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.

October 2016: The 17 new beauty products I am obsessing over this month

The next time you pick up a magazine, do a little exercise: Just compare the editorial coverage given to that “hottest innovation in the history of the world” or the awards given to the year’s beauty winners and the number of advertising pages those brands have picked up in that or subsequent issues.

I am not saying anything. Just do the maths. And tell me what you think.

Blogs (most of us, anyway) are fortunately not so bound up with corporate balance sheets and marketing budgets. Which allows us to actually sift through the gazillion products that launch on a monthly basis (soon we’re going to be literally buried under a product avalanche) and pick out only the best, no-bullshit ones for your dressing table.

Here’s my list. It’s a larger one than usual because… you know… we have a brand new season on hand.

Hopefully, these new beauty launches will catch your fancy for all the right reasons – as they did mine!

besame-cake-mascaraBésame Cosmetics Cake Mascara, $25

#Major #Throwback

Why, you may ask, would one go cuckoo over a product that harks back to its very own infancy? Hasn’t the might of the makeup industry been dedicated to finding newer, cooler, easier, longer, curlier mascara formulations these past 101 years? So, why are we salivating over a mascara that’s no different from the very basic “cake” that a 19-year-old named Tom Lyle Williams mixed for his sister Maybel in 1915? I don’t know about you but for me it’s all about experiencing a formulation that changed the world. It’s about the lure of vintage, the power of a softer, slower, less tech-heavy world, where you pause to wet the cake and take your time spreading it through your lashes. And eyebrows. And the lash line. Because Bésame’s new/old cake mascara is not just super-cool, it’s also super-multipurpose.


penhaligons-portraitsPenhaligon’s Portraits

For someone who’s always been head over heels for Penhaligon’s (hello Juniper Sling!), the all-new bottle designs are icing on the cake. And what scrumptious icing, with each perfume having been inspired by animal characters in a Downton Abbey-esque take on the English spirit, “between establishment, humor and provocation”. My favorite is the Tragedy of Lord George, whose regal antlers top a blend of brandy and tonka beans. Not sure which one to pick? Take the Penhaligon’s Portrait quiz to find your perfume alter ego.

aerin-night-table-creamAerin Beauty Rose Night Table Cream & Overnight Mask, $80

Who doesn’t dream of a gorgeous bedside table, which holds everything that’s pretty and perfect for a good night’s sleep? Aerin’s Beauty Rose Night Table Cream & Overnight Mask might sound like a mouthful but that’s because it’s so many things wrapped into one gorgeous package: Moisturiser + sleeping mask + hand cream + aromatherapeutic stress relief. And it’s perfect for transforming even the blandest tables into a sexy, seductive, boudoir-esqe fantasy!

estee-lauder-ampoulesEstée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Intensive Recovery Ampoules, $110

I love all kinds of ampoules and pods that take the guesswork out of how much product I need to squeeze out for perfect efficacy. Which is why I’m kind of obsessed with Estée Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair Intensive Recovery Ampoules (wow… is that a mouthful!), which are filled with “a treatment oil [that] includes ChronoluxAI technology to help reduce visible irritation and synchronize the look of skin”. What this means in English is that these mega-doses of skin strengthening serum help negate the effects of internal and external stress on your complexion and boost the skin barrier, making it healthy and more supple. And they slip in effortlessly into your travel case, sans fear of breakage or spillage. What is there not to love?

Detail of garden lavender flowersRodin Olio Lusso Lavender Face Oil, $170

My absolute favorite facial oil in a new avatar! The perfect blend of 11 essential oils, what distinguishes Rodin Olio Lusso Lavender one from the original is the addition of a lavender fragrance that is all about relaxation and beauty sleep vs the perfect pick-me-up of sultry jasmine. Otherwise, it’s just as smooth and luxurious, reiterating its reputation as the cult product that started the whole facial oils revolution 10 years back. My top tip? Mix a couple of drops in your foundation to make it go on seamlessly, with a beautiful sheen.

lancome-le-teintLancôme Le Teint Particulier Custom Made Makeup, $80

Remember a little brand called Prescriptives, which had these lovely, lab-like counters where you could get your makeup custom mixed? While Prescriptives has since then moved to only-online, taking away the whole personal connect that was a key part of its appeal, Lancôme is stepping in to fill the gap. Go up to one of the Lancôme counters (currently only at Nordstrom) and a machine will scan your face, then spit out the perfect recipe for your skin tone and needs. Lighter, darker, a tad more yellow, neutralize the redness, opacity, extra moisturizer for hydration… everything is covered with medical precision. The custom blend is then squirted into a bottle directly from the machine and labelled with an ID for easy refills. Though I would suggest doing a fresh custom match every time you go, since our skin tone and hydration levels change with the seasons. And when we finally have the technology, why not make full use of it?

