Have you noticed how you instantly gravitate towards certain colours when you go shopping? That’s probably because you feel most comfortable in them or they are easy to mix and match with the rest of your wardrobe. But little do you realise that you may be going for colours that don’t complement your skin tone and do very little to enhance your look.
In actual fact, wearing the rights colours can revitalise your look and take years off your appearance. The key is to define and refine your style with the knowledge of which colours suit you best. Before we set to work on discovering which colours suit us best, we must disregard preconceived ideas about what our "favourite" colours are, because although we like them a lot, they may not actually be flattering. Remember, the best colours will leave us looking healthy, vibrant and refreshed.
Okay, so how do we go about discovering the right colours? Well, first we need to look at our individual features, including eye and hair colour and skin tone. In order to tell your skin tone you need to look at it under natural light, checking to see whether there is a golden or rosy hint. Traces of apricot or golden undertones mean you're "warm" toned and being slightly pink or rosy makes you "cool" toned.
The general rule is that cool-toned people look best in blue-based colours while warm-toned people will look best in yellow-based colours.
Here is a rough guide of colours to suit your skin type:
Warm tones = Natural Earth Colours
- Browns, bronze and green are most complementary for you.
- If you like soft, feminine summer colours try peach and apricot.
- Try brick red, dark tomato or a burnt orange hue if you’re into reds.
- Earth greens like olive or jade enhance warm skin tones.
- Clean ivory or oyster whites also enhance the warm skin tone type.
- If dressing for work, look for clothes in taupe or bright navy. You can mix them up with brown and gold accessories for maximum impact.
Cool tones = Dramatic Colour Blocks
- Pure white is always a great match for cool skin tones.
- Deep greens, royal blue, plum, strong raspberry and pure black are also winners.
- You can also wear bright ruby red to great effect.
- Soft pastel blues and pinks can also enhance cool skin tones.
Within these ranges there will be colours that suit individuals best, depending on the combination of hair, eye and skin colour of course. Be analytical the next time you try coloured clothing on to help you decide what really looks best on you.
If it’s too much trouble to try everything on while you’re probing through your wardrobe, you can just drape items over your shoulder and check how the colour looks next to your face.
Remember colours that complement your natural tone should brighten your skin’s appearance and look terrific with your hair and eyes. Colours which aren't so great will make you appear pale and washed-out and accentuate any dark shadows or blemishes.
Next time your friends complement you on your outfit pay attention; they’ve most probably noticed the colour you are wearing is a wonderful match for you.
If you are still unsure and want accessible (and free) advice, why don’t you visit your local department store make-up counter? Make-up artists are trained to spot which colours will suit people best. Ask them to consider your skin tone, hair colour and eye colour as they help you find the best colour pallet for you!
Another way to experiment with colour is to follow the season’s fashion.