Do you love the colourful makeup looks you see in magazines and on social media, but feel completely clueless as how to pull it off yourself? You’re not alone. While the majority of us are quick to fall in love with a bright eyeliner or colourful smokey eye we saw on Instagram, our makeup drawers are usually filled with (mostly) nudes and neutrals. The truth is, there is no reason to be frightened of brighter and bolder colours.
It is possible to introduce a bit of colour without looking like a Christmas tree – we promise! And we’re not just talking party makeup. The right colour, when used appropriately, is totally office‐friendly. The key to pulling off colourful makeup is to focus colour in one area only. So if you’re wearing a bright pink or orange lip, keep your eyes and complexion subtle. If you’re wearing colours on your eyes, wear a nude lip colour and a soft shade of blush. Colour should be a focal point, and colours should never compete. Here’s our guide on how to pull off colourful makeup when you’re only used to neutrals.
Eyes Wearing colour makeup on your eyes enhances your eye colour, which could make your entire complexion look brighter. The subtlest way to introduce colourful eye makeup is to line your top lash line with a colour eyeliner. A single line is fun and summery, and because it’s clean and slick there’s no way for it to be over the top. The most skin‐tone‐friendly shades are blue, green and purple, but there are plenty of colour options on the market. If you can’t find an eyeliner in your desired shade, you can use eyeshadow. Wet your liner brush and swirl it in your powder eyeshadow to create a paste‐like consistency.
Carefully draw it on like you would a gel eyeliner. Tip: white eyeliner looks incredible on dark skin! Try wet n wild Color Icon Khol Liner Pencil in The Snow Must Go On (R24.95). Swapping out your nude eyeshadow for colour eyeshadows is much simpler than it may seem. If the straight transition from nude to colour is too much for you, opt for a gradual transition – you can introduce a soft mauve or olive green (both look great when paired with nude colours, by the way), at first, and gradually ease your way into brighter colours. If you love a smokey eye (be it black and charcoal or a nude and brown variant), you can quite easily introduce some colour. In fact, we’ve seen a major uptake in purple smokey eyes on the runways.
Essentially, you would create your smokey eye like normal, but instead of using various shades of black or brown, you’d opt for various shades of blue, purple, or whichever colour you like. The new wet n wild 10 Pan Eyeshadow Palettes (R169.95) are a great place to start, because they offer a mix of matte and shimmer shades, in nude and accent colours. Call Me Sunshine has beautiful warm gold and bronze shades, making it a great option for a summery smokey eye, while Heart & Sol offers pretty peach, pink and purple shades. For a pastel dream‐come‐true, we recommend wet n wild 5 Pan Eyeshadow Palette (R119.95) in Petalette which features five gorgeous pastel purples. For flawless eye makeup application, we recommend the Real Techniques Everyday Essential Eye Brush Set (R499.99). With seven new brushes and a metal lash separator, this kit has your every eye makeup need covered.
No eye makeup look is complete without a few lashings of your favourite mascara. Try the new wet n wild Big Poppa Mascara (R154.95), a volumizing, lengthening and intensely black mascara for outrageous volume, length and lift. Lips To pull off a colourful lip, it’s important to keep your lips soft and hydrated, as colour emphasizes dryness and flakiness. Give your lips a gentle weekly scrub to remove dry skin cells, and apply a hydrating lip balm daily. When you choose your new lipstick, find a formulation that’s nourishing and moisturising, so that it keeps the skin soft and plump. A bright or dark lipstick requires more maintenance than a nude, as smudges and bleeding will be more prominent. Keep your lipstick and a little pocket mirror on you, so that you can touch up after meals or throughout the day as required. They say there is a perfect red for every complexion, and we believe it! If you don’t know where to start, try this simple guide: Fair skin tones can wear a bright red for a bold pop of colour and usually look best when matched with cool reds or berry reds with blue undertones.
Medium skin tones are possibly the most versatile when it comes to picking a red lipstick, as both cool and warm reds will be complementary, but bear in mind that corals and orange‐reds might make the skin appear dull. Darker skin tones look fantastic when matched with fiery and vibrant reds, but pull off wine reds and shades of berry too. For a high shine finish, try wet n wild Megalast High Shine Lipstick (R99.95) in Crimson Crime or Fire Fighting, and for a matte finish, try wet n wild Megalast Matte Lipstick (R99.95) in Sexpot Red or Red Velvet. If you’re not quite ready for red, start with a pink‐ish colour a few shades darker than your natural lip colour.
Once you’re used to that, you can experiment with striking shades of pink, berry, red and coral. wet n wild Megalast Stained Glass Lip Gloss (R139.95) in Handle With Care and Magic Mirror are a good place to start. Face If you wear a neutral blush (or none at all), it’s time to consider a pop of colour. Pink is the most popular shade, but pale shades of peach, coral and berry are great summer options too. If you’re not too keen on blush, why not invest in a shimmery highlighter or bronzer? Powder formulations are the easiest to master if you’re a beginner. Tip: If your blush, bronzer or highlighter is shimmery, pair it with a matte eyeshadow or eyeliner rather than a shimmery eyeshadow, to avoid sparkle‐overload. Try wet n wild Megaglo Highlighting Powder (R109.95) for a pretty pearlescent finish in an easily blendable formula or wet n wild MegaGlo Blushlighter (R129.95), a pressed‐powder duo that highlights, sculpts and defines in one application. The Real Techniques Everyday Essentials Brush Set (R599.00) contains all the tools you need for expert makeup application, including a Miracle Complexion Sponge, Setting Brush, Expert Face Brush, Deluxe Crease Brush and Blush Brush that can easily be used for bronzer and highlighter too.
Nails Here is where you can go all out. Your nails offer the perfect opportunity to play with colour (bear in mind that dark or bright colours look best on short, neatly rounded nails). If your office has a strict dress code, you might want to stick to pastel shades (think soft lavenders, mints and peaches), and leave the brights and neons for your toes. If you don’t feel comfortable rocking a bright colour on your hands, consider it for your next pedicure instead. Try wet n wild Wild Shine Nail Colour (R35.95) in Be More Pacific (a beautiful aqua), Ready To Propose (a glamourous gold) or Red Red (an elegant, everyday red).
For a salon‐quality manicure you can achieve at home, without any mess or fuss, we recommend Kiss Impress Press‐On Manicure. Available in two ranges: Colour (R139.95; solid colours in every season’s hottest shades) and Design (R149.95; subtle but striking nail art designs including glitter and patterns), these press‐on nails give you the gel look with a super comfortable fit. Plus, no glue is needed, you just press on and go, making them ultra‐convenient