You know how sometimes you look radiant and healthy and at other times you look tired and washed out? This might have everything to do with what you're wearing that day, and we're about to show you how to fix that.
It's all about knowing what colors work for you. Wearing the right color can get your outfit to work FOR you, making you look and feel radiant both inside and out (which if you've been following us for a bit know that this is what we're all about).
You might have an intuitive knowledge of what colors work for you, but we're going to show you in a super easy way how to find out for sure what colors will bring out your very best. Every single time.
So let's dive in.
First, some color theory. Primary colors are basic colors that when mixed together produce other colors. The primary colors are blue, yellow and red. You mix primary colors up and you get secondary colors. So if you mix :
Yellow and blue : you get green
Blue and red : you get purple
Yellow and red : you get orange
Let's take it one level deeper and look at tertiary colors. Again, same principle. Mix some primary and secondary colors together, and you get tertiary colors :
Yellow and green => yellow green
Blue and purple => blue purple
Red & orange => red orange
You get the gist.
Now for our purposes, what we have to understand about colors is that they can be described as a temperature. For instance,
Red, orange, yellow are warm colors
Greens, blues and purples are cold colors
The key to finding the colors that work for you is to understand what temperature your skin undertone is, and then match that with the corresponding color temperature.
Here's where it gets a little complicated. We all have a skin tone, and a skin undertone.
Skin tone is easy. It's your skin color and sits on the spectrum between very fair and very dark. Your skin tone will obviously change from summer to winter depending on how much sun you've been soaking up.
Now for skin undertones. Your skin undertone doesn't change and is the color that is lurking behind your actual skin tone that makes your skin look rather cool or warm. Your skin color is in fact quite complicated (and this is us simplifying it even). It's ridiculous the colors you have to mix together to get to your skin color. Knowing your skin tone and undertone simplifies things and allows you to get practical when it comes to choosing what works for you.
What we need to know is what temperature your skin undertone is. And then identify the corresponding color temperatures that match it. So how do you find out what temperature you skin undertone is? See 3 easy tips below :
Look at your veins on the inside of your wrist (in natural daylight, no direct sunlight. Just stand next to a window) : are they more blueish (or purplish) or greenish? If blueish then you have a cooler undertone, if greenish then you have a warmer undertone.
Take a white sheet of paper and place it next to your neck and chest : does your skin look pinkish or yellowish? If pinkish, this means you have blue undertones in your skin, so cooler. Otherwise warmer.
Does your skin light up when you wear gold or silver jewellery? This is usually the best test and is quite visual. If silver is the one that makes your skin light up then you're cool, otherwise warm. People intuitively know this but rarely do we know exactly why. Now we do.
If you're still confused about your skin undertone then you might be neutral. In which case jackpot. A variety of colors will work for you. We are jealous.
Now does it mean that because you have a warmer skin undertone you're only stuck with warm colors? Nope. See, cold colors can be warm and warm colors can be cold too. Whaaaat? Here's what we mean : basic blue is cold, but add some red to it and you get a warm blue. That's why blue can work wonders for you even though you have a warm undertone. It depends how much of a warmer color has been added to that cool color. Comparison with other hues of blue can get you to see whether it's a warmer or colder blue.
A thing about complementary colors. Complementary colors are colors which sit on opposite sides of the color wheel, as shown in the color wheel above.
Complementary colors are in fact not very complementary because the eye doesn't like it. Take blue and orange. Weird combination no? The way to make them work together is to use them in different proportions, say in a print where orange is the dominant color with a little bit of blue in the background. That will switch things up and make your outfit look modern and dynamic. (Unless you've decided to make a very loud statement that day. Then by all means rock that blue t-shirt with those orange pants. You'll get noticed for sure!).
Little recap :
Find your undertone. Are you cold or warm?
Go for the colors matching that temperature.
Play with colors of the opposite temperature that are mixed with colors of your undertone temperature.
The eye likes balance. Throw in a little bit of a complementary color by way of some jewellery or shoes or minor color in a printed skirt you are wearing for instance. For maximum radiance stick to your color temperature around the neck and face though.
Now you know how to rock your colors and even go from 'this is a great outfit' to 'YOU are looking amazingly radiant'. Yep. Such is the power of wearing your colors because you get to move the spotlight from your clothes to YOU. Which is the whole point right?
It's not over yet. We could argue that we haven't even gotten to the juicy bit yet. Now that you've mastered color theory 101 for your wardrobe, you can have extra fun not only making that outfit work FOR you by bringing out that radiant and healthy glow, but you can also start speaking to the world around you. Without having to utter a single word.
Color can be an incredible form of non verbal communication. They can instantly set a mood, convey an emotion, even inspire people to action. Which is why picking a color to wear or even immersing yourself in surroundings of a particular color can have a profound effect, both on you and around you. That's why color therapy is a thing.
See below some colors and the feeling/action/state that is generally associated with that color :
White : purity and peace
Black : perspective, solidness, seriousness, integrity, mystery, power
Red : Stimulation, determination, leadership, ambition, motivation, desire, assurety, warmth, strength, vigor, sensuality, passion, courage, bravery, independence, solid sense of self
Orange : freedom, success, encouragement, willpower, triumph, creativity, fertility, vitality, action, momentum, endurance, expression, achievement, indulgence, fun
Yellow : joy, cheer, lightness, intellect, optimism, zest for life, awakeness, curiosity, flexibility, freshness, wonder, awe, aliveness, spontaneity
Green: soothing & invigorating, generosity, dependability, sympathy, healing, safety, nature, wellbeing, authenticity, honesty, understanding, prosperity, balance, comfort, connection, healthy mindset
Blue (healing color) : soothing, cooling, quiet, reliabilty, calming, relaxation, sharing, tranquility, rest, patience, expertise, integrity, depth, trust, loyalty, truth
Purple : transformation, elegance, decadence, nobility, inner knowing, dignity
Pink : softness, compassion, gratitude, affection, caring, tenderness, friendship, getting along, kindness, nurturing, romance, emotional caretaking
Brown : earth, groundness, discernement, decisiveness, belonging, frugality, responsibility, simplicity
Grey : indifference, self control, stalemate, neutrality, transition, lack of movement, fixeness, moderation, composure
Now that you know this, you can strategically pick the color of your outfit depending on what settings you'll find yourself in on a particular day !
Have fun experimenting with your colors 🙂
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