+ Makeup

Visions of Sugar Plums

This Fall, the hottest color for lips, lids and nails is purple.  Shades of plum, violet and amethyst will be everywhere this season.  Here are my pics for the products and hues that will keep your style looking sultry and fresh.

NARS Purple Rain (Sephora, $16)

I LOVE this nail polish.  The color is a shimmering purple that isn’t too dark for the office.  Not black verging on purple, but bright, sparkly grape.  And unlike some really dark polishes, I’ve found that men actually compliment this color unlike my darker shades which usually draw blank stares.

The NARS polishes also wear like iron.  Two coats and a top coat will last for weeks not days.  That makes every bottle a good investment.

Kat von D Tattoo Liner (Sephora, $18)

While I can’t believe I am openly endorsing a Kat von D product, this thin liquid liner pin is perfect for when you want a pop of color on your lash line.  And the color glides on so easily that even those scared of liquid liner can apply it.  If you’re still too jittery to consider a pen, try Bobbi Brown’s gel liner in Violet Ink but instead of the brush they sell to use try an angled eyeshadow brush.  It has a finer tip to give you a smoother line.

Dior 5-colour Palette (Nordstrom, $58)

A smokey eye with black shadow has the potential to make you look like a day-tripping Goth, but smudge out a purple shadow for a look that is sultry without being heavy.  If Dior is a bit too expensive for you, try L’Oreal HIP color.  The shadows have strong pigment and decent staying power if you remember to use eye primer.

Plum Wine Shimmer (Bobbi Brown, $22)

For years, I favored bright pink blush but as I aged, it started too look a little fake.  Like I was trying too hard.  Recently, I switched to a berry shade to give me definition and shimmer.  Who says only pink can be pretty?

Clinique Black Honey Lipstick (Sephora, $14)

Black Honey is the perfect lip color.  I’ve extolled it’s virtues on this site before, but there just as true today as they were ten years ago when Clinique rescued the shade from the makeup graveyard.  

If you want to combine two trends in one, look for a plum lip stain.  Cover Girl Outlast Lipstain is the only one that seems to last longer than a few minutes.  Just remember to apply a good quality lip balm (not gloss) before you apply the stain.  I like Burt’s Bees the best.  

Whether you like your purples ashy, pale, bright or dark, there’s a shade for you on the market.  Just spend a few minutes in Sephora trying on the shades until you find the right one for your skin tone and budget.  Because that’s the great thing about makeup, there’s always a lower price point.



  1. Laetitia says:

    Love love love the Dior purple and pink shadows… or should I say, j'adore the Dior eyeshadows!!

    November 30, -0001/Reply
  2. Laetitia says:

    Love love love the Dior purple and pink shadows… or should I say, j'adore the Dior eyeshadows!!

    November 30, -0001/Reply
  3. Rachel says:

    The L'Oreal HIP colors are great! I'm actually wearing the one you linked to today. Be advised though, if you're going for a smokey look, that particular color is not that dark. It's great for an everyday pop of purple, but if you going for smokey and sultry, I'd try this one: https://www.drugstore.com/products/prod.asp?pid=150504&catid=98578&cmbProdBrandFilter=46035&trx=CAT-0-PCOLOR&trxp1=98578&trxp2=150504&trxp3=1&trxp4=0&btrx=BUY-CAT-0-PCOLOR

    September 9, 2010/Reply
  4. Allison says:

    Great post! Not sure I could pull off that nail polish though, it's a little grape-y for me. Just bought a great polish last night–the new Sally Hanson Complete Manicure line in Plum's the Word. It's a plummy taupe color, perfect for fall.

    September 9, 2010/Reply
  5. Andrea says:

    Hate to say…but that purple nailpolish is awful

    September 9, 2010/Reply
  6. B says:

    everyone seems to love burts bees lip balm, but it always dries out my lips and doesnt seem to work very well. here's what paula the cosmetics cop says:

    “Lifeguard's Choice Weatherproofing Lip Balm ($3.00/.15 ounce) contains peppermint oil, and the lifeguard who chooses this is in for lip irritation along with sun damage since this balm lacks active ingredients (the titanium dioxide is not listed as such).”


    September 9, 2010/Reply
  7. Belle says:

    Andrea, It's not for everyone to be sure. But the Plummy color Allison suggested looks nice.


    September 9, 2010/Reply
  8. Meg says:

    Love, love, love purple pops of color in my makeup! Thanks for sharing the product suggestions, which I'm sure will be making an appearance in my makeup bag this fall.

    September 9, 2010/Reply
  9. Rachel says:

    Personally, I love the nail polish. But I love purple and it seems as if I'm always wearing an unorthodox shade on my nails.

    September 9, 2010/Reply
  10. Holly says:

    To riff on B's comment about Paula the Cosmetics Cop: Paula has her own line of skin care products (paulaschoice.com) that my hometown spa turned me onto a few years ago. The line is based on her “cosmetic cop” research, and all items are relatively inexpensive (a little more than drugstore, but much less than department store). I've become an addict to the 2% BHA liquid, which has kept me acne-free for two years (I'm one of those unfortunate souls with post-30's acne).

    September 9, 2010/Reply
  11. Stephanie says:

    Paula's choice products really are awesome–I love the 2% BHA liquid as well!

    I think that Nars polish is great. Another of my favorite purple nail shades is one called Metro Chic, which is in the line that OPI makes for Sephora. It's a pretty color that's somewhere in between plum and taupe, and it's neither too dark nor too pale. It's definitely worth checking out.

    September 9, 2010/Reply
  12. Marianne says:

    Very timely, Belle, because I just bought purple nail polish! This will be the first time I've stepped away from the reds and pinks since I was in middle school. Also, I just got the Cover Girl Outlast Lipstain in Scarlet Pucker to wear for a party, and I was really impressed. The color stayed on all night, and it's a more wearable red than the average lipstick.

    September 9, 2010/Reply
  13. Kristen says:

    I really like that purple nail polish.

    September 10, 2010/Reply
  14. Laetitia says:

    Love love love the Dior purple and pink shadows… or should I say, j'adore the Dior eyeshadows!!

    September 13, 2010/Reply