Coats to Fall For!

What…. summer is over already? Sadly, yes. But just because the weather is turning cool doesn’t mean you can’t look hot!

Thanks to the great new coat styles from this year’s runways, you can greet the season with outerwear that looks both fresh and beautiful. Here’s what’s in this year:

ASYMMETRICAL ABANDON
Coats are typically symmetrical -- matching pockets, collars cut evenly on each side -- right? Well, not this season.

“Fall 2012 offers asymmetry in abundance,” promises David Zyla, Emmy Award-winning stylist (and 2012 Emmy nominee). “Gorgeous coats in soft leathers and shearling are cut with asymmetrical abandon.”

Our Picks:

CAPTION: GUESS Asymmetrical Collar Bouclé Coat from Nordstrom.com


CAPTION: Nicole Richie for Impulse Long-Sleeve Faux-Fur Faux-Leather MotorcycleJacket from Macys.com

BLANKET CHIC
Blankets aren’t just for keeping you warm at bedtime. This fall, they’ve been reinvented into street wear, says Zyla. Cozy lodge-inspired fabrics appear to have minimal seaming as they drape across the body. This trend is hitting every editor's must-have list, so snuggle up to the trend.

Our Pick:

CAPTION: Coat with Leather Sleeves from Zara.com

MAKINGS OF MAROON
It’s “a color once forsaken on the fashion color wheel (and mostly dedicated instead to Adam Levine and all of his greatness),” says Stephanie Harary of popular blog www.StyleByMixtress.com. But this season, the warm red hue is taking center stage as a popular color for jackets.        

Our Picks:

CAPTION: See by Chloé Cropped Wool-blend Duffle Coat


CAPTION: Pull & Bear Tweed Jacket With Faux Leather Sleeves

FURRY FUN
Look out, ladies! This season, oversized fur collars are back and better than ever in gorgeous new fabrics and presentations. Furs both real and faux appear in new, unexpected tailoring and silhouettes.

Our Pick:

CAPTION: BB Dakota Miko Knit and Faux Fur Belted Coat in Black from Misskl.com

MILITARY MAGIC
This season, designers were inspired by uniforms both past and present of all branches of the armed services, says Zyla. Outerwear from pea coats to greatcoats accented with military-styled buttons, epaulets and pockets stormed the runways of Fall 2012 Fashion Week.

Our Pick:

CAPTION: Stones Eric Twill and PU Leather Sleeve Military Jacket in Olive from Misskl.com

COLORFUL AND PRINTED PIECES
Familiar outerwear shapes drawing upon vintage silhouettes have been given a fresh take and interpreted in horizontally striped cashmeres and wools. And the season’s hottest pattern? Stripes! Whether wide or narrow, bold or subtle, formal or informal, you can’t go wrong. Stripe-loving designers this season include Michael Kors and Philosophy's Alberta Ferretti.

Our Pick:

CAPTION: Asos Petite Exclusive Leopard Print Coat with Ears

Hair Styling Tips: Which Bangs Are Right for Your Face Shape?

Bangs are back with a, well, bang! They’re among the most striking features of red-carpet regulars such as Zooey Deschanel, Krysten Ritter and Rooney Mara.  

“Bangs are like this season’s ‘it’ bag -- a must-have,” says Laurent DuFourg, stylist for Smash actress Debra Messing and New York’s Prive Salon. “I’d love all my clients to wear bangs.”

But can you carry off a full-frontal fringe if you’re not a celebrity? Of course -- with the right hair styling tips, say top celeb stylists. From blunt to feathered to side-swept, there’s a style for everyone. Here’s how to choose the right bangs for your face shape.

· Round Face
Side-swept bangs expose the mid-forehead, which narrows your face. “Leave more hair around the chin and cheek, because when hair is pulled back your face will look even fuller,” says Angelo David, owner and creative director of the eponymous Manhattan salon.

