Lighten Up, Already: In Search of a New Spring Beauty Look

The new blonder me, what do you think?

The new blonder me, what do you think?

Every year around this time, I (along with the rest of womankind) begin to crave a little sunshine. That feeling came a bit earlier this year, and in a Polar Vortex-induced panic, I blacked out and booked a trip to LA. Oops.

What’s done is done, I thought to myself with a shrug, as visions of Malibu beaches and In-N-Out Burger began to cloud my thoughts. But as the days to my departure crept closer, I began to realize my weather-beaten body needed a west coast makeover. I couldn’t possibly expect my dark lipstick, black nail polish and matte, mussed hair to fit in in the land of beach bods and blonde bombshells. So what were my options?


Nothing provides instant beauty gratification quite like a trip down Sephora lane. Investing in a few fun additions to one’s cosmetics case can do wonders – and in my case, it was a brighter blush. “This season is all about cream blushes!” agrees Makeup Artist Samantha Lau. “Nars just came out with new colors and formulas – my current favorite is their Matte Multiple in ‘Exumas’ and ‘Laos.’ Start on the apples of your cheeks and blend the product in a circular motion.” Lau also suggests using a highlighter like Benefit’s ‘Watt’s Up!’ to bring out cheekbones and brighten inner corners of eyes.


After months of alternating between blasting indoor heat and sub-zero temps, my nails were virtually unrecognizable. I had meant to get a mani/pedi prior to arriving at LAX, and I even upgraded to my salon’s deluxe mani-pedi for some major R&R. Taking color inspiration from my friend Laura, I decide to upgrade two-fold by choosing a mellow yellow hue. “I have so much love for yellow polishes, and for so many reasons,” muses Nail Artist and Prima Creative Founder Christina Rinaldi. “First, it’s a primary color, so that makes it one of the three OG (original gangster) colors because it doesn’t need any other colors to create it. Instead, when it does decide it wants to mix with the other colors, it just becomes even more unique and versatile.” If you’re not ready for a full-on yellow moment, Rinaldi recommends RGB Cosmetics ‘Vellum’ for a more understated shade: “It’s the perfect chill, modest yellow for lazy weekend brunches.”

image: Christina Rinaldi

image: Christina Rinaldi


In reviewing the footage from theFashionDish series, I turned an extra critical eye to my weave. Since when had my roots gotten that dark?! Leave it to the harsh lights of television to reveal all my beauty shortcomings. I immediately called up Bumble and bumble colorist Kara Stella for some assistance.

When it comes to lightening one’s locks, what’s the difference between foil highlights and painting? “Painting tends to be softer at the root and brighter at the ends, while a foil is uniform from root to end,” Stella told me. “If you want a strong, bold highlight, foil is your best option. If you want something soft, sun-kissed and not lifting too high, then opt for painting. Painting has a softer grow-out and it’s lower maintenance.”

A partial painting before my LA trip appeared the perfect antidote. But what about ladies who love a more signature look? Like, ombre hair – are people still doing that? “Ombre definitely isn’t as popular as it used to be,” Stella says. “The new trend is a return to a more classic highlight — having your roots actually done.”

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