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Lighten Up!

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

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Grayed Jade, a subtle, hushed green with a gray undertone, is more reflective, rounding out a palette of spring greens. “It’s a perfect color for blue/green or eyes that are shades of gray,” says Mee. She recommends dusting a sheer layer of this shade on the lower lid or using it as eyeliner under the lower lash line to enhance the eyes. Combine this neutral green as a shadow with a cool, radiant green, such as Emerald, as an eye liner. “This adds an unexpected, bright pop of color to a daily look,” says Whip Hand Cosmetics founder Riese Lauriat.

Unexpected and Vibrant

Exotic African Violet is a statement color that brings a touch of intrigue to the palette, as purples often do, and can be incorporated into many unexpected combinations. Katz always has loved lavender and violet. “Those colors look good on most skin,” she says. This shade works especially well on women with yellow undertones, as well as women with dark skin tones, according to Lauriat. “There are even purple blushes on the market that can produce unexpectedly stunning results on yellow complexions,” she says.

Mee suggests using African Violet on a dark brown eye, incorporating it into the eye shadow on a small eyelid or used as eyeliner on the lower lash line for larger eyes. A lip gloss in African Violet also can create fantastic colors when layered over lipsticks that are too warm or too bright to wear alone, according to Mee. Try pairing violet with exuberant Poppy Red, a sensual and celebratory shade. “This is a great basic staple for most women as a true red lipstick and looks especially nice in contrast with dark hair,” explains Mee.

And Nectarine, a bright, effervescent citrus orange with coral undertones, is a transition from last year’s Tangerine. If Nectarine lips or eyelids are too bold, try using an orange blush on the apples of the cheeks. “The orange shade works well as blush and lip colors on cooler skin tones and will enhance a blue eye even when worn on lips and cheeks,” says Mee. “Nectarine is always a great shade on most redheads [as well].”

Katz recommends cheerful Lemon Zest to really open up an eye that is very deep set to make it pop, especially when paired with black or deep brown. “Loose shimmer shadows in Lemon Zest look great when dusted over the iris—the center of the eyelid from crease to lash line,” adds Mee. With its spritely greenish cast, Lemon Zest is especially appealing on hazel and green eyes. The color also works wonders on neutral or pink undertones, but women with yellow or olive undertones should opt for a deeper, warm, mustard version.

Versatile and Practical

Signifying the time of day when everything starts to wind down, Dusk Blue offers a calming sense of serenity, and the softened cornflower blue is a favorite of Bennett’s: “It is absolutely beautiful and very soft.” For an unexpected mix, pair Dusk Blue with the intensity of Nectarine. For a fresh look, soften the eyes by smudging Dusk Blue over gray or charcoal eyeliner. “Use just a little,” says Mee. “Eye shadow or eyeliner of this color applied on the inner eye corners can brighten a light eye.”

A warm neutral, Linen is light and airy, providing a nude like basic that is a must-have for spring. “This cool beige tone works fabulously as a sheer shimmer eye shadow on fair to medium complexions,” suggests Mee. “It can be used all over the lid for a fresh look, dabbed at inner eye corners to make eyes look less close set or under the brow bone to enhance a perfectly groomed eyebrow.” Linen as a lipstick offers the nudest nude lip look this spring. Try pairing Linen with Grayed Jade or Dusk Blue.

Katz also recommends a combination of Linen and taupe with black or dark brown eye liner and a pink lip to offset the Emerald and Tender Shoot fashions consumers might be wearing. “Don’t shy away from pink because it’s not on the spring palette,” she explains. “Pink is still an appropriate color for lips or eye shadow this spring, absolutely.”

Monaco Blue also is a classic shade that offers both stability and depth to the entire palette. It truly does complement all complexions, hair and eye colors. “Consider using it on your lids,” says Lauriat. “Use it to brighten up the traditional smoky eye, or blend it with a darker, dusky blue for an office-appropriate wash of color on the lids.” Katz suggests creating a smoky eye with a golden bronze-brown with a deep, warm blue as an accent or shadow underneath the eye for more daring trendsetters.

“Monaco Blue is beautiful when worn as eyeliner for deep blue or dark brown eyes,” adds Mee. “It’s also a fabulous color choice for mascara. It is dark enough to enhance the lashes but gives a slightly softer appearance.” She also notes that Monaco Blue actually will lessen the appearance of tired, red eyes, so it is great for women with allergies or for those mornings following late nights.

Sara Mason is a freelance writer based in the Chicagoland area. She was previously managing editor of GCI magazine.