Sophie Hopkins Shows You How To Be The Coolest Girl in The Room At This Year’s Xmas Party

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The New Sexy

Ah, the smoky eye/Hollywood wave combo. Standard ‘sexy’ right? But like a Victoria Secret model, it’s just that little too ‘oh-I-always-have-pillow-fights-with-my-BFF-in-my-smalls’ predicable. It’s time to up the ante girls… “This dewy, rusty eye is the most modern take on the classic smoky,” says make-up maestro for Illamsqua Elias Hove.

“Red has traditionally been seen as scary when it comes to eye make-up but then actresses like Kristen Stewart tore up the rule book.”

Elias warns that getting rid of any blue tones around the eye first is a must as well as making sure lashes and brows are groomed to give it a deliberateness.

For hair, UK Ambassador for Babyliss Syd Hayes explains why cool-girl waves require irons rather than tongs; “We’re beginning to use straighteners again but not in the ‘GHD curls’ way of the past. Here, I fed the hair through the irons in an ‘s’ shape, tapping along the wave to set it into place.” Aside from this ‘peekaboo’ detail at the front, Syd kept the rest of the hair, as well as the ends of the wave, super-straight.

The New Rave

Best do for dancing the night away? Why a topknot of course; “This look was based on one I did for the AV Robertson show,” explained Syd. “The way to give it an AW16 twist is to set the pony really far forward with gel for a shiny graphicness before tying the knot as you would your shoelaces.” (Tie as many times as necessary depending on the length of hair).

Make-up needs to be equally mosh-proof; “This is definitely the grungiest of the looks but it’s almost a little sporty too,” says Elias who explains that having a smudgy, khol-rimmed eye as your base is ideal as the more messed up it gets, the better it looks. “I added in an arc of red in the crease for a punky detail.”

The New Cocktail

Chic doesn’t have to mean chi-chi. Point in case? The darkly romantic look at Dior AW16 show which we based this look on. “I’d call this a red carpet look with a twist,” says Elias. “The lashes are a nod to glamour and yet their OTT-ness keeps them feeling cool.” (Elias packed mascara onto the tip of the wand before pushing it into the lashes, combing and repeating until they were fully loaded before adding a deep red lip.)

Over on hair, Syd etched in a graphic low side part (“an inch lower than you’d usually go”) before securing into a ponytail at the nape of the neck.

“The line of hair across the face should sit just over your natural hairline to create a beautifully perfect contour almost like a Japanese drawing. Using gel helps to reinforce that slightly androgynous feel.”

The New Disco

Curls! Glitter! Whoa there… Sure, ‘disco’ is fun, but can it ever be cool? Shows such as Burberry beg to differ. “Rocking glitter in a non tweeny way comes down to placement and keeping the skin super fresh and raw,” says Elias who applied Illamasqua’s ‘Broken Gold’ gel just under the eye and tops of the cheekbones before patting glitter on top.

“This makes it feel a bit more bohemian and whimsical than applying it to the lid,” he explains. He finished the look with some khol in the waterline to give it a tougher edge.

“Curls are everywhere at the moment but the key to keeping them feeling modern rather than reminiscent of a bad 80s perm is down to making them look less perfect,” says Syd who used BaByliss’ Pro Perfect Curl tool; “It’s a super-easy way of doing curls for those who struggle with tongs.”

He started by prepping with a mousse – modern formulas won’t give that ‘crunchy’ retro texture – before teasing out the curls using a wide-toothed comb. Syd then used barette clips and pins to secure the hair over one side which helped create some structure.

The New Hip

Cool girls know that evolution is the key to keeping ahead of the game. A brown lip and a septum ring might have cut it for S/S but for A/W? “This look is definitely for the  ‘too cool for school’ girl,” says Elias of this Kenzo-inspired make-up. “It’s a little more ‘urban’ in it’s street-to-club feel. Keeping skin as raw as possible always lends it a coolness and here it’s especially important.”

Elias used a fine liquid liner starting just beyond the inner corner of the eye, loosely following the curve of the crease before finishing above the end of the eyebrows. He then joined the ends to the outer corners of the eyes.

“The upward, theatrical lines should be tailored to your individual eye shape – don’t be afraid to play around with what works for you,” he adds.

“It might look graphic but it should look anarchistic rather than labored over to keep it feeling current,” something Syd agrees with; “Effortless always wins in the cool stakes and this modern take on a 50s rockabilly do is super easy to do.”

Syd prepped the hair with mousse before flipping the head upside down and braiding from the nape up, making sure that each strand went under rather than over in a Dutch braid to make the plait stand out. Once done, he tucked and pinned the ends under themselves before pulling out sections to loosen the braid and encourage flyaways.

“It’s just a more interesting and wearable way of doing a party up-do,” he adds.

Continued below…

Photography by Thomas Cooksey

Styling by Arabella Greenhill


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