Stuck in a makeup rut? Need a break from nude? Whether you look to Instagram or the catwalks for your beauty inspo, it’s clear from a glance at both that colour is the next big thing in beauty. They’re the colours that jump out to us and entice us, and we constantly see models wearing them (and looking great) in magazines, but knowing where (and how) to start can be the challenge.
Our on-trend techniques and favourite palette of bold, saturated colours that will make you rethink your everyday look in Technicolour. Pastels? For spring? Not if we have anything to say about it.
1. The Look: Rainbow eye
We’ve been conditioned to choose eyeshadows that complement one another, as well as our eye colour, but the magic of the rainbow eye look is the fact that it breaks all the rules and plays upon contrast. Choose colours that purposefully clash and enhance your skin tone rather than your eye colour.
Start by priming your lids (which will prevent colour from fading), then pat a gold shade all over your lids, concentrating the colour in the centre and inner corner. Next blend a blue or green shade (like Makeup Geek Martian) into the inner half of your crease and a pink or red shade (like Morphe Gossip Gurl) into the outer half. Use a small fluffy brush to carefully blend the colours into one another.
2. The Look: Under-eye liner
The lower lashline may be unchartered territory for many, but that’s because black liner beneath the eye is a difficult skill to master and often ends up making eyes look smaller and darker. Daring but wearable, use a coloured liner instead for definition with a playful twist that will really make your eye colour stand out.
Lightly sketch your liner across the lower lashline from corner to corner, then take a small smudge brush and blend from side to side, taking the colour downwards with each stroke. Use a cotton bud dipped in makeup remover to perfect the shape and ensure that both eyes are matching. For an even more eye-catching look, use two shades (I love pairing Milani Stay Put Matte Liquid Eyeliner in Safari Matte with Eye of Horus Goddess Pencil in Jewel Amethyst Purple) and blend them together to create a subtle ombre effect.
3. The Look: Two-tone lips
Bright lips have always been a classic, granted, but this season go double duty for a fun, modern twist. The dilemma of choosing between two lipstick shades is solved by combining both for a colour block effect that also serves to make your lips look extra full and pouty – the colour contrast makes lips look more three-dimensional.
Dab concealer on your lips to create a smooth, blank canvas, then use a lip brush to apply a bright pink to the upper lip, and a classic red to the bottom. I used Illamasqua’s Anti Matter Lipstick in Charge and Emani’s Hydrating Lipstick in Promiscuous – the perfect cool-toned combo. Layer up with a second coat for added staying powder, and don’t be tempted to press your lips together as you normally would to set colour. Instead place tissue over your lips and dust translucent powder on top.
4. The Look: Draped blusher
Just when you thought you’d mastered contouring, meet the new trend taking over your cheeks, and be relieved, because this one doesn’t involve three different brushes and a lengthy hunt for the perfect bronzer. Using intensely pigmented blush to chisel and sculpt, the draping technique makes your cheeks the focal point of your face, giving skin a bright, youthful-looking flush.
Sweep blusher from your temples and down onto the apples of your cheeks in a ‘C’ shape, pressing the pigment into your cheekbones as you would a contour product. Feather it out with a loose, fluffy brush to diffuse any harsh lines and soften the result for extra dimension. For intense colour with an added glow, use Jeffree Star’s Regina George to heighten the contours of your face. Alternatively, opt for Viseart’s Rose Coral Lush Palette and combine two or three shades for a multi-dimensional effect.
5. The Look: Colour block eyeshadow
If your colour palette is usually confined to beige, bronze, and taupe, consider this – traditional colour rules no longer apply, instead it’s all about bright, bold, shocking contrast. Rather than diffusing colour, or blending it into a neutral, practice the art of colour blocking, and pack colour onto your lids for a super saturated stand-out effect (just keep the rest of your makeup tame when wearing it).
For bright ‘look at me’ lids, press pigment on using a wet brush. Start by concentrating colour along your lashline then take it right up to the browbone, following the curve of your crease for a rounded effect. For an evening look, Coloured Raine’s Eyeshadow in Forbidden makes for a fresh alternative to a dark smoky eye, whereas a bright pink, like Milani’s Bella Eyes in Bella Fuschia will keep things bright and fun.
6. The Look: Eyeshadow as liner
You can find eyeshadows in just about every colour under the sun, but when it comes to eyeliner, shade ranges are notably less extensive. The easy remedy is to invest in a good angled eyeliner brush and use your favourite eyeshadow to concentrate colour along the lashline for a subtle yet impactful way to inject colour into an everyday look.
Blend eyeshadow primer over the lids to create a smooth and slightly adhesive base, then take a wet eyeliner brush, load it with pigment, tap off any excess, and apply right into the roots of the lashes. Press the colour on, rather than wiping it across, to keep the colour bold and even. Natasha Denona’s Mono Eyeshadow in Petroleum Blue and Makeup Geek’s Duochrome in Secret Garden are perfect for creating an eye-catching flick.