The Great Big Guide To Spring Beauty

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This article was last updated on April 16, 2022

Sorry winter, but we’re very much over you. Your plum lips and angular cuts have been fun (the dry skin and chapped lips, not so much), but we’re ready for a beauty breath of fresh air in the form of spring’s hottest new trends, products, and faces.

From the evolution of nail art and the color that will be on everyone’s face, to the starlet most likely to launch a thousand imitation haircuts, these 15 moments are the ones that are going to make the first half of 2013 positively dazzling.


Barbie’s Favorite Color Goes High-Fashion

In the midst of all of the hullabaloo over Tangerine Tango last year, pink kind of got the shaft. Thankfully, trendsetters have remembered just how versatile this girly-girl staple is and given it new life by incorporating it into a bevy of spring beauty looks. We saw it pop up on lips — more on that later — but also woven into sophisticated bouffants at Oscar de la Renta, and in a bold swath adorning the eyes at Donna Karan. But it was at Costello Tagliapietra where we saw our fave new way to wear pink — a blush “halo” around the eyes that combined an edgy application with a soft, and feminine hue. It represents everything we love about this distinctive shade and demonstrates the ease in which it straddles the divide between fierce and feminine.

Photo: MCV Photo


BB Creams (Yup, They’re Still Here)

We know you’re probably sick of hearing about these bad boys, but the fact of the matter is BB creams are here to stay. As evidenced by a slew of new launches in the mass and presitge markets, expect to see variations on BB’s for different types of skin, as well as new textures like gels and solid compacts, plus the addition (finally!) of shades that actually work for women of color.

Stila Stay All Day 10-In-One HD Beauty Balm, $38, available at SephoraLumene Vitamin C+ Illuminating Anti-Age BB Cream, $10.49, available at CVSToo Faced Tinted Beauty Balm, $32, available at Too Faced.


All Hail Hathaway

While we keep up with the red carpet comings and goings of all of our favorite celebs (hiJennifer Lawrence!), each awards show season we notice that there is always one star that gets everyone talking (and emulating their look). Last year, thanks to The Help, Viola Davis had that crown on lockdown, but with Anne Hathaway’s star turn as the tragic Fantine in Les Mis, she’s going to dominate that carpet (and probably every shiny statue Hollywood has to offer). While Anne always manages to look lovely, this will be the first awards show go-round for her with those shorn locks. We’ve loved watching her short strands grow out over these past few months, and Anne has clearly been having a ball playing with her cropped coiff —which is why we predict variations of her ‘do popping up on heads from coast to coast this spring.

Photo: Jim Smeal/BEImages


Anti-Mascara Movement

Bad news for Kardashians, but good news for everyone else who’s not into tarantula lashes: makeup artists are shunning the mascara wand in favor of a more natural lash look. While the emphasis this season is most definitely on the eye, the trend is on using vibrant, saturated colors and keeping fringes either nude or lightly defined. If bare lashes are a total no-go for you, you can still get in on the trend. Just look for mascaras that focus more on defining and separating, as opposed to plumping and thickening, and focus your application on the ends of the lashes, rather than the root. This will help you achieve that your-fringe-but-better effect, instead of looking like you glopped on the lash-lengthener. 

Photo: MCV Photo


merald City

Had enough of orange? Yeah, us too, which is why we’re stoked that Pantone named emerald green the color of 2013. We think this underrated hue deserves way more attention that it usually gets. Dark green is infinitely sexy without being expected or played out, not to mention the fact it looks amazing on skin of all shades. Fortunately, the beauty world has heeded the siren call of all things evergreen and released a slew of new products in every variation of green you can think of. We’re excited to start playing around with these lush and luxe tones — smoky jade eyes, here we come!

Kat Von D True Romance Eyeshadow Trio in Helmüt, $24, available at SephoraZoya Nail Polish in Logan, $8, available at ZoyaDolce & Gabbana Crayon Intense Eyeliner in Emerald, $29, available at Saks Fifth Avenue.


Punchy Pouts

We’re used to seeing glossy pouts galore once February rolls around, but after checking out the runways at Missoni, Giles, Prada, and a host of others, we think it’s safe to say you should stock up on matte colors in the coming months. This trend combines the bright and beautiful spring hues we adore with the velvety, chic textures that run rampant in the fall. While matte lips might be a bit much in the summer, when temperatures soar and makeup seems to literally melt off your face, spring’s milder climes lend themselves perfectly to a more robust lip option. We have so many grand plans for that Missoni pout, people, we’re practically salivating just thinking about it. 

Photo: MCV Photo


Nude Awakening

The nail art backlash has finally reached its pinnacle, if the spring runways have anything to say about it. At show after show, from Diane von Furstenberg to Derek Lam, we saw enough nudes to make Hugh Hefner blush. While usually we’re not ones for the neutral nail trend, we did love the sub-trend of cafe au lait color that popped up. Unlike last year’s foundation nails, it’s not about matching your tips exactly to your skin tone, but rather choosing a hue that’s darker and warmer without being too much of a stark contrast. And, as models at Rodarte demonstrate, just because you’re rocking beige tips doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun. Check out this woven nail art pattern featuring two complementary nude hues. Who knew basketweaving could look so badass? 

