Brighten up your spring look with colour

It’s time to step out of your comfort zone and face up to colour. Katie Wright paints a picture of bright but wearable spring trends.

WHILE the oxymoronic ’no make-up’ make-up look peaked on Marc Jacobs’ spring catwalk — when models walked without a scrap of slap on their faces — elsewhere, colour returned in abundance, with every band of the rainbow represented, from red eyes to violet lips.

Sound a bit scary? It needn’t be.

These techniques focus on one feature, so they’re a restrained way to experiment with daring shades.

Here’s the lowdown on the tools and tips you need to shake up your make-up routine and face the rainbow...


How to wear red eye make-up without it looking like you’ve been crying? With a sharp slick of scarlet liner, a la the Max Mara SS15 show.

“This is a look that suits lots of eye colours. Red eyeshadow makes blue eyes bluer and brown eyes more green,” says MAC senior artist Dominic Skinner.

“The best way to go about this look is to start with MAC Eye Shadow in Red Brick, applied with a 266 brush for a sharp edge. Start by creating a classic liner flick, then, from the inner corner, draw above and along the crease, joining up with the tip of the liner. Finish off by filling in the wing shape that’s created.”

MAC Eye Shadow in Red Brick, €16.50 ( )


Switch your usual pink or bronze blusher for a summery tangerine hue.

“There’s an orange shade for every skin tone and type. Warm shades can lift the complexion and help enhance more olive skin tones,” advises Charlotte Savoury, international brand ambassador for Illamasqua.

“Illamasqua Gel Sculpt in Charm is perfect for all skin tones as it tints the skin. With pale skin tones, press a sheer layer onto the apples of your cheeks for a subtly flushed colour. For warmer skin tones you can simply build until you have reached your desired effect.

Brighten up your spring look with colour

Illamasqua Gel Colour in Charm, €31.51 ( )

Illamasqua Powder Blusher in Excite, €29.45 (ASOS)


Yellow can be a tricky proposition where clothes are concerned, but you’ll find it’s surprisingly flattering on your fingertips.

“Yellow is a great colour for summer and is becoming increasingly popular with nails,” says Cassie Lomas, B. Makeup ambassador.

“If you have a dark skin tone you can get away with a more electric yellow colour, and for paler skin tones, I would always recommend opting for a softer yellow or pastel.”

OPI I Just Can’t Cope-acabana Nail Lacquer, currently reduced from €14.35 to €12.91 (Debenhams)


At the Christian Wijnants show during Paris Fashion Week, the usual eyeshadow approach was inverted with a gorgeous green take on the smoky eye.

“MAC Eyeshadow in Bottle Green, with its soft green hue, is a perfect colour to swap with your usual go-to smokey eye colours,” explains Skinner.

“Team it up with Sourpuss Technakohl Eyeliner on the waterline. Brighter colours are wonderful on the waterline if you want definition, but are worried about making small eyes look smaller.”

MAC Technakohl Liner in Sourpuss, €18 (Brown Thomas)


“Coloured lashes are a great way of adding colour into your make-up without having to be too bold about it,” says Skinner, referring to the petrol blue lashes seen at the Lea Peckre show in Paris.

“My favourite product is MAC Pro Lash Mixing Medium. It’s a colourless mascara that you can add any eyeshadow colour to.”

Don’t want to DIY your mascara? There are plenty of pretty blue mascaras in the shops right now, from cobalt to navy.

Artistry Signature Eyes Volume Mascara in Indigo, €30.50 (

Brighten up your spring look with colour

AC Isabel and Ruben Toledo Modern Twist Lash Mascara in Caligraphy, €26 (Brown Thomas)


Indigo lips may sound like a gothic step too far, but if you think about it, blueberry isn’t much of a departure from the popular rich plummy shades.

“Although we have classed blue as a very brave colour, people are becoming more confident with make-up and want to try new things,” agrees Savoury.

“People are pleasantly surprised at just how good it looks against all skin tones. It can make your teeth look whiter and counteracts sallowness, giving your skin a brighter appearance.”

Illamasqua’s Disciple, a very dark, almost purple matte lipstick, is a good place to start. Then when you’re ready to go the whole nine yards, reach for the new true blue Vendetta.

Illamasqua Lipstick in Disciple, €25.34 (ASOS)

Illamasqua Lipstick in Vendetta, €25.34 (available in May; ASOS)


Purple was a major make-up trend at the spring/summer shows, from plum to mauve and everything in between. A vivid violet lip is an ideal refresher for spring, an easy addition to your usual look.

“The great thing about a statement lip is that it adds instant glamour without much work,” says Lomas. “If you’re going for a bold lip, it is really important that the rest of your make-up isn’t overpowering and you go for a natural base.”

And when choosing a shade, remember that most lipsticks look darker in the bullet than they do on the lip, so have a play at the beauty counter to find your perfect purple.

Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Va Va Violet, €10.69 (Boots).


Wesley O’ Regan is the General Manager of Popscene in Voodoo Rooms, Cork city. Popscene opened last November and is Cork’s only themed bar that is dedicated to celebrating the best of the 80s and 90s.'ve Been Served: Wesley O'Regan, Popscene

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