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Sheer Delight

Abby Penning
  • Consumers seeking a way to change up their look without emptying their wallet this spring are looking to festive, fun hues in cosmetics as a way to brighten up.
  • With a basis in sheer shades of browns, pinks and greens mixed with occasional bold notes of purple, fuchsia, blue and yellow, eyelids, lashes, cheeks and lips are experiencing a variety of hues at varying intensities.
  • A fresh, fuss-free look is the focus for Spring 2010, providing enough color to draw attention to attractive features without being overwhelming.

Along with warmer, sunnier days and the freedom from the weather entrapments of winter, one of spring’s greatest gifts is the color it brings forth every year. Appearing in greening lawns, budding trees and blossoming flowers, these signs of renewal and life are a welcome respite after gray landscapes and cold temperatures, and fresh hues in cosmetics can signal the same burst of vivacity. That’s why it’s vital to stay up-to-date with the season’s hottest hues in eye shadows and eye liners, mascara, blushes, bronzers, lipsticks, glosses and more.

“For spring, everything is perfectly nude. The colors are going really sheer,” says Tricia Campbell, director of education with Jane Iredale—The Skin Care Makeup. “When I think of spring, I think of spring cleaning; a fresh new start.”

In keeping with the lightened-up trend, Cheryl Santucci, beauty director at Mario Tricoci Salons and Day Spas, a 19-facility chain located throughout northern Illinois and Kansas, notes, “The texture of makeup for the spring is light and luminescent, and it doesn’t appear to have as heavy of a coverage. The sheer look is pretty, and this kind of makeup really features women’s beauty.”

Leatrice Eiseman, Pantone Color Institute’s executive director and creator of, is noticing fashion tending toward bright color pops in spring like shades of purple, yellow, blue and fuchsia, accenting the neutral tones of nearly nude champagne, greenish taupe and warm brown. “There’s an almost equal division of warm and cool colors that are set to be popular,” she explains. “You need something that’s going to look natural and comfortable. Maybe that’s blue, maybe violet, maybe a warm tomato red—whatever you use, you should maintain a color balance. Creating some contrast keeps things from becoming boring.”

According to J. Scott Berry, one more color to keep an eye on for the season is green. “Green is a big, popular color for the spring,” he notes. Berry, who a makeup artist, the owner of J. Scott’s Skin Care & Day Spa in Leesburg, Florida, and southeast regional manager and skin care and spa consultant with Repêchage, continues, “There are a lot of different shades of green—from khaki to dark forest to lime—but they’re all very wearable. There is a lot more maturity to the products that are out now.”

Fresh Face

Some of the greatest developments in beauty are those that aim to enhance the skin, and this reflects the popularity of a beautiful complexion in spring 2010. “One of the first things that comes to mind for me in terms of spring makeup is a lot of very nice, flawless, dewy skin. It’s a very fresh face,” says makeup artist Tacha Scott. “The cheeks are going more into a bronzy-copper kind of look with a touch of rose for warmth.”

Santucci also notes, “Skin is featured in a big way, allowing it to be luminescent and creating an opportunity for it to really shine.”

Of course, that doesn’t mean a little highlighting of the features isn’t in order. “Skin has a great natural shimmer that helps it look glowy without being greasy,” says beauty expert and celebrity makeup artist Candace Corey, and the extra touch of color blush can provide offers a healthy look to the face. “I think we’re still in a time where we’re seeing blush come back, but it’s a lighter touch for spring,” Berry explains. “It’s not the same pink it was eight years ago. The products are more mature, and they help give the cheeks a nice sun kissed, natural look.”

Emily Katz, a celebrity makeup artist, also recommends a fresh-faced touch with bronzer and light sweeps of blush. “Sometimes a really nice apricot or pinky peach blush can help give the face more life,” she notes, and blushes for darker skin tones can include hues of auburn, bronze-copper and plum. “You want it to be vivid enough to give light to the skin,” Katz explains.

