F is for Fear of Colour: Overcoming Chromophobia

How to get yourself out of neutral: tips from Urban Decay makeup artist Eric Jimenez
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Liza Herz
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How to get yourself out of neutral: tips from Urban Decay makeup artist Eric Jimenez
overcoming chromophobia_Etro SS 2011

Overcoming chromophobia: makeup at Etro Spring/Summer 2011

I hate colour. My wardrobe is black, my home is white with black. To my easily distracted eye, colour means noise and disarray, whereas neutrals are calm and soothing.

But lately I've been thinking that my love of all things greige is just self-delusion. And my stash of wearable neutral eye shadows? Maybe "wearable" is just code for "boring." Uh-oh.

How can I get over this fear of colour, this chromophobia? (Yes, it's a word. Look it up. We'll wait.)

Because lately, I've been attracted to things like this:

overcoming chromophobia_Urban Decay crayon in Clash

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Pencil in Clash

If you're nervous and fearful but seduced by all the colour on the spring runways and in the stores, Urban Decay Global Makeup Artist Eric Jimenez has the answer: purple eye shadow. Easier to wear than blue, it's also flattering on everyone. "Purple is universal. You can mix it, it doesn't get muddy. It doesn't get distorted."

curing chromophobia: Rimmel Glam'Eyes Shadow Mono in Purple Romance

Rimmel Glam'Eyes Shadow Mono in Plum Romance

That's it: the baby step entry into a life of colour.

To recreate the look from Etro's Spring/Summer 2011 runway (top image), Jimenez loves this Urban Decay trio ($21 each):

overcoming chromophobia_Urban Decay Ecstasy, Flash and Purple Haze

Urban Decay eye shadow in Ecstasy, Flash and Purple Haze

Ecstasy (left) on the lid, Flash (centre) in the crease and along lower lashes, and then Purple Haze (right) feathered above.

The best part is that this look is pretty goof-proof – no advanced-level wing-y cat eyeliner, nothing terribly complicated. And if you get carried away and apply it with a heavy hand, the light colour ensures that you won't get the "unintentional-black-eye" that happens when people like me attempt to go all smoky and mysterious.

All that's left to do now is apply concealer. "It erases, brightens and gives you a contrast against the shadow," says Jimenez.

And voilà – my chromophobia is cured.