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
COLOUR IS CATCHING.
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.
1 MIX RED AND ORANGE LIPSTICK TO PLUMP THE LIPS
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)
2 A BOLD LINER WIDENS THE EYES
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
3 WEAR BRIGHT LIPSTICKS WITH FLAWLESS SKIN
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)
4 USE LILAC WHEN YOU'RE TIRED
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
5 DIFFERENT BRIGHTS FOR DAY AND NIGHT
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
6 PEACH IS THE SECRET WEAPON FOR HEALTHY SKIN
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)
FIND THE MOST FLATTERING POLISH
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)
TEAM STYLIST GOES FOR BOLD
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