by Marianne Bockheim
I‘ve heard many times over that women are unsure of what colors will look good on them. As a makeup artist, it has always been easy for me to just simply take them over to the tray of colors and to point out all of the shades and tints that would flatter them. But what happens once we have parted company? Did they remember? We’re they able to recognize what works and what doesn’t on their own?
While you’re standing in front of the mirror without a makeup constultant, here are some guidelines for the perfect colors:
First, figure out if you are “warm” or “cool.” Many women will reference if they are warm or cool or even refer to what “season” they are if they have had their colors done. Warm constitutes having yellow or green undertones in the skin and hair. Cool undertones consist of pink or blue. Don’t confuse cool undertones with redness being generated from irritation or dehydration in the skin. Quite often irritated skin can take on a lot of pink or red. One simple way to figure out which undertone you are is to hold up two sheets of paper next to your skin — one with a yellow cast and the other with a pink cast. Which tone is closer to your own? Which one is very different?
Orange, gold, honey, olive green, peach and peachy-pinks, coppery-browns, brown-reds
Blues, purples, forest-green, blue-reds, blue-pinks, mocha’s and taupe-y browns
Second, eye color matters. Reaching for the wrong eye color can make one look as if they have allergies or feel tired. Once you have figured out if you are warm or cool, take a look at your eye color. Green eyes pop when adorned in shades of purple (if you are warm, try a mauve or plum shade, if you are cool, think more amethyst or lavender). Blue eyes beam in shades of brown or copper and even in deep shades of steel-y gray and silver. Hazel eyes are mysterious as they morph from brown to green and sometimes the two colors meet in between. Gold, yellow, peach, and copper will pull out the gold flecks in your eyes while olives, plums, and taupes will enhance the green while still paying up the richness of the brown. Bronze, pinks, green hues and shimmery metalics also make dark brown to black eyes dazzle.
Lastly, know the color wheel. Once you have figured out what colors may look good on you, know how to pull them together. The color wheel is a designer’s must have tool for creating winning color combinations and can easily be used for any creative endeavor. Key concepts to effectively create great combinations using the color wheel are as follows:
Three colors that fall adjacent to each other on the wheel such as green, yellow-green, and yellow.
Colors that fall opposite, such as Christmas colors red and green or U of M’s yellow and blue.
Multiple shades of one color, such as navy blue, French blue, and sky blue.
Variations of whites, grays, browns and, of course, black.
Knowing these simple concepts can help you get started building the perfect beauty box.
An esthetician, commercial makeup artist, and CEO of Intelligent Beauty LLC., Marianne Bockheim has been waving her magical mascara wand and dressing others for almost 20 years. She’s been seen at L.A. Fashion Week and Fashion Group headquarters of N.Y., and teaching in GRCC’s fashion department.