The natural makeup look is out and color grabs the spotlight for spring, starring orange or pink lips, well-lined eyes, and a cameo appearance by an old friend from the '60s: false eyelashes.
Experts from three cosmetic companies agreed that false eyelashes will have a more central role by fall, but even then, they are expected to come out primarily at night. Why? Messy adhesives still make them difficult to apply, and experts don't think '90s women can justify the bother.
"I think lashes are going to be good, but they still are not so easy to use," said Susan Freeman, assistant vice president of marketing for makeup at Lancome. "I think women are going to want to use mascara on their lashes for day, for a more professional look. False eyelashes are for when they really want to do it up at night."
The lash attack makes sense this season, as A-line dresses and other '60s-inspired silhouettes make a splash in women's clothing. But false eyelashes hardly are the only '60s trend in the world of makeup. Eye shadows in soft floral tones are returning, and liquid eye liners probably are bigger than they have been in 20 years, although colored eye pencils remain popular.
How pervasive the liquid trend will become is a source of debate in the cosmetic industry. Freeman said trendy women already are drawing heavy liquid lines on their eyelids and adding wings at the outer corners of their eyes for fun, just as women did 25 years ago. But Glenn Roberts, creative beauty director for Elizabeth Arden, doesn't see it that way.
"They're not '60s liners," he said. "That isn't really real. The message to be gained from liquid liners is that, this season, you line your eyes."
For Roberts, the eyes get central attention on the face this season, although "lips and cheeks share the spotlight. All the features are emphasized, but softly.
"Last spring, we were talking about natural, naked colors," Roberts said. "Now, we're seeing flower colors soft silvery violets, apricots, terra cottas and soft greens with eyes important for both day and night. The word is pretty."
One or two eye shadows are used on the eyelid, and if two are used, the darker shade is used along the crease of the eye for contrast, the experts said. Lauren Anderson, vice president for training and development at Estee Lauder, said women with wide-set eyes can use a third color (as long as it is dark) along the hollow inside corner of the eye to make eyes appear closer together.
Anderson sees a '60s spirit in today's makeup colors, with an important distinction.
"The colors are very translucent," Anderson said. "They're soft, and they range from pink and peach to melon and mauve. But unlike the '60s colors, they're all really see-through. The idea is to see a woman's own beauty show through."
Cheeks are somewhat more defined than they have beenin the past, butr color still must be well blended to avoid an overly made-up look. Standard application is to keep color directly along the cheekbone, any further than the center of the eye.
The strong lip, colred with lipstick and outlined with matching pencil, is one trend that shows no sign of abating. There may be changes in the wind for lip colors, however. Red, a best seller for several years, is playing second fiddle to orange tones such as apricot or melon for spring, and pink also is strong, the experts said.