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6 Easy Ways To Instantly Upgrade Your Beauty Game

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    Photographed by Justin Borbely.

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    Just because you can pull off that neutral eye and barely there blush season after season doesn't mean you should. While a soft, natural look is undoubtedly having a moment, even the most makeup-obsessed (read: us) can agree that we need to punch it up sometimes.

    That's why we tapped makeup extraordinaire Talia Sparrow to create six fresh spring looks that will actually excite you. We don't just mean a light dusting of shadow here and a swipe of lip balm there. We're talkin' rainbow eyes, ombré cheeks, and two-toned lips — and there's not an earth tone in sight.

    Of course, since these aren't your everyday looks (yet), we've also tapped Sparrow for her expert tips on toning down the slightly out-there looks with COVERGIRL products to make them more wearable. Now, there's no excuse to not try out these looks. Neutrals? For spring? Not if we have anything to say about it.



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    The Look: Eye-Brite
    This rainbow eye is made up of three colors — pink, gold, and blue. The key to making all three work on one lid is making sure that they all have a metallic finish.

    First, prime your lids, which will help prevent colors from wearing off and creasing. Then, pat a gold cream shadow, like COVERGIRL Bombshell ShineShadow By LashBlast in Color Me Money, all over the lids, concentrating the color in the middle of each eye. Use your pinky finger to bring some of the color into your tear ducts. Next, apply a metallic-blue shadow, like the ones in COVERGIRL Eye Shadow Quads in Breathtaking Blues, in the inner creases and a bright-pink shadow, like COVERGIRL Flamed Out Shadow Pot in Fired-Up Pink, in the outer creases. Use a small brush to blend the colors together if needed, or in Sparrow's case, a clean finger for a "slapdash" feel.

    Complete the look with dewy skin, and load up on the mascara.

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    Play It Up
    We've been conditioned to wear shades that complement our eye color — just think of the color wheel. However, the key to this look is playing with contrast, so ignore the rules and look for shades that enhance your skin tone rather than your eye color, Sparrow says. To get the most shocking payoff if you have a fairer skin tone, try a mix of peaches and pinks; if you have a medium skin tone, variations of bronze look amazing. A silver gradient is also a safe bet.

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    Wear It Out
    If a multi-hued eye is too much for the 9-to-5, just think of it as a metallic eye using one or two shades of your choice instead. Tap a darker color on the outer corner and blend into the center of the eye. Then, work a lighter color from the middle into the tear duct. You can also keep the shadows closer to your lashline to make them less noticeable.

    Finish off a bold eye with a simple dress and sneaks. Just toss a blazer on top if your office is more corporate than creative.

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    The Look: Down Under
    A pop of color on the upper lids is a no-brainer. But, when the color moves down to the lower lashline, that's uncharted territory — until now.

    To get this look, start with a concealer or eyeshadow primer just below the eyes. Then, dip a flat, angled brush into bright-blue eyeshadow, like COVERGIRL Flamed Out Shadow Pot in Sapphire Flare, and line the bottom lashline. Finally, use a small smudge brush to blend green shadow, like COVERGIRL Flamed Out Shadow Pot in Lime Lite, right underneath the blue, extending downward to create a little halo effect.

    Swipe mascara onto just the lower lashes, and then apply blush and rosy lipstick to finish the look without taking the focus off the eyes.

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    Play It Up
    With fair skin tones, Sparrow likes to use blue and green, which you see here. Medium complexions should try a bronze-and-green combo, while those with deeper skin tones should experiment with a wine-to-silver gradient.