colour me purple


Mademoiselle B is a creature of habit. She finds something she likes and she sticks with it. This applies in general life but also to her skin care and makeup routines. That’s a pretty good formula for making sure things go as planned. I’m all for it, especially given I’ve just found a solution to my winter skin troublesHabit does have its drawbacks. It stifles creativity, novelty and the opportunity to learn from mistakes.

B is classically elegant – her petite frame is usually dressed in sombre colours with minimalist silhouettes; her sleek dark hair worn loose and her neutral makeup clean and simple. It is a look that many work hard to perfect to look natural. For B though, it is effortless because it is synonymous with her personal style – clutter free and classic.

A departure from the norm is what we went for with this look. B has the beautiful Bobbi Brown Peony & Python Palette which has gorgeous Lavender and Plum Orchid shades, neither of which B has used.
Seeing as every woman and her cat is into radiant orchid – the colour of the year according to the global authority on colour, Pantone (roll your eyes now) – this was a good excuse to wipe away the dust and get some colour going on. You know, just for a change!

Here is what we used to create the look . . . .


  • Elizabeth Arden Hydra-Splash Alcohol-Free toner for normal/dry skin
  • Kosé Cosmeport Hyalocharge Medicated Lotion
  • Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré nourishing moisturiser


FOR THE MAKEUP (from left, top row then bottom)

  • Clarins Wonderperfect Mascara (black)
  • Shu Uemura Face Achitect Smooth Fit Fluid Foundation SPF18 PA++
  • Too Faced Eye Shadow Insurance
  • MAC Pro Longwear Concealer
  • Edward Bess Blush Imperiale in #3 Moroccan Rose
  • Estee Lauder Signature Lipstick in 69 Blackberry
  • Bobbi Brown Peony & Python Palette
  • Guerlain Terracotta Makeup Palette for Face and Eyes – bronzing powders
  • Chanel Illusion D’Ombre eyeshadow in #86 Ebloui
  • Chanel Poudre Universelle Libre natural finish loose powder in #50 Pêche
  • L’Oreal Intense Gel Eyeliner in #03 Violet Black
  • L’Oreal Color Riche Quad eyeshadow in #S3 Disco Smoking
  • Max Factor Liquid Effect eye pencil in Violet Voltage
  • B Collection by Bloom Brow Box in Medium/Dark (eyebrow powder)



B had been experiencing some breakouts that were hydration related so we commenced with dabbing a cotton ball moistened with toner all over the face to take away any oiliness. A few drops of hyaluron followed to prep the skin for moisturiser. As B’s skin type is dry, I went with a heavier moisturiser than usual (Embryolisse) and massaged this in gently. This also helps calm redness.


Makeup base up next: To produce a natural looking finish with the foundation, I applied it with a buffing brush and then sheered it out using this technique. This was enough to even out her complexion so all that was needed was a bit of spot and under eye concealing to eliminate any dullness.


On the eyes we started by prepping with eyeshadow primer applied with clean fingertips. Next went a wash of the Lavender shade from the palette as a good base to build on. The L’Oreal Quad shadows do not have individual names but I used the violet shade on the centre third of the eyelids and blended into the lighter base shade.

I applied the Plum Orchid (Bobbi Brown) on the crease and outer third of the eyelids, again blending well using a soft fluffy brush (MAC 217 is a trusted favourite).

Using a small brush, I blended in a smidgen of the the matte black from the L’Oreal palette (just on the very outer edge of the eyelid) in a V shape into the deepest shade to give it a little more depth. The last shade to go on was the Ebloui  – using another clean, small brush, I swiped some of this bouncy shadow into the outer crease blended it in.

I gave B a clean eyeliner that extended slightly beyond the eyelids to give the illusion of larger eyes, no flick! In keeping with the purple theme, I avoided using a pure black liner. This Violet Black one from L’Oreal has the intensity of a black liner but also has an interesting dimension in different light. I used a softer colour on the bottom lash line and finished with a coat of mascara on curled lashes.


I filled in B’s eyebrows using a slanted brush dipped in brow powder. The idea was simply to even them out without darkening them.

Seeing as this was going to be a colourful, I kept the blush very, very soft.
You will note I am not particularly adept at using bronzer yet. Quite frankly, I have never needed it. But I am a convert and am learning to use it. For Mlle B., I lightly swept some of the lighter bronzing powder under her cheekbones, jaw and outer temples using the supplied brush.

A slick of the blackberry lipstick brought the whole look together. We deliberately picked a colour that was more on the plum side to keep the look from becoming too monotone. Also, B. was going out to dinner after this, hence the heavier colour. You can stick with a soft pink nude if you prefer.

Final touches were in the form of a light dusting of loose powder to keep the makeup in place and limit unwanted shine.

I had nothing to do with B.’s hair – it is naturally this beautiful! Yes, I am jealous.


And there you have it. Purple. Radiant Orchid. Violet. Call it what you like. Make sure you wear it with a big smile just like B.


Have you dabbled with Radiant Orchid yet?
Or perhaps another colour that is outside your ‘safe’ zone?

colour me purple

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