Thursday 8 December 2016

Beauty panel: Shades of Spooky

A dip into deep purple is a grown-up way to give a nod to Halloween without looking a fright

Sarah Caden

Published 26/10/2015 | 02:30

Pictured, from left, Mac Matte Lipstick in Eugenie; Lancome Artliner in Amethyst; Giorgio Armani Nail Polish in Mauve Eclipse; YSL Couture Mono High-Impact Colour Eye Shadow in Caftan; Estee Lauder Pure Colour Envy Liquid Lip Potion in True Liar. Photo: Kip Carroll.
Pictured, from left, Mac Matte Lipstick in Eugenie; Lancome Artliner in Amethyst; Giorgio Armani Nail Polish in Mauve Eclipse; YSL Couture Mono High-Impact Colour Eye Shadow in Caftan; Estee Lauder Pure Colour Envy Liquid Lip Potion in True Liar. Photo: Kip Carroll.

Halloween has now gone the way of Christmas - starting early, seeming to last forever, and being as much for the adults as for the children.

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It would seem that the generation who endured Halloween before the arrival of face paints and proper, shop-bought costumes are desperate to make up for their deprived childhoods. There was a time when we used to laugh at Yanks saying that Halloween was their favourite holiday. Now, we're nearly worse than them, and Halloween is an annual event upon which inordinate hours of adult time, money and preparation are spent. Frankly, it's a bit embarrassing. We're not beyond a little spooky darkness in our face-paint boxes, though, and, as luck would have it, deep purple is quite the thing this autumn.

Purple can make you look undead, if you wear it like it's 1986, so we suggest you play safe. Our top favourite is a high-impact purple lipstick, which looks dramatic and daring with a porcelain face and sharp eyeliner. The more glossy lip option, however, is easier to wear; while purple eyeliner, or our chosen eye shadow as a contour colour, or just some devilishly dark nails, can hit just the right, subtly spooky note.

Best Overall

Mac Matte Lipstick in Eugenie, €20, Brown Thomas and BT2

Mac describe this as a "dark cherry with blue undertone". It's that alright. It's very deep, and the blue makes it borderline grape, and also kind to your teeth. As in, it makes them look very white. It's one of four dramatic limited-edition lipsticks inspired by the fashion designer, Giambattista Valli, and it's very fitting for the week that's in it. Your skin will look extra pale; your pout will be borderline Gothic. "One isn't wearing much make-up with a mouth like this," one panellist said. "Your foundation has to be perfect, but if you add anything more, you are into dressing-up territory."

Best Plum Line

Lancome Artliner in Amethyst, €28.50, Lancome counters nationwide

A purple eye liner, unless it's black-purple, is never going to have maximum impact. The colour of this is really nice, though, particularly with blue or green eyes, but you have to up the ante of it with a lot of black mascara. It's slightly sparkly, and is good as part of a brown-toned or purple-toned smokey eye. "I like to put this over a black pencil liner," a panellist said. "You get the purple and the sparkle and drama that way."

Best Mauve Mani

Giorgio Armani Nail Polish in Mauve Eclipse, €24, Brown Thomas Dublin and Cork

This is for the cowards among you, who keep trends to your talons, where they are easy to hide and no great commitment. But they still make you feel on top of things when you get a glimpse of them. This inky purple has shimmer through it, which means that a great glossiness will last a long time. It's a limited-edition colour. "A nice wide brush makes for easy application," one panellist said. "This matters with dark polish, or you can end up with a manky-looking mani."

Best Autumn Eyes

YSL Couture Mono High-Impact Colour Eye Shadow in Caftan, €31, YSL counters nationwide

If you are truly brave, you'll make a smoky eye of this - bring it all the way down to your upper lashes and then blend like bejesus. More likely, though, you'll work it into the crease, and wear it alongside some of your tried-and-tested favourites. It's gorgeous either way. This line of single-colour shadows is all about intensity and loads of pigment. They're not for the faint-hearted, and you need to have blending ability to make this one work. "A fantastically true purple," said one panellist. "It's clean, bright and not at all plummy."

Best Purple Pout

Estee Lauder Pure Colour Envy Liquid Lip Potion in True Liar, €24, Estee Lauder counters nationwide

These Lip Potions go on very smoothly, like a very creamy lip gloss; but they settle down to be something different, more like a stay-put lip stain. But while glosses can be sticky, and stay-put lip stains can be drying, this is neither. It's very nice, with lots of intense colour and longevity. This shade is the deep-pink side of purple. "The texture makes this wearable," said a panellist. "It's very flattering against my pale skin."

Email thepanel@independent.ie

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