Women could be forgiven for getting confused about makeup looks - after all, they do change with the seasons. What's more, each makeup brand has its own theme or product to promote, and the spring-summer 2009 season is no exception. Sometimes one colour theme tends to dominate the season (for example, nude tones were a long-standing favourite), but this season anything goes, from tropical bursts to vampy black eyeliner. If there is one common area of focus it is on cheeks - either a strong, rosy hue or a subtle hint of colour combined with a pale, classic look. 'The most important tip I can give this season is to have fun with makeup and let yourself be free to try something new,' says R.C. Stephens, a celebrity makeup artist at Nars Cosmetics. 'Keeping a fresh look to your makeup is an important part of staying and looking young.' 'Trends this season in makeup are [that] blush comes back to life, and so will you,' he says. 'Lips that get noticed will have translucent colour and eyes are left bare but accessorised with a pop of vivid colour at the lash bed.' Stephens says an eyelash curler is a must because eyes should be kept clean this season with only a touch of colour at the lashes. 'Curling the lash and using a clean, 'no clump' mascara is essential to complete this runway style.' Nars founder and creative director Francoise Nars says the overall look for the summer 2009 collection is sophisticated but colourful. 'That translates to glowing, sun-kissed skin, shimmering, peachy-hued lips and high-drama eyes in deep, shimmering tones of metallic-flecked topaz or sparkling azure,' he says. 'Whether your vision of perfect summer conjures up images of Morocco's kaleidoscopic bazaars, the pristine Art Deco structures of Ocean Drive [in Miami] or the endless white sand beaches and cerulean waters of a Caribbean island, this season's vivid yet versatile colour palette is the perfect complement.' An example is the brand's new blue-green eyeshadow. 'The tropics are always inspiring for me,' says Nars. 'I live part of my life in Tahiti and the Polynesian islands, and there is so much incredible blue there. 'This lush, silver-flecked teal is a precise image of the ocean's reflective, rolling waves.' In contrast, Chanel international makeup artist Peter Philips this year went for a white overture on the catwalks after consulting with creative director Karl Lagerfeld on his whitewashed theme for the fashion show. Colour is minimal, except on cheeks. The result is almost ethereal and delicate, with a subtle focus on the eyes. 'I wanted to do a classic, almost natural mise en beaut? [light makeup] putting the accent on the eyebrows,' says Philips. 'I kept the skin and lips pale with a hint of blush on the cheeks. The eyebrows are elongated and a bit more outspoken. I played with metallic and shadow on the eyes but with no hard lines.' Philips adds that for the new season show, what was needed above all was a great eyebrow pencil to create the elongated and well-defined eyebrow. And going light on the blush for the pale impression was also Chanel's look. 'A good trick for pale makeup, which we wanted to create for this show, was to use a subtle blush. This accentuated the porcelain effect and avoided a washed-out face effect,' he says. This makeup, he says, could mark the return to classic beauty. 'We could almost call it a vintage look because it is timeless and can be applied to all types of women,' he says. Elsewhere, the Hong Kong makeup artist known as Zing - a celebrity favourite who has been painting faces for 20 years - says nudes are a classic and are not going away, but the trend now is to not be afraid. 'For a long time, women were obsessed with nudes and many thought putting on lipstick or a stronger eye would make them look old,' says Zing, who has his own makeup school. 'They didn't dare ... and I think that's begun to change, so in line with that I'm thinking in terms of visible eyeliner and more strong makeup' - similar to Chanel's elongated brows. 'I'm seeing liquid eyeliner [he recommends the new one from Cle de Peau] that's going off the edges [of the eye]. It's more like, 'Look, I'm wearing eyeliner.'' Zing also mentions blush as a focus, with it moving away from the impression you are naturally rosy to being more dramatic. 'It can be stronger and a bit more intense, with a real direction along the cheek bone,' he says. When it comes to colour, Zing says about six months ago it was all about metallics, but this season, a particular colour theme is not dominant. However, more vampy eyeliners in vibrant colours are on trend and lip glosses - the typical Hong Kong girl's favourite item - may take a back seat to lipsticks. 'Lipsticks will play a much more important part this season,' Zing says. 'The colour can be whatever suits her ... just don't shy away from it.' And for those who see summer as nothing but a time to get into the hot, tropical spirit, Jemma Kidd makeup may be the answer. The Jemma Kidd Make Up School's new Spring Summer 09 Tropicana colour collection is inspired by Kidd's sunny childhood days in Barbados. It's reminiscent of 'picturesque miles of white sandy beaches, towering coconut palms, crystal turquoise waters, rolling green hills, exotic fruits and bright hibiscus flowers', a company statement says. The range includes various shades of peaches and pinks through to soft, shimmery hues. Kidd also has a broad selection of long-lasting coloured eyeliners - a must-have tool to get that dramatic liner look for those who dare.