By Ally Champagne (photo by Debbie Ramone)
Colours can enhance your eyes, skin, and face – providing you’re wearing the hue to do it. Colour palettes featuring various hues of the main colours in fashion were created to facilitate this process, which has assisted numerous fashionistas over the years.
Lipstick is a great tool, but it can be poorly misused. I recently saw a woman with rather full lips wearing a very loud fuchsia pink. It seemed all I saw was lips rather than a lovely face, telling me she was definitely wearing the wrong colour for her features. When you match your skin tone, the undertones of the colours you are wearing complement you.
Tones and undertones
Skin surface tones are referred to as the main tone, described in colours of ivory, light, medium, tan, dark, etc. The undertones, which are the colours underneath the surface, are classed in either cool tones or warm tones.
In the ‘70s, the undertones were matched to the seasons. You would be a winter, spring, summer or spring.
To note, you can have the same skin colour as another person, yet have different undertones. The undertones are broken down in three classes: cool, warm and neutral. Cool tones include pink, red, or bluish undertones; the warm are comprised of yellow, peachy, and golden undertones; and the neutral are a mix of warm and cool undertones.
There is a misconception that pale-skinned girls are warm-toned, while dark-skinned girls are cool-toned – but this isn’t the case.
So how do you determine your surface and undertone colors?
First, you check your veins. That’s right – in the name of fashion, push your sleeves up and take a look at the veins on the inside of your wrist. What colour do you see – blue or green? If the vein appears to be more bluish, you have cool undertones, and if the vein looks greenish, then you have warm undertones. Warm-toned women may seem to have green veins, but often that is because they are looking at them through yellow-toned skin.
Another tool to use is jewelry. Do you look better in silver or gold jewelry? I am not referring to your preferences in jewelry, but rather which one brings out your radiance and inner glow. It seems girls with cool undertones look better in silver, while warmer tones rock the yellow gold.
You can also find your hues by testing yourself with four colours. If you dazzle in black and white, you are cool-toned. If you come to life in ivory, off-white, as well as brown/tan shades, you are warm-toned.
Your eyes and hair colour can also help you determine your colouring. Cool-toned people customarily have blue, grey, or green eyes, with blond, brown or black hair that has blue, silver, violet, or ash undertones.
Warm-toned women normally have brown, amber or hazel eyes, with strawberry blond, red, brown or black hair. Their hair also has gold, red, orange or yellow undertones.
You can also use the hue of your skin after you’ve been in the sun – does it turn golden-brown, or does your skin burn and turn pink? It appears that cool tones have a tendency to fry while the golden-skinned girls are able to brown nicely.
There are certain colours which will make you look better regardless of your skin’s undertones. Warm-toned girls can wear yellows, oranges, browns, yellow-greens, ivories and warm reds. Cool-toned girls should wear blues, greens, pinks, purples, blue-greens, magentas, and blue-based reds.
To help you visualize the lessons, here are some examples of well-known celebrities grouped in their hues.
Celebs with cool undertones:
January Jones, Scarlett Johansson, Anne Hatheway, Lucy Liu, Cameron Diaz.
Celebs with warm undertones:
Jennifer Lopez, Nicole Kidman, Jessica Alba, Rachel Bilson, Jennifer Aniston, Beyonce.