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Spring 14 Trends and Tips

Pastels and flowers? Please and thank you!
Pastels and flowers? Please and thank you!

I’m going to be completely honest with all of you; I’ve been feeling incredibly uninspired these last few months, especially when it comes to makeup. Thus far, 2014 has brought nothing but snow, freezing wind and grumpy, cold New Englanders. The weather on the East Coast hasn’t been conducive to this spring’s off-the-shoulder dresses, doll-like shoes, and pastel everything that is currently dominating my Instagram. Coupled with the fact that my complexion doesn’t lend itself to the orange-peach blush, pastel eyeshadows, and pale glossy lips that appear to be an upcoming thing this spring, I’ve been sticking with my flesh-toned shadows, brown mascara, and neutral lipsticks these past few weeks.

The biggest thing I’m worried about with regards to this spring’s trends is that there is a focus on really pale, flawless skin. Having always had problematic skin as a general rule, I don’t relish the idea of caking on all these products designed to create that perfect, luminous, pale canvas. My skin is pale, lightly freckled, prone to redness and broken capillaries, and full of enlarged pores. I’ve had cystic acne for most of my life, and being a child of the 90’s, when exfoliating was done with apricot shells and baking soda, my skin has some texture issues that no amount of primer and foundation can fully mask.

That being said, I’d be a terrible Examiner if I didn’t give you all my honest breakdown of how to make this season’s trends work for you. For the most part, you can correct texture issues with primers, (my personal favorites being Etude House Face Conditioning Cream, or Le Blanc De Chanel Sheer Illuminating Base) and adding touches of concealer where you need it. I subscribe to the Lisa Eldridge school of thought when it comes to foundation and concealer, which is to focus on the parts of the face that really need that extra coverage and avoid loading up your skin with products it doesn’t need.

I noticed a huge difference in my skin when I started correcting my color problems rather than blanking out my whole face with foundation and then going back in with concealer. I use a salmon-tinted concealer under my eyes to correct my hideous dark circles, a yellow-based concealer around my nose to correct redness, and a purple-tinted powder to brighten up my skin. The overall effect, while not perfectly smooth and poreless, is certainly leaps and bounds better than it would be if I overloaded my face with foundation first. This method can work on almost any complexion, depending upon your needs.

When it comes to eyeshadow, I tend to avoid the chalky white-based pastels and focus on really blending out the bright colors I already have. (Coastal Scents has some really ridiculous palettes, and I enjoy playing with all the colors they have to offer.) The trick to these kinds of colors is placement; cut your crease with a pale teal, or celery green, but blend it out with a MAC 217, and use a fleshy tone on your lids (like MAC Brule or any of the flesh tones by Urban Decay) to avoid looking overdone. This look is best when done with cream or satin textures, as shimmers tend to be too much, and mattes are too drying for such light colors.

My real love this spring is lip gloss. I never got too into the matte lip trend, my lips are too prone to dryness for me to carry this look well, but I really love a good glossy stain and I’m really excited that this is back on trend. I am currently slicking my lips with Beauty Rush Shiny Kiss Flavored Gloss by Victoria Secret. Any of these bright glosses would look lovely and on trend this spring, though I do have to warn you that they are on the sticky side, and that can be off-putting to some.

When it comes to blush, I have completely ignored the catwalks and have adopted a rosy pink or an orchid purple on the back of my cheekbones rather than on the apples of my cheeks. I wont be contouring too much this spring, (mostly because I just feel like that’s a lot for every day) so a lovely pinky-purple flush will really add dimension to my long, angular features. If you can carry orange or coral, by all means, go right ahead and have fun. Remember, not everyone is going to be able to wear every trend, so focus on colors and textures that will suit your skin.

The most important thing I can stress here is that while it can be fun to experiment with new makeup trends, you have to find something that works for you. Also, don’t feel compelled to go out and buy all new makeup every season, as you probably have something in your current stash that will work just fine. Overall, have fun with these pretty, light colors, and start praying to the weather gods that New England will warm up. I have sundresses to don and open toed shoes to flaunt.

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