Each year, the industry eagerly awaits Pantone’s Color of the Year announcement to learn which hue the global authority on color anticipates will be ubiquitous in the coming year. In 2014, Radian Orchid, a soft spring-like purple hue was named the go-to shade, and for 2015, Pantone made a bold departure by selecting Marsala, a rich, reddish brown color, named after a wine produced in Marsala, Italy.

“Much like the fortified wine that gives Marsala its name, this tasteful hue embodies the satisfying richness of a fulfilling meal, while its grounding red-brown roots emanate a sophisticated, natural earthiness,” said Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute. “This hearty, yet stylish tone is universally appealing and translates easily to fashion, beauty, industrial design, home furnishings and interiors.”

According to Pantone, the color is universally flattering on many skin tones, making it an exciting beauty choice for sultry and subtle eye shadows that can be worn during the day with smoky-neutral color combinations and then made dramatic at night with gold metallic, bronze tones and sparkles. Youngblood’s gel liner in “Sienna” for example, embodies the red-brown color with metallic bronze accents, and can be used as a liner or all over the lid for a smoky brown effect.

However, since the announcement was made, the color has received mixed reviews. New York Magazine’s The Cut, referred to Marsala as “a color that makes you want to go to Olive Garden” and called it “icky.” News magazine The Atlantic dedicated an entire article, “The Problem With Pantone’s Color of the Year,” listing reasons why the brownish-red hue has received some negative responses, including how the color reminds one of “rust, the grimy, gag-inducing type that lines corners or frat boy dormitory-style bathrooms.” Additionally, many critics have taken to social media to weigh in on their distaste for the 2015 color selection. But, on the opposite side of the spectrum, there are others who laud the new color choice. The New York Daily News, for example, described the selection as “intriguing” and “equal parts 1970s earthy and modern-day modish.”

The beauty industry seems to agree with the latter.

Thanks to marsala, lips in 2015 will be given a strong, yet sophisticated appearance with the rich pigment, which can already be seen in CARGO Cosmetics’ Essential Lip Color in Bourdeax.

Marsala will also give blush, nails and hair a captivating pop of color that allows for individual creativity and experimentation. Even eyelashes will get in on the action thanks to Ardell’s Color Impact Lashes in Wine, which features the color trend.


In addition to color cosmetics, expect to see the 2015 Color of the Year throughout an assortment of beauty product packaging. The color is already being used by many brands including Osmosis’ Pur Medical Skincare Pore Minimizing Clay – Purifying Mask, which coated the lid of its product with the earthy shade. 


Pantone’s Color of the Year has influenced product development and purchasing decisions across multiple industries, including fashion, home and beauty for 15 years. Once the color is announced retailers and product developers rush to get the products on-shelves.