With the gloom of winter now behind us, people are getting out of their dark, heavy clothes and into lighter, brighter spring colors. And with this comes a different approach to makeup.

Makeup for spring still relies on many of the same colors as last season, but with a lighter touch, according to makeup artist Tomomi Higuchi of Tokyo’s Various Agent hair and makeup agency (www.va-seep.com).

The look is inspired by the futuristic fashions and glam-rock faces seen on the runaways for the 2007 spring collections.

This season, Higuchi says, fashion dictates that women draw attention to one feature of the face — a vivid or smoky eye, fruit-colored mouth or warm sweep of color over the cheek — and keep the rest of the face neutral.

Higuchi, who does makeup for Japanese and Hollywood films, music videos, and CD jackets, suggests accentuating your most flattering feature. Play up the part of your face you are complimented most on — large eyes, full mouth, high cheekbones — so that when people look at you, their eye is drawn to that part of the face.

Great-looking skin is the key to beautiful makeup, Higuchi says. If the base is good, everything else that goes on top will look good too. Moving away from the shiny look of the past season, the perfect foundation for spring is half matte, giving just a little bit of a shine for a more natural look.

Remember to prepare your skin with a good moisturizer, Higuchi says, making sure you massage it in well to combat the dryness built up from the harsh winter air. Then, use a minimum amount of foundation. Try Giorgio Armani’s Designer Foundation for nice even coverage or Higuchi’s personal favorite, MAC Face and Body Foundation , which she likes for its sheer, natural look.

Higuchi recommends using a foundation brush — she uses MAC brush No. 190 — instead of your fingers or a sponge. Using your fingers makes it difficult to ensure you reach all the spots on your face and with a sponge, because its hard to control the pressure, you will inevitably end up with more foundation on some parts of your face as you move the sponge around. Sweeping a brush over your face gives you the control to cover everything evenly and then build up more foundation at spots where you want more coverage.

If you need better coverage, use a concealer, dabbing it on sparingly with your fingertips or with a concealer brush.

Well-defined eyes are still key this spring. Women are lining their eyes inside the bottom lashes, but outside the top lash line. Higuchi recommends that after lining the eye in a dark color, take a fine-tipped brush along the outside of the lash line along the top and bottom and blend away from the line, so that as the day wears on and the color starts to spread, it looks natural and not streaky. Finish off with a sweep of eye shadow in a nude color, or just keep the lid bare.

If you want some more color on the eye, try the metals. They are still so popular in Tokyo that Chanel’s Lumiere d’Artifice trio eye shadow of gold, silver and bronze for spring is already sold out. Instead, try Chanel’s Ombre Essentielle in the single colors Gold and Silvery. In the daytime, remember to use a light touch — save the shiny eyes for evening.

If you want to try a stylish bright color but are not sure how it will look, Higuchi recommends starting with an eye pencil around the eye. She likes the Powerpoint line from MAC, which comes in a wide range of colors, and it’s waterproof. The color will brighten up the eye and give you a bit of a glam look, without making you look like you’re about to go clubbing.

For evening, blend in more of the metallic shade on your lids. Higuchi also suggests using a fine glitter, like Anna Sui’s Color Powder No. 007 in silver, for when you go out on the town. One stylish way to use the glitter is to first dab some moisturizer along the inner corner of your eye to act as an adhesive and then touch on some of the glitter with a brush.

A popular style for evening is a smoky eye. Line the eye heavily with a dark liner, again blending well outward and leaving the rest of the eye nude.

If you have made your eyes the focal point, then go with a nude color on your lips, Higuchi said. She suggested the Rouge Dior Natural Chic line, which has a wide selection of neutral colors.

If your lips are the main attraction, slide on a fruity color of plum, cherry or mango, but make sure it is natural- looking. The trend has moved away from lacquered lips, so just use a little moisturizer for a natural, healthy look.

For your cheeks, the key is not to overdo the color so it looks painted on, Higuchi warns. If you want your cheeks to stand out, add some color to make your face look warmer. The makeup artist likes Armani’s Fluid Blush , which she says makes your skin look like it is glowing from the inside out.

If you want to use some artificial tanner on your face to perk up your skin from the long winter indoors, use it sparingly, so it looks natural.

And to top it all off, Higuchi says, go for broke and paint your nails in a bold, no-holds barred color — stark white, black or fire-engine red.


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