This time of year always feels like we must finally be coming out of this long and arduous winter and heading into spring. But guess what? February's here to remind us that we're not. It's still winter and we can just suck it as far as February is concerned. Frankly, it's real bastard of a month. So what can we do to fight back? Dang it, we're going to act like it's spring anyways! Time to crack out the bright colours and dewy finishes my friends. Let's take matter into our own hands. Let's fight this fight. Let's see the light once more. Let's... brighten our complexions. Yeah, that last one lacked dramatic effect. Shall we move onto the 5 tricks to brighten your complexion?
I think possibly the most effective trick for brightening up the face is to use a light reflective concealer under your eyes that's one to two shades lighter than your skin tone. Light reflective concealers are a great choice for under eye circles that aren't too severe because they don't look at all cakey, but they effectively brighten the area by bouncing light.
When you're using a lighter shade of concealer you want to be sure to apply it in a triangle shape under the eyes. Placing it only where your dark circles are can look awkward and obvious. Sticking to the triangle shape helps to better disguise the concealer and also brings more light to the whole center of your face.
2. Bright blush
Bright blush is one of those things that often scares people when they see it in the pan. However, if you use it with a light hand it can do wonderful things. It instantly perks up your skin and adds a youthful, healthy look. It can also bring some colour back into the face after using a lighter concealer. I find that generally a cool toned pink has the most brightening effect. Cream formulas are particularly good as they have the added bonus of leaving a dewy finish to the skin. Stila's Convertible Color in Fuschia or Jouer's Cheek Tint in Peony are a couple of great choices.
Highlighters are like an instant cheat. Anywhere you go they'll have your back, finding the light and basking in it. A little highlighter on the tops of the cheekbones, down the bridge of the nose and on the cupid's bow will leave you looking like a you've got a wonderful pregnant glow, sans the pregnant. Again here, cream formulas are the way to go. They look great for both day and night and they have that extra dewy look due to the fact that they don't set. Using a colour that's light and icy, like Jouer's Camellia or MAC's Cream Colour Base in Luna or Pearl, will have maximum brightening impact.
4. Inner corner highlighter
If you want to further brighten up any dark under eye circles and add a little twinkle to your eyes, using an inner corner highlight will be your friend. Taking the shadow not just in your tear duct, but also slightly down into the curve of the under eye, will add an extra brightening effect. A light, warm toned shadow with some degree of shimmer works best for this. MAC Nylon is a beautiful choice if you want to go all out, whereas if you're looking for something a little more subtle, MAC Mylar might be more suitable.
5. Curl your lashes, then curl them some more
If you want to open up your eyes (another effective way to wake up the face) then you're going to need to whip out the lash curlers. Give 'em a good, long curl at the root and then a few more pumps working your way up the lash. Following up with a waterproof mascara will help to lock the curl in place. I'm a big fan of the L'oreal Telescopic Mascara as it adds length and separation, both of which add to that bright eyed effect.