New York F/W ’11: Toldja orangey eyelids were a “thing”… but are they wearable for real life? You tell me!

New York Fashion Week Fall 2011 Rodarte makeup

Oranges, and if I’m being really honest here, browns too, are just about the most scary things I can imagine putting on my eyelids. Sure, I love a coral lip (as long as it’s a pinky one like Cargo’s Evangeline), but as evidenced by Essie’s signature nail polish colour theory, my skin tone just seems to be too cool to fully embrace the warm colours. And by cool I mean with pinky undertones—not cool as in awesome.

However, I might be wrong, because increasingly I’m hearing—from EVERYONE—that there are no more colour rules. Giorgio Armani’s Reza Zaimeche was the first one to put forth this theory in my vid last fall, and since then I’ve heard it over and over, most recently yesterday when I interviewed celebrity colourist Marie Robinson, who thinks anyone can wear any hair colour. (Exciting! I can’t wait to show you guys the video I shot with her, because she had a hundred thousand million amazing tips.)

But obviously THIS post is about makeup, and specifically, orange tones—which I assume none of us probably make a habit of wearing—and whether we actually should start. Designers at Marc by Marc Jacobs, Rodarte, Rag & Bone, Donna Karan and Thakoon certainly want us to, whether they’re pale tones or super-loud and shocking. While the look last Fashion Week, at Derek Lam, was more about a narrow strip of bright colour along the lashline, these ones are different. Let’s review:

Just a hint of warmth at Marc by Marc Jacobs:

NYFW FW11 Marc by Marc Jacobs 1 New York F/W 11: Toldja orangey eyelids were a thing... but are they wearable for real life? You tell me!

Can you even call this orange? I’m going to roll with it, since it’s not quite brown but not quite pink either.

And not even a specific makeup shade, actually. This is all Shiseido, and what makeup artist Dick Page did was to swirl a big brush into coral, rose, pink, peach, white and gold powders (got all that?) and then applied it according to what suited each girl’s skintone best.

So, you know, this one is easy: To get the look, you could simply take your usual peachy-pink blush and then dust some across the lids. Done and done!

Medium tones (!!!) at Rodarte:

NYFW FW11 Rodarte 2 New York F/W 11: Toldja orangey eyelids were a thing... but are they wearable for real life? You tell me!

So this one made me chuckle. Not even a couple of weeks ago, I dissed medium tones, HARD, but almost as an afterthought at the end of my post mused that it wouldn’t be long before the Fashion Gods would be encouraging us to embrace them again. I mean, everything else from the 70s and 80s is in style, so it only makes sense.

And now here we are. I didn’t think it would come this fast, but you know what? These ones kind of look good. Or maybe it’s just that it’s impossible to make models look bad.

I can’t endorse the nails (Deborah Lippmann in No More Drama), but am quite enjoying the lids, which get that caramel colour from a concealer called M.A.C Pro Longwear in NC45. You’ll probably want to skip these parts, but there’s also a bit of lavender grey (M.A.C eyeshadow in Crystal) above the crease, and yellow (M.A.C cream shadow in Yellow Scream) along the brow bone. And in case you dig the lips (I know I do), the shade is M.A.C lipstick in Photo.

With dramatic liner at Rag & Bone:

NYFW FW11 Rag Bone 1 New York F/W 11: Toldja orangey eyelids were a thing... but are they wearable for real life? You tell me!

Not that I’m gonna be brave enough to rock it, but this one is my fave! Courtesy Gucci Westman, of course, whose hubby co-founded the label. It’s also more wearable with that black liner, because (and you know I always say this), it grounds the look and makes it less ethereal and more sexy.

Gucci used Revlon prodz, of course. And these makeup artists kill me! While the Rodarte look was achieved with concealer, this one comes from lipstick—an aubergine from the forthcoming Bordeaux in the Snow palette, which will launch this fall. I’m not sure if the pic above was from before it got blended with Revlon Matte Eyeshadow in Rich Sable, because this next shot makes it look more brown:

NYFW FW11 Rag Bone 2 New York F/W 11: Toldja orangey eyelids were a thing... but are they wearable for real life? You tell me!

Either way, the main takeaways here are extending the colour right up to the brows if you dare), and using lotsa liner. Oh, and lipstick as eyeshadow, I guess, if that strikes your fancy.

With Pepto pink lips at Donna Karan:

NYFW FW11 Donna Karan 1 New York F/W 11: Toldja orangey eyelids were a thing... but are they wearable for real life? You tell me!

This is not my cup of tea. You? First of all, the orange is TOO orange. (M.A.C Sepia Cream Colour Base with Pro Gloss Texture for shine.) And with those “marshmellowy” lips (a combo of M.A.C Flesh Pot, See Sheer and Up the Amp), this is strictly a look for the runway.

