Spring’s Most Arresting Makeup Com​es in a Spectrum of Pastels

Blame mermaid hair, unicorn lattes, the ubiquity of millennial pink, or maybe just the fact that we’re all ready for a kaleidoscopic blast of spring, but there’s something undeniably now about a pastel makeup palette—especially when punched up to primary-color intensity.

From robin’s-egg-blue lids at Missoni to lilac liner flicks at Oscar de la Renta to shimmery, peony-hued cheeks at Valentino, the season’s runways pulsed with Easter-candy shades that read more punk rock than Disney princess. “We’ve been inundated on Instagram with dark, smoky eyes and structured eyebrows for so long that pastel makeup now feels really fresh and optimistic,” says Dior makeup artist Daniel Martin. “Pairing an opaque, monochromatic pastel eye with radiant, dewy skin just looks so cool.”

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Missoni spring 2018

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Valentino spring 2018

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A far cry from the sheer blues and greens of the disco era and the garish matte purples and pinks of the 1980s, new-school pastel pigments are both easier to work with and more flattering. “There was a time when a lot of people felt like they couldn’t use pastel makeup because their skin was too dark or it looked too ashy or flat, but thanks to new technologies, the shades have a lot more dimension,” Martin says. “Salmon pink is beautiful on a lot of skin tones, because it’s not too orange and not too pink. Yellow can be surprisingly forgiving. And blue—as long as it’s not cold, but more of a Tiffany blue—is gorgeous on almost everyone.”

Anteprima spring 2018

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Color Theory

Take a break from black liner with pretty, statement-making pastels.

This article originally appeared in the March 2018 issue of ELLE.


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