Try these gorgeous ideas for a bold, sophisticated look at your New Year's Eve celebration.
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Big and Bold
An unadorned round neckline creates the ideal setup for a ready-to-party look: Amp up the natural texture of your hair, then throw on a statement necklace. (Aerin Erickson Beamon necklace. Elizabeth McKay dress.)
How-to: Wash naturally curly hair with hydrating shampoo and conditioner. This will help prevent frizz, says Kevin Mancuso, the creative director of Nexxus Salon Hair Care, who did all the hairstyles in this story. Let hair air-dry, then wind one-inch-wide sections around a small-barrel curling iron in a haphazard fashion all over the head. Some sections should look carefully curled, others more rough-hewn. Treat the ends with a bit of antifrizz serum. Try Dove Nourishing Oil Care Anti-Frizz Serum ($6.50 at drugstores).
Beauty note: Pair statement-making hair with equally punchy lipstick, such as Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in Jilted ($22, urbandecay.com).
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Paired with a strappy dress and dangling earrings, a loosely tousled French twist has that devil-may-care Bardot allure. And there’s no pressure to be perfect: The less done it looks, the more captivating it becomes. (Ben-Amun earrings. Unique Vintage dress.)
How-to: Prep damp hair with texturizing spray to give it body, says Mancuso. Then, for a tousled look, blow-dry hair using fingers rather than a brush. Work a pouf of mousse, such as Nexxus ProMend Split End Binding Bodifying Mousse ($12 at drugstores), through hair to make it pliable. Now gather hair at the nape and twist upward. Use bobby pins sparingly to anchor hair to the scalp loosely.
Beauty note: Highlight cheeks and lips with the same cream-based color. Try Mary Kay cream blush in Sheer Bliss ($14, marykay.com).
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Cool and Classic
A short, choppy crop takes an exquisite turn when you smooth it back and add a pair of striking yet simple earrings. The effect is especially chic against a bare neckline. (Joanna Laura Constantine earrings. Orla Kiely dress.)
How-to: Don’t assume that you have to forgo the look of an updo just because you have short hair. You can achieve the same result by simply slicking hair back into a pretty shape. You’ll need “all the hold you can get,” says Mancuso, to ensure that little pieces don’t stick out. To start, spritz a root-boosting spray onto dry hair to give it strength and malleability. Once the spray dries, tease the crown area, then smooth hair gently back and fold it into place with a paddle brush. Finish with heavy-duty hair spray, such as Aloxxi Firm Hold Hairspray ($18, aloxxi.com).
Beauty note: Pink lipstick complements a feminine hairstyle. Try Make Up For Ever Aqua Rouge in No. 16 ($24, sephora.com).
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Gorgeous, bouncy waves that skim the shoulders are just as showstopping as a dressy updo but less involved. (Alexis Bittar necklace. Zara dress.)
How-to: Begin by blow-drying naturally curvy or wavy damp hair with a paddle brush. In the last few minutes of drying, switch to a comb to pull out any kinks. (The goal: relaxed ripples.) Then create a deep side part. For a smooth but not overly straightened finish, run a flatiron through just the front portion of hair. Mist with hair spray.
Beauty note: A sophisticated hairstyle demands a classic red lipstick, like Sephora Collection cream lip stain in No. 01 Always Red ($13, sephora.com).
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A short hairstyle looks très sleek when pinned back to reveal the nape of the neck and ears dripping in crystals. Showing a bit more skin with the deep V-neck balances the length of the earrings. (Paige Novick earrings. CelebBoutique dress.
How-to: Comb slightly damp hair tightly back toward the nape while blow-drying it with hot air to make it extra sleek. Hold the sides back with bobby pins, and mist the ends with hair spray for separation.
Beauty note: Add drama with copious jewel-tone shadow. Try MAC Pro Pigment in Rich Purple, Deep Purple, or Violet ($21 each, maccosmetics.com).
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Even chin-length hair can be worn up in a feminine, face-framing braid. Paired with a matching set of necklace and earrings that look plucked from Grandma’s jewelry box, this casually plaited style delivers old-world charm to a conservative long-sleeve dress. (Lulu Frost earrings and necklace. Obakki dress.)
How-to: Shortish hair can be elaborately styled and with minimal effort. Start by prepping dry hair all over with texture spray. Next, braid three narrow sections from one side of the forehead to the opposite end and secure at the temple with bobby pins. Hold the remaining hair back with bobby pins, or gather it into a small ponytail if the hair is long enough.
Beauty note: Brows enhance the look. Define them with brow powder, such as Lorac Take a Brow kit ($22, ulta.com).
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Fool everyone into thinking you lopped off your long hair by pulling it into a faux bob. It really makes large opalescent danglers and a chunky chain—not to menton a minimalist dress—pop. (Rosena Sammi necklace. Lulu Frost earrings. James Jeans dress.)
How-to: To create a faux bob, first blow-dry long, straight to wavy hair. Part hair in the middle and gather it in a low ponytail with the elastic slipped in an inch from the ends. Roll hair under and secure the whole shebang loosely to the nape with pins.
beauty note: Flatter a basic bob with another beauty basic: blue eyeliner, such as Cargo Swimmables Eye Pencil ($18, cargocosmetics.com), applied above and below eyes.