smashbox-insta-matteSmashbox Insta-Matte Lipstick Transformer, $24

We’ve been talking much about matte lipsticks being the trend du jour and Smashbox’s Insta-Matte Lipstick Transformer means you don’t need to dig deep into your wallet to be on fleek. This clear gel creates a filter of silicone polymers over your lipstick, mutating it from glossy to matte in a second. Added bonus: It makes lipstick wear longer.

cargo-essential-eyeshadow-paletteCargo Essential Eyeshadow Palette, $34

Another product that takes the guesswork out of your beauty routine, these sets of four graduated eye shadows come clearly embossed with their own function to make application a breeze. Now, all you need to do is work on your blending skills!

dior-5-couleurs-glowing-gardens-eyeshadow-paletteDior 5 Couleurs Glowing Gardens Eyeshadow Palette, $63

File this one under pure, utter gorgeousness. I would tell you how the colors are perfect for the coming season but then who can bring themselves to touch and smear this treasure trove of flowers inspired by Christian Dior’s own gardens at Granville, France? Not me, for sure… the 5 Couleurs Glowing Garden Eyeshadow Palette is going into the collection to be preserved for posterity in its blooming beauteousness. Because, remember, it’s a limited edition… so once it’s gone, it’s gone!

estee-lauder-double-wear-nude-cushion-stick-radiant-makeupEstée Lauder Double Wear Nude Cushion Stick Radiant Makeup, $39.50

A makeup cushion innovation that’s not Korean? That’s sit-up-and-take-notice in itself. Then there is the fact that Estée Lauder’s Double Wear Nude Cushion Radiant Stick Makeup (what’s with Estée and crazy long names?) allows you to apply, blend and touch up your makeup without using your hands or needing to stock up on makeup brushes. It does this with a cushion compact style sponge tip that blends and buffs to perfection, and can be popped off to be washed when it starts looking too saturated or a bit grimy (all you need is a mild soap and water). The foundation itself is a buildable sheer-to-medium coverage and lasted me from morning till evening, without the need for touchups. That’s pretty impressive on oily skin in its own right.

mac-liptensityMAC Liptensity, $21

We will talk more about what’s billed as MAC’s most innovative launch in years. But till then, know that Liptensity is the brand’s most pigmented lipstick to date and it’s created with the help of tetrachromat Maureen Seaberg, whose unique genes allow her to see up to 100 million colors (most of us can see just over 1 million). What this brings to the table is colour fidelity, which means that the color you see in the tube is what you get on the lips. To enable this, MAC has also crafted a new lipstick formula that saturates the pigment in a clear (rather than opaque) base, which means the colors stay true without reacting to your body chemistry and reflexively tweaking themselves while on the lips. This has resulted in almost a 100-colour collection which runs the gamut from everyday wear colors like Toast and Butter (a warm cinnamon) to Stallion (night-sky black).

sara-happ-x-sprinkles-the-lip-scrub-red-velvetSara Happ x Sprinkles The Lip Scrub Red Velvet, $24

And this one’s to be filed under make-me-happy cheeriness. While salt and olive oil work just fine for smoothing our lips, my inner decadent diva simply can’t pass up on this deliciously chocolate and red-velvet-red-velvet-flavored scrub that Sarah Happ has crafted in collaboration with Sprinkles Cupcakes. Plus, 10% of all proceeds go to Baby2Baby, which provides essentials for needy children. Someone out there wants to buy me an early Christmas gift?

kendra-scott-gemstone-nail-lacquerKendra Scott Gemstone Nail Lacquer, $16

It’s been a while since I’ve been this excited about a nail polish, despite there being a zillion launches a month. But jeweler Kendra Scott (yes, jeweler!) has really upped the bar with formulations inspired by her iconic use of natural stones and rough-hewn baubles. The 5-free collection comes with a base coat, rock-crystal top coat, and two transformative shades that give nails an iridescent, holographic sheen. My favorite? Iridescent Drusy, which makes your nails looks like they’ve dipped into a mine of rough dressy crystals.

bmc-manicure-and-pedicure-nail-polish-protection-clipsBMC Manicure and Pedicure Nail Polish Protection Clips, $3

WHY HASN’T ANYONE THOUGHT OF THIS BEFORE? Clip these genius nail protectors on freshly painted nails and say goodbye to the accidental smudging that always happens the second you put down the bottle. (Doesn’t happen with you? Only me? Oh well, I hate you!)

glossier-the-supersGlossier The Supers, $28

Just when I pledge not to buy a single other “magic” serum that promises the world but does precisely nothing for my skin, here come Super Bounce, Super Glow and Super Pure. These “supplements for the face” counter the effects of dehydration, dullness and exhaustion, and toxic buildup respectively. Glossier recognizes that our skin’s needs change by the day (and by what we subject it to at any given time) and have helpfully created a box pack that gives us everything together. It currently sits on my bedside, right next to Aerin Lauder’s Rose Night Table Cream.

