I am delighted to present a guest post from my blogging sister, Emily Kate Hargrove of Capital Style, about a question that has come up time and again – “What color are you?” That is, are you “warm” or “cool”? A “Winter” or a “Summer”? While there are resources to help you figure this out, I’ve never really mastered this. So I am thrilled that Emily Kate has tackled this for us . . . enjoy!
I’m so glad Curvy asked me to guest blog on this topic. I don’t pretend to be an expert on color analysis [yes, there are color experts], but I do know a little somethin’ somethin’ and I hope by sharing what I know, you can find the colors that best compliment you.
Why does it matter? Well, because wearing the right hue can help us look healthier, younger, well-rested and who doesn’t want that? The wrong colors can dull your skin, drain you of color and over power you. There are quite a few aspects of color analysis, but I thought today, I’d focus on two frequently referenced – your base and your brightness.
Base: Your base is your undertone. When people talk about being “warm” or “cool” they are referring to their base. Warm colors have a yellow base; cool colors have a blue base; and true have equal amounts of yellow and blue.
Warm Red, Red, Cool Red (Photos courtesy of art-paints.com)
Warm Green, Green, Cool Green (Photos courtesy of art-paints.com)
The colors in your skin, hair & eyes have undertones of yellow or blue or equal parts of both and make up your base. Of course the “identifiers” will vary based on your ethnic background, but here are some general characteristics:
Warm - warm people might be described as mahogany, sunkissed, golden, terra cotta, porcelain or ivory. She’ll have evidence of gold or red in her hair (blonde, auburn, chestnut brown). She likely has warm brown, green, or hazel eyes and may have freckles.
Cool – Cool folks’ skin might have a blue-grey or ash tint. They might be described with words like ebony, rosy, grey, ashen, alabaster. Her eyes are likely blue, grey, grey-brown, black, soft-brown and her hair might be an ashy-brown, black, salt and pepper or blue-black.
FYI – A good place to look for skin undertones is at the palm of your hand.
Brightness or Intensity: Bright colors are clear, saturated they pop off the page. Muted colors are dusty, milky, foggy. See what I mean?
(Photos courtesy of Style.com)
Brightness is important so you don’t get lost in your clothes. What do I mean? Well, if you are “bright” you might fade away in muted colors. Likewise, if you are more muted, bright colors might overwhelm you and again, you disappear. It is difficult to put into words what makes someone bright or muted, but here are a few thoughts:
Bright – She has a clarity and crispness to her features. She likely has great contrast between her hair/eyes and skin color.
Muted – There is a softness about her features without being delicate. She has a powdery quality and words like rose-bronze, cocoa, caramel, beige, ivory or olive might apply.
Seasons: The combination of base and brightness gives you your season. Winter and summer are cool seasons while spring and autumn are warm. Winter and spring pallets include bright colors and summer and autumn tend more muted.
(Photo courtesy of TheChicFashionista.com)
Is your head spinning yet? One way to be safe is to give “universal” colors a try. Universal colors are not too warm or too cool, too bright or too muted. They include colors like teal, turquoise, coral, watermelon red, periwinkle blue & buff. Just remember, these are not hard and fast rules. I’m warm, but I love blue and blue-based colors. I haven’t eliminated them from my wardrobe. I fall smack dab in the middle when it comes to brightness, so it’s a lot of trial and error when it comes to my color intensity choices.
I hope this has been helpful. Of course, if you have questions or want to do a more in-depth individualized color analysis feel free to contact me!
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