By Caroline Goldstein
Spring is kind of a weird season. The way I think of it, it’s less a season proper than it is a transition between winter and summer (or vice versa, depending on which hemisphere you’re hanging out in). But here’s a good thing about spring, or any other transitional period, for that matter: You can use it as an excuse to experiment. Take what you like best about the former season (good sweaters, hot drinks, dark-and-dramatic color), blend them with the stuff you’re excited about for the next (sunlight, cold drinks, bright-and-cheery color), and come up with something entirely fresh and new, which is kind of spring’s M.O. in the first place.
And in the beauty world, there’s no better source of inspiration for fresh, new things than beauty influencers. Here, take a look at three makeup artists’ takes on cool, easy, and subtly surprising makeup for the season ahead.
Sometimes the most innovative beauty looks hew closely to a classic aesthetic, with one or two notable variations. This look by makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes is a good example. The foundations of her look are familiar: winged liner, pink lips, dewy skin. But Hughes makes it new by swapping out black liquid liner with electric blue. She also lets her skin’s natural texture and oils breathe, as is her signature, nixing foundation and powder in favor of just concealer. She finishes everything off with neutral tones—a matte, peachy-brown eyeshadow; creamy nude lipstick; and a little bit of color on her cheeks—so nothing competes with that vibrant blue liner.
Red lips are typically associated with colder seasons (a festive red for the holidays, a bright red for Valentine’s Day, a vampy red for Halloween). To lighten it up for spring, swap your wintry matte lipstick for either a cream finish or a gloss, like influencer Alissa Ashley does here. She keeps the rest of her palette pretty muted: some fresh pink blush, highlighter down the bridge of her nose, and brown eyeshadow blended out into a wing shape. Defined brows anchor the look.
Usually, the overall experience of spring is that it’s not as warm as you want it to be. A tip: Fake it with your makeup until the weather catches up. This all-orange-everything look from Michelle Phan not only makes you feel like the sun is literally emanating from your face, but it’s also incredibly easy: Orange shadow on your lid, orange blush high up on your cheeks and cheekbones, an orange stain or pigment on your lips, and that’s it. (Or add some orange nails if you want to be a little extra.) Easier still if you use a single, matte product all over, like NARS The Multiple, Stila Convertible Color, or Milk Makeup Lip + Cheek. If you’re not into orange, you can recreate this look in any shade you like.
Caroline Goldstein is a commerce beauty writer for Bustle Digital Group, and her freelance writing has appeared in HelloGiggles, Refinery29, Men's Health, and other publications. Based in New York, she received her MFA in Fiction from New York University, where she taught creative writing to undergraduates and wrote her first novel.