Unless you’ve been living under the proverbial rock, you’ve seen (or at least heard some tweens on the bus commute talking about) Taylor Swift’s most recent music video to her single 'Look What You Made Me Do'. Not known for her subtlety in using her musical and theatrical talents to char everyone who has ever wronged her, this is, well, exactly that. The internet is currently on fire with theories about who exactly she’s burning this time (is it Kanye? Is it Kim? Is it Katy? So many Ks, so few answers). And this all a fine way to spend your time. However, we’re here for one reason only: beauty. And, for all the drama-drama this video has brought, it has also shown us that Taylor not only killed her old self, she killed it in the hair and makeup arena too. Here, we give you our five favourite looks, and how to copy them.
1. Old Time’y Actress In A Diamond Bath
This look is classic red carpet Taylor circa 2009 – total glamour. Chic and classy beyond her years, this side-part tousled low up ‘do isn’t for your morning coffee run. But, for your next fancy event? Absolutely. While Taylor no doubt had a horde of helpers to achieve the look, it is relatively simple to recreate. If you have a natural curl or wave in your hair, half the work is done. If not, use your flat iron (twisting each curl it in different directions so it’s not too ‘done’) or curling wand to create medium width curls (about 1.5cm). Use a setting spray to keep them from dropping. Gently gather your hair to the nape of your neck and wind it around in a loose bun or twist and fasten with pins. Let some tendrils fall naturally (you don’t want a 1990’s ‘hair bits’ look) at the side. Sweep your fringe to the side so that it comes forward over your forehead diagonally and secure with a pin. Keep it all in place with a setting spray that allows for movement (read: no crunchiness). Taylor’s signature red lip is a perfect pairing with this look.
2. Vixen in a Game of Thrones
We love this modern, more grown up iteration of her look. She’s grown her lengths and waved the side bangs goodbye. This is a relatively easy and quick look to mimic. But, this is going to work best for finer hair that doesn’t get oily at the roots too easily. If your hair dries naturally straight,-ish well, this is perfect. If you’re prone to a bit of frizz but want to maintain natural movement (let go of your straight iron here unless you are very skilled at evading a poker-straight finish). Apply a heat protector and a small amount of smoothing cream or serum to the hair and comb through. Use a large round brush as you blow dry your in long strokes (pull hair away from your head, gliding the nozzle of the drier along with the brush as you go), you want to maintain a natural straight finish, so a bit of kink at the mid-to-ends is fine. Spray your brush with some medium-hold spray and smooth your hair down from the part (this works best on the side) down to behind the ear. If you’ve still got more volume than you’d like, pin hair to the side. Again, Taylor pairs with a red lip which works for her vixen look, but a rusty-brown shade will also look pretty.
3. Burning Balayage
This is really the scene that says she’s shooting shade right over to Katy Perry (who calls herself Kitty Kat). But, this is neither here nor there right now because we love this look regardless. Natural with modern bangs and just a bit badass, this is the Taylor we like to see. While copying this look precisely does require you to have naturally light-ish hair (so there’s not a huge tonal contrast from roots to ends) and thin hair that bodes well with layers, almost everyone can do a version of this that is their own. Opting for layers gives hair immediate movement and volume, and lighter ends give great texture. You can let hair dry naturally with this one but, depending on your hair type, you will probably have to add a serum or oil to counter any flyaways. When hair is semi-dry, lightly spritz a sea salt or texturizing spray to give it that dishevelled feel. Shake your fingertips through for some added movement, and walk out the door giving everyone this exact look.
4. Wet Look Resurrection
Hair that looks like you just stepped out of the shower, but chic, was big last year (funnily enough, championed by Kim Kardashian and Beyonce – both who get a bit of a nod in the clip), and Taylor has brought it back to life. Not an easy one to pull off without everyone wondering if you forgot a step in your beauty routine this morning, it is effective if you’re game for it. Ironically enough, this isn’t achieved with water... sort of. This look works best on hair that isn’t super clean (so on day two post-last-wash is perfect), and you will have to make hair a little damp (not soaking wet, just spritz with a spray bottle so that it’s not bone dry). Divide hair into three or four equal sections and finger comb a mousse through hair from root to ends, giving it some hold. Scrunch hair to create a bit of body and wave and let hair set. If it starts to look dry, apply a soft gel to the hair to really enhance the ‘wet’. If it’s looking too slick at the front, finger curl the front sections or twist a few pieces back. Make sure you give your hair a really thorough clean when your night is over – this isn’t a good second day ‘do.
5. Permed to Perfection
Yep, the perm is back! Ok, so maybe not in the over-processed, crazy volumed, flipped out 1980s perm… The 2017 model is more a ‘shag’ ‘do than frizzy pile of curls flying in the wind. While this scene is a bit of an uncomfortable appropriation of Beyonce’s Single Ladies, from the neck up, we’re loving. Perfect for our naturally curly haired readers, all you need is a curl-enhancing mousse and well-placed layers (and bangs if it suits your face). If you’re starting from a straight scratch, it’ll take a bit more time. Use a small curling wand and twist around 1cm width pieces of hair, with curls going in different directions. Once done, use a lightweight mousse to keep curls in place and scrunch through with your hands, lifting hair up for added body. If it’s evening, be bold with dark lip – winter is almost over, make the most of the dark berry hues before the sunshine has us reaching for the corals again.
Hmm... Die at the hands of the walking dead. March to The Wall. Sorry, this is a bit beyond our expertise.
Story by Rikki Hodge-Smith