How to wear this year's must have colour, purple

Hannah Betts’s Better…not younger: How eyeshadow has suddenly hit a purple patch

  • Hannah Betts explains how best to wear Pantone’s colour of the year 2022
  •  UK-based beauty columnist picks out a selection of zingy wake-up calls
  •  She chooses Radiance Greens Cleanse as this week’s cosmetic craving

Say ‘very peri’ to a woman in midlife and you’re likely to get punched. When my inbox filled up with the term in early December, I assumed I was being trolled.

In fact, 17-3938 Very Peri is Pantone’s colour of the year 2022, the first time in more than two decades that the branding company has created its own shade to ‘truly reflect the transformative times’ in which we live.

Pantone describes VP as ‘vibrant periwinkle blue with energising violet-red undertones’, arguing that it ‘displays a spritely, joyous attitude and dynamic presence that encourages courageous creativity’.

UK-based beauty columnist Hannah Betts explains how to wear purple eyeshadow 

I’d call it mid-cornflower/deep lavender and say we’re all a bit blue, Covid restrictions ending just as World War III erupts.

Either way, within hours of Pantone’s announcement, Lady Gaga appeared on the red carpet in magnificently papal purple with matching glittery eyeshadow almost up to her brows. Euphoria star Zendaya followed suit at London’s Dune premiere, her make-up artist sharing an Instagram close-up of ultra-violet eyeliner, inner corner and under-brow lilac shimmer, and plush midnight-purple flicks.

By the end of December, John Lewis had seen sales of purple blusher increase 91 per cent, purple lipstick 101 per cent and purple eyeshadow 60 per cent year on year, as Britain’s beauties followed suit.

Personally, I’ve always had an itching for indigo, from my first Mary Quant eye palette back in the early 1980s to my dogged fixation today.

Purple hues are exquisite across the spectrum, with a shade to suit one and all. They’re also a way of doing colour while retaining sophistication. Modish, yes; youthful in that they feel vibrantly in-the-know; yet ageless, without the potentially unflattering repercussions of, say, yellow.

For purple is basically a cool-toned woman’s brown: arguably a neutral on blue-hued complexions (black or white) and incredible when mixed with pinks and silvers. Yet, on warmer skins, sludgy mauves and heathers will look superb teamed with tonal taupes.

My day-to-day make-up always features some purple in it, as my kohl of kohls is Chanel’s black‑with-a-hint-of-colour Longlasting Eyeliner in Purple Choc, recently discontinued in favour of Cassis (£24, Warmer complexions should seek out Chanel’s Prune Intense (£24).

I know you favour these hints of subtly flattering colour about the lid, as your eye product of the year in Inspire’s Beauty Awards at Christmas was Charlotte Tilbury’s Rock ’N’ Kohl Velvet Violet Eyeliner (£19, charlotte — less violet, in fact, than a mauvey/minky brown.

My most cherished eyeshadow palette, Bourjois Le Smoky (£4.19,, features two jet-purples amid its soots, silvers and old gold: number 5, a cooler, bluer hue; and 6, which is warmer and browner. Both are ideal for the creation of an off-black smoky eye with a degree of enriched interest. As an alternative, I cannot emphasise enough what a tonic it will be to experiment with a bolt of bold colour.

Hannah (pictured) recommends MAC Cosmetic’s Cobalt Eyeshadow as the nearest to very peri

I’d start with a solid block of purple up to the crease only. MAC boasts an array of outstanding options. Its Cobalt Eyeshadow (£16, is the nearest to very peri — a tad brighter and truer. Add mascara and you’re done.

If I’m expanding beyond this single-shot approach, I love juxtaposing MAC’s Ready To Party Extra Dimension Eyeshadow (£17.50), the palest, shimmering white-lilac, with Grand Galaxy, a fabulously grubby violet (£17.50).

Or, when the light gets a tad spring-ier, I’ll team the pinky-purple Stars N Rockets (£16) with Power To The Purple (£16), which is regal gone goth.

Cranberry (£16), a ruddy plum, Star Violet (£16), a pinky-brown damson and Sketch (£16), a muddy burgundy, work well on warmer skins

Glisten Cosmetics Wet Liners (£6.50 each, can be applied with the brand’s brilliant Liner Brushes (from £6 each, bundles from £10) for intense graphic guises, but also work as shadows wetted out to a watercolour effect. If your complexion is cool-toned, check out Amethyst, Ametrine and Aubergine.

No 17, back at Boots as of last week, boasts an eyeshadow palette entitled Pinks (£5, that is nothing of the sort, being orangey-browns plus purples. Tawnier types, take note. 




Courteney Cox, 57, (pictured) opts for concealer and hydrating foundation from Koh Gen Do, applying it with a brush from Selena Gomez’s brand Rare Beauty

The actress, 57, aims to paint her face in five minutes. First, she opts for concealer and hydrating foundation from Koh Gen Do, applying with a brush from Selena Gomez’s brand Rare Beauty. Then she uses a Stila cream blush, brown Tom Ford eye pencil, Marc Jacobs mascara, and Palladio Beauty blotting papers to mattify.


Enjoy an insanely zesty kick-start to the day, with this essential lime-peel gel.


A zingy deep clean with opti-plex tech to leave hair stronger.

Revitalises locks without weighing them down. This is also paraben and sulfate-free. 

With ginger, lemongrass and orange oils to boost tired bodies.

A pink, eucalyptus-flavoured classic from 1896. Still loved for its fresh-mouthed oomph. 


Don’t imagine that I’m coming over all Gwyneth Paltrow on you. I would never suggest doing a juice cleanse in joyless January, or that you only quaff juice at any time.

However, I like to do the odd three-day juice burst to give myself the occasional reset, and Radiance’s are the best.

It’s Radiance Greens Cleanse (six juices per day over three days, £195, — ‘green’ meaning no fruit — is a great way of going cold turkey on sugar/greed, ridding yourself of the habit.

Cut down on the white stuff, booze, caffeine, meat and processed food. Then do your 72 hours of greenery. You won’t want to sully your temple-like body in the wake of this rejig. You’ll be radiant for spring.

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