Autumn trend watch
Autumn is one of my favourite times of year when it comes to beauty. The sad passing of the summer is eased by the introduction of deep plummy lipsticks, glittering eye shadows and darker, more glamorous, evenings to shine in.
And personally, I've just about had enough of coral and turquoise shades at this stage anyway.
The proliferation of vampire films, books and television series has had an impact on beauty trends, and there is a very clear influence of violet and blood-red eyeliners, deep red and black-plum lips, and dark nails.
The nude skin look is still a huge trend, as personified over the last year by Angelina Jolie (although even she has started to introduce the shades of twilight into her eyeshadow palette).
This autumn brings the addition of contouring on cheekbones, inspired by the 1980s (think Cheryl Cole). But fear not. It's all about the blending this time around, so there should be no fearsome stripe of blusher on the jawline.
This autumn's beauty trends don't do things by halves, so pick a look -- whether it's mysterious black eyes or a bold lip. Just don't do them all at the same time or you'll look as if you fell head-first into your make-up bag.
This year's love for flawless nude skin is a look that's going to run and run.
Here's our guide to the products that will help you achieve it.
Maybelline Dream Creamy moisturising foundation (?12.34)
Pros: Gives a dewy finish.
Cons: Can look shiny on oily skin.
Rimmel Match Perfection (?11.70)
Pros: Adapts to your skin tone.
Cons: Not great coverage.
Clarins Instant Light Brush-On Perfector (?27)
Pros: Magically gets rid of dark circles.
Cons: A little pricey.
17 Hide and Chic Eye Brightening Concealer (?8.79)
Pros: Cheap and does a good job.
Cons: Not great coverage.
Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse (€11.95)
Pros: Comfortable on skin.
Cons: Medium coverage.
Mac Pro Longwear Concealer (€17.50)
Pros: Great dark shades to contour cheeks.
Cons: A little matte so you have to work fast.
There is something about putting on a perfect pout. Be it shiny vinyl gloss or powdered matte red, when you're wearing lipstick you simply have to up your game.
It's like putting on a tightly laced corset: you can't help but sashay rather than walk as a result.
To avoid colour bleeding, outline the lip with a matching pencil, then fill your lip entirely.
Apply several layers of lipstick, blotting each time. Add a little more liner and blot one last time. Finish with some translucent powder.
Giorgio Armani new Lip Ink (€24)
Pros: You can layer this non-gloopy, liquid lip colour to a deep gothic shade (try Black Purple).
Cons: Can look a bit Halloween if you use too much.
Chanel Rouge Coco lipstick range (€25.50)
Pros: These lipsticks do the impossible by blending hydration with long-lasting colour.
Cons: With 20 shades to choose from, you might end up buying two.
MAC lip pencil (?15)
Pros: Has a nice brick hue, which will make any red lipstick suitable for most complexions.
Cons: Can give a bad early 1990s look if not blended properly.
Rimmel Vinyl Gloss (?6.55)
Pros: Gives a brilliant shine.
Cons: Can be messy.
One trend I'm very happy to see make a big return is the classic 1960s black eyeliner paired with big hair, along the lines of what Nico from the Velvet Underground used to wear.
That definitive sad-serious girl look was all over the catwalks for A/W 2010.
I think this looks better when it's not too perfect: smudged liner gives the slept- in look which is much sexier.
This look works best with flawless, sculpted skin, not a lot of blusher and a nude lip enhanced with a balm such as Lush's It Started With A Kiss tinted lip balm (?6.50).
Lancôme Ink Artliner (€28.50) and Bobbi Brown Long-wear Gel Eyeliner (€22)
Pros: Easy to apply and adjust, but once finished they stay in place all day and all night.
Cons: The price, but they last forever.
*Sisley Phyto Khol Star glittering eyeliner in Dark Amethyst (?33.50)
Pros: A subtle, glitter liner for sophisticated grown-ups (this comes in its own velvet pouch which made me swoon a little).
Cons: The price.
Chanel has been winning hearts with its cult nail colours ever since Uma Thurman wore Rouge Noir in Pulp Fiction.
This autumn, expect the brand's chameleon purple Paradoxal (€21) to be as hard to get your hands on as Particuliere was earlier this year.
Giorgio Armani has just introduced a vampish Dark Bleu no 47 (€19), which I've a good feeling about too.
Pros: Bold shades catch the eye.
Cons: Dark shades can be unflattering if your hands and nails are not in top condition.
Keep nails short and neat or grow them with Sally Hansen Miracle Nail Strengthener (€10.95).