It’s been a long, hard winter. Just ask your dull, dry, flaky skin (and hair) and tired old makeup and nails (yawn). But don’t fret, better, brighter, fresher, smoother, sunshinier things are on the horizon. And if the Spring 2017 runways were any indication, we’re set to take a trip back in time to the 80s, as well as the 1800s. Talk about a Spring Break! We’re packed and ready to go, so come along and join us…
Shakespeare Express: The 5-Minute Face
No time? No problem. The beauty of Spring’s romance trend is that you can get it done in minutes. Skip the foundation and powder so skin looks fresh and natural.
1. Apply your favorite moisturizer to prime and hydrate the skin. Not only does it keep your makeup from looking chalky, but it’ll help it go on faster too.
2. Choose a creamy concealer that’s the exact color of your skin—not lighter. Using your ring finger, start in the dark corners where your eyes merge with your nose, and slowly press the cream in. Roll and press some more until the color melts into your skin and erases any darkness. Make sure you’re not rubbing or you’ll wipe off more color than you apply. Repeat on any other areas where you have redness or discoloration (like around the nostrils).
3. Dab a rosy pink cream blush onto cheekbones using your fingertips, and gently rub up and back. “Creams really are idiot-proof,” says Washington D.C.-based makeup artist Sally Sagarese. “And they look so much more natural than powdered blush because they keep that young, lustrous glow in the skin.
4. Swipe two coats of black mascara on top and bottom lashes.
5. Apply a tinted lip balm or sheer gloss with just a touch of color so you look “finished” without trying too hard.
Got a few extra minutes: Swipe on a sheer antiquey eye shadow color like a sheer rose or bronze (think sepia-toned effect from your phone photo filters). Try NYX Cosmetics Perfect Filter Shadow Palette in Rustic Antique.
Bright and Tight: The 15-minute face
Two of the hottest looks this season—tightlining and 80s-inspired, saturated color—combine to create one modern, colorful look that leaves winter darks and dullness far behind.
1. Start with moisturizer. Then choose a sheer, creamy foundation so it applies smoothly and doesn’t dull down the skin, and place a pea-sized amount on the back of your hand. Using a stippling brush (which is rounder, with a flat top), apply color onto the center of the face—which is where most discoloration resides. Pat it onto the chin, nose, in-between eyes and forehead. Then buff and blend using light little circle movements. Go lighter as you move out toward the edges of the face, so there are no harsh lines. Skip the powder since you want to look dewy, not matte.
2. Apply a buildable, pink blush high on the cheekbones until you reach the desired level of sheer bright pink.
3. Grab a pencil eyeliner in a bright purple, and draw a line across your lower lash line, sticking as tightly as possible to the lashes. After drawing your liner on, be sure to smudge it a bit for an effortlessly gorgeous appeal.
4. Before applying your mascara, curl your lashes. Start at the base of lashes, press, hold, and slowly walk the curler toward the ends to ensure a curl instead of a kink (just like using a curling iron on your hair).
5. Finish with a bright lip color, concentrating heaviest color in the center of lips and smudging on the way out (so it almost looks like you were sucking on a lollipop).
Shine On: The 30-Minute Face
Going for the glow was redefined on the spring 2017 runways, as makeup went as close to wet as possible. Think disco-strobe light beaming on your face (with a little bit of that wet water bucket scene from Flashdance).
1. Repeat moisturizer, foundation, concealer and blush steps from above.
2. Swipe on a metallic liquid shadow for a modern glossy look. Keep color on your lids, from inner to outer corners but don’t go above the crease.
3. Use a bright cream or gel eye liner with a small angled brush (it’s easier to control). Tilt your head back, and lift the brow skin up. “There’s a small fold of skin between the lashes and eyelid, and that opens it up so that you can get the color right at the base of lashes to define them and make them look thick and plush,” says Sagarese. “The goal is not to see any skin at all between the lashes and the liner.”
4. Groom brows by swiping on a lightly tinted brow gel, which quickly shapes them and deposits a hint of color (and looks so much more natural than pencil).
