Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Stylist Team Experiment With Bold Make-Up


This season’s upbeat bold hues are revolutionising the way we wear our daily beauty staples. Here’s how to embrace the new rules of colour...

Words: Anita Bhagwandas Photography: Dennis Pedersen


That’s not a throwaway statement.

In my first week at Stylist in 2011 I wore a bright, fuchsia lipstick and bounded into an office of chic but muted neutral shades. Fast forward to 2013 and the difference is clear; there’s myriad candy pinks and deep-sea greens adorning members of the team. I’m not saying that I started it. But seeing somebody you know in a fresh, exciting colour is infectious. See the way a crimson lipstick brightens their face, how a purple shadow illuminates their eyes; how the magic of colour lifts their confidence to new heights.

Indeed, as a nation, we’re wearing more colour than ever, as I found out when Stylist was given exclusive access to visit L’Oréal’s Paris HQ for their global Beauty Of Colour Conference. Nothing has the power to transform like a bold lipstick or bright eyeshadow.

Now all we need is a little help in using colour. We’ve compiled seven rules that ensure you can’t go wrong, and pushed 12 members of the Stylist team out of their colour comfort zone. Your new frontier of make-up starts here.


There’s a backstage secret that makes an appearance every season, due to its ability to double the size of your lips. “Apply your usual red lipstick, and then dab a more orangey shade on the centre of the lips and pat gently to blend the two,” says make-up artist Thomas De Kluyver. “It makes thinner lips appear fuller, and gives that three-dimensional effect we saw at Paul Smith s/s 2013. It takes a red lip to the next level.”

Rouge Eclat lipstick in Passion Red, £18.50, Clarins; Lipstick in Flare, £16, Illamasqua (above)


Flicked out liner along the top lashline makes the eye look larger – it’s the tip every Hollywood star uses on the red carpet. However, replacing your dark liner with a bolder shade, like pink, green or blue, also lifts the eye by drawing attention to the upper lashline – the widest part of the eyelid. The colour refracts light, creating a wide-awake look.

Exaggerate eyeliner in Emerald Green, £5.99, Rimmel (above); 24/7 Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Eldorado, £14, Urban Decay


Day-glo lipsticks have a nasty habit of exposing any unevenness in the skin like redness around the nose or darkness under the eyes. “My golden rule is use a little more concealer and foundation than usual with a bold lipstick,” says make-up artist Daniel Sandler. “That’s the only way to give yourself a blank canvas. But it doesn’t have to be totally matt – use highlighter on the cheekbones and cupid’s bow to freshen your face.”

Rich Lip Color in Cosmic Raspberry, £18, Bobbi Brown; Larger Than Life Lip Gloss in Coeur Sucré, £19, Nars (above)


Clever old lilac manages to be both warm and cool. It brightens the eyes and suits everyone – choose a pinker shade for

darker skintones and blue for paler.

Luster Eye Colour in African Violet, £18.50, Laura Mercier (above); Pure Color Gelée Powder Eyeshadow in Cyber Lilac, £19, Estée Lauder


Using a shade in the same colour family as the sky – blues, purples and cooler tones – works best with the cold daytime light as the colours complement each other. “Shades like reds and oranges look better in the evening as their colour is intensified against the darker backdrop,” says Illamasqua’s creative director Alex Box. So save these colours for after dark.

Pigment in Full Force Violet, £16.50, Mac (right); Ombre Hypnôse Mono in Eclat De Bleuet, £17.50, Lancôme


Peach is the most flattering, health-giving colour – midway between blue and red with both cool and warm tones, it suits all skintones. It immediately lifts the colour of our skin and counteracts any blueish darkness. However, peach is best avoided on lips if you’re concerned about the shade of your teeth – it can make them appear yellower due to its warm tones.

Blushwear Cream Stick in Peachy Blush, £21, Clinique; Coralista cheek powder, £23.50, Benefit (above)


The wrong shade of nail polish can look jarring on different hands; there is a simple way to work out your ideal shade - use the colour of your lunula (the crescent-shaped part of your nail above the cuticle) as a guide. Those with purple or bluish arcs should go for bluish purples, cold reds and greens. Those with pinkish tones suit warmer reds, oranges and purples.

Nail Polish in Tate Red, £11, Nails inc; Nail Enamel in Revlon Red, £6.49, Revlon (above)


punchy lilac eyes

Anita Bhagwandas, Beauty Assistant

“I always had a bit of a lilac-phobia after an unfortunate incident where I applied it over my ENTIRE eye area and looked like a startled purple panda. But I’m slightly hungover (shh), and the lilac does succeed in making me look wide awake.”

Shimmer Wash Eye Shadow in Lilac, £16.50, Bobbi Brown

acid pink lips

Mollie McGuigan, Deputy Editor, Emerald Street

“I wear pink lipstick every day so neon pink isn't a huge departure. This is lovely because it’s bold without being tarty. But, wearing bright colours only makes me feel great when I feel good in my mind. If I'm having a fat day, no amount of bright lippie will change that.”

Lipstick in Immodest, £16, Illamasqua; Pigment in Magenta Madness, £16.50, Mac

poppy red lips

Julia Maile, Entertainment Assistant

“When I applied this poppy red shade in the morning it instantly made me feel more put together – like a glamorous Virgin air hostess. Then I realised I’d smudged it on my coat collar and felt decidedly less glamorous. But I loved the look, so, I’m determined to keep trying.”

