An everyday girl using Pantone’s Marsala


There has been ample time to play with Marsala in the home decor shops, beauty counters, and dressing rooms across America since Pantone dropped its 2015 color of the year. I scoured blogs, pin boards, and magazine articles in December with the best of them -totally intrigued by authoritative celebrity picks and spins on incorporating the color into our lives these 365 days.


Be it my affinity for wine or neutrals, this earthy, red, rich hue has been my favorite choice from Pantone in years. While vibrant jewel tones are perfectly lovely (once I got over the striking resemblance between Radiant Orchid and one particular jolly, giant purple dinosaur of my childhood), I’m just not going to use them regularly. My tastes are far more earthly and neutral, especially with makeup (read I’m far too boring.) Enter Marsala: a breath of of fresh air.

My biggest beef with 75% of the pin-board suggestions though, even with a color I’m loving as much as Marsala: so many of them aren’t for the average, everyday girl.

I always think, really? I consider myself pretty average, and I’m not going sofa shopping every January. I’m not repainting the wall behind my kitchen table. I’m not repainting my kitchen table. I’m not dropping cash on a new duvet, shams, and sheets every 12 months (although if I wanted to be a real brat, this would be kind of a great excuse to do that.) It’s not for lack of want, but rather lack of funds made okay by a sufficient amount of common sense. It’s just not practical.

There are millions of tiny ways to incorporate the trendy shade for 365 days without cashing in all your chips or suiting up to prime and repaint every surface of your home once Marsala becomes a distant, last-season memory.



I keep super neutral bedding not only because -as we’ve established- I’m a boring person, but also because I’ve learned I’m a person who gets bored too easily to commit to something crazy and permanent. By changing out simple throw pillows, I get to add a bold pop of color without making the whole room about the color.


Besides, it’s also much easier to convince my husband and my checking account new throw pillows are a good idea, opposed to a complete master room makeover. If I choose to abandon Marsala in December, it’ll be much less painful.




love a deep, wine lipstick, and I’ve finally convinced myself I might be hip enough to pull one off. When “color of the year” pin-boards and special sections on beauty websites for Marsala were all the rage two months ago, I set out to find my Marsala Lipstick. And it was hard. Just because it’s is in-style and published on recommendation pages does not mean it always works, especially es-pec-iall-y with makeup.

I got some sort of “How Sephora is doing Marsala” email, jotted down all of my favorite lip shades that fell at a reasonable price point, and hit the store.

Within thirty minutes it looked like my hand had lost a bloody battle for all of the swatches of lipsticks across the back of it, and my lips were getting raw from wiping and reapplying different shades. They were either too red, too purple, too brown, too holy-heck-no-not-on-me for what I was looking for. Lipstick shopping can feel a whole lot like jeans shopping: some days it just ain’t happening.

Since Sephora’s Marsala recommendations failed me (like really most of them weren’t even Marsala, it was kind of frustrating), I dug some more around the Internet and found this.


MAKE Matte Lipstick in Jakarta (here or here)

This might be one of the best lipsticks I’ve ever owned. It’s dramatic, but not too dark and with a matte finish it’s not too over the top. Swoon. I feel like it isn’t exactly Pantone-18-1438, but close enough in the range to count and I feel comfortable in my own lips with it on, which is really more important than anything.


F21 Sweater (similar, similar, similar) layered over Loft Chambray Shirt (here)

While the reddish-brown hue is trendy right now, mixing it into a winter wardrobe is almost as classic and easy as it gets. Even with spring around the corner, temps are still on the cooler side across most parts of the country, so there’s still time to work it. (Heck, I’ll be working this color into outfits well into spring/summer.)

I’ve found so many fashion critics saying “that’s too burgundy” or “that’s too maroon” or “that’s too oxblood” of people trying to pull off Marsala clothes and to them I say “you take life too seriously, they’re all perfect.”



These are just 3 tiny, real-world examples from an average Joan, but like I said, there are so many possibilities –oh the possibilities- without breaking the bank. Have you found ways to use Marsala this year, yet? Let’s talk about it, I’d love a little inspiration!

2 thoughts on “An everyday girl using Pantone’s Marsala

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