Spring has sprung, and while your thoughts may be consumed with warm-weather wardrobes and cleaning out winter's dust bunnies, you also can't forget to update your beauty routine (and to clean out your makeup bag). It's time to purge, lighten up, and put your freshest spring face forward. Veronica Chu, a Toronto makeup artist and hairstylist, tells you what to trash this season.
Trade in your heavy mask for a more natural finish by switching your base makeup to a tinted moisturizer. If you've finally found the perfect shade and you're not ready to give it up, Chu offers a few alternatives:
• Dilute your foundation by mixing a few drops in with your regular facial moisturizer.
• Apply your base with your fingertips (instead of a sponge) for a softer, more natural finish.
• Wear your base only where you have redness (usually around the T-zone), instead of covering your entire face.
A rosy glow is a welcome sign of spring, but this season sees a blushed cheek that's subtle and demure, says Chu. Put aside the fuchsia, ruby and cherry tones (for now -- they'll likely make a comeback in the not-too-distant beauty future), and opt instead for a soft pink blush with peach undertones. Try Nars Blush in Torrid, available at Holt Renfrew or online at www.narscosmetics.com.
Forget rimming your entire eye with black eyeliner, and shelve those bright, bold eye shadows of days gone by. Chu sees a clear move to a nude eye, meaning there's no harsh contouring or highlighting, the colours are warm and neutral, and the finish is a subtle sheen. The result is soft, diffused eyes that brighten the entire face. If you can't part with your black eyeliner, line only the top lash line, and soften the pencil with a stiff angled brush.
Instead of announcing your mascara to the world, draw attention to your alluring, fluttering, natural eyelashes. Toss the chunky thickening mascara that sits heavily on your eyelashes, and instead try Chu's favourite for a lighter touch: Stila's Wet Mascara, available at Holt Renfrew or at Sephora stores. It leaves your lashes with a soft tint and a glistening finish sans clumps and lumps.
Warm-weather lips give the perfect pout when they're soft, natural and sheer. Avoid the harshness of lip liner and instead choose an all-over colour that accentuates your lips' natural tint, says Chu. If gloss channels too much youth (though there are ones with subtle shine), Chu suggests looking for a lipstick with sheer coverage. Worried your lip colour will bleed? Dab foundation around the edge of your lips before applying your lipstick to keep the colour in place.
Get your hands off that straightening iron. The tresses to covet this season are tousled. Rejoice! All you need to do is wash and go -- hop out of the shower, scrunch in a light texturizing spray and let your hair air-dry. Don't bother dusting off your curling iron just yet, says Chu, as the look is a relaxed, undefined soft wave.
So how long can you keep your products around?
Mascara: three to four months
Lip gloss: three to four months
Lipstick: six to eight months
Liquid foundation: six to eight months
Eye shadow: one year
Sunscreen: one year or to the expiry date
Fragrance: one and a half to two years
Add life to your products
• Keep your cosmetics and fragrances in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight.
• Avoid using your fingers. Apply product with sponges or brushes as often as possible.
• Use mild soap and water to wash your brushes weekly and your sponges after every use (toss them after one to two weeks).