Luxury matte lipstick in Marilyn, £13.25, Daniel Sandler

canary yellow eyes

Anna Brech, Writer, Stylist.co.uk

“I’m a bit wary of eye shadow, so this shade of yellow is terrifying. Bizarrely, as I stared at myself in the mirror it did seem to energise me, lifting my mood and made me feel a little more confident – like I could take on the world. Or, at least, M&S during the lunch rush.”

Eye Shadow in Goldenrod, £12, Mac

neon peach cheeks

Joanna McGarry, Beauty Director

“You look a bit more alive than normal,” said my boyfriend when faced with my brightly coloured face. Neon peach doesn’t make me look like I’m actually blushing like berry tones do, which makes me appear menopausal. Plus bold peach shades are a way to wear colour without going too far down the Dame Barbara Cartland road. Bonus.”

Creme de Blush in 4, £29, YSL

sky blue nails

Mariam Ahmed, Events Manager

“Sky blue isn’t an easy colour to wear – especially if you’re used to wearing a more conservative palette of nudes and pinks on your nails. Though I liked it, and think it suited my medium short nails, it’s probably more suited to paler skintones or toes.”

Nail Lacquer in Dilettante, £14.50, Estée Lauder

matt magenta lips

Natasha Tomalin, Deputy Art Editor

“This almost-fluorescent pink lip was a big change from my usual rouge noir shades. It drew lots of compliments from my colleagues – one even said it made my demeanour less scary and more approachable… I definitely felt more on-trend and am truly converted to a bright lip.”

Lips in Bombshell, £9, Topshop

opaque lilac nails

Heather Wilson, Events Assistant

“I’m already a big fan of pastel coloured nail polish, so I was really drawn to this pretty lilac shade. It added a nice pop of colour to my daily look, and it seemed to go with everything, although my nails reminded me of Parma Violets, which sort of made me feel hungry.”

Nails in Parma Violet, £5, Topshop

cobalt blue eyes

Anna Fielding, Editor, Emerald Street and Stylist.co.uk

“It was a very bright blue, and I did worry I looked like I was about to go on stage at the Royal Opera House. I left bright eye make-up back in my early 20s, where I thought it belonged, so the most exciting discovery was that it made my eyes look incredibly green, a bigger surprise still – my boyfriend was a big fan too.”

Bouquet Crayon Intense Eyeliner in Acqua, £18, Dolce & Gabbana; Eye Shadow in Electric Eel, £12, Mac

vinyl fuschia lips

Joyce Darko, Digital Project Manager

“I’m not one to experiment with make-up at all, let alone a garish fluorescent pink. But surprisingly the colour really did complement my skintone and it’s made me do a u-turn when it comes to make-up. I’m definitely going to try new colours in the future, though with a less bright shade to start with.”

Pro Longwear Lipglass in Embrace Me, £17, Mac

tomato red lips

Amy Adams, Acting Sub Editor

“A bright coral lip is several self-conscious leaps from my fail-safe nude. And while I thought it might be more high-maintenance, requiring constant checking and reapplying, not to mention mug-wiping, it’s just the lift my make-up routine needs. You can’t hide when your lips are the colour of jar of saffron, and when the compliments came in, I was happy not to.”

Rouge Pur Couture Lipstick in Le Rouge, £25, YSL

aqua bright eyes

Lauren Smith, Editorial Assistant, Stylist.co.uk

“I’m never bold with my eye make-up; so slathering on green eye-shadow made me feel self-conscious. A male colleague didn't help matters (‘that’s totally Eighties’), but after compliments from the women in my team I felt edgier, more confident and ready to experiment with colour on a daily basis.”

Dip in Eyeshadow in Vibrant Tu, £5.99, Maxfactor



The Stylist Hair 100


Daily beauty bulletin



These 6 beauty looks will be absolutely everywhere this Halloween

The most-shared spooky looks on Pinterest, from Harley Quinn to Maleficent.

by Moya Crockett
25 Oct 2016

31 killer beauty looks for Halloween

Scary good

by Anna Pollitt
24 Oct 2016

30 beautiful constellation and astronomy ear piercings

Get on board with the latest piercing trend

by Sarah Biddlecombe
21 Oct 2016

This is the one reason you need to wash your makeup brushes

Be right back, we've got some cleaning to do

by Sarah Biddlecombe
19 Oct 2016

YouTube star Tanya Burr defends the blogging industry

“Bloggers don't deserve to be vilified”

by Sarah Biddlecombe
14 Oct 2016

“I dream in perfume”: Jo Malone on her life in fragrance

The perfumier tells Stylist of how her remarkable sense of smell has shaped her entire life

by Harriet Hall
14 Oct 2016

Harry Potter make-up is here just in time for Halloween

You can now wear a love potion on your lips

by Sarah Biddlecombe
12 Oct 2016

MAC’s new Nutcracker-inspired make-up collection is truly magical

Totally dreamy.

by Moya Crockett
12 Oct 2016

Tiffany Blue nails are now achievable

"I believe in manicures"

by Anna Pollitt
10 Oct 2016

Read my lips: Stylist pays homage to the high-impact lip trend

Bold lips for autumn winter

by Joanna McGarry
10 Oct 2016