12 beauty trends that are going to be HUGE in 2017

Who would imagine that 2017 is already here. And thank God for that. Between Brexit, Donald Trump, India’s demonetisation, the bombings across Europe, the acceleration of the refugee crisis and multiple other national and international issues, 2016 is a year we would soon like to forget. Then there was George Michael’s Christmas swan song, Princess Leia finally succumbing to a greater force and her mother Debbie Reynolds following in grief a day later, and other screen and music legends like Zsa Zsa Gabor and Prince bidding us goodbye… 2016 couldn’t get over soon enough.

Which is why, I guess, we are happy to put on our nostalgic glasses and turn back to the 1980s, when life was a lot more rocking. So bring on the side parts, party glitter, lipstick-bright blush, color-pop lips or lids (or both together – whatever, who cares!) and that reborn love for the ’80s rave scene is going nowhere in a hurry. As an informed opinion, I would say it’s the overarching trend that will inform most of 2017. And here’s how to can incorporate it in your own beauty arsenal.

Color shock

Yellow eyebrows, bright orange lips, violet eyelids, even emerald green earlobes… it’s the time to celebrate color in all its hues, views and avatars. The easiest way to wear it is big and bright, popped onto one feature at a time. Subtle just doesn’t cut it any longer.

Daring lips

Speaking about our new found abhorrence for the subtle, lips are the easiest way to make a statement with bold color. For added fashionista points, go ombre or two-tone: An orange-red combo is the easiest to pull off; try a red-fuschia when you crave more drama! Pair with clean, crisp makeup everywhere else for a modern effect.

The smudgy eye

This one’s my personal favourite: A smudgy, messy, the-morning-after-the-night-before eye that doesn’t require the skills of a cartographer. There are no neat lines, only free-hand application with a lived in feel. Think cigarette ash smudged into the countertop (that was the literal inspiration at Christopher Kane). Powdered kohl and creamy kajal work best. For a more amped up effect, top with a bit of MAC Studio Eye Gloss.

Lipstick = blush

Draping is the new contouring: Applying blush from high up on the corners of your cheeks to the side of your eyes. It lifts up the whole face and makes you appear younger and brighter. The key in draping is to use a bright blush, with additional points for a creamy texture, which is where makeup artists have been putting pinkish lipsticks to double duty. So, you don’t need to invest in a whole new cream blush – just swipe a bit of your lipstick across your cheekbones and blend lightly.

Glitter all the way

Glitter, glitter and more glitter… whether you call it the Pat McGrath effect or attribute it to our reborn love for the ’80s, glitter is the most important product in your party beauty arsenal for the coming months. Pat it onto lips and lids, sprinkle on your hair, rub some into your ear lobes… everything works!

Clean skin

With lips and lids this bold, fresh and clean skin is practically de rigeur. And with celebs going bare faced all over town, this look is set to rule 2017. Keep it creamy and dewy, with concealer only on trouble spots, then play up one feature if you are stepping out for an event or formal dinner. That’s. It.

Pick your plait

From super-tight plaits to the hastily braided topknot, this is clearly the overarching hairstyle of 2017. And it plays well with no-heat hair, so bonus points for going this route.

Quick tip: Rub some styling cream between your palms before braiding to add grip and keep the plait going longer.

Blunt hair

Forget the layers… this is the time of the all-one-length blunt cut. It’s a statement within it’s own simplicity. Pair with…

… deep side parts

Ditch the middle parting for a slick side part. It’s more authoritative than pretty and will polish up your look instantly!

… and no-heat hair

Hair dryers, straighteners, curlers, crimpers… our hair has had it with all the torture and pledged to go heat-free in 2017. Simply work in some leave-in conditioners or styling cream and leave your follicles to recover their health this year.

A photo posted by Sam McKnight© (@sammcknight1) on

Focus point: Ears

This year is going to be all about the year, with attention grabbing earrings ruling the roost. How in the world do you make up your ears, you may well ask. If you want to go the extreme designer route, try painting them with silver glitter (Giamba) or coating them in yellow pigment (Proenza Schouler). For a simpler take, sweep and tuck back hair to leave ears exposed, then dress them up with an ear clip or statement earrings.

