Your harmonious colours
Colour is a hugely important part of creating a wardrobe. Finding out which colours look great on you makes this process easier. The first step in creating a personal palette is discovering the colours that look best with your skin and eyes.
Figuring out your undertone
Before you get into discovering to your colours, it’s good to first determine your undertone first. You don’t have to worry about whether you are warm or cool, just focus on the general undertone. These are red/pink, yellow/golden, olive and neutral. To figure out which one you are, it’s good to compare your skin to optic white, either a cloth or a piece of printer paper. This really brings out the different tones in your skin. You can also take a picture in natural lighting and use a colour picker to see which colours are most dominant in your skin. And, of course, remove your make-up before doing this!
Red and pink skinned ladies have a rosy overcast. This undertone combined with a fairer skin tones projects as ‘peaches and cream’ or a cool beige colour, for darker skin tones this projects as a rose brown or cinnamon coloured tones. Below are examples of pinky skin tones.
For golden and yellow girls they have a warm beige or more bright golden undertones. This mixed with a lighter skin tone gives a warm sand colour or golden beige, with darker skin tones it can be very golden or more of a warm brown. Below are some examples of these skin tones.
For olive skin tones you generally have a warmer feel, so you can be doubting whether you are olive or more yellow/golden. The obvious thing is that you look slightly green or grey overcast. This green undertone combined with a lighter skin tone creates a cool khaki or green leaning beige, with darker skin tones it reads as more of a coffee or cool brown colour. Below are some examples of olive skin tones.
If you feel you don’t really fit within any of these groups above, you are most likely neutral in skin tone. A neutral skin tone is not particular pink, olive or golden. Below you can see a range of some neutral skin tones.
Your nudes are the colours that make your skin shine. A nude is not a literal copy of your skin tone, it’s a little richer and more vivid. If you used a perfect copy of your skin tone, it would flatten you instead of make you shine.
A light version of your nude is good to use as an alternative to white, if you’re not a big fan of optic white. It’s great as a blouse colour for a business outfit or even for a wedding dress. A darker version you can use as an alternative to black, a more formal colour that would be great as a little ‘black’ dress or a blazer for work, if you feel black is too harsh on you.
If you know your undertone you know what colour you could best go for (you can find a little cheat sheet down below.) Comparing different colours could be done with paint chips, but I use two different websites: Encycolorpedia to pick a colour and see variants of that colour and Aurlien to get a full screen version of that colour to hold near your face with your phone or tablet. You can copy the HEX code from Encyclopedia and paste it in the bottom right corner of Aurlien.
With Encycolorpedia, you can easily make a colour darker, lighter more muted or vibrant. Which makes it very easy to make small adjustments and find the perfect colour.
It’s best to not see your nude as one single colour but as a range. In the example I used three colours but the range of different colours is a lot larger. So, when you find the colour that makes you shine you can also wear darker and lighter versions of this colour.
Yellow or golden skin tones
- Tan and camel colours
- Neutral leaning yellows
- Warm beiges
Olive skin tones
- Slightly green leaning tans, browns and beiges
- Sand tones
Pink or red skin tones
- Rosey pinks and browns
- Warm, red-based browns
Neutral skin tones
- Cool beiges
- Cool browns
- Sand tones
- Neutral leaning pinks
Your blush colours
Your blush colour is your version of red. The blush colour is great to use as a bold lip colour or a flirty dress for date night. It gives an air of romance and sensuality.
You can use the same process with finding your red by using Encycolorpedia, but you can also try out different lip colours. Maybe you already own a red or pink lip colour that really makes you stand out? This could very well be your blush colour!
Yellow, golden or olive skin tones
- Brick reds
- Deep maroons
- Red leaning oranges
Pink or red skin tones
- Any type of pink
- Cool reds
- Cool burgundies
Neutral skin tones
- Pure, fire truck red
- Peachy pinks
- Berry tones
Your eye intensifying colours
The harmonious eye intensifying colour
This is the colour that is most dominant in your eyes, this really brings your eyes forward! It’s best if you use these colours around your face, like a scarf, a top or jewellery in these colours. If you have a lighter eye colour, like blue, green or light brown, you are in luck! It is quite easy to see and copy that colour, using a colour picker or paint chips.
If you have dark brown eyes you have to look a little more abstract at them. Do your eyes look more deep and cool? Take a look at purples and royal blues. Do your eyes feel warmer and softer? Plums and muted, dark pinks would be a good match. You can also have more gold tones in your eyes and using a deep yellow could be the most harmonious. Trying out different colours with paint chips or Encycolorpedia are great tools to see what colour brings out your eyes most.
For people who have multicoloured eyes, like hazel and speckled eyes, take the colour that is most dominant or that has the most surface area.
The contrasting eye intensifying colour
If you found your harmonizing colour, it’s quite easy to reverse it! The contrasting eye intensifying colour is really great for eyeshadow, they directly contrast your eye colour, which makes them truly pop! You can also use these colours in clothing as a statement colour. It is still harmonious with your inherent colouring but with a little more zest than your nudes or harmonizing colours.
Encycolorpedia is also a very good tool for figuring out your contrasting eye intensifying colour, as they have a reverse option. It could be the case that this colour isn’t an exact reversal. Maybe you have blue-grey eyes and the exact opposite is a dark brown, but for you a warm beige or mustard yellow works much better!
For people who have multicoloured eyes, you already have your contrasting colour within your eyes. This is the colour that is secondary to your dominant eye colour.