Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Ivory or White? Silver or Gold?

One of my followers, Kathy, inspired me to do a post on skin tone. We were discussing my highlights in a comment and I told her to look at her wrists to see what color her veins are. This is something I learned during my makeup course for my certification. Determining your skin tone can do wonders for selecting the right color combinations in clothing, jewelry, hair color, and cosmetics. It doesn't mean you have to stick to this rule, but you will find that some shades are more flattering than others.

Vein Rule
Look at the inside of your wrists. Below is a photo of my wrist. I have blue veins, which means I'm cool toned. If you look at my face in my previous posts, you can also see that I have more pink in my skin than yellow. When I wear makeup, I look for foundation that has more yellow in it to balance out the pink in my skin. Ever wonder why MAC Cosmetics' shades are labeled NW and NC? The "W" and "C" are for warm and cool, respectively. So because I'm cool toned, I buy "NW" products to counteract the pink in my skin. I add more "warmth" to my skin tone.

If you have green wrist veins, then you most likely have a warm skin tone. It is possible to have both, or to not be able to really differentiate between blue and green in your wrists.

Jewelry Rule
Do you look better in gold rings, watches, and necklaces or in silver? If you are warm toned, gold jewelry is more flattering than silver. But I'm cool toned. Does that mean I can't wear the ever popular Michael Kors gold chronograph watch? Noooo. Again, this is just a guideline for finding the most flattering and complimentary colors for your skin tone.

T-Shirt Rule
Put on an ivory t-shirt and then switch to a white t-shirt. Which one looks better? If you are cool toned, you may look sallow, tired, or washed out in an ivory colored shirt. I look better in white then I do in ivory.

Highlight Rule
Okay, this one is my personal rule. I'm sure it's not a rule I originated, but it's one that I hold near and dear. I recently posted about getting my hair cut a lot shorter than I wanted. I've been to four different salons while living in Connecticut. Unfortunately, not one stylist took the time to evaluate my skin tone and eye color before adding highlights. What I ended up with was yellow/caramel colored highlights that made me look drained. It even happened with my root color. I had to convince my last stylist to go for a level 7 (light brown) root color, rather than a standard level 9 (blonde). Because my skin is fair, my eyes are light, and my hair color is mostly blonde, I needed a darker base for contrast. Once she applied the level 7, she totally agreed. With my highlights, I need pale, pale white blonde highlights to brighten up my completion (think T-Shirt Rule).

So what colors look best on cool toned skin? Think rich jewel colors such as these:

What colors look best on warm toned skin? Earth tones!

Again, these are just some guidelines to follow to find the most complimentary shades for your skin tone. Just because I'm cool toned, doesn't mean I don't like to indulge in warm earth shades. In fact, I love wearing red, green, and orange. But what really makes my skin, eyes, and hair color "pop" are the deep purples (think fuchsia lips like MAC's Girl About Town or OCC's Pretty Boy) and royal blues.

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  1. Thanks for the mention on your blog! Funny thing...I tend to prefer earth tones in clothing but just today I ordered a vivid purple shirt that was on sale. I never liked purple, but this color looked so vibrant that I figurede I'd give it a try. Even though I love the earth tones, I must admit that I probably look best in any shade of light blue.

    Will let you know how the purple top looks when I get it.

    1. You're welcome. I think a lot of us tend to go for earth tones because they are "safe" blendable colors that a lot of people gravitate toward to blend in with our peers. Vibrant colors draw attention and most jewel tones are pretty vibrant. After incorporating more jewel tones into my wardrobe, I feel more alive and happier. Then again it could just be because spring is finally here.

  2. Thanks for your explanation on MAC cosmetics! I look best in vibrant colors. I am now following you, thanks to GiGi Gone Shopping. Please checkout my blog and follow back if you like. Us "over 40+ and fabulous to the very end" must stick together!


    1. Great style, Felecia. I'm following you on bloglovin'. I like how you show the outfit on the hanger and then on yourself. Great idea!