Move aside, millennial pink. And rose gold too. Sure, 2018’s unofficial colours of the year were well-loved and incessant all at once — you’ll find them across sneakers, accessories, makeup lines, and even tech gadgets — but 2019 us already’s warming up to what’s declared this year’s hottest shade: Living Coral.
You can thank Pantone, of course, the authority on colour. After extensive research by a team of colour experts, they’ve arrived at this particular shade, described as an “animating and life-affirming coral hue with a golden undertone”. The warm, peachy colour can be found in nature, most spectacularly seen as you’re diving alongside underwater reefs, though Pantone notes its significant presence on our digital screens. Shoutout all our curated Instagram feeds here!
With that enthusiastic an introduction, we were stoked to put together a makeup tutorial that featured the playful shade. Because, really, just look at all this coral makeup!
Coral has always been a popular shade for any beauty lover — even as reds, pinks, and nudes seem to dominate most of the time. The warm hue is flattering across all skin tones, and manages to be extremely versatile in its delivery; it’s at once a punchy pop of colour, while somehow being mellow enough to complement the other shades on your face. Muted and matte, or glittery and vibrant, you’ll also be able to wear it pleasantly across your eyes, cheeks and lips, which means coral pretty much wins all the points for versatility in every form.
So, here are 2 all-over coral makeup looks! And we promise we’re not being obsessive at all.
LOOK 1: “LIVED-IN” CORAL
That’s not to say that this one’s at all weary-looking! If you’re thinking of ways to jazz up your everyday neutral look, coral adds the most flattering glowy pop, though with a soft “lived-in” effect, comfortable enough to wear daily. Some of us might even want to make this a signature look after trying this out. Focus the bright shade on the eyes, and pick a more neutral tone for your lips.
1. huda beauty desert dusk eyeshadow palettE, $100
2. nars liquid blush in orgasm, $50
3. shiseido visionairy gel lipstick in 217 coral pop, $36
4. zoeva blush palette in coral spectrum, $30
5. clarins joli rouge lipstick in 737 spicy cinnamon, $40
Step 1 — Eyes
We started with the Huda Beauty Desert Dusk Eyeshadow Palette, with the transitional shade of “Desert Sand”, then layering the coral shade “Eden” over it, packing it all over the eyelids. Once that’s done, we picked up “Amber”, a dusty rust-red shade, and placed that on the outer corners of the eyelids for some definition, before blending them all together. If you’d like a brighter effect, go ahead and layer a touch of the vibrant orange “Blazing” on top. The great thing is that these shades are as true to colour as they look in the pan, while being incredibly easy to blend, which means you’ll be able to recreate any simple or complex look you want.
Step 2 — Face
Peach looks best on the cheeks, and for this tinge of the tropics, we’re looking to NARS’ cult shade — Orgasm. We’ve heard rave reviews for their liquid blush, and it certainly lived up to its expectations; the formula goes on totally weightless while only requiring a light touch to blend it out, making it look like you’re exuding a sun-kissed flush, thanks to the finely-milled golden shimmer. We also used ZOEVA’s Blush Palette to build on more of that poppin’ radiance, as well as a subtle contour.
Step 3 — Lips
For the lips, we experimented with two kinds of lip products — the first, a natural pink shade with Shiseido’s VisionAiry Gel Lipstick, followed by an autumnal tone with Clarins’ Joli Rouge Lipstick. We found that the pink-coral shade gives a bright, youthful appeal to the overall look, with a more girly vibe as well; it’s as easy to apply as it is easy on the eyes too, since the gel texture just glides across the lips like a veil. Still, our preference leaned towards the darker shade; Clarins’ lipstick, with its satin texture, balances out the rest of the makeup, though it may be for more seasoned makeup-wearers who don’t mind the bolder shade.
LOOK 2: LIVINN’ CORAL
If you’re a lipstick kinda girl (and who isn’t?!), you’ll be livin’ for this. There’s every essence of coral’s easy tones across the rest of the face, though this time, with juicy lips for a standout look. Plus, it’s surprisingly easy to recreate — you don’t have to spend that much effort perfecting, say, your eye makeup, and it takes all but 15 seconds to nail that lip. Just pick your favourite shade!
