Pink can be powerful. So can lavender, blue, apricot and the other bonbon colors in spring makeup, inspired by the clothing on spring runways.
Gone for the moment are earth-toned cosmetics, which would only clash with pastel fashion or bog it down. Instead, lipsticks, blushers and eye shadows in spun-sugar shades are as airy and upbeat as the season's clothes. And though the new powders look vivid "in the pan," they are so finely ground as to be transparent upon application. This micro-milled sheerness makes them virtually mistake-proof, since they can be stroked on without leaving telltale lines of demarcation.
Candy-colored makeup falls into two camps: blue-based (cool-toned) or yellow-based (warm-toned). In the blue palette at left, eyes are washed in violet, cheeks are swept in pink and lips are painted deep lilac--to provide a focal point in a sea of pales. Note that last fall's high-gloss "vinyl" lips have been replaced with a shimmery mouth, a textural complement to the satin day-wear in stores right now.
Of course, no one's going to suggest suggesting a daily diet of snow-cone colors. Neutrals are a beauty staple for many women (who should like the new pinky-brown lipsticks from Estee Lauder, Lancome, L'Oreal and OPI). But when pastel fashions beckon--or when a navy suit needssome mood elevation--think pink (lips, eyes, cheeks or nails). Candy's dandy.
SOFT & SWEET
Instead of making jokes about blue eye shadow, women are actually using it--when it's as pale as a robin's egg. Here, sheer blue bathes the lid and pink powder dusts the cheek. But there's nothing babyish about pink-and-blue when it's set off by a sophisticateddeep-berry mouth. The inspiration for this color combination: Paris couture, where designer Christian Lacroix sent models down the spring runway in violet eye shadow, blue mascara and deep-red lipstick.
Hues at the warm end of the spectrum abound in the peachy palette: Eyes are shaded in apricot, cheeks are swept in coral and lips are painted orange (recently returned tofashion after a long exile). For additional warmth, eyes, cheeks and lips can be touched with gold-flecked eye shadows, blushers and lipsticks. Most are so sheer they can be worn day ornight.
Makeup may have lightened up for spring, but it still packs a punch. With colors this pretty, who needs accessories?
The new shades, shown at left, don't require a dab hand at application either, since even lipstick pigments are featherweight. And many come with their own tools attached: A tiny brush on Lancome's lip pencil helps perfect the line, while eye and lip pencils by Chanel and Estee Lauder are self-sharpening. And the new cream-powder eye-shadow formulas on the market keep errant "dusting" on lashes and cheeks to a minimum.
To arrive at the freshest warm-weather look, glowing skin and shiny hair take you halfway there. New grooming and treatment products, shown below, cut down on prep time, adding moisture and sheen where needed. And some do double duty: On dry hair, a squeeze of anti-frizz gel adds texture to "the new bob"; on wet hair, a generous dollop slicks it backfrom the face and into a summer ducktail.