Rose Serenity: Sephora + Pantone Universe Color of the Year collection 2016


It’s finally here.

Every year there is one collection I look forward to the most: the Sephora + Pantone Universe Color of the Year collection.

For those not in the know, every year Pantone, the world’s colour authority, releases the Color of the Year, which is a shade decided by colour influences.  Pantone’s colour experts comb the world, including looking at industries such as the entertainment industry and films in production, traveling art collections, and new artists, fashion, all areas of designs, popular travel destinations, as well as new lifestyles, play styles, and socio-economic conditions. The Color of Year, in turn, influences product development and purchasing decisions in multiple industries, including fashion, home furnishings, industrial design, product packaging and graphic design.  Past colours include Marsala (2015), Radiant Orchid (2014), Emerald (2013), Tangerine Tango (2012), and the list goes on.

For the first time ever, Pantone actually chose two shades, which are meant to blend together. Pantone 15-3919 Serenity and Pantone 13-1520 Rose Quartz are a harmonious pairing of inviting shades that embody a mindset of tranquility and inner peace. Serenity comforts with a calming effect, bringing feelings of respite and relaxation even in turbulent times. Rose Quartz is a persuasive, yet gentle tone that conveys compassion and a sense of composure.

For the past few years, to complement to the Color of Year, Sephora teams up with Pantone Universe and releases a collection based on the star shade, as well as accompanying shades that are colour pairings. Usually the collections are quite vast, however, for this year, Sephora chose to keep it small with lipsticks (in each colour), and eyeshadow palette, and a set of glosses.

eyeshadow palette glosses lipsticks

The Color of the Year Layer Lipstick (Rose Quartz) is a rich, velvety, hydrating lipstick that packs a punch of colour.  The Color of the Year Matte Lipstick (aka Serenity – the blue) is meant to be mixed with the pink shade to provide a punch of colour.

Both lipsticks, sold separately for C$23 each, are incredibly opaque, and to be honest, aren’t that wearable on their own.  Although I’ve always been a fan of – as I like to call it, “whore pink” or baby pink shades – this one is next level, almost on the cusp of a white pink shade, which will take a lot of thought into wearing it properly.  Same with the blue shade.  They are both quite bold, and although they aren’t as bad mixed together (keep reading to see how I did it), it’s a shame that they aren’t sold as a set, as neither are really wearable for everyday (or really, for most nights out, unless you have pastel hair).  For photos though, they’re great.  If you are looking for a good Instagram lipstick, pick these up.

The Modern Watercolors Eyes Palette (C$49) is a palette of 24 shimmer and matte eyeshadow shades.  Of course you have Rose Quartz and Serenity, but they also threw in the colour pairings. According to Pantone, the pairing of Rose Quartz and Serenity bring calm and relaxation.  This combo joins easily with other mid-tones, including greens and purples,  browns and all shades of yellow and pink.  You can also throw in silver or hot brights for more splash.

This palette is definitely perfect for spring since there are tons of pastels, as well as bright shades.  The colours do go on a bit chalky, which is disappointing as I’ve used many other Sephora-brand palettes that give better quality shadows.  This one will be pretty on your makeup table (it features a watercolour case), but if you are looking for wearable, quality shadows, I would skip it.

Finally, the Modern Watercolors Lip Gloss Set (C$35) contains six pastel lip glosses in Rose Quartz, Serenity, as well as complementary colours in Cantaloupe, Fox Glove, Pale Banana, and Sunlit Allium.  These do apply quite sheer, so don’t be scared of the colours (no, the yellow won’t look yellow on your lips).  These also feature sunflower seed wax and vitamin E for deep hydration and conditioning.

Both Rose Quartz and Serenity are definitely spring shades, as they both as pastels. I wanted to figure out a way to rock these lipsticks, so I went with a light grey on the eye and let the lips do the talking.

final 2
Steps 1. Fill in your brows then lay down a neutral eyeshadow primer (I used MAC Paint Pot in Nubile).  Then, with a fluffy crease brush, lightly dab it into 16-2624 (Lantana – the coral orange) and apply it into your crease.

2. With a blending brush (I use MAC 217) and the colour 17-4111 (Citadel), apply this into your crease to darken it up.

3. With a shadow brush and 16-3802 (Ash), apply this to your lids.

4. With that same brush and 13-4201 (Oyster Mushroom, a shimmer grey), apply that over the matte grey you just applied to the lids.

5. Curl your lashes and apply mascara. I used Revlon Ultra Volume mascara.

6. With a combination of 16-3802 (the matte grey we first applied on the lids) and 17-411 (the shimmery navy we applied in the crease), apply this along your lower lash line.  Then apply mascara to your lower lashes.  For the inner corner highlight, I applied 11-0105 (Antique White), which I also put along the brow bone.

7. For the lips, first apply the Color of the Year Matte Lipstick (Serenity) to the inner corners of the lips. I actually first applied it all over the lips then took a tissue and wiped away the middle. After, with the Color of the Year Layer Lipstick (Rose Quartz), apply this to the centres of the lips, lightly blending it with the blue in the inner corner with your fingers for that ombre effect.

8. Since it was quite bright, I toned it down a bit with the Sunlit Allium gloss (the purple shade).

final 1 Overall, although I always love when Sephora releases these collections, and this one is definitely pretty to look at, it’s not the most wearable.  The glosses and shadows are meant to be watercolour, so they are very sheer, and to be honest, nicer to look at than to wear. The quality of the lipsticks are amazing, but the colours aren’t the most flattering or wearable. With that being said, both lipsticks and the eyeshadow palette is currently sold out online.  Also, according to, these are online exclusives, which I find odd, since these collections tend to be quite popular. If you are interested in any of these items, check your local store for availability.

I think Pantone hit it on the head when they said that Rose Quartz and Serenity embody a sense of tranquility, as they are beautiful colours to look at, but when it comes to makeup (especially lip shades), they aren’t the most wearable, which is fine since I’ve always found these collections to be more like collector items than actually items you would wear everyday.  If you’re like me and always look forward to this collection, these are a must. They are also incredibly Instragram-worthy :P.

Will you pick up any items from the Sephora + Pantone Universe Color of the Year 2016 collection?

Please note, I was send this product by PR.  All opinions are my own.

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