5. Curl lashes and apply black mascara.
6. Apply a bit of a pearly face illuminator or highlighter onto your fingertips, and tap onto the very tops of your cheeks and down the bridge of your nose for a glowy, polished looked. Add a bit to your cupid’s bow to make lips look fuller. Less is more: You want to look dewy, not greasy.
7. Grab a large fluffy brush and lightly dust a translucent, slightly shimmery powder all over.
8. Finish with a sheer glossy nude with a bit of shimmer, applied straight from the tube.
Spring hair is all about extremes. On one side is a soft, chilled out vibe perfect for outdoor concert season. On the other, stick-straight strands that eliminate layers in lieu of all-one-length locks for a dramatic, fierce look (like the hair equivalent to shoulder pads).
The 2017 Festival Braid
Even if Coachella isn’t in your future, the festival braid most definitely should be—it looks just as fab on weekends as at work, and nothing says warmer days ahead like this youthful look. Make it extra modern with a deep side part.
“Start by parting your hair dramatically to one side (whichever side you part to normally, but a little more so),” says Andrea Simmons, the resident braid expert at Georgetown’s Ipsa for Hair by Nectar. “Keep it sleek and tight by working in a texturizing cream or gel to give you good grip and keep the braid intact all day.” Try Redken Braid Aid 03 Braid Defining Lotion
The 2017 Festival Braid: Four-strand Fishtail
1. Divide your hair into two large sections, parting straight down the middle of the back of your head since the front section has a deep side-part (skip the comb and just use your fingers for a more tousled look).
2. Pull a thin strand of hair from the outside of the left section and place it over the top of the left section. Then grasp it under the right section. (Repeat: The strand of hair should go over the left section and finish under the right section.) Pull as tightly as you can for a polished braid, or keep things look and messy for a pulled-apart braid look.
3. Repeat on the right side. Pull a skinny strand of hair from the outside of the right section, pull it over the right section, then weave it under the left section.
4. Keep alternating sides, weaving over and under, until you reach the bottom of the braid. Secure at base (or wherever you choose to end it) with a leather cord.
The Blunt Blowout
The very opposite of easy going hair: straight, severe cuts were everywhere during Fashion week (with or without bangs). As we know, replacing mermaid waves takes a little more time and effort (especially when straight isn’t your natural state). And it simply won’t happen without a good blowout. Here, a few tricks for giving yourself a perfect one, from someone who knows—Alli Webb, founder of Drybar, whose outposts don’t do anything but.
1. Don’t work in the bathroom… at least if it’s still steamy from your shower. It seems counterintuitive to do it anywhere else, but any moisture in the air will make it that much tougher to get your locks smooth and bouncy.
2. Start your blowout in the front at your hairline. That’s where cowlicks, widows peaks and all the other most challenging areas of our hair usually live, so tackle them while your arms still have the energy. Besides, the front is what people see first, so if you need to skimp anywhere, do it in the back.
3. Work in clean, manageable sections of about 1 to 2 inches. Take the time to divide hair using hair clips made for blow drying, and perfect each section before moving on to the next.
4. Invest in a professional-quality dryer. High power and a steady, strong stream of heat are essential when it comes to minimizing frizz and maximizing shine. Being lightweight doesn’t hurt either, unless you want to feel the burn in your biceps.
5. Finish with a shine/anti-frizz serum. Smooth the outer layers of hair, and keep frizz at bay with a shine serum. Pump 2-3 drops into your hands, rub them together then smooth over top layers of hair from mid-shaft to ends. Try Redken Frizz Dismiss FPF 30 Instant Deflate Leave-In Smoothing Oil Serum
No chic new outfit or fabulous makeup trend can take the place of gorgeous, glowy skin—especially since the season for minimalist coverage is upon us. Shed the winter layers—of clothes and dead skin—with these easy tips.
Don’t Get in Hot Water
Winter cold makes you want to jump in a steamy shower, even though you know that hot water can wash away the natural lipids that keep skin hydrated. Now that your aren’t freezing, it’s time to dial down your bath and shower temp to warm—and suds up with a mild cleanser that won’t overdry. If you prefer baths, add colloidal oatmeal, which is soothing and especially moisturizing for chapped, damaged skin. Don’t overlook other drying shower factors. “Women often get very dry lower legs from daily shaving,” says Maryland-based dermatologist Cheryl Bansal. “And after showering, they vigorously towel-dry, which can dry it out even more.”
