Womenswear trends herald a return to a ladylike polish—a sharp contrast to the whimsical bohemian influences of recent seasons. Expect hair and make-up styles to follow suit, beauty experts say.
“You can’t be demure (with make-up) when the fashions you’re wearing are so bold,” said Anne Carullo, senior vice-president of corporate product innovation at Estee Lauder.
This means trading in soft, pastel colours for a darker, more defined look. Estee Lauder’s autumn colours will have “noir intensity”, such as a colour palette called “After Hours” featuring rose red lipsticks and dark grey eyeshadows. “We’ve put together a full wardrobe of colours that are presented in a full look—from eyes to cheeks—as opposed to focusing on one very strong feature,” Carullo said.
The renewed attention to a pulled-together finesse puts powders, foundation and groomed eyebrows centre stage. “This season, because clothes are very tailored, we saw a move to become more polished on details such as skin and foundation,” said Bianca Alexander, director of make-up artistry for Make-up Art Cosmetics, Inc. Her tip: Mineralized baked powders help “skin look finished, but it’s not overly matte”.
Make-up artist Gigi Hale also suggests pairing pale powders and foundations with smoky grey colours on the eyes. “Fall make-up should be streamlined and sophisticated with red lips, cat eyes, strong brows, and defined cheeks and lashes,” said Hale, whose work has appeared in Vanity Fair, Vogue, Glamour and GQ. “There is a return to old Hollywood movie star style and glamour.”
Groomed eyebrows will also help create a dramatic look for the eyes. “What keeps a look contemporary is eyebrows and hairstyle,” Carullo said. Today’s eyebrows are “not as severe or as pencilled in” as they were in the 1950s, nor “as bushy or carefree” as those from 1980s, but something in between: tailored and groomed brows.
Hairstyle trends also take on a finished look this season. “(But,) the mistake is to look old-fashioned,” celebrity hairstylist Frederic Fekkai said, echoing a warning by make-up experts.
Shiny and flowing locks update classic looks, said Fekkai, who recently introduced a new high-end “hair couture” line, Fekkai Coiff. Finger waves are great for curly hair, Fekkai said, but they should be loose and soft rather than stiff and flat like the original 1930s versions.
“Short hair goes very well with fitted ladylike suits,” Fekkai said, citing Victoria Beckham’s blonde bob as an example. For longer hair, he recommends the classic Veronica Lake style, where hair is parted on the side, and moves from straight to wavy at the ends.
“That is so chic,” Fekkai said. “It’s very much the look that Yves Saint Laurent’s (models) used to have.”
For simple looks for the office, Fekkai suggests a low ponytail with the tail twisted and pinned in two or three sections to create a subtle “sculpture”.
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