Next week marks for the first day of spring, but last night the new season was alive and well in a suddenly balmy Los Angeles. Those who don’t live here tend to think that we’re all running around in tank tops in February—but it is so not so. These last few days however, have given us a taste of what’s to come—which means I’ve been thinking about spring makeovers.

It’s completely Pavlovian for me. The temperature rises a few degrees and I start dreaming of new hairstyles, clothes, makeup. I even had a fantasy about gel nails the other day. (Someone please remind me how that’s a horrible idea, k?)

I’m the sucker they write magazines for. Luckily, right now I have two newish products in my roster that are helping me refresh my look for spring—and that don’t involve me doing anything too silly.

Have you tried either of these products?

1. Studio 78 Paris, Bronzing Powder Me love a good bronzer, and this is the best one I’ve tried in a while. It does exactly what it should: enhance your natural skin tone, define your face structure, and give you a glow. It should not look like you stepped off one of the Housewives of somewhere sets. Siobhan reviewed this line a little while back, and was crushing hard on the under eye concealer and blush. I too tried three (different) products and the bronzer was the standout for me. (Note: The eye shadow is also really special, the eyeliner notsomuch. There’s something I don’t love about the way it applies.) It’s a bit too bad re the liner because I specifically like wearing bronzer when I’m doing more of an eye thing, but I have other ones.

Now, you might be wondering if a bronzer is worth $43 and I can’t answer that question for you. What I will say is that I’ve never in my life finished a bronzer—it is a product that lasts as long as you’re willing not to throw it out. I don’t worry a whole lot about germs and such, so I’m guessing I will be whipping this out every spring for the next several years unless I lose it.

2. Vapour’s Multi-Use Stain / 209 Impulse This product is killing it for me right now. It was actually part of our Quarterly package last time, so I’m curious to know if those who got it are loving it as much as I am. I’ve had several days now where I wear nothing else on my face. This long-lasting stain is the perfect color for lips and cheeks, and perfect too for most skin tones. You can control how intense it is by how much you use—it can look as subtle a post-romp flush (sorry! blame spring!), or as dramatic as a true red lip. The tube is huge, which thrills me for two reasons: 1. There’s lots of product in there. 2. It’s easy to find in my purse! And when you’re only using one product, that’s kind of a boon.

So, what spring makeover fantasies are you having? Have you tried any great new products for the season?

Guys! I have four new favorite makeup items!

I’m going to review them all at once, since they’re all from W3LL People.

1. Universalist 1 and 2 as a duo pot—or as separate sticks. I have the sticks, and I love them. Now, the internet has a serious makeup-color-showing problem (which is why we need more brick and mortars, please, especially in New York), so I’m going to politely ask you to ignore the colors you see on your screen and indulge me as I try to describe them instead.

The colored stick you see here on the left, Universalist 1, looks in person more like a bronzey, dusty rose. It’s got a lot of glow to it without being sparkly, and it has become my go-to everyday blush. It’s literally impossible to mess up, and it’s flattering on every skin color I’ve seen it on. You can dab it on lightly for a super subtle healthy glow or layer it on a little thicker for evening, if you want the color to pop more. Little trick Shirley from W3LL People taught me: Apply a tiny amount under the edge of your eyebrow arch—just a dab, guys—and you won’t really be able to see it, but it makes your eyes really pop!

The 2, meanwhile, is not a solid color at all, as it appears in some pictures. It’s actually a luminizer/highlighter, and it works great on cheekbones, cupids bow, eyelids and even under the outside edge off eye. Just be sure to blend it well. Looks so great! You can see me dorking out about it, and see Shirley explaining how to apply them in the video over here.

(Because we only hawk the stuff we love, you can also currently get both in our little deal. If you want.)

2. The black eyeliner. Also wild about their new eyeliner! Because it’s not technically waterproof I was warned against under eye lash lining but I find it works great and lasts—even at cry-inducing weddings and on hot days. At the same time, it washes off easily with my Kahina cleanser, which is a nice plus. I’ve been into tight-lining my upper lash line and the outside of my lower lash line with it for a nice sharp pop. Fun!

3. The shimmery eyeshadow. I have Elitist 814, which you can see over here. Shirley applied it on me when she did my makeup for that video (confidential to Shirley: Can you do my makeup every day? Thank you) and I’ve since been using it for day and night. For night I layer it with a darker browny bronze. For day I wear it solo when I’m feeling a little less than spiritely, like today! It doesn’t look cakey or teenybopper at all—it’s quite subtle, but makes a huge difference. The color, which is a warm salmony gold, is just so pretty.

Have you tried any new makeup you love?

