How To Wear Emerald Makeup, Pantone's Colour of the Year

From runway to real way.
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Michelle Villett
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From runway to real way.

I was wrong. Based on these spring 2013 runway looks, I was so, SO sure that Pantone was going to crown some shade of blue as the hottest colour of 2013. (You know, like how Tangerine Tango was all the rage for 2012, and we collectively went crazy for orange lipstick.)

Well, now it turns out that green—vibrant EMERALD green—is actually the colour to watch for the year ahead.

Pantone Emerald Green

"Lively," "radiant" and "lush" is how the company describes it. And you know what? I'm totally down with some emerald in a dress...

Angelina Jolie - emerald green Versace dress

Or earrings...

Angelina Jolie - emerald earrings

Hey, wait a minute! Did Angelina Jolie single-handedly start this trend? Okay, maybe not. We DID see Kate Middleton in an emerald green dress when she showed the world her new bangs the other day.

Anyway, in fashion or accessories, I'm all over this. But makeup? Well, that's a little trickier. Blue was in my comfort zone, but green... is not. Even though I'm told that emerald is a fairly universal colour that just about any skin tone can pull off. I think that's because it's got quite a bit of blue in it (as opposed to hunter greens or army greens, which don't have the same vibrance).

Clearly it's time to look to the runways for some inspiration.

As with any "out there" colour, I think the easiest way to start wearing this shade is to channel Stella McCartney's spring show and get it all up in your waterlines:

Stella McCartney - Spring 2013 makeup

This is a look I've been wearing in the summers for years now (taught to me ages ago by the now Singapore-based Andrea Claire, one of the handful of makeup artists who hasn't made me want to run home immediately and wash off her "work"). You want the hit of green liner to be right on the lower waterlines and that's it—no colour anywhere else, just healthy, fresh skin and bare-ish lips.

For this show, Pat McGrath used CoverGirl Queen Collection Vivid Impact Eyeliner in Jade, but sadly it's not available in Canada, so a good sub would be YSL's waterproof liner in Amazon Green.

YSL Waterproof Eye Pencil in Amazon Green

Another option would be to wear the liner all the way around the eye, a la Kenzo:

Kenzo - Spring 2013 makeup

What makes this work (besides extreme confidence)? I think it's the way the colour dips into a "V" at the tear ducts... and the centres of the lower lash lines are left bare. You'd definitely need a good, fine-tipped brush to draw this shape—here, it was MAC 210 Precise Eyeliner Brush, and the colour is MAC Pro Chromaline in Landscape Green.

As with the Stella look—and all of these looks, in fact—let the green make the statement and don't worry about adding any other detectable colours to your face, save a whisper of blush maybe.

A third, equally risk-taking option comes from Michael Kors:

Michael Kors - Spring 2013 makeup

This green is drawn on in that "floating liner" technique, right above the crease, that looks cool on the runways but might make people stop and stare in real life. If you're keen, use Shiseido Luminizing Satin Eye Color Trio in Jungle and apply with a wet brush.

Shiseido Luminizing Satin Eye Color Trio in Jungle

Just keep an eye on it and touch up frequently, because it's meant to be a sharp, graphic swipe—not smudgy.

And now for the most exotic interpretation of this green eye makeup trend, at Christian Dior:

Christian Dior - Spring 2013 makeup

It's beautiful, non? The look was "techno butterfly" (an idea I'm in love with in itself) and combines Diorshow eyeshadow in green with Swarovski crystals scattered across and glued on the lids.

Not for the office, obvs.

In fact, the only one I'd say was office-appropriate is the Stella McCartney lower-lashline look...

OR you could just embrace the emerald on your nails, because on there, anything goes. Here's a great example from Kenzo:

Kenzo - Spring 2013 nails

Um... probably a good idea to avoid public boob-grabs and bra tops, etc. But doesn't the colour look nice?

My sources tell me it's MAC Nail Lacquer in Deep Sea, although in the bottle it looks a bit dark:

MAC Nail Lacquer in Deep Sea

Instead, can I make a suggestion? Sephora by OPI has a shade that looks like a closer match; this is Kelly Green:

Sephora by OPI Nail Colour in Kelly Green

And this is my favourite from Butter London. They emailed me a couple of emerald suggestions and I am just head over heels for this one, Henley Regatta:

It's a fusion of green and blue glitter... FUN!... and if I manage to get my hands on some, might just be the first green nail polish to ever grace these here fingertips. (Yep, I'm so boring that I've never once worn green. I'll keep you posted.)

Butter London 3 Free Nail Lacquer in Henley Regatta

In the meantime, tell me:

Are you into this emerald green trend, or do you miss Tangerine Tango already?
How would you wear green on your eyes?
Do you have a favourite green nail polish pick?