryer Diffuser more than ever” said Natalie-Anne.

To create the show’s signature chignon, Kavanagh ensured models came with clean, dry hair and slick the back into a peak with a generous amount of mousse, like Redken’s Guts 10 or Full Effect 05, tying a ponytail at the middle of the back of the head.

Next, he set the hair using ghd’s Helios Professional Hairdryer on high heat to ensure the shape sets without damaging the hair. Of course, he strongly advises the use of ghd’s Bodyguard Heat Protect Spray prior to any heat exposure.

Once complete, Kavanagh released the ponytail and used his hands to pull hair back and loosen up shape. Then, he simply twisted and pinned the hair at the nape into a chignon shape. Finishing off the look with a generous spray of Redken’s Triple Take 32 for extra hold.


Of course, for those looking to try their hand at a chic take on a dated updo—or for those eager to tap into their child-like whimsy—you can find every product used backstage at Romance Was Born’s Resort ’22 show below.

MECCA MAX Single Shadow in ‘That’s Hot’, $8 at MECCA.
MECCA MAX Zoom Liner in ‘Lavender’, $17 at MECCA.
MECCA MAX Off Duty Blush Stick in ‘Candy’, $18 at MECCA.
MECCA MAX Off Duty Glow Stick, $18 at MECCA.
MECCA MAX Pout Pop Lipstick in ‘Sweet Thing’, $40 at MECCA.

Helios professional hair dryer, $290 at GHD.
Guts 10 Volume Foam Mousse by Redken, $38 at Adore Beauty.
Wind Blown 05 Dry Finishing Spray by Redken, $38 at Adore Beauty.
Triple Take 32 Highest Hold Hairspray by Redken, $35 at Adore Beauty.