Well, Color Me Happy: Alcon’s #LiveinColor Event Has Us Seeing Fashion Through A New Lens

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L.A.’s most beauty-savvy men and women gathered at the luxury-boutique Mondrian Hotel in West Hollywood on Thursday to preview Alcon’s AIR OPTIX® COLORS contact lenses.  Part of their #LiveinColor campaign, now two years running, the lenses highlight Alcon’s 3-in-1 color technology in subtle and vibrant shades for a blended, natural look that isn’t always seen with other brands.

Instead of having every fashion blogger in the L.A. area packed into a banquet room, the eyewear mogul held several intimate gatherings throughout the day, giving everyone a chance to enjoy the open bar and pick the brains of the Color Squad, Alcon’s dream cast of celebrity trend-starters.

Lacy Redway, llaria Urbinati, and Scott Barnes

Collected like close friends on a white linen couch was award-winning fashion stylist, Ilaria Urbinati (clients: Nina Dobrev, Shailene Woodley, Lizzy Caplan, and Bradley Cooper), celebrated hair stylist, Lacy Redway (clients: Olivia Palermo, Angie Harmon, Uzo Aduba, Carmen Ejogo) and famed make-up artist Scott Barnes (clients: Jennifer Lopez, Christina Aguilera, Vanessa Williams, Naya Rivera).

While the advice they imparted earns the A-listers’ pretty pennies, the conversation felt more like gabbing over gimlets:

Speaking to some of the hottest colors for summer, Urbinati said, “People are often scared to wear a bright yellow, but this is the season to make that bold move.  You can probably pull it off better than you think.  Stay away from the olive or mustard yellows, and stick to a true sunshine.”

“Take it once piece at a time.” Barnes added, “Try a yellow jacket or a yellow mini skirt.  It doesn’t have to be a big bird situation.”

True to her word, Urbinati dressed Shailene Woodley in a long-sleeve white and “sunshine” yellow Tenesha gown from Emilia Wickstead’s Spring 2015 collection for her Berlin premier of “Insurgent”—the perfect occasion for dressing “dauntless.”   Pulling up a picture of Shailene on her iPhone, Ilaria couldn’t resist pointing out the Christian Dior Fall 2013 ankle-strap pumps, “I go crazy for the heels Dior comes up with.  This one feels classic and at the same time, like a work of art.”


Shailene Woodley in Emilia Wickstead’s Tenesha gown at “Insurgent” premier in Berlin

Feeling the glow from head to toe, Barnes set us straight: “The Ombre isn’t out, but the ‘Home-bre’ is.  It can easily look like a DIY job.”  Redway chimed in, “Be clear with your colorist that you want sun-kissed roots and a natural progression from roots to tips.”

“With these bright colors around your face, you’re going to want to bring in a contrasting liner and shadow that still makes your eyes the center of attention,” Barnes noted, “A deep plum shadow brings out brown, hazel, grey, green and blue eyes.  In other words, it’s plum and done, but eye color is where we can have some fun.”

Gone are the days when colored lenses were considered a trendy affectation.  Transforming eye color is a fashion-forward phenomenon that redefines a woman’s cache of looks.

But it isn’t until you try on a pair yourself that you see what’s possible.  Alcon came equipped with their team of Optometrists to help us look at ourselves through a new lens.

Choosing “Sterling Grey” out of the nine different AIR OPTIX® COLORS, a man who ordinarily has brown eyes said, “I never thought I could pull off looking mysterious.  I feel kind of sexy!”

I put the “Subtle Green” shade on my own finger, and the contact felt just as thin as the ones I’m used to wearing every day.  While I love my blue eyes, my red hair looked two shades brighter when my eyes were green, and yet I had everyone thinking they were my true eye color.  “You still look completely natural,” someone said, “except now I would believe you’re a Lannister.”  Picking up the Game of Thrones reference, I replied, “Maybe Joffrey should have worn AIR OPTIX® COLORS Subtle Green lenses…”

One woman posed to the Color Squad, “Is this just another way of telling women that their natural appearance isn’t good enough?”

“It’s so individual why we choose to change our look,” Redway replied, “So you have to look within yourself.  Playing with color shouldn’t be about feeling dissatisfied with yourself, but rather wanting to get creative, match your mood, or be bold.”

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Women get the chance to try on Alcon’s AIR OPTIX COLORS contact lenses

Colored contacts present a fresh form of expression without the commitment of a permanent change, which is the case with many of today’s popular beauty trends.  No lazers, cuts or injections.  It feels more like putting on a coat of nail polish.  And as many women know, there’s nothing like looking down at a fresh pedi to feel renewed.

Alcon wants men and women to feel comfortable in their lenses when it comes to color and fit.  Visit their website to virtually try on each available color or receive an in-office trial offer.  Then, visit an eye care professional who can confirm that your contacts fit properly and administer a prescription.

Chatting with Ilaria, she opened the door to her life filled with glamourous moments while being as down to earth as her suede fringe jacket.  She’s more concerned with making her clients feel great than the hoopla that no doubt surrounds her.  “Film stars get to be themselves for once when they’re on the red carpet.  I try to put them in something they really like.”  She shared what are sure to be her go-tos this summer:

Live in Color: Sunshine Yellow and Marsala Red


Blake Lively in Cannes and Rihanna at the MET gala

Still in Style: Jane Birkin late 60’s: tribal patterns, fringe, high-waisted
Pay to Impress: Handbags: Chloe
Safe to Save: Shoes: Vince
Know Where to Go: The Reformation, Opening Ceremony, Fred Segal

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