Finding your perfect match: the colours that suit you
You just know when you are wearing a colour that really suits you. Next to the right shade, your skin glows, your eyes sparkle and you radiate the confidence that comes from knowing you look great.
Although we know what really suits us as soon as we see it, the science behind finding the perfect colour palette is not always as well known. This means it sometimes takes a bit of practice and a little trial and error before we find our ideal match.
But there are a few simple rules that can take all the guesswork out of choosing the colours that suit you and once you have mastered these, it is easy to choose your colours with confidence and panache. Read on to discover some of our top fashion insider tips to be sure of finding colours that will suit you.
Finding the right tone
The starting point for finding your most flattering colours is to identify your skin’s undertone colour, which may be either a cool or a warm colour. This plays a major role in determining which shades will make you look a million dollars and which ones will wash you out.
If you are not sure whether you are a cool or a warm colour type, it’s simple to find out.
The two easiest ways to find out whether you have a cool or a warm skin tone
Identifying your basic skin tone is simple—and here are two of the easiest ways that you can do it:
- Check the veins on the inside of your wrists. If your veins have a blue tinge to them, you have cool-toned skin and if they are more of a greenish shade, then your skin tone is warm. For the most accurate results use natural daylight as artificial lighting can distort how your veins appear.
- If you are still not sure of the answer from looking at your wrists, try the gold/silver test. Hold a piece of gold jewellery (a necklace is ideal) or a piece of gold-coloured fabric next to your face and study your reflection in the mirror in natural daylight. Then do the same with a piece of silver jewellery or some silver material. Usually, one of the two will appear to brighten your complexion and bring out the colour of your eyes much more effectively than the other. If gold is more flattering next to your face, you are warm-toned; if silver looks better, you are cool-toned.
There are a few people whose veins on the inside of their wrists appear to be equally green and blue and it is hard to decide a definitive colour. These people are often also the ones who seem to look equally good in both gold and silver. If this is you, you are lucky because you are officially a “neutral” when it comes to your skin undertone, which means that pretty much any colour will suit you.
Choosing the best colours for your skin tone
The best matches for cool-toned skin: if your skin is cool-toned, opt for clothes, jewellery and make up that feature blue and pink based colours in jewel-like shades. These will brighten your complexion and bring out the colour of your eyes. Blues, blue-based greens, bluish reds and purples will all work well with your colouring and create a gorgeous palette to show you off your complexion to its best.
The best matches for warm-toned skin: if you are warm-toned, you will look fabulous in colours from an earthier palette that will make your skin glow and your eyes pop. Choose from brick-reds, browns, oranges, yellows and greens with a yellowish undertone when you are choosing your key fashion pieces, accessories and make up. These will pick up the warm tones in your skin and make you look radiant.
Finding a new favourite colour that suits you
While your basic colouring will remain the same throughout your lifetime, there are some things that might affect how well different colours suit you when you wear them. Changing your hair colour, going grey or even getting a suntan can alter how individual shades look on you. If you feel that some of your old favourites need a bit of a shake up, it might be time to experiment with some new colour accents to freshen up and vary your look. Or maybe you want to try out some of this season’s latest colours to reflect the latest trends.
Whatever the reason, it is important to ring the changes and expand your colour repertoire every once in a while, especially if you feel that the colours you used to love don’t have quite the same magic any more.
Experiment with different shades of your favourite colour, or try something completely new. The easiest way to do this is by holding a scarf, piece of fabric or even coloured paper up to your face in front of a mirror in natural daylight. If it instantly brightens up your complexion and makes your eyes pop, you know you have found a winner.
But remember, when it comes to looking fabulous, the rules are there to be broken—and that attitude and personal style will trump the rule book every time. So if there is a colour that you love, but that is a no-no according to your recommended skin tone colour palette, trust your fashion instinct and go ahead and wear it anyway.
For more fashion inspiration on what to wear this spring, check out our top tips for the most flattering new colours and styles that are guaranteed to turn heads as the weather gets warmer.