Fade away and Radiant

If you’ve overdosed on festive red, green and gold, colour respite comes in the form of Radiant Orchid.

By The Newsroom
Sunday, 5th January 2014, 9:00 am
Say hello to the statement colour of 2014  pinky-purple Radiant Orchid.
Say hello to the statement colour of 2014  pinky-purple Radiant Orchid.

The uplifting pinky-purple hybrid has been unveiled as the Colour of the Year for 2014 by global colour experts, Pantone.

“A modern and surprisingly versatile shade, Radiant Orchid enlivens the skin, making all who wear it feel more healthy and energetic,” says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Colour Institute.

Invest now and you can get a full 12 months’ wear out of this of-the-moment hue.


Radiant Orchid, or shade 18-3224 as it’s known on the colour charts, is described by Pantone as a captivating and enigmatic purple.

Eiseman enthuses: “Blending both cool and warm undertones, purple’s an appealing hue and flattering to many hair, eye and skin tones.”

This petal-inspired shade is brighter than lavender but darker than mauve, and follows in the colour crowned footsteps of 2013’s Emerald and 2012’s Tangerine Tango.

“Enhancing how you look and feel, Radiant Orchid is a surprisingly versatile shade,” Eiseman adds.

“It can look exotic with yellow-greens, lively with yellow or orange, and seductive with red. It is complementary to blues, turquoise and teal, brightens up neutral shades of grey, beige and taupe, and is compatible with its sister shades of lavender, purple and pink.”


Candy pink reigned supreme on the catwalks for autumn/winter 13 so there’s a slight shift in the colour spectrum for spring/summer 14 season, with pinky-purple 
Radiant Orchid.

The shade is undeniably feminine, so either use it sparingly via statement accessories or pick out boxy or boyish pieces to offset the uber-girliness.

“Consider the fabric, as different materials create a different effect,” advises Fiona Wellins at Colour Me Beautiful.

“If you have a softer, more muted colouring with very little contrast between your hair, eye and skin colour, then you want to keep your colours softer - go for matte fabrics, or something with a textured surface, like wool, tweed or velvet.

“If you have a striking contrast between your eyes and hair - bright eyes and dark hair for instance - you need to make Radiant Orchid look brighter to complement your look.”

For a high-fashion statement look, wear your 2014 colour with contrasting pinks to create a striking tone-on-tone effect.

2014 MUST HAVE: If you love this hue, opt for a Radiant Orchid-tone jacket to brighten up your wardrobe. For an accent, you can’t go wrong with statement shoes or a bag.


Pastels come into their own in spring and variations of Radiant Orchid feature in must-have seasonal beauty palettes.

“Updating your colour palette with purple this season is really impactful,” says Caroline Barnes, Max Factor make-up artist. “The violet tone of purple works with most skin tones.”

While a violet pink pout is best reserved for the brave, it’s a surprisingly wearable shade on nails or eyes.

“Using a brush, apply your orchid shadow over the eyelid and up and over into the sockets. Extend out towards the temples to create an elongated angle,” Barnes suggests.

“Remember when carrying off a strong eye, you should prepare your lids with either a translucent powder or primer to give the look some staying power.”

To keep your Radiant Orchid contemporary and oh-so 2014, apply mascara to the top lashes only, to let the colour really pack a punch.

2014 MUST HAVE: Make an impact with a wash of Radiant Orchid on eyes teamed with neutral lips. For subtlety, pinky-purple nails will complement silver or gold jewellery.


Not sure if Radiant Orchid will grow on you? Fiona Wellins at Colour Me Beautiful (www.colourmebeautiful.co.uk) has this advice for wallflowers:

Radiant Orchid has elements of cool and warm but mostly cool, so it will flatter some complexions and not others.

You will know the instant you put it close to your face whether it works for you.

For those with cool skin tones, Radiant Orchid will look good on its own, or you can mix and match it with other shades in your colour palette.

If you have a warm skin tone, wear this shade away from your face and mix it with warm shades from your palette.

Purple is a wonderful shade to team with Radiant Orchid as it’s a universal colour, meaning that there is a shade to suit everyone. Find your best purple, make that the feature colour and Radiant Orchid your add-on accent colour for an elegant tonal look.

For a more dramatic look, try combining Radiant Orchid with lime, red, or emerald green.

Radiant Orchid will brighten up your work wardrobe nicely when you team it with neutrals such as grey, navy or black.

Choose a garment in a light reflecting fabric such as satin or silk.