The Top 5 Makeup Products To Buy This Spring

According to MAC's backstage makeup pros.
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Michelle Villett
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According to MAC's backstage makeup pros.

There may be snow today in Toronto, but we're only a week away from the first day of spring! And you know what that means: it won't be long now until we can fully embrace warmer-weather makeup. (Like an orange lip, which you know can feel a bit ridiculous when you're wearing it with a parka, hat and scarf in the midst a blizzard. Oh, Canada!)

Anyway, if you're wondering where to start to be "on trend" for this season, help is here. A few months back (since magazines work about four months ahead of time) I attended a wicked event put on by our friends at MAC, and got the scoop from their senior artists Melissa GibsonCaitlin Callahan and Jane McKay on what we all need in our makeup bags for spring. And trust me, they would know, since they all work backstage at Fashion Weeks around the world (SO cool).

Read on, and then tell me what YOU have on your shopping list...

1. A navy blue eyeliner

Altuzarra - Spring 2013 makeup

This look is from Altuzarra's S/S '13 show, and it's all about the "very French" navy blue eyeliner. I've long been a fan of navy instead of black because it's a bit softer and, I think, more interesting. In a darker shade like this (the MAC peeps describe it as "inky black-blue"), it works on every skin tone and eye colour.

The specific product used at Altuzarra was MAC Technakohl Eye-Liner Kajal in Auto-de-Blu:

MAC Technakohl Liner Eye-Liner Kajal in Auto-de-Blu

Out now for $18 CAD/$16 USD at MAC counters and maccosmetics.com.

I've been experimenting with it lately and loving the texture—nice and creamy but not too slippery. I'm usually wary of kajals because they can smear a lot, but this one has pretty great staying power despite not being waterproof. It looks great worn above the upper lash lines, as in the pic above, or in the lower waterlines (my personal fave) for an edgier look.

Other great liners to check out include Tarte Skinny SmolderEYES Amazonian Clay Waterproof LinerNARS Larger Than Life Long-Wear Eyeliner and L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Smoldering Eyeliner (a kajal).

2. A bright pink or orange lipstick

Giles - Spring 2013 beauty

Who could forget the Giles S/S '13 show with the incredible fluoro pink lips? That's one hot shade this season, and the other is orange... like at Moschino:

Moschino - Spring 2013 beauty

For real life, I suggest you go with more of the Giles look (i.e. low-key with the rest of your features), no matter what colour you choose for your lips.

There are two MAC picks here—this is MAC Amplified Creme Lipstick in Morange (which was used at Moschino but with gloss on top):

MAC Amplified Creme Lipstick in Morange

Out now for $17.50 CAD/$15 USD at MAC counters and maccosmetics.com.

And their other lipstick shade pick is Pink Nouveau (apparently a Nicki Minaj fave!).

Some other bright lippie options include the incredible Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick (my testimonial here!) and the super-attention-grabbing Maybelline New York Color Sensational Vivids Lipcolor (a previous editor's pick too).

3. An intensely pigmented, volumizing mascara

Gucci - Spring 2013 beauty

Okay, these ones (at Gucci S/S '13) were false... but the point is that long, dark, luscious lashes aren't going anywhere anytime soon. Since nobody except for Kim Kardashian is going to bother fiddling with fake lashes for anything other than special occasions, your best bet is to invest in one of the new high-tech mascara formulas.

The MAC reco here is called MAC Haute & Naughty Too Black Lash Mascara, which came out last year and has a darker, more intense pigment than the original Haute & Naughty:

MAC Haute & Naughty Too Black Lash Mascara

Out now for $23.50 CAD/$20 USD at MAC counters and maccosmetics.com.

Caitlin said it was her absolute favourite mascara—and when a pro like her makes a statement like that, I listen! It's supposed to be MAC's most versatile offering, giving you the option of either a clean, defined look or mega-volume, and you can layer tons of coats.

For a more affordable option check out CoverGirl LashBlast Clump Crusher Mascara, which just launched this year.

4. A brow-setting gel

Alexander Wang - Spring 2013 makeup

Bolder brows, like I've been sayin', are KEY now. It's funny because you can look at photos from only a few years ago and notice that the arches—whether on a model or a celeb—were much skinnier back then. Now, suddenly, it looks all wrong and fullness looks so right. This pic above is from Alexander Wang S/S '13.

I know growing your brows out when you're not used to them being thicker can be a little scary, so I suggest putting yourself under the care of a pro (like Mary at Eye Love Brow & Beauty Bar in Toronto—she is the BEST). You can fill in any sparse spots with a pencil, and the MAC ladies suggest the MAC Brow Set Gel in Clear to keep the hairs behaving themselves:

MAC Brow Set Clear

Out now for $18 CAD/$16 USD at MAC counters and maccosmetics.com.

If your brows need help in the growth department, check out Prevage Clinical Lash + Brow Enhancing Serum, which could help speed things along.

5. A luminizing face powder

Arthur Mendonca - Spring 2013 makeup

Remember this pic from Arthur Mendonça S/S '13 at Toronto Fashion Week? I would kill for this model's skin—it is out-of-this-world gorgeous. And although it wasn't a MAC show, I think it perfectly illustrates what these makeup pros are feelin' this season for skin: a "hyper-perfect, luminous finish" that has "sheen but not sparkle."

How they said to get it was via MAC Prep + Prime Natural Radiance Primer, which is apparently great for all skin tones and gives you a brightening base. After that, foundation of your choice and THEN this product, MAC Mineralize Skinfinish:

MAC Mineralize Skinfinish

Out now for $30 CAD/$30 USD at MAC counters and maccosmetics.com.

What they said to do is dust it all over your face after foundation—not just on the high planes of your face, like you would with a bronzer—for a glowy, illuminated look. (I say: just make sure you have the right shade so you get the brightening without too much colour. The sample I got of Skinfinish in Soft and Gentle, for example, is still too dark for my pale skin.)

Also? Just so you know, illuminating powders in general are SO hot right now. Make sure you check out the new one from Chanel called Les Beiges, and also the Ambient Lighting Powders from Hourglass (raved about 'em here).

Tell me:

Have you tried any of these spring must-haves?
Which warm-weather makeup look are you most excited to bust out?
What else are you hoping to add to your makeup bag for spring?