Wearing pastels in a fashion-y way is a lot easier than trying it out in your beauty routine – as is the case for almost all clothing vs. beauty stand-offs. Why? Because you can buy fashion in a store, but putting pigments on your freaking face requires actual skill in application. You can only put a skirt on so well before you’ve kind of hit a ceiling, you know what I mean?
Pastels are a tricky business already, never mind the fact that you need to carefully put it on your most-seen asset. Thankfully, we turn to our bibles – the internet & fashion publications – to show us the way.
I broke it down into the two sections that I think anyone will give a damn about – how to pastels with your hair & and how to pastels for your nails – time to get adventurous!
How To Pastels With Your Hair
This is my eternal favorite way to pastel (see how easily things become verbs around here?), and I say that with sheer and utter ignorance, as I have never made my hair pastel successfully, not have I ever tried. It’s my #1 on my Hair Wishlist, but I don’t forsee a full-on bleach-out in my future for a whiiile, so as usual – I love vicariously.
Source: W Korea March 2012
I’m not going to tell anyone to bleach their hair out to platinum status or anything, but if you’ve already got light locks – why not give pastel a try? (If you’re a bit gunshy, a very reputable friend of mine – burlesque dancer and Stockard Channing doppelganger, Belle Cozette – took a bullet one day and tried chalking her hair with pretty good results. She was even a brunette at the time!) I love the look of pastels in hair because it gives you an immediate, laid-back, “yeah, my bright, edgy color faded and, you know what? I don’t give a @#^!. I’m workin’ it which makes you unsure if it’s intentional or not” vibe.
While the crazy editorial photo above is awesome, it’s not super practical when it comes to everyday application. Sadly, we can’t all be rainbow leapfrogs in a taffeta-lined wallpaper factory like Hanne Gaby-Odiele – but we can dream.
One of the best applications, I think, is pastel tips. Just taking the ends on your hair and tinting them ever-so-slightly maracon-colored adds a little bit of punch that won’t throw you off your identity game (not to mention that cleverly-placed tips can easily squeak through the workday unnoticed!)
Smart Budget Pick: The smartest pick is to chalk or pastel your hair with… pastels, first. There is a great set of soft pastels from a reputable brand for $8 – check out the resources below and
Check out our gallery of pastel hair inspiration!
Getting your hair done at a salon is mega-bucks, so we don’t even need to think about it. Bleaching your hair at home can be dangerous, so get a friend who knows what they’re doing, or get a friend and look at 900 YouTube videos from professionals before proceeding.
- How to Chalk Your Hair by The Beauty Department
- How To Chalk Your Hair (with Video) by Mr. Kate
- Getting Pastel Hair is Easier Than You Think! by Feminspire
- 7 Ways to Try Pastel Hair at Home by 29 Secrets
How To Pastel On Your Face
Pastel on your face is tricky! If you’re not careful, you can end up a bit too heavy on the Lolita end of the style. The Tinkerbell end isn’t great, either. So, take inspiration from our gallery of pastel-tastic looks, and take a gander at some of my favorite budget-ized pastel beauty cosmetics that will help escort you into the world of pastels!
Top pastel-focused beauty looks!
By far, I think the best, most versatile way to include pastels in your beauty routine is through the eyes. Eyeshadow & eyeliner are my personal weapons of choice. If you’re more of a bold, loud, exciting type of girl, you may want to spring for some of Doe Deere’s Lime Crime cosmetics (anyone care for a mint?) which are so intensely pigmented that you can’t buy it without a license.*
Quick experiment! For an eye-highlighting eye-booster, try using some light, shimmery pastel eyeshadow around the inner corners of your eye – where you’d usually put a highlighter. For brown eyes or green eyes, try mint or lavender, while blue eyes should be paired up with an icy, um, blue, purple or other chilly color!
Pastels won’t be going away any time soon – they’re chic in winter, and spring is their home-season! Messing around with this fun color palette is the perfect way to brighten up your routine.