How To Wear Grown-Up Pastels

By Louise Emma Clarke
Founding Editor of

Like your clothes to be as sweet and feminine as your favourite ice cream flavours? Love pale pinks, mint greens, and soft peaches? You’ll be bang on trend for Spring/Summer 2012, where catwalk shows were packed with the prettiest, candy shades. Lead by designers at Louis Vuitton, Christopher Kane, Alexander MCQueen, Chanel, and Prada (to name just a few), no wardrobe is complete for the season ahead without a generous dash of the softest pastel shades.

No longer reserved for little girls and ice cream parlours, this is a look that is grown-up, sophisticated, and right at the pulse of fashion – and it doesn’t just have to end at the clothes you are wearing… Lips, eyes, cheeks, and nails can get away with being equally saccharine – so here’s my pick of the best grown-up pastels for the season ahead.

Picking a pale pink lipstick is a sweet, 1950’s-style way to wear on the trend, but be careful not to go for a frosted shade that will settle into fine lines and age your pout. Clarins’ Joli Rouge Lipstick in Baby Pink, £13.20, is a good choice. Stick to a natural base and minimal eye makeup to let your lips do all the talking – a slick of brown mascara and kohl eyeliner is all you need.

If you prefer a gloss, why not opt for lilac? It’s not an obvious choice, but works really well on most skin tones. And as gloss gives a softer, sheer look, you can get away with it with more dramatic eye makeup on a night out Try Givenchy Gloss Interdit in Lilac Confession, £15.75.

If you choose to wear pastels on your eyes, why not go for a soft, lemon yellow or apple green? This not only works well for sunny spring days, but also helps to neutralise any red in your eyelids. Dior’s 5 Couleurs Garden Edition in Garden Pastels, £38, is ideal (if you can bear to drag the applicator over the beautiful embossed design).

To ensure that it sticks around all day, use a primer on your lids first, such as Too Faced Shadow Insurance Lemon Drop Eye Shadow Primer, £16.50.

Keep things natural and pretty by picking a blusher in a soft peach shade. This will softly highlight cheekbones, whilst adding a hint of colour to your complexion. Dior DiorBlush Glowing Colour Blush in Peachy Keen, £27, is a good choice, as it features two pale shades of peach that can be blended together to create the perfect peach-melba shade.

Your blusher needs to look natural, so I’d recommend investing in a good quality brush to ensure even application. Treat your makeup bag to Daniel Sandler’s Kabeauti Brush, £26, which blends natural and synthetic bristles for a flawless finish.

Finally, it couldn’t be easier to pull off the pastel trend than by painting your nails in your favourite candy shades.

If you want to make a subtle nod to the trend (perhaps for the 9-5), try a soft coral or peach. I love the shade of Givenchy Vernis Please! Nail Lacquer in Sweet Coral, £11.25, which is sophisticated enough for the most professional of boardrooms.

For the weekend, however, let your nails do the talking with a mint green (Dior Vernis Garden Party Scented Nail Polish in Waterlily, £17.15) or candy pink (Dior Vernis Nail Lacquer in Pink Aristocrat). To maximise your manicure and add shine, finish with an application of top-coat, such as Dior Top Coat, £12.75.

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