Additionally, she recommends prepping skin with sunscreen, moisturizer and eye cream. Once that solidly glowing complexion is achieved, any additional colors on the eyes and lips can serve solely as a way to spice up this spring’s alluring, luminous appearance.

Bright Eyes

To help eyes shine, vivid notes of color in a rainbow of hues are appearing on the lids and lashes.

“There are three different eye looks,” says Katz. “One is a smoky eye where, for this spring, you can use gray, violet, navy and deep green shadows with kohl or black liner. Another is the neutral eye, which uses light beige and amber shadows, maybe with a little taupe edged in for depth, and that can include a fine line with the liner. And the third is brighter, more pastel colors—lavender, lilac, green and blue. You don’t want them to be too pastel or chalky or you’ll look straight out of 1966, so they should be soft and sheer.” “Lots of people like to get a little more fashionable on the eye,” Santucci notes. “For spring, pastels are featured, and they are worn more easily in a sheer mineral formula. There are also more of the greens, lavenders, and even oranges and yellows. The key is to make it sheer, and use pops of intense color within overall washes that aren’t going to be overpowering.” And Corey says, “Purple is still popular from the fall, but now it’s a brighter, lighter version of lavender. Everything is going on sheer.”

There is still the opportunity to have some fun with the spring eye hues. “Eyes are seeing bright colors, such as blues and greens, being given a smoky touch,” comments Scott. “There is bolder eye liner along the bottom of the eye, and it’s extending out past the natural line a bit for a more elongated look. I’ve also seen a lot of bright colors, not just on the lid, but also extending toward the highlight, brow bone area. Going for the bold, dark color needs good blending though, to make sure it’s a seamless look.” And Corey says, “People are creating the smudgy, smoky eye, but now with brighter colors. I’ve seen green, teal and even some yellow.”

Finally, Campbell also sees the re-emergence of mascara as a makeup heavy-hitter. “Not everyone always wants to wear black, so colors in mascara are taking off again—espresso, plum, navy and slate gray. It should act as an accent to eye color, and it can really help soften a look,” she says.

Lip Lock

For the spring, the lips are also featuring a cornucopia of colors, giving a great complement to the eye and blush hues. “Color on the lips this season can range from a cool coral to more bold geranium,” notes Santucci. “Bold color is in, but the paler pinks and apricots—lighter and softer shades—will be equally featured.”

Campbell is seeing more neutral tones on the lips, allowing for the opportunity for a bit of shine. “The lips are going much more sheer, even nude, but they still have that high gloss,” she explains, and Scott says, “I think because a lot of emphasis is on the coppery, bronzy, creamy blush on the cheeks, the lips are very soft, rosy and peachy.”

Offering tips about sheer lip tones, Eiseman says, “The pink champagne tone is a feathery light kind of color that’s very romantic. The tomato hue is the big red shade, but it’s more softened and has more warmth. And the orangey coral color is cooler, not as in your face. It’s mellow and flattering to more skin tones than bright orange is.”

Additionally, Katz is seeing a lip standby staying strong. “There’s the red lip look, which is transitioning out of the holiday look to something more fresh and bright. Orange is also a popular color, but it’s not always easy to wear,” she explains.

Spring Ahead

“In general, with the economy still recovering, people are inclined to go with more of an understated look, but that’s what is great about cosmetics. For an evening or the weekend, you can get more creative with the colors,” Eiseman explains.

“There are lots of pops of good color, but overall, the look is meant to appear effortless,” Berry says. “It’s spring, so people still want to look good, but not like they tried too hard.” And Santucci notes, “When talking about trends, it’s important for every woman to find her own place within those trends. That’s where a quality professional comes in who should be able to offer the tips and tricks about wearing trendy makeup in a way that is wearable.”

“It’s important for professionals to encourage people to open up creatively with colors,” Eiseman says, and this season’s vivid, eye-catching shades of spring—pink, purple, yellow, red, green and more—can be played up on the eyes and lips with vivacious pops of intensity, or mellowed using sheer applications and a light touch.

This feature is courtesy of Skin Inc. magazine.

Abby Penning is assistant editor of GCI magazine.

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