Red carpet stars go on the mono trend

RECEIVED make-up wisdom decrees that you should only focus on one feature at a time — a smoky eye, a bold lip, etc — but there’s a red carpet trend that eschews that notion.

As seen on Rihanna and model of the moment Gigi Hadid, the monochromatic look involves using one colour on the eyes, lips, and cheeks, creating a beautifully ‘pulled together’ look.

“It’s foolproof when you are super-busy and unable to do a full face of make-up,” says Ruby Hammer, international make-up artist and make-up salon creative director for Urban Retreat. 

“Plus, it takes the guess work out of co-ordinating your look!”

Red carpet stars go on the mono trend

But it’s important to choose the best colour for you, of course. Here’s the expert advice on four shades that will have you catching monomania in no time...


Tying in with this fashion’s current 90s obsession, brown shades are best “if you have a medium to dark skin tone, and either blue or green/hazel eyes”, according to Carla Wall, head make-up artist for Hourglass. 

“But always go for warmer tones; think bronze, golden and deep copper shades, as anything cooler can wash out the skin.

“On the eyes, use a palette that has a combination of satin, shimmer and matte colours. 

Red carpet stars go on the mono trend

"If you want to make the eyes more feline, use a darker tone on the outer corners in a V shape, and a lighter colour in the tear duct.

“Cheeks and skin should be enhanced with a bronzer, and if you have intensified the eyes, lips should be kept minimal and glossy.

“Hourglass Extreme Sheer Lip Gloss in Imagine and Ignite are a perfect complement for this. If you have kept the eyes neutral, then go for a stronger brown-toned lipstick, a la Rihanna.”

Red carpet stars go on the mono trend

* Hourglass Modernist Eyeshadow Palette in Infinity, €69 (Space. N.K. apothecary, Harvey Nichols and Grafton St, Dublin)

* Hourglass Creme-to-powder Bronze Duo Light, €51.50, ( )

* MAC Eye Shadow in Texture, €16.50 ( )

* Laura Mercier Creme Smooth Lip Colour in Dulce De Leche, €30 ( )


“A fair-skinned complexion, blonde with blue eyes, traditionally suits a pink look. However, depending on the shade, you can make it right for any skin tone,” says Hammer. 

“For darker skin tones, you would need to move away from a pale pink and opt for something that’s vibrant and has a real kick.

“Pick a soft colour for your cheeks and eyes, something very feminine — almost peachy — and then up the colour on your lips for maximum impact.”

Red carpet stars go on the mono trend

And lookout for multi-purpose cream products that you can double up with: “Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge comes in many shades and is fabulous as dual purpose. 

"I also love Laura Mercier’s Creme Cheek Colour, as it’s long-lasting and allows you to build on coverage for a soft, velvety finish.”

* Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge for Lips & Cheeks in Raspberry, €27 ( )

* Laura Mercier Creme Cheek Colour in Blaze,€30 ( )


Orange shades,particularly soft coral, are really flattering on paler complexions.

“I would use these tones on someone who has a fair to medium skin tone. The warm, brighter tones complement deep brown eyes beautifully,” advises Wall.

“Keep eyes minimal, and focus on cheeks and lips. Use a sheer wash of colour on the eyes that you can double up as a blush.

Red carpet stars go on the mono trend

“Using a lipstick as a blush is also fun. Pat it gently on the lips for a more sheer stain effect, and use your fingertips to apply a small amount on the cheeks, to give a nice flushed effect.”

* Hourglass Opaque Rouge Lipstick in Riviera, €29.62 ( )

* Chantecaille Brilliant Gloss in Folly, €33.50 ( )


Foil-like gold lips were seen on the Prada spring catwalk, but for a mono metallic, look you want a warm, subtle shimmer all over.

“People with olive, bronzed and darker-toned skins, who are brunette with brown eyes, match perfectly with a gold glistening finish,” says Hammer.

“A clear lip gloss with gold in it is the best way to take this look from catwalk to everyday wear, and you can use a hint on your cheeks, and a hint on the inner corners of your eyes or brow bones, too. 

"I love this look for summer or on a night out.

Red carpet stars go on the mono trend

“Gold powder products can double up well on eyes and cheeks, while cream products are ideal for cheeks and lips — you may just need to add a balm over the top to keep lips moist and glossy.”

* RMS Lip2Cheek, €38.65 ( , plus p&p)

* Surratt Artistique Eyeshadow in Cuivre, €20.60 ( )


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