It’s officially wine o’clock in Pantone land, and incidentally many offices and homes across the globe. According to the colour authorities, the official colour of 2015 is Marsala, ‘a naturally robust and earthy wine red’ to you and me. I don’t see any reason, however, not to adopt Marsala inspired makeup for the last hooray of 2014 (let’s face it , Radiant Orchid was a tricky shade to carry off). You’ll likely be wearing red wine lips for most of the Christmas season anyway, you might as well make it a look. This rich, wintry hue is actually more flattering and alluring than you might initially presume, and it happens to blend seamlessly with the current 90s aesthetic doing the rounds. Think Kate Moss in her heyday cavorting with Johnny Depp possibly wearing a tiny backpack, spaghetti straps and a shag band, and you’re right on the Marsala money. If the en vogue and ‘in season’ argument doesn’t convince you, consider that wine has filtered it’s way into your skincare (all hail resveratrol ), so it’s about time that it made a splash in your makeup bag too. Even if you’re not drinking it, bring it along to the party. You’ll impress every guest, especially if you heed makeup artist Daniel Sandler ’s words of winey wisdom:
“Red wine colours are more versatile while dark purple wines are more dramatic. If you’ve got a medium to dark skin tone you can generally pull off most shades of wine lipstick- try my Luxury Matte Lipstick in Casablanca , £13.25. If you’ve got a pale complexion opt for lighter shades such as my Luxury Matte Lipstick in Valentina , £13.25.”
“As with any bright or bold coloured lipstick, stain or gloss, it’s always best to keep your complexion quite natural as far as makeup is concerned. A peach blush or bronzer, groomed eyebrows, and a coat of mascara are all you need. Such a dark lip colour can potentially wash you out so some colour on your cheeks is a necessity. You can play up this look for evening and tone it down for day by ensuring that you build colour gradually. This will also help to make sure that your lip colour lasts longer. Start with a single application of colour, then blot, and repeat. Do this a few times until you get the colour intensity you desire. For day I also recommend you apply lipstick with your finger for a much softer finish. Whether you're Jessica Alba or Anne Hathaway, wine is such a versatile shade!"
Here’s my Marsala-inspired wine guide. A few are a little spendy, but it is Christmas after all…
The creamy merlot mouth
Nourishing, moisturising lipstick formulations are especially forgiving during the winter months and as we age, and few serve up a better Bordeaux than Charlotte Tilbury. K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipstick in Night Crimson , £23, delivers bold, full bodied colour that’s packed with anti-oxidants, not unlike your typical vin rouge. This is burgundy beauty without the dry lipped, lippie outside the lines hangover. Add a gloss on top for extra pouty impact. The mistletoe season is short, people. Make the most of it.
The matte Marsala
A wine that’s great value with a lot of depth, Topshop Lipstick in Beguiled , £8, is soft, velvety and survives a canapé binge with aplomb. It blurs naturally over time instead of bleeding (it looks very Cindy Crawford circa her supermodel days) and is highly pigmented, despite costing mere pennies (sub £10 these days is a steal for such impressive colour payoff). It’s also packaged in a jolly, spangly pyramid. I think meant to look like a Christmas tree? Who knows, but I’d love to receive another one of these under mine.
The Shiraz stain
Normally Shiraz stains would provoke much stress and frenzied cleaning, but YSL Kiss & Blush in Prune Impertinente , £27, is a red wine tint that’s welcome to stick around. The heart shaped applicator creates a defined, plummy lip, and it works particularly well as a blusher on dark skins. Blur well with fingers to create a transparent veil of claret colour.
The Cabernet cheek
Make like Bianca Jagger and embrace rich, russet contouring (tread with caution if, like me, you’re closer to transparent on the skintone scale). Sheer, luminous and a lot less scary than it looks, Tom Ford Cheek Colour in Ravish , £46, is as sexy a flush as its name implies. Build up colour slowly and keep eyes and lips pared back for statement makeup that’s impactful and unexpected.
The vintage liner
Black Honey is Clinique’s top selling lip colour, but I suggest you give it whirl as a liner. Step away from the noir and consider defining your eyes with this cult classic instead. Clinique Brush-On Cream Liner in Black Honey , £16.50, makes every eye colour sparkle, something that you’ll be grateful for come the 12th day of Christmas, and can be built up into a full-on smokey eye in seconds, making it the ideal wine to accompany actual post-work drinks.
The metallic Marsala
Metallics were the shining glory of A/W 14 catwalks. Take inspiration from eyecatching mulberries mouths at Rodarte and aubergine hued liner at Thakoon by smudging Maybelline Eye Studio Colour Tattoo 24hr Cream Gel Shadow in Metallic Pomegranate , £4.99, over lids and into the lashline. This look is especially seductive if you have blue or green eyes- Kristen Stewart is your eye-con (apologies) in this case.
The opaque Pinot
For eye makeup that’s a little more edgy, buff on Nars Matte Eye Shadow in New York , £18. Matte was all the rage in the era of mood rings and ‘Rachel’ hair, and seeing as all things 90s are making a comeback, the time to make eyes at matte Marsala is nigh. This Nars number is a smooth operator that will make eyes smoulder. You’ll look like the coolest girl in class; Clueless’ Cher would adopt you immediately, no makeover required.
The two-in-one wine
Prefer a smudgy pencil liner? Urban Decay Naked 24/7 Glide-On Double Ended Eyeliner in Naked 3 , £12, is seductive yet natural, much like your chat after a few glasses of Malbec no doubt. It’s blendable yet doesn’t budge an inch until you remove it, and the bronzed mauve shade is subtle enough for daytime wear and smoking hot when built up.
The Marsala Mascara
This combo doesn’t just please me because it rhymes- a splosh of wine on the tips of lashes is playful with a hint of sulky 90s attitude (channel All Saints). It makes green and hazel eyes look huge, and is a no faff, no fuss way to up the Christmas makeup ante without actually doing much or trying too hard. Sweep Dior Diorshow Extase Instant Oversize Volume Mascara in Plum Extase , £24.50, lightly over the lashes for less-is-more beauty that will attract many lingering glances.