1. anastasia beverly hills modern renaissance eye shadow palettE, $75
2. fenty beauty mattemoiselle in tiger tini, $28
3. laura mercier blush colour infusion in peach, $49
4. shu uemura rouge unlimited supreme matte in OR585, $38
Step 1 — Eyes & Face
With Anastasia Beverly Hills’ cult palette, we started with a neutral base of “Tempera” before applying the key shade “Realgar” across the eyelids, starting from the crease and blending it out — compared to other coral shades, this one’s more terracotta / brick which results in a muted effect. To add some shimmer, layer over with the gold “Primavera” shade.
Now, we didn’t intend to do a review about the palette, but I have to say this — it’s one of the best I’ve tried recently! The colour payoff’s amazing (even for the gold shade) and a little goes a long way, though all of the powders are easily blendable and buildable. The key thing for me would be the brush; most eyeshadow palettes have pretty average brushes, especially for the blending tip, but this one’s fluffy enough to really buff out your eye makeup.
As for the cheeks, we went in with Laura Mercier’s Blush Colour Infusion, which gives a natural, healthy flush of colour that has a diffused sheen when it hits the light.
Step 2 — Lips
A bold coral lip calls for two of my personal lipstick faves! The first one’s a Fall release, shu uemura’s Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte in OR585, what I classify as a coral-rust shade that I keep going back to despite my ever-growing lipstick pile. It’s a versatile shade that brightens up a face without drawing too much attention (it looks more nude under daylight), and most importantly, the texture’s a comfortable matte that doesn’t easily wear off.
Want to make a statement instead? Then add Fenty Beauty’s latest Mattemoiselle shade, Tiger Tini, to your makeup collection. The matte formula’s well-loved for its high, intense pigmentation — which I can vouch for — while the new addition just screams vivid orange. And Rihanna wore it. And it’s as universally flattering as you’d expect. The final look speaks for itself!
While we can’t try them all at once, here are the makeup palettes, blushes, and lip products we’d recommend.
Eyeshadow / Makeup Palettes
1. etude house play color street fashion multi palette, $43.90
2. anastasia beverly hills modern renaissance eye shadow palettE, $75
3. too faced sweet peach eye shadow, $76
4. huda beauty Obsessions Eyeshadow Palette in coral, $55
5. huda beauty desert dusk eyeshadow palettE, $100
You might already own some of these. We’ve already talked about the 2 more extensive eyeshadow palettes, but Too Faced’s Sweet Peach palette is a no-brainer for that peachy glow, and if you’re even more obsessed, go for Huda Beauty’s Obsessions, as its name implies. That said, Etude House’s play on the trend seems the most value-for-money, especially when you’re getting 9 eyeshadow shades, and 2 blushes for less than $50.
1. nars liquid blush in orgasm, $50
2. zoeva blush palette in coral spectrum, $30
3. laura mercier blush colour infusion in peach, $49
4. nars blush in torrid, $50
ZOEVA’s a solid choice for its pick of 4 rosy hues, while NARS and Laura Mercier really give you the quality you’d expect when paying $50 for a blush — the powders are expertly blended to give the most natural glow that’s sheer yet visible, and they do last all day. The liquid blush has a nice sheen to it too.
Lipsticks & Lip Tints
1. shiseido visionairy gel lipstick in 217 coral pop, $36
2. hera lip gelcrush in march coral 234, $45
3. gesgep lip fresco in glorious, $39
4. gesgep lip fresco in honourable, $39
5. shu uemura rouge unlimited supreme matte in OR585, $38
6. clarins joli rouge lipstick in 737 spicy cinnamon, $40
7. hera sensual lip tint in lively orange 296, $43
8. fenty beauty mattemoiselle in tiger tini, $28
9. etude house shine chic lip lacquer in tangerine dance, $19.90
10. mamonde creamy tint squeeze lip in 04 orange play, $18
Given the sheer amount of lip products out there, you’ll definitely find a coral shade you like! Take your pick — k-beauty brands are dominating the lip tint category, though this time with more pigmented offerings, such as HERA’s latest Sensual Lip Tint and Mamonde’s Creamy Tint Squeeze Lip. You can go for shine, or pick a matte; go for the pinks, or lean towards the saturated warm reds; either way, coral should be one of the least intimidating trends you’ll want to pick up this season. Trust us.