Last week we told you about the latest reports on DHA, the ingredient in sunless tanners that we have championed in the past (it’s natural! it’s a sugar!). Now the new science is saying that it may cause DNA damage. As always, more research is needed for anything conclusive, but we can no longer recommend that you use this stuff in good conscience.

I don’t know about you, but in recent summers I’ve loved using a little self-tanner on my face to up my glow. I’ve always enjoyed getting some sun on my arms and legs, but while I’m not a big sunscreen user, I still tend to be careful with exposure on my face. That’s where the lotion came in handy.

So what are the options for your face if, like me, you’re ditching the sunless stuff?

1. Stay pale, use blush.

Pale skin with a fresh pink cheek is never out of season. But if you want to mix it up for the summer go with something a little peachier. Peach says sun-kissed without looking garish on super fair skin.

2. Fake it carefully with some bronzer.

If you are very pale, bronzer does run the risk of looking a little silly. But if your skin’s not of the translucent variety—and bless you girls who needn’t worry about this at all—a nice clean bronzer may just do the trick. Here’s a good tip to avoid looking clownish, especially for daytime wear: mix a little bit into your moisturizer or favorite oil when you apply it instead of using a brush. It’ll be more subtle and dewy like that.

3. Get a little sun.

There’s not a dermatologist in the free world that will recommend you get any unprotected sun exposure on your face, but I’m a believer that anything in moderation can’t be that bad. Am I encouraging you to sit out and cook your mug? Heck no. Do I think ten minutes here and there is going to turn you into a leather-faced old hag. Neither.

At the end of the day, we all just need to work with the skin we have and find the subtle compliments that make us look (and feel) healthiest. So while I’m sad to see sunless tanners go, at least until more is known, I’m up for finding more great natural bronzers and blushes. So please post your favorites!

Did you use sunless tanners in the past, and will this new science deter you now? If so, what are your plans for getting your glow on this summer?

UPDATE!  I can’t believe I forgot this tip. Eat more veggies! They’re proven to give skin a tan-like glow. See?

45

What Is Your Silliest Vanity?

Every girl, and many a man, have at least one. A silly vanity. A thing that you must do, either for yourself, or before you leave your house, see your boyfriend, get on Skype. The thing that friends and loved ones may sometimes tease you about.

Mine is blush. As clean-faced as I’ve gotten through this process, blush has emerged as the one product I do not like being seen without. I’m loath to admit that I even sometimes dab a little on my cheeks before exercise class.

I just feel like it makes me look so much fresher and healthier, though members of my family have warned it can also look like war paint if I don’t use a light touch. Oh, and the length of my nails can get a little silly too. Let’s just say  guitar is not in my future.

Vanities can also border on strange obsessions, can’t they? For instance, according to lore, Marilyn Monroe would rinse her face exactly 15 times after washing it. And apparently Jackie O would fast for a day if she so much as gained a pound.

So how about you? Is there an absolute must-do before anyone lays eyes on you, or simply something you yourself can’t tolerate?

Do you hate a bare nail, a naked lash? Do you have a scar you hide, or an under eye concealer you feel like a zombie without? Maybe it’s heels, or perfume, or Spanx. Maybe you magic marker your stray grays. The floor is open!

Image via

Ever since I heard about Kjaer Weis’ line, I was excited to get my paws on it.

A lover of beautiful packaging and high-performance natural products, I’m never so pleased as when the two combine for a really appealing aesthetic experience—which this most certainly is.

I say “slash lipstick.” Technically this little stunner is, as the title suggests, a cream blush. But I’ve clearly been playing with naturals too long because it never occurred to me that this product might be intended for my cheeks alone. That’s because thanks to other nontoxic lines like W3LL People and RMS Beauty, we’ve gotten accustomed to putting whatever, wherever. So this morning, looking a little ghostly in the mirror, I decided to put what I thought was a lipstick on my cheekbones. Turns out I had it backwards all along, and boy am I happy I figured that out.

As soon as I smeared on an index-fingertip-worth of this cream blush in Sun Touched I looked, well, sun touched. Not in a bronzer kind of way but in a “I spent the long weekend at an ashram in the Bahamas” kind of way.

If you’re a cradle-to-cradle type—someone concerned with the entire lifecycle of a product—you’ll be happy to know that these lovely metal cases are refillable, the refills are cased in recyclable paper, and the ingredients are 95% certified organic. Here’s the ingredient list for my blush:

Aside from carmine, which is widely used  in organics and naturals but is not suitable for vegans because it comes from crushed beetles, the ingredients are as squeaky clean as it gets. I love it, and am thrilled to have a new lipstick blush to play with.

It’s currently sold exclusively at Space NK but we hope we’ll be seeing it on our go-to retailers’ sites soon, too.