You Can Fall Out of Bed and Look Good
Published: January 18, 2012
GOODBYE, lip liners, brow pencils, spackled-on foundations. The hottest beauty trend of 2012 is imperfection.
The new look for the new year is effortless, minimalist, just-out-of-bed-with-your-lover, according to leading hair and makeup artists. They say that stiff coiffures, overdone eyes, defined lips and matte skin are out. Tousled hair, smudged eyeliner, dewy lips and luminous skin are in.
The look is “coming home from the party,” not “going out to the party,” said Terry Barber, director of makeup artistry for MAC Cosmetics. “Perfection got slightly boring.”
And the must-have tool to achieve perfect imperfection is recession-friendly: your fingertips. Use them to smudge eyeliner, smear bronzer, press bright stains into your cheeks and lips. The application of the makeup is as relaxed as the overall look.
“Pout your lip and just push it into the lip,” advised Matin Maulawizada, the global artistry director for Laura Mercier whose handiwork will be on display at the Pamella Roland runway show next month during New York Fashion Week. “It should look underdone.”
Emily Kate Warren, a member of Dick Page’s Shiseido fashion runway team who has also done makeup for Yoko Ono and Jennifer Jason Leigh, calls the 2012 lip “Popsicle mouth” because it appears as if the wearer has been sucking an ice pop. (A variation of the mouth was seen at the Viktor & Rolf spring 2012 runway show.)
To achieve the Popsicle, Ms. Warren advised forgoing lip liners and wands and applying a swab of bright color in the center of the lips, then pressing them together and rolling. “The darkest gradation should be in the center and should blast out to nothing,” she said, adding that the technique is also a way for women timid about sporting a high-wattage lip to try electric orange or red.
Another beauty buzzword for 2012 is restraint. Experts said makeup should not be applied to the entire face. Under-eye circles and blemishes may be covered with concealer, but the rest of the skin should be left natural, à la Ali MacGraw in “Love Story.” If you wear a dark lip, then keep the rest of your skin polished, like Tilda Swinton. Brows are natural, not cartoon geometric.
To embrace the moment, skip mascara, like Lady Gaga did in the fall, or try mascara in, say, blond or red to match your hair color. Lori Hamlin, a New York City makeup artist who counts the lissome cooking personality Padma Lakshmi among her clients, said she likes Yves Saint Laurent’s Mascara Volume Effet Faux Clils in burgundy.
Even that old standby, the smoky eye, is out of vogue.
“Lose the smoky eyes,” said Mr. Barber of MAC. For a fresh look, he suggests swiping brown mascara just on the roots of your eyelashes, then dotting a bit of brown pencil in between (he likes MAC Coffee eye pencil). This year, texture, like metallic or wet eyelids, is all the rage. The total effect, he said, is “modern pared-down glam rock.”
Ms. Hamlin agreed. “The smoky eye will never go out of style, but a different way to use it is to use the metallic tones,” she said. “It just makes it a little bit softer.”
Another updated option is to almost reverse the smoky eye by applying shadow and liner below the bottom lash line instead of on the lid, according to Ms. Warren. On her own eyes she draws a haphazard pencil line below her lower lashes, then smudges it with her finger, for a look similar to one worn by the models at Alexander Wang’s spring 2012 runway show.
To those in the habit of ringing their eyes with liner, she suggests easing up and just lining the eyes from the outer corners to the middle, like the models at the spring 2012 Dolce & Gabbana show.
This summer, expect to see even more 1970s glam-rock inspiration, with makeup in aqua and gray, which Mr. Maulawizada of Laura Mercier said is making a comeback. “All of it’s done in a very understated way,” he said.
But before then, spring will bring a few darker hues, like mauve. “It just kind of reflects the times,” Mr. Maulawizada said, referring to the grim economy and pop-culture references. “You see shows about mysticism, the occult, vampires.”
One place to avoid trends, vampiric or glam rock: your eyebrows.
“Eyebrows should not be trendy,” said Anastasia Soare, the eyebrow guru who has tamed the brows of Oprah, Madonna and Naomi Campbell.
While brows should be groomed in a way that is most becoming to your face, Ms. Soare said, you can experiment with color. The heavier the eye makeup, the lighter the brows. (She recommends using tinted eyebrow gel instead of bleach, as the latter can turn brows orange). With a minimal makeup look, she said, go for bold, dark brows.
“You must have balance,” Ms. Soare said. “You cannot be like a Christmas tree.”
Hair should complement the casual, natural look: a simple ponytail, a chignon, a bun you plop atop your head as you wash your face in the morning.
No matter the style, to be au courant, hair must be conditioned and shiny. But shiny hair doesn’t necessarily mean clean hair.
“Make a hair resolution for 2012,” said Oscar Blandi, the stylist who has tended to the locks of Jennifer Garner, Jessica Alba and Kelly Ripa. “Make sure you don’t wash your hair every day.”
A hair glaze at least once a month is essential, he said, especially for men (who he said request it more than women) because it seals cuticles, making gray hairs at the temples appear brighter and thicker.
These beauty indulgences make such a difference, said Mr. Blandi, that New Yorkers opt for them even in the current economy.
“You may have no money in your pocket,” he said, “but you feel like a million dollars.”