The Colour Purple

Posted by Alice Smellie On September - 14 - 2010

As the mists of autumn descend and leaves start to turn and fall, keep up with the new season and take on the colour purple as your must-have make-up colour. There are so many shades, you’ll easily find one to suit your skin tone. As they’re available in everything from lipsticks to eyeshadow and nail varnishes, you can keep it as discreetly sophisticated or as catwalk fashionable as you like.

Julia Bolino is a celebrity make-up artist who has worked with such celebrities as Konnie Huq, Anna Friel and Sienna Miller and also runs her own make-up school ( “In my last few shoots this summer I’ve noticed that people have been asking me for a touch of purple’ she says. It’s a trend that’s just starting and will be lasting into the winter.” She recommends just choosing one type of make-up. “If you have purple eyes, lips and nails you’re going to look a bit gothic. Keep it simple and elegant.”

There is a plethora of gorgeous shades available for eyes. Pretty much everyone offers a selection of purples. Just make sure you match your shade to your skin. “On olive skin tones I’d recommend grape colours and fairer skin will suit lavender shades,” says Bolino. She suggests using a berry liquid liner or mascara on the eyes. “This will give the drama of black, and as an additional beneft the colour will counteract any redness in your eyes, and make the whites look brighter.”

Eye shadows can be dusted on or layered. “Go femme fatale by brushing a deep smoky purple over the eyelids and then dust it gently under the eyes. Slick a touch of vaseline over the top of the lid for a shiny and sexy look,” says Bolino. If you’d rather keep it simple, juxtapose it with this season’s other top fashion colour – grey. Brush some grey on the inside of the eye and purple on the outside for a muted and sophisticated feel. For an extra glamourous party look, layer purple eyeshadow over a warm gold colour.

Purple lipstick is a bit too much of a statement for everyday wear and very difficult to carry off. “I’d suggest the only way to wear it is watered down, so use a purple lipstick base and then tone it down with a light pink lip gloss,” says Bolino.

As for nails, the glorious range of purples available will lend a touch of colour to the simplest of winter outfits. It’s just a shame that it’s getting too late to show off your bare toes.

Belle recommends:


Coloreyedefine in Amythyst/Opal, from the queen of mineral make-up Susan Posnick. A slender eye liner pencil, thin enough to define and yet soft enough to blend as a shadow. Flip it over and find a mineral eye shadow in soft lilac (£25,

Compact size Big Fatty Mascara by Urban Decay, (£8.50 A nifty little product that fits in a handbag and is a luscious shade of lavender.

Wonder Mascara in Violet by Clarins, (£18,, creates a stunning frame for any eyes.


Not for the faint-hearted, a bright purple to make nails stand out by Yves St Laurent in Belle de Jour, £24 (available nationwide)

A stunning deep plum from the new Woodland collection – Onyx by Mavala,( for stockists, £3.95), comes in a neat little bottle and is paraben and formaldehyde free.

As ever, Chanel has a nail varnish that’s apparently already tricky to get hold off. If you can obtain one, wow your friends with the amazing Paradoxal, in a gorgeous rich plum. (£16.50. or for store locator).


Dior’s new Serum de Rouge, (£24.50,, in Violet. A lip treatment containing concentrated skin care ingredients to moisturise and smooth lips and with a usefully shaped pen tip for easy application.

Pure Divine Gloss in Plum Divine by Estee Lauder, (£15, A luxurious gloss – ideal for quick touch-ups or to pop on over lipstick for a super glamourous look.

Juicy Tubes always come up trumps, and Lychee, (£14,, is no exception. Wear on its own for a subtle shimmer.

By Alice Smellie
Alice Smellie

Alice Smellie

With a passion for beauty and over a decade’s experience working for national newspapers and magazines, Alice has written for such publications as the Independent, Harpers, Grazia, ES Magazine,Daily Telegraph, Brides magazine and InStyle magazine. For the last five years she has predominantly been writing beauty features for the Daily Mail. Her obsession with decent mascara is rivalled only by her increasingly desperate quest for effective anti-wrinkle creams. She adores cheap chocolate, expensive champagne and Edward Cullen with a passion and hasn’t left the house without wearing make-up since 1993 when the local newsagent didn’t recognise her without lipgloss.

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Belle About Town is for the woman who is time deprived but style rich. “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.” – Coco Chanel. It is created by journalists who love to discover the latest lifestyle trends and are eager to interact with readers about their wants and desires. It is as much for you as for us so tell us what you want to know, what you want to discover and want to read about and we will endeavour to post an article about it!

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