As the last drips of frost fall off winter’s trees and the sun decides to poke through the clouds more often than not, it seems as if the world is putting on its own fresh face. But what about you? Have you been left behind with that sagging grey sweater knotted with fuzzies and stained with tea spots from the mug of anything (anything!) warm you’ve been clutching to your face all winter? Has the black beanie on your head become a fixture rather than an accessory? Did your makeup inspire your co-worker to ask you when the last time you had a nap was? (Not that this happened to me. Definitely not.) If you’re feeling blah – like the winter has totally flattened your inner-fashionista’s soul – get hip to Spring 2012’s hottest fashion and beauty trends and get out! I mean, the weather’s already on it.

Go Chic or Go Home

Color-blocking is back. In a big way. And yet, as will turn out to be the theme with the rest of Spring 2012’s fashion trends, a little more understated than last year. Pick a totally sleek and trimmed-down dress printed with massive, bright blocks of color (tangerine is trending right now). Dresses and trousers are silky and loose, but cut close to the body. Same goes for super bold prints – fleur de lis, crazy florals, metallic paisley – big prints on chic, close-fitting clothing. This spring is a balance between restraint and overstatement, wow and whisper. In the same vein, there’s a de-emphasis on jewelry. Necklaces and rings are solid, weathered-looking chunks of metal in large, simple cuts. Earrings are out of the picture to draw more attention to your face.

Face time: Show Off What You’re Working With

Spring 2012 is all about a healthy glow. Face makeup is natural and fresh – with an emphasis on blush and bronzer to create a flushed look. Not flushed like embarrassed about toilet paper sticking to your shoe. But flushed like having just played a rousing round of tennis or bronzed and wind-whipped like having spent the day at the beach. Colorful clothes are the real star of Spring 2012 fashion, so keep your face makeup toned-down. Buy makeup with SPF in it so that you can work on your natural tan outside without the risk of harmful UVA and UVB rays or use a tinted moisturizer to add some color to your face. While the rest of the face (including lips) is toned-down, eye makeup is upping the wow factor by going super-bold. Try out the exaggerated cat eye, an extra-long or doubled Mad Men eyeliner flick, or the super smoky eye. Bright swaths of color are in – oranges, yellows, and metallics (especially pastel metallics).

Spring Cleaning

Time to pack up that gray sweater, the black beanie, and the boots. Buy yourself a silk dress color-blocked in navy and tangerine. Drag the chunky pumps out from last Spring’s shoe-pile, and have a picnic in the park. Or strut down the street with the wind whipping your carefully coiffed hair out of place. (Re: Spring 2012 hairstyles, while we’re at it – updated vintage dos like the mod bob or pinned bouffant spiced up with teased, windy-hair – an effortless look.)

 This Spring is about finding the balance between trim and tousled. Keep the cut of your clothes loose yet slim and choose gauzy, silky materials. Face makeup is natural and hair is loosely pinned away from the face. Tugging against this basic trend is the contrast of bold patterns and colors, exaggerated eye makeup, and teased hair. So really – drop the tea. It’s iced latte time.