Serve up spring's hottest beauty looks with these amazingly easy recipes.


Beauty Fun

Look all kinds of dishy with the season's freshest makeup, hair accessories and nail art.

Beauty recipes

Berry Pretty

The bold pink lip is one of the season's freshest statements, eliminating the need for much else on your face. But if you're not comfortable with, say, magenta, sub in any pink -- from rosé to raspberry -- and you'll still look scrumptious.

Prep: 5 to 7 minutes
 1 pink lipstick, gloss or stain
 Cream blush to taste
 Half-serving of black mascara (this is a top-lash only look)
 1 pale eye shimmer 

1. If you're using a gloss, simply swipe it on. If you're using a lipstick, tap a finger around the outside of your mouth to soften the edges after you apply. (A severe line will look dated.)
 2. Smile and dab a hint of a rosy cream blush to the apple of each cheek, then blend outward.
 3. Apply mascara only to your top lashes to make eyes appear wider but not too done.
 4. To bring the look from day to evening, sweep on any pale, shimmery eye shadow.

Berry pretty

Brights of Spring

Get the lip look from the previous slide with Sonia Kashuk Ultra Luxe Lip Gloss in Ravishing Rose ($9,

Sonia Kashuk Ultra Luxe Lip Gloss

Hot Stuff

Go deep with this hot pink: Flower Lip Service Lip Butter in Wispy Wisteria ($7,

Flower Lip Service Lip Butter

Middle of the Rose

Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture Glossy Stain N°29-Rose Fourreau ($34, suits all.

Yves Saint Laurent

Catch of the Day

Swarming the nail polish aisle to mesmerizing effect are entire schools of mermaid shades too pretty to save for beach weather (though they'll make excellent pedicure picks when the time comes).

Prep: 10 to 15 minutes
 10 drops cuticle oil
 1 cuticle pusher
 1 dual-purpose base coat/top coat
 1 bottle polish in any oceanic blue
 1 bottle blue-green sparkle polish

1. Add a drop of cuticle oil to each nail and gently push cuticles back (the depth and sparkle of this look will draw attention to any raggedness).
 2. Wash and dry hands and add a base coat.
 3. Apply a coat of plain blue polish (mermaid finishes are gorgeous but often surprisingly see-through, so they benefit from an under-layer). We used JINsoon Blue Iris Nail Lacquer ($18,, but Essie In the Cab-ana ($8, is another good choice.
 4. Once your nails are dry, swipe on the sparkly mermaid shade and use the brush to distribute the "scales." Larger glittery bits tend to cluster, so you need to help them spread out.
 5. When that coat is dry, brush on a clear top coat.

Catch of the Day nails

Siren Song

For the high-sparkle version pictured in the previous slide, we used Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Mermaid's Tail (the shade on the left, $7, at drugstores). For a subtler sparkle, try Deborah Lippmann Nail Lacquer in Mermaid's Eyes ($19,

Sparkle nail polish

Petal Pusher

The old-school floral nail decal grows up in the hands of celeb manicurist Jin Soon Choi, whose how-tos for creating this look couldn't be simpler.

Prep: 10 to 15 minutes
 Base coat
 top coat
 three polishes in your choice of colors

(We used JinSoon Nail Lacquer in Muse, $18,, for the base; Yves Rocher Nail Lacquer in Sumptuous Pink, $5,, for the petals; and Topshop Nails in AWOL, $10, for the center.)

1. Prep your nails with a base coat, then add two layers of whichever color you'd like to be the canvas.
 2. Pick one finger per hand, and add impressionistic petals. To form the petals, simply dot the color on and draw it outward a bit. "It's okay if the color bleeds a little," notes Choi. "Perfectly formed petals really can seem schoolgirlish. Deliberate imperfection makes them more artistic."
 3. Dot a third color at the center.
 4. Wait five to seven minutes before adding a topcoat; because you have a few layers, this mani will take slightly longer to dry than most, says Choi.

Petal pusher

Show Your Stripes

Equal parts sporty and pretty, this look is a snap.

Prep: 10 to 15 minutes
 Base coat
 top coat
 two contrasting polishes in your choice of colors

(We used L'Oréal Paris Nail Color in Royalty Reinvented, $6, and OPI Nail Lacquer in DS Radiance, $12.50, salons).

1. Prep your nails with a base coat, then add two layers of whichever color you'd like to be the canvas.
 2. Wait three minutes, then freehand a stripe down the center of the nail. "It doesn't need to look perfect and waviness can make the look fun," says Choi.
 3. Wait five minutes, then apply a top coat.

Show your stripes nail art

Bun on the Side

Giving new meaning to a hot mess, this look is intentionally disheveled after a long reign of coiffed, Mad Men-inspired updos. "Now you want to let your hair down, even if you're putting it up," says stylist Nelson Vercher of New York's Rita Hazan Salon.

Prep: 10 to 15 minutes
 1 bottle dry shampoo or hair powder
 1 plain ponytail holder (you don't want any metal to show through)
 Bobby pins and hairspray, as needed Bejeweled pin or flower clip for garnish 

1. Start with bed-head -- the more textured, the better. But if flattened sections need a little lift, add a spritz of dry shampoo or a pinch of hair powder and zhuzh.
 2. Create a loose side pony; secure with the band.
 3. Twist the tail into a free-form bun and add bobby pins as sparsely as possible around the base.
 4. Pull out strands to frame your face, then use your finger or a curling iron to make loose spirals.
 5. Add a light misting of hairspray and garnish to taste: Slide a pin between your ear and the bun, or try a slightly off-center clip at the top of the bun.

Hair instructions

Bling is in Bloom

Medusa's Heirlooms rhinestone flower bobby pin ($10 at C.O. Bigelow, 212-533-2700). 

Hair bling

Flower Power

To add an even bolder blossom to your bun, try Goody FashioNOW Chiffon Flower Clip ($6 at Walmart).

Hair flower

Shake It, Baby

A pinch of Redken Powder Grip 03 ($14.50, for salons) will revive flattened hair.

Hair spray

Beauty Basics

Get more beauty and makeover tips.

Beauty Products with Caffeine