The latest beauty colors take their cues from the spring runways. This season, designers are showcasing the modern side of pastels. From the Spring 2014 Prabal Gurung shows to the Dior ad campaign, everything is coming up candy-colored. But before you indulge your inner 10-year-old, follow my advice on wearing these grown up pastels. The key is moderation. It’s about balance; if you want to play up the lips, then keep the eyes and the cheeks on the softer side and vice versa.
LipsIf you’re not comfortable making a big statement with your lip color, start sheer. Play with lip gloss. Using pastels—whether it be corals, pinks, or tangerines—is kind of easy and forgiving if you want to start there. If you do want to go all out with pastel lipstick (I'm partial to Dior's Rouge Dior in Pink Caprice), put the bulk of the application in the middle of the lip and rub your lips together so you can see that it’s a vibrant color, but not so precise that it’s really severe. It has a subtle punch about it.
CheeksPinks and corals are always a safe bet for incorporating pastels into your makeup wardrobe. Both shades are flattering on a range of skin tones, particularly when you go with an option like NARS custom color in Gaiety or Final Cut. The color magically adjusts to fit your skin tone so you’re never going over-the-top. For the subtlest tint of pastel, use a light pink highlighter like Benefit’s High Beam across your cheekbones. It will catch the light and give your cheeks a girly glow.
EyesEye shadow is really where you can get creative with your pastels. I recommend light washes of aquamarine, light violet, or coral. I like Laura Mercier's African Violet, a dusty lavender, and Bare Mineral's Reveal, a pale blue. Or stick to a neutral eye palette and add a bright violet liner. Soften it or make it as severe as you want depending how comfortable you are with makeup. If you’re naturally pale, load up on mascara to avoid looking washed out.
NailsNails are the easiest way to experiment without making a big investment. Try the new Essie Pastels Collection, which has minty shades like "Fashion Playground" and pale pink ones like "Romper Room." They complement both patterns and neutrals.
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