I have always felt coral to be an underrated colour, until this summer, when suddenly it's everywhere.
Somewhere between orange and pink, coral is a classic choice for retro Mad Men looks – heavy, smoky eyes and matt coral lips – but to confine it to 1950s homage is to miss out. Coral looks cool and modern when you skip eyeshadow altogether and give it top billing on the mouth, and it goes perfectly with all the neon fashion currently in the shops.
I clash bright coral lipstick with hot pink and red clothes, and vice versa, but I'm a diehard matcher of lips and cheeks. Coral lipstick requires coral or peach blusher (just as red/pink lips need rose or pink). Clashing undertones look decidedly Human League and, besides, one of blusher's key tasks is to bridge the transition from eyes to mouth. A sudden colour change jars messily. Don't do coral eyes unless you have very dark colouring, or are pale and happy to look as though in the grip of blepharitis. People avoid coral lipstick on the assumption that it makes teeth appear nicotine-stained, and there is indeed a fine line between a brightening coral and a sickly one.
Go bold and creamy, not demure or sparkly. Frosty peach is truly the end of days.
Lipstick Queen Endless Summer in Stoked(main image), £18, lookfantastic.com
A bright, bold but sheer coral that feels moist and comfy, and flatters all skin tones.
L'Oréal Color Riche Nails in Dating Coral, £3.99, boots.com
A perfect nail polish for those unconvinced by coral on the face. Easy, neat, wide brush application.
Sleek Makeup Blush, £4.99, sleekmakeup.com
Use Coral on dark skins, Life's A Peach on light. Excellent-value blusher with a smooth, streak-free finish.
Liz Earle cream and powder blushers in Coral, £16.50, uk.lizearle.com
Choose powder or cream (I adore the latter). Either way, this is beautiful and natural looking.
Bobbi Brown blush in Coral Pink, £19, johnlewis.com
A former limited edition, this perfect bright coral is back permanently. A sparkle-free pop of colour.
Tom Ford Lip Colour Shine in Frolic, £36, selfridges.com
The ultimate easy summer lipstick. A pinker coral that suits everyone, from light to dark. I wear it constantly.
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