03/21/2012 01:31 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Beyond the Pale: The 2012 Approach to Glowing Skin

Tanned skin has spent more time on the fashion merry-go-round than many trends; it's been in, out, and in again for hundreds of years. However, the past few months have seen sweeping changes in tan-ittudes, all the way from The White House to the red carpet.

As skin cancer rates continue to climb, health organizations and governments around the world are taking a hard look at tanning salons as a clear and present health danger to the wider population. Obama's 'Tan Tax' has hit the salon industry firmly in the back pocket. While at the recent Fall/Winter fashion collections, London's elite modeling agents banned the (sun bed) tan among their model charges. Down under in my Australian home state of New South Wales, the government has ruled that solariums and sunbeds will be illegal within the next three years. As for my own tan stance, well I admit, I've long been a fan of a deep (faux) tan -- and have the photo archives to prove it! -- but I've also dialed back my signature bronze for a more subtle hue.

This past awards season showed us that Hollywood is also backing the pale, an interesting trend; a number of my favorite leading ladies -- Rooney Mara, Emma Stone and Michelle Williams to name a few -- scored rave reviews for their naturally porcelain skin tone (among other style statements of course). Embracing and enhancing a fairer skin tone rather than trying to deepen one is part of a bigger trend toward making the most of your natural beauty. From the sidewalk to the red carpet, more women are choosing to embrace their natural hair texture, skin tone and even body shape rather than continuing to fight nature to fit an impossible ideal. While I'll always encourage any woman to approach glamour and beauty as a form of self-expression, it's great to see a shift towards working with and not against your natural assets.

So if you're fair-skinned remember this: pale doesn't have to mean pasty. Ensure your skin is soft, smooth, and hydrated and apply a glow-enhancing base with a light hand. Keep your look light but always luminous and coolly alluring by swapping a light champagne or silver luminizer rather than reaching for your standard bronzer. A wash of silver shadow over the eyelids is a major trend for spring 2012, and it delivers just the right amount of shimmer on women with fair, cool skin tones. Bold lips are also a top trend for spring, and a surefire strategy for adding color and vitality to the face. Choose a blue based red, pink or even fuchsia to complement fair skin and add a flattering pop of color.