Two models at the Alexander McQueen show

Our trend advice? ~Make like McQueen and wear it all at once

We know, we know, it feels like we’re only just peeling off last winter’s 60 deniers (that’ll be the English ‘summer’ for you) before we’re onto autumn again but as any beauty scout worth her Ruby Woo will tell you, it’s best to be prepared. And prepared we are with a whole host of insta-worthy beauty looks you’ll need to start prepping now.

The buzzword for the beauty trends of 2016? ‘Individuality’ with a capital ‘I’ (in fact just go ahead and caps the lot – it was the backstage mantra EVERYWHERE). Shows from Vivienne Westwood to Marc Jacobs chose to create totally different looks on every model with make-up maestro Sharon Dowsett summing up the casting as “the most diverse I’ve seen in my career.”

And with this in mind, here’s how to tackle the 2016 beauty trends, your way…..

Model at Christian Dior with black lip

Lips turned to the dark side for Autumn/Winter 2016 with a brooding palette of forbidden fruits. Aside from Marc Jacobs where Francois Nars turned to the New York underground scene for his ‘slightly strange, dramatic, blacker than black’ pouts, the rest of the designers refrained from going too gothic by keeping the skin super fresh and youthful and choosing slightly more forgiving hues on the lips that ‘flirt on the edge of black’ such as deep burgundys, plums and russets (saying that we’re totally digging Dior’s vinyl black lips which were paired with spidery – make that tarantula-like – lashes). To make it a little less severe for real life, soften the edges with a Q-tip and add a bit of balm in the centre of the lips as matte black can be tricky to pull off.

Model backstage at Akris

Forget feline flicks, liner has gone a tad more conceptual (and totemic) this season eschewing traditional placement rules (lashline? What’s that?) for daubs and strokes that bordered more on facial embellishment and looked like a cross between Inuit tribal markings and futuristic warrior princesses.

At Giamba, make-up maestro Val Garland offered a nod to punk beauty with variations of black liner: 'Some girls have a floating liner, some have it under the eye – it all depends on the mood and the model.' Partly rimmed eyes (where sections of the waterline are lined with khol) are about as traditional as it gets in the eyeliner stakes this season. Interested? These are the best eyeliners as tried and tested by InStyle's beauty editors.

Model backstage at Burberry

It’s official girls – glitter IS cool (I mean, we always suspected…) When even Burberry eschews its signature palette of balmy buffs and nudes for some sparkle you know something’s up (that something being pure unadulterated razzmatazz). Make-up artist Wendy Rowe applied the (limited edition) Burberry ‘Shimmer Dust’ to the outer corners of the eyes and tops of the cheekbones for a look that she described as: 'Eclectic; a mix of earthy opulence and nude individuality.' Read more: how to do glitter make-up.

And such is the nature of glitter – it’s impossible to be too precise with it – so don’t even try (the phrase ‘whack it on and hope for the best’ springs to mind).

Model backstage at Jason Wu

Lashings of lashes were the order of the day and by ‘lashings’ we mean as much product as you can cram onto your eyes and then some... More twisted doll than Twiggy, the brief was simple; load up the mascara and then reload (again and again and again). Backstage, the make-up maestros scooped out the mascara before applying it with small fan brushes to ensure each lash had a decent coating of product with safety pins on hand to help separate (don’t try this at home kids!). Use our round-up of the best mascaras to help you get started with this trend.

Model backstage at Alexander McQueen

It’s time to raid granny’s jewelry box as hair accessories took on a distinctly ‘cash in the attic’ feel. The trend magpies of every type will adore, it centres on ‘objets trouve’ and turning jewellery into hair bling. Hairstylist Anthony Turner was at the forefront of the trend embellishing his mini braid at Peter Pilotto with a sparkly Swarovski piece that started life as a choker whilst over at McQueen, hair legend Guido  accessorized his 'textured wrapped updo' with an eclectic mix of costume jewellery. 'There’s no rhyme or reason to the placement. The more eccentric the look is, the more style it has'. The number one rule? When dressing your hair up with jewels, dress the texture down girls. More on this embellished beauty trend this way...

Models backstage at Victoria Beckham

Why confine yourself to wet or dry when you can do both at once? Even better than having your (beauty) cake and eating it? This look works wonders on day two (ok make that day four) hair aka ‘slick’ on top with dry ends. At Victoria Beckham hair legend Guido Palau described how contrasting your textures can instantly update classic ‘dos: 'this modern, dual texture is a great way of amping up your every day ponytail into something special.' He started by using a ghd Air hairdryer, £99, to blow-dry the hair back off the models faces before securing into a pony at the nape of the neck and spritzing the front with tons of strong-hold hairspray for a wet-look shine. Next, he used the ghd Curve Soft Curl Tong, £120, to add a bit of ‘movement’ to those models with poker straight hair. (We love it when we can have it all).

Model backstage at Marc Jacobs

For autumn/winter 2016’s most Instagrammable hair, behold the Marcel waves at Marc Jacobs, Stella McCartney, Opening Ceremony et al. Less Downton frump, more FKA Twigs cool, 'it’s quite a strict look,' explains Anthony Turner for L’Oreal Professionnel. 'Keep it fresh with a low side-parting and dual texture, like a natural, glossy pony.' Despite the modern, ‘party at the front’ hedonistic vibes of the look, the technique for achieving it is pure vintage with an old-school set so it’s time to break out the Kirby grips and dust off that strong-hold hairspray.

Model backstage at Marchesa

In direct contrast to the youthful, millennial ‘street’ inspired dos on the catwalks was an altogether more reserved, womanly trend that could have stepped straight out of a period drama. Backstage, hairstylists referred to 19th century paintings when describing hair looks that mimicked historic portraits. At Prada, Guido wanted the hair to feel ‘romantically antique’ whilst at Oscar de la Renta his ‘period, old-fashioned hairdo’ was given a ‘feminine, womanly’ touch by creating ‘bagginess’ at the nape of the chignon which he described as ‘something from an 1800s painting’. The 1800s were clearly the year du jour as Marchesa cited the same inspiration for the chignons and twisted knots that floated down the catwalks where the ears were covered to make them feel like historic portraits. Just call us Lady Mary.

Model backstage at Preen

Ok, we hear ya, dark nails may not be the biggest revelation for autumn/winter 2016 but what was surprising was just how much they dominated the shows and they were spotted everywhere from DKNY to Preen. At first glance, it seemed as though black reigned supreme but scratch beneath the surface and a vortex of colour was unveiled albeit very, very dark. 'Prune noir, Bordeaux noir, maroon noir – colours that read as off-black feel really interesting right now,' says MAC’s mani-extraordinaire Marian Newman. 


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