Sephora + Pantone Universe’s 2015 Color of the Year: Marsala

Published on December 7, 2014 by   ·   4 Comments

So Sephora decided to give me (and all other beauty-obsessed divas) an early Christmas present: they announced the 2015 Sephora + Pantone Universe Color of the Year.  Was it a shock?  Yes and no.  After 3 years of very striking, vivid colors (Tangerine Tango -2012, Emerald – 2013, and Radiant Orchid – 2014) this comparatively toned down neutral seemed an odd choice.  But it also makes a ton of sense, both stylistically and for the bottom line.

00000000 Marsala Swatch

I was expecting the color for this year to be some sort of red.  Tangerine Tango and Emerald are both colors that are pretty firmly relegated to the eye area, and though there was a gorgeous Radiant Orchid lipstick in last year’s collection, it’s a very specific shade that not every skin tone can wear.  I had a feeling that Sephora was going to turn in a more lip-friendly direction, though I thought they might go with their established pattern and choose a more vibrant, classic red.  I wrote a post recently about the virtues of red makeup, especially the classic red lip; T-Swift keeps singing about red lipstick in every single song (seriously girl, we get it – you like red lipstick) and the red lip has been a trustworthy classic since the days of Marilyn Monroe.  So I was a little surprised when I saw a copy of the announcement (thanks to my glam buddy Tara for sharing!) and it was a muddy, sort of wine-colored shade.

00000000 Marsala Face

But then I thought about it.  And I thought about Urban Decay’s three Naked palettes.  And I thought about how every couple of years, some beauty “expert” tries to convince women that beige lipstick is acceptable (it isn’t – you look like a corpse).  And then I thought about the fact that the majority of Sephora customers probably aren’t enormous drag queens who want everything to be painted electric neon Technicolor Crayola orgies of color.  Some people have heard the word subtle and appreciate it instead of laughing maniacally and spray-painting over it in hooker fuchsia.

From a business perspective, the color is actually a really smart choice: it’s a red that’s muted enough to not only be good for the lips and nails, but can also be translated to the eyes and cheeks without looking clownish.  You can pair it with other neutrals for a classic look or smoke it up to bring out the reddish tones even more.  This is the first color in the COTY series that actually works for almost every kind of  beauty product; the teaser image below even hints at a mascara, though I’m not sure how well that will go over in our current lash-obsessed beauty culture where everything is oversized and blacker than black:

00000000 Marsala Splash

The collection hasn’t been released yet, though Sephora does have a page dedicated to it with recommended complementary products (that Naked 3 is the first in the list is no surprise – in fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the rosey nudes of that hugely popular palette were a deciding factor in selecting Marsala to wear the COTY crown in the first place).  It’s a little tame for my taste, so I’m not sure how many of the products will end up being “must haves” but I’m still excited for the collection to launch so I can see all of the incarnations of this new Pantone Universe selection.

What do you think of Marsala?  Love it?  Hate it?  Let me know whether you’re bored to tears, or waiting with bated breath for the collection to launch!

Now Go Forth And Get Painted!

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Readers Comments (4)
  1. Well as soon as I saw the color of the year 2015 Marsala, I immediately thought blush, though looking at the model pic above I’d be wearin’ a whole lot more of it. Also looks like a good colr for neck contouring. I also like it as a lip color though I’d add some shine/sparkle for the stage, but then I always do that with any color. I mean a gurl’s gotta emphasize her assets!

  2. kellly says:

    I personally am LOVING it and looking forward to seeing Sephora’s Pantone Universe offerings. It’s a color that seems easier to wear for me than those brights of the past few years. I could wear this to work and not look overdone. I’m hoping Sephora will have the collection in their stores before too long so I can put it on my Christmas wish list.

  3. janessajaye says:

    Definitely more everyday wearable, though I think everyone should be draped in emerald all the time! I love green! lol I doubt that the collection will launch before Christmas :( I’m surprised they already announced the color itself since that usually is a February thing…I think they are trying to capitalize on holiday sales with Naked 3 which is still breaking all kinds of sales records. Gotta make those coins, girls! :)





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