Hair, Makeup and Nail Trends for 2012

Now is the perfect time to start updating your makeup and hair for the new year and beyond. Early planning means taking advantage of holiday palettes that will get you more blush for your buck. From the reverse French manicure, to a more natural eyebrow, to the perfect red lip for your skin tone, here’s what to try, tweak and toss.

Hair: Minimalist and Modern

Basics such as ponytails and chignons will be jumping from the runway to the workplace, but with a futuristic twist. A simple ponytail is now a pumped-up pony with teasing at the crown. Chignons go colorful with streaks of subtle color and metal adornment in the twist. To stay more runway and less rave, add color just to the bun or the twisted area. New colored powders for hair are easy to use, and they require zero commitment since they come out with the first wash. At the YSL show, models had beautifully sculpted chignons with gold hair accessories cupped over the bulk of the hair in the twist. Try gold bobby pins to get the bold look for less.

Brows: Full but Well-groomed

Be prepared to give your tweezers a break. Brows have taken a stand against tweezer abuse and are back to being full-figured, soft and sexy. The ideal brow of today follows more of a natural growth pattern, with grooming to tame and accentuate the arch.

Reshaping your brows is a matter best left to the pros. Let your brows grow out for at least a couple of weeks so that your natural brow line is intact when you go to the professional. You can maintain them on your own by tweezing strays, but plan on visiting your pro every three months for a fine-tuning.

Holiday Makeup: Classic With a Twist

Red lips never go out of style, but the finish has changed. The newest way to wear red is to skip the satin texture and go for an unexpected matte mouth that harkens back to the days of the screen siren. Sound scary? Not if you choose the red that’s right for your skin tone.

Fair-skinned beauties should look for a true red; orange undertones tend to pick up any ruddiness or rosecea in fairer skin. Medium skin tones look best in blue-based shades that play off their skin’s warmth. Darker ladies look lovely in deep brick-reds with hints of burgundy. Skip the lip liner and go straight from the tube so the look is softer and less contrived. Skin is glowing and fresh -- but not bronzed -- and eyes are understated with just a whisper of sheer color.

Nails: A Top and Bottom Swap

Keep your beloved French manicure; just reverse it. The nail bed now has a half moon of color, and the rest of the nail has a different hue. Try mixing it up and going for unexpected color combos. Borrow a look from the Phillip Lim fall runway show: brush navy lacquer on the lower moon, and a muted khaki brown on the rest of your nail.

Your beauty wardrobe should evolve to stay current, but every glam gal should have staples that provide a reliable core look. What you need: the perfect concealer, light powder, two foundations (a deeper shade for summer’s tan, and a spot-on match for fall and winter), a day-to day lip color, a tried-and-true mascara, a neutral brighten-up eye shadow with a hint of shimmer for tired days, and a blush that imparts a soft, barely-there flush.