sonia-rykiel-x-lancomeSonia Rykiel X Lancôme, $29 upwards

It’s pretty. It’s practical. And it’s perfect for when you need a hefty dose of cheeriness to beat away the blues. Sonia Rykiel has put together a capsule collection for Lancôme that embodies Parisian chic in its most fun and fashionable iteration. How can you resist the playful stripes of the Parisian Lip Crayons?

ciate-london-mani-markerCiaté London Mani Marker, $12

These revolutionary (and I never use that word casually) markers allow you to apply nail polish precisely, within the lines and sans smudges in minutes. Shaped like those magic markers we all loved as kids (I still do!), these ingenious pens are filled with real, high coverage nail polish that goes on in a single stroke and dries super-quickly. Also perfect for changing up your nails while travelling!

What’s your favourite beauty find?

Cult classic: 12 ways to use Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream

Just what is it about Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream that’s made it a cult staple in the bags of everyone from runway makeup artists and top fashion models to global beauty editors and Prince Harry? And yes, that’s the very same Prince Harry, of the British royal family fame. Apparently the world’s most eligible bachelor is armed with this potent cream while trekking in arctic conditions for the Walking With The Wounded Allied Challenge to the South Pole.

Back to the Eight Hour Cream, first let’s get one thing clear: this is actually a balm and not a cream. It doesn’t have the most advanced or high-tech stem cells (in fact, the core ingredients – petrolatum, beta-hydroxy and vitamin E – have remained unchanged since the 1930s), it’s not super-expensive (clocking in at $20) and it’s not pretty but it works. And works so well that a tube of this take-everywhere, use-for-everything work-horse is sold every 30 seconds. Which is a LOT of tubes! And there’s a reason for that: it’s really good.

And while there are an infinite number of ways to use this classic cream, here are 12 great ones.

elizabeth-arden-eight-hour-creamSkin saver

The cocktail of petrolatum, skin-soothing beta-hydroxy and anti-inflammatory vitamin E soothes, restores, calms and helps relieve minor skin irritations, including roughness, redness, chapped, cracked or dry skin. Perfect for protecting skin from drying winds, central heating and air conditioning… just add a dollop of Eight Hour Cream onto your hands, let it heat up, then apply it over the face and neck as a protective moisturiser!

Flight tool

Flying leaves your skin dull and dehydrated? Take a dime size amount of the Eight Hour Cream in the palms of your hands, warm it up by rubbing the hands together and pat onto face to boost skin’s in-flight moisture levels.

After-sun soother

With its legendary soothing and moisturizing benefits, it’s the ideal after-sun treatment to relieve minor sunburn and calm dry, irritated sun-exposed skin. 

Lip scrubber

Dab a bit of Eight Hour Cream on your lips, then gently scrub with an old toothbrush – goodbye flakes and chapped lips!

Lip protector

Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream makes an excellent lip treatment, healing quickly and leaving behind a soft shine and a light, glossy effect.

Cuticle comforter

The Eight Hour Cream also doubles up as a superb conditioning balm to soften rough, dry cuticles, keeping smooth, supple and beautifully manicured. Especially perfect for brutal winters!

Brow shiner

Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream is brilliant at keeping unruly brows in place, providing a bit of sheen and creating a perfectly defined arch that will stay in place all day. All it takes is a dab and a spoolie brush or wand to comb it through the eyebrows.

elizabeth-arden-eight-hour-cream-1Glow giver

Found in top makeup artists’ kits worldwide, this all-in-one beauty tool is perfect for adding a soft glow or a hint of red-carpet-ready sheen. For best effect, add a dab at the highest point of your cheekbones (post-foundation), or along the collar bone, knees and shins.

Eye opener

Want romantic looking eyes with a bit of shine? Take a touch of Eight Hour Cream on your fingertip and apply it into the center of the lid, over your eye shadow. This will really open up the eyes and give them a sheer, ethereal glow. You can also apply the product on bare skin at the highest point of the brow bone, right below the brow. This will create a subtle highlight, without the dated look of a shimmer.

Chic maker

‘Tis the season for some edgy sexiness and one of the easiest ways to incorporate it into your look is by mixing a bit of soft taupe or light gold eye shadow with Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream and brushing it through the brows. This will create a gorgeous ombre effect that’s very young Hollywood.

elizabeth-arden-eight-hour-cream-2Age concealer

Thicker patches of skin – like the elbows and knees – can get dry and ashy as you grow older, making them visible markers of your age. Counter by rubbing a small amount of Eight Hour Cream into these areas regularly!

