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The New Black is...Not

By Wendy Rodewald-Sulz / September 7, 2011

Black is a notoriously difficult makeup color to pull off. The Duchess of Cambridge (née Kate Middleton) has caught flack lately for her ring-around-the-lashline black liner. And while onyx lips had a moment on YSL’s fall 2008 runway, the look has (understandably) never made the jump to mainstream.

None of this has stopped beauty companies from releasing dark collections this fall, but the new blacks actually, well, aren’t. Instead, super-saturated purples, greens and berries stand in for true black. And while they’re just a few degrees shy of ebony, these inky shades are worlds more wearable.
Part of the Fall 2011 MAC Me Over collection, MAC’s New Black range features a rainbow of deep dark hues, including a four-shadow palette, four Fluidline gel liner pots, four lipstick shades and two nail lacquers.


Clinique’s limited-edition Black Honey Collection expands on the cult favorite Almost Lipstick that looks black in the tube, but glides on like a sheer berry. A eye shadow quad, cream liner and gradient blush come in flattering shades that complement the original lip color.

For the first time this fall, Nars’ Night Series shadows are available in a single six-pan palette. Along with two highlight colors, the compact includes four black-based shadows, each infused with a different shade of sparkle: Night Porter (green), Night Breed (silver), Night Clubbing (gold) and Night Flight (cobalt). A foursome that includes almost-black, shimmery nail polish shades based on the Night Series shadows rounds out this limited-edition collection.