The bustling energy from fashion weeks around the world has affected each one of us. Be it a wardrobe cleanse or a shopping expedition, everyone is inspired. But it’s not just about what we’re seeing on the runway.

The real magic happens away from both the catwalk and the harsh lights of the press pit, and is certainly one of the key assets in making the clothes (and models) look magnificent. Yes indeed, we’re bantering about backstage beauty.

The spring 2012 runway shows saw an avalanche of looks inspired from various eras, historic muses and street style looks. But adhering to’s motto, we’ve filtered out the best of the trends for 2012 so you don’t have to go to the trouble of hunting through the hundred-gazillion styles.

Our full beauty bible feature is about to arrive, so to kick things off and to help us narrow the guide down, we sat down with Australia’s self-monikered ‘king of the runway’, Napoleon Perdis during his trip back to his hometown, Sydney.

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spring 2012 beauty

When you attach your name to a global cosmetic brand, you’re expected to be eccentrically passionate about your job. And Napoleon Perdis certainly doesn’t disappoint with his zealous commentary and tongue-in-cheek humour.

This man is a live wire when it comes to make-up trends. For someone who shuffles between Los Angeles and Sydney faster than a dubstep dancer, Napoleon is well established as a candidate to interpret runway looks into achievable everyday trends that possess the longevity factor.

However, we come bearing good news. You don’t have to wait for many of 2012’s months to have passed until you can dust your face with a fresh touch of spring, because Napoleon has shortlisted the top spring 2012 beauty trends that can be worn right now. What’s better than having bite-sized happiness of next year well before it arrives?

These foolproof trends have a lifeline of over 12 months so, without further ado, it’s time to beautify.

Spring 2012 makeup trends you can wear now

In the following mini how-tos we structure the make-up looks around autumn / fall 2011 as we interviewed Napoleon Perdis specific to this. However, being spring / summer looks, what follows is just as relevant to’s Southern Hemisphere readers who are now entering spring / summer 2011.

Matte complexion

The irony of this trend is that to create a timeless look, you need to step away from the trends. This balanced-out skin tone is an inspiration from the 80s and 90s, where a shiny or glossy face was nowhere to be seen. Napoleon suggests opting for muted colours, be it for eye shadow or nail lacquer.

Tips from Napoleon Perdis:

  • First rule is to always apply primer. You want your skin to be as close to perfect as it can get before applying foundation.
  • When picking foundation, go for a powder-based variety.
  • Steer clear of applying illuminator or highlighter in your t-zone.
  • Leave your forehead bare, as the foundation isn’t a mask. Apply it only in the center of your face and then blend outward for a natural look.

matte face foundation

Contoured cheeks

During damp wintery days, a minimalist beauty look is usually the fastest way to look crowd-friendly. The secret behind this no-makeup drama is inspired by spring’s take on a sun-kissed look. Napoleon’s secret – “The wonder of contouring is complexion perfection at its best!” He says nude and muted tones are coming back for spring 2012, but that’ll also work for fall due to its versatility.

“A high cheek bone with a kiss of peachy pink blush is an epitome of Hollywood glamour. And why wouldn’t you want to look like you’ve just got dressed for the red carpet?” he says.

Tips from Napoleon Perdis:

  • Sweep bronzer under the jaw line from the ear to the chin, it has a slimming effect and will make the face look more angular.
  • Make a fish-face and apply the bronzer under the cheekbones. Always stroke in an inward motion – from the ear towards the center of the face.
  • To perfect the sun-kissed guise, dab cream blush on the apples of your cheeks and take it out all the way till your ears. Always smile when applying blush and work in circular, dabby motion.
  • Add some highlighter powder on the top of your cheeks to create a halo effect.

cheekbones contouring makeup

Bare eyed mascara

Ditch every other eye tool in your make-up drawer, as to master this trend, all you need is an eyelash curler and mascara. This 60s-Twiggy-inspired, bare-eyed mascara look has taken the celebrity-filled red carpet by its horns and it’s only fair that you include that in your daily ritual too. This trend is all about the lashes, but the secret is to keep them natural; let the eyeliner or eye shadow go on a much-deserved break.

Tips from Napoleon Perdis:

  • Always apply mascara first, even before foundation. It opens up the eyes and creates a road map for your face. You might find that you don’t need as much makeup as you thought you did, post-application.
  • Curl your lashes and whack on an eyelash primer to create a base.
  • Avoid lumps by brushing lashes with a lash comb after wriggling on the mascara.
  • Beef up the fringing on the corner of the lashes with some individual false eyelashes.
  • Black and dark browns are colour picks for fall.

mod eyelashes beauty trend

Metallic colours

To update your look from summer to fall, include accents of warmer hues in your everyday make-up routine. If plums, violets and olive scare you, then opt for metallic shades. A little dust of silver under the eye or a sparkly topcoat of nail lacquer will not make you look like a teenager. Napoleon suggests, “Don’t be scared to add sparkle during the day. If it makes you feel on-trend and fashionable, brave against the boring and dull crowd on the street”.

Tips from Napoleon Perdis:

  • Use loose sparkle powder for fall, as opposed to creamy-based gels. They tend to stick-on and create high shine.
  • Two spots for metallic sparkle for the eyes – under the eye and on inner and outer corner.
  • Metallic nail polish is a subtle way of approaching this trend. You can stick with a natural flawless face, but make a statement with the nails.
  • A smoky eye is always a winner, be it any season. Opt for metallic eyeshadow shades of charcoal and grey to fit the trend.

metallic eyeshadow trend

Brows are bold but feminine

Not sleeky thin or roughly thick, for the next couple of seasons, brows are strict but groomed. This involves a lot of filling, perhaps even growing them out to get optimum results for next year. For now, stay clear from pointed or bushy looks. Napoleon takes runway inspiration for this season from Oscar de la Renta and Donna Karan for this trend.

Tips from Napoleon Perdis:

  • Observe the directions towards which the hair is growing. When filling the brows, follow the path and colour in that direction.
  • A brow pencil always needs to be a shade or two lighter than the hair colour.
  • Keep it sophisticated but strong. Brows are the map of the face, let them make a statement.

heavy eyebrows beauty

Nude vs classic red

This cold war between nude and red lips is a never-ending saga. The bright stained lips have had enough publicity, and Napoleon says this fall, the pout needs a warm nude shade. “Pop of colour on a dreary winter day is classic, but we can change things around. Everyone will be making a statement with their eyes while toning down the lips,” says Napoleon. But if you’re a bold lip enthusiast, then read over our spring lipstick colours guide.

Steps by Napoleon Perdis:

  1. Dab the lips with a cream-based concealer. Stay on the outer edges to form an outline around the lip.
  2. To pick a shade best suited for your skin tone, compare the colour of the nude lipstick to the inside of your lips. The lipstick should be one or tones darker.
  3. Use a lip brush to paint the lips, starting from the centre.
  4. To finish off, dab some loose powder over the lips for extra effect.
  5. If all else fails, simply pick a nude gloss. It’ll conceal the natural pinkish hues of the skin.

nude lipstick trend

If you like any beauty trend in particular and would like us to report on it in more detail, let us know in the comments below.

Main image: Versace SS12 by Simon Ackerman @ Elite.

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