Beauty: Blue is the hue

By Janetta Mackay

Try a cool new ocean-inspired look for the warmer days ahead.

Chanel 2012 spring-summer haute couture. Photo / Supplied
Chanel 2012 spring-summer haute couture. Photo / Supplied

Summer makeup is usually about golden glow and sun-kissed shades, but this season there's a noticeably cooler feel in the air. From strong azure and turquoise to teals tending to sea-foam greens, the on-trend shades still speak of the seaside, but it's about subtle depths rather than glimmer and glitz.

These oceanic offerings can be toned down with soft lip and cheek colours or lifted with a pop of bright lipstick or nail polish, especially when the sun's strong light emerges to offer a counterbalance.

To make cooler blue and green tones look inviting, the trick is to keep skin fresh and clean, and to focus attention primarily on the eye, outlined beneath a groomed brow.

Typifying this is the image we saw from Chanel's 2012 spring-summer haute couture show, which underpinned its Blue Illusion makeup collection, recently launched in Australia but sadly not coming to New Zealand.

Chanel assures me the look can be recreated from the permanent makeup range and I've noticed plenty of similar shades from other brands tuning into the new blue.

If despite this illustration, the thought of applying blue eyeshadow makes you shudder, then you're probably as old as me and remember its excessive use in that decade of excess, the 1980s. Or you may have warmer colouring and figure it won't suit your skin tone.

Think again. Blue, or variations on it, running from silver and steel through to greener tints, can be colour-matched to most people and needn't look garish.

One of my favourite looks is the sophisticated contrast of brown eyes outlined in deep blue.

My green-blue eyes or mid-to-light blue eyes look better rimmed with a complementary shade a little darker or more intense than the natural eye colour. (I've been wearing a gel liner from Bobbi Brown called Cobalt Ink, which is quite enlivening). A navy liner is less harsh than black and makes paler eyes really stand out.

Turquoise is an option that can work with both cool and warm eye colours.

Bright lip tones remain a fashion statement, but are best used with more neutral eye shades than those we are enjoying here.

1. MOR Lip Macaron in Sorbet $14.99

The colour is all on the outside of the tin, but it is such a nice match to our theme that we couldn't help including it, and everyone needs a lip balm in summer.

2. Chanel Le Crayon Khol in Marine $50

Pencil your eyes to inky attraction with a key item used by Peter Philips to craft the Chanel Blue Illusion look on this page.

3. Lancome Artliner in Purple $68

There's also blue and green versions of these fast-drying, fine felt-tip pens which are an easy way to impart a metallic outline to the eye, but the indigo purple gives smokier depth.

4. Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua compact foundation $121

The Vitalumiere foundation formula translates its lightweight look and silky feel from liquid to a compact version that is a super stylish way to touch up.

5. Estee Lauder Sumptuous Two Tone Eye-Opening Mascara in Bold Black/Rich Blue $89

Use the bigger black brush on your upper lashes and add a little colour to lower lashes with the finer brush, in this trick that Estee Lauder's creative makeup director Tom Pecheux has brought from working on models backstage.

"Using two different shades works together to really open up the eyes," he says. Lauder has some piercing blues in its Pure Colour Eyeshadows ($49).

6. Lancome Le Regard Pro Brow Expertise Kit $68

Use the light colour to outline your arch after defining your brow by mixing the right match from three shades of brown powder, which can also be used on the eyelid. The palette contains tweezers to complete your grooming kit and there's a separate brow shaper gel ($28) available.

7. Bobbi Brown Longwear Cream Shadow in Blue Moon $57

Limited edition turquoise shade from a collection called Desert Twilight that does a fine job of mixing a colour jolt into a warm landscape of shades inspired by the American Southwest.

8. Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Ultra Lipstick in Rose Aurora $52

A new shade named after Arden's limited life spring-summer collection in covetable rose gold metallic packaging, including a warm-toned bronzing powder.

9. L'Oreal Colour Riche Le Vernis in Perle de Jade $9.99

From inky dark Rebel Blue through chambray-inspired French Riveria, L'Oreal's small-sized Colour Riche collection has the spectrum sorted.

- NZ Herald

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