As with clothes, so with cosmetics - what's on sale at your local make-up counter this autumn will, as ever, have evolved from the directional beauty looks at last spring's catwalk shows. Extreme flashes of colour, panda eyes, or a shiny, barely-there look: all get filtered through the sensibilities of the big cosmetics companies before resurfacing in a more wearable form in the shops. What's noticeable this autumn, though, is that the resulting products are more heavily influenced by high-fashion trends, as mainstream cosmetic companies take on catwalk make-up artists as consultants, and new ranges are launched by design houses Versace and Biba. First the high-street names: Aveda and Elizabeth Arden now have Pat McGrath and Mary Greenwell, two of fashion's most inspirational face- painters, on their respective books, and their dynamism and creativity is already evident in the colours the two companies have chosen for their up-to-the-minute autumn ranges. Meanwhile, label-hounds will be delighted to learn that Versace's first cosmetics line (the perfect handbag accessory?) features ornate packaging complete with the famous Medusa logo and a good mix of both natural and high colour, while Biba has produced simple, wickedly bright make-up with suitably brash names such as X-Rated and Scandal. All four ranges are useful tools for creating this season's distinct looks, as these pictures show - whether you choose to go for glamorous, groomed, wildly modern or good old natural.

To achieve a Nineties version of the classically "groomed" face, keep the skin looking modern by avoiding over-powdering. Create a slight definition around the eyes, but keep the main focus on the eyebrows. Most importantly, keep the lips soft by applying lipstick straight from the stick rather than using a lip-liner or brush.

Left: Eye Colour Naturals Duo in Earth/Stone, pounds 15.50; Defining Mascara in Pure Black, pounds 12.50; Cheek Lustre in Choco, pounds 15; High Gloss Lip Compact in Amber/Velour, pounds 17.50; Flawless Finish Everyday Make-up in Vanilla pounds 18.50; Flawless Finish Pressed Powder in Translucent Light, pounds 16.50. All products by Elizabeth Arden, from department stores nationwide. Grey corset, pounds 430, from a selection at Dolce & Gabbana, 175 Sloane Street, London SW1 (enq: 0171 235 0335)

For instant, Eighties-style glamour, apply eyeshadow with a big brush across the eyelid, but don't contour, blend or highlight. Apply blusher to the apples of the cheeks only and wear a slick of lip-gloss over lipstick.

Left: Duo Eyeshadow in Mystique, pounds 7.99; Mascara in Gold, pounds 6.99; Blusher in Mystique, pounds 9.99; Lipstick in Che-guevar, pounds 6.99. All products by Biba, 15 Short's Gardens, London WC2 (enq: 0171 226 0788). Beaded plum-coloured top, pounds 595, to order from Katharine Hamnett, 20 Sloane Street, London SW1 (enq: 0171 823 1002)

Create a bold impact by wearing a block of colour from lashline to brow. Choose a colour strong enough so that lipstick and mascara are unnecessary.

Left: Hydrating Lipstick V200P (worn as eyeshadow), pounds 15; Compact Blush V2008, pounds 21; Long-Lasting Hydrating Foundation V2001, pounds 23. All by Gianni Versace, at selected department stores nationwide (enq: 01273 400 085). Black strapless dress, pounds 1,070, by Gianni Versace, 34-36 Old Bond Street, London W1 (enq: 0171 499 1862)




For the "no make-up" look, start with a sheer base, then apply blusher where the sun would catch your face. Finish with a sheer lip-colour to create a natural glow.

Left: Velvet Powder Eye Shadow in Moon, pounds 9; Silk Powder Blush in Paprika, pounds 11; Lip Colour in Uruku, pounds 13; Equilibrium Fluid Foundation in Vanilla, pounds 17. All products by Aveda, from selected department stores and salons nationwide (enq: 0171 410 1600). Lace camisole, approx pounds 100, by Stella McCartney, at Browns Focus, 38-39 South Molton Street, London W1 (tel: 0171 491 7833), and Tokio, 309 Brompton Road, London SW3 (enq: 0171 823 7310)

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