Chrome nails

Nails are going super-smooth and mirror-like with a special chrome pigment that’s buffed into nails and sealed with a top coat. For an at-home take on the trend, try one of the new nail polishes that recreate the chrome effect without the buffing.

The ultimate guide to taking a good selfie (yes, it’s possible!)

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat… As we live in the age of self portraits (aka selfies), twitpics, avatars and profile snaps. In fact, there are now entire gadgets devoted to this particular art form (well, it’s been in existence since Vincent Van Gogh’s self portraits!), such as the Coolpad Mega 2.5, whose 8MP front facing camera and Smart Beautification are perfect for nailing this defining photograph.

And as I am constantly learning, the difference between a good and bad shot lies in preparation and practice. After all, how else will you capture that perfect just-after-a-haircut moment or the amazing coral lip for posterity? Behold then, the top tricks to take your #selfies from #simple to #stunning.

Make sure you are camera ready

First, the clothes. Voluminous outfits, like billowy tops and loose tunics, don’t make for good selfies as your proportions are not balanced out by taut legs in the limited frame. Instead, look for a more streamlined top. Also avoid loud prints as they don’t translate well in this medium. Basic blacks, pale denims and crisp whites are what work best. Try to show just a touch of skin, maybe with a scooped neckline, as it adds softness.

And wear sunglasses. For some reason, most people look phenomenally better in sunglasses. So do a selfie in sunnies if you are going for an extreme close up.

#coolpadselfie

#coolpadselfie

Then comes the #makeup

This is pretty important (unless you’re going for the #nomakeup look) as closeup selfies wash you out, while playing up every line and blemish. Your saviour? Try these tips.

  • Start with smooth, toned and moisturised skin by treating yourself to a face scrub and hydrating facial. This minimises uneven makeup application and promotes a healthy, glowing effect.
  • Mattify your skin: A dewy complexion is attractive in real life, but in photos it will look like an oil slick. Try grease blotting products for a flawless, shine-free finish.
  • Skip mineral foundations and powders as they tend to give a white cast when light bounces off them, leading to the dreaded #FlourFace. Similarly, opt for a powder with a yellow tint, rather than a translucent one. The latter also leaves a white cast when the flash goes off.
  • If you plan to wear undereye concealer, blend very, very well to remove any harsh lines. Seriously. Otherwise, you risk your concealer looking too obvious. I learnt this the hard way, sigh!
  • Stay off the sparkles or ultra-strong colours as they will make you look ten years older. Instead, dab a touch of cream highlighter in the recessed areas of your face, which appear shadowed in dim lighting. Usual suspects are the inner corners of your eyes, top of the cheekbones, bow of the lip and chin cleft.
  • Don’t want to look washed out? Use the right shade of blush. Pale pastel blushers will disappear with digital photography as it tends to wash out colour from the skin, so go with a stronger blush in shades of rosy brown to define your cheeks.
  • Avoid harsh liner or ultra-smokey eyes as both these make the eyes look smaller. Instead, try a soft, coloured eye pencil and smudge it a bit. If you have to use a liquid eyeliner, dot it next to the eyelash base rather than creating a solid line. Add mascara for definition.
  • Most lips benefit from definition in front of the camera. For a fail-safe makeup effect, apply a lip pencil that’s two shades darker than your own lip colour, smudge a bit and layer with a little gloss or lipstick in the same shade. You will look polished without seeming OTT in every kind of light!
  • Lift your chin when being photographed to lessen dark circles and keep the nose from looking too big.

Go towards the light

Lighting can make or break your photo. Natural daylight is ideal and youalmost can’t go wrong during the magic hour (the hour just after sunrise or just before sunset), which is when the sunlight is perfect for pictures.

But avoid standing in direct daylight when the sun is right overhead, as it will cast hard shadows. Instead, turn your back to the sun. This will create a halo-style effect that can be very flattering. Or look for “open shade”, like the shadow of a tree or building.

