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The Makeup Maniac: Marble effect makeup

June 30th 2016 / Anna Hunter / 1 comment


This week I’m losing my marbles over this lot…

Some products hook you in on eye candy appeal alone, and the latest crop of swirly whirly, galaxy-esque makeup is hypnotic in its allure. Multi-tonal, multidimensional, prismatic and ever so pretty, tie-dye colour and light-reflective splatters make this arty take on makeup particularly refreshing amongst a generic lineup of nudes. That being said, while the following palettes and paints may look a bit psychedelic, often their finishes are more subtle than their bog standard counterparts. Here’s how a bit of marbling can work in your favour…

Ironically, marbled makeup can help to unify your complexion. Blending a combination of complimentary tones together helps to create a flattering, rather than stark, wash of colour. The best marbled offerings (see below) allow you to apply colour evenly, or isolate a particular shade with a brush if you want to achieve a particular look or neutralise any unwanted undertones. Marbled= multitasking.

A bit of marbling can make you look alive. A hint of radiance enhancing shimmer ribboned through a warm blusher or bronzer can make all the difference between ‘blah’ and beaming, for the most part making contouring, strobing, highlighting and all the rest relatively redundant. Ditto with lipstick- two harmonious shades combined make for ‘can’t quite put your finger on it’ magic.

Marbled makeup means a more streamlined makeup bag. Pick up a bit of sheeny powder to use as shadow, select just one tone from a lip colour or use lighter tones as a more ‘standout’ highlighter. When one product does the hard work, you’re winning.

Marbled makeup suits most skintones. As marbled powders, sticks and liquids are principally ‘effect’ led, in that it’s not all about a solid colour, the hybrid hues that marbling offers mean that most adapt to a large range of skintones. Obviously there are exceptions and often brands offer a lineup of shade options, but the fact that marbling in its essence plays with light and colour means that one product can work for many a person.

Marbling makes troubleshooting a whole lot easier. Large pores, fines lines and dullness can all recede in the face of a finely milled, light reflective rainbow powder, primer or corrector. See my previous column on colour correcting to work out the colour family you need to even out particular issues (i.e, redness, sallowness) and go from there. In the case of marbled makeup, it generally blurs out what’s bugging you with minimal cakiness and no need for heavy handed application, as it tricks the eye into thinking your skin is smooth/ bright/ even toned. In short, marbling may look a bit wishy washy, but it can work wonders when put to task.

No two marbled products look alike. What you’ve got in your hand is a one-off beauty marvel. Treasure it.

Powdered marble makeup is very often baked. Sounds delicious, and means that its undulating pigments were originally in cream form before being ‘cooked’ to create a solid product. As such, baked powders are often more silky than their regular, drier powdered cousins, and pigment payoff is normally enhanced. They should also last you longer, and adapt well to being applied wet (ideal for eyeliner application).

Four marbelous (sorry) examples…

Hourglass Ambient® Lighting Blush, £32, and Bronzer, £42

The original and still the best as far as marbled powders go, these cosmic compacts give skin a coveted ‘lit from within’ glow, while also delivering a veil of realistic colour. If flat, muddy colour is your beauty bugbear, investing in a bit of Ambient® Lighting will pay dividends.


Marc Jacobs Cover(t) Stick Colour Corrector, £28

The prettiest Pritt stick you ever will see, this push-up neutraliser takes care of everything from sallowness to dark spots, depending on which of the three marbleised correctors you go for. Bright Now (pictured) doesn’t necessarily ‘cover’ as the name suggests, but it is indeed covert, smoothing over skin in thin layers to make skin look healthier, rather than suffocated by makeup. The soft silicone stick acts as a primer, keeping any makeup you add to mix in place.


Bareminerals Invisible Light Translucent Powder Duo, £28, launches 7th July

With ‘matte’ and ‘glow’ in one place, you needn’t cart your whole complexion arsenal around with you; these two will do the job nicely, and in a low key fashion. If you’re expecting supreme oil-sapping power or dazzling highlighter, you may be disappointed, but the light as air setting option and ethereal glow giver hit the ‘no makeup makeup’ nail on the head.


Illamasqua Lava Lips in Activist, £19.50

Appropriately named for the current political situation, Activist, unlike the others in this marble medley, is anything but muted. What it lacks in delicacy, it makes up for in, well, fun. A purpley pink that is surprisingly wearable, it’s said to look different each time it’s worn, which is a welcome switch up from a ‘nude lip’. The satin finish and rich, intense pigment add to its credentials.


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