We have mixed feelings about the term "trend" when it comes to beauty. After all, there are so many amazing products and focus points for inspiration (the red carpet! Instagram! The girl sitting next to us on the bus!) narrowing our spring makeup aesthetic to whatever was seen on the runways feels rather limiting. Then again, while many of the beauty trends we've seen during fashion week and other showcases, are, indeed, worth noting and beautiful, they're not necessarily what's been stopping us mid-scroll within our celeb- and makeup-artist studded IG feeds this season.
Of course, you're completely allowed to do as you please this spring when it comes to your makeup MO, but sometimes it is helpful (or at least interesting) to see which products and looks are a high priority right now for the industry's top makeup artists—regardless of whether or not we saw them on the runway for spring. To zero in, we reached to celebrity makeup artist Jerry Johnson, who also happens to be an official artistry executive for one of our favorite makeup brands in the game, Laura Mercier. Suffice to say, Johnson knows what's up—especially with the official arrival of spring and summer being just around the corner.
"Overall, trends have transitioned from cooler to warmer undertones this spring," hints Johnson. "Last fall and winter, lip colors with cooler undertones, like mauves, were trending, but with the change of the seasons, we're seeing lip colors with more neutral and warmer undertones, like corals, appear. Modern blue-toned hues have also moved from the lips to the eyes."
Oh, and something you most definitely won't see? Intense eye looks with inky washes of color. "Makeup trends come and go so rapidly, but one that I haven’t been seeing this season is the rich black smoky eye," says Johnson. "Instead, I'm seeing more subtle versions, like a light shimmer on the entire lid, lined with a black-navy liner."
Craving more? Johnson gave us his exclusive spring makeup trend report featuring five of the most noteworthy beauty vibes you most certainly should try out for size this season. Keep scrolling!
Trend #1: A Softer Sculpt
Although it may be hard to ignore the ever-present, ultra-sculpted cheekbones of known contour-lovers like the Kardashians and Jenners, Johnson says this spring is all about creating a soft face-frame and bone structure—nothing harsh or obvious.
"The focus for spring 2019 is the skin and complexion, meaning nothing heavy, and using less product on the face to achieve a makeup look that's fresh and clean," he explains. Essentially, there's been a slow but sure shift away from hard contouring, and people are wanting a soft, far more subtle result when it comes to adding some extra dimension to the face.
"I'm loving the subtler, softer contour for spring and summer. I'm all about keeping it more discreet and just casting soft shadows where needed for a more natural look!"
Johnson recommends looking to lightweight face products, such as a tinted moisturizer with a protective dose of SPF or a featherweight, radiance-enhancing foundation that won't look heavy or cakey under the focus of the spring and summer sun.
"These lighter formulas adhere more seamlessly and become part of the skin, versus adding too much thickness or texture to the face," he says. "You’ll never get a buildup of these products because they melt right into the skin."
For the most strategic application, Johnson recommends using a sponge or your fingertips when working with foundation (just pat it right into your skin!) and the same goes for a tinted moisturizer.
Trend #2: Corals
Even if you've been resisting the 2019 Living Coral trend within your wardrobe thus far, we recommend welcoming the hue into your springtime makeup aesthetic.
"We're seeing a lot of corals this season, most commonly on the lip," Johnson iterates. "Depending on your mood and skin tone, you can really channel any shade of coral, and everything from a soft and sheer stain to a bright, bold lip is fair game."
For a sheerer stain on the lips, Johnson suggests using your fingertips to stamp the color onto your lips versus depositing the color straight from the tube. That said, if you're after more intensity, by all means, apply your favorite coral shade of lipstick right to your pout.
"The best shade of coral also depends on your eye look," Johnson adds. If you're doing something more neutral, he recommends off-setting a nude eye with a brighter formula like the one shown above.
Or, if you’re rocking a darker smoky eye, Johnson suggests opting for a coral shade like this top pick from Maybelline to create a sheerer lip stain. (It offsets heavier eye makeup, which looks breezier for springtime.)
