Elle UK

Beauty Trend no.1: English Rose

Cool Britannia rules on the catwalk – and this season saw a nod to British heritage with a new, ecocentric texture. Hail looked windswept, with a touch of rural chic; wispy, disbevelled tendrils framed ruddy check. In London, Paul Smith, House of Holland and Margaret Howell noted bike rides through country lanes as inspiration. In New York, bobs at Derek Lam and sloppy half ponytails at Michael Kors paid homage to the English lady, while flyaways at Vanessa Bruno confirmed the French fancy a little Brit wit.

Beauty Trend no.2: Romantic Goth

Whether it was the release of Dark Shadows or the unlikely muse Lisbeth Salander, this season saw an influx of pale-skinned, dark-lipped, vampish faces. Milan and Paris were bursting with otherworldly looks – Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent worked deep, velvety claret lips while eyes were smudged with taupe. Gothic, blackened-ruby lips appeared at Bottega Veneta, Rochas and Givenchy while chalky skin added an ethereal finish. Louis Vuitton, Versace and Versus all showed off haunted, sooty eyes. ‘Mascara makes them work in the real world’, says makeup artist Val Garland.

Beauty Tip no.3: A Space Odyssey

Sci-fi fever took over – we overheard references to Avatar, scarab beetles and superheroes meaning embellishment and colour had a strong season. Anna Sui’s models wore dashes and dots of cerulean around the eyes, while at Roberto Cavalli girls had dragonfly-like makeovers in blue, green and gold, and Chanel models sported intergalactic, bejeweled brows by couture embroiderers Lesage.

Beauty Tip no.4: Pony Club

The ultimate easy-to-wear option for women the world over, the ponytail was everywhere on the a/w catwalks. Pulled low and neat at Dice, they exuded chic, ladylike elegance; equestrian versions (Jonathan Saunders did it best) had a military uniformity. ‘I wanted the hair to look expensive so ponytails had to look immaculate,’ says Paul Hanlon, lead stylist for Frederic Fekkai. Equally wearable were Erdem’s ribbon-adorned numbers, Rochas’ preppy version and Marc by Marc Jacobs’s ultra-low, super-sleek offerings.

Beauty Tip no.5: Straight Story

The new straight hair is glossy and polished but without the flatness of previous seasons. ‘There’s a sense of luxury in simplicity,’ says Wella Professionals’ global ambassador Eugene Souleiman. Ensure there’s a natural bend in the hair. ‘Blow-dry with a barrel brush to get a luxurious finish, then iron for glossiness,’ advised Guido Palau, Redken’s global creative director and the man behind the look at Prada. Amessy, slightly off-centre parting is a modern option. ‘Dramatic side partings make hair flop and dead centre is too obvious,’ says Palau.

Beauty Tip no.6: Sunset Shades

Orange burned bright this season, from toenato red to neon tangerine. Sharon Duwsett, Maybelline New York’s make-up director, says, ‘Autumn/winter is the perfect time to break from monochrome with some colour because it’s so unexpected,’ At Dries Van Noten, a mandarin accent gave a flattering hit of colour. For an alternative take, Pat McGrath at Prada swept neon orange through models’ brows.

Elle UK – September 2012

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