Winter was all about covering up. Whether for warmth or aesthetics, fashionable folks found themselves in thick fabrics like wool and velvet, hats on their heads and statement-making makeup on the ladies’ faces. Now, as much as I love my parka and those trusty Doc Martens, spring fever is taking hold, and fashion is bringing a fresh new look along with the season’s fresh blooms.
A fresh look calls for a fresh face, and though winter’s winged liner and red lips may have been ever so seductive, the newest trends are all about lightening up. Go girly with cheek and lip stains, which give you a youthful, rising-from-within color that’s both natural and enticingly sweet. As if the two-in-one practicality of products like Stila Lip & Cheek Stain isn’t enough, by applying the same color to both lips and cheeks your coloring becomes more consistent, giving you a healthy glow.
Whether for the cheeks, lips, nails or lids, take a cue from jewelry trends and incorporate the ever-versatile rose gold into your look. This color eliminates the brassiness of gold and the ruddiness of rose for a glow that compliments every skin tone. The feminine charm is balanced by a cool metallic sheen that does wonders for that fresh dewy look. Sweeping eye shadow, such as Urban Decay eye shadow in Chopper, over upper lids and brushing on a sheer highlighter over cheekbones gives a light and ethereal feel.
Contrast a fresh face with a bold brow for a look that is as striking as it is on trend. A perfect brow should look completely natural, so despite its strength there is something youthful and fresh in it. Brows must be done right in order to avoid that penciled in look that makes the wearer seem severe and harsh instead of bright and stylish. Start by brushing brows out with a clear mascara to keep everything in place. Pluck away any unruly hairs, but do not change the shape of your brows. Brow shaping is a tricky process that can help frame your face in the most flattering way, but unless you’ve mastered a technique I recommend taking it to the professionals (most salons offer waxing), to make sure you do not overpluck. Next, fill in your natural shape very lightly in the spaces where the hairs do not grow. Experiment with eyebrow pencils, kits (I myself use Benefit Brow Zings) or gel to get just the right amount of color.
Heat-damaged hair can rejoice now that the fashion world is realizing that a little frizz really isn’t the end of the world. Models with bedhead-inspired hair filled the runway this spring, and something about their apathetically combed out, completely gloss-free look was just too cool. Think Kate Moss’s signature look but with a little more frizz and a lot more real girl cred. The best thing about this look is it’s easily achievable for both curly and straight-haired ladies. If your hair is curly, comb out the tangles and smooth with finishing crème like John Frieda Secret Weapon for a laid-back look. Straight-haired girls can achieve this look with the simple sleep-with-hair-in-a-bun-trick for effortless waves.
Another deceptively easy hairdo that’s too irresistible to pass up this spring is the milkmaid braids. Sure it’s been around since, well, milkmaids, but thanks to fashionistas, the pastoral favorite is getting a much-appreciated dose of messy hipness. Start by dividing the hair into two braids, making sure to leave out a few strands in front. Loosen up braids with fingers for a less defined look, and lift each braid towards the top of the head, about an inch away from the forehead, securing them with bobby pins. Make sure to hide the elastic and bobby pins with hair, and adjust as desired.
These fresh looks can only be paired with fresh outfits, and with the options that are popping up this spring there will be no deficiency of choices. Pattern and fabric mixing seems to be this springs most ubiquitous trend. Done right, it can look quirky yet sophisticated, fun but put-together. Avoid looking like the high school theater geek with snakeskin pants and mismatched Converse by sticking to subtle and grown-up materials in the most stylish shapes. Think stripes, polka dots, lace, chambray and leather, all thrown together with clever accessories like patterned belts, socks and loafers.
This spring, no outfit can be complete without a collar. Whether it be on a classic oxford button down or a Peter Pan on a shift, the buttoned-up look has a fresh and youthful feel when paired with bright colors and fun shapes. Pair a collared shirt with skinny printed trousers that hit around the ankle for a style that winks at sophistication. And don’t forget this spring’s flirty and easy shoe: the ankle-strap skimmer, in coquettish colors and a daringly innocent shape.