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Think pink: Pantone crowns ‘Honeysuckle’ color of the year

The Pantone Institute has picked a pink called Honeysuckle.
The Pantone Institute has picked a pink called Honeysuckle.
Pantone, Inc.

Get ready to be in the pink, because the blushing hue is taking center stage in the worlds of fashion and design. The Pantone Color Institute has named Honeysuckle (Pantone 18-2120) its 2011 color of the year.

Honeysuckle is a climbing vine or arching shrub (thanks, Wikipedia!) whose blooms are often a vibrant pink, and which smells as sweet as Debbie Gibson’s ‘80s celebrity scent “Electric Youth.” (Sorry, had to put in a plug for an archived Examiner blog in which I share my nostalgia for E.Y.)

Pink power

Back to hyping Honeysuckle. The Pantone institute—which last year lauded Turquoise as the must-have-color—is touting the way the rosy hue “lifts spirits and imparts confidence to meet life’s ongoing challenges.”

Resilience is needed to face tough realities like the ongoing recession. A lively pink can help, because it’s a veritable cheerleader of the soul, according to the Pantone website:

“Honeysuckle emboldens us to face everyday troubles with verve and vigor. A dynamic reddish pink, Honeysuckle is encouraging and uplifting. It elevates our psyche beyond escape, instilling the confidence, courage and spirit to meet the exhaustive challenges that have become part of everyday life.”

Celebrities are notoriously fashion conscious, and several starlets have begun wearing the slightly Barbie-esque color.

For instance, Mexican actress Ana de la Reguera ("Nacho Libre") recently rocked a Honeysuckle frock at a Dec. 7 premiere of the Disney’s “Tron: Legacy” at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood.

Trickle-down color-nomics

So how did Honeysuckle make the grade? Allow me to lift a quote from a spring 2009 blog in which I explain Pantone's process:

“Color wizards comb through the world of hue, looking all over—from the in-production work of fashion and interior designers to the pages and stages of magazines and musicals—for the latest colors to influence catwalks and castles. The panel then uses a computer to tally the colors that show up most often.

"Once Pantone reports its preferred pigments, a spectrum snowball ensues. The top colors start by reflecting and influencing the world of high—and high-cost—fashion. Then, they begin to show up in stores that fit your average American’s budget.”

The influence begins in the media, where pro-pink pronouncements have begun showing up everywhere from the New York Daily News to the Dubuque Telegraph Herald, from “Gourmet Retailer” to ABC News, and from Design Week to MarketWatch. With news traveling this fast, you can bet that a reddish pink that is kissing cousins to magenta will be coming soon to a Target near you.

Etsy does it

Why wait for the wave to crest, though? You can already start stocking up on one-of-a-kind Honeysuckle-tinted items wherever they show up. The hue is evident in spades on, an online marketplace of homemade and vintage goods that is my go-to shopping destination.

Want to infuse your winter wardrobe with a bit of vibrance? Makeup and accessories are the quickest way to add some punch. I picked some faves, but don’t stop there. Let your own fingers do the Etsy walking and I think you’ll find that Molly Ringwald isn’t the only girl who is Pretty in Pink.

1. Feeling studly

Check out’s Distinction Jewelry Shop. I’m loving the Little Beauties, a pair of deep pink Almandine garnet earrings. The studs, tucked in recycled silver settings, cost $30, with no shipping and handling. They're glitzy enough to wear to a holiday party and semi-precious enough for every-day wear. It doesn't hurt that they're Honeysuckle!

2. Flower power

The Dark Pink Flower Lariat from Etsy’s MadeByFlower shop may not keep you warm, but it is sure to keep you stylish. The scarflet features a 60-inch “stem,” lovely leaves and pearl-hearted blooms. At $10, $2.50 shipping, the price is as pretty as a posy.

3. New velvet

Honeysuckle-hued style is in the bag when you pick up the Perry in Vin Rouge Velvet purse at the bayan hippo shop on This small bag is lined in bleached cotton and features two inside pockets and a zippered closure. You’ll stand out all season with this $22 item. (At $7, shipping is a little steep.) Need something bigger in which to store your stuff? Banyon hippo, a haven of quality handmade purses, also offers an everyday purse in the same fab fabric.

4. Shiny, happy people

I love mineral makeup, particularly mineral eye shadows. The homemade pigments are organic, affordable and extremely vibrant—a little goes a long way. There are lots of mineral makeup shops on Etsy, many of which offer inexpensive samples that will let you play like a kindergartener with a finger-painting set.

One of my favorite Etsy shops is Shelly Frances Makeup. A little over a year ago, I wrote a blog highlighting this veritable Rainbow Brite of a vendor.

Shelly’s still around. Sleuth through her selection of 89 shimmer/metal eyeshadows, you’ll come across Shakira, a glittery powder of deepest pink that have you singing the old Fats Waller tune, “Honeysuckle Rose.”

You can use the same pigment for your cheeks and lips, too, bye the bye. A 5-gram shifter jar, which Shelly says lasts 50 applications, is $6. Shipping is $2.50. (Twenty-five cents with another item)

While you’re at it, why not pick 5 samples of any of the amazing colors on Shelly Francis for $5. You can throw them into a makeup hound’s stocking or, better yet, into your drawer.

5. Hand in glove

Remember those black leather fingerless gloves Sylvester Stallone wore in “Rocky”? Sure, it’s daunting to emulate the look, because who among us is as stylish as Sly? But when you put on the adorable Dark Pink Crochet Fingerless Gloves from Etsy’s Velo Noir shop, you can carry it off.

The shabby-chic pair is crocheted of soft acrylic yarn and jazzed up with cute pink buttons. The vender notes that the stitch is tight, so they are nice and toasty. They’re $19, and there is no shipping and handling. (If you have larger hands, just message the seller. She will gladly make the perfect pair for your paws!)

And finally. . .

6. Floral fantasy

You’ll feel flirty and feminine when you fasten a couple of Hot Pink Chiffon Flower Hair Pins, courtesy of Etsy’s Nomsa shop, in your tresses.

Wearing a flower in your hair is a quick and easy way to get that popular 1940s style. Update the look with the latest trending color, and you’ll be one fashionable femme. The cost is $14 for the two pins, which run between 2-2.5-inches. Shipping is free!


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