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Rainbow of color accents rings in spring

| Thursday, March 20, 2003

What's the best cure for a cold and drab winter• A warm and colorful spring -- and it's long overdue.

Cosmetics manufacturers are following the lead of fashion designers, who are prescribing pink -- in all shades and fabrications -- as the must-have color for the new season. To complement the feminine hue, the ruby-red lips and smoky eyes of winter give way to playful pink glosses and rainbow eye shadows.

"If there's one single cosmetic item that's going to jettison your look into spring mode, it's pink lipstick," says Jennifer Laing, a runway watcher for, an online fashion source.

"Candy-colored lips filled the spring runways, from Giorgio Armani to Matthew Williamson. There's a pink for every personality, from powdery pastel to vivid berry, and in textures from creamy matte to transparent washes."

At a spring fashion show by Italian designer Pino Lancetti, Laing says she observed models wearing "juicy-peachy-pink tones" applied by Keri Blair, a senior artist with M.A.C. cosmetics.

"Pink adds life to the face and lips," Blair notes. "It enhances almost every coloring and makes the wearer look fresh and beautiful. It's basically foolproof."

M.A.C.'s Pop Mode collection features shades of lipstick in Pink Freeze, a highly frosted pastel pink; Glamapuss, a muted rose plum; and Groovy Move, fuschia pink with blue iridescence ($14). For the lips, Fine Point Lip Liner comes in Frazzle Dazzle, a mid-tone plum with slight gold shimmer, and Plum Preserved, a rich deep plum ($12.50). For the eyes, M.A.C. shadows include Sleepy, a creamy, off-white pink, and Electro Sky, a bright mid-tone periwinkle blue ($12.50).

Estee Lauder also is "in the pink," with a total look that Daniel Annese, vice president of marketing for North America, describes as "a natural rosy glow -- with a bit of an edge."

Annese says Estee Lauder's Spring 2003 Pure Eden collection is brimming with plush greens, petal pinks and ripe, rich flower hues in lipstick, gloss, eye shadow, blush and nail lacquer. Cheeks show off Blush Petals ($25), a delicate blush to be swept over the face "for an innocent -- or not -- hint of shimmering pink," he says, while lips also feature shades of pink, from the lightest dusty rose to tart-y red apple.

"For a creamy nude pink, choose Pure Color Lipstick ($22); for sweet shimmering sheerness, try Pure Color Crystal Lipstick in Innocence ($20)," Annese says. Lip gloss can be layered or worn alone, depending on the look or the texture desired. "Pure Color Gloss in Innocence ($20) offers dripping-wet shine in a mischievous 'is it sheer or is it opaque?' pink," he adds.

Arlette Palo, Clinique's vice president of makeup product development, describes the theme for spring 2003 as "Lightwashed color. The collection marks a return to nature this season. It's about relaxed elegance, understated style, but paired with a chic attitude. The mood is serene, relaxed, uncomplicated, peaceful -- a refreshing simplicity."

As for the color palette, Palo sees light shades mixing and matching with white and soft powdered pastels -- with sun-bleached and sandblasted hues everywhere. Pink creates a touch of femininity in berry tones or the palest shade, Palo says. Chocolate brown, mauve, khaki green and earthy shades of terracotta, spice and sand also are important.

The Clinique Lightwashed collection includes transparent pink or lilac Touch Tint for Eyes ($13.50), Moisture Sheer Lipstick SPF 15 in Sheer Natural or Sheer Petal ($13.50), and a new Colour Rub Allover Lustre ($15.50) for the face in Bronze Glow for a warm suntanned effect or Sheer Radiance for a subtle sparkle.

Along with girly pink lips, eyes are making big news this spring, with liquid eyeliner not only in basic black, but also in rainbow hues. Laing says the refreshed version of the classic cat's-eye -- with interesting shapes and patterns drawn beside the eyes and sometimes down the cheeks -- showed up in runway shows by Diane von Furstenberg, DKNY and others.

Nikki Pelusi-Blahusch, cosmetics director for Philip Pelusi, South Side, carries the winged-eye look to the max by applying some simple craft-store accessories such as butterflies and flowers glued onto the face "just for fun."

"You can take the trend as far as you want to with beads, temporary tattoos and jewels," Pelusi-Blahusch says. She advises women to "think outside the box" and be creative with eyeliner, adding dashes and lines near the eye area to create a lighthearted appearance.

Girly pink lips call for silvery, crystal-blue or white eye shadow, Pelusi-Blahusch says. She recommends Philip Pelusi's Silverado Patina Shimmer eye shadow, a new silver-blue sheer transparent powder to sweep across the eyelid for a sheer, shimmery look.

As for hair trends, Pelusi-Blahusch says longer hair is back in fashion, with either slightly wavy or silky straight texture.

"Long doesn't always mean below the shoulders, especially for professional women," she says. "It can be above-the-shoulder length, falling below the chin."

If a woman wants to pamper herself, she can try Give It to Me Straight ($150), a new hair-reconstructor product developed by Philip Pelusi that leaves longer hair feeling full, not limp or lifeless, she adds. Another helpful Philip Pelusi product to add body and shine is Longevity shampoo ($24.95).

When it comes to adding color to hair this spring, once is definitely not enough, area stylists agree. Geri Mataya, owner of Spa Uptown, Chatham Center, says the look "is all about how many colors you can get into your hair" with highlights, lowlights and overlaying shades.

Mataya says color, like a haircut itself, should be customized to each woman's face shape. For example, "if you have a round face, don't lighten hair around your face, but do it around the circumference of your head," she notes.

Erin Cleary Taylor, manager of the Salon at Saks Fifth Avenue, Downtown, agrees that spring means "bolder, dimensional color with chunky highlights and contrasting colors." Big hair with big curls is big, she says, but so is fractured, choppy, stick-straight hair that is flat-ironed then glossed.

"Not one particular color is hot," Pelusi-Blahusch says. "Multi-toned, shiny hair is very adventurous, achieved through several color techniques. We're placing huge importance this spring on the condition of the hair. With longer lengths, maintenance is essential so the hair grows gracefully."

New look-good products for spring

"There are two simple products that can completely change a woman's look for spring: a great gloss and a fabulous mascara," says Daniel Annese, spokesman for Estee Lauder.

"A woman should always have a flattering, mega-shine gloss in her makeup wardrobe. And nothing makes lashes look more gorgeous than Illusionist Maximum Curling Mascara ($20). This is the moment to try a new shade called Serpent, a flirty green that is just right for spring."

Some other new looks for the new season:

  • Eye Shadow Duos from Hard Candy ($15), two colors designed to complement each other when applied together or blended. Available in Sassafras (soft lime and grass green), Firefly (gold and champagne) and Daydream (sky blue and faded denim).

  • Also from Hard Candy, Super Shine Lip Gloss ($12), in three new soft colors: Whimsy (peachy pink), Flirt (golden pink) and Fantasy (soft lilac).

  • L'Oreal's Colour Juice Lip Gloss ($7.49) and Shock Proof Nail Enamel ($5.10), in quartets of coordinating shades of Ruby Slipper, Orange Crush, Pink Lollipop and Pink Potion.

  • From Stila Cosmetics, two new convertible color compacts ($24) in Lilium, a glistening rosy pink, and Gerbera, a shimmering sheer coral.

  • Donna Karan's Cashmere Mist Sheer Fragrance Alcohol-Free Spray ($58), a limited-edition summer version of Cashmere Mist, a lightly scented fragrance formulated to re-create the sensation of cashmere against bare skin.

  • All Over Skin #5 ($12) from Sephora, a bronzing powder for a sun-kissed glow.

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