5 Reasons To Give Purple Makeup A Chance This Summer

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Purple is the color of plums, the best Gatorade flavor, the bottom of the rainbow, and anything Prince-related. And, it can be an incredibly flattering makeup shade if you choose the right color and placement. You've seen it all over the red carpet and on the runway, and it's clearly a hot color for summer makeup. Of course, you don't have to cover your eyes, cheeks, and lips with it if you're more of a minimalist with summer cosmetics. You can highlight a single feature or give yourself a pop of color. You can even use it as a light corrective to counteract sallowness in skin with yellow undertones. 


Purple has been the color of status in the past, in places like the Byzantine Empire, Japan, and ancient Rome. Today, red carpet royalty has certainly been wearing the color a lot lately. The Oscars red carpet spotlighted nominee Angela Bassett in a lovely mauve lip. At the BAFTAs, Jodie Turner-Smith showed off a show-stopping violet statement eye while Selena Gomez went with a more subtle plum shadow at the Golden Globes. 

But the look isn't just for stars with pro makeup artists on-hand. With the gamut of shades, purple is an easier color to wear than you might think. Let's take a look at all the different ways you can update your maquillage for the summer months. 

Makes cheeks glow with a pop of purple

Let's dive into the deep end of the purple pool with possibly the hardest makeup item to pull off. Blush can certainly be used as a dramatic accent, but if you want to be subtle and look as if you have naturally rosy cheeks, purple might be intimidating. It doesn't have to be! You might want to consider a cream or gel blush like About Face Cheek Freak Blush Balm in Score. It goes on smoothly and has more of a lilac than a blue-based tone. You can use it sparingly on the apples of your cheeks if you have fair skin and be a little more aggressive if you have darker skin. 


On the powder side of things, you're going to get a little more pigment than you do with cream. One lovely shade is Skin Mimetic Microsuede Blush from Make in Galactic, which is a deep pinky plum. For purple powders, make sure you use a soft brush and tap it against your hand to get the excess off. If you find that some of the pigment is sticking more in certain places, just give your cheeks a quick swipe with translucent powder before you apply the blush. Definitely try the powder on your inner forearm first so you can get a sense of how much color it's leaving behind.

When it comes to blush, the biggest trick to going purple is choosing the right shade and warmth. If you've got pink undertones in your skin, try to stay in the pinker tones like Kulfi Beauty Mehndi Moment Blush in Lucky Lotus. If you're more on the golden or olive side, you can be a little more daring with something like Nudestix Nudies Matte Cream Blush in Moodie Blu


Purple eyeshadow can be subtle or dramatic

From the most difficult to one of the easiest — eyeshadow. Traditionally we see a lot of purples on green eyes, which brings them out beautifully. However, the hue can work for all eye colors. Purples and plums can give a boost to grey or blue eyes. Any purple is going to make hazel eyes look especially dramatic. Pairing purple with brown colors, is lovely, and any shade of purple can complement them. 


Purple can support both soft and dramatic looks. For a pop on the eyes, Mac's Dazzleshadow is a bright shimmering lilac that looks great all over the lid. Or, a lavender shimmer like Revlon's ColorStay Crème Eyeshadow in Black Currant will give you a soft, silvery hint of purple. For a deeper yet subtle look, Lisa Eldridge has a great plum palette in Myth with neutrals and a subtle deep plum. You can use the pale shade all over the eyes and do a blended "V" in the outer corner of your eye with the plum for depth.

Purple pigment can be a little challenging to blend, so experiment and practice with it well before a big event. It can also be a little difficult to clean off, so make sure to use a gentle makeup remover on your eyes so you're not tugging on the delicate skin. Before you wear purple — especially on the eye area — for the first time, give it a skin test by putting some on the inside of your wrist and letting it sit. Some people have allergies to a common red dye that comes from the cochineal beetle, which is sometimes used in purples and pinks. So, it's always best to be sure before you head out the door. 


Think outside the box with purple eyeliner and mascara

Another easy way to get purple on your pretty face is eyeliner. Stay away from the more red-based colors if you don't want to look tired. One idea is It Cosmetics' Superhero No-Tug Sharpenable Gel Eyeliner in Powerful Plum. You can cover the whole eyelid with a similar color shadow or just do the liner alone or with a peach shimmer. If you want a bright shade and are afraid to do too much, try caramel or brown eyeshadow and line your eyes with liquid black or brown on the top — winged is great here. Then draw the bright purple (a pencil liner will glide over the liquid) directly above the black so you can see the color, but still have defined eyes. Purple-winged liner alone is also very dramatic, and it's absolutely worth a shot if you're not shy about color. 


You can also use purple-colored mascara, but if you don't want it to look like you have little bug legs on your eyes, do one coat of black and use purple at the tips or just on the lower lashes over eyeliner. If you want the full grapey experience, a bluer purple mascara like Shiseido's ControlledChaos MascaraInk in Violet Blue is a great one to make a bold statement on the entire lash.

Complete your make-up look with purple lips

So what lip color do you wear with these wild purple shades? If you go with a bluer purple on the eyes, doubling it on the lips might be a bit much. You can opt for a pretty plum or sheer grape like the classic Clinique Black Honey. You can also use sheer caramel or plumy brown lip gloss against a strong eye for a softer look. The thing about purple is that there are so many wearable shades from reddish plums to blue-based violets to soft lilacs — the sky is the limit.


There are plenty of ways to adjust the color as well. You can take a deep purple gloss like Sephora Collection Ultra Shine Lip Gloss in Rock Purple and layer a vivid chrome gloss over black lipstick for a big impact. For a softer look, you can do a sheer lavender shimmer gloss alone or use it to tone down a purple that's too bright. You can even blend a bright purple lip color with a caramel pencil to make it more subtle. If you do end up buying a color that is too blue or too strong for you, use a shimmery gold or peach gloss on top to calm it down.

Purple highlights have multiple perks

What if you're not feeling brave quite yet? Highlighter is a way to get purple in there without making yourself look overdone. It can also tone down a yellow skin tone in loose powder form like Bésame Cosmetics Violet Translucent Powder if you're looking for something corrective. As celebrity makeup artist Neil Scibelli tells PopSugar, "Purple highlighter can instantly add life into your makeup look and counteract any ashy or grey tones in your complexion."


Scibelli also mentions that the icy tones in the purple family reflect light. So, this is your chance to look like a magic fairy princess. You can use a pale lavender shimmer like Maybelline New York Facestudio Master Holographic Prismatic Highlighter Makeup in 100 on the cheekbones for pale plum shimmer. You can use it under the eyebrows, the outside of the eyes, and as a dusting on the tops of cheekbones. 

If you have another eyeshadow color on, like a brown or soft gray, you can put a dot of purple highlight (lightly blended) in the center of your eyelid, right above the lashes. Light, shimmery shades work well here, and since you can only see them when you blink, it adds a subtle peek of bling.