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Lighten Up!

By: Sara Mason
Posted: March 22, 2013, from the April 2013 issue of GCI Magazine.

Editor’s note: A version of this article originally ran in the March 2013 issue of Skin Inc. magazine. All rights reserved.

Like a twist of lemon in your iced tea, spring is the season for consumers to renew and refresh their looks. “It’s time to open up to the possibilities, to express yourself in a new way,” says celebrity makeup artist Emily Katz. As clothes lighten up in texture and tone, so do lips, eyes and cheeks. Clean, bare skin will be an important focus this spring, with light and bright pops of color to bring attention to one feature, such as the eyes or lips.

The spring palette from Pantone mixes dynamic brights with novel neutrals to create a harmonious balance. This allows for unique combinations that offer practicality and versatility, but at the same time, demand attention.

“It’s almost as if fall’s deep, rich colors have been left outside to be bleached by the sun,” says KJ Bennett, celebrity makeup artist. “It’s a nice progression into summer—very beachy, light, crisp and clean.” The palette flips from the usually smoldering Miami summer to the cool side. “It’s a nice contrast, colors that are saturated but not heavy,” Bennett continues. “They have depth, and are refined and sophisticated.”

The softer, muted and pretty color choices also allow consumers to focus on soft natural beauty, according to makeup artist Rachel Wood. “Real beauty is back,” she says.

Barely There

Fall featured heavily made-up skin that was lush, dramatic and beautiful. “We’re switching it up for spring with a very clean face,” says Bennett. The look is nude and natural, featuring minimal lip color and little-to-no foundation, with an option for color-blocking on the eyes with architectural brows.

Not even a lot of bronzer or a sun-kissed effect is on trend, according to Bennett. “But that doesn’t mean you have to leave the foundation at home,” he explains. The key is soft luminous foundation that looks like bare skin. Bennett suggests a good concealer that won’t cake or be heavy to spot conceal any skin issues. Then, if needed, a silicone-based moderate-to-sheer foundation that will not penetrate the skin. “It won’t cake and provides coverage and a protective barrier for those with acne or texture issues,” he says.

Creating a barely-there face means an emphasis on skin care for spring. “The canvas has to be right,” Bennett says. He recommends avoiding tinted moisturizers and suggests serums instead of moisturizers. Hyaluronic gel serums or primers can prep skin for makeup by pulling moisture from the air for an immediate smoothing effect, while polysaccharides or sugar derivatives hold that moisture in. Silica is another key ingredient for leveling texture and diffusing light.

Katz also recommends using blotting papers to counteract drag from a powder product on top of a creamier product and circumventing caking as the weather warms up. “It’s key to have a flawless look without looking over- or under-done,” says Katz.

The more natural, stripped down face means blushes are stronger, however. Katz is seeing a lot of coral and nectarine for naturally warm, but sculpted, cheeks. “Find what makes the face a little brighter and go from there,” she recommends.

Truly Nude

Lips will have a rosy tone that emulates lip color to continue the nude look for spring. Bennett recommends taking extra care of the lips, conditioning and exfoliating them well. “By ensuring lips are in good condition, all that’s really needed is balm,” he explains. “The look for spring is not super glossy, but something more satin.” Bennett also recommends a nude lip liner, preferably waterproof, to shape imperfect lips.

“A very nude lip is on trend,” agrees Katz. “The caveat is if she can’t pull off a nude lip, don’t do it.” Katz recommends a nectarine lip gloss over a darker lipstick. And Wood adds, “Nectarine and poppy red for lips is super fresh—very cherubic.”

A bright cherry red lip also can be on trend, if the rest of the face is neutral. To update the look, blot down a bright red and put a pinkish gloss over it or mix a coral color with a more brown lipstick to wear as a stain. “There are ways to transition from fall without having to give up tried-and-true favorites,” says Katz.

Color Blocking

Bright pops of color give an otherworldly look, which was popular on the runways for spring. The colors for eyes are not as vivid as years past, but are softly muted, dustier tones that are saturated but not intense. For color blocking, Bennett suggests first applying a stronger color only to the lid. Blend it to the crease. Then, apply any contouring, as well as liner and mascara. The color will be diffused a bit into more of an accent. The other option is to use a black gel eye liner to exaggerate a thick line, then blend it really quickly before it dries. “Layering a strong color on top will diffuse the color, giving the freshness of color blocking without it being super saturated or vibrant,” says Bennett.

For those consumers who are more colorphobic, this makes it more sophisticated and wearable. “Use smartly bright—not neon—colors,” suggests Bennett. The look also works easier with pearlized or shimmering colors over the base to catch light and add dimension. “Matte colors look hard, which is dramatic but can appear cartoony,” he continues.

Light and bright can also be balanced through the use of mineral pigments. “If the color is too intense, consumers cannot control the product,” explains Shawn Towne, global educator for Jane Iredale. “By using luminosity, you can sheer a color without taking away its intensity.” If that’s still too much, use a strong color as a liner instead. “Keep it to the top lid only,” suggests Bennett.

Katz agrees. “Many of the colors are not wearable for most people on an average day,” she says. Her advice this season is to use the colors conservatively as a shadow or a liner inside the lower lid to kick up the usual look a notch.

Natural and Reflective

The prevalence of green this spring is undeniable. Similar to the many shades in natural surroundings, this season’s greens offer a backdrop for all other hues.

Expect to see Pantone’s color of the year, Emerald, continue through to fall, as well. “Emerald is such a great universal shade that works on all skin tones in all different ways. It feels so mysterious and empowering, it’s the perfect tone to reflect the women of 2013,” says Kate McCarthy, GlōMinerals national makeup artist. Emerald reads beautifully on both warm and cool undertones. “For those on the cooler side, look for greens with a blue undertone, and for those on the warm side, look for emeralds with more of a yellow/golden undertone,” McCarthy suggests.

The vibrant yellow-green Tender Shoots is invigorating and cheerful, like the first signs of spring. It looks very cool when used as an accent color on dark brown eyes. Tender Shoots can be used for color blocking on the outer eyelid area as well, just above the lash line and below, then the crease of the eyelid for a flash of color, according to corrective makeup artist Donna Mee of Donna Mee, Inc.