Top 20 beauty trends of 2012

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Stylist Team
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From super-bright dip-dye hair colour to the continued rise of nail art, 2012 delivered big when it came to statement-making beauty trends. However, more subtle changes were also a-foot this year. Global beauty brands rightly began to take a more inclusive approach to their make-up selections, and as austerity started to bite, we ditched high-maintenance routines in favour of dyeing hair at home; chose effortless top knots over big blow-outs and some of us even let our eyebrows grow wild and free. Here are our 20 favourite hair and make-up trends of 2012...

  • Beauty trends of 2012: BB Creams

    Happily straddling the worlds of skincare and make-up, and promising (though not always delivering) a fresh and luminous visage for all, BB or Blemish Balm Creams started hitting the shelves in their droves in 2012.

    Image source: Rimmel London

  • Beauty trends of 2012: Dip-dye Hair Colour

    Armed with a sense of adventure - and a handful of Kevin Murphy's Colour Bugs - we went wild for rainbow-bright dip-dye hair colours. Tones of pink and blue were popular with celebs such as Kate Bosworth, January Jones and Amber Le Bon.

    Image source:

  • Beauty trends of 2012: Make-up For All

    2012 was a game-changing year, as global beauty brands such as Estée Lauder, YSL and Chanel finally decided to widen their make-up selections to include colours for darker skin tones. About time too!

    Image source: Bobbi Brown

  • Beauty trends of 2012: Top Knots

    By far the biggest hair trend of 2012 was the easy-peasy top knot. Worn by A-listers, off-duty models and every other street-style superstar, this effortless 'do will be hard to, erm, top come 2013.

    Image source: Rex

  • Beauty trends of 2012: Nail Wraps

    With the rise in popularity of Pinterest and Tumblr, nail art inspiration came from far and wide. We pondered, 'just how on earth did that blogger manage to create such an amazing design?', and the answer came back in the form of a whole host of jazzy new nail wraps for us to try...

    Image source: ASOS

  • Beauty trends of 2012: Nail Art Pens

    And nail art pens...

    Image source: Topshop

  • Beauty trends of 2012: 3D Nail Decorations

    And more cheap, yet oh-so cheerful, nail decals and 3D decorations than we could handle!

    Image source: Nail Rock

  • Beauty trends of 2012: The Accent Nail

    The contrasting 'accent nail' (normally the ring finger) was perfect for those that wanted to show off just how creative they could be, and became a celeb trend with everyone from Rihanna to Anne Hathaway.

    Image source:

  • Beauty trends of 2012: Pointed Nails

    Lana Del Rey and Lady Gaga inspired some of us to try out the pointed or 'dagger' nail look.

    Image source: WAH Nails

  • Beauty trends of 2012: Textured Nails

    While others took a softly-softly approach with new textured nail finishes, ranging from flock and velvet to vampy patent and leather.

    Image source: Ciaté

  • Beauty trends of 2012: Chubby Lipsticks

    Never before has chubby looked quite as good as it did when Clinique (hotly followed by Revlon and a bunch of other brands) launched its gorgeous little Chubby Stick lip shades. Grown-up lip colours a child could apply - anywhere, anytime. Yep, even half-asleep going to work on the bus.

    Image source: Clinique

  • Beauty trends of 2012: Statement Brows

    Whether you call it the Scouse Brow or the 'statement brow', eyebrows saw less action at the beauty parlour as we happily embraced the catwalk trend to wear them big and bold.

    Image source: Getty

  • Beauty trends of 2012: Floral Headbands

    The floral crown became this summer's must-try hair accessory at festivals and weddings alike.

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  • Beauty trends of 2012: Home Hair Colouring

    It was no coincidence that as the UK's GDP went down, sales of at-home hair colourants went up.

    Image source: Clairol

  • Beauty trends of 2012: Pink Lipstick

    Inspired by the spring/summer catwalks and a crop of petal-worthy lipstick shades, when the summer finally put in an appearance, we went big on bright pink lips.

    Image source: GoRunway

  • Beauty trends of 2012: Classic Red Lips

    But by the autumn and the beginning of the party season, we were happy to go back to a classic red pout.

  • Beauty trends of 2012: Ombré Hair

    Although in official beauty circles ombré hairstyles was 'so last year', we carried on rocking that cool beachy look - though with varying results. Some were a bit more two-toned than tonal!

    Image source: Rex

  • Beauty trends of 2012: Retro Hairstyles

    The return of Downton Abbey and The Hour to our screens, plus excitement for Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby reaching fever pitch this summer (we're still waiting for the film though Baz!), we also had fun trying out retro hairstyles, from flirty flapper to 40s screen siren.

    Image source: film trailer

  • Beauty trends of 2012: Berry Lipstick

    With celebrities such as Rihanna, Anne Hathaway, Lily Collins and Scarlett Johansson rocking the shade, as 2012 comes to a close, we expect to spot many a deep berry lip at New Year's Eve parties this month.

    Image source: Rex

  • Beauty trends of 2012: Patriotic Make-up

    In a Jubilee and Olympic-filled summer, who could forget covering our faces and painting our nails in patriotism!

    Image source: Getty