Photographed by Nina Westervelt/MCV Photo


Big Crimpin’

So you say you’ve been down the crimping road before, huh? Been burned — literally and figuratively — by this ’80s throwback style? We hear ya, but put that cynicism on hold for a hot second and take a gander at how it’s being used this time around. We saw so many iterations of this fairytale take on crimping — soft, fluffy, and paired with ultra-feminine updos and makeup — that we were beginning to think our favorite designers had been replaced by the cast of Once Upon A Time

We’re not mad at it, though — on the contrary, we’re totally smitten with it. Much as we try to kid ourselves, we never really outgrew our attraction to crimping, and we’re stoked to see it in such a fun, yet still sophisticated way. The best example of this new crimping: Badgley Mischka’s romantic floral coiffs, which featured a faint streak of tiny crimps to accentuate the delicate, feminine nature of the ‘do. Not too in-your-face, but still interesting enough to add some intrigue, this style is one of the main reasons we’re in the market for a new crimping iron. 

Photo: MCV Photo


Retinol Revival

Skin care miracle worker retinol has been on a bit of roller coaster over these past few years. First it was hailed as the savior for those suffering from skin woes like fine lines and acne, then it got a bit of a bad reputation for being too harsh on skin and fell out of favor for a time. Well, now it’s back — and better than ever thanks to more advanced technologies and gentler formulas. New delivery techniques mean higher levels of retinol can be encapsulated so that it penetrate deeper into the skin, allowing the retinol to work below the surface of the skin. Scientists have also found new ways of pairing pure retinol with soothing and hydrating ingredients without degrading its effectiveness, so you get maximum efficacy without all the aggravation. We do so love technology.

Kate Somerville Retasphere 2-In-1 Retinol Night Cream, $85, available at NordstromStrivectin-AR Advanced Retinol Night Treatment, $109, available at StrivectinPhilosophy Miracle Worker Miraculous Anti-Aging Retinoid Eye Repair, $65, available at QVC.


Hair Is Having A Kate Moss Moment

While it seems like everything else is getting hella complicated, hair is reverting back to a simpler time — mainly the early ’90s heyday of one Ms. Kate Moss. According to Redken creative consultant Guido Palau, this “modern minimalism” means low ponytails, clean parts, and naturally-enhanced textured. Palau credits this obsession with all things ’90s to the young designers dominating the fashion world — for many of them, who grew up in this era, Kate Moss was their first exposure to glamour and fashion, hence their point of reference when they imagine cool, sophisticated, and unfussy style. 

Photo: MCV Photo


Brow Wow

Face it: Bold brows aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. On the contrary, it looks like they’re only getting bolder and more pronounced. At shows like Jason Wu, Marc Jacobs, and Thakoon, makeup artists chose not just to enhance brows, but to exaggerate and manipulate their shapes to create super-bold, defined arches. While we don’t see ourselves mimicking Thakoon’s bird-lady browline anytime soon, sorting through all these bodacious brows has given us a serious urge to bust out our pencils and powders in an effort to amp up our arches for spring. 

Photographed by Nina Westervelt/MCV Photo


Gatsby Fever

We feel like we’ve been waiting for the release ofThe Great Gatsby for at least two years — most likely because we have indeed been waiting for this thing since it started filming in 2011. That’s okay, though, because it just gives us and the rest of the world more time to indulge in our obsession with all things ’20s — hello finger waves, scarlet lips, and bobbed hair. Expect to see this flapper frenzy hit a fever pitch in the coming months as everyone and their brother starts ramping up for the film’s release in May.

Photo: Courtesy of Warner Brothers


Part Party

Now you may think there’s nothing revelatory about a simple hair part, but after seeing the plethora of parting options on the catwalk, we beg you to reconsider. Zig-zag, diagonal, triangle, faux undercuts — this is the season of the dramatic part. It seems as though they are functioning almost as an accessory, helping to create patterns and zhush up otherwise plain ‘dos. All these different ways of accentuating your part means more options for you on how to wear your hair every day, switching up your look without actually having to make any kind of drastic change to your mane — you can fake everything from a faux undercut to bangs with the right part. 

Photo: MCV Photo


Twisted Sister

Forget hair elastics — this spring you’ll be tying up your hair using, wait for it, your own hair. How very meta. From Altuzarra to Ralph Lauren, stylists tied manes in hair knots to create loose, messy updos and sleek, sophisticated styles. The placement of these knots is also key, riding low on the neck. This keeps the style from looking too precious or ballerina, and instead lends itself to the cool, sophisticated-chick vibe we love so much. 

Photo: MCV Photo


3D — Not Just For The Movies

As evidenced on the runways at Dior and Fendi, and on the tips of Alexa Chung, the days of makeup laying flat on your skin are long gone. These days it’s all about playing with textures by using appliques, fabrics, jewels, and any other element your heart can dream up to create a 3D beauty look. We love the idea of incorporating fabrics, like the neoprene strips under model’s eyes at Fendi, into your primping routine — it’s a cool, literal way to blend fashion and beauty. 

Photo: MCV Photo

Click HERE to read more from Refinery29.

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