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7th February 2017

Purple’s playmate

In an effort to embrace a more adventurous make-up palette, we examine the pros and cons of using purple and its complementary colour, yellow

Many of us resolutely stick to our favourite make-up palettes: it’s comforting, easy and we know what looks good. In retaliation of complacency and laziness, I decided to break free from my safety zone and set myself what I assumed to be a relatively easy New Year’s resolution, to experiment with my make-up. So inspired by a friend whose large green eyes blaze beautifully when rimmed with purple eye shadow, I chose my starting point: purple.

I should confess now that when it comes to make-up, I’m about as lazy as they come: if I can get away with a tinted moisturiser for foundation I will, I haven’t owned a bronzer since my freebie from Cosmo smashed in Year 12, and I’ve used the same solitary make-up brush since I was 17. My make-up lethargy will hardly change overnight, but I’m taking it one step at a time.

My first encounter with purple make-up came in the form of a roll-on grape scented lilac eye shadow around the age of seven, so it’s about time to reattempt the shade. After an exasperating and disastrous first, second and third attempt at a smokey purple eye, I almost threw in the face towel. I reassured myself with thinking that maybe it’s just an artistic gift some people are born with. However, not quite willing to give up, I turned to make-up enthusiasts to acquire some patience and skill. Unsurprisingly they did not disappoint, and I first learnt that when you apply purple to your face, you must inevitably dance with purple’s ever-present playmate: yellow.

The first top-tip I discovered is to master a pale purple before attempting a dark purple smokey eye. Using purples and blacks might give you an air of mystery but the gloomy hues will undoubtedly rub off on your mood should you mess up. Instead, first embrace purple with its happier friend: place purple eye shadow on your underbrow and use a subtle golden yellow on the lid, giving a vibrant and brightening make-up look. The two work in perfect harmony.

However whilst purple and yellow mostly go hand-in-hand, yellow will happily use purple for its own gains. Take purple shampoo for instance; it’s a favourite styling technique to give blonde hair a lightening lift. The shampoo is designed to take the brassy tones away but beware — purple will slyly get its own back if overused, and you may go more silvery grey than honey blonde.

As with many friendships, purple and yellow can be the greatest of friends but sometimes this gives way to a tumultuous relationship. A prime example comes in the form of lipstick. Should you use a purple with bluer undertones, it will give your smile some extra shine, but apply a purple lipstick with a yellower undertone and those pearly whites will show up any yellowish imperfections.

Therefore whilst embracing this often blossoming friendship, it’s worth staying weary of their occasional conflicts. Yellow isn’t always mellow; it prefers the limelight and might work against you should it not gain the attention it desires. Purple however will happily share the stage with its playmate and it’s best to embrace the two together for optimum results.

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