For pearls of wisdom on gleaning one of this summer’s hottest beauty trends, we’re plunging deep under the sea. Dive in: delicate, otherworldly beauty trends continually washed ashore on the Spring/Summer 2012 runways, from the watery pastels at Armani to the pearl-embellished hair styles at Chanel.

The look? “The whole theme is water. But it’s quite ethereal too—airy,” explains Linda Cantello, international makeup artist for Giorgio Armani, backstage at Armani’s Spring/Summer 2012 runway show in Milan. Cantello breaks down this season’s watery, under-the-sea-inspired look and gives us her expert tips for recreating this seaside beauty trend on land.

How to create the aqua look beauty tip #1: Leave a sandy-hued matte finish

Runway inspiration: The evanescent mythical sea creatures walking Givenchy’s Spring/Summer 2012 show, with sequin-embellished eyelids and a smooth, shine-free finish; a palette of soft, watercolour hues outshining matte skin on Armani’s Spring/Summer 2012 runway.

Expert tips:
Eyes up: “Mr. Armani wanted the face very matte and the concentration to be just on the eyes and up into the temples,” says Cantello. “And the eyebrows weren’t bleached. They were just filled in slightly.”

TRY: Wipe away any excess oil from skin for a satin finish; dust mother of pearl highlighter over temples and cheekbones for a light-reflecting, luminous glow in just the right places.

How to create the aqua look beauty tip #2: Have twice the fun with eye liner

Runway inspiration: Otherworldly, double-lined eyelids at Armani’s Spring/Summer 2012 show.

Expert tips:
“It’s kind of Virginia Woolf— like the ‘20s, ‘30s, especially the kind of aqua look!,” says Cantello. “Everyone had these heavy beautiful thirties-style lids and it was Mr. Armani’s subtle touch to make it cooler—not just an eyeliner. And it worked!”

Sweep a dark straight line along lashes that extends beyond the eyelid. Draw a second line just above the crease to thicken lashes and turn heads with an ethereal wink.

Summer beauty trends: Best aqua eye colours

For more beauty tips on how to create the aqua look, one of runway’s hottest beauty trends, read on to the next page…

How to create the aqua look beauty tip #3: Get the summer glow of an aqua goddess.

Runway inspiration: An
allover, pearlized sheen brushed over matte skin at Armani’s Spring/Summer 2012 show.

Expert tips:
“The makeup collections for spring are bronze. So when we did bronze for spring, I was definitely inspired by water, and so was Mr. Armani,” says Cantello.

Massage a
lightweight moisturizer into the skin before lightly dabbing foundation on the forehead, cheeks, chin and under-eye circles using fingertips. For a matte finish, dust over entire face, including eyelids with Armani’s Luminous Silk Powder.

How to create the aqua look beauty tip #4: Paint using the watery colours of nature

Runway inspiration: Silvery, illuminated lids at Missoni’s Spring/Summer 2012 show; a wash of soft pastels at Chanel’s Spring/Summer 2012 show.

Expert tips: “It’s that feeling of everything about the sea,” says Cantello. “There are beautiful colours, like those
liners that are like the dark of the sea with green hints, and all these kinds of
pastely, shiny colours.”

TRY: Pair black eye liner with an iridescent mother of pearl shadow along with a
dusty rose blush and a natural lip shade for a seashell-inspired look.

How to create the aqua look beauty tip #5: Create a soft and sensuous wet lip

Runway inspiration: Muted-out ice queens with watery,
nude-coloured lips at Alexander McQueen’s Spring/Summer 2012 show; kissable and dewy flushed-pink pouts on waiflike models floating down Louis Vuitton’s Spring/Summer 2012 runway.

Expert tips: Silky, matte skin with a wet lip is the difference between land and sea. “It’s a very aqueous feeling,” Cantello says about the earth-inspired juxtaposition of the look.

TRY: Aqua blue or seafoam green shades swept over the eyes along with a matte finish on the face and a glossy, soft pink lip creates an iridescent look meant for the spotlight—or to shine under the moonlight.

With files from Christina Reynolds

Read more:
Our top rose beauty products
Bold eyeliner: Your summer makeup must
Summer makeup trend: Bright eyeshadow
Shine patrol: Your guide to shine-free skin