Oh and speaking of things best left on the runways…

Kraaaaazy Kolours at Thakoon:

NYFW FW11 Thakoon 1 New York F/W 11: Toldja orangey eyelids were a thing... but are they wearable for real life? You tell me!

At first glance, it seems to be more about the bold slash (and I mean SLASH) of crimson. But with the eyes closed, you can really see the orange:
NYFW FW11 Thakoon 3 New York F/W 11: Toldja orangey eyelids were a thing... but are they wearable for real life? You tell me!

What you’re looking at is NARS Taj Mahal, Desire and Exhibit A blushes, plus Dragon Girl Velvet Matte Lip Pencil; all of these things combined to produce the look of “an African sunset.” (No, you can’t make this stuff up.) And you know, call me crazy, but it’s kinda pretty in an I’d-Never-Wear-This-in-a-Million-Years sort of way.

NYFW FW11 Thakoon 2 New York F/W 11: Toldja orangey eyelids were a thing... but are they wearable for real life? You tell me!

What do you think of the orange eyelids movement?
Would you evah wear this—even the Marc by Marc Jacobs version?
Can you believe we have to start wrapping our brains around medium shades again ALREADY? I feel like it’s skinny jeans all over again.


Wednesday, February 16/2011 at 4:27 pm

Nope, I’m not a fan of the orange eyelid…especially when it’s toned down to look more natural. It looks like my eyelids before I put on concealer! It’s great for a fashion look, but I’m not so sure I would want to try rocking this everyday.


Wednesday, February 16/2011 at 4:33 pm

Yes, orange lids are best left on the runway. I like it on the models but I’m not going to try this one.


Wednesday, February 16/2011 at 4:52 pm

Orange eyelids and hot pink lips? Fo realz? And real rabbit fur? I’m very disappointed in Donna…


Wednesday, February 16/2011 at 5:11 pm

My mom always said red, pinks and oranges around your eyes make you look sick… and while there are absolutely exceptions to mom’s rule, I think it’s tricky to pull-off. I do have an old nars duo in pink and orange, but they are sheer and shimmery and sort of sorbet-y… so it just gives you a flirt of color, not the more robust tones in these pics. I agree, the gucci w. with the liner is the best route to take should you dare this at home!
Nice post. Thanks!


Wednesday, February 16/2011 at 5:28 pm

I’m going to try the Rodarte, Donna Karan and Rag&Bone but I’m way too old to be messing with the crazy Thakoon reds!


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Friday, February 18/2011 at 4:35 pm

Same here!


Wednesday, February 16/2011 at 6:32 pm

I think orange is great! last time I did this in real life i got lots of compliments. I think if its part of your season colors you can get away with anything (this anyone can wear anything I think is nonsense). I use the orange of the loreal hip pigments in flare. It comes with a yellow cream as the other color in the duo which I put all over and then just a bit of the orange at the coners and a tiny bit into the crease grounded with a thin bit of brown liner and mascara it just looks fun and perky. same application with any bright color really.


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Friday, February 18/2011 at 4:39 pm

I hear you – but I think what these experts I’ve been talking to are saying is that there is usually a tone within a colour range that does work for every skin tone. And I can kind of see that… for example, yellow is not really a colour that I associate with my “Summer” colouring (too warm). But if I do an icy banana yellow, it actually doesn’t look too bad on me. Same with orange. I will be staying far, far away from the warm “burnt” orange shades, but a pinkier one (like the blonde at Rag & Bone) might not look too bad. Anyway just something to think about.

Your makeup sounds very cool – I wanna see! Got a Twitpic?


Friday, February 25/2011 at 1:54 am

I dont sadly. I currently am anti-twitter. possibly when i get over my current horrible allergic reaction i will send you some pictures.
A tone within a colour range ill jive with. i get that, just like everyone has “their” red or whatever you have that of most shades. springs have tangerine, falls have burnt oranges, summers have more on the coral side, but winters? orange is a difficult shade to work with ill admit that which has probablly got people hung up. usually everyone has a specific shade of blue, purple, red, and green that they can wear that falls in their specific season, thats what i ment.


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, February 28/2011 at 7:51 pm

Hee! Yeah I prob would have an allergic reaction to it too if I didn’t run this site :-)


Tara D
Wednesday, February 16/2011 at 7:37 pm

I love oranges, especially wet they’re coppery. I think if you want to make some of these looks more wearable you need to take a page from the Olsen twins and do a copper-brown smoky eye with a pale lip. I also love oranges instead of reds or pinks on the lips, but you need to keep the rest of the face simple. I’m not a big fan of brown on the lips though, that trend can stay on the runway.


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Friday, February 18/2011 at 4:41 pm

YES – brown lipstick is just fug!

Just found a Pixiwoo vid on the Olsen twins’ copper eye. You’re right – SO GORGEOUS!


