The new year always starts with awards season, and awards season always features some of the newest, hottest trends in fashion, beauty, and hairstyling. So what seems to be heating up the red carpets this year? Flesh - as in skin-tone copying, hint-of-bare hues in makeup and clothing, as well as peep-toe shoes, and lace cutouts and designs in dresses and other clothing.
We all remember Lady Gaga's over-the-top lace and mesh ensembles from all the music awards last year, but many more conservative lace looks are starting to hit runways and retailers in 2011. Celebrities as different as Kristen Stewart, Michelle Williams, Leighton Meester have all been spotted sporting lacy dresses in a variety of styles, from goth to Victorian-sweet to super-sexy.
The two keys to pulling off your own lace revolution are to stay pretty close to your own favorite style and to recognize the limitations of lace. While not necessarily frilly, lace adds a certain feminine touch (it's one of the few fabrics guys pretty much never wear these days), and trying to achieve a hardcore look with it is most likely going to fall flat - or even worse, look trashy. For a super-luxe look, try an A-line, full-skirted, or fitted dress that uses the lace as a screen or cover. The contrast of the lacy texture and the smoother fabric underneath - not to mention possible color and shading combos - will make you outfit seem both more vibrant and softer; people won't be able to stop looking, and they'll want to touch!
For a more daring take on the look, choose tops, dresses, and bottoms that use lace cutouts or ruffles strategically; show off great legs or flat abs with small panels of lace without any other fabric underneath. You'll be showing skin without really showing it - very flirty! Or, use bunches of lace, like ruching, at places like the neckline and torso to draw attention away from problem spots, slimming your profile.
Another hot, "barely-there" fashion look, of course, is nude, peach, or skin-toned clothing and makeup. A lot more women these days are realizing that less is more, and a high-glam routine can also look - and be - high-maintenance. But toning down doesn't have to mean going drab! Peach, coral, deep brown, and tan colors can complement you skin tone, accentuate your curves, and give that sizzling illusion that you may, just may, not be fully clothed, from a distance.
So what's the secret to pulling off a nude-toned look without a celebrity stylist? First things first: everyone's "nude" is not the same. Try to find colors that compliment your skin tone without necessarily matching it exactly. Going a shade lighter or darker than your skin will keep confusion at bay and prevent parents from covering their kids' eyes as you walk down the street! Also, warmer undertones call for shades with a bit more orange, red, and bronze in them, while cool skin tones should opt for shades containing blue, purple, and jewel tones.
Next, try not to overdo it. Pairing a nude-colored dress with pale, peachy lip gloss, nude-colored pumps, light-colored jewelry, and a shimmery eye is almost like erasing yourself or trying to look like a ghost. Balance lighter-colored clothes with a bold lip or smoky eye, or kick up your mocha-brown ensemble with gold earrings, cream-colored shoes, or a bold, emerald scarf. Similarly, sporting a super-tight, flesh-colored dress is probably not the best idea, unless you've got a million-dollar trainer and body confidence to boot. Add flair to skin-toned pieces so they don't look like body stockings; try wider sleeves, flowing skirts, or loose fits altogether. After all, the idea is a hint of skin...not simply all of it!
Take care of yourselves,