Get one step ahead with our foolproof guide to sensational Afro hair and beauty throughout this year. Claire Muffett-Reece sought out international make-up artist and WOW Beauty creator Denise Rabor for her essential advice.
THE TREND: BRIGHT LIPS
Pucker up that pout: this season’s lip shades are certainly set to stand out from the crowd!
“Bold lip colours have made their presence felt on the catwalk over the last few seasons, but it’s no longer just about red lips,” says Denise. “You can now go for pretty much any colour… orange, pink or purple – you name it, you can wear it! Start by prepping your lips by exfoliating and hydrating them with lip balm – do this regularly and your lips should soon be in great condition. Next, to make your lip colour last, prime your lips with lip primer or foundation, before applying your shade either directly from the tube or using a brush. Blot with a tissue and apply another coat, then to avoid the ‘lipstick on your teeth’ scenario, put your pointing finger into your mouth, close your lips around it and pull it out.
“If you are going for matte lips, make sure that your skin has a glow to it, to prevent your make-up looking flat and one dimensional. Equally, if you’re going for shiny lips, then a more matte face will add the perfect contrast.”
THE TREND: KEEP IT SHORT
It’s always summer somewhere in the world, with the hot weather the perfect excuse to eradicate damaged locks and go for the chop!
“Crops are the ideal style to show off your stunning cheekbones and features,” says Jamie. “Your stylist is best placed to let you know what will suit, but never fear – we can generally tweak any style to suit most individuals! Your face shape dictates this primarily: oval faces suit crops brilliantly, while any other face shape will need a cut that maintains softness to make a crop work. Shorter haircuts will always be a trend, because they’re striking, easy to wear and low maintenance – which means your look will never go out of style! Plan a visit to your hairdresser every eight to 12 weeks to keep it looking fresh, and keep it versatile with length on the top and play with product to vary the looks.”
The Trend: BROWS
Brows are bigger than ever for 2019 – in terms of style and definitely not size. So, how do you keep them looking sophisticated – and not slug-like?
“Perfectly defined brows help to frame your entire face and bring out your eyes, with or without additional make-up. When enhancing your brows it’s often best to work with the shape that you were born with, as opposed to trying to change them completely, to ensure they look natural and not ‘drawn-on’ in style’. Start by using a brow brush to direct your brows up, which will allow you to see more of their original shape, as well as showing whether they are sparse or uneven.
“Next, powder the brow area with translucent face powder to remove any excess oils. Using short, dash-like upward strokes to mimic your natural hairs, softly fill in any sparse areas with your product of choice. It’s important to use a colour that best matches your brows and fill in lightly, building more if needed. Depending on your hair shade you may even want to opt for an ash tone or dark brown, as jet-black is often too harsh. Resist the urge to overly fill in the inside corners of the brows or make the end points too harsh, then brush through again to blend out the colour and soften harsh lines.”
THE TREND: BIG ‘FRO
The trend for big and beautiful, natural Afro, shows no sign of abating – yup, we’re doing a little happy dance!
There’s never been a better look to see 2019 in with style, so long as you realise that natural certainly doesn’t mean little or no maintenance. “Natural hair is more popular than ever,” says award-winning stylist Jamie Stevens (jamiestevenshair.com). “We’ve even been working with a wider colour palette in the salon, which looks equally as fantastic on natural hair. Always remember to work with your natural texture, and don’t overstyle or use excessive heat – you need your hair to look its very best! Speak to your stylist about cutting in shapes on natural afros, too –taking it shorter on the side or underneath, for example. Your colour should work with your cut as well, making sure it accentuates the shape of the curls. I love a hint of purple, green, blue, orange or red, working with a more muted palette, to gives your natural locks a subtle but unexpected colour pop.”
THE TREND: GLOWING SKIN
Applying make-up so you look like you haven’t applied make-up can be somewhat of a challenge, especially when you consider the continuing trend for dewy, youthful and glowing skin.
“A gorgeous glow begins with good skincare,” continues Denise. “It’s important to ensure your skin is properly cleansed, exfoliated and moisturised, adding a vitamin C serum to your skincare regime to give it an extra boost. If your skin type is combination or oily, you still need to ensure that it’s properly hydrated – it’s this hydration that gives your complexion a radiant glow, plus it allows your foundation to work much better.
“For the ultimate glow make sure that your foundation has the right undertone for your skin: yellow (warm) and red (cool) are the main undertones in black skins. The wrong undertone can make your foundation look ashy, so seek advice from a professional if you’re unsure what looks right for you. Remember that less is often more, starting with a good primer to help your make-up last longer, but also smoothing out any minor imperfections. Make sure you apply your foundation by starting at the centre of your face and working outwards, using a minimal amount so it enhances your skin – and doesn’t mask it.”
THE TREND: PASTEL HAIR
We love a bit of colour here at NAW HQ, and none more so than the delightful hair hues we have been spying all over the S/S19 catwalks. But whether you choose to go pretty in pink or luscious with lilac, there are still a few hair rules to follow.
“I’m happy to see pastels on the catwalks, and this is a look that can be stunning on afro hair if you do things right,” continues Jamie. “For a start never attempt to achieve pastel tones on your hair at home – the correction that may be required in-salon, should an at-home error occur, will be costlier in the long run. Bright colours against black skin tones are absolutely stunning, but to work well the hair needs to be pre-lightened – and this is 100% a salon job. Done incorrectly, the hair can become damaged and even break off! However, once pre-lightened you’ll have a base to continually colour on to, and pastels will fade out allowing you to chop and change between shades. Most pastel tones should work well, depending on the base underneath and the level of lightness – again this is something a professional stylist knows all about.”