Trend #3: "Easy" Makeup Using Multifunctional Products
There's nothing we crave more come spring and summer than a pretty makeup look that will require as little get-ready time as possible. Hey, we have beaches to hit and cocktails to sip, after all! The good news? Makeup artists are so on board with our no-fuss application aesthetic of choice this season.
"More and more, I'm seeing people opt for multifunctional products," Johnson tells us. "They're moving away from makeup looks that require multiple steps toward simpler routines that incorporate one or two products that can be used for multiple purposes."
"Start with a look that's less busy, and layer and build as needed," instructs Johnson. "One of my go-to products is Laura Mercier's Caviar Stick Eye Colour, because it’s multi-functional, user-friendly, and buildable." (Psst! It's an editor fave as well!)
If you're using a stick like this as an eye shadow, Johnson likes to apply it using a brush such as this one (aka one with longer fibers!) to easily wash the lid with a hint of color and shimmer.
Or if you'd rather use the stick as a liner, reach for a pointed brush to work the product into the base of the lash line—one of Johnson's best tips! We're big fans of this affordable pick from E.l.f Cosmetics.
Trend #4: The "Illuminated" Glow
Glowy skin has been trending for a while, but that doesn't mean it's any less important to this spring's makeup trend report. However, according to Johnson, there is one small difference worth noting for spring 2019.
"The glow trend is still alive and well, but we’re seeing more of a lit-from-within glow that’s a bit softer and illuminates the skin in a more natural-looking way," he explains. "I always say trends come and go, but beautiful skin is forever. Skin is so in, and I see a focus on luminous, glowing skin continuing as a trend throughout the year."
This season's glow will be less blatantly dewy and disco-esque. Instead, think a soft focus like one from a candlelit ambiance.
"If you prefer a cream, infuse a dime-sized drop of Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Illuminating formula shown above into any foundation to give your skin a boosted glow," suggests Johnson. "I also love using this tinted moisturizer to craft the perfect foundation shade because there are a variety of shades that can be added to a foundation to perfectly enhance the color for any skin tone."
However, if you prefer powder when it comes to getting your glow this spring, Johnson recommends using a lighter, less dense brush for application, like this one from Joah.
His reasoning? Denser brushes pick up more product, so a lighter brush will give you the opportunity to build and create a softer, less harsh look as per the season's trend.
Trend #5: Modern Blue-Black Hues
Blue (versus) black has been sweeping our beauty-studded IG feeds all year long so far, and the navy and cobalt blue trend will only intensify as the season (and most likely the year), wears on.
According to Johnson, a modern black-blue liner or rich black-navy eye look is popular for the season because it brightens up the eye area without being too harsh.
"It's not as dull as a brown but not as harsh as a black. It's a great in-between and pairs nicely with a coral lip," he concludes. Plus, as striking a blue as sapphire is an effortless strategy for taking your makeup look from day to night with minimal work or maintenance involved.
"Smoke the color very close to the base of the lash line and take it around the lining of the entire eye for added drama," Johnson instructs. He especially loves Laura Mercier's Caviar Stick Eye Color in Sapphire $29 or Azure $29.)
"When it comes to smoking, use a smaller detail brush like a smudge brush that allows you to build up the preferred amount of drama."
If you want to create a soft line with a little wing, Johnson says to use a pointed eyeliner brush (like the one from E.l.f. we mentioned earlier!) in tandem with a blue marine colored eyeliner.
"This is also a great option, for doing the blue-black trend for spring," adds Johnson. "You can smudge it into the lash line and softly line beneath the lid."
"If you're pairing the eye with a brighter coral lip, I recommend a clean eye with a simple winged liner using a simple black-blue liner like this one from NYX," suggests Johnson. "However, if you're pairing with a softer coral lip, I recommend a smokier look."
Want more spring and summer beauty inspiration? See which products lasted a full 24 hours on my face during a weekend at Coachella.