Start the New Year looking better than you ever have before! Archana Achal spots the beauty trends sure to make it big in 2012.

Put your best face forward this year by making the most of makeup. The trends spotted here can take you from frumpy to fresh or gloomy to glam with little effort. Just let the makeup perform its magic on you and watch all eyes turn your way. The cosmetics industry is a large field with huge variety and will surely have something for everyone, no matter what your personal style guide.

All eyes here!

Turn the cliché of your eyes being the windows into your soul into a chance to show off your best features. 2012 is going to be all about the eyes, with a number of designers and makeup artists going all out to play up the peepers. Striking eyes, made bold by the use of deep and dark-coloured eye-shadow should be your statement at parties and nights out. The look stays trendy with a lot more navy shadow, moving the trend from smoky to midnight magic.

Your eyes are your night sky. Take the glamour quotient up a notch by adding a lot of sparkle using shimmer dust on the lid in silver or metallic gold to mimic stars. Models for Fendi's Spring/Summer 2012 collection were noticed by fashionistas all over the world for the gold foil covering their entire eyelids up to the brow bone. While that look may take hours to accomplish, brushing on gold shimmer will take only minutes. For the day, a bright-coloured shadow in fuchsia, yellow or blue will add a dash of colour to pep up any outfit. Remember to create contrast only where necessary and not use too many colours at once. Cat eyes with wings and flicks in black liner are all the rage as well. Think Amy Winehouse but less dramatic and more defined. In contrast, artists are keeping the eyebrows thicker and more natural.

Pretty pout

There's colour everywhere in the world of lipsticks, so go out there and take your pick. Don't be afraid to choose the wacky options this year, like many designers have for their models. New York–based fashion designer Prabal Gurung chose a bright orchid lip colour for his models which popped on the runway. Electric hues are in as well; neon red and mandarin orange in particular are making waves in the cosmetic world. Full, red lips have always held the fancy of women (and men as well, we think) and with retro styles like the wings on your eyelids mentioned above making a comeback, it's no surprise that the 1950s scarlet lip trend is back as well. Remember all the while to keep the rest of your face makeup neutral.

Shades of cherry and plum are also set to take over in this field, and keeping the Indian skin-tone in mind, these will be preferred by most. Glossy lips are so last year, and the matte look is here to stay. Most lipsticks moisturise the lips anyway, so take a pass at your clear gloss. If deep colour is not your style, there are always apricot and peach coloured tints to add just a touch of colour. These pastel shades have also hit the world of makeup in a big way. They are best suited for those opting for the fairy-like look.

Cheeky tales

Makeup artists are wishing the winter away by opting for the sun-kissed look when it comes to the cheeks and brow line. The only season this year will be summer, and make sure you pick up gold cheek shimmer to highlight your cheekbones.

For the more “just-spent-a-week-in-St Barts” look, opt for a darker cream bronzer to add a bit of sparkle. The warm glow created will make your skin look younger as well. Caramel tones are very 2012, pushing out last years pink and peach blush trend. This leaning towards gold is ideal for the Indian skin-tone as both wheat and dusky tones can be made sunny and warm in colour with just a bit of bronzer. It is also perfect for those who prefer to keep makeup to a minimum, especially for their day-look. Brighten the eyes with a bit of light shimmer if opting for the nude look overall or sweep on a dark lip colour to take your look from day to night.

The key to these trends is to go with what suits your skin-tone best. Be inspired by the colours of nature all around you, moving away from just browns and pinks to more vivid and bright hues. Step into the wondrous world of makeup this year and don't be afraid to experiment with colours that best suit your personality.

archana.a@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on January 3, 2012)
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