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5 Spring Makeup Trends of 2012

By Jacqueline Curtis

makeup trends of 2012I’ll admit it: I’m a bit of a makeup junkie. The makeup counters at Sephora are my own special type of Mecca. I have old standbys that I’ve used for years – foundation, eyeliner, mascara – but when it comes to trying new colors and shades, I am all about pushing the limits.

Of course, while this attitude has helped me discover awesome new products that make it into my regular rotation, it’s also meant money wasted on products that aren’t great – like the orange lipstick debacle of 2011.

Not every makeup trend is a keeper – anyone who lived through the ’80s knows that. But that doesn’t mean you should stop trying altogether. The best way to protect yourself from wasting money on unusable products is to test them in the store and purchase from a store with an excellent return policy. That way, you can try new colors and shades guilt-free, knowing that they can always go back if you decide they’re really not for you.

2012 Makeup Trends

Whether you’ve seen something new in a magazine or an actress on TV sporting the latest trend, it’s only natural to want to try different colors and techniques out on yourself. Try one trend at a time and wear it for a day to decide if you like the results before moving onto the next.

1. Red Lips

Red lipstick is hardly new on cosmetic store shelves, but the way it’s done this spring is what makes it new and fresh. While the fall was all about orange hues, spring is more focused on pinky colors, paired with super-feminine looks.

Instead of a vampy style with heavy eyeliner and red lips, pair your bright pucker with a toned-down look – little eyeliner and only light mascara. The result is a red that works for day and night. Not sure about picking your perfect red? Head to a department store cosmetics counter, and try on a bunch of different colors to nail the right shade. Or test drive a cheaper brand at the drugstore before you commit to your perfect shade of red.

red lipstick

2. Lilac Eyes

Pastels are pretty much synonymous with spring, but they often look more retro than fashion-forward. Ditch the blue shades and mix it up with a lilac shade instead. The best way to score a trendy look is to layer lilac eyeshadow with plum eyeliner. The violet color you’ll achieve makes just about any eye color really pop. If you’re wary about a new shade, ease into it by swapping your regular eyeshadow for a bare lid and plum eyeliner alone. Once you get comfortable with it, add in a pop of eyeshadow.

lilac eyes

3. Peachy Cheeks

I look like the walking dead without a generous coat of blush in the winter, and you too might want a brighter color to help counteract lackluster skin. But once the spring sun comes out, it’s time to try something new and a little more subdued.

I’ve experimented with a peach tone over the top of my regular bronzer. When I was looking for the right color, I picked an all-over color stick. That way, if I don’t love the peach on my cheeks, I can still use it as an eyeshadow or lip color instead. Just pair peach tones with a lower-key eye for a romantic, natural look.

peach makeup blush

4. The New Cat Eye

The cat eye has been around for a long time. However, this year, it’s totally new because of the products that are available. Cat eyes used to require sloppy liquid liner, and if you weren’t a professional makeup artist, you could forget about it.

Spring 2012 eyeliner pens are like felt-tip markers for your eyes, which means greater control so you can get it right. Snag one and start experimenting – just make sure to have a bottle of makeup remover nearby. The new way to get a cat eye is to try a thick line on your upper lids while leaving the rest of your face bare. Want to try the look for daytime? Swap classic black with neutral gold and wear a cat eye to work.

cat eye makeup

5. Sporty Makeup

Tomboys of the world unite! When ponytails and low maintenance looks debuted on the runway, I’m sure there was a unanimous sigh of relief from gym goers, stay-at-home moms, and “non-girly girls” alike. If you’re not into hair and makeup, you’re totally on-point with a toned-down face. Lip balm, a peachy cheek color, and one coat of mascara is all you need to test drive this look. As an added bonus, you probably have all of these products on hand.

pony tail makeup

Final Word

Remember that the latest trends are fun to play with, but they should really supplement your personal style, not replace it completely. Always check with a store’s return policy before you take the plunge and buy a new shade. That way, your counter isn’t cluttered with shades you don’t love, and you have more money to spend on the ones you do.

What’s your fave spring makeup trend this year? Have you ever tried a new color and completely bombed?

(photo credit: Shutterstock)

Jacqueline Curtis
Jacqueline Curtis is an experienced style expert, and she focuses on getting high fashion on a tight budget. She writes for several online publications, including her own fashion blog, How Not to Dress Like a Mom, and specializes in fashion, finance, health and fitness, and parenting. Jae grew up in Toronto, Canada, but now resides in Utah with her husband, two kids, and prized shoe collection.

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