Radiant Orchid, the trend color of 2014 as decreed by color specialist Pantone, has shown up all across the beauty spectrum. The flower is appearing literally — as the key ingredient in Clarins Blue Orchid Face Treatment Oil, for instance. Or it's an inspiration — for example, as the basis of trendy nail wraps from Jamberry Nails Radiant Orchid Collection.
In skin care, orchid extract is touted as an effective moisturizer; orchid leaves contain plant pigments called anthocyanins — also present in blueberries and acai — known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
"The idea is a good one," said Ariel Ostad, clinical assistant professor in the department of dermatology at New York University Medical Center. According to Ostad, the innate properties of orchids can potentially help stimulate collagen production and fight free radicals.
"It's certainly a nice step forward," he said. "But the question is, have adequate studies been done to prove that the amount of extract in a particular product is enough to make a difference?"
So it may be an uplifting idea to use orchid, but the jury is still out on how effective the ingredient will be in any given product.
Beyond skin care, using orchid-inspired cosmetics is an easy way into the trend, with the brilliant purple-pink hue showing up in products for lips, eyes, cheeks, nails and even feathery faux eyelashes.
Aqua Veil Hydrator serum from Amarte ($65) contains orchid, lily and mallow to help brighten the complexion and lighten freckles. www.amarteskincare.com
From L.A. brand Skinn cosmetics comes Orchid Gel Mattefying Skin Perfector ($10-$30), a swirl of purple cream that helps minimize pores and lines, and Orchid Gel Tint ($24), a substitute for foundation in four shades. www.skinn.com
Hydration Maximizer from Murad ($35) firms and hydrates skin using a range of botanical ingredients, including orchid. www.murad.com
Prestige French brand Carita uses orchid in addition to luxe ingredients like diamond and tourmaline to boost the hydration of its Beauty Diamond Eye Program ($380), a cream designed for the under eye area. www.caritadirect.com
The Aroma Night Regenerating Cream from Decléor ($67) has a rich texture and is infused with black orchid extract, evening primrose oil and peptides to nourish the skin overnight. decleorusa.com
Clarins Blue Orchid Face Treatment Oil ($52) is an anti-aging treatment that softens, hydrates, tones and restores radiance to dry skin. www.clarinsusa.com
Orchid, ginseng and glycoproteins are at the heart of the Oxygen Revitalizing Cleanser ($45) from Aurora De Juliis MD line. It also has Japanese green tea to soothe skin. auroradejuliismd.com
Jamberry Nail Wraps ($15) come in motifs such as Orchid Bouquet, Orchid Garden, Orchid Polka and Orchid Skinny. www.jamberrynails.net
Purple Orchid ($11.99) is the name of a shiny, long-wearing gel color from Sensationail. It goes on in a couple of minutes, dries in 60 seconds and can remain pristine-looking for as long as two weeks. www.sensationail.com
Dermelect Cosmeceuticals ME Anti-Aging Nail Lacquer Treatment in Radiance ($14) contains peptides that help strengthen nails. www.dermelect.com
City Lips Advanced Formula ($40) is a lip plumper that looks especially fresh this season in the new Orchid shade. The company says the color can work on all skin and hair shades, but especially plays up blue, gray and green eyes. citycosmetics.com
Laura Geller Wild Orchid ($21) is an anti-aging lipstick that contains jojoba seed oil and vitamins. laurageller.com
Palladio Beauty Lip Stain in Orchid ($6) stays on all day. A dab of gloss on top adds a bit of shimmer. palladiobeauty.com
Vibrant purple orchid-colored fluttery eyelashes from Napoleon Perdis ($20) give an instant shot of drama. shop.nordstrom.com
The new Precision Eyeliner in Purple Haze ($6) from Palladio Beauty is a soft pencil that goes on smoothly in a shade that picks up a strong purple lip. palladiobeauty.com
Palladio also has an Eyeshadow Quad in Spellbound ($8). palladiobeauty.com
Radiant Glo ($20.99) from Larenim is a muted, sheer version of purple orchid that can be used as a blush. larenim.com
The popular body glitter ($15) from Make Up Forever is now offered in Multicolored Pink — also known as No. 12 — a purple-silvery powder that can be sprinkled onto face and body for extra glitz. Use sparingly; a little goes a long way. sephora.com
White orchid is in triple-milled soap and rich body cream from all-natural line Kat Burki. Other ingredients include jasmine and poppy. (Soap, $15; cream, $62.) katburki.com
Tom Ford Black Orchid (from $110) is housed in a sleek black bottle and has spicy notes of black orchid. shop.nordstrom.com
Oscar Red Orchid by Oscar de la Renta ($19.90) incorporates the flower as a middle note, the fragrance presented in a pretty, feminine bottle. www.beautyencounter.comCopyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times