New York — In the world of cosmetics, purple is the new black. It's also the new red.
How can that be?
Purple is the rare color that works on eyes and lips, according to makeup artist Nick Barose. As eye makeup, it can be mixed with pink or red lips, and purple lips are complemented by nudes and neutrals on the eyes and cheeks, he says.
"I think purple is going to do very well," says Shelley Rozenwald, senior vice president of Holt Renfrew. "It has various shades and densities. When purple was really hot in the late '70s, I remember how well it sold because you can have a lot of fun with it. You can be very dramatic or flirty with it."
Rozenwald acknowledges that the purple trend goes against conventional wisdom that most people prefer a subtle look. "I first thought 'Who is going to wear purple?' Next thing I know, I'm wearing purple. When you actually put it on and blend it -- and you've got to be wearing the right outfit -- and contour it, it's easy."
She says that using the proper brushes for application is key whenever applying a strong color because the pigment needs to be even, not blotchy.
This fall's many purple products complement the rich fabrics and colors that are dictating the seasonal fashion trends, says Rozenwald, who oversees beauty at the luxury retailer. "If you have a textured tweed, you want to have your features stand out. ... But you don't want your face to overshadow the rest of you, either. Take the colors and mood of your outfit and put it on your face."
"Choose makeup the way you would a handbag or shoe," she advises.
Barose, the national makeup artist for Bourjois and a well-known behind-the-scenes name in Hollywood, used a purple stain on Mischa Barton's lips for her appearance at the Emmy Awards.
"Purple on the lips is hard to pull off if it's opaque and matte, but if you pick (a purple) that's sheer and more of a stain, the result can look unusually fresh and sophisticated," he explains.
Barose urges women to stay away from crayon purple, opting instead for a pastel, mauve or plum. "Plum has always been my favorite color. It's close to brown but a little more interesting, and it can work for most skin tones, especially in the fall when you're not working on tanned skin," he says.
For those with fair skin, he recommends using a lavender on the eyes but not done in a smoky-style because that might look like dark circles under the eye. Instead, opt for purple shadow on the lid and a little pencil under lashes.
Medium or tanned skin can take violet shadow with a little gold shimmer; Barose suggests using a damp sponge-tip applicator to create the effect of smudged eyeliner.
Plum or fig are good colors for darker skin, again limited to the upper part of the eye.
He adds: "Most women can wear purple mascara, you don't have to be as worried about the shade just make sure it's different enough from your eye shadow to add dimension."
Scott Barnes, a red-carpet makeup artist who has launched his own line in Saks Fifth Avenue and Renfrew, says that he'll be emphasizing lashes and using neutral shadows this fall.
"False lashes are wearable for the average woman," he insists. "Maybe not for everyday and they might be too much for the office, but for going out or to a party, there is nothing better."
With a turn toward ladylike styles, Barnes encourages a clean and polished lip, possibly with a dark color, but only if you've got a plump enough pucker to pull it off. "Dark makes things look smaller. Dark lipstick is sort of like black (in fashion) -- it's a slimming color," he explains.
He'd like to see a lot of red, raspberry and bright pinks lipsticks being used to create a cool and sophisticated look.
This doesn't mean throwing out everything in your cosmetic bag to make room for a whole new fall "wardrobe." Barnes instead suggests buying one or two key products in trendy colors that can play up one feature on your face and sticking to products that you're most comfortable using and wearing for the rest.
"You want to look as expensive looking as possible -- polished and dewy but not shiny. And you don't want too much makeup," Barnes says.