By Erin Williams


The sandals come out, the windows go up, and whistles on the way to work become daily with the swish of your skirt. Spring has sprung and though there is a certain thrill in buying a whole face full of cosmetics for $10 at the drugstore, seasonal shifts allow for a regime change in the old makeup drawer. The “big” department store lines are big for a reason, and you can expand your typical spring look with some of their great new products and old standbys.

Working from the skin out, Awake’s Hydro-Touch Foundation,, is a great sheer option. Containing 70% water – yes, 70% – this foundation nourishes winter dried skin and won’t dry out itself because of its airtight compact. Gingko Biloba improves skin tone, Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant, and ivy tightens pores. The line acknowledges all skin tones and the formulation is great for all ages.

New from Laura Mercier,, is their Secret Brightener. Coming in a pen form, this is one of those wonder products used alone or under concealer. It brightens dark circles, reduces shadows, and minimizes discolorations boosting your inner radiant self. Light is reflected away from any dark areas and the Secret Brightener also nourishes and protects your delicate under eye skin. It’s great because it isn’t heavy or hard to work with and gives an even skin tone complimenting the water-based foundation.

Cheeks can be youthful and fresh or defined and sophisticated. For the former option Paula Dorf’s “Ballet” Cheek Color,, is great blended into the apples of the cheeks. It gives long-lasting pigment and a little goes a long way.

Once the sun goes down you can spice things up a little bit. Chanel has come out with their limited-edition Joues Contraste Duo to help you out, A blush and a highlighter make up the duo and the lighter shade is beautiful along the cheekbone, right under the eye, to contour and illuminate while the copper pink blush shade adds the perfect flush to your skin. The color is great because it works on most skin tones and delivers on the quality you’ve come to expect from Chanel. Use a fluffy blush brush to get a nice and even distribution of color and you can go sheer or build to intensify.

Eyes are my favorite, and there are so many fun new things out this spring to play with that can take you outside of the regular pastel spring shadows. One easy thing to throw in your makeup bag is Guerlain’s limited-edition Terracotta Loose Powder Kohl in Secret Glow, If you aren’t familiar with the Powder Kohl’s, they’re loose powders that are high in pigment and last all day. Secret Glow is a pearly white shade that looks gorgeous on the inner corners of the eyes. It’s a trick makeup artists use all the time to illuminate and brighten the area, making eyes appear more open.

If you’re willing to walk down a new path with shadows you should check out Lancome’s new Colour Focus Palette 4 Ombres in “Calypso”, The colors are amazing – a sheer gold, a brown, a bronze, and a turquoise – and the patented Jetfine technology allows for intense pigments that blend beautifully and are long-lasting. You can use the colors wet or dry, and the turquoise is great as a liner if you’re not feeling terribly adventurous.

For a more dramatic evening out, Stila has new Smudge Pots that are unlike anything you’ve ever seen before, Not a powder, cream, or liquid, these are more of a gel that have an ink-like concentration and can be used as a shadow or liner (use a synthetic brush when working with gels, creams, or liquids). The cap is airtight to prevent drying, and the color really stays put. “Plum” and “Gray” are great alternatives to a black smokey eye.

With all of this eye drama it’s best to keep the lips nice and simple, and Bobbi Brown has come out with two new colors in her Creamy Color Gloss that are perfect, “Bare” is good for lighter skin and “Caramel” for darker, both providing creamy rich color with high shine. They’re not too intense in color and work well on everyone

And now I have to throw a shout-out to the fragrance that I am newly enamored with for spring. I was thrown completely off because I cannot stand bananas in anything and never really enjoyed their smell before, but Comptoir Sud Pacifique’s Vanille Banane,, is amazing!! They combined vanilla pod with banana cream, banana leaf, orange, clove, and white rum and the result is delicious. I still love my Jo Malone Orange Blossom, but we’re trading on and off lately.

So take a chance and go outside the lines of what you deem spring to be, whether it be with a new shade or fruity fragrance. Who knows who might be whistling at you next?

Originally published April 2004



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