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Purple Makeup Is Having a Moment and Can Be Beautiful on Our Mature Skin

By Elise Marquam-Jahns November 30, 2023 Beauty

Thanks to TikTok, Taylor Swift’s song “Lavender Haze” and the past spring and summer fashion runway shows, the color purple is having a major moment in the beauty and fashion world. And it’s an easier color to wear, both as makeup and clothing/accessories, than we might think because purple is considered a universal color since it has an equal mix of red and blue. This means that it can look beautiful on everyone.

So, today we’re going to explore which shades of purple might work best for us based on our skin undertone and how we can beautifully incorporate this color into our makeup routine.

The Power of Purple

Purple has long been a captivating and mysterious color since it combines the calm serenity of blue with the fierce energy of red. It’s often associated with royalty, nobility, luxury, power and ambition. And the color purple specifically includes the shades lavender, plum, violet, fuchsia, magenta, indigo, thistle and orchid. Cooler tones of purple have more blue in them and warmer shades of purple have more red in them.

If you have a cool skin undertone, you’ll look best in cooler tones of purple and if you have a warm undertone, warmer shades with more red mixed into them will look best on you. And if you have a neutral undertone, you’ll look wonderful in both warm and cool shades of purple. If you’re not sure of the undertone of your skin, here’s a link to a video I’ve done on this topic which I hope will be helpful.

Ways to Use Purple

Adding a pop of purple to our makeup routine is a fun and easy way to switch things up. We can highlight a single feature using purple, create just a pop of purple – or go full bore – with a complete monochromatic purple look. And, of course, the full monochromatic look can include all different shades and intensities of purple.

So, whether we decide on a purple eye look, a more natural-looking pink toned purple flush on our cheeks, or a light lavender lip gloss, there are endless ways to incorporate this color into our makeup routine.

In today’s video we’re going to focus on seven different ways we might include purple in our makeup routine: with our eyeshadow, eyeliner, mascara, blush, highlight, lipstick and finishing powder.

It’s Universally Flattering on the Eyes

Let’s start with eyeshadow. Purple eyeshadow can work for all eye colors. Purples and plums can give a boost to grey or blue eyes and any purple will make hazel eyes look especially dramatic. Pairing purple with brown eyes is lovely, and any shade of purple will look beautiful.

Be sure to check out Elise’s YouTube channel which specifically focuses on makeup tips, techniques, and product reviews for those of us 50+. Don’t forget to subscribe!

Before we take a look at some gorgeous purples in a variety of eyeshadow palettes, let me first say that purple pigment can be a little challenging to blend, so it’s important to practice a bit. It can also be difficult to clean off, so make sure to use a gentle makeup remover like micellar water.

Since some people have allergies to a common red dye which is sometimes used in purple and pink, it’s always best to be sure you don’t have a reaction to the eyeshadow before you head out the door. So give a skin test to the color you want to wear by patting a little on the inside of your wrist and then letting it sit there for a few minutes to see if you have a reaction.

And here are some beautiful eyeshadow palette options that I’ll share with you in today’s video that have some gorgeous shades of purple:

But the eyeshadow palette I’m actually going to use for the first time in the video is the “Fleur” palette from Ace Beaute.

Other Purple Options for Our Eyes

If you’re not comfortable wearing purple eyeshadow, just using a deep purple eyeliner or eyeshadow as eyeliner can be a beautiful touch. But it’s a good idea to stay away from red-based purple eyeliners because those can definitely make us look tired.

And believe it or not, there is such a thing as purple mascara. L’Oreal makes one and so does NYX Cosmetics. A great way to use purple mascara is to apply one coat of black mascara first and then use the purple on the tips of the upper and lower lashes.

Beautiful Purple Blush Options

When it comes to blush, the biggest challenge to going purple is choosing the right shade with the right amount of warmth. Many shades of purple blush can create a lovely flush that adds vibrancy to our look and can instantly heighten our glow since it brightens the eyes and enhances the natural pigment of the lips.

Here are several blushes I’ll share with you in the video:

Some purple blushes I don’t have which look gorgeous are the Tower 28 cream blush in the shade “Party Hour,” the Glossier Cloud Paint blush in “Wisp” and Rare Beauty’s Soft Pinch Liquid Blush in “Faith.”  

A Variety of Options for Our Lips

A purple lip color can really be fun because purple lipsticks range from very deep purples to lavender. And it can be easier to pull off a purple lip color than you might think because of this range of hues, undertones and formulas.

One good option is from the clean beauty brand Ilia and is called “Ultra Violet.” Next is a drugstore lipstick from Flower Beauty in the shade “Dahlia Desire.” Another drugstore lipstick that I love is one from Milani called “Violet Volt.