· Square Face
Go for softer, looser and feathered fringe rounded at the sides of your face. This will create a more oval shape, says Michael Dueñas, founder of Hair Room Service and celebrity stylist to Lady Gaga.

· Heart-shaped Face
Avoid a center part, which will make a pointed chin more prominent, Dueñas says. You’ll look better with Miley Cyrus’ new spiky, side-parted bangs, which go with her new pixie haircut but would also work with longer locks.

· Oval Face
Lucky you! “You can pull off any look,” Dueñas says. “A short-cropped fringe (like Mara’s) will give you a strong look and open you up.”

· Long Face
Shorten your face with heavy, blunt bangs just beyond your eyebrows (a la Deschanel). They’re striking -- and will hide forehead wrinkles without Botox.

When picking a bang style, personality can be just as important as face shape, so dare to break the rules. Vogue’s square-faced editor, Anna Wintour, makes a bold statement with her thick eyebrow-length bangs. “It’s about attitude,” David says. “Strong women command with their bangs.” That’s why working with a stylist who knows you and your wardrobe is vital.

Also consider the texture of your hair when choosing a bang style. Curls in particular can pose a challenge, especially when you’re trying for polished bangs. If you don’t want to go for chemical hair straightening, you’ll need constant upkeep to tame your curls, DuFourg notes. Trim your bangs every three to four weeks, use a straightening iron to style them, and flatten cowlicks by blow-drying hair to both sides. If your curly hair gets damp, hold it under the blow-dryer for 20 seconds or apply dry shampoo to absorb the moisture and avoid frizzies.

Keep in mind, too, that bangs take six months to a year to grow out. “You can commit, regret and be stuck between new and old styles,” says David. So before you head for the salon, experiment with your hair styling to make sure bangs are for you. Try clip-in bangs for a few days. If you have long hair, pull it into a ponytail and flip it over your forehead to see how it looks. Or just take an old photograph and draw bangs on it. Like what you see? Then go for it!

The Best Habits for Beautiful Hair!

Our hair can be our sexiest asset -- or our biggest regret. The secret is to keep it in its best shape possible. Here, from top experts, are healthy hair habits you can adopt now to keep your locks looking great.

Shampoo Smart

You already know to shampoo your hair, but make sure you’re doing it correctly. Comb your hair before getting in the shower, and avoid washing in really hot water, which can take the bounce out of your locks. Finish your final rinse with a blast of cold water, says Missy Ambrosini, a senior stylist based at Giovanni & Pileggi salon based in Philadelphia. It closes the hair cuticles so that the light bounces off them, resulting in extra-shine. And if you're trying to control dandruff, be sure to lather twice to loosen and remove the flakes from your scalp.

Sunnie Brook Jones, a hair and makeup artist and a celebrity stylist for Head & Shoulders, recommends clients use a clarifying shampoo weekly. This removes buildup from styling products and cleansers that may form on your hair and it gives you a fresh surface to begin creating your style. [Disclosure: Head & Shoulders is the sponsor of this content.]

Don’t Skip the Conditioner

Conditioning after your wash helps repair damaged hair cuticles and prevent frizz. Try one containing nourishing plant-based extracts such as Argan oil, tea tree oil, aloe or macadamia.

Jones also suggests doing a 20-minute deep conditioning session once a week. You can use either your favorite brand of conditioner or a homemade mask like this one: Mash the meat of an avocado with 1 cup of mayonnaise. Rub your desired conditioner into your hair and cover your head with a shower cap for 20 minutes. Rinse with your usual shampoo.

Eat Right -- and Exercise Often
A diet rich in vitamins and nutrients will give you gorgeous hair. In particular, foods with biotin, a water-soluble vitamin necessary for cell growth, are extremely helpful for hair health and beauty. New York nutritionist Sharon Richter, RD, recommends biotin-rich foods like Swiss chard, carrots, almonds, walnuts, milk and halibut. Heather Hausenblas, Ph.D., a nutritionist from the University of Florida and the author of many scientific books and journals, recommends supplementing with the vitamin Keratin Booster, which contains biotin and resveratrol and is specifically designed to encourage hair health.

