Do you remember when color specialists were all the rage? Books like Color Me Beautiful would breakdown the best colors for you by sizing-up your hair, eye and skin color and then summarize by categorizing your palate according to the seasons? The analysis would determine what colors were best suited for you by labeling you a Fall, Spring, Summer or Autumn. The positive outcome was it would open you up to a world of color that you might possibly never explore. The negative was that it was treated as a rigid template and it’s not. There is so much that determines what looks best on us and that is always in flux. Working with a color consultant is a good idea to start, however, color changes throughout the day and your coloring changes throughout your life—it’s always in flux.
It was not unusual for a client to walk into my boutique with one of those teeny-tiny color cards while shopping and looking for that perfect burgundy with just a hint of purple (which your colorist might refer to as aubergine, which is purple). These cards were not forgiving with the bearers insisting that it must be an exact match. Where’s the fun in that?
After years and years of working with women on shape and color, I can give you a few simple rules to follow when choosing the best color for you.
-Always start with a good base color. A base color is a neutral, black, brown or grey. These neutrals will mix easily with the brights, pastels and jewel tones that complement the color in your face and hair. Most of you will gravitate toward black but black can be harsh on certain complexions where grey might be softer and more flattering.
-Get a full-length mirror and take in the entire picture of you in that outfit—not from the waist up but from head to shoe.
-Lighting is everything! Wherever your full-length mirror is, get the proper lighting. The best lighting is something that simulates daytime lighting as that is the brightest and it will reveal any flaws. If you happen to be stepping out in the evening and pass the daylight test, the evening lighting will only take on a more flattering hue.
-Colors that are more difficult to wear for most are yellows, colors that have a yellow undertones and anything neon. So be very careful the next time you hear neons are back in style. The easiest colors for most of us to wear are pink, purples and blues.
Colors you need to look more closely at are reds, greens and camels/nudes.
Reds: They go from orange to deep blue red. Reds are sexy and captivating and if you are fascinated by red, try it on in bright light! If you
have as a lot of red in your complexion that is due to inflammation, it is most likely not the best color
as it will draw attention to the redness in your face. However, reds like pinks can be very flattering on
redheads. The best match for blue/reds is most any complexion, dark hair and dark eyes.
Greens: If you have olive skin, be careful as greens can make your complexion look greener just as
pinks can make your complexion look more pink. The best match for greens is for redheads with blue
Camels/nudes: I love nudes/camels—they are elegant and rich but not on me! Colors to be cautious of if you fall in the middle of the color spectrum are nudes and camels. The best match for camels is fair
complexions, brown eyes and blonde hair.
Keep an open mind as there are always grey areas when quantifying color. Most importantly don’t be afraid to experiment with different colors and color combinations.
Eat well, laugh a lot and be chic!