Color. It’s such a part of our lives that we don’t even think about it in a general sense. But boy, do we feel it! It’s so much a part of our world and has such an impact on our psyche that dozens of studies have been done on the effects it has on our behavior. Green and aquamarine hues at medical offices are known to calm us. Yellow can make us happy. Red energizes and fires up our engines. Ask retail outlets like Target. They took those studies and filled their stores with red to get us to spend, spend, spend! In fact, red dishes and dining tools will encourage you to eat more than other colors will. Hmmmm. Maybe I can blame my bumper on my bright red dishware! Also, studies have overwhelmingly shown that both men and women are attracted romantically to people wearing red. There’s a reason I love this color.
So, it’s no surprise to find that color has an impact on us, how we look and how others perceive us. Each of us is born with a color scheme, and the clothes we wear or the cosmetics we apply either enhance this color scheme, turn us into wallflowers or worse. I’m a natural redhead with green eyes, fair skin and high color on my cheeks. With the classic Scots/Irish look, I fall into the “spring” category and can wear all the light and bright gold based colors of that dewy, vibrant season. But I can get away with some of the more golden-based depth of autumn colors as well. Put me in royal purple clothing or blue-based lipstick, however, and you’ll be convinced I need an ambulance, STAT! BUT put a lavender-rose eye shadow on and I look like my eyes are blazing with fire and feistiness.
It’s not an exact science and as I’ve said, many of us bleed over into another category. But each of us has a main set of hues that compliment us more than others. I remember when I switched from a brownish blush to a pink and suddenly everyone was commenting on how healthy and attractive I looked. Spring strikes again.
There are many ways to determine your season, but the basic rule of thumb places pinkish peachy skinned blondes and strawberry blondes with blue or green eyes in the spring category. Our colors are paler, pastels for some of us, with a gold base. Blue based makeup or clothing quickly banks my fire visually and makes me look sallow and colorless, but I can wear some of the duskier greys. Celadon, lavender, pale yellow, golden orange, lighter rusty reds and soft pinks and you’ll be as adored as those daffodils that signal the start of your season.
Deep auburn and brunettes with brown or hazel eyes, and a fair or yellow undertone usually look best in autumn colors. Think of the forest, ablaze with the last light of fall, the glorious golds, browns, rusts and goldenseals. Greys and grey blue can work wonderfully for these folks, and they can wear more of the dusky tones than the rest of us. Our site hostess, Sarah, looks marvelous in some of these greens and russets! Just steer away from bright pale pinks, make sure your blush and lipstick has a touch of brown in the base, with rust reds and deeper peachy colors looking great.
For those of you with crystal blue or brown eyes, fair skin with a bluish base or more dusky skin and dark hair – think Meghan Fox, Beyoncé or Lucy Liu – you ladies fall into the clutches of cool, yet scintillating winter colors which favor glittering jewel-toned brilliance. I have a friend with ivory skin, blue eyes and black hair shot thru with grey. When she puts on bold, blue-based reds, she transforms. With a little black, smoky eyeliner and red lips, she turns into snow white. It’s nothing short of amazing. Asians and women of color, as a rule, fall into the winter category, but can also wear some autumn tones. If the skin has a more golden color to it, some of the oranges and russets work fine. Usually though, winter needs stark, strong colors: black, white, and ruby, sapphire, and emerald.
There are websites aplenty to explore this topic, and many of you probably have a professional consultant or three in your town. Finding out my colors and filling my wardrobe and makeup kit with them has brought me much in the way of confidence and compliments. I remember in my 30s, after figuring this out, I spent an afternoon trying on all of my lipsticks, testing and being brutally honest about how well they worked. I ended up throwing away eight tubes, most of which were barely worn. In the long run, zeroing in on the colors that not only look best, but also make me feel attractive has saved me money. I stick with what works and don’t waste nearly as much product or money.
Gentlemen, this applies to you too. My husband used to take me shopping whenever he needed new shirts and suits for work. I would choose things that would bring a snarl to his lips, but a surprised exclamation when he stood wearing the selection in front of the dressing room mirror. He’s half Asian, and looks marvelous in shades of blue, red and other bold colors.
We are like a large garden, filled with beauty and color, and every one of us is delightful. Adorn yourself in ways that please you, and give ’em all something pretty to admire!