Everyone has that favourite top. You know, the one ratty top you’ve had for years that instantly makes your skin glow, eyes sparkle… and just generally makes you look fabulously radiant… We all love that top. Then there is that other top. The one you bought on an impulse buy. It looked great on the model, you love(d) the colour, the cut… but after trying it on, it made you feel like a sick ghost. Suddenly, you’re a washed out, cloudy version of your former self. Still, you hold on to it because it should look good on you, right?
The art of colour-matching and deciding which colour suits you can be a difficult world to navigate. Unfortunately, what we like, and what looks good, are not always on the same page. When I was a kid, I LOVED yellow. Who wouldn’t? It’s happy and the colour of the sun, the colour of days spent at the park, getting pushed on the swing, looking up at the sky with a squint. Once, a blind boy told me that he knew what yellow was – it was the blur he saw when he looked into a bright light.
Yellow is pretty effing special. Unfortunately, it doesn’t suit me so after a brief dabble with pink (what girl doesn’t go there) I changed my fave to red.
But why do some colours suit us and others just don’t…? And WHAT colour suits me!? Truth be told, this isn’t some sort of sorcery, like most things it can be explained – there is a sort of, ‘science’ to it if you like.
WARM OR COOL TONED?
The first step in your colour matching journey is determining whether you are cool or warm toned. Cool toned gals have blue, red, and pink undertones. Warm toned girls, on the other hand, keep things a little more peachy – with yellow and golden undertones. Based on your undertone, you can work out what colours should look good on you.
Unsure where you sit? There are a few tests you can do to help determine your undertone.
Chances are, you already ‘know’ your undertone, just by your preference in jewellery. To perform the test, simply put on two pieces of jewellery – one silver and one gold – and hold them side by side. This could be a silver/gold watch, bracelet, necklace, ring, etc.
If you’re cool toned, silver and white-gold colours will tend to look better on you. They will just make your skin ‘pop’.
On the other hand, warm-toned gals will generally rock yellow gold. We’re talking the whole spectrum – rose gold, copper, brass etc. If these jewellery colours look good on you, chances are you’re warm toned!
Still unsure? Most people find the vein test easy enough. Simply find a sunny place with plenty of natural light and take a look at the veins in your wrist. Most people, see blue, green, or something in between.
Blue tones indicate someone with a cool skin tone and greenish tones indicates a warm skin tone. If it looks like a toss-up between the two, well baby stay sitting on that fence because you might just be a neutral undertone!
Burn or Tan?
Still unsure where you sit? One last test you can do is asking yourself whether you’re more prone to burn or tan? Are you the type of girl who turns into a roast chook after an afternoon at the beach with no sunscreen (or if you’re unlucky perhaps even with sunscreen) or do you turn into a sexy, tanned goddess?
Firstly, no matter what your skin tone – sunscreen (and sun protection) is ALWAYS important – so get on that yo! But if you have spent a few too many hours in the sun, and you HAVE burnt, well, most likely you are a cool toned gal. Likewise, if your skin turned a lovely shade of brown, you’re probs warm toned (but this is no excuse not to wear sunscreen!).
Did all the tests and still can’t work out what you are? Does it look like you fall somewhere in the middle? Tested positive to both the warm AND cool undertones?
Looks like you may be part of the neutral colour tones. Although more uncommon, this is a group in its own right and it is perfectly alright to sit in the middle as a neutral undertone!
If you’re really still unsure and want a second opinion, simply head down to your nearest beauty counter. Often foundations will be tailored to certain undertones, so by using that logic, the beauty assistant should be able to help you find yours.
WHAT COLOURS SUIT ME?
If you’re warm toned…
So you’re warm toned? Congratulations and welcome to summer. Unlike me, you ARE able to wear yellow. As a warm-tone-ee, you join the ranks of celebs such as Beyonce and Kim Kardashian – not too shabby at all. Radiant as the sun, warm-toned gals look fab in earthy colours – think orangey-reds, coral-pinks, orange, amber, gold, and yellow. You can also go for ‘warm’ versions of cool colours, like violet-red and olive. As a general tip, avoid icy tones including sky blues, satin pink and amethyst, they’ll just make your skin look grey.
Shop SHOWPO for warm tones 🤗
If you’re cool toned…
Congratulations fellow Ice Queens! Not dissimilar to Elsa from Frozen, as a cool-tone-ee, you join the ranks of celebrities such as Lupita Nyong’o, Rachel McAdams, Taylor Swift and Anne Hathaway. Cool toned gals rock the ‘gemstone’ shades – think cobalt blue, emerald, ruby… As well as this they look good in anything frosty and cool – mint greens, navy, lilac, lavender, rosey pinks, grey. Basically, think pastel. Also, don’t be afraid to rock a deep blue or purple. Avoid bright orange and yellows as they can wash you out.
If you’re neutral toned…
Not quite sure where your skin sits? Well, lucky you! As a neutrally toned girl, you join celebrities such as Sandra Bullock, Emma Watson and Jennifer Aniston. Having a blend of warm and cool tones means you can pretty much get away with wearing anything you like. And yes, every other girl (including me) will hate you. If I had to give any advice, (and it’s not a hard and fast rule), perhaps try to avoid super-vibrant colours. They might overpower your fabulous skin tone. Oh, and make sure red is in your wardrobe. Just go for it!
So that’s it, it’s as easy as that to get your colour game ON. But as always, remember these are just general rules, and you know what they say – rules are made to be broken! When it comes to colour matching, there can be SO many factors to consider. Use your friends, and use your judgement because you might just surprise yourself. It’s rare but who knows? With your blue eyes, for the right shade, you might just be able to break that ‘no orange rule’.
Did you find this guide helpful? I’m 100% still going to wear other colours tho… 😉