Get The Look: Radiant Orchid Eyes

Sunday 26 January 2014


 Did you know there was such a thing as a Pantone 'Colour of the Year'? No? Well, neither did I, but it seems that this year, its something that is really influencing fashion and beauty trends, and not just something graphic designers get excited about.

This year's colour is 18-3224, or, in real people speak, 'Radiant Orchid', a warm, vibrant purple shade that sort of reminds me of Barbie accessories and those electronic 'My Secret Diaries' every 90's little girl had! In short, it's a colour the younger me used to be especially keen on.

I thought it would be fun to revisit it and make a look that works for eyes. Purple is a really pretty shade on most eye colours, but it especially suits brown-eyed girls, contrasting and bringing out the warmth in those amber tones.

To start off with, dot on an undereye concealer in a 'piece of pie' shape around your orbital bone. Here I'm using my new favourite, Benefit Erase Paste in shade 2. Use a concealer brush to dot the product on, but the warm pad of your ring finger is the best tool for blending. A rolling motion, and the heat of your hand, will help work the concealer in seamlessly.

Now to bring on the power purples. I'm using the 'Peony & Python' palette from Bobbi Brown. It was a limited edition, but you can still pick one up through the power of eBay. How cute is the packaging as well?

The palette has some really nice, and very wearable shades. For the purposes of our Radiant Orchid Eye, we'll be using:

1) Cool Ivory - a warm, greyish beige with a matte finish. This will be the base shade.
2) Lavender - a warm, pinkish purple with a frosted metallic finish. This will colour the lids and the lower lashline.
3) Plum Orchid - a blackened, deep purple with a matte finish. This will be applied onto the outer v to add depth and drama to our look. 

Before we get started, its a good idea to prime the eyelids. This helps create a flawless base to the lid and lightens it, allowing the colour to pop. I'm using Dainty Doll Eyeshadow Base in 'Frankie', patted on with a finger tip.

Now for the colour. With a fluffy brush -I'm using Real Techniques Base Shadow Brush, pick up some of the 'Cool Ivory' shade and buff it all over your lids.

Time for some orchid! With the Accent Brush, also by Real Techniques, pick up some of the 'Lavender' shade and swirl it into your lids and crease. To make the colour even more vibrant, I spritzed the brush with Mac Fix +, which turns the shadow into a cream and makes bright shades really zing.

Then, using the same brush, work some of the 'Plum Orchid' into the outer V of your eyelids. This deepens the look of your eye and adds some serious impact.

Because too much is never enough, now to add even more purple! Collection Glam Metallics in 'Ripped' is a really nice, molten hot purple liner. Swipe a fine stripe along your upper lash line to provide definition and increase the shiny purple-ness!

Bourjois Little Round Pot eyeshadow in 'Feu D'Artifice' is a pretty metallic lilac. Use a liner brush to swipe it on your inner corners and under the lower lash line.

Collection Kohl Eyeliner in 'Purple Passion' is a vibrant, dark purple kohl. Use it on your waterline to further ramp up your purple haze.

Finally, if you want to define the eyes further, perhaps to take the look into evening, for heaven's sake don't use your usual black eyeliner. It's too harsh and will kill the look. A deep brown harmonises much better. I used Mac Fluidline in 'Dipdown' on a slanted eyeliner brush, just to deepen up the very outer lashline.

What to do with the rest of your face? Pink tones work well with purple eyes. I've used CK Cosmetics Cream Eyeshadow in 'Sizzling' as a cream blush, MeMeMe Dew Pots in 'Hollow Haze' as a highlighter on cheekbones and eyebrows, and Maybelline Watershine Elixir Liquid Lipstick in 'Rose Star' to finish off my lips.

And here is the finished look! Subtle, radiant, and absolutely on trend, Radiant Orchid is a look that you can easily carry off for the working day or getting coffee with friends and is really fresh for spring. Get in on the trend now.

If you want to go OTT, pair your orchid-eyed look with some lavender lipstick and nail polish.Want to tone it down? Here are the shades that will be your orchid-eyed best friend.


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