Another year is over, the awesome reign of Pantone’s Color of the Year 2015, Marsala, has come to an end and we’ve got two new reigning beauties, Rose Quartz and Serenity. Whaaaaaaa? Yup. 2016 is the year we’ve gotten two colours of the year at once for the first time. Let’s have a look at the colours, shall we, and I’ll also show you some products from my stash and inspiration to implement the new colours into your looks!

Be warned, this’ll be a long and picture-heavy post! Best grab the beverage of your choice and skip to the second part below if you’re just here for some product inspo.

Last year I wrote in-depth about Pantone and why they’re doing this Color of the Year thing. You can read about it in the original post, but let me just add – while the colours surely reflect some aspects of the zeitgeist, it is also extremely effective to make you buy stuff. Actually, Pantone partners with some brands (Sephora is just one of them – see their Color of the Year collection here), so that those brands can develop products featuring the new colour every year.


So, what are Rose Quartz and Serenity all about?

Pantone says:

“Rose Quartz is a persuasive yet gentle tone that conveys compassion and a sense of composure. Serenity is weightless and airy, like the expanse of the blue sky above us, bringing feelings of respite and relaxation even in turbulent times.“

They also say that they want colours to be gender-neutral (kudos for that!) and that both are supposed to reassure and give a sense of security. Well. I reeeeeaaaaaally want to snark about that, but then there’s colour psychology, and it’s definitely true that some colours can make you more relaxed. I’m not sure if I want to see that used in marketing when somebody’s giving me the sales pitch for a Kitchen Aid in Rose Quartz, though. Anyways, Rose Quartz is “a warmer rose tone”, while Serenity is a “cooler tranquil blue”.

I think both are tricky colours for those of us with a warmer, yellow undertone, but then I saw Temptalia’s makeup look a few days ago – maybe I’ll have to re-think that. 😉


Products I found in my stash

When the colours were announced, Astrid and I texted each other with various dismayed exclamations of  ‘oh, those don’t work for my skintone’ – ‘oh my, I can’t wear those colours’. Makeup-wise, I really think Rose Quartz and Serenity are much harder to wear than last year’s Marsala. And that’s one of the reasons I started to root through my quite extensive stash to see if I could find something, anything that would come close. Imagine my surprise when I found quite a lot of stuff!



Color of the Year 2016 blushes and highlighters! f.l.t.r. MAC Pink Cult, MAC Porcelain pink, Guerlain Meteorites in Teint Beige 02, MAC Play it Proper, Max Factor in Nude Mauve


I started with blushes. A warm rose colour, that shouldn’t be to difficult, right? And it wasn’t.

I found MAC’s Pink Cult, which may look quite cool in the pan, but magically transforms into a lovely light pink on the cheeks. Max Factor Pastel Compact Blush in Nude Mauve is another one that I wore a lot since they came out. Other lovely options would be MAC’s At Dusk, Modest Blush and Pet Me (not pictured).


Blush and highlighter swatches
Blush and highlighter swatches: f.l.t.r. Porcelain Pink, Pink Cult, Play it Proper, Nude Mauve


Highlighter time! Look at my tin of Guerlain’s Meteorites in Teint Beige above and tell me that those aren’t perfect for this year’s colours. MAC’s Play it Proper and Porcelain Pink are also great highlighters that fit into the Rose Quartz tab.


Blush and highlighter swatches - natural light
Blush and highlighter swatches – natural light: f.l.t.r. Porcelain Pink, Pink Cult, Play it Proper, Nude Mauve



Eyeshadows - Rose Quartz and Serenity
Eyeshadows – Rose Quartz and Serenity


I’ll admit freely that I was struggling with eyeshadows the most. Luckily those light rose shades are included as browbone colours in a lot of palettes, and I got lucky with those. One of my most used palettes is Wet’n’Wild Silent Treatment trio. The taupe in it is just gorgeous, and the light rose is so Rose Quartz. My first MAC palette – that’s the Colour Forms: 5 Warm Eyes and there’s a very nice Frost called Chillproof in it. Another light pink can be found in Chanel’s Regard Signé de Chanel Harmonie Du Soir quad.

Eyeshadow swatches
Eyeshadow swatches: f.l.t.r. wet ‘n’ wild, Chanel Harmonie Du Soir, MAC Chillproof, MAC Stylin’, MAC Beautiful Iris, MAC Love Lace


Serenity shades I found in my Lucky Tom Palette from way back (oh how I loved that Hello Kitty collection!) – Stylin’ is a Veluxe that performs like a horrible satin. It’s stiff and sheer and I don’t like it because of that. Love Lace is much better in that regard, but it’s a tad to dark and dusky to fit the bill for Serenity. Blended with a Rose Quartz shade, though – that’ll be a whole different matter! I also want to include a MAC classic, Beautiful Iris. Look at the Pantone picture above where both colours meet – that’s exactly Beautiful Iris and would work well with both Rose Quartz and Serenity in a look.



Rose Quartz lipstick possibilities!
Rose Quartz lipstick possibilities! f.l.t.r. MAC Marquise d’, MAC Cute-Ster, MAC Lavender Whip, Clinique whoppin’ watermelon


Let’s move on to lips. I was quite surprised that I don’t own any glosses, but then, I found a lot of sheerer lipsticks. There’s a reason they’re sheer – the high amount of white pigment in the more opaque lipsticks of those colours make them completely unwearable for me – they clash with my colours badly.

Lipstick swatches: f.l.t.r. MAC Marquise d’, MAC Cute-Ster, MAC Lavender Whip, Clinique whoppin’ watermelon


Clinique chubby stick in whoppin’ watermelon though, gives a hint of pink to my lips, and I like it a lot. Marquise d’ and Cute-Ster are both Lustres from old MAC LEs, both are a bit warmer and with a bit of shimmer as well. Lavender Whip is very likely as close as I ever get to wearing lavender on my lips – like Beautiful Iris above, I wanted to include it because it fits into the colour scheme.


Nail Polish

Color of the Year 2016 nail polishes!
Color of the Year 2016 nail polishes!


Now, a category I was actually very happy about – nail polish!!! I own a few polishes that fit into the Rose Quartz/ Serenity category very well, and I quite enjoy wearing them. Essie fiji immediately came to ming, same with Anny nude that is a bit warmer. a-england’s Iseult has some additional light silver shimmer in it.

The closest match for Serenity I own must be Kiko nailpolish in 338. Essie rock the boat is a bit lighter and has additional shimmer, and Essence forget me not, from a very old LE, has beautiful blue shimmer run throughout it.

Nail polish swatches!
Nail polish swatches! f.l.t.r. Anny nude, essie fiji, a-england Iseult, Kiko 338, essie rock the boat


While 2016’s Colors of the Year won’t become my favourites, I hope this post encourages you to rummage through your stash as well and see what works for you. In the end, the Color of the Year isn’t mandatory (there’s no makeup police!) but just a good reminder to incorporate different colours into your makeup routine and play around!


What do you think about Rose Quartz and Serenity?




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Beauty junkie with about 20 years of beauty experience under her belt. Editor, writer and twindly's PR heroine. Has an unbelievably large nail polish stash and a passion for skincare. Gets a kick out of pretty powders.

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