An Ocean of Optimism

25th January 2019

Attitudes towards the pinky-orange shade of coral, once seen as slightly old-fashioned, have undergone a sea-change: coral is now lauded by fashion and beauty influencers as one of ‘the’ colours of the year. Lisa Botwright finds out more…

Coral is set to be huge this season. This warm and vibrant shade will be seen all over spring/summer fashion collections (as presented on the catwalks last autumn), and is a clear favourite in the new season’s makeup launches. Tellingly, ‘living coral’ has been picked as Pantone’s 2019 colour of the year; a selection process that sees ‘colour experts’ (what a job!) combing global influences within entertainment, fashion, art, travel and design. The digital colour brand, famous for its ground-breaking colour matching service, claims living coral represents ‘the fusion of modern life…a nurturing colour that appears in our natural surroundings and at the same time, displays a lively presence within social media’. Moreover, that it symbolises ‘our innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits’.

There’s nothing wrong with a bit of optimism on a grey day in January or February, and the new makeup collections showcasing coral in all its hues are definitely speaking to my innate need for joyful pursuits. Take Sisley’s ‘Orchidée’ palette with its floral design of golden and coral-pink petals on a golden peach backdrop (pictured left). If you can bear to disturb its oh-so-pretty design, swirl over all three shades with a large blusher brush, and apply either on your cheeks, or all over the face, to create a flattering but subtle, luminous glow; much more winter-friendly than a bronzer.

Coral is a spectrum of colour from a deep reddish to a pale pinkish shade of orange, inspired by the vibrancy of the coral reef. It’s universally flattering, providing you find a shade that works with your skin tone. Cooler-toned skin works well with pinky-peach colours, while those with warmer tones can experiment with deep and bright corals, even working towards tangerine and orange shades, for a really fresh and modern look.

Try pairing Bobbi Brown’s rich and creamy luxe lip colour – a range of lipsticks they call their ‘boldest, most vibrant colours ever’ – in Soft Coral, with Jessica Nail’s classic polish in Confident Coral. Keep everything else subtle and neutral to showcase this cheerful colour pop. For a more subtle and radiant finish, blend the golden highlighter and peach blush of Clarins’ ingenious blush highlighter duo.

Uplifting, easy to wear and on trend – coral ticks all the beauty boxes. Thanks, Pantone, for the heads up.

Glow 2 Go Blush & Highlighter Duo in Golden Peach, £26; Jessica Custom Colour in Confident Coral, £11; Luxe Lip Colour in Soft Coral, £28

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