04 Dec 2021

A whole new look at the colour purple

Purple is the surprise colour of choice in beauty for winter. Lisa Haynes reveals how to experiment with indigo.

Purple is the surprise colour of choice in beauty for winter. Lisa Haynes reveals how to experiment with indigo.

Bored of traditional smoky eyes or classic red talons? Try this season’s purple beauty obsession for an instant colour update.

It’s regal, opulent and oh-so on-trend right now, whether you want a plush deep purple or eye-popping bright indigo.

“Purple is the right choice for both this winter and next spring,” says Georgina Graham, make-up artist at Management Artists.

“We have seen a ‘dark romantic’ trend on the runways, editorials and red carpets. A good idea is to invest in a purple eye shadow or pencil, as purple is a colour that suits all skin tones and eye colours and actually enhances the eye colour.”

But purple peepers aren’t your only option. The shade is as alluring on lips in amethyst or painted on nails in shimmering violet. Time to parade your purple.


:: Shrinking Violet

Give your pout the sheerest hint of purple with Clinique’s Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm in Voluptuous Violet and leave the pencil in your handbag over winter to relieve dry, cracked lips, £16 (


:: Purple paws

Jazz up party fingers with an uplifting shot of indigo from Rococo’s appealing range of purples. Choose from No Shrinking Violet, Purple Reign, Purple Haze or Dreamy In Versailles, £12 each (Space NK).


:: Pick ‘n’ Mix

Can’t decide on the intensity of your purple smoky eyes? Experiment with four blendable shades using Marks & Spencer’s Autograph Baked Quad Eyeshadow in Purple Mix, £12.


:: Positive purple

Lush’s new Emotional Brilliance range associates colours with positive feelings. The Drive Liquid Lips pot is all about moving forward so wear the bold pinky purple hue as a reminder to make things happen, £14.50 (01202 668 545/


:: Variable violet

To pack a purple punch, try Clarins’ Ombre Minerale Eye Shadow in Vibrant Violet. The powder can be used wet or dry to create a matte or shimmer finish that lasts, £16 (


:: Amethyst amour

Those torn between lipstick or gloss should pucker up with Dolce&Gabanna’s Passion Duo Gloss Fusion Lipstick in Royal. The rich creamy lip colour is elevated by a playful burst of purple gloss, £25 (


:: Plush pinkies

Give a nod to evening glamour with metallic or glitter shimmer finish nails. Leighton Denny’s High Performance Colour in Rebel is a rich velvety purple with a deep, intense shimmer, £11 (


:: Jewel bright

If matte and flat’s not your bag, Shiseido’s Shimmering Cream Eye Color in Purple Dawn makes your eyes look as though they’re adorned with a sprinkling of gems. Glide over eyes for a bejewelled, evening look in an instant, £20.50 (020 7313 4774/


:: Lavender locks

Give your hair a flash of statement colour minus the commitment. Glide Colour Mania’s Purple Haze onto your desired section of hair, seal with hair spray and then wash out once you’re ready to de-purple, £5.99 (


:: Creative crayola

Stila’s Smudge Crayon in Pink Violet is the multi-tasking marvel for you if you’re intent on accentuating your eyes. Tripling up as an eye shadow, primer and liner in one, it delivers smouldering purple eyes in one product, £14 (0845 0035 330/


Pulling off purple

Don’t be put off by colour. Our beauty experts offer their advice, whether you want to go for subtle or statement:

:: Purples, plums and berry tone lips are the best to offset teeth and make them appear whiter - Gucci Westman, Revlon global artistic director.

:: The easiest way to wear purple is on nails, but keep them short and oval for a more modern look - Newby Hands, editorial director.

:: When it comes to purple polish, lighter skin tones will find that the darker the purple the more complementary, whilst olive to dark skin tones should seek out plums that have a slight reddish undertone - Jenni Draper, Mavala nail ambassador.

:: For a seriously sexy va va voom eye, use a brush for shadow or apply pencil close to the lash line on both top and bottom and blend gently outwards for a soft, blown-out effect - Georgina Graham, make-up artist at Management Artists.


Picture credit: PA Photo/thinkstockphotos.

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