3 steps to finding your the best clothing colours that work for your unique skin tone

Step 1 – Lets start with you

  • Are you excited by the way you look?
  • Does your skin appear washed out or take on a sallow look when clothes?
  • Do lines around your eyes and mouth appear darker and more pronounced at times?

We are all born with an inclination towards certain colours. You as a child, before being influenced by parents and peers will have invariably picked out colours that suited you. As a young child you may have had your clothing chosen for you by your parents or others, but were these choices right for you? By the time we grow up, we may have lost a portion of that personal colour sense and have been bombarded with colour messages from mother (whose best colours may be different from yours). Take heart, nature usually comes to the fore, and chances are that at least 50 percent of your clothing choices are the right ones, they are the ones that make you feel attractive and confident. Soon all your clothes will make you feel that way.

Step 2 – You are responsible for how you look so it’s times to take control of your choices

Now comes the fun, finding colours that suit your skin and hair tones that will make you look and feel fabulous. Others will notice how your skin is glowing, not just how great that dress looks, but how it gives you an overall look of balance.

The right colour; Smooths and clarifies your complexion, minimise lines, shadows, and circles, brings a healthy glow to your face. Your face will pop out, pushing the colour into the background.

The wrong colour; May make your complexion look pale, sallow or muddy; will accentuate lines or shadows around the mouth and nose, dark circles under the eyes; will accentuate blotches, if any; may age your face; will look too strong or too weak. The colour tends to pop out, pushing your face into the background.

Step 3 – Your Colour History Select the group of colours which you feel is most flattering to you in general. You will intuitively know whether you are better in cool or warm colours. The Summer and Winter palettes contain cool, blue based colours; Autumn and Spring contain warm, yellow based colours. Do not base your decision on clothes currently hanging in your wardrobe. They may be right, but they may instead be the result of a trend that is not necessarily for you!

Pick the group containing the most colours that brought you compliments throughout your life (even though you may be tired of wearing them).

Cool Cool Warm Warm
Winter Summer Autumn Spring
Navy Soft Blues Dark Brown Golden Brown
Black Rose Brown Camel Camel
White Navy Beige Peachy Pink
Red Rose-Pink Orange Peach
Shocking Pink Lavender Gold Soft Blues
Grey Plum Moss Green Golden Yellow

Step 3 –The Skin Tone Test

This step is to verify your selection in Step 2

Take a long look at yourself in the mirror near natural daylight. Look at your skin, hair and eyes without makeup. If you colour your hair remember its natural colour. Your skin tone is the most important factor in determining the colours that look best on you. The tone of your skin comes from three pigments, melanin (brown), carotene (yellow), and haemoglobin (red). It is the particular combination of these three pigments that gives you your unique skin tone. As your skin acts as a thin filter, it is the tone just under its surface that determines whether your colouring is cool or warm. Some people’s skin tone is obvious, but for others the tone may be subtle.

Take a piece of very white paper and hold it under your wrists and hand for comparison, are you blue (or blue pink) or are you golden or even orange? If you have freckles, are they charcoal brown (cool) or golden brown (warm)? Do the test with a friend or family member for a clearer comparison. Don’t confuse sallowness with a golden skin tone. Anyone can have sallow skin, which appears yellow on the surface, regardless of the undertone. If you are uncertain of your skin tone look at your entire body, nude, especially the untanned portions.

As skin tone is not always obvious my next blog will give a more complete description of the various types of colouring that typify each season including hair and eyes.