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How to wear purple!

How to wear purple: The colour purple is enjoying a renaissance these days. The royal shade is suddenly a best-seller in lipsticks, eyeshadows and gloss. (I have a friend who carries 17 purple lipsticks in her bag with her at all times.) And while the shade used to be challenging to pull off in a modern way, cosmetic scientists have improved the pigments so much that the colour can be flattering on almost all skin tones. Lancome’s National Makeup Artist Myles Sexton is a big fan of the shade and shares his pro tips on how to wear purple in a modern way.

marc jacobs spring 2017 fashion show

Marc Jacobs Spring/Summer 17 fashion look

“Purple has been a color that has come in and out of fashion for many years now. Right now, the beauty industry is moving into a modern 80’s inspiration when it comes to makeup.  This is a very exciting time because the 80’s were famous for bold pops of color,” explains Sexton. He says wearing purple might seem intimidating but you don’t need to cover your whole lid with it. “I recommend adding pops of color in strategic places.  Use pale purples in the corner of the eyes as highlights for medium-to-deep skin tones, or add a bold purple lip for soft ivory skin.”

lancome national makeup artist Myles Sexton

Lancome National Makeup Artist Myles Sexton

Dave: What shades of purple work best on different skin tones?

Myles: Purple is actually one of the few universal colors that actually compliments all skin tones.  The only restriction I would say is when you get into the pale lavender shades on medium-to deep skin tones, use them as brow highlighters instead of all-over lid colors. Women with fair skin tones may want to try a more blue-based purple over a red-based one so it does not bring out your natural flush.  I particularly like Lavender Grace Eye Shadow palette.

purple eye makeup

lancome eye palette in lavender grace

Lancome eye palette in lavender grace

D.L: How do you wear purple eyeshadow for day?

M.S.: For daytime wear, I love layering brown and purple. I apply the brown on the lid and add a pop of color in the center of the eye as a color pop that you only see when you blink.  Another look that is very fun is to layer a purple liquid eyeliner over black or brown. This creates a subtle effect.  I love the Lavender Girl single shadow from Lancome.

mac eyeshadow in lavender girl

Lancome Eyeshadow in Lavender Girl

D.L.: How do you wear purple eyeshadow for night?

M.S.: Nighttime makeup can be more adventurous.  One of my favorite looks is to create a dark smoky eye and then smudge a bold purple under the bottom lashes.  Try Lancome’s Miss Sweetheart single shadow for this look.

lavender lip at PPQ fashion show

lancome eyeshadow in miss sweetheart

Lancome eyeshadow in Miss Sweetheart

D.L.: How do you make a purple lip look great?

M.S.: If you’re fearful of trying a purple lip, maybe choose a purple that has more pink or red undertones as they will be softer and less bold. 

I think one of the most important things to remember is have one focus. If you are doing a bold purple lip, have a very soft eye and clean skin so the entire look compliments the lip.


D.L.: What is the secret to wearing purple mascara?

M.S.: One of my favorite secrets to wearing purple mascara is doing just the tips of your eye lashes with purple or doing just the bottom lashes with purple and the top lashes with black.

purple eye look

D.L.: What should you avoid when wearing purple?


When you are wearing purple, I would avoid having too many other bold colors paired with it. Let purple be the focus of the look and choose neutral shades to go with it.

purple lip beauty look

D.L.: How do you like to work with purple gloss?

M.S.: Purple gloss is beautiful on its own but it is also amazing to layer over your favorite nude lipstick to create a soft glossy lip with a touch of color.


D.L.: What purple looks good on dark skin tones?

M.S.: Something with a more blue or pink undertone. I would avoid anything with too much red as you don’t want the eye to look swollen or bruised from afar.  Lancôme purple pumps eye shadow looks amazing on deep skin tones.

dkny purple lip look

D.L.: What purple looks best on social media pics?

M.S.: I love a bold strong purple for social media. You want something that really will pop in your selfie. Lancôme Grandiose Liner in Purple or Amethyst Glam Color Design Palette are perfect choices to make a statement on social media.

lancome grandiose liner in purple

Lancome Grandiose Liner in Purple

purple eye look

Lancome is available in Canada at Hudson’s Bay stores and thebay.com


  • Reply
    Melanie E
    June 3, 2017 at 6:55 pm

    Interesting and informative interview, Dave! Thanks for sharing! @MaraMel

  • Reply
    Trisha Pedros
    June 2, 2017 at 7:00 pm

    Awesome interview! I need to wear purples so pretty! @Triped67

  • Reply
    Joyce Belfort
    June 1, 2017 at 4:00 am

    I love wearing purple lippie. I think it makes my teeth looks whiter.

  • Reply
    May 31, 2017 at 11:21 pm

    purple is a color, when worn in the right tones, is classic


  • Reply
    Chrissy Christensen
    May 31, 2017 at 8:12 pm

    Thank you for this amazing interview!! Purple eyeshadow has been a favorite of mine since I started wearing makeup in the early 80s. I bought my first eye palette (bigger than a quad) from Morphe (on hautelook.com) last month and it is the 35-P which is stunning and full of awesome purple tones. I am in heaven!

  • Reply
    Jennifer Corrigan
    May 31, 2017 at 3:59 pm

    Great interview Dave!! always love purple!! @jenni40

  • Reply
    Gonny Aarts
    May 31, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    That Lancome eye palette in lavender grace looks stunning. A bit metallic.
    Very special but not to extreme.

  • Reply
    Susan Sladkus
    May 31, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    Fantastic article on the uses of purple. I have become a.bit bolder with my eyeshadow and have enjoyed the purple from the eyeshadow palette.
    Now it’s time to try my lips!
    Thank you @SSladkus

  • Reply
    Gail Siemko
    May 31, 2017 at 12:23 pm

    Oh, Dave, Great article! As you already know, I have a penchant for #Purple and love the @Lancome ‘s Purple Palette…I will be trying the different shades and liner too! Thanks for these exciting makeup ideas…#howtowearpurple

  • Reply
    Adele Wright
    May 31, 2017 at 11:49 am

    These shades of purple eyeshadows are just perfect and look beautiful on. Great interview! @AdeleAWright

  • Reply
    Shelley Denise Griffin
    May 31, 2017 at 9:44 am

    I just watched a video tutorial on purple eyeshadow and knew I couldn’t pull it off. Thanks for the different ideas. I think I can pull off some of the subtle hints on my eyes and lips now.

  • Reply
    Linda L
    May 31, 2017 at 9:36 am

    Love that Lancôme palette! Purple, lavender are favorites for summer!

  • Reply
    Stéphanie Lessard
    May 31, 2017 at 8:37 am

    Great articles! I love purple especially the deeper tones for eyeshadows.

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