Spring Fling: How To Make Pastels Look Sophisticated

Janell M. Hickman


Spring has landed at our doorsteps, which means it’s time to retire darker, saturated hues for something a bit softer. Today’s pastel hues are incredibly modern and wearable. Read on to learn a few tips on how to wear this season’s soft, beautiful and feminine shades with ease.

The Return of The Pastels
“Pastels ever so delicately stood their ground on the runways of the Spring 2015 shows,” shares CoverGirl Makeup Artist, Jennifer Fleming. “From Altuzarra’s pastel-y pink pout, to the ‘not your granny’s blue,’ wash of color on the eyes at Rochas. Although not super saturated with color, I love that pastels sort of whisper color onto the skin.”

Make Your Look More Modern
“I love to pair a pastel with a brighter hue in the same color family for focus and to give the pastel a more modernity,” explains James Vincent, Makeup Artist/ Director of Education and Artist Relations for The Makeup Show. “I also love to play with pastel hues with monochromatic and/or complimentary color combinations for immediate impact.”

MORE: Beauty Recipe for Pastel Makeup

Avoid “Chalky” Looking Options
“Since pastels usually have a fair amount of white pigment in them, this could be problematic by appearing ashy [on darker skin tones],” shares Benjamin Ruiz, Director of Global Creative Artistry for Laura Mercier. “To avoid this, select colors that are muted, less bright and are warmer in nature such as peach tones or warm pinks. Laura Mercier’s Watercolour Mist Eye & Cheek Palette has the perfect amount of muted pigments for more modern pastels that work across all skin tones.”

Prep Your Skin Accordingly
“The best pre-pastel prep is first ensuring you have flawless skin,” shares Fleming. “The shortcut?  CoverGirl’s Embrace Your Face foundation-finding tool, which is the quickest way to help match you to your best foundation in 30-seconds or less.   [You can] allow your foundation to work double duty as a primer for your pastel shadow. Pastels definitely hold their own in longevity—the key is getting the color payoff you want and the foundation helps get you there.”

Apply Blush Appropriately
“Pastel blushes should follow a basic rule of application—anything in the pink or red family should stay closer to the apple of the cheek,” shares Vincent who works with Angela Simmons, Joan Jett and Chrissy Teigen. “Anything peach or orange should go to the higher point of the cheekbone to give heat. Alternatively, pastel yellow can be a brilliant highlight color for the highest point of the cheekbone or anywhere on the face where you want to softly emphasize.”

MORE: Instagram Insta-Glam: Pastel Makeup

Compliment Pastels with Metallics
“I’ve found that a ‘semi-shimmer’ silver can really enhance the appearance of pastels and be very pleasing,” shares Ruiz. “With that said, there are no rules when pairing colors; it’s more of an experimental situation and finding out what works for the individual.”

Find A Full Coverage Color
“I think the ‘look’ of a lip is very personal to each individual, especially when playing with pastels. If you’re a newbie, go with a much more forgiving gloss or stain as a great first step,” advises Fleming. “For all the full-on lip ladies, try this trick:  Blend a little foundation over the lips, muting the natural color and allowing your pastel lipstick’s full color to pop. One of my favorite [shades] is CoverGirl Colorlicious Lipstick in Yummy Pink.

Don’t Forget The Basics
“A great moisturizer and a refreshing spray of rosewater will pick the skin up and give the lift it needs [pre-makeup application],” shares Vincent.

“Wake Up” Your Complexion
“I’m particularly fond of illuminators and highlighters because they add vitality and a glow to the skin,” says Ruiz. “Bronzers can be a wonderful alternative simply for providing that ‘sun kissed’ look and the appearance of healthy skin.”