BEAUTY OP-ED | What's in this fall and winter? Everything.

GREEN EYESHADOW, orange lips, big hair, flat hair, crazy eye lashes, no eye lashes, red lips, nude lips, blush, no blush. MAKE. UP. YOUR. MINDS. ALREADY. I mean… the powers that be simply can’t figure out what they want to tell us minions we should be wearing on our mugs this fall. Go figure. Their cues, the expressionless faces of underage models on the runways, were covered in all sorts of stuff. In a schizophrenic move, designers threw a collective tantrum about the makeup at their shows this year and splintered off into groups of, well, one, creating sundry makeup looks. So we, the public,  instead of getting a succinct list of what’s in and out — if you care about that stuff — have ended up with something akin to my to-do list and Lindsay Lohan’s prison wrap in that it’s NEVER-ENDING.

So we’ve plucked the most visible from the makeup morass. Some we love, some we don’t. Clearly being on-trend nowadays means doing whatever you damn well please which, if we’re honest, is what we’ve been doing all along anyway. Yeah!

Deep red, burgundy lips, glassy red, chunky glittery red… no matter how you do it, red is in this fall. And although Vogue — the most contrary publication to ever exist (you say black, they say white!) — is sporting the strap line “forget minimalism — frivolity is the new watchword”, we’re going to have to respond with “are you blinking mad? because you lot are the ones telling us that while red lips are all the rage so is… The nude look”.

Even less than no-makeup makeup. You know what I mean by no-makeup makeup, where you still put on blush and mascara and all that they way you wear to work every day. The way that men (silly men) think you’re not wearing any makeup even though you used 16 products and spent half an hour to get your face looking like that. Nope, this is even more no-makeup. Ditch the mascara, leave the blush in your makeup bag. This look would be more appropriately called ‘Sick Day’. Actually, you’d need to pair it with ‘90s grunge (read: greasy) hair for that, which is fitting as…

Grunge — as in unwashed, in flannel and combats a la Kurt, Courtney, Singles, Sonic Youth and young Eddie Veder — is apparently a beauty trend. Take that, grunge. You thought you were the antidote to the mainstream, painted aesthetic? Computer says no. Even you aren’t safe from commercialisation, especially now that fashion has codified the use of the unwashed — and, if you can believe it, sometimes homeless — masses as a source of regular inspiration. McQ will see your greasy hair and raise you a tartan dress… for more than you’re monthly wage, thank you very much. To ‘do’ this beauty trend — and actually do it as a beauty trend and not a side effect of an unhealthy lifestyle — wear some skinny ripped jeans (please don’t buy them pre-ripped), a fitted flannel shirt — alluringly unbuttoned — washed hair that’s been tousled with some Bumble and Bumble beach spray, GAP motorcycle boots (how I covet thee), a bit of black eyeliner on the water line and lip balm on eyelids for that greasy look. Maybe a touch of messy lipstick (applied with your finger tip). We’re thinking more Alicia Silverstone in Aerosmith’s Crazy video than Courtney Love as lead singer of Hole.

But why stop at messy, anti-social and slept-in? You can achieve two of the three (messy and slept-in) with something I’ve coined the Pigalle look. Deep violet eyeshadow and any sort of red lipstick at the same time is apparently a trend this season. I call it the less-is-not-enough look. More is more. More is better. I guess this is what Vogue meant by frivolity. Painted ladies of the night. Send in the clowns, more like. It is not a look I’ve seen anyone ever pull off. It flies in the face of cardinal beauty rule: lips or eyes but never both. Unless, of course, you’re stood in a dark stoop competing with a girl half your age for the attention of that passing John, in which case you had better slap it on! We think the make-up artists promoting this look have been reading far too much Henry Miller.

One thing we don’t mind from the Moulin Rouge days, though, is the red hair that’s oh-so aujourd’hui. Although I suspect we have one Miss Joan from Mad Men to thank for that too. It’s about time that those other than Jesus, Rossetti and strange ginger fetishists embraced redheads. It’s vibrant, makes your eyes pop. Jewel-toned hair is fun and you’ll be one of few donning it (how cool). Although, Mulberry had a whole runway of them during S/S10 fashion week. Florence Welsh too has made being a carrot-top cool. But if you can’t bear to dye your locks ginger or having been genetically blessed there’s always…

Orange lips. Coral was cool during the summer but orange lips are in right now. And I find them even brighter and more ostentatious than red lips so be prepared for attention if you sport a matte orange lip. It also looks good just gently applied as, say, a lip stain or gloss. In fact, orange lips give you a healthy glow, even healthier than pink does. But if you don’t want to stand out there’s always the…

Khaki and camo trend. Yep, for the urban warrior out there, you can go all camo with your nails and eye makeup this year. Greige, mushroom, khaki et al are still in. Subdued hues of gray, green, putty, mauve and beige show up everywhere. Wear your nails short and square with such a color to keep with the militant trend. On the eyes, apparently, sweep it from lash line to brow bone… this one’s for the brave. Who dares wins, right ladies?

At the end of the day, we’re going to correct Vogue. It’s not frivolity that’s in — it’s cosmetic indecision!


Originally published here by Jessica Teas for Looking Good, No Matter What. Read all of her posts here.

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