Best And Worst Beauty Trends of 2012

From the haute couture runways of New York to the glamorous celebrity red carpet, beauty trends take hold and influence us all. Yet while some looks can captivate with enticing beauty, others can repel like bug spray. Here are the top trends to take with you to 2013, or leave behind in 2012.

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1BEST: Top Knot

The latest way to stylishly keep strands out of your face is with a top knot, which dominated the red carpet this year regardless of celebrity age. The head-topping style was seen in braided, messy and ballerina-like variations. “Anytime you work a style on the crown of the head, it looks young and gives your look playful attitude,” says celebrity stylist Danilo.

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2BEST: Textured Nails

One of the most maligned beauty trends of all time, nail art finally enjoyed its year in the sun. From Kelly Osbourne’s $250,000 black diamond manicure to Zooey Deschanel’s retro Emmy television tips and Jessica Biel’s mother of pearl caviar beads, celebs showed that quirk is cool. Yet experts credit the trend’s birth to Pinterest and Etsy, where DIY types proved that you don’t need a red carpet excuse to get creative.

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3BEST: Black Cherry Lips

Black cherry was the red carpet lip of choice this year, with beauties like Kate Bosworth and Camille Belle donning the distinctive hue at the Met Gala, and models at Gucci, Nina Ricci, Bottega Veneta and Viktor & Rolf Fall 2012 collections walking in the shade. As to what to pair with it: “Glowing skin with a strong matte brow and matte lip,” says makeup artist Pati Dubroff, who applied NARS Volga Pure Matte Lipstick for Bosworth’s black tie version.

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4BEST: Blushing Beauties

From the runways of Marc Jacobs to Ralph Lauren and Tracy Reese, a pop of peachy pink blush enlivened many a complexion with a sensual flush. Makeup artist Molly Stern translated the trend to apples of Julianna Marguilies’ cheeks at this year’s Emmys with Hourglass Illume Sunset Cream Bronzer Duo. “Everyone looks warmer and softer with a blush, even if it’s all you put on,” says Stern.

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5BEST: Deep Side Part

This one’s a classic. At highly photographed premieres and awards shows this season, celebrities stepped out in deep side parts—and there’s good reason for it. “Studies show that perfectly symmetrical faces are rated more attractive than faces with low symmetry,” says YouBeauty Attraction Expert, Viren Swami, Ph.D. A deep side part softens and distracts from asymmetric facial features, which look more balanced without the harsh split of a center part.

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6WORST: Neon Ombré

The deep-to-light gradation known as ombré took hold last year, and rapidly became popular for its hip yet approachable vibe. (Plus, it made roots a good thing and touchups a less common thing—what’s not to love?) Alas, we spoke too soon—now celebs like Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera have taken ombré the Skittles route, with exploding rainbow-colored variations that do anything but keep color on the down low.

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7WORST: Spider Lashes

In a nod to mod, painted-on lower lashes appeared on the runways of Jean Paul Gaultier, Derek Lam and Anthony Vaccarello, as well as on celebs like Ginnifer Goodwin. We couldn’t help but wonder: Is that a tarantula hiding under your eyes? Perhaps Tom Pecheaux, Estée Lauder lead artist and creator of the lashy look at Lam, said it best. “I wouldn’t do this for the real world—smudge eyeliner on the lower lashline instead.”

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8WORST: The Hair Bow

After Lady Gaga fashioned an oversized and very literal “hair bow” atop her head, an explosion of YouTube tutorials soon explained the painstaking process to get the look. The Hello Kitty-like style then began popping up everywhere from weddings to the red carpet, ultimately culminating (we can only hope!) with the hair bow to end all hair bows when 13 year-old Scottish singing sensation Tallia Storm stepped out in a whimsical take on the hair bow this fall. “Don’t twist and tease your hair to breaking point,” warns Danilo. “It’s best to use a hair piece when attempting sculptured styles.”

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9WORST: The Beehive

This kitschy 1960s style is best left to Marge Simpson. “Volume is sexy, but this is taking the idea way too far to the extreme,” says New York stylist and salon owner, Mark Garrison. Celebs like Ashley Judd, Katy Perry and Alicia Keys couldn’t get enough of the pompadour this past year—but here’s hoping their scalps get to see light come the New Year.

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10WORST: Stiletto Nails

With long nails so sharp and pointy, you may soon need a license to tote this mani around. Celebs like Lana del Rey, Rihanna, Beyoncé and Lady Gaga have all embraced the so-called “stiletto nail” trend, which first emerged as a long oval nail on the spring runways. Yet nail expert Jin Soon Choi says the smartest nail look remains the same. “Shorter nails filed square with a slight rounding at the sides is the chicest way to wear any nail color or art,” she advises.

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