Buff Away the Skin Blahs
One of the fastest ways to clear dry, flaky skin and reveal a smoother, brighter face is by physically exfoliating with a scrub. Apply an exfoliating cleanser to dry skin and make small circles on every part of the face (except under eyes). Spend 10-20 seconds on each part of your face before moving on to a different one, then rinse. Try Garnier Skinactive Clearly Brighter Argan Nut Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser.
Skip the Powder
This season, makeup is bright and sometimes heavy-handed, but NOT when it comes to what’s on your skin. If anything, the goal is not to look like you’re wearing any foundation or—gasp—powder. However, few of us are genetically blessed enough to go naked, so a pore- and line-minimizing primer is the next best thing. We love L'Oreal Revitalift Miracle Blur Oil-Free. This slick, colorless mattifying potion instantly diffuses lines and makes your complexion look like it’s in softer focus. Silica and dimethicone work together as a great hydrating primer, especially in the spring and summer months, when you need less moisture. Apply under makeup for an almost-airbrushed effect.
Lube up your Lips
Since they don’t produce their own moisture, lips are one of the first places to show damage like chapping and cracking. Licking makes matters much worse. “People who lick their lips constantly get redness and irritation of the skin around their mouth—lip licker’s dermatitis,” says Bansal. Keep a lip balm in every purse (and your desk drawer) and make sure to reapply when heading outside. Try La Roche-Posay Nutritic Lips for a natural finish, or trade in your usual lipstick or gloss for a tinted balm like Maybelline New York Baby Lips, which comes in several pretty sheer shades and provides SPF 20 protection.
Recommit Yourself to Sunscreen
Even those of us who are religious about applying sunblock during the summer months routinely forget to apply it in the winter. But now that the sun’s coming out tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that, start using it again. Every. Single. Day. Choose one that’s broad spectrum or at least 6% zinc oxide, as the zinc will act as a physical barrier against the sun. As most derms will tell you, it’s the best anti-aging product out there. Try L’Oréal Paris Advanced Suncare Silky Sheer Face Lotion 50+
Metallics, shimmers, brights so 80s they remind us of seeing our first video on MTV: Spring nail trends have sprung and there’s something for everyone. One thing they’re not: run-of-the-mill. There’s a new, fun, playful take on every look.
Tightlining is having a moment on our eyes, so it makes perfect sense that your cuticles are getting their own fix of it. Baltimore mani queen Noelle Pearson says to start out with a creamy neutral beige all over the nails like Lancôme Vernis in Love Beige Romance. Then dip an extra-skinny nail brush into a glittery gold like Lancôme Vernis in Love Illuminations and line the entire cuticle, stopping before you hit the tip.
Metallics Go Romantic
What happens when trendy worlds collide? Well, in the case of this season’s romantic blushes and edgy metallics, you get a match made in heaven. Shimmery rose golds are pretty and feminine, without being soft and floral. It doesn’t hurt that they look gorgeous on just about any skin tone. Try Essie Gel Couture To Have & To Gold (see below image, far left).
If Spring is usually the time for nuptual-appropriate pastels, then this new batch of loud, bright, shocking shades are the ultimate wedding crashers. And while vibrant blues and pinks are hot commodities, the chicest over-the-top color is a burst of orange (which also happens to be the way to go for lips, check here for ideas). This may just be the easiest way to slay the “it” color of the season. Try YSL La Laque Couture Spring Look 2017 in Vandal Orange. (See below image, second from left)
Ombre may be gone where your hair is concerned, but it’s definitely not forgotten. It’s simply moved on to your nails. Essie celeb manicurist Rita Remark created a stunning runway look for Michael Costello that we’re super excited to steal and wear IRL: Use Essie Nail Polish in Fiji as the base all over your nails. Let dry. Then, dab deep burgundy Essie Nail Polish on a makeup wedge (yes, you read right) and press it onto the top third of the nail. Super sexy!