Sheer Delight


Along with warmer, sunnier days and 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 for spa clients. 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 executive director and creator of, is noticing fashion tending toward bright color pops in springlike 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 on you. 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 makeup artist 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 is also 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.”

With this plethora of great cosmetics in lively hues available, now is the time to discover the colors and items you want to recommend to clients to be a part of spring’s biggest makeup trends.

Fresh face

Some of the greatest developments in cosmetics are those that aim to enhance the skin, which is an ideal benefit for spa professionals. It also reflects the popularity of a beautiful complexion this spring. “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.” To get the look, Berry recommends a good mineral makeup liquid foundation.

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. “The shimmer is mostly focused on the cheekbone-eye area and down the nose.” Campbell notes, “I’m seeing just sheer washes of bronzer color on the cheeks and the face, perhaps applied with a fan brush. It gives the face a soft glow, and then you can set off cheekbones with hints of terra-cotta tinged pink.”

The extra touch of color blush can provide 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. “Don’t be afraid of a nice pink, but 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, which should be tested on the jawline before purchase to ensure it is not too dark or too orange, and finished with 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 well before makeup applications. “You don’t want skin to be dried out, but you also want the product to be dry on the skin, otherwise the makeup can drag across it. Skin needs to blotted and dried before makeup is applied. I like tinted moisturizer as opposed to heavy foundation, because the moisturizer does double the work for you, looking very sheer and clean. And when skin is well-taken care of and beautiful, it doesn’t need to be covered up.”

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 this spring, vivid notes of color in a rainbow of hues are appearing on the lids and lashes. However, there are distinct techniques you can use to apply the various shades.

“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.”

If a client wants to stick with one distinct shade or color palette, there are a couple of top colors popping up. “I think women should find a great green eye shadow that works for them, whether it is a warm or cool tone,” Berry says. “Even if they just try it on the outer edge of the lid, just a hint of it that’s very subtle can give the eye such a great allure and sparkle.” Additionally, Corey notes, “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.”

Additionally, makeup professionals note the need to create a great eye frame, and Katz suggests complementing any good eye makeup look with well-groomed brows. “You can fill in brows with brow powder for a soft balance,” she says, and Campbell also extols the virtues of a well-crafted brow. “A cappuccino shade is great for the brows, to help clean them up and define the eye. If you have a well-defined and -shaped brow, that enhances the eye and the eye color.”

Finally, Campbell also sees the 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.

With all the exciting options available in shadows, liners and mascaras, from a pastel-themed lavender to bold green, the spring promises perfect, eye-complementing colors for every client.

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. A little bit of tinted lip moisturizer in a light rose looks beautiful, and you could even mix a tiny bit of the lip moisturizer with your favorite lipstick to help soften the color and hydrate the lips; just dab it on.”

Offering tips about what sheer lip tones might be right for your client, and 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.”

If you have clients who are looking for a little drama, Campbell suggests, “Have them wear a pink lip with a darker liner blended in—maybe a berry or even a plum. Then use a great shimmery lip gloss on top of that.”

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.

So, although the slew of colors can be shuffled and sorted through to suit any client’s needs, it’s important to take the time to work with each individual in order to find the lip look that is just right for her.

Spring ahead

Bringing together the brilliant colors of spring, cosmetics are a chance for your clients to express themselves and their excitement about the coming season without having to delve too deeply into their pocketbooks. “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.

For clients—or even spas—that don’t want to invest in a whole new makeup collection, consider combining tried-and-true options with the refreshments of a brilliant mascara or a glossy lip color. Katz says, “Buy a bold color to add a little embellishment, and then stick with your basics for the rest of your makeup. Choose something that helps you look healthy and alive; that can really translate into feeling better about yourself, and—not to sound cheesy—but happiness is a key element of life.”

“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.”

However, even if clients are comfortable with the makeup hues they wear currently, don’t hesitate to suggest something fun and new. “It’s important for professionals to encourage people to open up creatively with colors,” Eiseman says. “Clients may have been told they’re within a certain color temperature range and shouldn’t wear certain shades, but they never know how they look in it or whether they can wear it until they try.”

To sum it up, Scott says, “Use what looks good. Use bold colors, and most of all, have fun.” The 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. Take the time with your clients to encourage them to try something new while also blending it with the old. You never know when someone might find a new favorite color or product.

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