Wednesday, February 16/2011 at 7:55 pm

I’m loving the Marc Jacobs look… but then again, I love all things MJ. I saw on sephora’s blog that they actually just used some of the Nars cream blush they used on the cheeks and dabbed it on the eyes. I think this is totally wearable as long as u do it with a light hand


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Friday, February 18/2011 at 4:43 pm

Oh – that look from the Sephora blog is actually Marc Jacobs, the one I talked about above is Marc by Marc Jacobs. I covered the Marc Jacobs (NARS) today:
Love it!


Makeup Morsels
Wednesday, February 16/2011 at 8:22 pm

I think orange lids can be super wearable, especially if you use a shimmery orange, and stick that in the crease with a shimmery white on the lid. It’s pretty :)


Wednesday, February 16/2011 at 8:50 pm

I love a pinky-orange lip! It always looks like you just ate a Popsicle.


Wednesday, February 16/2011 at 9:21 pm

I like MAC Coppering and get a lot of compliments when I do wear it-it’s a pretty orange copper colour and looks great.


Wednesday, February 16/2011 at 11:41 pm

One word for Rodarte: Jaundice.
And I have an eye infection right now – my eyelids look orange. therefore I will never be able to pull off the orange eyelid look without thinking “CONJUNCTIVITIS!!!”

But I do love coppery tones. maybe it’s the shimmer that makes it look more deliberate and less feverish…


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Friday, February 18/2011 at 4:45 pm

Oh no! Conjunctivitis is never a good look – hope you have a speedy recovery!!


Thursday, February 17/2011 at 7:30 am

I’m a traditionalist when it comes to make-up…I think it should just make you look like a better version of you so the orange eyelids are definitely not my thing! Orange clothes though, can definitely be done, and done well!

BTW – I voted :)


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Friday, February 18/2011 at 4:46 pm

Thanks Kena!

And yeah, I know what you mean… this would be fun to play with but at the end of the day you still want to look pretty. I like the way the PixiWoo vid interprets it – a nod to the trend but still very wearable.


Thursday, February 17/2011 at 2:50 pm

I think orange is a fantastic colour for eyes, but with so many things it’s about finding which particular shade works well for your skin tone. I love creating orange based looks, and it regularly pulls compliments. Occasionally, I will use MAC’s Rule in the crease as an alternative to brown. It’s subtle, but a fun change.


Thursday, February 17/2011 at 2:50 pm

When models look tired with a new makeup look – you know it will be practically impossible for the average woman to pull it off. Unless it’s for a Halloween costume, I’m not a fan of the orange lids!


Thursday, February 17/2011 at 5:16 pm

I wear orange on the eyes occasionlly, makes my blue/grey eyes seem more blue than grey, gives them a bit of pop, of course I wear it more subtly!


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Friday, February 18/2011 at 4:47 pm

Good point! The opposite colour theory. I have the same eye colour.


Thursday, February 17/2011 at 10:52 pm

Hmm, I like the eyes and nails at Rodarte but I very much dislike the lips! Orange is a tricky shade, done right it’s interesting though. I’m digging the Rag & Bone look too, I like the way it pops. I think the eyes at Donna Karan look quite similar to the Rodarte shade but that pink lip throws the color way off in a very unflattering way. As for Thakoon, that’s a stunning color combo, you’d definitely have to tone it down for real life wear ^.~


Friday, February 18/2011 at 11:38 am

Interesting. I think it could be do-able, in the right shade of orange. The Donna Karan look is best, and I think it looks best without black eyeliner somehow. My 15 year old is going ga-ga for these looks and thinks it looks amazing on blue eyes and makes them “pop”. For us mere mortals perhaps taking it to more of a bronze or gold tint would be best…


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Friday, February 18/2011 at 4:50 pm

Agreed! And I love that you and your daughter talk about makeup together – so cool!


Friday, February 18/2011 at 11:49 am

A few years ago I bought a Moroccan-inspired shadow palette from Sephora that had very similar colours to the Thakoon shoot featured above. You can see the palette here but the colours look kinda muted in the photo. Here they are on a model. Anyway, I think they’re really pretty, but it DOES take some balls to wear it. I don’t go super crazy like on these models, but I do wear both shades at the same time. I also wear them separately with softer shades to mute them out a bit, too.

I LOVE the Marc Jacobs look. It’s so pretty!!! It likely wouldn’t suit my skin tone, though.


Thursday, February 24/2011 at 1:12 pm

I am absolutely loving the Thakoon look! The colours are simply amazing! But, like you said, in a on-the-runway type of thing. Or a themed party! They’re always the perfect occasion to try these slightly more eccentric looks!

I love the Rodarte look. Will probably be trying it, as well as the Rag and Bone one. Not loving the Donna Karan as much, but maybe its only because of the contrast with that horrible lipstick!


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