Colour conscious

Posted by on Jun 8, 2011


Earlier this year, at the NYC Autumn/Winter ’11 runway shows we saw a culmination of several years of makeup trends. It was a visual feast featuring a kaleidoscope of colour: lips in berry red and fuchsia tones, eyes washed with intensely pigmented shadows ranging from bronzes to blues and purples, eyebrows darkened and defined and cheekbones contoured. There was barely a “no-makeup-look” in sight, and the makeup that was applied was meant to be seen!

As a makeup artist I find these shows inspiring, but in reality, most people I meet feel intimidated when it comes to wearing strong colours in their daily routine. If you’ve been using neutral tones for years, it can be hard knowing how to change your makeup look and where you should start. So here are three simple steps that will hopefully encourage you to add at least one new colour into your makeup bag and onto your face this year:

  • Pick ONE facial feature to emphasise with colour. As a general rule, choose the feature you’re most comfortable applying makeup to, because a vibrant tone will attract attention! Keep the rest of your makeup very minimal and understated.
  • Choose a colour that complements your skin UNDERTONE. Retail makeup artists are a great starting point and will guide you towards the tones that suit your skin. Get them to apply the makeup to your face (and not your hand), and wear it home. Look at the colour in different lights and ask your friends for their opinion. Once you know what tones work, you will be able to wear even the most intense colours successfully.
  • PRACTICE at home. Wearing strong colours takes confidence and application skill because mistakes are so easy to see. If you wait for an important event to try out your new makeup, chances are you’ll back out and revert to your neutral palette once more. So plan ahead: practice varying the intensity of your application and get comfortable with your new look before you wear it out.