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A Season of Rebirth

By: Cathy Christensen
Posted: February 28, 2011, from the March 2011 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

Arguably the most anticipated of the seasons, spring brings with it an air of new hope and new beginnings; it is a time to shed the baggage of the dreary winter and embrace the possibilities of new birth.

It was this attitude of rebirth that showed up on the runways during New York Fashion Week this fall, leaving makeup artists both impressed and intrigued by the cosmetic trends that ran the gamut from traditional smoky eyes and nude and pink tones to metallics, new matte lips and even neons. The biggest trend was that every fashion designer made individual choices in regard to makeup this year. “There wasn’t a yawn in the group,” says Emmy-winning makeup artist Kevin James (KJ) Bennett. “Spring 2011 was out-of-control crazy with color. It was everywhere, and it was bright.” According to Leatrice Eiseman, color expert and founder of the Eiseman Color Blog, “Coming out of winter and looking around at the world, you need color as a lift. This spring, color is going to be the quintessential makeup accent.”

As one of the premier colors of the season, Pantone Color Institute named Honeysuckle, described by Eiseman as a pink that is on its way to red, as its color of the year, setting the tone for a brighter season than in years past. But don’t let the brightness scare you, says celebrity makeup artist Christian Scott. “Just because it’s a trend, just because it’s what the gods of the fashion industry are putting toward us doesn’t mean those are the colors everyone has to wear. You can take elements of them,” he says. “For example, if orange doesn’t work, you can go off that and blend in other aspects, going into a beige-brown look and keeping the makeup soft.”

Bennett agrees, saying, “If your client is color phobic, you don’t have to buy into the fashion look. Take one single color that goes with her wardrobe. If this spring she is buying purple, get one great purple eye liner and mix that into her normal, neutral eye makeup. Add the one element.”

Throughout the melee of color that dominated the runways this year, several trends appeared, providing guidance on how to help consumers welcome spring through makeup application in a trendy and wearable way.

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