Beauty trend report: Dark Arts

Last updated 15:13 20/08/2012

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About the trend:

While we're beginning to think about bikini buying and spray tans, those in the northern hemisphere are snuggling down to survive the cold weather. With the onslaught of the European winter, designers are turning up the glamour as a way of fighting off the the drab weather blues. In what is perhaps a backlash from spring's pretty pastels and lady-of-the-manor looks, fashion has turned to the dark side, and following hot on fashion's tails with this look is beauty.

While Gucci and Jason Wu gave us dramatic and regal ready-to-wear garments, the makeup artists at Etro mimicked it with lipstick so dark it bordered on Gothic. Ox blood red is the colour of the winter season, with everyone from fashion houses to nail lacquer brands giving it a go. At McQ by Alexander McQueen dramatic silhouettes ruled from the garments to the hairstyles. Flawless alabaster skin was the feature of the beauty looks here, and a foundation of the Dark Arts trend.

Far away from the runways not not too far from fashion, film is also playing a starring role in strengthening the impact of this trend. Charlize Theron's extraordinary costumes and the movie's gloomy aesthetic is inspiring us to turn to the dark arts, to dabble in the drama of inky black feathers, contrasting textures, weapon-like accessories and a snow white complexion.

How to work it:


Give this trend a go with a flawless face and Dark Arts nails. Lay down a primer before applying a medium coverage foundation and blending well. Conceal where needed, and finish with a powder for a perfect cashmere texture. Sweep a nail lacquer over short rounded nails in a dark hue like ox blood red, merlot, or deep purple.


Love the trend but not ready to go the full hog? Use the perfect base steps from above, and sweep a deep brown over your entire eyelid to add drama. Rim the lower lid with a sweep of gold for glamour (as seen at Badgley Mischka). Fill in your brows with a brow shadow half a shade darker than your natural brows, making them quite thick. Use a brow brush to sweep them up and out (as seen at Etro). Apply brow gel if needed.

Fully Committed:

Love the look? Then go all the way. Follow the beginner and dabbling steps as above, but replace the brown eyeshadow with a wash of rich plum. Colour the lips with the deepest shade you can handle, and blot off the excess. Want to go a step further? Then match your lipstick shade to your nails. Top tip: Matte lipsticks work best for this trend.

Where to wear it:

This is a great trend for evening glamour. Go minimal and pin your hair back into a tight chignon, or enhance the drama with a head full of soft curls or waves.

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- Fairfax Media

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