Mad about mauve makeup

If you’ve played-out pink or the neutral trend has become your norm, it might be time to turn your attention to mauve makeup. Spotted on the runway, papped on the red carpet and pinned multiple times on your “Beauty Inspo” board, this universally flattering shade is heating up faster than November temps. We tapped a panel of MECCA makeup artists, Sally Axford, Clem Bachet and Jennifer Horsley, to decode just why mauve is having such a moment.

It’s actually wearable: Mauve is finally getting the attention it deserves, according to Axford. “It’s not as ‘trend’-based as the red and orange shadows we’re seeing on the runway, and it won’t remind you of all the mistakes you made with blue eyeshadow in the ’80s—it’s easier to pull off than both of those.” Work and play appropriate, it’s the sophisticated, older sister of the holographic purples that are all over Instagram. “It’s super feminine, romantic and pretty—which is perfect for spring”, says Bachet.

It suits pretty much everyone: Mauve has a transparency to it which makes it incredibly wearable. “It goes with many skin tones and eye colours” explains Horsley. “But it looks especially delicious on green, hazel and warm brown eyes.”

You can wear it in so many ways: Our panel is unanimous, when it comes to mauve, the eyes have it. That said, our artists are also loving purple on the cheek for that ethereal, unicorn-inspired glow that is so popular right now.


The cool girl way to incorporate mauve is with a touch of metallic. Just swipe RMS Eye Polish in Magnetic or By Terry Ombre Blackstar Cream Eyeshadow in Misty Rock over your lids for a glossy, runway look.

For a soft smokey eye, the NARS Eyeshadow Duo in Charade is a great go-to—teaming muted mauve with a complementary smokey plum shade. Stila Matte ‘n Metal Eyeshadow Palette has beautiful crease colours in grey mauve tones.

For intense colour and shine, M.A.C Pigment in Kitschmas is the holy grail. If you’ve shied away from pigments in the past, now is the time to make their acquaintance. Dust it on for a subtle wash of colour or spritz with Prep + Prime Fix+ to intensify the shine.


If you can’t go past a trend, this lipstick from Lipstick Queen in Mauve Sinner ticks all the boxes. Mauve, check. Matte, check. High-pigment, check, check. For a subtler variation, a purple lip balm (such as Stila Colour Balm Lipstick in Aubery) looks really beautiful when it mixes with the natural colour of your lips.


If you want to really nail the mauve trend then Jin Soon’s Nail Lacquer in Moxie is our pick for chic tips. This long-wearing nail polish is 5-free (i.e. you won’t find formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, formaldehyde resin and camphor on the ingredients list) and delivers lustrous, chip-free colour in just 1-2 coats. On the brighter side of the spectrum, MECCA MAX Hot Tips Nail Polish in Mauve Minx (also 5-free) is your high-impact hand accessory.

Cheeks (yes, cheeks)

According to our makeup artists, you can’t go past purple on the cheeks—but using a light hand is key. “A flush of mauve on the apple of the cheek can give an ethereal look to the skin and it lifts and brightens any sallowness or dullness,” says Axford. Our pick for the perfect kiss of colour? ILIA Multistick in At Last or SURRATT BEAUTY Artistique Blush in La Vie En Rose. Bachet recommends blending purple shades into a pearly highlight to add definition to the face—Kevyn Aucoin The Neo-Limelight in Ibiza and HOURGLASS Ambient® Lighting Blush do just that. “When paired with a cool-coloured contour it looks really healthy and fresh.”

Words by Romy Erdos
November 2017


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