If you’re inside, try to find any light source you can to avoid the dreaded flash, which is hardly ever flattering. Look for light coming through a window, soft light bulbs… it even helps tohave a thin piece of fabric (like a sheer curtain) stand between you and the light. This will stop the light from shining directly on your face, creating a beautiful glow.

#coolpadselfie

#coolpadselfie

Show your best side

It’s now scientifically proven that you actually do have a good side. And chances are it’s the left. A study in the Experimental Brain Research journal shows that photos of the left side of our face get rated as more pleasant than photos of the right side. So, work out your angle: take practice shots from the left, right, behind, top, bottom… and then get a buddy to evaluate them objectively.

Relax!

Because you really shouldn’t take a selfie too seriously. Poke fun at yourself, exaggerate the duck face, work the angles, try some funky props… have fun with it. The goal is to look natural in your selfie. Like you were out basking in the sun and someone snapped a candid shot. And when you do see a bad pic, just laugh and move on! Because you are perfect! Right?

What are your go-to tricks for looking great in photos? Will you be trying any of the advice here?

Deepika Padukone’s sizzling beauty secrets

On the modeling circuit, they say there is an era before and after Deepika Padukone. One of the very few Indian models who have successfully charmed all four mediums – print, television, the silver screen and the catwalk – Bollywood’s top ranking actress wears her celeb status with ease.

And what a status that is… not only does Deepika seem to be part of almost every single Bollywood movie that has topped the box office in the last two years, she’s all set to make waves in Hollywood as well, with Vin Diesel’s xXx: Return of Xander Cage. And even before this movie is released, the 30-year-old finds herself part of the top 10 in Forbes list of the world’s richest actresses.

However, she remains “strictly low-maintenance”, charting her own path through the style aisles, rather than chasing changing trends. Here she spills her uber-cool beauty secrets.

What have you learnt about beauty?

Don’t fidget with your skin – that means don’t overdo facials and other skincare rituals; exercise regularly; and stick to minimal makeup.

What’s your favourite feature?

I love my eyes. A lot of people say that I express a lot with just my eyes, without using any other part of my face or body. This is great in front of the camera but becomes dicey in real life!

How do you make the most of them?

I highlight them with mascara and put a little liner on the edges. The latter is necessary since I have big eyes. Else you can make them look really wonderful with just loads of mascara on the top and lower lashes.

Deepika Padukone in Bajirao Mastani

Deepika Padukone in Bajirao Mastani

And your least favourite feature?

My feet are huge and ugly! I am perpetually trying to camouflage them with flats and covered shoes. And I can barely find shoes my size.

A skincare basic?

Cleansing, toning and moisturizing every morning and religiously taking off all makeup at night. Skin needs to breathe and regenerate while you sleep and this can only happen when it’s absolutely clean.

What’s your hair care ritual?

A leave-in conditioner is essential because of the weather and pollution; plus I need a heat-resistant spray to minimize styling damage during shoots and fashion shows. Once in a while, I indulge in a good head massage.

Which are your favourite makeup hues?

I love pastels and very light pinks. During the day, it’s usually a very light liner with a pinkish blush and nude gloss. Night makeup tends to be a slightly more exaggerated version of the same but still remains very natural.

Deepika Padukone in Ram Leela

Deepika Padukone in Ram Leela

What kind of fragrance do you like?

I am not a fan of overly flowery or fruity fragrances. I prefer something with a unique edge, like Issey Miyake or Davidoff Cool Water.

What’s the best thing about makeup?

It’s great for making flaws vanish! Else how would we get through under eye circles, bad complexion days and pesky zits?

Excerpted from an interview I did for Marie Claire India

Discovering Queen Elizabeth (and Duchess Kate’s) Britain, one beauty recipe at a time!

So, did Queen Elizabeth wake up on her 90th birthday and have a nice laugh at Prince Charles’ expense? Hoo boy, doesn’t seem you’re going to be the king anytime in the near future. After all, the world’s oldest monarch isn’t going anywhere soon, considering her sprightly step and reigns-well-in-hand disposition.

And thank God for that! Because Elizabeth Alexandra Mary (as she was christened after her birth at 2:40 am on April 21, 1926) is one of the most iconic and stylish monarchs of our times. She has many a sartorial success to her name, not the least of all being those super-perky block colours that make sure she immediately stands out in any crowd.

