Fall Into Beauty

Inspired by the colors of nature, autumn’s hair and makeup trends are bold and unapologetic. Take chances and try on the vibrant hues and statement pieces that are this year’s power brokers. With so many new options to choose from, it is the perfect time to spice up your personal style and abandon your hair and makeup rut by adding unexpected items to your routine.

Fortunately, fall trends this year dictate an easygoing approach to hair. Ponytails make it easy to get out the door on time, but smarten up your mane by taming frizz and flyaways with one of the many smoothing products on the market. If a ponytail is not for you, try a simple swept-back style in the front with a low chignon. Bangs are great because there are so many ways to shape them. Your stylist can make them short and blunt or long and wispy, depending on your personality. To keep your bangs looking polished after you’ve left the salon, pick up a conditioning dry shampoo and use a straightening iron to keep them looking fresh throughout the day. I myself have taken the bold leap from long layers to shorter-than-short bangs. With my thin hair, I never thought I could pull this off, but I look and feel younger and have a new spring in my step. No matter what hairstyle you choose to rock this fall, a great way to add your personal touch is to adorn hair with accessories. Beaded hair bands, floral clips and romantic barrettes can spice up a laid-back do.

When the leaves fall from the trees, your skincare routine should be reevaluated. Skin is often stressed by falling temperatures, remember the standards: Drink plenty of water and moisturize morning and night. Continue to use tinted moisturizer with SPF, because you need protection from the sun’s rays year round. You should however, take stock of beauty products and switch out any expired items. It is during the cooler months that I recommend switching to deeper hydrating creams and even facial oils, which are a powerful way to pack vitamins into the skin overnight. Oils should be specifically designed for delicate facial skin, choose one that is appropriate and will not clog pores.

This season’s makeup trends are glamorous with a bit of mystery. Think modern-day Hitchcock heroine. Channel your inner siren by sweeping generous doses of rich colors inspired by autumn. For eyes, try a deep purple smoky look by choosing an eye shadow palette that has multiple tones of purple. Use the darkest color on the outer third of your lid and move progressively lighter toward your inner corner. Don’t be afraid to try an alternative to black mascara. A deep plum or brown will help your eyes sparkle.

If a smoky eye is too much work, grab a black liner and smudge it out for a not-too-fussy look. I recommend using a pencil with a slightly creamier texture, which makes smudging a cinch. Or go all out and wear a winged out liner to create the perfect cat eye.

The trend toward bold eyebrows continues this year, which is great news for busy women who don’t have time to get to the salon every week. But, even though brows are full and healthy, they should be groomed and neat.

You’ll always want flawless skin, so choose a foundation that suits your lifestyle. Many cosmetic lines offer both matte and glow foundations, which gives you options. If all of this drama is too much and you opt for a more natural style of makeup, you can pack a little punch with blush. A slightly pink highlight will keep your glow appropriate straight through winter.

This season the lips are really the showstopper. Switch out summer’s coral for a spicy orange, lavender for a darkened plum and sweet pinks for a ruby red. Whether you prefer a matte lipstick or a shiny gloss, you will look great if you commit to bold colors. It’s not about the texture of your lip, but the depth of the color, especially when starkly contrasted against skin tone.

To top off your beauty regimen, try something new with your fingernails. The art of nail decoration is going through a serious transformation and there are so many fun ways to express individuality. Earlier this year, we saw the emergence of magnetic nails, 18-karat gold nail polish and unexpected textures like velvet and caviar. Fashion designers such as Betsey Johnson have even joined the mix with whimsical self-adhesive strips for nails in designs ranging from leopard print to skull and bones. Of course, you can still opt for a standard mani/pedi. Vampy colors such as burgundy-blacks and deep crimsons suit the season and will complement your makeup well. Or go “matchy” by coordinating lip and nail colors.

The overall note to take for fall 2012 is to approach your beauty regimen with an open mind and a fresh outlook. The current beauty trends are bolder than ever and the message is to embrace these trends fearlessly while integrating your own personal style.