Good news for makeup lovers, after seasons of detoxed beauty and au natural hair; it’s time for some extravagance with colours and styles. Here’s a breakdown of some hot looks that you should for sure ace this season.
Am I happy or am I happy? What a delight this season’s runway trends have been and oh how I am looking forward to all the gorgeous goodies beauty brands are all set to spill out in a month or two. While of course, grooming and care remains top priority; makeup and styling this season is so 80s and so dramatic, and oh so lavish. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that AW 2015 trends are a beauty lover’s delight. Jewels, piercing, bindis, wine lips, high hair, hair accessories, curls, bright nails, splashes of eyeshadows blended and blended till it can’t be blended any more. In short, you name a flamboyant style and it is bang on trend this season. So without any further gushing, let’s get on with the business of trend analysis.
TREND #1 – BABY HAIR
Who thought baby hair could be chic and stylish? Well, Rihanna and Katy Perry did, it rocked the runways of London and Paris Fashion Weeks (special mention needs to be made of Givenchy. They nailed the look with the jewels and piercing) and is now a sure shot trend that many will be wearing in the upcoming month. For years those of us who’ve been trying to hide those pesky, little strands skirting your hairline and creeping into your forehead, it’s time to flaunt them. How to, you ask? Section out the hair line of baby hair with some styling gel like BBlunt Gel Oh! Natural Hold Gel, L’Oreal Professionnel Techni Art Aqua Gloss Gel or Sebastian Professional Liquid Steel set it in little curls or waves around your forehead. The rest of your hair can be back brushed and put up in a high pontytail or smoothed and flattened out for a slick look.
TREND #2 – VERY BERRY LIPS
No, wearing just a bold red is not so bold this season. If you want to make a statement then velvety, noir lips is what you should be looking at. Berry lips have been climbing the popularity charts since last season; it has just got hotter and darker now. What I like about this trend is that unlike dark or black-toned lips that tend to get paired or associated with a Goth look, this year the deep, matte berry pouts have a very neat, sophisticated avatar. To channel that elegance keep the skin clean and sculpted and the hair neat and chic. For inspiration, look at the runway looks of Blugirl, Antonio Berrardi, Dolce & Gabbana and Carolina Herrera. In fact, if you are really seeking a muse then it is Priyanka Chopra. The lady nailed the berry lips in her recent outing Dil Dhadkne Do. Her appearances thereafter have always been in those trademark ruby lips. Some of the berry hues that I like are Clinique Pop Lip Color+Primer in Cola Pop, Bobbi Brown Lip Color in Black Raspberry and Sephora Lipstick in No. 23. While of course, the colour suggestions help, to perfect the trend what I feel you need is to master the art of wearing a dark lipstick. Here’s a trick that I have developed after picking up tricks from London-based makeup artist and my makeup guru, Sam Walker and my mother and aesthetician, Ruby Biswas: With a lip pencil that is closest to the lipstick shade, draw a vertical line through the center of your lips, then draw “V” along the cupid’s bow and a short horizontal line along the lower lip line. Next, start drawing upwards from the outer corner to the cupid’s bow and for the lower lip from the outer corner to the middle of the lips. Now, draw short, vertical lines along the lower lip and finally fill in the pout with a lip brush and your selected lip colour. This technique makes your lips look fuller and it prevents the colour from bleeding.
TREND #3 – DOLLED UP HAIR
When it comes to hair, this season it is either all messy or super neat and sleek. I am in love with the elegant chignons and top knots with very girlie, very feminine ribbons, laces and frills. And inspiration again is Katy Perry. Her Audrey Hepburn-inspired updo with that red bow for the recent H&M Holiday campaign was just so right. While of course, you can accessorise with fancy clips and pins, I feel the child-like quality of this style is best expressed through simpler elements like ribbons, laces and feathers. My tip: Pair this hair style with rose-tinted lips and bring in a bit of wide-eyed-wonder element with Twiggy lashes.
