The vernal equinox has come and passed, the birds are singing their little 5am songs, and we’ve had our first unseasonably warm and sunny day in the middle of a full week of rain: all positive indicators that spring is here. In my hometown, we literally march the city’s “legendary harbinger of doom” away in a giant parade, but most of the world just celebrates the welcome change of seasons with a good spring cleaning session — often followed, naturally, by restocking your closet with fresh new finds.
Whether you’re still putting off the purge or have already tossed all those crusty tubes of mascara and any concealer that smells a little… off, it’s never too early to start thinking about what makeup you want to wear come April. Spring makeup trends are always fun, fresh, and exciting, and now that winter is behind us, we’re more than ready to try something new.
Of course, there’s a whole wide world of makeup to explore out there, and trends are always coming and going. Luckily for our serotonin levels, we spoke to some of the makeup industry’s biggest and brightest names to pinpoint what we should be trying now that the temperatures are finally surpassing the 50-degree mark.
The Skinification of Makeup
A fresh-faced, skin-forward look is going to be everywhere this spring. It’s all about showing off your real complexion and skin texture by using light-to-medium-coverage products with a gorgeous, natural finish — the more radiant and hydrated, the better. Slightly sheer skin tints like Beautyblender Bounce Always on Radiant Skin Tint, e.l.f. Halo Glow Liquid Filter, and ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40 will hydrate and plump skin while creating an evenly toned base. If you’re looking to go bare-faced and just want to smooth, nourish, and prime, Westman Atelier Skin Activator Serum, JOAH Beauty Super Sidekick Hydroglow Primer, and Beekman 1802 Milk Primer are all excellent skin care-meets-makeup hybrids. Whichever route you take, just don’t forget to finish off with SPF.
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Ash K. Holm, celebrity makeup pro and Chief Makeup Artist at Ipsy, loves a really bold, flushed blush look for spring. We can’t say it’s a new concept, but the perennial appeal is obvious: we all just emerged from a gray, rainy winter and need just a bit of color to remind us that the sun could possibly come out… tomorrow. “For spring, you can instantly add a pop of color and create a fresh face by layering your blushes,” Holm, who recommends Danessa Myricks Beauty Yummy Skin Blurring Balm Powder Flushed blushes, explains. “Have fun with blush and try layering hot pink and golden peach.” Also perfect for that gorgeous lit-from-within glow? Color Fuse Blush from Haus Labs, which we raved about just last month.
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Danessa Myricks Beauty
Yummy Skin Blurring Balm Powder Flushed
$25.00Danessa Myricks Beauty
Frost? For Spring?
As Y2K fashion finds its way back into our style and makeup choices (I wholeheartedly welcome the return of the butterfly clip, as I always want to feel like a member of B*Witched), we’re seeing the return of all things frosted and shimmery. Eyes, lips, cheeks, body — despite winter being over, it’s still all about the frost. “Think highlighters or shimmer eyeshadows, lip glosses with pearlescent shimmer,” explains Charlie Riddle, celebrity makeup artist and Global Head of Artistry for Stila Cosmetics. “It’s about using them in multiple areas so you have it on the lips, eyes, and cheeks — very Y2K!”
Holm agrees: “Frosted glam is back and better than ever.” Elevate your spring glam by adding fun frosted eyeshadows like those in the Pat McGrath Moonlit Seduction palette, which has a beautiful range of shimmer and frosty eyeshadows perfect for the season. Holm suggests adding the shade Blitz Venus to the center of your eye or inner corner for a real Elsa-embracing-her-powers-in-Frozen vibe.
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The “clean girl” and “vanilla girl” aesthetics are rather problematic — but, when separated from the trend’s inherently non-inclusive roots, there is still something so beautiful about a classic and deliberately sculpted no-makeup makeup look. Balletcore doesn’t invoke Natalie Portman in Black Swan, but rather Misty Copeland dancing to James Blake’s “Retrograde”: radiant skin, a defined brow, bronze-y blush on the cheeks and eyes, and simple mascara. Essentially, it’s a very polished and refined style, with a lot of highlight and shine to the overall look.
