Spring Beauty

Every season I make a little wish list of all the things I'm currently craving and use these items to incentivize my behavior. For example: the super cool aqua Jason Wu Seberg sunglasses I adore won't be mine unless I log 60 miles on the treadmill in a month. If I want to get the Miss December jacket from Nonoo Lyons I've had my eye on for months, I'll have to stick to my goal of making dinner or lunch at home five days a week. Of course, while I have a carrot-and-stick approach to shopping for clothes and accessories, I'm all about splurging in the beauty department. Instead of forcing myself to take a measured approach when trying my new favorite hair and makeup trends, I'm already enjoying them all! (Not simultaneously, mind you.) On that note, I'm so pleased to present my five favorite beauty looks for the season, plus some fantastic new products, and hope you adore them too. Feel free to indulgeÂ--I know I am!

Side Braids
I fell in love with this hair trend during the fall shows and now, nearly six months later, I'm just as smitten. First seen at Alexander Wang and recently demonstrated by Kate Bosworth, the side plait is perfect in its simplicity. It's supposed to be a little loose and messy, so even bad braiders (self included) will be able to execute this look.

Of course, when attempting any hair trend, it never hurts to have a secret helper in your corner, which is why I can't stop yammering about my favorite pre-braid product: Redken's Aerate 08 Bodifying Cream Mousse ($16). Before drying my hair, I run a quarter-sized smidge of this amplifer from my roots to ends and end up with a va-va-va-voom mane that I can easily wrangle into a simple side braid. It's a game changer, dear readers, that's how much I love this product.

Peach Pout
Of all the many genius brand/designer collaborations out there, I must say that Lancome's Pout-a-Porter program is one of my favorites. Whenever the beauty gurus team up with an on-the-rise designer and custom-create a lipstick, the results are invariably stellar. This year's gorgeous productÂ--a soft peachy-coral color that was created with Chris BenzÂ--truly knocked my socks off. The sweetly named Chris & Tell L'Absolu Rouge Lipstick ($29) is a light and lovely choice that simply screams spring.

As I'm totally fixated on all things in this color family, I also discovered another new peachy keen product that I recommend to everyone: Maybelline's Shine Sensational Gloss ($5) in Mad About Melon. Though the entire range of glosses is excellent, this shade is exceptionally flattering and just might be my perfect go-to hue.

Dark Star
During a recent browse through photo agency pictures, I came across a shot of Ashley Olsen at the Art of Elysium party and was floored by her beauty look. I loved the contrast of the strong lip with her faintly glowing skin, in no small part because it seemed like a lovely interpretation of the makeup at Jason Wu's equally heart-stopping spring show. Though a deep berry, burgundy, or grape lip is typically associated with more wintery weather, I think this is a perfect look now, especially as a counterpoint to all the nude dresses and neutral tones that are so popular.

To try this trend at home, I highly suggest picking up Chanel's new limited edition Radiant Glow Highlighting Powder ($65, 1.800.550.0005). Unlike most illuminators, this product isn't super pinky or white, which means it gives your skin a more natural glimmer and it looks smashing on every complexion. Contrast that ethereal radiance with your favorite deep lip colorÂ--I recommend the new MAC Tinted Lipglass ($14) in Purple Rage or Dolce & Gabbana The Shine Lipstick ($30) in DahliaÂ--for an angelic-meets- vampy beauty look.

Bands + Buns
My other favorite hair trend is a total blend of two of the season's major inspirations: athletics and Alice in Wonderland. When you pair a simple up-do with a solid headband, the results are feminine without being obnoxiously girly. Plus, the look can be either super soignée (see January Jones at the Globes) or completely carefree (per the models at Bottega Veneta's spring show). Either way, it's a lovely counterpoint to all of the long wavy locks we've seen so much of in the past few years.

However you put your own spin on this look, I highly suggest complimenting this trend with one of my current obsessions du jour: MoroccanOil's Hydrating Styling Cream ($30). It's great for prepping your hair before blow-drying or air-drying (I throw a dime-sized dollop on my damp hair to tame frizzies), but it's also a superb post-styling product too (perfect for making curls look a little more polished).

Nudie Nails
When it comes to polish colors, I'm rather fickle. I'm always looking for something new, notable, and not yet on everyone else's fingers and toes, which means I cycle through lacquer favorites so quickly it's stupid. But in the aftermath of my taupe phase, I've turned to a tone that's always underwhelmed me in the past: nude. We're talking mannequin hands (my new favorite funny phrase, borrowed from the polish savant, All Lacquered Up), which basically means finding a tone that makes your nails match your skin exactly.

Nudie nails were a huge trend at the showsÂ--CND Color Polish ($9) in Putty at Karen Walker and Herve Leger, OPI Nail Lacquer ($8.50) in Malaysian Mist, Barefoot in Barcelona, and Samoan Sand at Marc Jacobs, and Zoya Nail Polish ($7) in Naomi at AltuzarraÂ--but I think they look just as gorgeous in real life. And, as an added bonus, nude polish has an elongating effect and can make even the stubbiest hands look graceful. Sleek and chic? Now that's my kind of trendÂ...

EXPLORE: Ashley Olsen, January Jones, Kate Boswoth, Alexander Wang, Chanel, M.A.C, Hillary's Picks


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