Only a few days remain in 2012, which likely means New Year’s Eve party plans have been made, resolutions pondered and sparkly dresses purchased. All that’s left besides securing a cab or an Uber is styling. John Frieda creative consultant Harry Josh has a few tips and hair tricks to accentuate a look for any event — from a friend’s house party to a black tie affair.

Sleek chignon

Ballerina buns have undeniably been a top trend in 2012 — try scrolling the clothing category of Pinterest without stumbling on one of these top knots. (Impossible.)

For a more Grace Kelly, old-Hollywood take on the trend, try a low chignon at the nape of the neck. Josh recommends applying gel to damp hair before blowing it out flat against the head and slicking back into a bun.

British actress Emily Blunt is sleek and sophisticated with a low chignon at the premiere of the film, 'The Five-Year Engagement.' (PETER FOLEY/EPA)

Actress Leslie Mann chose a full bun style for the premiere of Universal Pictures' "This Is 40.” (Kevin Winter/GETTY IMAGES)

High pony tail

Another play on the top bun is a letting the hair loose in a sleek ponytail. The look can increase the drama of a modern-style dress or add a bit of youthfulness to classic dresses.

Josh recommends the same preparation for the hair, before securing it in an elastic tie. To cover the band use a ribbon or a strand of hair wrapped around and secured underneath with a bobby pin.

Reese Witherspoon wore a sky-high pony tail with her black and white Giorgio Armani Prive dress at the 2012 Academy Awards. (Lucy Nicholson/REUTERS)


Play-up volume by pulling the front sections of hair back into a barrette or bobby pins for a half-up look. The style is perfect to showcase chandelier earrings or a strapless neckline.

Josh recommends using a volumizing spray at the crown of the head and finishing with a shine spray.

Emily Meade’s half-up look at the "On The Road" New York premiere. (Mike Coppola/GETTY IMAGES)

Fishtail braid

Another fashion blogger favorite and Pinterest star of the last year has been the messy fishtail braid. Instead of taking three equally divided sections of hair and braiding, divide hair in two parts. Then take one small piece from the first section and add it to the second section. Repeat on the other side, adding a small section from the second side to the first. Continue the pattern then pull tight to reveal the braid.

Blake Lively wore a messy side fishtail braid at the premiere of "Green Lantern." (Matt Sayles/AP)


View Photo Gallery: As menswear fashion heads toward more fitted, formal attire for New Year’s Eve and inaugural festivities, now’s the time to add black tie to your closet. Here, suggestions for going formal. — Janet Bennett Kelly

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