How to master spring skin with neutral finishes and flattering tones

Laura Kennedy: Spring make-up is generally both easier and more forgiving than its heavier, less subtle winter sibling

Welcome to skin season. In beauty terms, this doesn’t necessarily mean showing more skin as we shuffle into spring with a raincoat still slung over one arm (just in case). You’re welcome to, of course, but, as we all know, an Irish March can quickly adopt a mutinously Baltic attitude that will flay the skin from calves and shoulders. No, for the beauty enthusiast, skin season is the time when everything shifts. Deep eyeshadows and moody lip colours retreat from your everyday make-up bag, and neutral, light-reflective finishes and flattering sheer skin tones burst forth with the daffodils.

It’s not that we can’t wear deeper tones and heavier textures in spring. We can of course, but as the days lengthen and the sun strains to remind us that it is in fact still up there somewhere, there will be more light for the products you wear to reflect. Skin finishes seem to naturally become glossier and foundations lighten up. Spring make-up is generally both easier and more forgiving than its heavier, less subtle winter sibling. Colour is always lovely but at this time of year, no matter what kind of look you’re going for, make-up tends to be primarily about the skin. Everything else plays a support role.

Vieve Skin Nova is a radiance-imbuing primer and is now available in an extra-large size (€82 at It is ideal as a standalone product, or mixed with heavier foundations to make them more sheer and reflective, or just under foundation. The larger size also looks great on shoulders, shins and collar bones, if you like to extend light reflection beyond the face.

Sun-on-skin mimicry is an essential part of spring and summer make-up. Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Bronzing Cream is the OG bronzer for a reason. For deeper skin tones, try it in Deep Bronze (€52 at Brown Thomas). Its sculpting and bronzing properties are the stuff of beauty legend. It can even be used on eyes and cheeks for a one-product face.


Celebrity make-up queen Charlotte Tilbury recently resurrected the powder highlighter, which fell from favour in the past couple of years as sophisticated cream and liquid options rendered powder textures archaic and chalky. Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Glow Glide Architect Highlighter in Pillow Talk Glow (€44 at is a powder but behaves like liquid on the skin. Moonlight Glow – suitable for even the palest skin – is my shade, but try the pinky Pillow Talk Glow for a subtle burnished finish that looks as good worn over blush as it does on the high points of the face.

Finally, if you are after that perfect product to star in a supporting role to great skin, the new eye launch from Victoria Beckham Beauty is particularly dreamy. As in fashion, the brand is known for both effortless neutrals and really bold colour pops. Eyewear in Macaron (€32 at is a candy lilac pink matt eye crayon that glides on to the eye, blends effortlessly and makes a statement. It looks particularly spectacular on paler and deeper skins but can also be worn as a statement liner. Paired with glowing skin and a pink-toned blush, it is like spring in a stick.

Laura Kennedy

Laura Kennedy

Laura Kennedy is a contributor to The Irish Times