Beauty guidelines for this year's polished look
Women who went in for the boy cut that's been such a hit from St. Tropez, France, to Pasadena, Calif., this summer are likely to keep their shingled hairdos when they shift from hot-weather clothes to the new fall tailored styles. Neat, short hair framing a face that wears warmer coloring is the top of the news in beauty. The latest makeups come in glowing colors that complement the russet, brown, dark green, and navy tones in the autumn fashion spectrum.
Cropped, ear-exposing haircuts as radically short as your prep school brother's have proved a practical tonsorial solution for young women in oversize T-shirts, suspenders, and shorts in recent weeks. New York designers are behind the boy cut, too, having shown it with their mannish clothes. But they also advocate clean-looking chin lengths, and, for those who cling to long hair, a sleek ponytail or a single braid down the back, with the hair swept smoothly away from the face. Flyaway overblown manes, as seen on television's ''Dynasty, '' do not get the nod of approval.
But like the move toward lower heels, the trend toward shorter hair is catching on, especially since new gels and mousses make it easy to keep stray locks under control. Besides the minimal boy cut, there is the hairdo of vice-presidential nominee Geraldine Ferraro, already an established favorite with professional women. (For a sign that it's due for even wider acceptance, see the recent New Yorker cartoon of the George Price lady breathlessly asking her hairdresser to ''Give me a Gerry!'')
The face that goes with the up-to-date hairstyle is no longer porcelain pale. White powders and ivory liquid foundations that were dramatic contrasts to all-black outfits have been replaced by ecru and beige now that black is phasing out of the daytime fashion picture. Estee Lauder's new primer, called ''Undercover Neutral,'' gives an even base for an ecru or beige finish. Eye, cheek, and lip colors in her new line are earthy (Antique Brown, Adobe Brick, and Khaki Sand are among the names) or brilliant accents like the fuchsia lipstick or the tartan red nail lacquer.
The Chanel collection takes its colors from the fabled coromandel screens that decorate the rue Cambon couture salon in Paris. Rouge coromandel and a russet brown are the main choices for lips and nails. A four-color case of eye shadows picks up other subtle colors from the antique lacquered screens: opal, violet, copper, and topaz, to be layered and blended at will.
Both the new Ralph Lauren and the Charles of the Ritz lines offer cosmetics that echo the colors of this season's fashions. Eye shadow sticks by Charles of the Ritz come in a pearlized navy and a khaki tone. Lauren has three palettes - Heather, Woodland, and Berry - that offer as many mixes as his tweeds and velvets.
In choosing from the vast selection of cosmetics, a sense of color coordination with one's wearables is a commendable idea, the experts feel. Eyes are still the focal point. Lips are either brilliantly slick or given a muted, natural-looking accent. But according to French designer Claude Montana, anyone wearing pants should not settle for a pale mouth. ''Playing up the lips is the best way to compensate for any allure lost by wearing trousers,'' his makeup expert says. Androgyny, it seems, has its limits.