Overnight healer

Massage Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream into your hands and feet before bed every night to heal even the roughest, driest skin while you sleep. Worried about your sheets? Don a pair of socks and cotton gloves.

Leg wear

This balm calms irritation, reduces redness and leaves legs super-smooth and silky-soft. Great as an après shave or après wax treatment. 

Hair help

Fried or frazzled hair? Rub a little of this classic cream into the dry areas – especially the ends – leave it on for half an hour, then wash with your regular shampoo.

If you’ve discovered other uses for Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream, do tell. Please.

Beauty emergencies: How to fix a bad-everything day

We’ve all had them. No matter how well you maintain your beauty routine – and let’s face it, things can be erratic at times – nobody escapes a pre-party zit or hungover eyes. Or you could be like me and have it all at once at least four times a month! My skin ages 10 years, my make-up only makes matters worse and my lips look as if I’ve spent two weeks in the Arctic… forget bad hair days, these are paper-bag days. Luckily, there’s plenty you can do to rescue a seemingly hopeless situation. Here’s how to cope when everything goes wrong.

beauty-emergency-2The bad hair day

Frizzy locks? Rub a bit of conditioner on your hands and work it through to the ends. This will tame flyaway strands. In a pinch, a drop of ordinary hand cream will do the trick.

Limp and lank strands? Put on a headband so that it lifts hair up off the face. Spray hair with a volumizer; wait 10 minutes and then remove the ‘band.

Greasy hair? Rub antibacterial gel over your hands, then rake your fingers through the hair before you brush and blast it dry. The gel’s high alcohol content will dissolve build-up.

The tired face

Skimped on sleep? Looking washed out? Skip the full face of makeup. When you’re tired, blood is circulated away from the skin to boost major organs like the lungs and liver, making the complexion look pasty. This means your usual make-up will not sit very well and shall possibly even make things worse. Instead, go for moisturiser, eye drops, a light brushing of face powder, lip gloss and, if possible, a pair of sunglasses.

Baggy eyes

Still carrying around last night’s baggage? Drink loads of water to flush out the toxins. Then, gently pat either aloe vera gel or an eye mask on those puffy zones to draw out remaining impurities. Or dab on some witch hazel – diluted with double the amount of water – as it’s wonderful at busting toxins.

Panda eyes

Global makeup authority Bobbi Brown has the cure: always apply your eye cream before your concealer to hydrate the delicate under-eye skin and make concealer go on smoothly. She also suggests choosing a concealer one shade lighter than your foundation. Work it from the under-eye area up to the lower lash line and, most importantly, the innermost corner. This is the most recessed area of the face and hence appears darkest.

Acne attack

If you notice a spot developing, wrap an ice cube in a thin handkerchief and gently massage it over the blemish for 10 seconds. Repeat every hour to bring down the swelling and reduce redness. Follow with a formulation that contains 2% salicylic acid and dab some concealer for on-the-spot camouflage.

beauty-emergenciesUnkissable lips

Olive oil is a terrific quick fix for lips, especially when you’ve forgotten your lip balm. It’s a terrific moisturiser and you can find it just about everywhere. Rub it into your lips, elbows, feet or anywhere else that needs a little TLC.

Stained teeth

If red wine and coffee (or cigarettes!) have stained your teeth, avoid lipsticks with orange, yellow or beige hues. The key to making teeth look whiter is contrast. So, choose bright reds or reds with a blue base instead.

Nails not up to scratch

Mix a bit of coconut oil or olive oil with salt and baking powder. Rub this mixture all over your hands, on the palms, up to the wrists and particularly on the nails. The oil acts as a moisturiser and the baking powder releases oxygen into the skin to plump out any fine lines and increase the circulation. The salt, in the meantime, acts as a gentle exfoliant to bust dead skin and soften the cuticles.

Smelly, grungy feet

This one needs a 3-part solution:

Rather than removing chipped polish on your toes and starting again, mask it with a coat of darker colour.

If you have a pearly eyeshadow that’s all broken up and is ready for the bin, break it down even further and mix it with a little moisturiser. Rub the mixed-up lotion into your feet for soft skin that has a sexy sheen.

If you get smelly feet, crush fresh mint in a bowl of warm water. Submerging your feet in this concoction will remove any unpleasant odours.

Streaky fake tan

Ah, the joys of the self-tan. For those who’ve been well and truly tangoed, try these tips:

If it’s really disastrous, go swimming. Local pools are notorious for having lots of chlorine and this will bleach away the tan.

If you have darker knees and ankles, rub a little whitening toothpaste into the area using a circular motion. The toothpaste will gently exfoliate and the whitening agent will remove colour.

What’s your secret beauty quick-fix? Share with us in the comments box below!