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How To… Beat the Autumn Blues


AutumnDark. Cold. Sad. Those were the first impressions my 5 year old self had when my family first moved to the UK from Africa. We arrived in September, right at the end of summer, and to us barefoot sun worshippers it seemed a world away from what we were used to. The sun stayed stubbornly hidden so the days were grey- plus they only seemed to last a few hours!

To my mother this was unacceptable. Her rebellion? To wear the absolute brightest, ‘happiest’ colours possible. My most dazzling early memory of my mother therefore seems to be of a neon pink shell suit jacket with matching fuchsia earmuffs. It was the 80’s… but in my opinion there are much better ways to beat the autumn blues and look fabulous this season.

So take a cue from Dylan Thomas and “Rage, rage against the dying of the light”! This may not have been exactly what the Welsh wordsmith had in mind when he wrote those immortal lines but  here are my 5 tops tips for not going quietly into autumn but celebrating the start of a gorgeous new season that has loads of exciting new potential for beauty.

  1. Colour, colour, colour. You know those big climactic scenes between the two lovers in a  romantic film? Where everybody is in blacks and browns and greys except those two people whose colourful clotheColours mark them out as special and the centre of attention? BE THAT GIRL. This is one trend we can carry on from summer and my top colour for this autumn has got to be teal. Get the right shade of this bold and beautiful blue-green shade and the more sedate and traditional autumnal hues will provide the perfect background for you to shine against. Experiment with this colour on your eyes and give the blue eye-shadow of the 80’s a modern and mature makeover- and mark yourself out as special.
  2. Gold. Even if tip no.1 doesn’t work for you, a more muted colour palette can still shine. By adding a gold shimmer to eyelids, cheeks, or even lips, you can immediately brighten up your face and add instant glamour. I think metallic shades in general will be really popular this autumn/winter. Use pewter for example to give the always popular smoky eye an edgy, but elegant update.
  3. Anothvixener look that I am loving this autumn is crafted around shades borrowed directly from nature. Thomas Maier, creative director for Bottega Veneta, says that he always looks to nature for colour inspiration and this autumn he recommends using a sensuous palette of muted browns and soft creams but warming it up with rich ‘grapes, brambles and lilacs’ to add drama and romance. Dark, glossy, vampy nails are a great way to achieve both drama and romance and my absolute favourite (and the one I am wearing right now) is a gorgeous plum shade called ‘Vixen’ by Revlon.
  4. Autumn is a more elegant season than the carefree bohemia of summer and a fantastic way to reflKieraect this is through the use of contouring. You have probably heard this word a lot recently, and I have a feeling you will be hearing it for a while yet. Chloe, Donna Karan, Blumarine, Giambattista Valli… they have all had their models sporting this sculptured look on the runways. Simply blend a dark, matte powder in the hollows of your cheeks and dab a pale, shimmery shade above it and-voilà!- killer cheekbones that Kate Moss would be jealous of.
  5. Perhaps the one good thing about the nights starting earlier and earlier is that you don’t have to feel guilty for lazy, cosy evenings in. After all, you can’t curl up in front of a fire, or snuggle into a duvet when it’s still bright sunshine can you? So rage against the light as long as you can but when those nights start creeping in- embrace them! Run a hot bubble bath with scented oils. Light some candles. Play relaxing music. Perhaps pour yourself a glass of wine or open a box of chocolates. Pamper yourself. Beauty is all about doing things to make yourself feel good. So, my best beauty tip this autumn is simply to treat yourself! The better you feel, the better you will look.
2 Comments leave one →
  1. Trudy permalink
    12/09/2010 17:11

    oh my goodness – yes! I remember the pink jackets – I think at a later date my mother AND your mother had identical pink jackets!! think they had, at that point, moved away from the shell suit thing thankfully.

  2. 13/09/2010 18:32

    From Dark, Sad, cold to… Bold, Brave and Beautiful!
    What a great article! I am inspired to have FUN with “colour” and..BE THAT GIRL!!

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