Emerald City

Emerald is set to be the ultimate colour of 2013. Lisa Haynes reveals how to go green for the New Year

Forget the traditional January blues, the colour of the month – and indeed 2013 – is green.

The powers that be at Pantone Colour Institute HQ have spoken and declared Emerald (shade 17-5641 to be exact) this year’s jewel in the colour crown.

Described as a “lively, radiant, lush green”, the ‘It’ hue has stormed both the red carpets and international catwalks, making it an accessible colour trend to replicate on both the clothing rails and beauty counters.

“Symbolically, emerald brings a sense of clarity, renewal and rejuvenation,” says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of Pantone Colour Institute.

“This powerful and universally-appealing tone translates easily to both fashion and beauty.”

Time for a New Year colour update? Diamonds may be forever, but emerald is the gem to covet for 2013.


If you’re in any doubt about finding just the right emerald tone, cast your eyes over Gucci’s green. Models sashayed down the autumn/winter 12 catwalk in a hypnotic opulent jewel shade, while Burberry Prorsum sweetened up their spring/summer 13 show with a metallic Quality Street-inspired green.

“Make emerald your new black,” suggests Veronique Henderson, creative director at Colour Me Beautiful.

If it’s eveningwear you’re after, be aware that emerald tones differ radically depending on the fabric.

Henderson advises: “A shiny silk, brocade, or velvet – in fact all fabrics which reflect light and sparkle – will show emerald at its most brilliant.”

Those with clear colourings (a high contrast between hair, eye and skin tone) will especially dazzle in bright shiny emerald that is made for evening glamour.

“Just visualise Dita Von Teese in emerald – it would be electric,” Henderson says.


Emerald may be associated with precious stones but that doesn’t mean the colour has to be reserved for after-dark.

Jewel greens on linen, cotton or wool will appear softer and matte and therefore pared down for office attire or weekend casualwear.

While the catwalks created a dramatic impact by flaunting head-to-toe emerald, practicality suggests the Green Giant look won’t work for most of us day-to-day.

Henderson suggests: “Whether for work or leisure, mixing emerald with other shades from your palette will allow you to achieve a look that is both personal and current.”

For the truly colour-shy, a subtle flash of emerald is all you need to give the colour of 2013 the green light.

“An emerald handbag, heels, or even a scarf tied to the handle of a neutral shade handbag will bring you bang up-to-date with our Pantone friends,” Henderson assures.


On the colour cosmetics wheel, emerald is a winner for eyes. It effortlessly enhances green eyes, draws out blues, emphasises green undertones in hazel peepers and intensifies brown eyes to make them appear deeper.

It’s also the perfect complementary colour to peaches, pinks, roses, ruby reds and aubergines, offering a variety of lipstick and blush combinations to experiment with.

“Emerald is easy to wear once you think minimal, sleek and graphic,” suggests Lesley Keane, MAC senior artist.

“Look backstage at spring/summer 13 catwalks such as Kenzo or Stella McCartney. Models for both shows wore a modernised liner shape against a neutral face.”

For a more natural take on the emerald eye, simply outline the inner eye liner with green kohl.

“My best advice for pulling off this look is to focus on the eyes, leaving a neutral pallet elsewhere,” says Keane.

“Don’t use too much bronzer; stick to a natural sun-kissed look by using a honey-toned bronzer and finish with a lip conditioner or neutral lip colour.”


No need for dramatic cocktail rings with emerald decorating your fingertips. You can wear your nail polish as a statement accessory.

“Avoid wearing all green if you’re wearing an emerald-inspired nail polish,” warns Jenni Draper, Mavala Nail Ambassador.

“A jewelled ring or necklace should complement without being overkill.”

To continue the festivities, add an emerald glitter top coat for a dazzling finish, or opt for a matte top coat if you’re seeking a rich, velvety effect.

Use your colouring as a guide to choosing your perfect emerald polish – contrasting darker shades of green against fair skin can be striking.

Draper advises: “Green isn’t the easiest colour to wear but experiment with different shades. Darker skin tones can generally carry off green better but if you’re a bit worried, try it on your toes first before wearing it on your hands.

“A nice short, neat nail will give you a much more subtle look but if you want to make an impact then go for a long oval or stiletto nail, a la Rihanna, to really make a statement.”


Pantone’s 2013 emerald pick is a universal shade meaning it’s suited to all colourings. Colour Me Beautiful’s Veronique Henderson has this styling advice:

:: CATE BLANCHETT lookalikes (blonde, pale, blue eyes) can wear their emerald with other pale shades – think pastel pink or even cocoa.

:: PENELOPE CRUZ types (dark hair, dark eyes) can wear their emerald with lime, bittersweet reds and even black.

:: CHRISTINA HENDRICKS colourings (golden skin, red hair) will look gorgeous in emerald and could create some interesting looks when mixed with primrose yellows or tangerine shades.

:: JUDI DENCH dames (blue eyes, grey hair) will look wonderful in emerald mixed with pale greys for an elegant look.

:: KATE MIDDLETON princesses (bright eyes, dark hair) will look striking wearing the sparkliest of emerald. To introduce another colour try mint shades, or black or white for contrast.

:: KIM CATTRALL starlets (highlighted hair, muted eyes) will need to make their emerald less sparkly and more muted so that it does not take the shine off you. Wear it with sage or jade greens.


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Mother of three grown-up daughters I am the ultimate multi-tasker and am passionate about my role as Silversurfers Website Editor and Social Media Manager. Always on the lookout for all things that will interest and entertain our community. Fueling fun for the young at heart!

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