Shimmer and shine for summer

published long ago

Summer is officially here, and when it comes to beauty and fashion, this season is undeniably haute. We've cut through the clutter (and the who-would-be-caught trends) to bring you the top three looks for summer, from cheek to chic.

Blue-blooded beauty

It seems the hallmark of summer style is a seasonal resurgence of turquoise, from turquoise stones adorning clutches, bracelets and swimsuits to the many jewel-toned hues of blue and green available in sun dresses, scarves, tees and more.

This summer is no different, with fashions taking their traditional turn to blue. Beauty, however, livens up the season with a variety of aquamarine products made exclusively for lips. Christian Dior has introduced a new shade to the DiorKiss collection called "Mint Lemonade" and we've never seen a more turquoise shade of gloss ($19, Dior.com). Guerlain's limited edition Emilio Pucci collection features glosses inspired by Pucci's famous swirling prints and vivid colors ($26 at Neiman Marcus).

Why blue? Not only does this shade lend a whiter sheen to teeth, but blue pigments complement the red naturally found in lips. The end result is sheer and shimmery, and not at all blue.

He loves me

A romantic white shirt is the one summer staple no chic woman can be without. Thankfully, the look is available in quite a few choices to suit women of all shapes and sizes. Fit is key, as always, and with a variety of fabrics available from cotton voiles to breezy linens, this is one style that can stand up to summer's heat.

Theory's Chantilly Lawn Ruffle Shirt, crafted of a sheer cotton, featuring three-quarter sleeves and a ruffle front ($108 at Bloomingdales.com), pairs perfectly with everything from lightweight denim to short shorts. Or pick up a more affordable version of the romantic white shirt at Forever 21; their silk and cotton blend blouse features a ruffled trim and lace details ($22.80).

Fashion's take on romance translates to beauty in rosy cheeks. The woman infatuated with summer's hottest trends is sure to blush in shades of pink, peach, and cherry. To get the look of love, apply blusher only to the apples of cheeks. Be sure to pick the right shade for your skin tone; peach and coral are best suited to warm skin tones, while pink or mauve will complement those with cool skin tones. Best of all, this color trend will literally take years off your face, as Cameron Diaz proved with her youthful, rosy glow at the Sydney premiere of Shrek the Third.

Time to shine

Patent leather is summer's must-have accessory, walking its way from shoes to accents on everything from high-end handbags to straw beach totes. From Fendi's Summer 2007 collection, the yellow patent leather "B" bag makes a bold statement in shiny patent with chunky silver chain details ($1, 730). Dolce & Gabbana mix white patent with straw ($2, 250), while Kate Spade adorns a classic straw tote with pink and orange patent leather ($295 at Nordstrom). For those who wouldn't dream of blowing their whole budget on a beach bag, head to Target, where its Seagrass Tote with faux patent trim retails for $12.99.

The trend translates to this season's lips with lacquer-like glosses that mimic the high shine and deep pigment of patent leather. Opt for sharp summer shades such as true pinks, intense reds, or mouth-watering melons. One to try is Napoleon Perdis' Lip Lacquer, available in a range of shiny shades such as "Rare Rubies" and "Crystal Pink, " $20 at Napoleonperdis.com. Thankfully, Napoleon never falls short in beauty.


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