Friday, January 17, 2014

Flattering colors for all tones!

Awhile back I was asked to do an on air Mass Appeal Segment where I spoke about Flattering skin tones, and choosing appropriate shades based upon your own personal coloring. We all know that there are just some colors that DO not look good on us, EVER! For me those shades are mustard yellow, olive green, & burnt orange- blech. They highlight (and NOT in a good way) my already somewhat sallow complexion.
There are the schools of thought, summers, winters- And a whole host of other company's that will give you a list of colors based on their choices of comparison criteria. Metals, seasons, etc
While I will not say any of these are WRONG, they aren't always the ideal for everyone, and many of them leave a LOT of colors OFF the list as well.  As I mentioned, burnt orange or even an orange/yellow coral- NOT on my list- But a pinky orange, or Copper- You BET I can and WILL wear that! Same for yellow, mustard- nope, but a gold, even an patina'd gold yes- and it looks fabulous!!!! Even an olive shade as long as it contains a lot of Gold.
Basically- UNDERTONE matters!
There are two schools of thought in choosing great colors- complimentary, split complimentary, and analogous colors. Simply put this means a color opposite your eye shade, skin tone etc- that is VERY distinctive- and makes each color appear more intense, or vibrant. split compliments are those colors next too (on the color wheel) the compliment of the initial color- example Blue: the compliment is orange, and the split compliments are red-orange, and yellow-orange. The analogous color to blue are those in the same general color are- Blue violet, and blue green.
For my example you can see that with my skin tone having more yellow (sallow) undertone- Choosing the analogous Yellow green, or yellow orange- s probably not going to be my best choice- BUT choosing the complimentary or split complimentary color of violet- either as eye shadow- or a blush with cooler blue/violet undertones is going to enhance my skin tone! Now as I move closer around the color wheel in shade choices toward the yellow- choosing the shades that veer more blue, or cool toned rather than warm or golden toned- are always going to be the choices that enhance my own coloring.  It's really only the analogous colors that tend not to flatter my skin. (yellow-orange & Yellow-green)
As for eyes- well mine are brown- and lucky us- brown eyes can wear ANY color- as Brown is a combination of all three primaries- red, blue, and yellow. So I always look to my skin tone to determine what looks best- AND also do I want a bolder more dramatic look- so Complimentary it is! (today I have on Indigo-which is a matte violet blue- It makes my brown eyes look like melted chocolate.

And, conversely- that means brown can look fabulous on ANY color as well- it's simply a matter of finding the RIGHT shade. And when is doubt- choose a neutral, matte brown- like my shade Bittersweet-takes out the guess work AND browns are fabulous for pairing with your brighter colors to make the more wearable.

When I want a more subtle or even monochromatic look I reach for the pinky bronzes. By adding a bit of red to the coppery bronze (red-orange) shade- I add that extra warmth and brightness to my skin and eyes.  One of my favorites is Glamorous- a cheek shade- but one that can be used all over! (any FFM shade is safe for eyes- and most are also lip safe!)


Now as a general guideline- for brown eyes- anything goes- so pay attention to your skin- if you have a lot of redness- stay away from colors with a lot of red tones. or undertones and instead look for bluer-cool toned shades. 

For blue eyes- coppers and bronzes look AH-MAZING! and make those blue really pop, and if you are looking to wear blue- leaning more toward yellow blue greens or red toned purples- will give you the most bang for your buck. 
Green eyed gals- probably all know how great purple is for their eyes- and I Love using this shade. There are SOOOO many purple tones out there- from the palest lavender all the way to deep grapey- and everywhere in between. Again, it's important to be guided by your skin color- a lot of redness in the face and eyes- then you want to go more toward the cooler end of the purple spectrum. 
Now these are basic guidelines- and, as always, I'm going to suggest that, if your really want a true, personal analysis Paying for a private lesson from a makeup artist well trained in color theory, is going to truly help you discover ALL the colors that suit you- and allow the the largest wardrobe of cosmetic colors.  Plus you get the added bonus of learning how and where to apply them based on your bone structure, eye shape, etc. I promise you that consulting a true, educated professional, with a portfolio that backs up their work- can help you take your look from eh to OH YEAH!

Karrie Welch is a professional makeup artist, and owner/creator of Fortunate Face Minerals can be contacted at private lessons also available.

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