Everything Old is new again
So, we’re just emerging from a wild and crazy season featuring exaggerated, even funky, cat eyes; dark, exotic and sultry eyes; lips bearing dark, vivid reds and plums; and fingernails painted with stripes, polka dots or geometric and other designs in two or more colors. Hair strands or whole sections of hair were colored in unnatural shades like hot pink or bright blue. We saw lots of glitzy stones and metallic colors used in eye shadows and on lashes, on lips and brushed on skin. Large necklaces and bracelets with exaggerated stones were worn in layers. Gold, bronze and silver decorated clothing, purses, shoes — most any type of accessory. This year, hair and makeup will be toned down, more natural. You might want to ramp up your mascara or your lips, but overall, neutrals will rule. On the other hand, orange lipstick seems to be the all the rage. Choices include pinky oranges, reddish oranges, light and dark oranges. We may also choose to wear shades of pinks, reds and nudes. Since we’ve been told many times that “orange is the new black,” look for orange everything — nails, cheeks, eyes and clothing.
Nails will also be polished with sheer, neutral shades in white, gray, beige and nudes. Nail art may continue to be popular.
“It’s like deja vu all over again” Hair styles will be more casual, less “done.” Older styles are back with new, more youthful appeal. Remember the antique tintype photos where the women wore their hair swept up in a tight bun? Or the ponytails so popular with teeny boppers in the ’50s? Well, they’re baaack! With variations. An up do doesn’t lead to the same old bun, but one that is “messy” with ends sticking out here and there. Your ponytail would also be loosely pulled back, with tendrils of hair falling down around your face and shoulders.
Now, your ponytail can also be gathered low at the nape of your neck, instead of pulled up high on your head. To make it bouncy, use a large size barrel curling iron. Another version of the ponytail calls for an elastic band to be placed every three or so inches down the length of the hair, creating a “bubble” effect.
You might braid your hair into one long braid and let it fall to the side of your head or straight down your back. Or crisscross two braids and wind them into a circle, pinning them low on the back of your head. The word “rumpled” still applies. You may want to attach a narrow fake braid across the front of your head, like a headband. Twist your hair from the front all the way around your head, folding it and pinning as you go, like we’ve seen in the movies from the ’30s and ’40s. Go crazy. Make several twists — in the front, on the sides or in back and pinned. How about two “knobs” on top, as shown on Sweeney Todd show characters?
When you wear your hair down, whether stick straight or softly wavy, this year’s new version is to make a deep side part and then flip your hair away from the part to the larger portion. Maybe let it fall in soft, romantic waves, covering part of your eye and face. This “comb-over” will change your look and add volume. Bangs you don’t have to peek through. This year’s bangs are cut to a medium length and swept to the side or cut very short.
Beauty products that offer additional benefits
Makeup product choices will be sheerer, making a “less is more” statement. However, the metallic look may stay, perhaps with sheerer versions. Some examples of newer, better-for-you products include:
Oils: For cleansing and moisturizing, the ancient use of oils is back. You’ll see them everywhere, in high-end products at the department stores and in the less expensive ones you find at drug and grocery stores. You may have to get over the idea that oil will cause breakouts and clog pores. These oils will cleanse deeper, moisturize faster and better — their humectants will hold in the moisture. They’ll soften your skin and make it glow. And they provide some nicely scented aromatherapy.
Check out products with oils at regular retailers. You might also look into pure forms of essential oils at Whole Foods and other stores where natural health and beauty products are sold. These sources should be able to furnish information as to which oils can be used for what purpose and how to use — where, how much, whether or not to dilute, etc.
Makeup products formulated to multitask: For example, lipsticks, blushes and eye shadows that can be used for all three areas; perhaps a blush you can use for eye shadow, blush and as lipstick.
Illuminators: They are contained in foundations, creams, serums, moisturizers, etc., to make your skin appear more luminous.
Products with medicinal properties: Spas, fruit and plant derivatives, Retin A and other vitamins are being added to beauty products to repair and protect your skin. Look for more BBs, CCs, serums, correctors, tints, moisturizers, eye shadows, mascaras, foundations and lipsticks formulated to brighten, moisturize, improve skin tones, imperfections, lines and wrinkles to hit the market more and more frequently.
I guess you can say we’re experiencing better beauty through technology, while at the same time tapping into ancient sources of beautification and preservation. Sort of “Old World gone high-tech.”