Janell Geason and Ian Michael Black Discuss Marsala, Pantone’s Color of The Year

Pantone's color of 2015 is Marsala, described as an earthy shade, grounded in reddish-brown roots. The sophisticated, rich hue is seen in Aveda's 2014 Romantic Grandeur fall/winter collection. Global Artistic Directors, Janell Geason for Makeup and Ian Michael Black for Hair Color, were key creators of the collection’s color looks. The two sat down to discuss what makes the color so special. The color, described by Pantone as an Earthy sophisticated shade, is grounded in reddish-brown roots.

Being no stranger to artistic collaborations featuring such alluring colors, Geason and Black have worked together for nearly five years creating gorgeous looks for Aveda collections, presentations for the North American Hairstyling Awards, and most recently for a look inspired by the Maasai Mara people with their colorful tribal clothing and face decoration, seen at Aveda Master Jam 2014, in London.

LIVING AVEDA: As trendsetters, where were you already using Marsala in your work?


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JANELL GEASON: This season I’ve been showcasing the color on eyes and lips as we have so many great products that encompass Marsala including Nourish-mint™ Smoothing Lip Color in Snap Dragon and Nourish-mint™ Sheer Mineral Lip Color in Sheer Fig; and of course from the Romantic Grandeur color palette there is Nourish-mint™ Rehydrating Lip Glaze in Mangosteen. Generally, we see Marsala as a lip color and probably how most women have been using it because it works great on most skin tones. In Romantic Grandeur however, we also used it as an eye color with the Petal Essence™ Single Eye Color in Allspice. Marsala works beautifully on green eyes as the reddish tones will bring out the green.

IAN MICHAEL BLACK: These makeup shades complement brown hair perfectly, be it a full on Marsala tone, or just a warm brown with the softest hints of that inner warmth. It’s definitely a look that’s easy to wear. For anyone wanting to wear this trend in hair color, the hue was seen on Alice from Romantic Grandeur and Tatiana. For Alice, warm ribbons of color are worked through a dark base to brighten the hair while keeping the tones warm and flattering to darker skin tones.

LA: Do you think wearing Marsala as a hair color is something that most anyone can do?

IMB: Marsala is the perfect color to rock in hair color. From rich warm all over color, to staying on trend by having pieces of it infused into darker base shades. It’s commercial and very wearable, but on trend. And the great thing about Aveda Full Spectrum™ Hair Color is it is totally customizable for each person so you can have a color that’s as strong in Marsala tones as you want, or if you just want to introduce a softer shade or pieces of it, the possibilities are endless.

JG: Yes, I agree, I love it as a hair color, but if you are not ready for that, try it out as a lip color or eye shadow first.  As seen in our Red Lotus look from Romantic Grandeur, you can either where it on your eyes and lips or choose one or the other depending on the look you would like to achieve.

LA: Is it too much to wear Marsala in makeup and in clothing choices? How can one pull off a Marsala look?

JG: I think fashion and beauty is about confidence, so if you feel confident wearing it in both ways, then go for it.  Otherwise, choose one feature in beauty and then accessorize it with a handbag or shoes.

IMB: And don’t forget a girl’s best accessory, her hair color! With that soft warmth to the brown, it can work as a head to toe look perfectly. Bringing it into your hair is a great way to compliment the way you can bring it into your clothing and really tie the whole look together. As Janell says, it’s all about confidence in your own choices.


This story first appeared in the Living Aveda blog.

Top, left to right, Alice and Tatiana have variations of a deep and dimensional Marsala hair color; bottom, the Red Lotus look worn by Sophie includes Petal Essence™ Single Eye Color in Allspice and Nourish-mint™ Rehydrating Lip Glaze in Mangosteen.

About Aveda: Founded in 1978 in Minneapolis, MN, Aveda creates high performance, botanically based products for beauty professionals and consumers. Aveda has pioneered new benchmarks of environmental responsibility in beauty. More than half of the fastest growing and best-run salons in the U.S. are Aveda distributors. Aveda products are available in Aveda Experience Centers and more than 8,000 professional hair salons and spas in more than 30 countries and at www.aveda.com.