Happy Mardi Gras! It’s Fat Tuesday, and even if you’re not in New Orleans to celebrate, there are still lots of ways to incorporate the spirit of the party into your spring look. In fact, the official colors of the holiday—purple, green and gold—are perfect for adding some fashion-forward fun to your makeup or manicure.
Why purple, green and gold? The official Mardi Gras colors date back to 1872, when King Rex selected them as a way to celebrate the guest of honor, Russian Grand Duke Alexis Alexandrovich Romanov, at the inaugural parade in New Orleans. Each color symbolizes a different ideal: purple for justice; green for faith; and gold for power. Now you’ve got a fun fact to share along with your stylish new look.
On your eyes: From lilac to lavender, burgundy to berry, there’s no wrong way to rock purple eyeshadow—and it works with every eye color. Go for a bold yet totally wearable purple eye look with our Warm Fig eye sheen, a buildable liquid eyeshadow that you can apply with a light hand for a satin finish or layer for a rich color pop. Accent with a touch of gold shimmer in the inner corner of each eye to combine two Mardi Gras colors in one look.
On your lips: We’re fans of the purple lip year round, but in spring, the brighter, the better! Most of us have road-tested enough red lipsticks to know what works for us, but finding the right purple for your skin tone can be a little more tricky. If you’re warm-toned, look for a red-based purple, akin to a berry or plum, like Katy Perry’s lipstick above. If you’re cool-toned, blue-based purples—think more violet, like Katy’s hair—will probably suit you best. Keep the rest of your makeup minimal to really call attention to your bold lip look, or play up the party feel with an ethereal wash of gold or green on your eyes.
On your nails: If you’re looking for a true violet that’s rich and vibrant, Eden nails it (cheesy pun very much intended). But our favorite, unique way to tackle the trend is with Rae, a radiant orchid crème inspired by the Pantone 2014 Color of the Year. Every time you glance down at your nails in this cheerful, blossoming hue, you won’t be able to stop smiling.
On your eyes: Early spring is the perfect time to go for an ultra-bright color pop that’s sure to shake off those winter blues. Light green shadow looked unexpectedly elegant applied as a wash at the Lela Rose Spring 2014 show, providing a lovely contrast for subtle brown eyeliner and a petal pink lip. Or go the jewel tone route like our girl Lupita Nyong’o, who showed off shimmering emerald eyeshadow at the BAFTA Awards this year. She brought the color all the way around her eye for a gorgeous, youthful effect that perfectly matched her green Christian Dior gown. With its waterproof, gel-like texture and sparkling finish, the teal shimmer eye glider in our Eyes All Aglow set will knock this look out of the park.
On your nails: The most versatile way to incorporate green into your look is on your nails, and most skin tones can rock this spring-perfect color in all its different shades. For a pretty pastel with plenty of personality, Shenae is a sweet mint green with an opalescent shimmer finish. We also love Payton on hands and toes—this bright kelly green crème is a total stunner in the sunshine.
On your eyes: Who doesn’t love a golden eye? For a look that really nails the Mardi Gras party feel, play with glitter and shimmer for a luxurious, gilded effect. The Glow shade in our Sweep Eyeshadow Palette is perfect for achieving a shimmering gold eye that’s still daytime-friendly. Blend Dusk, a mauve satin, into the crease for more dramatic, still Mardi Gras-perfect look. For a bolder take, follow Solange’s lead and create a wide, graphic gold triangle at the inner corner of each eye, and tightline in black.
On your face: Swap your pearly pink highlighter for a gold-tone luminizer that will make you look like you came straight from the beach—or heaven above. Warm golds are typically the most flattering across all skin tones and will give you a tropical goddess glow. Just remember to apply with a light hand, touching on the spots where light naturally reflects off your face: your cheekbones, brow bone, jawline, and the bridge of your nose.
On your nails: Gold nail polish is a risk-free way to get a little celebratory bling without breaking the bank. And there are so many ways to wear it! For disco-level dazzle, a couple coats of Oscar will make your digits shine brighter than all the sequins on Bourbon Street. For pure Mardi Gras revelry, we adore Goldie, a full-coverage, yellow-hued gold microglitter that’s so bright and beautiful, it almost looks back-lit.
Mardi Gras is all about having fun, so even if it just means adding a purple headband to your hair or finally wearing those gold pumps in your closet, it’s the perfect time to play with your look and show a more flamboyant side of yourself. Let the good times roll!