From the the Subway
Written By: Dasheeda Dawson

Every season, fashion addicts anxiously gather under the tents to determine exactly “What’s hot!” for the upcoming season. Similar to the fashion showcased at these events, beauty trends are also determined by what is seen strutting down the runway. Leading make-up artists are inspired by the couture creations and ultimately, introduce distinguished trends for the months to follow. But let’s face it, while much of what we see on the runway is innovative and exciting, it isn’t exactly appropriate for the real world. Feather eyebrows and a gold tutu on the subway are definitely a bold statement, but perhaps not the brightest idea. Ok, it’s bright but certainly not right. Fortunately, our beauty team has the inside scoop on this summer and fall’s hottest beauty trends. Hit the beach, the office or the club with runway-inspired but real world approved gorgeous looks.

In contrast to last year’s subtle bronzing and barely there make-up, this summer’s natural look is all about precise sculpting of the face ---highlighting and contouring at its best. The skin-tone, neutral colors haven’t changed but the application techniques have become a bit more advanced to produce photo-lighting effects without the camera. From the office to the club, this look is great for anytime because everyone loves a natural beauty. It can easily be taken up a notch by adding a pop of color on the lip or smoking out the eye for a tough glamour look. Try Stila’s Purrfect Eye Talking Palette to achieve a naturally contoured eye or a sultry smoky eye in under a minute. The talking palette—yes, I said talking palette, has a Stila professional artist talking you through the relatively simple application steps and techniques. Cool.
Great buffing and blending is the key to maintaining the natural feel of this look—soft lines, soft colors with satin finishes. Often we are concerned with time and there’s a huge misconception that blending can take forever. Given the natural colors used in this look, it doesn’t have to be so labor intensive and can actually be achieved with one great medium-sized brush.

Tip #1: Always start light & sheer with a color, then build on that color for more dimension and intensity. It is much easier to blend a thin layer of color rather than several layers.

Tip #2: Look at your face under natural light. You should be able to see the natural highlights and shadows of your face. Use this as your guideline for enhanced sculpting of the face. Where the light hits naturally, exaggerate with further highlights. Where shadows fall, exaggerate with further contouring.

It’s important that you invest in a great foundation and concealer because this look is all about the skin. Cover FX The Big Cover Up! Complexion Perfecting kit is a wonderful starter kit and even comes with an instructional video. Another great do-it-yourself kit is the Bare Escentials Brow Kit. For such a clean, sculpted look, proper brow shaping will be necessary. Try MAC’s Cream Colour Base in Pearl for a shimmery pop on your cheeks or NARS’ Monoi Body Glow II for a dewey, sun-kissed look. Buff and blend colors on the go with the Too Faced Retractable Kabuki Brush. Finish the look off with a natural, but long lash. I love MAC’s lash in #7 because it is one of the most natural lashes in shape and length on the market. If you aren’t too keen on glue near your eye, try Imju’s Fiberwig Mascara. This funky Japanese mascara is some of the greatest stuff on earth, adding thickness and length to your natural lashes using tiny micro-fibers. It’s kind of like extensions for your lashes and the best part is they just fall off with water minus the smudging mess.

Make-up artists love to pay homage to great eras and this year, the 80’s have made a funky-fresh comeback on the runway. Granted, this decade was all about uncontrolled exploration of color and harsh lines---often times too over the top and down right scary. Yeah I said it. Don’t worry. The New 80’s Chic trend is not a literal translation. 80’s inspired make-up of 2009 is deliberate, bold and refined. Got a bright lip color that you haven’t dared to wear just yet? Last year, did you get talked into purchasing a neon green eye liner that’s now hidden in the back of your make-up drawer? Well it’s time to dust off these former faux pas and put them to work. But before you overdose on your new pink sonic lip gloss, here are a few tips to keep your “chic” from turning into a clown.

Tip #1: Focus on one feature. There’s no need to be bold in color on your lips, your eyes and your cheeks. That’s certainly a recipe for disaster that can easily be avoided.

Tip #2: Once again blending is going to be paramount in executing a flawless 80’s inspired look. For eyes and cheeks, using a small amount of make-up, gently buff the color onto your skin. You can continue to intensify by adding product in increments.

Liners are irreplaceable this season. For both lips and eyes, you will want to have a great selection of colors that can go on smoothly. Use the MAC lip pencil in Cherry to create a defined, bold red lip with precision. It adds longevity to your lip color, especially if you prefer lip glosses and can help you maintain pouty, full lips throughout the day. Contrary to misconception, lip liners do not have to be paired with an exact match lip stick. I prefer playing with shades of lip glosses to find new colors that work with my overall look. Remember that lip liners require blending with the gloss or lipstick it is applied with. A sassy eyeliner, such as Make-up Forever’s Aqua eyes in Shimmering Plum, can intensify a coordinating eye shadow or can give you burst of clean color over a neutral eye. Because this eye pencil is a liner and shadow in one, it’s a perfect way for novice beauty lovers to play with colors in a controlled manner.

If you really want to have fun with color, eye shadow palettes are a great investment. Try the Coastal Scents 88-color eye palette, which comes in matte or shimmer. Although the pots of shadow are tiny, they really pack a punch with delivering color. For those of you that think 88 colors is overkill, try NARS Duo eye shadow in Jezebel. These duos are fabulous because they take the guess work out of coordinating shadows. All purpose make-up can really come in handy for an 80’s inspired look. If you know a particular color works for your skin, then it’s a bonus when you can use it multiple places on your face (not necessarily all at the same time). Hands down, NARS’ The Multiple is one of the best multi-use make-up sticks available. It goes from crème to powder and can be used on the cheeks, eyes and lips. Finally, use Make-up Forever’s HD Microfinishing Powder sparingly to set your look. It is tremendous at reducing shine and absorbing oil accumulated throughout the day.

What’s Hot & What’s Not

What’s hot? Karen’s Body Beautiful is hot. A healthy, holistic approach to beauty, KBB has handmade hair, body and bath products. From natural to permed, KBB has got the right hair product in the right scent for you. Try KBB Hair Milk as a moisturizing, detangling, and defrizzing leave-in conditioner!

What’s hot? Nail Candy is hot. It’s not all about the French manicure anymore. Try Sephora’s Nail Polish in It’s All About Me for funky, fresh 80’s inspired nails!

What’s not? Peel-off eyeshadow is not. I’m a huge advocate for do-it-yourself kits, especially in our current economy. But, make sure you aren’t throwing away your money. Kits like these never really work and promote application laziness!

Photos Courtesy: Getty Images

Photo #2: Young District Photography, Model: Janelle Victor (B'LVD Model Mgmnt.), Designer: Amparo3, MUA: Dasheeda Dawson