It’s the little things I love that herald the coming of spring, like the first few crocuses poking out of the snow or the chatter of birds. I also love being able to put away the heavy creams and lipsticks that made me presentable all winter, despite grueling wind and snow.
Not sure what to save and what to swap out of your cosmetic bag? Here are some ways to transform your makeup for spring — from your lips to your lids — without spending a lot.
Retire the Heavy Foundation
Thick, creamy foundation can be a good choice during the cold winter months: It’s emollient enough to protect your delicate facial skin against frigid blasts and overheated rooms, and provides the coverage to banish winter ruddiness.
In the springtime, give your skin a chance to breathe with a lighter-weight tinted moisturizer or BB or CC cream (which are essentially just tinted moisturizers with added skin benefits). These tinted creams don’t provide as much coverage as a full foundation, but you can spot-treat with concealer if needed. The coverage is also more forgiving as you spend more time outdoors and get a little color to your face (just make sure your tinted moisturizer offers an SPF of at least 15 to protect your skin from harmful UV rays).
One pick: TOO FACED Tinted Beauty Balm SPF 20 ($34) gives your skin a fresh finish with adequate sun protection, as well as energizing ginseng and soothing green tea extracts.
Lose the Cakey Powder
We can get away with traditional face powders in colder months, when we spend more time indoors with forgiving lighting. Plus, powder is always a great way to set foundation and concealer. But if you’ve decided to switch over to a tinted moisturizer, why ruin the fresh effect with a grandmotherly dusting of powder? There’s a new generation of finely milled talc-free options that set your makeup without dulling your skin while you’re out in the sun.
One pick: NARS Light-Reflecting Pressed Powder ($35) is a colorless, talc-free compact powder that features “photochromic technology,” which allegedly adjusts to changes in light over the day. Regardless of whether this is true, this powder blurs imperfections and gives a subtle glow while never looking cakey.
Put Away the Dark Lipstick
Rich berry lipsticks look great with a black cashmere turtleneck, but as the weather turns balmier, lighter and flirtier lip colors work best with lighter and flirtier clothes. Consider a long-wearing lip stain that enables you to build the shade intensity, then top with a good clear or colored lip gloss with SPF.
Some picks: TheBalm 'Stainiac' Cheek & Lip Stain ($17) has great staying power, while Nivea Kiss of Protection Lip Care SPF 30 ($2.39) adds a layer of silky comfort and serious sun protection.
Go for Sheerer Shadows
During dark, winter months, a powerful pop of eye color can be a great attention grabber (and mood booster!). But when you’re competing with tulips, crocuses, cherry blossoms and fabulous pastel wardrobes, an eye color cream in a paler color can give you a sheer wash of shimmer that’s eye-catching but not overwhelming.
One pick: MAC Prolongwear Paint Pot ($20). Its consistency makes it easy to build the intensity of the color, which makes it an ideal go-to shadow for day into night — especially with the wide variety of neutral shades.
Lighten Up Your Liner
Dramatic eyes are a winner when framed by snowflakes and a fur hood, but darker shades of liner may be too intense for sunnier days. Pack away your black and dark-brown liners and consider a more neutral taupe or gray only along the top of your lids. For an even wider-eyed innocent spring look, try a nude pencil along the inside of your lower lids.
Some picks: MakeUp Forever Aqua Eyes ($19) offers a great selection of neutral colors that go on smoothly and will stay on even through spring showers. Tarte emphasEYES Inner Rim Brightener ($19) immediately brightens your eyes with a simple sweep of creamy nude liner.
Brighten Your Blush
It’s not worth trying to fake a sun-kissed look in the middle of winter (unless you’re advertising your recent tropical vacation), but spring is the perfect time to put away heavy powder blushes and opt instead for a sheer stick of color that’s easy to toss in your makeup bag for a weekend getaway.
One pick: Nars The Multi-Purpose Stick ($39) is a multitasking maestro that adds color and a bit of shimmer to cheeks, eyes and even lips. The range of shades and textures makes it a good choice for most skin tones.