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2021’s Pantone Colors of the Year are PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray and PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating. The colors express optimism, strength, positivity, and hope. Pantone says “A message of happiness supported by fortitude, the combination of PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray + PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating is aspirational and gives us hope. We need to feel that everything is going to get brighter – this is essential to the human spirit.” While these colors can bring many emotions out in us and give us hope, they are also great colors to be introduced into your style. From makeup to clothing, these colors can add new and refreshing ideas to your wardrobe and beauty routine.

While testing out new makeup trends may be scary, they can also be uplifting and empowering. Gray and yellow are not always common colors when it comes to everyday makeup. Starting with something simple, you could do colored graphic liner or smokey eyes using the two colors, or even just using one at a time. Graphic liner is very trendy right now, and using the gray or yellow color (even possibly using both) could make a unique and fun look! People nowadays are doing so many unique shapes and designs, that the possibilities are really endless! Also, using yellow as a blush could give you a very warm and bright moment, but also add a little pop of color to your look! Most people only think of reds and pinks when it comes to blushes, but using yellow could really give a unique touch to your makeup look. You can also use gray or yellow mascara if you wanted to test the waters with different colors. Though gray mascara may come off as a dull black or even that you didn’t have much mascara left while applying, yellow mascara can make your eyes pop! To incorporate a little of either color to your eye look, add the colored mascara only on your bottom lashes and then pair it with a colored eyeliner to really make it vibrant! While some of these makeup trends seem a little intimidating, they can still be easy to obtain and really help you branch out of your comfort zone.


As many people may not want to dye their hair PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray and PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating, there are other ways to incorporate it into your hairstyle. Adding ribbons to braids can give some playfulness to your hair. You can add ribbons into your braids by tying the ribbon to your hair, or attaching it with an elastic, and then using the ribbon as one of the 3 strands of hair when braiding regularly. Other ways to use the ribbons in your hairstyles are to tie them at the top of a ponytail and let the ribbon fall with the rest of your hair, or even tying the ribbon into a bow in your hair! Also, there are many different headbands and clips that can be placed in your hair for a unique touch. Personally, my favorite hair accessory is the padded headbands, and I will definitely be on the lookout for gray and yellow ones to add to my collection! Hats can also be a fun accessory too. Spring is coming soon, and yellow or gray wide brim hats can keep the sun out of your face while also adding the Pantone colors to your style! There are tons of other hair accessories that you could find in these colors, but these are some of my favorites.

Lastly, both of these colors can be added to your wardrobe in more ways than just simply wearing the color in your clothing. Monotone gray or yellow outfits could be a really unique and simple way to wear the Pantone colors. With the monotone looks, you could pair different tones of either Pantone color to give some depth to the outfit. Also, a big trend this season is blouses and flowy and airy dresses. Either of these with hints of gray and yellow could really be a beautiful look for the spring! In addition, wearing accessories such as purses, jewelry, and even socks can amplify your outfit and really give a nice display of these colors. This season, little shoulder bags are in, and if you are able to find them in yellow or gray, that could be a unique piece of your wardrobe as well. While jewelry may be a little hard to find in gray or yellow, these accent pieces could also give a subtle hint of the Pantone colors. You could simply incorporate these colors by getting a yellow or gray shirt, but you should try something new and experiment with a trend that uses these colors in a fun and interesting way!

After the hard year that was 2020, these Pantone colors are meant to uplift us and inspire us through these difficult times. While the colors PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray and PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating can be added to any style by just getting an item in either color, people should try different trends to break out of their comfort zone. I for one am very excited to try out these colors and incorporate them into my lifestyle in 2021. I hope you do too!

I'm a Senior at Temple University studying Biology. I'm originally from Bucks County, PA which is "right outside of Philly". I love to play sports, paint, and do makeup in my free time.
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