It’s still pretty cold in Chicago right now, but even so, I can feel it: spring is coming.
I get GIDDY in the springtime, especially this year. After being cooped up for so long in the freezing, bitter, nausea-inducing cold, the thought of warmer weather is like wine to me. A lot of wine. Like a barrel of it.
Hey. If Beyonce can get drunk in love, I can get drunk in spring.
The thing I’m always most excited about in spring is the thought of flowers. My fair city really excels at beautiful springtime flora, and the thought of trees exploding into bloom and beautiful green shoots popping up through the ground makes me want to sing and dance around in the most ridiculous manner.
I’m also really excited about springtime makeup, which is about as far away from powdery Easter pastels as you can possibly get. Think really vibrant colours and sleek, modish shapes. Needless to say, I’m totally in.
So I decided to combine these two things and take this season’s beauty inspiration from my favourite spring flowers.
These flowers are my number-one way to know that spring has finally come to the Ice Kingdom (sick of your crap this year, Ice King). When the crocuses start croaking--I am unsure of the spelling here as I’ve only ever heard this phrase spoken--I know that nice weather isn’t far behind.
Around here, crocuses seem to be mostly a bluish-purple, orangey-yellow and white. And with this season’s emphasis on bright eyeliner, what better way to reference that than with these awesome liners from Stila?
Stila’s Smudge Sticks now come in an amazing 31 colours, and these are three of the most awesome.
I LOVE the very fine, twist-up tip as it allows for fine lines and lots of control. I also love that there’s a variety of finishes available--some of the pencils are matte (Alpine and Canary) and some are shimmery (Violet), but they’re all outrageously bright and beautiful.
These eyeliners are my everything. They’re so vibrant and gorgeous, plus they REALLY stay put once they’ve set. My favourite way to wear them right now is by lining my eyes in a dramatic cat eye shape with Violet, blending it in to a little line of Canary underneath and lining my waterlines with Alpine.
Because the tips of the pencils are so fine, you can get a really delicate shape which makes the bright colours seem cool, rather than costume-y.
A Chicago staple, you can see these cheerful orange flowers along the median strips and peeking out from behind every fence in every neighbourhood around the city. I love to have some of them on my desk; they’re just so happy.
I’m not usually an orange lipstick girl, but when it comes to matching petals, I can’t go past Maybelline Color Sensational The Vivids in Electric Orange. It is the EXACT shade of orange as the hearts of the flowers.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I am a big fan of these lipsticks. The colour payoff is exceptional for the price and they never leave my lips feeling dry--a big danger as the seasons change and my skin gets unhappy.
I grew up in the Australian outback. One of the best things about living in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by red dirt and spinifex, was the miraculous change that swept over the landscape as soon as the rain came. Living in the desert really makes you appreciate the rhythms of nature in a way that nothing else can, and there’s no more dramatic rhythm than the sudden appearance of flowers.
I remember waking up in the morning after a big rain as a kid and seeing the world transformed. Where there had been nothing but dirt and dead sticks the day before, now there was a carpet of beautiful pink and white flowers.
These Everlastings, as we always called them, had thin, papery petals that dried beautifully, gorgeous in the very tough yet fragile way of all desert flowers. Even after we left the outback and moved to Perth, I had a bunch of them in my room. I miss seeing them every year, and it’s an ache that I can feel as clearly as a phantom limb.
So if we’re talking about makeup that reminds me of beautiful pink flowers, let’s talk about blush. Specifically, Tarte’s Amazonian Clay Blush in Glisten and LORAC Baked Matte Satin Blush in Flaunt.
Oh guys. Ohhhhhh guys. You know that I am a matte blush girl for life, but these two shimmery pinks might be changing my mind. They make me feel like a glimmering springtime fairy, and I LOVE IT.
Glisten is a peachy-pink blush with golden shimmer. The marketing for these blushes says that they last 12 hours, which, at first, I chalked up to advertising, but I GET IT NOW. The blush has a slightly creamy consistency, even though it’s a powder, and once it’s on your face, it stays put.
The colour is also really lovely. A lot of blushes with gold shimmer make me look jaundiced or sallow, but this one just makes me look like I’m glowing. It’s very flattering, and I suspect it would look amazing on a wide range of skin tones.
Flaunt may as well be called “Alle,” so completely is it in my wheelhouse. It is a very shimmery bright cool-toned pink, with a very fine yet not excessively powdery consistency (a problem I often have with baked formulas). It’s such a wonderful colour, and the shimmer in it skews far enough away from “glittery” to keep it very grown up.
This blush also stays put. I road-tested it through a very difficult workout, and when I was done I was sweating my head off, but my cheeks still looked pink and perfect. I don’t have words enough to say how much I love this formula and colour.
Another Chicago institution, every year the Magnificent Mile goes CRAZY with the tulips (and the tourists, naturally, but we can’t take inspiration from their petals). They aren’t really my favourite flowers, but my mum loves them, and since she reads and comments on xoVain, I figured I would include them. I love you, Mum!
There’s a lot of ways to incorporate these gloriously ostentatious shades into your makeup routine, but my favourite way is via nail polish. And my favourite tulip-y nail polishes right now are these guys…
These are Essie nail polishes in Lollipop and Watermelon, and Butter London 3 Free Nail Lacquer in Macbeth (which is also, hands down, my favourite Shakespeare play). I feel like these shades really evoke the exuberance of tulips and the happiness we all feel when winter is FINALLY OVER.
Lollipop is a bright warm-red jelly formula that needs two or three coats to reach full opacity, but when it does, it’s a show-stopper. Watermelon is a classic warm-pink cream that is remarkably chip-resistant and reads as appropriate for work AND weekend fun. Macbeth is my current favourite pedicure colour--a true orangey-coral that is as fierce as its namesake. Butter London makes some of my favourite polishes in the world right now, as the formula and wear is as good as the colours.
What are your favourite spring flowers? Are you as giddy about spring springing as I am?