Jan Arnold, the co-founder of Creative Nail Design agrees, "Spring is very pastel, pink and pretty." Designers like Carolina Herrera and Matthew Williamson opted for Creative Nail Design's Icy Pink or Nylon Blond (a pale metallic pink) on their models. Jan noticed that most of the designers at spring fashion week went with medium length, softly shaped oval nails. Sounds almost normal? This is one of those rare instances when the reel world of runway beauty and the world of real life beauty are in sync.
Here's a round up of some of this season's best beauty products to get a glowing fresh look. No matter what your beauty budget, there are affordable options to spruce up your routine. And just because spring's makeup colors are soft and sweet, don't think that your presence will be less felt. Stacye Branche, the makeup department head of the Oscar nominated film "Ray" feels that "Soft tones can sometimes have more of an impact than loud tones and make you look absolutely radiant."
Best daytime and nighttime moisturizing duo
I can't say enough good things about the elegant, sophisticated, and unbelievably accomplished makeup artist Peter Lamas. I interviewed him for my new book, and without giving away too much, I will say that his insights into the beauty and personalities of legendary faces he's worked on from Audrey Hepburn to Tyra Banks, Grace Kelly to Britney Spears, Jackie Onassis and Diana Ross to Goldie Hawn and Kate Winslet, took my breath away. This man understands beauty like no one I've ever met!
Peter says that the number one most important thing for a busy working woman who has just a few minutes to get ready in the morning is to have good, healthy skin. Having seen firsthand the harsh effect of chemicals in many beauty products, Peter founded Lamas Beauty, a line of hair and skin care products formulated with herbs, vitamins, and botanicals and free of animal ingredients, animal testing, and harmful chemicals.
His Pro-Vita C Moisturizer SPF 15 was voted Best Moisturizer of the Year by Health magazine and can be purchased as a kit with his feather light Nighttime Soy Nourishing Moisturizer. To purchase this surprisingly affordable kit ($47 for the duo) and to learn fabulous makeup tips, go to lamasbeauty.com.
Mascaras come and go, but a tube of Maybelline's famous "pink and green" Great Lash Mascara sells somewhere in the world every 1.2 seconds and has long been America's best-selling mascara. Available in Very Black, Brownish Black, Dark Brown, Royal Blue and Soft Black, Great Lash is used by models, make up artists, and lots of normal everyday women. Maybelline's hypoallergenic creamy formula also comes with a curved brush and in a waterproof formula. Available everywhere, the suggested retail is $6.61.
Best foundation (and best deal!)
CoverGirl makeup artist B.J. Gillian says, "Look for a foundation that will let skin tone show through while perfecting it to its absolute best. A girl's best friend is foundation because of the subtlety this season." Of all the countless samples I went through, CoverGirl's TruBlend Makeup surprised me the most.
After years of swearing by Laura Mercier's Secret Camouflage for dark circles, I've been converted to this new breakthrough, oil-free hypoallergenic formula safe enough for ultra sensitive skin. TruBlend was created in 15 shades to make sure that women of every skin tone could get the optimal results of sheer radiant skin. At $8.50, you can't beat the price.
Most luxurious body polish
One of my new favorite products is by Artemis Woman, an all-natural, wellness oriented line of products. Their Healing Gems Body Polishes, available in Amethyst, Tourmaline, Rose Quartz, Topaz and Clear Quartz, are made with pure aromatherapy essential oils and natural gemstone crystals. I love the fresh smell and the fact that it's not too grainy, but a perfect consistency for even sensitive skin like mine.
Although featured in posh Vogue and Self magazine spreads, Artemis Woman Gem Body Polish and an assortment of their other products can be purchased conveniently at Target.com for $14.99.
Best nail products
Creative Nail Design is responsible for the glamorous nails seen on many spring runways, and their team has buffed and polished the nails of everyone from Jack Nicholson and James Brown to Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas. While Oprah never wears color on her nails, she carries Creative Nail Design products at her spa.
After trying many of their bliss inducing products, I can see why! Celebs can't get enough of Creative Design's soft spring pinks; Halle Berry wears Global Chic, Madonna, favors Negligee, and Angelina Jolie wears Beau, a sheer icy pink.
If you're looking for a low maintenance plan that doesn't involve a nail salon, I highly recommend the SpaManicure Mini Tote, which includes a pale pink polish and comes with a citrus-inspired "hand facial" that leaves hands feeling replenished and smooth. I adore the smell of the vibrant orange and grapefruit essential oils and find myself using the products even when I only have a few minutes before I rush out the door. Suggested retail $40. For your nearest store near go to creativenaildesign.com.
Most personal indie secret
We all like the idea of something secret from an indie label that we can tell our friends about. Three Custom Color Specialists sells Custom Blended formulas as well as a ready-to-wear makeup line. While a few larger brands dabble in custom makeup, that usually means they're simply offering a broader range. Two of the three partners learned to hand-blend right out of college with a premier custom blended company which later folded.
Their knowledge allows them to serve a loyal insider niche following. Three Custom Color Specialists can reproduce your favorite discontinued lip color, blush, eye shadow, eye liner, brow powder, concealer or can create a color from a swatch that you provide. Your "recipe" then remains in their permanent files for easy reordering. They also keep an archive for clients who remember the brand name and color name of their desired shade but don't have a sample to provide. This archive is kept specifically for you and isn't actively sold in stores or their website. You can check out both their slick ready-to-wear line and custom services at threecustom.com.
Best reminder of childhood
I grew up using Dove soap and to this day, still love its curved shape and gentle suds.The Dove Sensitive Skin bar is hypoallergenic, contains no fragrances, preservatives or dyes. And just like those old commercials used to say, "it contains 1/4 moisturizing lotion." A true classic. For a listing of all their updated products, go to dove.com.
At the end of the day, we all know that life is about more than looking good. If you take care of your body and make it a habit to look good for yourself, you'll feel more confident and happy. For what it's worth, happy, confident people are usually the ones who make a difference in the world.