How To Rock Purple On Your Lids, Lips, & Tips

Every spring we see a deluge of purple makeup hit counters, and every year women avoid those pretty shadows, liners, and lip colors like the plague. What gives? Plum, lilac, violet, and aubergine are all shades that are supremely flattering on a wide variety of skin tones, and yet you shun them.
To hell with that ladies — your fear of purple ends today. Here, you’ll find three drop-dead gorgeous new ways to wear purple this season, plus creative tips from makeup artist Marie Barokas on how to rock this bold hue without looking like Barney's distant cousin.
Photographed by Shawn Brackbill, Makeup and manicures by Marie Barokas, Hair by Bella Guillen at John Barrett, Model Yamilca Ortiz at New York Model Management
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While it might not seem that way at first glance, purple is actually one of the most flattering shades of makeup — it legitimately looks good on every skin tone. So, why is everyone so scared of it?

"When people think of purple, they think of a bright color, but they forget that it is offered in many shades and textures," says Barokas. "Even the brightest purple can be applied lightly for a soft wash of color. From lilac to neon purples, there is a shade for everyone."

On Yamilca: Won Hundred Fande Shirt, $207 available at Gargyle.

Photographed by Shawn Brackbill
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The eyes in particular are a great place to play with purple, mainly because there are so many variations you can try. We liked the idea of sculpting a graphic cat-eye using eyeshadow, so Barokas covered the lid with a primer (to help the shadow stick), then used a firm shadow brush to apply Make Up For Ever eyeshadow in #9 from the lash line to the crease.

To create the wing, use an angled brush and, with your eye open, make a slanted line starting from the outer corner of the eye, extending it slightly out and above the lid. Connect the corner of the line and bring it up toward the inner part of the brow and back down to connect with the inner corner of the eye. Fill in any bare spots with the purple shadow. If you are having problems creating a precise line, Barokas recommends applying a small piece of tape at the outer corner of your eye to use as a guide.

Add some extra definition by applying Yves Saint Laurent Eyeliner Effet Faux Cils in Cherry Black along the upper lash line, all the way to the outer edge of the eye. Finish the look off with a couple coats of mascara. Try Estée Lauder Sumptuous Two Tone Eye-Opening Mascara in Bold Black/Rich Plum — cover your top lashes with the black and the lower lashes with the plum. If this eye look is a little too daring for you, Barokas says to skip the shadow and just do the winged liner and mascara — the effect will be more subtle, but will still embrace the trend.

Photographed by Shawn Brackbill
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If you're a total newbie to violet, it's a good idea to dip your, fingers into the trend with something simple like purple nail polish. Fortunately, there's no shortage of shades to adorn your tips with. We're particularly fond of moody, shimmery plums and ladylike lilacs this season. Here, we used Inglot Nail Enamels in shades #150, #947, #853, #940, and #833.

On Yamilca: Joe Fresh Scuba Tee, $39, available at Joe Fresh.

Photographed by Shawn Brackbill
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An ombré mani is another cool way to wear the trend if you want to get creative. Instead of shelling out for a boatload of polishes, Barokas recommends mixing your own colors.

"Most beauty supply stores carry empty nail polish bottles for all your blending needs," she says. "Simply take your darkest polish and add it to your lightest to create a second shade." Continue adding purple to your lighter shades to create more variations.

Barokas recommends creating each shade one by one and says not to shake the bottle — this will just create bubbles and make your polish thicker and harder to work with. Instead, roll the bottles between your hands to blend.

Photographed by Shawn Brackbill
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We've already pleaded our case for why you should embrace purple lipstick, but just in case you need more convincing, Barokas says, "Purple is not a far leap from pink when you think about it. Some purples are warmer and others are more cool, but a true purple encompasses both warm and cool tones, so in fact, you can think of it as a neutral."

On Yamilca: Won Hundred Hali Sweater, $276, available at Castor and Pollux.

Photographed by Shawn Brackbill
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To get this pretty pout, begin by muting out your natural lip color with foundation. Take a lip liner close to the shade of lipstick you will be using and fill in your lips, starting in the center and going all the way to the outer edges. This will prevent any bleeding and provide long-wear coverage. "If you are having difficulty choosing the right purple lipstick shade for you," says Barokas, "a true violet like MAC's Lipstick in Heroine is flattering on all skin tones."

Another cool idea, which we copped from Milly's spring '12 show, was to pair your lipstick with a contrasting but still complementary nail polish. In this case, we used Estée Lauder Pure Color Nail Lacquer in Ultra Violet — a moodier hue that makes the femininity of the violet lips really stand out.

Photographed by Shawn Brackbill

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