Hair & Makeup

How to wear purple makeup

From amethyst to lilac and violet to mauve, purple is SS19’s most surprising beauty hit. Here’s how to embrace this chic shade. By SHANNON PETER

Giorgio Armani SS19

To the uninitiated, purple makeup might seem daunting, but the color has come a long way since its kitsch beginnings – as evidenced on the SS19 runways. At Giorgio Armani, lilac eyeshadow created an ethereal elegance; Savage X Fenty’s shimmer-laced amethyst tones looked undoubtedly modern; and a slick of lavender liner was all it took to polish faces at Brandon Maxwell. The power of purple translates effortlessly into the real world and is surprisingly simple to apply – just let Marc Jacobs Beauty’s Global Artistry Ambassador, Morgane Martini, be your guide…

Pick your purple

When it comes to playing with color, strict rules feel somewhat antiquated. In fact, Martini is adamant that you can – and should – wear whatever shade of purple you wish. She does, however, have some useful advice: “Purple is easiest if you use paler shades on light skin and brighter ones on deeper skin tones,” she recommends. As such, pastel shades of lilac are a good option for fair faces; plum tones flatter the warmth of olive skin; and blackcurrant or eggplant shades look great on dark skin.

Brandon Maxwell SS19

Add an accent

If you’re not ready to make a major color statement, adding just a hint of purple to your eyes offers a more comfortable nod to the trend. Martini likes a slick of purple eyeliner in lieu of standard-issue black. The malleable pigments of crayons work best, she says, just “apply to the top and bottom lash lines and lightly blend with your fingertips for a soft, romantic look.” Alternatively, try coating just the tips of your lashes in purple mascara: it not only complements green and blue eyes, but the ombré effect can also give the illusion of longer, more feathery lashes.

Go all out

Diving into the realm of purple eyeshadow takes things up a notch, but purple eyes needn’t verge into garish territory if you stick to a single shade (excessive color layering can appear too labored). Use a small, fluffy brush to sweep powder shadow in light strokes across the entire eyelid, blending the outer edge well. Lighter shades such as mauve look otherworldly, while darker violet tones add drama. If in doubt, choose a shadow speckled with shimmer – light-reflecting particles will diffuse the intensity and add a pretty, highlighted effect. To finish, “keep skin fresh and dewy, and opt for a toned-down lip,” says Martini.

Leverage the lips

Purple looks just as modern on the lips, although it’s best to “keep the skin natural and eyes clean, for a chic and sophisticated finish,” advises Martini. Choosing the right shade comes down to your intensity preference: blue-toned mauves and lavenders will make a punchy pastel statement that appears especially intense on darker skin, while deeper purple or red-based berry hues will suit any skin tone, and can be dialed up or down. Line lips first and then swipe on lipstick straight from the bullet for full impact, or dab onto the center of the lip with fingertips for a soft wash of color.

Giorgio Armani SS19

The people featured in this story are not associated with NET-A-PORTER and do not endorse it or the products shown.