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1/13 How to choose the right colors for your skin tone

Posted on January 13, 2010 at 4:23 PM

Here’s a question from one of my readers:

I read your 2010 Makeup Trends blog, and I would like to experiment with different colors, but I don’t know where to start. How do I narrow it down to colors that are right for me?

I think this is a common problem. We don’t know which colors will look good on us, so we settle for boring neutrals. Here is how you can choose your most flattering shades for make-up, clothing, and even hair color. There are 5 basic categories for skin tones (summer, fall, winter, spring, and neutral). Everyone falls into one of these categories, and each of them has specific colors that are right for them. I’m going to help you determine which group you belong to so that you can always look your best!

First you want to determine if you are warm, cold, or neutral. The best way to determine this is to look at the veins on the inside of your wrist. If they look blue, you are cool. If they look green you are warm.  If you're unsure about your vein color. Compare with a friend. As a rule, if you have golden, olive or yellow tones to your skin/hair, you are a warm. If you have pink or peach tones to your skin and ashy hair, you are a cool

Now that you know if you’re warm or cool, you need to determine if you are a summer, fall, winter, or spring.

The warms:

Fall: Falls usually have very golden or olive complexions. They often have red or chocolate tones in their natural hair, and usually brown eyes.

Fall Colors are earthy tones such as: beige, army green, golden yellows, burnt orange, browns, brownish-reds

Fall Hair colors are: warm browns or reds or very golden dark blondes. Keep highlights to a caramel color, or red.

Spring: Springs have fairer skin than falls, but they also have a golden tone to their skin. They often have what we consider “dirty blonde” hair (naturally). It’s a very warm, golden blonde. And often they have green eyes.

Spring Colors are softer pastel tones such as: peach, aqua, golden yellow, brown

Spring Hair colors are: warm golden blondes, browns, and reds.

All warm-toned people should avoid very harsh colors such as black and pure white. Always go with brown or off-white/ivory/beige instead.

The Cools:

Winter: Winters usually have dark hair in an ashy brown or even black, their skin has a pink or peachy undertone, and their eyes are usually blue or brown.

Winter Colors are bold saturated jewel tones such as: royal blue, turquoise, royal purple, emerald green, or red.

Winter hair colors are: Dark. The Darker, the better… in my opinion.

Summer: Summers are usually blonde haired, blue or hazel eyed, and pink skinned. This is the “classic California blonde look”

Summer Colors are bold and bright tones such as: Pink, Blue, Green, Orange (think crayola classic markers)

Summer hair colors are: Blonde or ashy browns. This is the only group who should go for that bleach-blonde look.

The Neutrals:

Neutrals are the 0 negative of skin tones. It is extremely rare to be a neutral, but they are definitely the lucky ones. Neutrals can pretty much wear whatever they want. Of course darker neutrals should stay in the Fall and Winter families and lighter neutrals should stay in the spring and summer families, but they can mix it up.

Here is the tricky part: Some people are one tone in the colder weather, and another in the warmer weather. If you are a summer (fair and cool) naturally, but you tan with a golden tone, you will want to wear spring colors when you’re tan.

I personally am all mixed up. I have warm olive tones from my mother’s side – Mediterranean Germans (often mistaken for Italian), and cool red/pink tones from my father’s side – Native American & Scotch Irish so my season changes all the time. I fluctuate between a fall and a winter. It really depends on the day with me, so it's not always a sure-thing. You may have to experiment a little bit to find the right colors for you, but at least this gives you an idea.

I hope this helps answer your question! Send your beauty questions to [email protected] and I’ll answer them in my next blog, and don’t forget to stop by tomorrow for another dose of the beauty blog!



Categories: Other

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