Contrasting the bright & grey

By A. Akmal
Tue, 01, 21

This week You! takes a look at the Pantone colour(s) of the year, ‘Ultimate Gray’ & ‘Illuminating’ and how you can incorporate it in your wardrobe and makeup...


Every year there is a hue that rules the fashion scene. Fashion enthusiasts’ and beauty gurus eagerly look forward to what ‘global colour authority’ Pantone will dub the ‘Colour of the Year’, as it will majorly influence a lot of trends in the industry. For 2021, we have a “marriage of colour conveying a message of strength and hopefulness that is both enduring and uplifting with ‘Ultimate Gray’ and ‘Illuminating’.”

MAK by Al-Karam

According to Pantone Color Institute, “The union of an enduring Ultimate Gray with the vibrant yellow Illuminating expresses a message of positivity supported by fortitude. Practical and rock solid but at the same time warming and optimistic, this colour combination gives us resilience and hope. We need to feel encouraged and uplifted; this is essential to the human spirit.” Compared to last year’s ‘Classic Blue’ which exuded calmness, this year’s hues will delve into a lot of versatility in your closets and makeup in many unique ways...

Makeup galore

With tons of vivacious makeup options everywhere, what better way to explore these exciting hues than through makeup? Although, you may think that this shade might not be for everyone, since greys suit cool toned skin better and the yellow complements the warm skin. But, that’s not the case. If you are into eye makeup, this year’s shades will garner tonnes of inspiration that you can try out. And honestly, it’s really easy to work with if you know the right techniques. The fact that these two shades are contrasting, it’s even more intriguing to make it work for every skin tone. Just make sure that you have concealed the undereye area perfectly and eliminated any ashy bits peeking through there. Some of the eye palettes that you can look into are: Huda Beauty Rose Obsessions palette, bH Cosmestics Take me back to Brazil palette, ColourPop Uh -huh Honey Palette and Blowin' Smoke palette, Jeffree Star Cremated palette.

Huma Adnan

Keeping it simple: If you prefer minimalistic looks, you can rock the duo on your face in the most simplistic way. We recommend sticking to one colour at a time. Paint your eyes in an iridescent yellow shade and top it off with a little grey shimmer right in the centre for an illuminating look and add a rosy lip to balance it out.

Cat-eye glam: Create an illuminating cat-eye glam by using neon yellow with a touch of ultimate gray. Smokey sunset: For warm-tones gals out there, an illuminating smokey eye makeup look resembles a summer sunset will to make your lids pop. Finish off with a glossy nude lipstick to create soft contrast with the matte smokey effect.

Keeping it formal: Soft but captivating, this ultimate gray glam is perfect for sophisticated ladies who want to follow the latest trends. You can add thin feline flicks and maroon lipstick for dramatic effect.

Colour your wardrobe


Starting off with Ultimate gray, if we think of it in terms of nature, it’s the colour of pebbles at the beach, of rock and stone that have been around for millions of years and aren’t going to disappear anytime soon.

The grey denotes fortitude; something that you can hang on to that is always going to be there for you.

As for the yellow, it represents sunshine peeking through the grey clouds, like a silver lining.

When it comes to casual looks, it’s really breezy to put something together. You can pair a charcoal grey with a yellow top or vice versa and it’ll look flattering on anyone. Depending on the kind of tones you favour – cool or warm – you can choose what colour you want dominating in your attire.

There are a number of international brands and runways that will offer you some really great inspiration for western wear. However, if you are looking for some local designer inspo, look at Generation, MAK by Al-Karam, Sania Maskatiya, Ideas Pret and even Huma Adnan.

As for fancy evening wear, pastels and greys have been a hit choice among many brides and her bridesmaids. Grey with subtle hints of gold exudes a kind of elegance that is perfect for evening wears. Sania Maskatiya and Saira Shakira have a collection that will pique your interest.

Saira Shakira

Accessorise & accentuate

If you are not willing to full-on embrace this colour combo, you can still get on-board with some accessories, like shoes, bags or sunglasses into a casual, everyday look.

All you have to do is find the right pieces and voila, you can sneak the trendy combo into your overall ensemble.

Pastels work really well; especially if you are looking into formal or office wear. The yellow will add some oomph and the gray will give a touch of an official look.

During winters, you can pair a gray cardigan or shawls with some pale yellow outfit.

Whereas, during summers, you can style your attire with some light and vibrant shades and then top it off with some amazing jewellery. Other than that, yellow footwear will accentuate any outfit that you sport!

For some pretty trinkets, chunky jewellery will be your go-to. You’ll find a variety of gorgeous jewellery pieces, from neck pieces to earrings, which will add subtle touches of the colour to your neutral ensemble. Another great way to embrace this duo is with a handbag. It can lend some elegance to an even casual dress.