Rather than telling you to try a tired French twist, this year, we say go for an Asymmetrical Undo. (Yes, you read that correctly, an undo is like the cooler, slightly messy cousin of the prim updo.) Though not revolutionary, certainly, we love the look because it's easy and it works best on dirty hair┬--in other words, it's perfect for a post-work transformation.
Spotted on directional darlings like Diane Kruger and seen at Bottega Venetta's runway show, the Asymmetrical Undo can be customized in any number of ways. According to Kristoff Ball of Preece & Toff at Fred Segal Santa Monica, the key is to make sure your hair has enough texture to hold the look, so start by spraying it with either dry shampoo or a lightweight hairspray, such as David Babaii for Wildaid's Light Styling Spray ($13). Brush the dry shampoo or hairspray out, then create a semi-deep or very deep side part and gather the hair into a low, asymmetrical ponytail. Once you've settled on the ponytail's placement, simply twist your hair into a bun and secure it with bobby pins. (You can also braid or tease the ponytail before pinning it, feel free to play around!) It's an imperfect style, so don't worry if little bits of hair escape from the bun┬--it's supposed to have a relaxed look!
Our next look is definitely the most outrageous of them all and recommended for the daring (and the young!)┬--Pomegranate Pop! First noted on Prada's F/W 09 runway, when Pat McGrath decorated the models' eyes with MAC PRO Glitter ($20) in Reflects Rust, we were wowed when we say Rihanna rocking her own vibrant reinterpretation of the noteworthy trend at the AMAs. Ms. Fenty's go-to makeup guru, Mylah Morales, created a custom blend of two Make Up For Ever Pure Pigments Powder ($19)┬--No. 6, a bright red, mixed with a little No. 4, which is orange┬--which she applied with a damp skinny eyeliner brush. She kept the rest of the eye very neutral, but offset the drama of the shadow/liner by playing up Rihanna's eyelashes with loads of CoverGirl's LashBlast Mascara ($8) in Very Black.
Two things to keep in mind if you're interested in trying this at home: patience and perfect skin. Regarding the former, Morales acknowledged that red pigments are difficult to work with, so be sure you have some time to play around. Additionally, she noted that it's imperative to make sure your skin is perfect when wearing red, wine, or berry shades on your eyes, so don't skimp on the concealer and foundation! One slightly more wearable way to try this look is to use a product that has a fair amount of copper or brown in it. For example, NYX's Chrome Eyeshadow ($5) in Penny or their Jumbo Eye Pencil ($4) in Rust will both be more universally flattering and relatively easy to work with.
Maybe it's a reaction to the recent Latisse craze, but lately we've noticed that lower lashes are getting just as much attention as their upper counterparts. Whether it's a southern fringe fest, like the faux lashes Nars makeup artist Ayako used for the 3.1 Phillip Lim show, or the 360┬░ lashtastic look Blake Lively wore to a Chanel event, one thing's for sure┬--now is the time to give all of your lashes some extra oomph!
While faux lower lashes are very difficult to do at home┬--and the results are usually over-the-top Twiggy-like┬--we definitely recommend giving them a little extra love via mascara. While we love a big fat brush for giving our upper lashes that falsie look, for the bottom ones it's better to use a wee brush, which is why we adore Le 2 de Guerlain Mascara ($35). While you can use both on your upper lashes (brush one boots volume, while brush two was designed to get the tiny inner/outer lashes), the smaller wand works wonders on the lower lashes. We also highly recommend Maybelline's Lash Discovery Washable Mascara ($7) in Very Black, as it has an equally tiny brush. (The waterproof formula is genius for the lower lashes too, as it never smudges!)
Our final festive look is a classic with a twist┬--Cheeky Chic, in the spirit of Leighton Meester. While glowing cheeks are always a beauty must, we love the way her makeup artist, Robert Moulton, gave Meester a luminescent rosy cheek and a stronger smoky eye. So often we see women doing one or the other, but Meester's proof that these two swell styles make an excellent combo. To get this look, Moulton used MAC Mineralize Eye Shadow ($19.50) in Young Punk (in the crease) and Cinderfella (on the lid), Lancome's Le Stylo Waterproof Long Lasting EyeLiner ($23.50) in Noir, and lots of DiorShow Black Out Mascara ($24) on Meester's eyes.
Moulton balanced the smoky eye by creating a multidimensional cheek. He started by dotting a hot pink cr├Ęme blush on the apples of her cheeks, specifically Kevyn Aucoin's The Creamy Moist Glow ($24) in Liquifuschia. He blotted it on with the tip of his middle finger, then used a clean finger to blend it into her skin. Next, he swept on light layer of MAC Powder Blush ($18.50) in Cheek (sadly, that exact shade was discontinued, but try Pink Swoon for similar results). On top of this, Moulton dusted Linda Mason Professional Makeup Blusher ($23) in Bare on the apples of Meester's cheeks. The light luminescence gives skin a lit-from-within glow and looks particularly lovely in pictures (always a good thing to keep in mind this time of year!). Yves Saint Laurent's Mini Touche Blush ($28) in Sparkling Beige will give you a similar effect and its petite size is very party-bag friendly!
Runway images, from firstVIEW; Photos of Diane Kruger and Leighton Meester, from Splash.