Why Seasonal Color Trends Are Silly

I realize I'm killing my sales of seasonal palettes but I still have to say it.

Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week

Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week

New York Fashion Week had some amazingly beautiful styles for next spring, but the declared "trends" for the season not only change between each designer but between each model. One of my favorites was a very dramatic winged cobalt blue liner with minimal makeup on the rest of the face. I loved it because it looks amazing on that model, with cool blonde hair, almost invisible brows, and blue eyes. It's gorgeous and striking on her, but it would not be pretty on the average woman who walks into a makeup store and wants to know the next trend. The "trend" varies depending on who you ask. Are the metallic touches or full 80s glittery eye the trend? Or is it the nearly naked, nude toned faces? The complete lack of makeup on Marc Jacobs? The focus on heavy lashes? Dramatic liner with no mascara? Super bright pops of color on the eye?

Why Seasonal Color Trends Are Silly etherealauraspa.com/blog

This picture is Photoshopped but I can see some customers needing to do it anyway if this was 'the trend'.

About 2 years ago the 'trendy' spring colors were coral and navy. I saw this as one of the ugliest combinations ever. Women lined up to buy the white, apricot, pink, and navy palette, which looked good on maybe a third of them. The navy eye pencil sold out, which was hilarious to me, since there was a very close shade of blue on the shelf year round which nobody ever wanted.

This summer it was 50 Shades of Brown. There are people, myself included, that do not look good in brown, no matter what season.

Every season, makeup companies come out with "new" colors.

The new Urban Decay Naked 3 palette (which isn't technically a seasonal palette) is advertised with "12 Never Before Seen Shades!" as a tagline. Really? You invented new colors on the spectrum? No company has EVER used those particular shades of brown before?

Urban Decay Naked3

Urban Decay Naked3

Don't get me wrong, these are beautiful colors, and this palette is very versatile, but the ridiculous claim that these colors have never been seen before is absurd. These colors are new for Urban Decay.

What bothers me so much about seasonal colors is that the trends for the average woman are almost always the same. Pastels in spring, neutrals or brights in summer depending on the year, jewel tones in autumn, metallics or smokey eyes in winter. 

Women see the new seasonal eyeshadow palettes and assume that those are the colors they have to wear for the next few months, whether those colors compliment their coloring or not. Not every woman looks good in jewel tones, or brights, or pastels, or a smokey eye!

The ideal is that you have your own seasonal trends. Do you like a darker lip in the fall? Wear a darker lip, even if the trend is nudes. Do you like pastels all year? Wear them. Do you like bright colors in winter? Wear them.

What these "seasonal palettes" really are is a money maker. The type of customer that buys these palettes every season is the customer that has to have the newest items, no matter what. Makeup companies provide a supply for this demand, and make lots and lots of dollars from this need to always be "on trend" whether the trend is flattering or not.

Do I still get excited about seeing seasonal color palettes? Of course. But nearly every time, they're the same colors in a different combination. Every once in a while I'll see a combination I haven't tried before and I'll buy a seasonal palette. The last time this happened was two summers ago, when an eyeshadow palette had muted deep purple, grey-purple, and mint green all together. Do I always use them together? No. I like them as individual colors as well as a combination, which is why I bought it, despite what season it was for.

Build your collection of colors based on what looks good on you, not what looks good on this season's runway models or what the 'makeup rules' happen to be.