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Summer beauty trends celebrate creativity, individuality

July 14, 2012 |  6:02 am

Nail art
What's your weekend routine? For many women it involves a little beauty maintenance: a trip to the nail or hair salon, browsing at the makeup counter, trying out a new look for a night out.

This summer there are more possibilities for jazzing up your looks than ever before, and we've devoted this weekend's Image section to what Fashion Critic Booth Moore calls Kustom Beauty --  kind of like California's Kustom Kulture movement (sprucing up hot rods) in the mid-20th century.

Start at your fingertips. Moore explores nail art, in which the nails become tiny canvasses with seemingly limitless potential for self-expression. Once the purview of larger-than-life divas like Lady Gaga and Katy Perry, nail art has moved into the mainstream thanks in part to improvements in nail technology and also due to the power of social media, which can help trends spread faster than a speeding bullet train.

Social media, better products and, of course, celebrities have also spurred today's hottest hair coloring trend: fanciful hues not seen in nature, either all over the head, ombred or dip-dyed on the ends. Pinks, blues, purples -- anything goes whether your style is Goth or girl next door, as Alene Dawson writes. And for those who want to experiment without a long-term commitment, she finds a surprising way to do it -- with chalk.

For skin care, BB creams, a huge phenomenon in Asia, have swept into the U.S. big time this year. These multipurpose products serve a variety of functions and may include sunscreen, moisturizer, antiaging ingredients, radiance boosters, lighteners and a tint. Kavita Daswani explains what they're all about and looks at some of the products on the market.

Finally, looking fresh and polished can be a challenge in summer heat. Susan Carpenter rounds up some tips for keeping your makeup from wilting.

Here's to a beautiful summer!

ALSO:

Olympic athletes share beauty secrets

Wigs and extensions make fantasy hair mainstream

Experts review high-tech, at-home beauty devices

-- Susan Denley

Photo:  Hiroko Fujikawa, owner of Mars Salon in West Hollywood, shows off her nail design inspired by  Prada's  fall-winter 2012 collection. Credit: Christina House/ For The Times 

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