Regular exercise is essential not only for the body, but for healthy hair, too. Increasing the oxygen in your blood circulating around your body will also increase your hair’s growth by providing an extra boost of oxygen to your hair’s follicles, says Hausenblas.

Spread the Love
Before you go to bed, brush your hair to distribute oils from the roots to the ends. Hair tends to be drier as you move down the hair shaft, and your own natural oils are a great conditioner between washes, says Ambrosini. But never use a brush on wet hair -- that can cause breakage and flyaways. Instead, use a wide-tooth comb.

Color Wisely
When coloring your hair, ask your colorist for a gloss treatment, says Jones. This will act like a top coat on your treatment and replenish the amino acids lost during the dye process. A gloss also helps prolong color -- most glosses last 4 to 6 weeks -- and delivers incredible shine.

Looking for a dramatic color change? Beware of trying to do it yourself, cautions Farouk Systems Creative Stylist Anna Cantu. Too much bleaching and self-coloring can dry out the hair and break it. Stick to a professional hairdresser and tell your stylist your color preferences.

Photo: Corbis Images

The Eyes Have It! Best Tips for Beautiful Eyes

We’ve all been told the eyes are the windows to our soul -- maybe that’s why they’re such an important part of flirting! Want to look great at work and at play? Gorgeous eyes are the place to start, and these expert eye makeup tips will help you get there.

Stay Hydrated
"The key to flawless makeup and stunning eyes starts with a daily moisturizing cream,” says makeup artist and stylist Katie Stoner of Secrets of Hair Design & Day Spa, in Butler, Pa. “Before you apply any makeup to your face, you should always moisturize the skin, including eyelids, with a daily moisturizing cream.” Want a DIY hydration fix? Even a little dab of olive oil under your eyes and at the corners works wonders. And, believe it or not, adding moisture actually helps prevent greasy skin during the day, because your skin has no need to produce additional oils.

Stay Bright
“To perk up tired eyes, try an eye brightener with caffeine to help de-puff and brighten dark circles,” suggests Christina Farrell of TheMakeupBlogger.com. One to try: Anastasia Cooling Eye Brightener. Apply it under concealer, on top of the cheekbones and on top of the brow bone for the best effect. When choosing an under-eye cream, look for mica and albumin among its ingredients. Mica has reflecting properties that bring out the brightness under your eyes, and albumin alleviates puffiness.

Pump It Up!
We know we should tone our legs to look our best in swimsuits -- and the same applies to our faces! Before applying makeup, try the quick Facial Magic exercise technique. This mini-workout lifts your brows, creating a greater distance between your eyebrows and lashes and letting more light in your eyes.

Here’s how: Place the three middle fingers of each hand under your eyebrows, with your palms flat against your face, keeping your eyes open. With your fingers, push your eyebrows up and slightly outward toward your temples. While holding up your brows, slowly push your forehead muscle toward your fingertips for a count of five. Repeat twice more, holding the contraction for 10 seconds, closing your eyes at the seventh second.

Cover Up
To mask dark circles and exhaustion, look for a water-resistant concealer in a peach or salmon tone, suggests Farrell. It’s best applied after your normal foundation.  Pat in the inner corners of the eyes and under the eye.  For extra brightening, use a light-reflecting setting powder. 

Find the Right Color
When choosing an eyeshadow color, avoid matching it too closely with the color of your eyes. Blue eyes should stick to warm browns and soft champagne shades. Green and hazel eyes look best in warm taupes, deep purples, golden browns or light peach. Brown eyes? Lucky you -- all colors suit your tones. If you’re fair, stay away from dark shades; if you’re darker-skinned, you can opt for bolder colors -- but don’t overdo it! “Eye makeup should enhance your eyes and natural beauty, but not be the first thing someone notices when they see you,” says Stoner. If your shadow tends to disappear during the day, apply a primer first.