There are so many beautiful purple lipstick shades, but the wonderful thing is that if you’re not quite ready to go full-out purple, there are a lot of wonderful ways to adjust the color by mixing a lighter lipstick shade with it – or adding a lighter lip gloss.

There are some lovely purple toned glosses in the Sephora makeup line. One is called “Regal” and another that I use a lot is “Wild” which is a light shimmery lavender. And this last gloss is pink. It’s called “Daisy Girl” from Lawless Beauty, and it works beautifully to tone down purple shades which are too dark for me.

There are two other Lawless glosses in purple shades which are beautiful: “Lavender Sorbet” which is a pale, pinky lavender and “Violet Bloom” which is a soft orchid.

A Beautiful Purple Finishing Touch

And the last option I want to focus on is finishing powder. Applying a finishing powder which has just a light touch of lavender in it can be a great way to stick your toe into the purple makeup trend because it can never look overdone and can instantly add life to our makeup and counteract any ashy or grey tones in our complexion.

Also, icy tones in the purple family reflect light which can add a beautiful glow to our complexion. A cult favorite finishing powder which I’ll never be without is from Hourglass. Their shade “Mood Light” is a soft, sheer lavender pink powder which is stunning.

So whether you’d like to add just a touch of purple to your makeup or go full-out, there is a wide range of wonderful products from which to choose.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

Is purple one of your favorite colors? Do you have a favorite purple makeup product you love? If so, please share it with us!

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Irene Anderson

Hi all – I have been using purple eye shadow for decades – I’m 73 and it looks just as good now as when I was 17. My skin is fair and hair light grey – in my opinion shades of purple/ mauve / pink look flattering. It’s not always easy to find purple cosmetics – especially when you are extremely picky like me ! I only use organic with minimal ingredients – and obviously from ethical companies – ie no animal testing .


Try Thrive cosmetics. Not only are they not tested on animals, for every dollar you spend they donate a dollar to women’s shelters.

Elise Marquam Jahns

Hi, Irene–It’s wonderful to hear from another woman who loves purple! Makeup is all about what we love since there are no makeup “rules”!


I look forward to your make-up suggestions and trends. However I wish you would recommend single shade options in the form of a chubby pencil (not too shimmery) or single powder. The palettes are a waste of money for me as I would only use 1-2 shades. Most have too many dramatic shades and glimmer shades. I’m more of a natural, low key look. I used to wear lavender eyeshadow a lot when younger and it looked great with my brown eyes and medium brown highlighted hair. But now I am no longer dying my hair and it is salt and pepper. I stopped using the lavender eyeshadow as it seems to make me look more tired or something. I’m willing to try it again in a single shade option though.

Elise Marquam Jahns

Hi–Thanks so much for letting me know you enjoy my makeup suggestions. And thanks also for your suggestions about mentioning single shadow options and pencils. Hair color changes can make a difference in the colors we choose–but sometimes it’s just a matter of going a bit lighter in tone. But it’s always fun to experiment.


I love all shades of purple and a nice color on me……but, I don’t think i would wear it as a makeup (well…maybe an eyeshadow).
I think more mature women look better in softer colors that enhance our natural coloring.

Elise Marquam Jahns

Hi, Carla–

It may be fun to experiment with some soft lavender or purple eyeshadow. The wonderful thing about makeup is that we can always remove it if we don’t like it!


Sorry. I look dead in all shades of purple. It does NOT look good on everyone. And the older you get, the more sparingly you should use it.


Agreed. Less is more

Elise Marquam Jahns

Hi, Michele–

Yes, I definitely agree that we all have to decide what looks best on us. One of the wonderful things about makeup is that there are so many options and we can have fun experimenting.


I’ve always used Aplum blush from Lancôme and one of their plum toned lipsticks, most recently Fashion Icon for a number of years. About 9 months ago I was having my makeup done for my grandson’s wedding and the makeup artist said the plum tones are “old lady” colors and I should switch to a cranberry color… This week I had another grandson’s wedding and a different makeup artist & I asked her if this is true? She kind of hemmed & hawed & said that she doesn’t usually use purplish colors on younger people….
Well… I said that I’m not a young person and the plum tones are more flattering with my coloring!

Elise Marquam Jahns

Hi, Margaret–

Trends in makeup can be fun, but in the end the colors we choose boil down to what we love and what we feel looks best on us. Glad to hear you’re sticking with the plum tones you love that look great with your colorin!

The Author

Elise Marquam-Jahns is a professional makeup artist who is passionate about helping women 50+ get their glow back. She is the founder of Boomer and Beyond Beauty and runs the “Boomer and Beyond Beauty with Elise” YouTube channel. Elise has authored the free guide The Top Four Research-Proven Makeup Techniques That Help Us Look Our Best Now.

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