Summer is in full swing and it’s time to sample some new products and revamp your old beauty routine before the sun fades. Make it modern, make it easy and most of all, make it a little more unconventional this time around.

Instead of the old “tried and true” summer trends — you know the drill: bronzer, lip gloss, mascara, beach-y waves, ponytails and topknots — why not think outside the box and give a few of the season’s atypical trends a go? It doesn’t’ have to be exactly what’s on the runway or red carpet — make it your own — but eschewing habitual styles might just give you a whole new beauty outlook and attitude. After all, staying fresh is always on trend.

Seen on the spring/summer runways of Prada, Burberry and most notable at the Giles show, where models’ bright pink super-matte lips were achieved with lipstick and pigment overtop to set and remove all shine.

Not only beautiful, but a fresh take on plain old lipstick and gloss. And, I just love the contrast of the matte lip with super glowing skin.

Get the Look:

Step 1 – Start out with luminous, well-moisturized skin and only cover what needs covering with a sheer base of light  foundation or concealer. A modern makeup statement, you want to avoid a heavy application of foundation and powder —nothing dates a look more.

Step 2 – Lightly contour your cheeks with a bit of matte or semi-matte bronzer, just enough to give a small hint of definition.

Step 3 – Apply a cream highlighter to the tops of your cheekbones to catch the light.

Step 4 – Keep your eyes very simple. Apply mascara only if you must. (Try to fight the urge if you can, it’ll be worth the change.)

Step 5 – Use your finger to remove any excess makeup smears and to soften any hard lines.

Step 6 – Finally, take a bit of powder blush or eyeshadow and dab it overtop of the lipstick with a small shadow brush or cotton swab. You don’t need a lot, just a bit to take away the shine. You can also use translucent powder, especially if you feel as though the colour needs to be a little more muted.

Try: Nars Sheer Glow Foundation and Tom Ford Lip Colour in Flamingo 

Beautiful hair was all over the runways for spring, but my absolute favourites were the undone and naturally textured hair at Diane Von Furstenberg and the slick backed and sleek on top styles showcased at both Rag & Bone and Giambattista Valli.

Not only was it easy breezy (let’s be honest, who wants to be struggling with a blow dryer or flat iron under the pressure of summer’s smothering humidity), but I love the message it sent: embrace your natural texture and work with it, not against it!

Get the Look:

Option 1 – Figure out whether your natural hair texture tends more towards wavy or curly and stick with that — simply amplify. Work with a curling product on damp hair and twist sections while diffusing. Don’t overwork hair as it can create frizz, which though is natural and not always as bad as it seems! Use a curling iron to wave and detail sections that may need it. Make waves/curls as large as desired — have fun with it!

Option 2 – Should you have no natural wave or curl to work with, use your straight hair to your advantage for sleek summer styles. Wear it pin straight or slicked back in a low ponytail with centre part — very chic.

Option 3 – For all three textures, try slicking back your hair and going for a wet look. It’s not for everyone, and may not jive at the office, but it’s fun for a weekend or vacation look. Use a wet look gel or spray gel mixed with a bit of serum (to keep it softer) on the front, top and sides. Let your natural texture come through — it doesn’t have to look perfect. Keep the back of your hair dry and just run the residual product through it to smooth it out.

Try: Unite LIQUA Versa-Gel and Garnier Fructis Anti-Frizz Serum

You might think it’s the makeup at the annual Met Gala that gets me excited, but for me it is always about the hair.

Faux-hawks, pompadours, spikes, colour, bleached, twisted hairdos, and braids were in abundance at this year’s punk-themed celebration. My fave? The faux-shaved sides sported by the likes of Cara Delevingne, Jaime King and to an extent, Jennifer Lopez.

Get the Look:

Option 1 – You can work this look by either French braiding the sides or slicking them back, but for both methods, you will need small hair elastics and some hair pins.

Section off the top so that you only have to deal with the side you’re working on (keep the part nice and deep) and tightly french braid the side (you can do one or as many as you’d like), carrying it all the way to the back. Secure with an elastic or pin, whatever is most comfortable.

Option 2 – Or, use gel or hairspray to make the side super sleek. Brush right back and secure with bobby pins, crossing to lock in place. Use hairspray to secure, but do not laquer it solid.

My preference is to only do one side; it’s a more modern take on the look and not as obvious. That’s why it’s best to have the deep side part so that the rest of your hair flips over to the other side for a bit of volume.

Try: Sebastian Re-Shaper Brushable Humidity Resistance Strong-Hold Hairspray

Skipping what seems like an essential makeup element — mascara — seems crazy, right? What woman wants to do away with her mascara? Even still, I ask you to consider it, in the name of modernity.

With summer’s high temperatures, mascara has a way of just ending up half-way down your face or all clumpy-like after a dip in the ocean. Why fuss about with that mess when you can look current and edgy (and still beautiful) without it? Just check out the models from Alexander Wang’s and Alexander McQueen’s spring/summer 2013 shows for proof.

With gorgeous skin, a bit of luminous taupe-y eyeshadow and a bolder brow, you still get the definition of a strong eye look. Bonus: exploring a different side of sexy makeup looks without worrying about your beauty getting smudged up.

Get the Look:

Step 1 – Use a luminous sheer foundation to even out skin tone.

Step 2 – For cheeks, you may want a bit more than what was shown on the runway. Use bronzer to lightly sculpt under your cheekbones and apply a warm pink blush to the apples.

Step 3 – Dab a cream luminizer onto the tops of your cheekbones to highlight and add more dimension.

Step 4 – Using either a brow pencil or powder, fill in brows and blend with a spoolie brush as you go. Follow the natural lines of your brows, filling in any bald spots.

Step 5 – Move to eyes, remembering to keep it simple by lightly dusting your lids (up to the crease) and underneath with a neutral warm taupe shadow. Use matte or select a eyeshadow with a bit of shine to it. Make sure it’s softly blended.

Step 6 – Lips should be simple as well. You can go very stark with just balm, or pump it up with a bit of pink or peach lipstick, just keep it minimal and sheer.

Try: Benefit Watt’s Up Highlighter and Givenchy Le Prisme Mono Eyeshadow available at Sephora

There are tons and tons of insanely amazing hairstyles on the hit HBO’s hit show Game of Thrones…one that I am quite honestly addicted to! And, as fans of the series can vouch, Daenerys Targaryen sports the best of them. Why?  Because of the intricate, yet simple and sexy braided styles her character opts for when it comes to her hair. Clean or dirty, this girl is rocking bleach blonde waves with braid upon braid upon braid with utter confidence and girl power.

Get the Look:

Step 1: Go as crazy or as simple as you want. I love when hair is braided from the front (anywhere from 2-6 pieces), and then they are all braided together in the back. You can weave, fishtail, french, dutch or rope/twist braid, you can do multiple layers and you can vary the size from thick to thin. When you’re done with the braids, work the waves that they left in your hair.

Seriously, I could try and give you an exact description, but there are probably tons of video tutorials out there (check out this one), which are handy for this particular look. The key is: just put your own unique spin on it!

Try: Bumble & Bumble Surf Spray available at Sephora 

Published July 30, 2013