January is the month of fresh starts. Gyms will be joined. Diets will be started (and ended) and resolutions will be made (and broken). But instead of losing 10 pounds by next weekend or revamping your career by Monday, warm up January by facing spring and making small changes that will help you welcome a new year and a new season of style.
One of spring's hottest styles is a cropped top and, if you dare to sport 'em, it's time to start prepping. The good news is that getting toned abs by March is much easier than losing 10 pounds by Tuesday.
Louis Vuitton's Spring 2014 runway presentations showcased cropped, fitted jackets with midi skirts, while Vera Wang offered up long-sleeved jersey cropped tops paired with flouncy mid-length skirts.
Eating clean will get you ready to embrace this trend by spring. Start by simply eschewing sugar, refined carbs and alcohol in favor of protein, vegetables and grains. Next, a consistent ab routine, with weights and varied moves rather than hundreds of mindless crunches, will help get tummies toned for spring's great crop top reveal. And, needless to say, any happy trails will need to hit the road with a visit to your favorite salon for a quick waxing appointment.
Black and white
Black and white continue to be style staples for spring with a continued focus on contrast. Abstract is having a moment so focus on stripes and patterns; mix 'em up. If resolving to nail style this spring is on your list, you can start by acquiring pieces that fit the bill. So instead of scooping up that hot-pink leather trench that will no doubt be on sale this month, focus on building a wardrobe of well edited, classic and most importantly, flattering pieces in high-contrast black and white.
For inspiration, look to the spring 2014 runways where even minimalist Jil Sander paired abstract black and white prints. Missoni went black and white with eclectic patterns inspired by global travel while Karl Lagerfeld at Fendi called upon geometric shapes to play up the black and white trend.
Eye on beauty
Lips have been the focus of makeup trends for several seasons now, but spring 2014 shifts focus to the windows of the soul.
At Marc by Marc Jacobs, eyes were dressed in shimmering layers of electric blue shadow while Francois Nars' one and only show at New York Fashion Week featured models with teal cat eyes courtesy of Nars Eyeliner Pencil in Kaliste.
Whatever the hue used to embellish eyes, get ready for spring with a renewed focus on your eye care routine. Daily use of eye serum and SPF is a must, no matter your age. If morning under-eye puffiness plagues you, get rid of under-eye baggage the natural way. Soak a cotton ball in cold unsweetened soy milk, squeeze out excess and apply the damp cottonball to puffy eyes.
Cutting way back on salt can also help with puffiness, as can the simple trick of adding an extra pillow to your bed so you sleep with your face more elevated. And, of course, keeping brows maintained is a must. Well-groomed does not mean pencil thin, so ready your peepers for spring by giving the plucking a rest and allow brows to fill in in time for warmer days and hot new trends.
— Carolyn Brundage is the founder of tampabay.prettycity.com, a guide to the best in local beauty. Need beauty advice? Tweet up with Carolyn at @tampabaypretty.