From bodacious buns to playfully parted hair, this season's "it" girl is anything but meek. Not afraid to experiment and express her individuality, she wears bold makeup that colors outside the lines and drops intense pigment on lids to complement the equally fierce designs we saw hit the runway.

And just when we thought we had seen it all, caviar nails and poodle bouffant puffs rocked our world.

Backstage at L.A.M.B., Gwen Stefani's longtime hairstylist and BFF Danilo summed up what he says is an overall theme emerging from his celebrity clientele:

"I'm calling it the Gaga Effect. Gaga's craziness has allowed everyone else to fully express themselves. Everyone can just let loose and not be judged for it," Danilo told StyleList.

So get ready to unleash your inner Gaga as you browse the standout hair and beauty trends from New York Fall 2011 Fashion Week -- and if you're a less-is-more type of girl, we promise we've got a couple fresh new looks for you to try too.

Pomp It Up

The bold makeup trend from last season has seemingly warped into the bold bun of next season, with voluminous piles of hair set atop the crown. Unstructured and playful in design, buns seen at shows like Ruffian and Luca Luca displayed a sense of levity.

Pompadour hairstyle at Ruffian Fall 2011. Photo: Jennifer Graylock/jpistudios.com

"Whenever you place hair high up on the crown, it communicates attitude and youth. It's flippish, both literally and figuratively," said Danilo backstage at Gwen Stefani's L.A.M.B. show, where her "buffalo girls" flaunted a frizzy half-up ball upon their heads, with the rest of the thick plumage trailing down the back.

At Luca Luca, lead stylist Teddy Charles said that sexy, slightly disheveled updos are a great complementary choice for the high collars and fur necklines often found in fall clothing. Charles brushed locks up to the top of the head, creating a standing-up circular bun that was both elegant and approachable.

The Chinese opera influenced the sculptural updo at Vivienne Tam, which Cutler stylist Leon Gorman kept in place with the help of a hairnet, pins, lots of hairspray and an ornamental large black lace barrette secured just above the nape of the neck.

The most dramatic take on the hair-raising trend was seen at Isaac Mizrahi, whose "Poodles & Cake" collection translated literally into the hair with a custom-made pom-pom attached to the top of the head. "I was up working on these until 3 in the morning!" moaned lead Wella stylist Eugene Souleiman.

Red Eye

There was a raging case of pinkeye backstage at New York's Fall 2011 Fashion Week -- and we're not talking about the infectious kind.

From Honor to Ruffian, bright magenta eye shadow threw all caution to the wind with opaque applications of shocking shades.

Red eye makeup at Thakoon Fall 2011. Photo: Leigh Vogel/Getty Images for Kerastase

Technicolor '80s dream girls like Cyndi Lauper influenced the color choice at Ruffian, where MAC makeup artist James Kaliardos built up Vibrant Grape eye shadow in layers for the most dramatic effect, starting at the lashes.

Meanwhile, a London punk-rock kid inspired a more fiery rendition of the shade at Honor, as NARS makeup artist James Boehmer blended Taj Mahal and Exhibit A blushes together to achieve the bursting hue -- which was further accentuated by a winglike application on the inner-eye area.

A toned-down, appropriate-for-reality version was shown at Zero + Maria. Revlon makeup artist Gucci Westman blended shades of purple, pink and terracotta to achieve the look of a sunset setting across the eyes.

Outside the Lines

Coloring inside the lines was old hat, as backstage beauty looks from Betsey Johnson to Derek Lam and Alice + Olivia boldly stroked lines and shadow where makeup doesn't usually venture.

Crazy lined eyes at Victor de Souza Fall 2011. Photo: David Lance Bismuth/Getty Images

A '20s flapper girl flirted with a touch of trademark Betsey Johnson grunge, with frosted aquamarine color that striped straight across the eye area and glimmering gold highlighting the lid. Jeremy Scott used a similar palette to blanket eyes in shocking yellow, lining the lower lid in turquoise, and adding Twiggy-like false lashes to both top and bottom lash lines.

Cleopatra continues to influence the art of dramatic eye makeup, with exaggerated cat-eyes inked in thick liquid lining at Alice + Olivia. A softer, more ethereal rendition forewent liner in favor of smoky charcoal shadow at Derek Lam, where MAC makeup artist Tom Pecheaux commented, "I wanted the eyes to be really iconic."

A creative variation on the cat-eye was seen at Victor de Souza, where structured black eyeliner brought to life the designer's continuing fascination with aliens, with pencil tracing around the tear ducts and lid crease in outward-sweeping motion that appeared otherworldly.

Playing the Part

When designers wanted to lend a sense of elegant femininity to their beauty look, stylists relied on the classic deep side part.

Carolina Herrera's always-ladylike collection was enhanced by a side-parted updo that swept sleekly from the front to a rolled-up chignon pinned just above the nape of the neck.

