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Beauty: The new looks for 2011

How women in Beirut, London, Tokyo, Sydney and Mexico City are redefining fashion trends.

January 16, 2011|By Alexandra Drosu | Special to the Los Angeles Times
  • Chemicals to curl hair like Taylor Swift's are gentler now.
Chemicals to curl hair like Taylor Swift's are gentler now. (Timothy A. Clary, ATP/Getty…)

There are more than 7,000 miles between Los Angeles and Beirut but when it comes to beauty, distance is meaningless. In a sophisticated world of technology and travel, beauty trends in one international style capital can influence those in others around the globe.

Here's what experts predict will be on-trend in five stylish cities this year, along with tips on how to adopt the looks here at home.


Originally from Beirut, hairstylist Ouidad has seen the women of her country battle their naturally wavy hair. For years, Lebanese women ironed their locks because they felt their hair was too bushy, she says, but today women are beginning to celebrate their curls. And this trend toward natural, textured waves will become more and more visible this year. "Women are expressing themselves more and letting their hair go free," Ouidad says. Imagine Rita Hayworth updated to 2011. The women of Beirut will look chic and polished with elegant, defined curls coupled with strong makeup, dark eyeliner and lipstick.

Get it in L.A.: Women wearing textured waves in Los Angeles often exude a carefree, messy style, so take a cue from Beirut and add a little polish to the look. Those who weren't blessed with waves should rethink the perm — today's formulations are gentler than previous solutions. A customized, textured perm (Ouidad offers them at her Santa Monica salon) can create beautiful waves like Taylor Swift's through the use of different sizes and shapes of rollers. Rest assured that the rods of yesteryear that yielded grandma-style kinks have been eliminated.


In 2011, the women of Tokyo are embracing beauty from the inside out, paying special attention to the skin both externally — eschewing white rice powder for a natural glow, for instance — and internally — through exercise and lifestyle changes. "Beauty supplements as well as beauty tools like facial massage rollers and nano-steamers will continue to be popular," says Nobuko Yamada, hair and makeup artist for the Shiseido Beauty Solution Development Center in Tokyo. An increasing number of women in Tokyo are seeking this beauty balance at home, doing their own beauty treatments instead of going to a spa. Using a facial massage roller (a roller outfitted with small suction cups) is said to relieve stress and gives the face an instant lift, while nano-steamers cleanse and rejuvenate skin.

Get it in L.A.: Focusing on internal health and incorporating facial spa treatments at home help prime the canvas, so to speak, so your skin can look its best with or without makeup. Pharmacists, such as those at the Organic Pharmacy in Beverly Hills, can recommend supplements to try for improved health and well-being. If you're interested in spa treatments at home, try out the Japanese Facial Massage Roller by Kai ($7.25,


The marriage of fashion and music has been defining trends in London for decades, and in 2011 we will see the runways continue to take a prominent role in London style. "We're bringing high fashion to High Street," says British hairstylist Laini Reeves, whose clients include fellow Brit Emily Blunt. Following fashion instead of celebrities gives women in the U.K. an opportunity to take some risks when it comes to hair. This year may bring structured shapes, shorter bangs and blendable, soft color with a little punky edge, Reeves says. And some London women may experiment with surprising colors, such as pinks and reds.

Get it in L.A.: Reeves recently opened a new salon in Los Angeles, Essensuals London Hairdressing on Melrose, that caters to those willing to experiment. But you don't need bright pink hair to embrace London trends. A few strips of subtle color underneath the hair can be played up or covered up.

Mexico City

The vivid colors of Mexico will be reflected in makeup as women are influenced by the 1980s, says Mexico City-based makeup artist Ana Gloria Perez. Bright shades of red and fuchsia will be slicked on lips and iridescent shadows in orange, green and purple will playfully highlight eyes. The people of Mexico City are influenced by fashion shows and designers from around the world, and women are eager to embrace a retro sensibility seen in the spring collections. The vibrant colors in makeup are particularly suitable to the complexions of many Latinas. "Their tone has more yellow and green undertones, so they can add more color to their makeup," Perez says.

Get it in L.A.: Bright colors may be more dramatic on pale skin, but as summer returns, experiment with vibrant makeup over your golden glow for a less stark look. Perez also suggests transforming your look from day to night, experimenting with more color as the sun begins to set. For day, embrace a natural look of translucent foundation, soft peach blush, mascara and lip gloss. Then dare to go retro for evening, sweeping orange or fuchsia over lids.


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