Pantone’s Colour of 2015: Marsala. Product Roundup for Dark Skin (NC35-NC45)

WOC of the world rejoice. Finally a colour of the year that won’t result in people saying “it’s just so vibrant against your skin tone.” We’ll need to make sure to stock up on all the “nude” lipsticks and ‘girl next door’ blushes that will result from Pantone’s colour of the year in Marsala. (Italian wine, not a misspelling of the Indian food Masala as I originally thought).

On the internet the colour is being applied to many different shades quite liberally.

Here’s the colour as Pantone described it:

Marsala Colour

You can see that it’s quite a muted dark mauve. Now here’s a product inspiration pic.

Not Pantone

Do you see how many of these are red or burgundy? I’ve seen other product recs that involve a heck of a lot of purple too. Not to be too particular but the colours in these guides are too rich, dark and red. Not that they’re bad colours, but it just kind of defeats the kind of natural/nude look that Marsala is supposed to deliver.

I think for this colour to appear as it does on Pantone’s site we need to look for products with ‘spice’ in the descriptor. Products that mention ‘muted’ or ‘mauve’ will probably be too subtle or too lilac on our skin. However we also don’t want to stray too red by only looking for ‘spiced’ makeup. Something deep that leans more brown will probably be closer to Marsala on our skin.

Sephora very kindly put together a list of Marsala coloured products they sell. I took the liberty of googling many (read: all) of these and to be honest, they’re mostly nudes, lacking the dusty pink/brown tones. Or worse, they’re too sheer. For this colour to show up on WOC we’re definitely going to need to look for highly pigmented products.

And finally, here’s the list I sourced myself, using Sephora’s guide as a starting point. I curated this list to only include products I thought would be extremely visible on darker skin.


Marsala High End Lip Colours
1. Givenchy Le Rouge in Brun Cachemire 2. OCC Stained Gloss in Nomad 3. Bobbi Brown Lipstick in Rum Raisin 4. bareMinerals Marvelous Moxie in Break Away 5. Sephora Rouge Cream Lipstick in Mmmm…


1. YSL Baby Doll Kiss & Blush in Nude Insolent 2. NARS Blush in Seduction 3. Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Dazzled 


1. Maybelline Fit Me Blush in Deep Wine 2. Milani Colour Statement Lipstick in Cinnamon Spice 3. Maybelline Colour Sensational Creamy Matte Lip Colour in Touch of Spice


I took this pic from as she just did such a good job in selecting proper Marsala shades. These colours (especially Zoya Marney) do remind me of my mother but they’re also perfect for jobs where nude coloured polish is a requirement.

Marsala nail polish
From the very talented on Instagram.

Have you found the perfect Marsala colour for your skin tone? Whether it’s drugstore or high end I’d love to hear it!