Deep side part at Carolina Herrera Fall 2011. Photo: Peter Michael Dills/Getty Images for IMG

Elsewhere, side parts gave way to long, flowing manes of hair. Flatirons sleekened locks at Tadashi Shoji, where lead stylist Rodney Cutler fastened the part into place with the ornamental use of three bobby pins slipped in side by side.

The thick volume created by a deep side part at Charlotte Ronson was balanced out by two thin cornrow-style braids that kept the part separated down the back, and swept over the shoulder.

The part was in its most natural element at Cynthia Steffe, with a dab of foaming mousse at the roots and a traditional blowout being all that it took to achieve the flowing manes of models showing off the earthy, safari-inspired collection.

Center parts were also well-represented at shows like Naeem Khan and Adam, where they were slicked to the head with gel to invoke a Latin American feel to the style. At Proenza Schouler, the stark center part alluded to the Native American imagery that imbued the collection.

High-Effort Effortless

Any woman who has tried the "natural look" knows the process can, surprisingly, take even longer than your usual "face" and 'do, since all attention focuses on the perfection of your features.

Simple and sophisticated hair at Marc by Marc Jacobs Fall 2011. Photo: Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Advanced Academics

At Marc by Marc Jacobs, a seemingly bare face and untouched hair was simplistic in presentation, yet was anything but in preparation. Skin was swirled in a base of night cream, topping of loose translucent powder, and blending of luminous coral, pink, peach, white and gold powders in order to achieve a completely nude yet glowing complexion. The deceptively simple hair required a blowout, pin-curl setting and final wide-tooth-comb brush-out to achieve the "natural" volume at the crown and flowing movement.

Models who flaunted similar au naturel faces at Tadashi required what MAC makeup artist Luc Bouchard termed "blurring" with blended layers of cream foundation, concealer and pearlized powder highlighter to create a Photoshop-like effect. Touches of matte bronzer gently contoured to create natural-looking shadows under the bone structure of skin.

I-don't-care-hair looked the part at Michael Kors -- that is, until you looked closer. "The hair is a little bit '90s, when it was cool not to have really 'done' hair and makeup. We did a loosely tied twist with a few bits sticking out here and there," explained T3 lead stylist Orlando Pita. Those stray pieces transform what is really a complicated knot worthy of a boating license into a casual-looking pin-up.

The Tipping Point

Nails used to be an afterthought, but designers are increasingly seeing polish as an extension of their collection and another venue through which to conjure the imagination.

A modern take on the French manicure at Jason Wu Fall 2011. Photo: Jennifer Graylock/jpistudios.com

"It's not just about throwing on a neutral nail color anymore. The designers want us to get more creative, to have a lot more fun!" Butter LONDON founder Nonie Creme told StyleList.

Outrageous was the word on the street at Cushnie and Ochs, with black polish immersed in black beads and glitter for a caviar-like finish. At Ruffian, designers Brian Wolk and Claude Morais turned their trademark moon manicure on its head with nails outfitted in polish tuxedos of pearlescent lavender shirts, black buttons and black bow ties.

Variations on the classic French manicure oozed sophistication at Jason Wu and Vivienne Tam, though without such unimaginative colors as white and beige. Instead, chocolate-cherry nails tipped in gold accented Wu's Versailles-inspired collection, which dripped in the metallic hue, as clear nail beds dipped in glittery fire-engine red created alternative chic at Tam.

And most creative of all, Creme painted bands of chocolate, mauve and orange polish rings around models' fingers at Vena Cava, instead of on their nails. "I'm inspired to push the boundaries of what people do with nail lacquer. I want to encourage people to go beyond the usual," Creme told StyleList.

Braid-y Bunch

Braids aren't just for hippies. Looks seen at shows as diverse as Erin Fetherston to Halston used the traditional pattern to make outspoken beauty statements, most often with material woven in as ornamental accent throughout the hair.

Braided headbands at Erin Fetherston Fall 2011. Photo: Marc Stamas/Getty Images

A thick braid intertwined with metallic thread framed models' faces at Fetherston in crownlike glory before sweeping into a carefully tucked chignon at the nape of the neck. Ted Gibson also used fabric in a milkmaid braid set atop of the head at Rachel Roy, interlacing pliable silk to draw the hair into the sumptuous fabrics used in the collection.

Meanwhile, simple was the keyword at Halston, where a clean ponytail secured into a basic braid reflected the streamlined silhouettes of the collection. The trick? Spritz a hairbrush with hairspray, and then work through hair before braiding, said Catwalk by TIGI stylist Bob Recine.

Sleek was also the look at Carlos Miele, as reflected by the thickly braided plait bun lead stylist Rodney Cutler secured with a clear elastic and pins in order to create an updo that wasn't "too busy."

The great thing about braids is they also serve a second styling purpose; just undo your creation, spritz some dry shampoo at roots, and you've got some fabulous day-two hair.

Finally, something we can rock without garnering public stares.

If you want to take a walk on the wild side with more hair trends from Fashion Week then check out this video to see what wowed our partners at BellaSugar!