TREND #4 – WILD CHILD
Notice how makeup and styling has gone through some major anti-ageing makeover? Most trends are child-inspired and are youthful in spirit. It is this spirit of abandon and abundance that fires this particular trend. What I love about this look is the sheer confidence and ease. The big teased hair, smeared lipstick and smudged eye shadow (don’t mistake it for the carefully, careless smokey eyes. That’s in fashion too. But this one screams “I couldn’t be bothered”) – all bring back the 80s vibe with a bang. For inspiration, check out the runway looks of Saint Laurent, Versace and Alexander McQueen. To ace the trend you must keep a sea salt spray to tease up your hair. I love Kevin Murphy Hair.Resort Spray. For the lips apply a deep hue and then blot it out with a tissue. In fact, if you’ve been wearing a dark lipstick before don’t remove it completely or reapply, just accentuate the stain with a lip tint. Benefit’s Benetint is my BFF. As for the eyes just blend your earlier makeup with a bit of brown shadow and a blending brush or if you are wearing makeup on clean face, simple line your eyes with kohl and then smudge and blend and blend. Till it is diffused.
TREND #5 – STROBING
Everyone is talking about it and taking cues from YouTube makeup tutorials and Instagram videos, courtesy Kim Kardashian and few tech-savvy makeup gurus. So what exactly is strobing? It is essentially a contouring technique. In traditional method of contouring one would take a dark shade and a light shade to bring out or recede a feature. However, by the strobing technique you can cut down on the layers of products and thereby the steps. All you need is one illuminator that complements your skin tone and apply it wherever light falls naturally on the face to give it luminous glow. So with a beauty blender all you need to do is dab the highlighter on cheekbones, brow bones, the center of your forehead, down your nose, and on your chin. Just FYI, Beyonce’s makeup artist used this technique on her entire body for the Met Gala appearance. Remember how she looked like a vision in that bejeweled, sheer gown? And now to the most important point, which product to use. My suggestion – just simply reach out for the classic M.A.C Strobe Cream.
TREND #6 – STRONG BROWS
If 80s are making a comeback can pronounced brows be left behind? So here we are at a time when defined brows are at its peak. They are thick, bold, well-groomed and spell purpose. Think Cara Delevingne, Deepika Padukone and Shraddha Kapoor. They are perfect examples for bold thick brows. However, to get it right and not make them look like they have a life of their own, I highly recommend a personal makeup lesson at a Benefit Brow Bar. This will help you understand and define your brow shape so that it looks natural. Just a few points to remember: never pencil the brow as it looks harsh and fake, use a brown eye shadow and fill in the gaps with an eye shadow brush, simply groom it in place with some gel and a mascara wand.
TREND #7 – GLOSSY LIPS
For a very long time matte lip colours had taken over glosses but a look at this season’s New York Fashion Week and at the runway shows of Fendi and Rodarte have another story to tell. The go-to product of every girl of the 90s is back. It is not pigmented, it is not liquid lipstick; it is the plain and simple good old gloss. Just lashes of mascara, is what you need to rock this look. Some of my favourites include: Sally Hansen Diamond Lip Treatment, Lakme Lip Gloss, Revlon Super Lustrous Lip Gloss and Nars Lip Gloss.
TREND #8 – HAIR COLOURS
Again after quite a long time hair colours are back in fashion. While most celebs are playing it safe and keeping to rose gold, auburn and chocolate shades for highlighting and runways have also not experimented much with hair colours, what’s heartening to see is the trend as a street style. Spunky short crops and cool textures peppered with brilliant streaks of gold, reds, purples, blues and greens are some headturners you will encounter on a regular mall visit. What I love again about this trend is the style statement, the youthfulness, the irreverence, the confidence that it exudes and the fact that it is not taking cue from celebs or runways. It is an organic trend and I like it best with pixie cuts (Twiggy again the reigning inspiration) paired with vibrant streaks. Three people who according to me have rocked the trend are Naina Redhu, the fiery, cool blogger, Anushka Menon, the petite yet tough photographer, and the spunky makeup artist at Clinique’s store in Select City Walk, New Delhi. So how do you nail the look? Well, Naina has done it herself. Yes, she cuts and styles her own hair. However, those of us who are not as multi-talented as Naina, have to find a brilliant hairstylist. I am of course fiercely loyal to Sumit Israni.
An edited version of this story appeared in Grazia, September, 2015 issue.