WHAT A BEAUTY!

As we launch the new H&M Beauty collection, get inspired by our top six cherry-picked trends to try out for autumn. From metallic eye cream to twisted topknots, there’s something for everyone!

These days, the hair and makeup sent down the catwalks are just as buzz-worthy and trendsetting as the clothes themselves. Then there’s the woman who single-handedly ignited the craze for contouring (we’re still looking at you, Kim Kardashian!). And finally, judging by the multitude of Instagram posts, Pinterest pins, bloggers and YouTube vloggers dedicated to the topic of beauty (Tips! Product reviews! How-tos! Hauls!), it’s safe to say we’re all obsessed with what goes onto our faces, hair and nails. In a good way, of course.

And why not? Makeup and hair have the power of transforming us into everything from a Bardot babe (exquisite cat eyeliner, pale lips and a messy bouffant) to RiRi ravishing (perfectly arched eyebrows, neutral eyeshadow and ever-changing mane). It’s a way to express personal style, for sure, but it also simply empowers us to look and feel our best.

With this in mind, we’ve not only rounded up the most fun and interesting looks for autumn, but also proud to launch our new beauty collection. With over 700 products – including makeup, hair care, body care and beauty tools – you can experiment with the latest trends to your heart’s content or discover that holy grail product and never let it go. All in some very chic packaging. So read on, be inspired and get ready to be even more beauty-obsessed.

GOODBYE CONTOUR, HELLO STROBING
If contour is about high-maintenance precision shading, then strobing is its less formal little sister. Instead of shading, the emphasis is on highlighting – a new way to enhance features. Use illuminators and radiance creams to draw light to the tops of cheekbones and the bridge of the nose, and dab clear gloss on eyelids. Think Gigi Hadid’s off-duty radiance. Seeking a masterclass? Look to the catwalk, where Stella McCartney, Christopher Kane and Jil Sander championed the effect.

DRAMA QUEEN 
It’s time for beautyphiles to get creative with theatrical looks, from the outrageous to the wearable. Take catwalk inspiration from Givenchy’s face jewels, Rick Owens’ gold leaf masks, and Rodarte’s strips of Swarovski crystals twinkling along the lash line. Then try the modified version, with a statement metallic eye cream, a sequin or two, or a strategically placed face gem applied with eyelash glue. Elsewhere it’s all about a painterly approach, whether freestyle tribal doodles (think FKA Twigs performing at the Brit Awards) or Marc Jacobs’ Hollywood heroine drawn-on brows. 

LOOK TWICE NAILS
Nail art is less extreme than it used to be, but there are still plenty of creative ways to express yourself through your fingertips. It’s all about nails that aren’t what they seem, such as those at Giles, where dark red lacquer was layered over black for a surreal, duo-colour effect. Or the two-tone talons at Marc Jacobs – a contrast of deep vampy red with beige half-moons. More playful is the “anything goes” Dior approach, with a different shade of the same colour worn on each hand. Be spontaneous, and pick the shades that match your mood.

EDGY UP-DOS
The best up-dos around are the ones that have plenty of attitude. So don’t be too precious, rather ready to play around and improvise. JW Anderson’s taut bun heads replicated the hairdo of choice in British discos circa 1983, in line with his in-your-face styling. At Marc Jacobs, the ladylike collection was accompanied by severe, twisted topknots, while Giorgio Armani ditched his usual elegance for up-dos that looked romantic from the front, but were twisted into artful spikes at the back.

HAUTE HAIR ACCESSORIES
Make space in the accessories drawer – there are some killer hair accoutrements doing the rounds. Prada’s jewelled hair clips had editors wondering if it’s possible to transform the average charity shop brooch into something just as lustworthy. Dolce & Gabbana was another statement-maker, wowing with ornate hairbands worthy of a Game of Thrones heroine. Slightly less extravagant but no less chic were understated leather hairbands seen at Fendi and Proenza Schouler, ditto sleek black ribbons at Chanel. For the time-poor minimalist, hunt out luxe matte barrettes, as seen at Rochas – the easiest way to elevate everyday hair. 

MOODY MOUTHS
Advances in lipstick technology mean that moody matte shades are no longer drying or uncomfortable to wear. Maybe that’s why we’re seeing a resurgence from street-style beauty stars, such as Jeanne Damas and Michelle Harper. On the runway, the look was dark and dense, such as goth-black lips at Giles, and deepest plum at Marc Jacobs (think silver-screen queens Bette Davis and Joan Crawford). But moody can be sexy, too. Julien Macdonald’s lace-clad models wore glossy garnet mouths, while young London newcomer Ashley Williams gave her Riot Grrrl-inspired models high-shine, inky black lips to match their PVC mini dresses. For the freshest look, keep the rest of your makeup understated, and let your lips do the talking.

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