NEW YORK — There will be three C's the face of 2008 will need to know: color, cream and caffeine.
Linda Wells, editor in chief of Allure magazine, predicts those will be the beauty trends in the new year. They all lend themselves to a move away from the very ladylike style that dominated in 2007.
"The overall look isn't quite as prim and proper as we've seen in the recent past. You don't need a protractor to apply products," Wells says. "It's a little looser, you can use a little creativity."
Color cosmetics is such a strong category right now, with market researcher The NPD Group reporting makeup leading the prestige beauty category for the first three quarters of this year — and a enjoying a 5 percent increase in sales from last year.
Growth will continue, Wells says, as fashion also delves into candy and sherbet shades for spring.
She expects women will be drawn to noticeable, not neutral, hues, including red matte lips and more color on the eye than we're used to seeing. "The colors sound intimidating — purple, orange, a peachy-yellow — but they will look really good. It'll be a sheer hint that gives you warmth," she says.
If you do go with the more pigmented eye shadows, Wells recommends a delicate rose color on the cheeks and lips. If you wear the bright red lips, tone down the eye makeup. "You don't want a lot of color on the rest of your face, that would be clownish."
Applying a cream-based product, especially a cream eye shadow, allows you to easily control the intensity of the color. "You'll get a sheer wash," Wells explains. "It won't be vivid and frightening. It'll be just a hint."
Don't be afraid to use your fingers, either. It helps put the color where you want it and spread out the edges so it's not a harsh look.
For lipstick, Wells says, put it on straight from the tube. "Makeup isn't sitting on top of the face like paint. It has a more organic look to it," she describes.
If you do prefer pencils, brushes or sponges, don't be too perfect and embrace any smudges.
Caffeine is again causing a buzz in beauty circles. It's been used on its own as an ingredient for a few years to wake up tired eyes or stimulate skin cells.
What's new, says Wells, is that so many caffeinated products have also made their way into skin creams, gels and lotions, including green tea, ground coffee and CoffeeBerry, the fruit of the coffee plant.
"Caffeine has been found to fight wrinkles, calm redness, reduce swelling — because it's a vasoconstrictor. It's the most prevalent ingredient in cellulite creams and is being used more and more in eye creams, face serums and rosacea treatments," Wells says. "It's something people are talking about."