Get Smoky
“For an easy and extremely flattering smoky eye, experiment with bronze!” suggests Farrell. Bronze shadows and liners enhance every eye color and create a natural, yet sultry look for evening. One to try: Make Up Forever Aqua Shadow Sticks in 2 and 3. Liberally apply these sticks right near the eyelash line, using the darker color on top and the lighter shimmer on the bottom lash line. Then, with a cotton swab or makeup brush, smudge the shadows together.

Widen Your Eyes
For thick, gorgeous eyelashes, start the mascara at the bottom of the eyelash and wiggle the wand in a back-and-forth motion all the way up and outward. Apply two coats. 

Love Your Body in a Bathing Suit

If you’re like most women, getting into a swimsuit probably isn’t at the top of your favorite-things-about-summer list. So what’s the trick to bathing suit confidence? You need to love your whole look. That means finding a flattering swimsuit, of course, but also creating a pretty (and easy!) beach-inspired hairstyle and perking up your skin. These tips will have you looking and feeling great all summer long.

1. Find a flattering swimsuit

Certain cuts, styles, colors and patterns can turn the ugh of bathing suit shopping into a happy aah, says Nicole Brewer, a style expert in New York City. Carve out plenty of time and try on several options to find one that makes you feel best. Here’s how to:

  • Slim your waistline. Look for a crisscross or gathered fabric (called ruching) at your waist. This gives the appearance of cinching -- and slimming! -- your midsection.
  • Find the perfect fit. Many women are one size on top and a different size on the bottom, making it a challenge to find a one-piece that fits. Instead, look for tankinis: You can usually buy the top and bottom separately, which means you can get a suit that fits and flatters everywhere.
  • Look tall and trim. Swimsuits with empire waists, which sit just below your bust, will help elongate your torso and make you appear thinner and taller.
  • Draw attention to the good (and camouflage the bad). Try to use well-placed colors, patterns and details to your advantage.  Bright colors and patterns draw attention, while dark, solid colors camouflage. So if you want to minimize your bottom half, look for a suit that accentuates your bust with bold hues but is black, brown or navy below. The same holds true for little extras like keyholes, drawstrings and ruffles, which all say, “look here, not there.”

2. Create a pretty, carefree hairstyle
When your hair looks great, you feel more confident no matter what you’re wearing. Forget the usual ponytail and try loose, beach-ready waves. This effortless style works on all hair types and looks sexy and casual, says Matt Fugate, a stylist at Sally Hershberger Downtown salon in New York City. How to get the look:

  • Apply anti-frizz cream or texturizing spray. If your hair is frizz-prone, rub a small amount of styling cream between your hands and rake it through towel-dried hair, from roots to ends. But if your strands tend to go flat, spritz on a texturizing spray instead. Next, flip your head upside down and blow dry until your hair is about half dry.
  • Create coils. Twist several random sections of hair around your index finger to make ringlets. Then let your hair finish air-drying.
  • Tousle and go. Once hair is dry, ruffle the coils with your fingers to break them up or let them naturally unravel in the wind. 

3. Get glowing skin
Sun-kissed skin is always in, but baring your bod to UV rays isn’t the healthiest solution. Instead, try gradual self-tanning lotions, which can deliver skin that’s soft, smooth and even-toned, helping you feel more confident, says Meredith Baraf, a makeup artist for Victoria’s Secret. These daily moisturizers contain low levels of DHA (a skin-tinting agent), so they’re easier to use than regular self-tanners and give a subtler result.

Before you apply the self-tanner for the first time, exfoliate head-to-toe in the shower so the lotion absorbs evenly. When rubbing in the lotion, keep your fingers together to prevent streaks, suggests Baraf. Reapply every day until you reach a color you like. It’ll last about five days; after that, exfoliate and start again.

Using these easy tricks to look and feel your best means you can focus on what’s most important: spending time with your family. 

Photo: @iStockphoto.com/cdwheatley