Every now and then the beauty pendulum swings toward sloppiness, and trend pieces start telling us we should be cultivating a look of "imperfection." Ladies, 2012 is such a time. But the existing tips on achieving imperfection don't go nearly far enough. Allow us to offer some of our own.

Stephanie Rosenbloom of the Times writes,

The new look for the new year is effortless, minimalist, just-out-of-bed-with-your-lover, according to leading hair and makeup artists. They say that stiff coiffures, overdone eyes, defined lips and matte skin are out. Tousled hair, smudged eyeliner, dewy lips and luminous skin are in.


But how does one look effortless? Rosenbloom consulted experts for a few tips, like this one on applying lipstick: "Pout your lip and just push it into the lip. It should look underdone." Another beauty maven explains that you're supposed to look like you're "coming home from the party," not "going out to the party." But why settle for mere underdoneness when you can be a real trendsetter and go full slattern? Below, a few thoughts on kicking imperfection up a notch.

  • Put on all your makeup as normal, then rub your face real hard against a pillow. Now you and the pillow are both ready to go out.
  • Put on your running shoes and go for a brisk run. When you've reached a quick pace, apply lipstick. Don't stop running or slow down. When you're done with your run, just put a ball gown over your sweats and head out for a night on the town. You will be the envy of everyone.
  • Apply several different types of eye makeup. Then get in a screaming fight with your significant other. Weep profusely. Finally storm out of the apartment into the pouring rain, where your already smeared mascara will liquefy into artful rivulets extending all the way down into your cleavage. The French call this look le breakdown.
  • Do a bunch of mushrooms, and then let the rainbow-spotted ceiling gnomes do your makeup for you.
  • Get your makeup professionally done, and then put in a set of these "Billy Bob" teeth. Or just drink a lot of Coke and never brush your teeth until they all fall out, then get your makeup professionally done and go to a party. Smile a lot.
  • Just go out and do whatever you want without paying any special attention to your face or hair.


On second thought, that last one is way too extreme.

You Can Fall Out of Bed and Look Good [NYT]

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