AFI Fest 2012: The Must-See Beauty Looks

Five new beauty ideas to steal from the celebs.
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Michelle Villett
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Five new beauty ideas to steal from the celebs.

Beauty ruts. We all fall into 'em. And I'm no exception—in fact, I'm probably one of the worst considering what I do for a living. I love to play it safe with "pretty" hair, ballet pink nails, minimal makeup.

Yawn though. Also? Sometimes it's just a matter of changing ONE thing and flying with it. Like where you part your hair. Or what colour your put on your lips. Or the way you pull your hair back (if your usual thing is just tying it into a boring ponytail).

It doesn't have to be a big deal... and that's why I just have to show you the celebs who attended the AFI (American Film Institute) Festival the other day. Each one put the beauty focus in a different place, and I swear there is inspiration to be had here. Let's do this!

Marion Cotillard's voluminous updo

Marion Cotillard - Rust and Bone screening at AFI Fest 2012

I heart Marion so much. She's got that ultimate French girl look, you know? Like Laetitia Casta (who I swear is probably the most beautiful person I've seen in real life).

Anyway! Check out the front of Marion's hair here, yo. It's almost updo season, so this is important. Most of us, when we're putting our hair back, tend to keep it quite close to the head at the front and then worry too much about whatever situation is going on in the back. (Business in the front, party in the back?)

Or, if we DO think about the front, we're inclined to just pull little tendrils out. Which is fine... but can potentially go a bit prom-like if you're not careful. And if you don't do that and just leave it super-slick, it can sometimes look a little severe.

So what if you tried this instead? It's not hard to do—you just need to spray in a ton of volumizing prodz and/or dry shampoo, and then tease the under-layers by holding up sections and brushing downwards with a paddle brush. Smooth the top layer over and then spray with some Elnett to set. It would work for a bun or even a pony, and it gives you the softness in a whole new, modern way.

Seriously, think about it.

Kristen Stewart's burgundy shadow

Kristen Stewart - On the Road screening at AFI Fest 2012

Donna Karan was the one to introduce us to burgundy eyeshadow for the F/W '12 season (and before that, Miu Miu), and so now it's trickling down to celebs. It's just the way the beauty world turns.

When I first saw it on the runway, I was a fan—since I rarely meet a beauty trend I don't like—but for real life I did have my doubts. Sure, it looked great on models, but do the rest of us really want to put red tones near our eyeballs?

Thankfully, K-Stew is giving us an education in how it's done. If you compare this to the runway version, you'll notice that this one has a lot more liner, mascara and dark brown shadow going on to "ground" the burgundy. And that's the secret to pulling it off in real life. By emphasizing the lash line with more standard colours, you can throw red into the mix and end up with a cool twist on a smoky eye. It's very Studio 54, dontcha think?

Now, whether or not you pair it with lipstick in burgundy as well is up to you. (On the runway, they didn't.) If you're up for it though, I'd suggest pulling your hair back like Kristen's done here. (Notice she's got the Marion Cotillard volume through the bangs as well? Coolness.)

Eva Mendes' deep side part

Eva Mendes - Holy Motors screening at AFI Fest 2012

I was just at a beauty event this morning where we were talking about spring 2013 trends... and one of them is the deep side part. What'd I tell you guys?!

Eva's already on board here, and it's doing great things for her bone structure. It works really well with curls or waves to give them a retro-glam sort of look, but you don't even need to do that. Even if you're wearing your hair straight, just switching up that part will take it from everyday ho-hum blah to instant stylishness. I've said it before and I'll say it again: this is hands down the easiest thing you can do to update your look.

PS: While it looks a tad on the dry side, I really love Eva's hair colour here. Brunettes, take note: THIS is how you lighten naturally dark brown hair without going blonderexic. The warm tones are insane on her skin!

Mary Elizabeth Winstead's orange-red lips

Mary Elizabeth Winstead - Life of Pi premiere at AFI Fest 2012

Here's another easy one. And it reminds me of something I read on Twitter once about people who say a lipstick is "too bright." Too bright for WHAT? #dontbeboring was the hashtag if I recall correctly.

'Tis true. (Although women seem to be far more receptive to this stuff than men... Girl Hot/Boy Hot, you know the drill.) But when you need to dress things up yet don't have time to do anything complicated, then having a great, flattering, on-trend lipstick colour in your arsenal is the way to go.

The best orange-reds to try: NARS Lipstick in Heat Wave or MAC Lipstick in Lady Danger (which Glamour says looks good on everyone).

Amy Adams' sky-high bun

Amy Adams - On the Road screening at AFI Fest 2012

Okay, my crush on Amy Adams is officially back in business. She's just so darn adorable! And does not really seem to age. (Although I love it that she keeps it real with the crinkles around her eyes.) And the brows, if I may digress, are nice and naturel—just like I was talking about in this post about how the trend is towards fuller and straighter arches.

What I want to point out here, though, is the hair. The sky-high bun is one of the best anti-aging tricks in the book. Loads of hairstylists have told me that pulling your hair back and up is akin to an instant face lift... and while leaving everything tight to the head can be harsh on some face shapes, the big fat bun fixes all that. Do you see what I mean? Look at the photo again and imagine if it wasn't there. She wouldn't look nearly as cute, right?

To DIY this, you just need to pin the shiz out of a high pony. Fasten it with a clear elastic but on the final loop don't pull the bottom of the tail out. Take some hair and wrap it all around the elastic to conceal it, and then pin around the "bun" as needed until you're happy with the shape. Or you could also use a sock bun, although I kinda like the imperfect shape of this better.

What say you?

Would you try an updo like Marion or Amy?
How do you feel about Kristen's burgundy eyelids?
What about easy tricks like Mary Elizabeth's orangey lipstick or Eva's deep side part? Are you feeling all of this??