- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 7, 2007


Makeup is getting a make-under for spring.

Whether your seasonal wardrobe will be made up mostly of cool neutral clothes or pop-art brights, makeup artists advise not to go overboard with rainbow colors.

They’ll create too much of a contrast with the understated pieces, and you risk appearing cartoonish with the whole mod look.

Robyn Tamura, director of strategy and creative development for Clinique’s global education program, says if white is the base of your outfit, the first beauty step to take is to smooth out the skin’s texture and color. Then brighten the eyes with concealer, which will draw attention to them, and work on defining the lash line, eyelashes and brows.

“It doesn’t have to be about bold colors; it’s more about technique,” she says.

Joe Costa, national makeup artist for Yves Saint Laurent, suggests a palette that is natural, in the spirit of the great outdoors, which has countless shades of rich browns and sandy tans.

“We have a tendency with a natural look to think everything has to be neutral, but if you look at nature, that’s not how it is. … Think of when Grandma used to pinch your cheeks. That’s ‘natural looking,’ but you have color.”

If you have browns and beiges on the eye, Mr. Costa says to wear a rosier shade on either the lips or cheeks — not both. To dress up the face for evening, use black around the eyes.

“Eyeliner is huge for spring,” he says. (YSL has just introduced an eyeliner that uses the brush-application technique of its popular Touche Eclat concealer to create an even, thick line.)

“It’s about the ‘natural nude face’ — that’s what I call it,” says Bobbi Brown. “It’s not all beiges; it’s about finding the colors that are right for you.

“If you’re very pale, nude is the color of your lips, probably a pale pink. But if you have darker skin, what is ‘nude’? It could be bronze. I’m sure Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez and Gwyneth Paltrow all have different nude colors.”

Adds Miss Brown, whose newest book, “Bobbi Brown Living Beauty” (Springboard, 2007), targets women 40 and older: “Natural is what blends and enhances what you have. You don’t want ‘nude’ to wash you out. If you put it on and it disappears, what’s the point?”

For drama, Miss Tamura of Clinique suggests a smoky eye — still with those earth tones. You can go with darker colors or gold, she says, but make sure to keep them warm. “The most important tip for daytime is to make sure everything is soft and blended.”

Also, Miss Tamura adds, lots of mascara punches up a look and helps define the face without looking as if you are wearing a lot of makeup.

As for lip color, it depends where you want the focus to be. A lot of neutral colors are available, but if you prefer a red, wine or brownish-red lipstick, it can be toned down with a layer of concealer underneath.

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