How To Determine Your Best Colours


Looking for an quick way to look more well-rested and improve the overall appearance of your skin?

I don't know about you, but the older I get the more unpredictable my sleeps are, and my skin isn't quite as bright as it used to be. I am definitely trying to practice good sleep hygiene and I am always in search of the perfect skin regime. Some days are better than others...

Through working with many clients, I've seen firsthand the impact wearing the right colour for the skin tone can have on overall appearance. Don't get me wrong, you can absolutely wear ANY colour you love (there are so many ways to make something work!). But knowing the right hues that flatter can work wonders - instantly brightening and enhancing facial features.

And, wearing the wrong shades next to our face can make us look tired, washed out, or even a little ill. Yikes.

You know those days when people comment on how good you look? Most likely one reason is...you are wearing the right colour.

It's all in the undertone

The key to knowing which colours flatter us best starts with knowing the undertone of your skin. You can appear to have a very similar colour of skin as someone else, but if your undertone isn't the same, the hues that suit will be completely different. And, fair skinned people can be cool or warm as is the case of those with darker skin.

Your skin could have either a cool (pink or bluish undertone), warm (yellow, golden or peach undertone); or some people are neutral which is a mix of warm and cool.

Here are some quick ways to test your undertone:

Reaction to the sun:

When you are in the sun, does your skin tend to turn pink or burn first? No surprise, that is me. That suggests a cool undertone. Or, are you an easy immediate golden-brown? That points to a warm undertone.

The Vein Test

When you look at the veins on the inside of your wrist, do they appear quite blue (mine do!). That suggests a cool undertone. If they look more green than blue, you are most likely a warmer undertone. This is because you are seeing your veins through a skin tone that is more yellow.

The Jewelry Test:

Take turns holding gold and silver jewelry next to your face or against your chest. Does your skin appear to glow more (or look brighter) with the silver or gold? Silver corresponds to cool and gold to warm.

Keep in mind you can definitely wear both silver and gold jewelry no matter your skin's undertone. However, if silver looks better next to your face this is another sign that hues with a cooler undertone will flatter you best (and the reverse is true with gold/warm).

For me, the silver brightens my skin tone more, so it is good for me to keep in mind with accessories I wear next to my face (like the silver hoops I am wearing here). I absolutely love gold and will continue to wear - such as my engagement and wedding rings. And, yes, you can most certainly mix gold and silver together within an outfit. Please do.

The Neutrals Test:

Does your face look brighter when you are wearing neutrals next to it such as pure white, navy and black (cool), or are you glowing more in off-whites, cream, tans and shades of brown (warm).

Remember, you might fall somewhere in between on these tests which could suggest that your skin tone is neutral and you can wear a mix of cool and warm hues.

What to do if you love a hue that doesn't align with your skin tone?

Like I said at the outset, you can absolutely wear any colour you love. But, if you want to get optimal benefits from the colour of our garments, it's good to choose those we wear next to the face wisely. Those that naturally flatter. Here are some ways to incorporate a colour you love if it doesn't fall within your optimal palette:

- wear in an accessory such as a shoe, handbag or belt

- wear on your bottom half (skirts or pants)

- incorporate within a print where the dominant colours of the print align with your most flattering colours

For me, knowing my optimal colour palette has really helped with the overall cohesiveness of my wardrobe. It's also helped me make wiser shopping choices.

Need some help? A closet styling session is a time where we discover which shapes and colours suit best - all while organizing the closet and creating fabulous outfits!

Learn more about my Closet Styling service here.

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2019 • LORI THOMAS • STYLESMARTS • VANCOUVER BC