A ponytail may be the ultimate go-to, fuss-free hairstyle, but it doesn’t have to be ordinary.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

A ponytail may be the ultimate go-to, fuss-free hairstyle, but it doesn’t have to be ordinary. Here are five ways to soup it up.

The Classic Swishy

This neat, midcrown ponytail works for anyone with at least shoulder-length hair. It is failproof. To tame flyaways, spritz a little hairspray on your brush before combing your hair back. If your hair is thick or voluminous, use a thicker elastic tie to keep the ponytail from drooping.

Ribbed cotton top and cotton trousers, Maje.
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The Half-up

The half-pony literally divides the weight of a heavy mane, says hairstylist Junz Loke. Massage some hair oil into your hair for a healthy sheen, and to keep it straight, smooth and sleek for a modern take on the half-up.

Cropped lambskin jacket, Maje. Widelegged cotton trousers, H&M.
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Sleek & Low

Got second-day hair that feels a little greasy? Use it to your advantage by tying it back into a low ponytail. The natural oils will help to smooth down the crown, says Loke. And face-framing strands are totally a do here to give the style texture.

Sheer chiffon maxi dress, H&M.
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The (Almost) Ariana

It’s high, it’s flirty, it’s secured at the top of your head. It’s inspired by Ariana Grande. If you have fine hair, add more volume by curling the ends to make them wavy.

Oversized perforated cotton polo shirt, Cos.
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The Knot

It takes some practice, but once you get the hang of it, the knotted ponytail can be done in a breezy minute, Loke says. The key is to keep hair ties hidden. Start with a low, loose half-pony. Use your fingers to part the hair just above the tie, then pull the rest of the hair through to get that chic knot at the base of the ponytail.

Cotton top, Sandro. Wide-legged cotton trousers, H&M.
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The Colour of Spring: Purple

We’ve spied hues from lilac to plum for the eyes. Stick to lighter or pastel purples for a more casual look, and use deeper purples for more sophistication.

1) Guerlain Kit Colore ($77) holds an illuminating base and two purples – a vibrant grape as an all-over colour, and a deep eggplant to create depth in the crease.

2) For something more glittery, Chantecaille’s Polar Ice Eye Palette ($163) is your go-to. Of the nine shimmery shades, two are purples: lilac and amethyst. Pat them onto the middle of your eyelids or use them on the inner eye corners.

3) Marc Jacobs Beauty’s Eye-conic Multi-finish Eyeshadow Palette in Steel(etto) ($69) comes in cool-girl washes of neutrals. The seven shades comprise mostly basics, and a single pop of muted orchid in a matte finish, perfect for an everyday look. – CT

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Three’s First Matte Lipstick: Daringly Distinct

What it is: A matte that is forgiving on dry patches. The lipstick doubles as nourishing lip care as it has peppermint extract, argan oil, evening primrose oil and shea butter to keep lips supple.

Verdict: “It was so lightweight I almost forgot it was there. The texture is cushiony and velvety, smoothing over fine lines beautifully, so my pout seemed photo-edited. However, I did have to apply three layers of the lipstick before the colour looked as vibrant as it was in the bullet, but all the layers meshed well together.

I like that the layering allowed me to control how pigmented I wanted my lips to look. The lipstick costs $53, and comes in nine shades.” – CT
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The Case For Double-Duty Skincar

Reclaim your shelf space and reduce time spent on your skincare with this toner and essence in one. Dr GL Essence Anti-aging acts like a toner to remove impurities from skin, and as an essence to promote collagen production for a lifted and youthful look. It contains peptides and botanicals, both of which protect the skin from environmental stressors. It costs $168. – LS

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Ask A Makeup Artist

Q: I want to go easy on my foundation, but I can’t seem to cover up my dark acne scars without using more layers.

A: Plastering your skin with foundation will not hide discoloration, says makeup artist Larry Yeo. The answer is colour correction. If the scar is very red, you need to tone it down with a yellowbased concealer. Should it have a little more purple, combining a yellow and peach concealer can tone down the discoloration. If it’s a scar that’s still healing, there may be green and/or grey hues that can be colour-corrected with a little more peach than yellow. The added warmth will balance out the grey, Yeo says.

Yeo’s triedand-tested colourcorrecting concealers include Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage ($60) and Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Concealer ($38). – CT
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