In case you missed it back in December, "Ultra Violet" was named Pantone's 2018 Color of the Year. And while the previous year's zesty yellow-green "Greenery" didn't exactly take off much in the beauty realm, this more recent pick is proving to be quite a massive hit amongst makeup artists, celebrities and influencers.
Like so many makeup trends, the recent spike in violet eye shadow, liner, lipstick and even highlighter can be credited to one woman (sorry, Pantone): Pat McGrath. The legendary makeup artist and industry force has been favoring lavender and amethyst tones of late, first crafting a violet-and-fuchsia eye look at Anna Sui's Fall 2018 show in New York.
Then, on Feb. 20, McGrath took to Instagram to share more purple-tinged beauty inspiration from...herself. She dipped into the McGrath archives to find a particularly gorgeous cover from a 2004 issue of Vogue Italia, photographed by Steven Meisel and featuring model Lydia Hearst in a monochromatic look of makeup "purp-fection," as McGrath so aptly put it.
McGrath also launched a violet eye shadow as part of her Pat McGrath Labs MTHRSHP Subversive La Vie En Rose palette that dropped on March 7, making her purple haze vision accessible to the masses.
The violet makeup trend made the jump from the runways to the red carpets when Rowan Blanchard experimented with the shade at the "A Wrinkle in Time" premiere.
The influencer crowd was also into this trend, with Song of Style's Aimee Song wearing her own smoky orchid eye on Feb. 18. Makeup artist Nam Vo, who was behind Song's look, says she thinks this tone is trending now because it's so versatile — it can be worn on lips, eyes or even as a highlighter — and because it's flattering on just about any skin tone.
"I think in general, it's a very feminine, soft look and especially moving into spring, it's a great color," she says. The trick to pulling it off, according to Vo, is to pair lilac or violet makeup with neutral tones elsewhere on the face, "unless you want to look like an Easter egg." Noted.
Vo also cautions that those with especially ashy skin with blue undertones or dark undereye circles may want to avoid this particular color family, since it may exacerbate the appearance of shadows.
In the gallery below, we've rounded up 13 violet makeup picks that feel fresh, cool and perfect for spring.
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