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Let's go mad this autumn

Now that the children have finally returned to the classroom, the reality that we're really into autumn is hitting home. While everyone and their granny knows that August is technically the first of the autumn months, in Ireland we never treat it as such.

Not until September 1 rolls around does it become at all acceptable to start murmuring about the evenings getting darker and there being a definite change in the weather.

Since we're well into the month of September at this stage, it's time to pack away those flip-flops and bright nail varnishes.

Take a look at the biggest beauty trends for the coming season (and more importantly, how to wear them).

Retro lady

Good news if you've been dying to unleash your inner Betty, Joan, or Peggy on the world; the Mad Men influence is all around for the rest of 2010. The emphasis was on all things ladylike, elegant and glamorous at Prada and Louis Vuitton -- Dita von Teese must be thrilled silly -- where key points of reference were the 1950s and early '60s.

Runway to reality: Skin should look nothing less than perfect: what you're after is a matte-yet-glowing look. When it comes to foundation, it's imperative to choose one that matches your skin tone, and using a foundation brush will give the ultimate finish. Lightly dusting on a translucent powder with a large, fluffy brush will lend a matte quality to skin without smothering it or adding any additional colour to your base.

When it comes to eyes and lips, nothing says '50s quite like strong, winged black eyeliner and a red pout. Try a lip stain or tinted lip balm rather than lipstick to keep the look fresh and modern. Pair with a sheer veil of a rosy or peach blusher on the apples of the cheeks, but skip the bronzer and be sure to avoid products with very obvious glitter or shimmer particles.

Ski bunny

It seems that there's a new 'healthy' every season, and a 'fresh off the slopes' glow has replaced 'bronzed babe' as the healthy look for this autumn.

Runway to reality: A luminous, tinted moisturiser or foundation is the easiest way to achieve the radiant skin required for this look, but you could also use a cream highlighter, and oily skinned gals can cheat their way to a luminous finish using a highlighting powder.

When choosing your highlighting product, look for one that's simply iridescent and shimmery rather than chock-full of glittery bits. Remember, the look is ski bunny, not disco bunny.

Apply your chosen highlighter after your usual foundation in the shape of a sideways V. Take it along the tops of the cheekbones, blend it up around the temples and then take it back onto the orbital bone, just underneath the outer corner of the eyebrows. Finally, use a small amount across the most prominent part of the forehead and remember to blend.

Keep eyes neutral, forgo heavy liner, and swap black mascara for brown. A girly, rather than super-bright, pink or apricot cheek and lip will finish this look off nicely; try a cream blush to keep things dewy (and a two-in-one cheek and lip product to keep costs down.)

The '90s

With the return of kitten heels, pointy-toed shoes, flared trousers, the colour camel and tartan prints, it's obvious that fashion is having a '90s moment this season. Beauty followed suit and make-up artists opted for pared-down palettes at recent shows. Models looked bare-faced yet perfectly polished on the Stella McCartney and Balmain runways, while Alexander Wang went for '90s grunge with messy, smoky eyes.

Runway to reality: Flawless skin (are you seeing a theme emerging here, eh?) is the starting point for both of these looks.

For full-on '90s minimalism, just use a neutral blusher, face powder, or light, matte bronzer for sculpting once your base is in place. Blend it under the cheekbones, dust across the hairline and temples, and use to define eyes.

Really good brows are firmly back in focus this season, so ensure yours are perfectly shaped and defined and held in place with brow gel. Pat on a little lip balm and you're done -- one of the hallmarks of this look is no mascara.

Yes, seriously

If you suspect true minimalism might just make you look like you forgot to put on half your face, you can always channel the Armani Privé take on things.

Taupes, browns, beiges, and minks were used to create subtle, smoky eyes, shot through with gold or copper for a metallic flash that would make transitioning from day to night easy. Lips were glossy with barely-there neutral or pink shades.

For a moodier, grungy '90s look, use muted copper, rust or khaki shades to create a dark smoky eye. Blend it up on the browbone and under the eye along the lower lashes and be careful to leave no harsh lines. Lining the upper and lower lashlines with black eyeliner will minimise the myxomatosis effect that can accompany red-based eyeshadows.

Alternatively, you can skip the shadow altogether and concentrate solely on your black eyeliner instead -- just rim the waterline as well.

Strong eyes not your thing? Well, the '90s berry pout as a facial focal point is back with a bang. And with raspberry to cherry to vampy purplish blackberry, from sheer and glossy to opaque and matte, this time around there's a shade and finish to suit everyone.


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