And her style is truly global, replete with a wedding ring made from a nugget of Welsh gold and a coronation dress that was embroidered with English roses, Scottish thistles, Welsh leeks, Irish shamrocks and the national flowers of the Dominions. Her wedding cake was made using ingredients gifted by the Australian Girl Guides.

Queen Elizabeth II also has an abiding love for Scottish country dancing and once wore a stunning gown hand-sewn with 2,091 shamrocks during a State visit to Ireland. Her favourite indulgence is a collection of pretty, sheer umbrellas with different coloured bands to match her outfits.

Besides umbrellas, the queen has an extensive (to put it mildly) collection of jewellery that includes the largest pink diamond in the world. Plus, she owns 88 cygnet swans and all the dolphins, whales, porpoises and sturgeons caught within three miles of UK’s coast.She has launched 23 ships and socially hosts more than 50,000 people at Buckingham Palace in an average year (that has to be exhausting!).

Queen Elizabeth II (then Princess Elizabeth) dances with her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, at a square dance held in their honour in Ottawa, by Governor General Viscount Alexander, 17th October 1951. The dance was one of the events arranged during their Canadian tour. (Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Queen Elizabeth II (then Princess Elizabeth) dances with her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, at a square dance held in their honour in Ottawa, by Governor General Viscount Alexander, 17th October 1951. The dance was one of the events arranged during their Canadian tour. (Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

But Queen Elizabeth II’s prowess goes much deeper: She trained as a mechanic during the second world war, collected rationing coupons for her wedding dress, has a long association with racing pigeons (such a thing exists?), has seen 12 US presidents and 12 UK prime ministers come and go during her reign (yes, you read that correctly), sent her first email in 1976 (again, yup!), bred a corgi with a dachshund to create the dorgi, was the first titular head of the Church of England to receive a Pope at the Buckingham Palace in 450 years (Pope John Paul II in 1982), has been a working mother to four children (and trust me, with them being brats so very often and her having a brutal schedule, it couldn’t be easy!) and her thoroughbreds have won virtually every major race in Britain.

WHEW!

No wonder the world is celebrating 90 years of this magnificent woman. Which set me to thinking: How do we pretty ladies, sitting thousands of miles from jolly Britain, join in the festivities? And being beauty-obsessed as I am, what could be better than digging out vintage English skincare recipes, going back to the 17th and 18th century world of Britain’s erstwhile royals? After all, the British love their traditions and their peaches-and-cream complexions have always been the stuff of legend. Just see Queen Elizabeth II – there is no way she looks 90!

Thankfully, I am blessed with quite a hefty lineage of Brit-born relatives, so an extensive hunt through old family hideaways has revealed a treasure trove of traditional English skincare secrets that can still hold their own on milady’s makeup table. You are welcome, Duchess Catherine.

British beauty recipe #1: Face saving lemonade

Make a hole in a lemon and fill it with granulated sugar. Then roast the lemon in hot ashes (or on a grill). When you want to use the juice, squeeze out a little through the hole and dab it on with a napkin. Leave on for a couple of hours before rinsing off with cold water. This is perfect for deep cleansing the skin and brightening the complexion.

Why it works: Lemon juice has tons of citric acid, which is a great antimicrobial and exfoliator. Sugar granules make for a perfect natural scrub. The original recipe also called for an application of gold leaf over the lemon rind but that’s (thankfully for everyone who’s not Kate Middleton!) superfluous.

British beauty recipe #2: Virgin’s milk

Pound a few leeks with a mortar and pestle, squeeze out the juice and pass it through a strainer. Just before using, pour a few drops of rubbing alcohol on the juice – it will instantly turn milky. This is a terrific treatment for acne, plus it also keeps the skin soft and smooth.

Why it works: Leeks are anti-inflammatory and contain tons of quercetin, which is one of the beauty industry’s top antioxidants. They have also long been used to reduce scarring and figure in several drugstore treatments.

