Monday, May 27, 2013

Is my Skin Warm or Cool?

Let's continue with part 5 of the Key #2 of The 5 Keys to Dressing Well

How do I know my skin's undertone?

This is the most important characteristic of color we should consider when choosing our personal colors.
Is my skin warm or cool? To understand more about color's  psychological and relative temperature take a look at The Basics of Colors to understand what makes colors seem warm or cool.

So, is your skin warm, cool or balanced?

One quick way to decide is to take a look at the inside skin of your forearm, and look at your veins there. Can you see them? Do they look blue, or purplish? or more like green?

  • Cool - bluish or purplish veins.
  • Warm - greenish veins
  • Balanced - somewhere in between, neither blue, nor green.

Why is this important? Because all colors have either a blue or a yellow component. Remember the three primary colors are Blue, Yellow and Red and from those, all other colors are created. Red being the "balanced" one when it comes to skin tone. Yes, I know it is hard to understand, because red is considered warm, but for our skin is considered a neutral.

If our skin has a warm undertone, we usually can wear well all colors with warm tones, therefore colors containing more yellow in their composition.

 If our skin has cool undertones, we can wear well all colors that have a mostly blue base.

When it comes to choosing the colors for our wardrobe, what we need to strive for is harmony, remember I talked about color Harmonies? Well, the same thing happens when we put ourselves in the equation. Go back to this post to remember about the basic color harmonies. 

We are the main component in the harmony we are to create with color, so it is important for us to determine, where am I in the color wheel?! I know it sounds strange! Hey! I am not the Incredible Hulk! neither am I Sesame's Street Yellow Bird....yes I know, but we DO have colors in us, and we need to find that we can create the most beautiful harmonies possible! So in order to do that we start with our base....Are we closer to the blue? or closer to the yellow? or equally distant, as if we are red?

Having a Color Analysis done by an expert can be a valuable tool to help you improve your Personal Image.

This is another simple method you can use at home to determine for yourself whether your skin undertone is warm or cool.
  • Place a gold and a silver bracelet/watch across your forearm. If  you can see warmth in your skin using the gold and with the silver you can't, then you are probably warm.
  • Think about the type of jewellery you like to wear. Is it almost always gold? or you prefer silver? Gold is warm, Silver is cool. So if you like to use white gold, platinum, or silver accessories because they "suit" your skin and face better, then you most probably are Cool. If on the other hand all the jewellery you wear or accessories are mostly golden, then you are most probably Warm.

So when we have a professional Color Analysis done, what the we do, is first wear a grey or white robe, be in natural light or use a special lamp that imitates the sunlight we need, in case we are indoors and there are no windows, or the day is cloudy.

The we use two cards with different color swatches both blue and yellow based, to determine if the undertone is warm, cool or balanced. Once we have determined the skin's undertone we start the process of draping different colors to "see" which ones look good on you.

In general colors that are in harmony with your own personal coloring are those that:
  • bring out your best features.
  • make your eyes pop.
  • even out any imperfection you might have in your complexion.
  • they make you look rested and younger.
Colors that are not in harmony with your own personal coloring are those that:
  • make you look older
  • tired
  • cast shadows under your eyes, and chin
  • uneven your skin-tone
  • compete with you for visual attention.

Keep in mind that everybody can wear some "version" of almost every color, because all colors can have a blue or yellow base, or be neutral (universal colors).

I will tell you about the Seasonal Color Theory tomorrow. Stay tuned, because that is the system most widely used in the world to categorize personal coloring....

So tomorrow you will learn....Am I a Winter? A Summer? A Spring? or an Autumn?

Which one am I?! Is it "important" to know?

Stay tuned...

1 comment:

  1. Great tips for discovering the skin's undertone.


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