The biggest fashion trend for spring is head-to-toe color -- the brighter the better.
Whether it's color-blocked dresses, neon tops, green jeans or bright shades of eye shadow, spring 2012 is all about color.
"There's lots of hot colors out there right now," said makeup artist Darin Wright, owner of Elea Blake Cosmetics on Frazier Avenue. "It's like being in the Caribbean. You have the hot shades of blues and greens, but you also have the colors of the sand, the rocks and soft colors of the evening sky."
The key to color is finding what looks best on you, Wright said.
Whether it's having a personal color analysis by a professional or figuring out your own best colors, it's the first step before investing in cosmetics or the season's popular fashion trends, she said.
Do-it-yourselfers can take a simple approach to selecting the best colors by taking samples of different-colored clothing or other fabric into a brightly lit room and putting the colors against the face, Wright said. Choose the ones you think look best on you.
Professional color analysts, on the other hand, take a more in-depth and methodical approach. They take into consideration eye, hair and skin color, as well as personality traits when determining colors tailored for individual clients, Wright said.
Chattanooga State Community College student Jessica Goins, 20, said colors are important in her own makeup choices. She said she loves the vivid shades in new eye shadows.
"I love bright and electric colors," Goins said. "They are so much fun and make you stand out more, although these colors should not be too dramatic and taken overboard -- we do not live on a runway."
Two British singers have kept all eyes on their eyes. Before her death in July, Amy Winehouse was known for her re-creation of Sophia Loren's dramatic eye look for a new generation. More recently, Adele, a big winner at the last Grammy ceremony, has kept heavily painted eyes in the news.
Registered nurse Katie Moore Tsui, 30, currently a stay-at-home mom, said that though she is not a fan of the bright eye shadows, she does wear a subtle shade of blue.
"I do like the bold eye liners but only on special occasions," she said. "It's not good for everyday wear. I love the grays and blues especially with my eye color (blue). I use a big pen (that) goes on like a big crayon and has some glitter in it."
Local photo stylist/photographer Ann Jackson, 49, said her fascination with eye shadow dates to her teenage years.
"I had an eye-shadow palette with every bright color imaginable," Jackson said. "Sometimes I would try to put some of every color on my eyes at one time (as many as 20 colors) for what I thought was an extraordinarily rich display."
Jackson said her daughter also shares her "love affair" with eye makeup.
"My daughter (Raina) has mastered the skill of liquid eyeliner," Jackson said. "Being a dance major, it is a necessity she be skillful applying makeup. Bright blue, bright pink, pale pink, purple and silver are her colors of choice at the moment."
Jackson said has toned down the amount of makeup she puts on her eyes since reaching middle age.
"I find that I stay more with the neutral tones except for an occasional special night out on the town. Then I love to glam it up with some sparkly, colorful eye shadow," she said.
Wright said mature women should not be afraid of wearing brightly colored eye shadow. In fact, the color offers a youthful look, she said.
"The key is to balance the color," Wright said. "Use a little under and on the outside of the eye."
Feature writer Karen Nazor Hill covers fashion, design, home and gardening, pets, entertainment, human interest features and more. She also is an occasional news reporter and the Town Talk columnist. She previously worked for the Catholic newspaper Tennessee Register and was a reporter at the Chattanooga Free Press from 1985 to 1999, when the newspaper merged with the Chattanooga Times. She won a Society of Professional Journalists Golden Press third-place award in feature writing for ...