Rea Ann Silva, a celebrity makeup artist best known as the founder and CEO of Beautyblender, says of balletcore beauty, “It defines your features in a natural, sheer, yet radiant way, all while looking very clean and finished.” She says the look works best paired with a tight bun and clean baby hairs. To achieve your best Alvin Ailey look, products like the Patrick Ta Major Sculpt Creme Contour + Powder Bronzer Duo, REFY Brow Sculpt Shape and Hold Gel or Arches & Halos’s Water-Resistant Brow Gel. You'll also love Keys Soulcare’s Gleam On Highlighting Balm, and Saie Glowy Super Gel. All will help to give you that perfect, natural-but-better finish.
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Lilit Caradanian, professional makeup artist and founder and CEO of Elcie Cosmetics and Elcientials Skincare, says that while spring always brings about pops of color, she’s seeing an especially high rise in multifunctional products for the entire face. “This trend typically makes an appearance right around the start of spring when everyone is ready for warmer temperatures,” she shares, adding that buildable, multipurpose products make it super easy to achieve a colorful, flushed look if you use the same product on lips and cheeks. She recommends the Elcie Minimalist Special Edition palette for various color categories to make any look pop, as well as the Danessa Myricks Beauty Yummy Skin Blurring Balm Powder Flushed (also Holm’s blush pick) for a true one-two-punch product that’s also a great on-the-go option.
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If you can’t decide if you’re more of a Daria or a Quinn, or a Wednesday or an Enid… why not both? Riddle encourages people to embrace both the night and the day in their springtime looks. “The idea is incorporating a lot more black or intense colors on the eyes or lips, whether it be black liner, smokey eyes, dark lips, or black liner, which is then contradicted with pastels or pink blush,” he says. One suggestion: create a negative-space cat eye with black liquid liner (like Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner in Intense Black), then fill in with a pastel shade (like Stila’s new Stay All Day Muted Neon Liquid Eyeliner). Personally, I’m a big fan pairing a pinky-nude eyeshadow with a black lipstick, like Black Radiance Perfect Tone Lip Color in Nude Berry or Makeup Forever Rouge Artist Intense Color Beautifying Lipstick in Edgy Black.
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Stay All Day® Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner
Makeup artist Keita Moore loves a pastel eye look for spring time, invoking Easter bunnies and fresh morning air. Take inspiration from this cool-toned look on Lizzo, created by makeup artist Alexx Mayo. “I love using a light pink or orange on the lid for a pop of color — my go-tos are the Maybelline City Mini Palette in the shade Skyscraper Dusk and the Maybelline Shadow Blocks Palette in the shade Broadway & Prince St,” he says. If you’re in search of a one-swipe mod-inspired pastel eye look rather than a makeup palette, shadow sticks like the ones from Laura Mercier and Victoria Beckham are exactly what you’re looking for.
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Dark and Glossy
Last year, we had a long conversation about brown lip liner and who decides what constitutes a “trend.” Thankfully, the conversation was handled with respect and understanding and we’re now fully embracing a dark, glossy lip. Whether you’re using a black lip liner to define lips and topping it with a lip oil or pink gloss, or embracing your most Cherry Cola of lips, gloss is here to stay. Look to artist JT on Instagram for inspiration.
Achieving a look like this is easy — great lip liners include Too Faced’s Lip Injection Extreme Lip Shaper, Bobbi Brown’s Lip Pencil, and Maybelline Color Sensational Shaping Lip Liner, while our favorite glosses and lip oils include MERIT’s Shade Slick Classics Tinted Lip Oil, iNNBEAUTY PROJECT Glaze Lip Oil, Tower 28 Beauty’s ShineOn Lip Jelly Non-Sticky Gloss, and Ami Colé Lip Treatment Oil.
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