British beauty recipe #3: Apple-honey face pack

Add a teaspoon of honey to one mashed apple and mix well. Put this mixture on your face and neck. Leave it on for half an hour, then rinse with whey or cold milk.

Why it works: Honey is one of nature’s best moisturisers, while apples are chockfull of vitamins A and C. These make the fruit great at repairing damaged skin cells and exfoliating the dead ones. Milk and whey, in the meantime, are great for strengthening skin tissues.

Princess Elizabeth (now Queen Elizabeth II) driving an ambulance during her wartime service in the A.T.S. (Auxiliary Territorial Service), 10th April 1945. (Photo by Popperfoto/Getty Images)

Princess Elizabeth (now Queen Elizabeth II) driving an ambulance during her wartime service in the A.T.S. (Auxiliary Territorial Service), 10th April 1945. (Photo by Popperfoto/Getty Images)

British beauty recipe #5: Skin varnish

Taking equal parts of lemon juice and egg whites, beat them together in a glazed earthen pan till the mixture acquires the consistency of butter. Add a few drops of any essential oil (to mask the scent of egg whites). Then wash face with rice water and apply this face pack. Wash off after half an hour.

Why it works: The citric acid in lemon juice banishes dead skin cells, helping unclog pores and making skin look smooth and glow-y. Egg whites are loaded with protein and act as an astringent, while rice water is a great skin softener.

British beauty recipe #4: Feed your face some breakfast

Mix a handful of finely milled oatmeal with enough spring water (or bottled mineral water) to make a paste, then put this mixture on your face and neck. When it dries, rinse off with whey, then with water.

Why it works: Finely milled oatmeal sticks to skin’s surface irritants, which can then be gently rinsed away for thorough cleansing sans the dryness. Plus, it’s a great hydrator.

British beauty recipe #6: The wrinkle smoother

Apply barley water and a few drops of Balm of Gilead (plain ol’ balsam) on your face everyday.

Why it works: Barley water is an ancient remedy for wrinkles, since it nourishes the skin, boosts the growth of healthy tissues and keeps everything smooth, plumped up and unlined. Balsam is rich in vitamins E and C, which slow down skin ageing and protect against inflammation.

London, UNITED KINGDOM: Combo picture of various portraits of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II wearing hat on different occasions and dates. Royal protocol decrees that Her Majesty always wears a hat in public, while her face must be visible at all times. (AFP/AFP/Getty Images)

Royal protocol decrees that Her Majesty always wears a hat in public, while her face must be visible at all times. (AFP/AFP/Getty Images)

British beauty recipe #7: A beautiful bath

Take 2 pounds of barley, 8 pounds of bran and a few handfuls of borage leaves. Boil them in a sufficient quantity of spring water, then pour the decoction into your bath. Nothing cleanses and softens the skin better!

Why it works: Barley is a great hydrator and anti-inflammatory, while borage contains tons of fatty acids – the perfect formula for soothing and moisturizing the skin.

British beauty recipe #8: The royal hand cream

Add half cup of glycerin, half cup of rose water and a quarter cup of witch hazel to a glass jar; shake well. Apply this to your hands 2-3 times daily.

Why it works: Rose water and glycerin are the classic combination used in hand creams for years. Glycerin is a terrific humectant (draws moisture from the air to hydrate skin); while rosewater conditions skin and reduces sun damage.

British beauty recipe #9: Aromatic foot bath

Take four handfuls of pennyroyal, sage and rosemary, three handfuls of angelica and four ounces of juniper berries. Boil these in a sufficient quantity of water, and drain off the liquor for use.

Why it works: Besides the fact that this herb bath smells gorgeous, angelica is anti-fungal and antibacterial. Result? It not only keeps feet free of infections but also dispels stink-producing bacteria. Juniper berries are also astringent and make feet feel nice, cool and fresh.

British beauty recipe #10: The prettiest perfume

Fill a jar with pressed rose petals (or any sweet-scented flowers), add as much glycerin as the container will hold, and cover it tightly. After 3 weeks, you can decant the perfume into a bottle.

Are you as bowled over by Queen Elizabeth II as me? Or not? And what’s YOUR secret homeland recipe?