The psychology of colour can be a fascinating subject. Colours are thought to have an effect on our mood and even on how we behave. They’re also associated with different meanings – purple with wealth, yellow with hazards, green with nature and wellbeing – which when seen in context can be powerful enough to instil a reaction such as avoiding an area marked with yellow tape, or feeling instantly relaxed in a dentist’s waiting room painted green.
It’s likely that when wearing colour, you’ll be giving off similar subliminal messages. When choosing a new item of clothing, we’re drawn to the tailoring, feel and overall look of the garment – which includes its colour. We put lots of energy into ‘matching’ and ‘toning’ items of clothing – so a skirt compliments the print of a top – but our own, natural colouring is often overlooked in this process and can undo all of your hard work.
Stop this happening simply by viewing your hair and skin colour as an extension to your chosen palette:
Brunettes with an olive skin tone
Your natural colouring is quite warm, and you’re able to carry a darker tone of colour in your clothing without looking washed out. Black is no problem, but why not try a dark brown for a change? Turn up the heat with the brighter end of the spectrum by opting for bright and bold colours such as red and emerald green. Blue will also suit, but take care not to choose too ‘cool’ an undertone.
Bronzer is your secret weapon; use it to highlight the natural glow on your collar and cheek bones.
Blondes with a paler skin tone
There are many shades of blond hair – ash, golden, platinum – so it’s important to get to know yours. Blondes can pull off pink like no other, but consider the intensity based on your natural colouring; too pale and you’ll all but disappear, but too bright and you run the risk of looking a bit harsh. That said, a pure red can look stunning with bright blond locks; try this in your makeup first and get a feel for the right blend.
Red lipstick is your secret weapon and will give great contrast, emphasising your hair colour in particular.
Redhead’s with pale skin tones
Your friends should be green with envy – quite literally. Think ‘Bree’ from Desperate Housewives, who gives redheads a fantastic wardrobe to work with. Her selection of greens and creams work wonders for her complexion. For the strawberry blondes amongst you, choose peach and yellow pastels which will work with the softness of your colouring.
A peachy-pink cream blush is your secret weapon. Apply to the cheekbone and lips to give an all-day glow to your porcelain skin.