Top cosmetic brands offer beautiful, neutral palettes for the natural makeup look this spring.

Canadian fashion doyenne Jeanne Beker wrote in her first column for "The Toronto Star" about her love of a pair of Jimmy Choo stilettos in a nude shade that are ideal for giving the illusion of a longer leg. She wasn't going to let the fact that the shoes seemed to be a bit small stop her from enjoying them.

But there's a cheaper, less painful, way to get the natural makeup look this spring—in cosmetic tones that are anything but boring even if they are on the beige side of life.

urban decay naked palette

The Urban Decay Naked palette is hard to find, but worth it if you do.

Eye Shadow

For everyone with an eye colour other than hazel or light brown, the indispensable shade is going to be a medium golden brown. It will especially enhance blue or green eyes and bring out the warmth in dark brown and black eyes. If you can get your hands on the Urban Decay “Naked” palette, you'll find a perfect brown for you in there. Since it's always sold out at UD and Sephora, the Too Faced Natural Neutral Eye Kit is a good substitute.

Don't forget that dot of shimmering peachy-pink at the inner corners of the eyes and on the brow bone—or wherever else you'd like to call attention. Stila has taken their eye shadow Kitten colour into other products in their line: a glitter eye liner, a primer, a powder all-over-color, a smudge-pot cream eye shadow and in two lip glosses.

stila kitten eye shadow

The Stila Kitten eye shadow.

Blush

Shades of blush should stay on the lighter side of brown, or try light bronzers like Benefit Hoola and Ultra Flesh Metalika Bronze & Glow Collection—5 cream-to-powder colours in a palette, so you can customize your colour.

Lip Color

MAC Cosmetics has teamed with Lady Gaga for yet another addition to their family of Viva Glam charity lipsticks. Gaga 2 is a pale neutral beige in a creamy formula that is a far cry from the blue pink of Gaga 1. A matching lip glass is also available. But if you feel like something classic, channel your inner Catherine Deneuve with NARS Belle de Jour lipstick, a sheer nude beige. For those with darker skin tones, NARS Tanganyka gives a similar effect.

Skin Care Tips

Skin should be fresh and flawless if you're going to sport the natural makeup look. Aim for dewy instead of dry; too matte will make you look sick instead of sophisticated. Try these healthy skin tips to keep your complexion fresh and light.

Perfectly groomed brows are an essential part of any look, especially one running along in neutral. Anastasia of Beverly Hills offers 6 shades of brow powder from cool blonde to ebony.

If you want to splurge to get your neutral makeup fix, Bobbi Brown is the Queen of Neutral. She has more subtle gradations of nude beige lipsticks and tan and brown eye shadows than any other major cosmetics line.


I'm crazy about my garden and spend a lot of time out there at this time of year; in addition to all the yard maintenance, there are new plants to put out. Even with gardening gloves, my hands often end the day caked in dirt. But I found a secret weapon to clean every trace of mud and grime away that leaves my hands soft, smooth and smelling wonderful!

Cake Beauty of Toronto has a hand scrub product called “milk made” formulated with sugar, grape seed, coconut, sweet almond and avocado oils. It has a faint vanilla-grape scent and a little goes a long way. There's also a matching hand lotion. In the United States, it's available from Sephora and several websites. At home in Canada, it's also available at Sephora, some Bay Stores and select Chapters-Indigo locations.