Okay, so it's not even the end of January yet, but magazines have been projecting and brands have been releasing the latest and greatest for Spring 2014 beauty since just after Christmas. I suppose this is the way of all things, especially marketing. The phrase, "the early bird gets the worm" sure is taken very seriously.
So, what's in stores and what can you expect to see in the next few weeks? Lots of pinks and corals! Think flowery hues, sheer washes of colour and tones that are surprisingly neutral and easy to wear. Cheeks and lips are full of soft petal shades, and eyes sport watercolours and silvery greys and browns.
1. I picked up a coral-y apricot-y toned blush from Anna Sui recently. Rose cheek color in #301. It's one of the standard line up of blushes shaped in a cute raised roses motif, each rose being a slightly different shade of the same base hue. The centre rose-shape of this blush is mainly shimmer, creating a nice optical dimension to the colour on the cheeks. I find it really brightens up my face. You can even wear the colours individually if you want to fuss with a small brush and dab into only one or two selected "roses".
2. Laura Mercier has come up with a few new sets which are both easy on the eye and easy to use. The Enlightenment palette comes with two blushes and four coordinating eyeshadows that are apparently "complexion-boosting". Basically, sweet cheeks and easy to wear neutral eyes that are bright but not overwhelming. "Natural glow" anyone?
Also released at the same time were the Perfection Lip Trios--lipstick, lip liner and lip gloss in coordinating colours that take the guesswork out of achieving the perfect lip. Comes in red, pink, natural and nude. Perennial favourites!
3. Dior really takes the Spring trend to a luxurious level by channelling Marie Antoinette and the pastoral elegance of her Petit Trianon retreat. Hey, if you can't afford an haute couture dress, you can at least still wear the haute couture brand on your face. :) Link to the collection on Dior's website HERE.
Canada will only be getting a couple of the glosses, lipsticks, nail polishes, one blush, one eyeshadow palette and four cream eyeshadows. Buu. So those with Asian or European connections might want to hit them up for the super cute fontange bow-shaped silver and rose gold makeup palette which contains a blush, coordinating eyeshadows and eye liner, or one of the other colours Dior doesn't deem necessary to release in the great white North.
I picked up the eyeshadow palette in #234, Pastel Fontanges, which, in addition to the regular palette design reminiscent of some wickerwork chair found at Versailles, also has adorable bows embossed onto the pan eyeshadows. The fontange bow was named after the mistress of Louis XIV when she apparently tied up her hair with ribbon in such an alluring shape that pleased the king so much, it was copied throughout the whole of Europe. Aah, those pleasure-loving royals! The colours are very sheer, and I'd recommend wearing them with a primer or one of Dior's mousse-gel cream eyeshadow monos to make the colours pop more.
I also grabbed the gloss in #442, Petillante, and nail polish in #457, Bouquet, which help to complete my Spring beauty collection. Petillante is very, very close to Springball (one of Dior's regular colours), except that instead of gold glitter, it's pink and blue glitter, cooling down an otherwise warm toned coral gloss. Bouquet is a coral-y pink which is adorably sweet and looks good on my skin as it's not too orange. It's for those lolitas who want a cute light pink, but don't want to go all-out-Barbie.
All in all, these Spring colours, like most things in fashion and beauty, are just slightly different reincarnations of colours, textures and looks that have gone before (sometimes many times before). Coral was very popular in the 80's, but now it's been significantly softened to a much more, in my opinion anyway, wearable blush shade, reminiscent of rose and peony blossoms. The frosted shades of eyeshadow are now more shimmery and veil-like and less like the metallic flake car paint colours of the mid 90's, though I can recall the blues and greys appearing in my mother's makeup repertoire too.
Now the pastels are all macarons, pistachios, cafe au lait and chocolate. Girly, but sophisticated. More natural than specifically neutral. Definitely of-the-moment and desirable!