What I know for sure is that classic is always in style. What I mean by that is there is classic fashion and there is trendy fashion. The difference between the two is classic is timeless and trendy is ‘of the moment’ so to speak. Let’s take a look back in time to some of the most elegant women that graced us with their presence. Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Jane Russell, Katherine Hepburn, Coco Channel, Doris Day, Jackie Kennedy, Elizabeth Taylor. Today our elegant role models are Julia Roberts, Reese Witherspoon, Annette Benning, Nicole Kidman, Penelope Cruz and Michelle Obama to name a few.
When we look at these women we see clean lines in their style of clothing, simplicity in detail, and not too fussy in hair and makeup. Enough makeup to bring out the highlighted feature on camera with focus paid to the eyes or mouth. A makeup style tip is to highlight one feature at a time, say you are wearing a charcoal smoky eye, let the eyes be the focus and go with a natural lip color close to your skin tone with a bit of gloss. Let your eyes do the talking. Perhaps you will be speaking in front of a crowd (I’ve been told red lips help the audience listen more intently) or you are feeling sexy and want to play up the pout, you want to highlight your mouth. Start with a lip primer, pencil red stain lipstick (either a blue base or orange base depending on your skin tone) then to add fullness add a lighter shiny gloss to the very center of the top and bottom lip to make your lip appear fuller. When the lip is strong the eyes and cheeks should be soft. Apply blush or bronzer in a natural shade close to your skin tone and eyes can be softly lined with earth tone shadow and liner, but softly so as to allow the lips to stand out.
On to hair. Not all hair is created equal. Qualities vary in thickness, texture, length and color. These qualities must be considered before a style can be selected. Although there are exceptions to every rule there are basic considerations when choosing a hairstyle. Here are a few rules of thumb:
What is my lifestyle?
Sporty, career minded, stay at home mom, student, artistic type or other? I ask this question because if you’re an athletic type, maybe hair long enough to put into a ponytail will work or a short cut that’s no fuss for frequent showers. A professional woman may want to consider a blunt bob that always looks crisp and is fairly easy to blowout in the morning. Depending on the length it may be able to be pulled into a chignon for a special meeting or client pitch.
A stay at home Mom may appear to have all the time in the world but from my own experience the last thing I thought about as a new mom was my hair. I needed simple and fast and for me that was a relatively short chin length bob with bangs. Artistic types may seek a trendier look that expresses their artistic nature such as a highly textured or creative cut with fun color. Students are at the mercy of their schools area salons and will gravitate to the stylists that best fit their culture. From the very trendiest dreadlocks and purple streaked hair to the classic long locks and cropped bangs, all is acceptable on campus where students are free to express themselves.
How much time can I devote to styling my hair every day?
15 minutes, 30 minutes or none at all? 15 minutes is enough time to wash and blowout a short to chin length hairstyle with support products like gels, styling lotions and waxes, add another 15 minutes to that for flat ironing or using a curling iron or hot rollers. If you cannot or will not spend any time on your hair then plan on getting a fabulous haircut that works with your texture and face and maintain it regularly.
How much can I afford to spend on my hair and regular maintenance?
Good hairstylists, professional hair color and salon products can be expensive. I for one am a great believer in using the recommended products your stylist uses particularly if you loved the results. If money is an issue I suggest you buy one at a time until you build your beauty supply or shop the sales.
A haircut schedule for a detailed short haircut will range anywhere from 3-6 weeks, a short to medium blunt cut will hold its shape much longer, 8 weeks sometimes. Most long hair styles can go 6-10 weeks in between haircuts. Bangs on any hairstyle may require recuts every 3 or 4 weeks. Most stylists welcome in between bang touch ups at no or a minimal charge.
Hair color is a place where upkeep or lack thereof is noticeable. There’s nothing worse than a stripe of another color down the part line and along the hairline announcing “I don’t have time, money or interest in getting hair color!” If you really want color think it through, have a discussion with your stylist before you begin as to how much time and money you will need to maintain it.
Finding your very own style is a journey and one worthy of your efforts. Sometimes less is best, and when in the mood for fun trend is just right!