No need to start the New Year with resolutions you'll ditch come February. This year, set yourself up for success by resolving to embrace four must-do beauty trends that are easy, breezy and oh-so-hot for 2012. Here's what's on the pretty horizon:
Mint green manis and lids
The smoky eye may be the reigning queen of style, but those on trend are ringing in 2012 with lids swept in mint green. Of course, getting the color right is key, and it's easier said than done. Opt for a matte shadow with not a trace of shine or glitter and swipe it on with clean, strong lines. No need to pair mint eyes with nails in the same hue — remember matchy, matchy is O-U-T — but do experiment with manicures in green for 2012, another easy to embrace trend for the New Year. Try Essie Nail Polish in Mint Candy Apple ($8 at local salons) or Sula Beauty Paint & Peel Nail Color in Haze, $9 at sulabeauty.com.
Cat eyes and red lips
Vintage meets modern and the look, lucky you, is ultra wearable. The classic red lip, in a range of hues so vast that every woman can find a flattering shade, pair perfectly with the modern cat eye. 2012's cat eye is a sexy nod to old Hollywood with a futuristic flair. To get the look, apply eyeliner as close to the lash line as possible, following your natural lashes. As you reach the outer corner of the eye, take the liner up, exaggerating the line at the base and thinning the liner as you reach the crease of your eyelid. Mix it up with liner colors that go beyond black and brown; think purple, orange, teal and the like.
While some experts saw a minimalist trend on the runways for spring and fall 2012, there's no mistaking that lashes are big and beautiful. Thanks to the popularity and availability of semi-permanent lash extensions ($150 to $350 at salons and spas) and the effectiveness of products like Latisse for growing one's own lashes (about $100 a month, by prescription), big bad lashes abound in 2012. Victor & Rolf sent models in pink, punk lashes down the runway, but in real life new mascaras such as NYX Doll Eye Mascara ($9 at nyxcosmetics.com) can mimic the look of big beautiful doll lashes for everyday wear.
Pony up to great hair
Finally, a trend that so many of us can relate to. Ponytails are all the rage for 2012, with a modern twist of course. Marc by Marc Jacobs showed models sporting a pony/bun hybrid that you've probably already mastered on lazy days. The classic ponytail, high and sleek with a strand of hair wrapped around the base to cover a ponytail holder is a classic look with timeless appeal; both were seen on the runways of Reed Krakoff and Ralph Lauren.