By Christa Peressini
There’s so much to love about spring and summer, and this year the desire to get dressed and go out as the temperatures rise is stronger than ever. The pandemic has had a massive impact on our approach to beauty and fashion, and the spring and summer trends reflect that. Our top trends for the new season strike a balance between fun and functional, and will hopefully inspire you to experiment with new shades and fun silhouettes. Ahead, eight spring and summer beauty and fashion trends to kick your warm weather look into high gear.
1) LIVED-IN, NATURAL HAIR STYLES
Blame it on the fact that we had to do our own hair for months on end, but the trend for hair styles is designed to look DIY (even if it’s not) — think mermaid waves, messy buns, and balayage. “Women are asking for more low-maintenance cuts. We’re seeing people turn away from the more severe, angular cuts of the past to layers, waves – even 70s shags are making a comeback,” says Melissa Millan, owner of Salon Millan in Yardley. Amongst their other services, Salon Millan specializes in extensions, which can help clients achieve that big, bouncy, summer hair more easily. “Extensions are the number one request we receive from clients,” says Millan, “whether their goal is longer hair or more voluminous hair.” Mary Haines, owner of Artiste Salon in Lebanon, NJ, agrees that more natural cuts and color are having a big impact in 2021. Haines says many of her clients opt for Artiste’s “Deva Cuts,” in which hair is cut dry and shaped to accentuate the natural curl of the hair.
2) LOWER MAINTENANCE (BUT STILL FUN!) HAIR COLOR
Women in general are opting for “sun-friendly” colors, such as bright, warm-toned blondes, as opposed to the cooler, ashy blondes of the past, which tend to require a lot of maintenance. “I’m seeing a lot of women go for balayage [a technique in which color is hand-painted onto the hair for a more natural look], baby highlights for an all-over glow, and more women are embracing their grays and going with their natural color,” says Haines. However, the natural route is not for everyone, and nothing stands out in a Zoom meeting like fun pops of hair color. “I’m seeing women opting to be a little more creative with their hair color recently, since a lot of them are still working from home and can experiment a little bit,” says Millan. “Several of my clients have opted for extensions in muted pastel shades, which gives them all the fun but none of the commitment, as extensions can easily be removed.”
3) BOLDER EYE MAKEUP
Eyes are having their moment this year, and why not? When the rest of our faces our hidden behind masks, eye makeup can go bolder. “I’m getting lots of requests to add a little extra smoke, or a little more intensity, to eye makeup this season,” says Jeannine Roach, a Philadelphia-based makeup artist and owner of Beauty by Jeannine. The trend extends beyond the eyes to lashes and eyebrows as well. “I am 100% Team Eyelashes,” says Roach, “They open up the eye area and make everyone look pretty.” To play up their eyes, many women are opting for glue on or magnetic lashes, or turning to lash extensions for a longer-lasting look. Brows are still trending thick as in seasons past, but instead of the dark, super-defined look that was popular recently, Jeannine is seeing a more fluffy, natural brow. “The look is full and healthy,” says Roach. There are several treatments that can help achieve this look, including brow lamination, which restructures brow hairs to keep them in the desired shape – a great option for anyone with unruly hair or gaps in their brows.
4) CLEAN BEAUTY
“Clean beauty” has certainly been a buzzword lately, but what exactly does it mean? While there is no industry-recognized definition of “clean,” Roach, who is a huge proponent of natural products, explains that it indicates products that are not tested on animals, have little to no fragrance, are overall better for the environment, and are made without ingredients shown or suspected to harm human health. “I try to be mindful of the science behind cosmetics,” says Roach. As she points out, only 11 cosmetic ingredients are currently banned in the United States by the FDA, while over 1,300 ingredients are banned in the EU. Roach loves Milk Cosmetics and Peter Thomas Roth, two brands she says are generally able to be tolerated by those with sensitive skin. “All beauty products contain chemicals,” says Kelly Carman, a makeup artist and owner of KC Beauty Bar in Flemington, NJ. “Some are better for you and some are worse.” When buying products, Carman advises, look for language that states the product contains no parabens or fragrances.
5) STOP MASKNE BEFORE IT STARTS
“Maskne,” a word that unfortunately entered into our lexicon in 2020, is a term used to describe acne or skin irritation caused by mask wearing. The humid environment inside the mask, in combination with friction, can trap moisture from breathing, talking, or sweating. Until we can ditch the face coverings, what can we do to keep our skin clear and healthy? “Change your masks!” says Carman, who is also a licensed esthetician. Carman recommends changing masks multiple times a day, and especially after a workout. She also suggests bringing cleansing wipes with you to wipe down your face after you’ve been sweating. Another pro tip? “Spray your masks before you put them on with a spray containing salicylic acid, which helps to keep pores clear,” says Carman. And if you can, try to take a mask break every few hours.
6) NEW SILHOUETTES
Clothing silhouettes have undergone a seismic shift and continue to do so this season. Gone are the days when the skinny jean reigned supreme. Now comfort is where it’s at, in the form of baggier, comfier, “boyfriend” (or even “mom jean”) cuts. These jeans aren’t constricting and won’t cut off circulation when you’re sitting around the house in them, as skinny jeans have been known to do. “With Covid, people want to be comfortable,” says Lauren Riley, co-owner of Flemington clothing boutique 39 Mine. “But they’re keeping the look balanced by pairing them with smaller tops, like crop tops or strappy tank tops.” Yes, crop tops are back – but instead of the look of the early ‘00s when they were paired with low-slung jeans, the style for pants in 2021 is super high-waisted. “It’s a fun way to wear the crop without showing so much skin,” says Riley.
7) MATCHING SETS
They were all the rage during quarantine – comfy, matching sweatsuit loungewear sets, in colors ranging from tie-dye to neutral. They are still huge sellers (because who doesn’t want to look cute while feeling cozy), but the look has been elevated now that we’re leaving our homes more. “I’m seeing a ton of cute vacation-y, resort-wear type sets,” says Riley, “like flowy pants with a crop top, shorts and top sets, and knit pants with matching sweaters.” Not only are matching sets stylish, they are basically foolproof to wear as there is no need to worry if the colors match or the pieces go together. Plus, they provide endless outfit potential because you can mix and match the two pieces with other items in your wardrobe.
8) THROWBACK STYLES
Everything old becomes new again, and styles from the earlier decades are no exception. “We’re seeing a lot of throwback to popular styles of the 70s and 90s,” says Michelle Byrd, owner of Lady Byrd Boutique in Blue Bell. “But updated with a more modern twist.” Heavily textured fabrics like laces, ruffles, crochet, knits and ribbed tops were big on the runways and now are flying off the racks. Byrd describes it as a “boho, romantic” look, expressed in pastels, tiny floral patterns, and brighter colors in general. Want a crash course in how to wear these styles? Michelle posts tutorials in the Reels on her store’s Instagram page (@shop_ladybird).