Have you ever wondered why that shirt you bought at the mall just doesn't look right on you? Or why your yellow dress makes your skin look super yellow too? It turns out that color theory isn't just important for artists. It's important for everyone else as well.
From getting ready for that big interview to the simplicity of throwing on something that looks and feels good, there are many reasons why it is valuable for someone to know their color season.
One of the most important reasons to know what colors make you shine is that knowing you look good has the psychological effect of making you feel better as well.
Instead of the hassle of spending hours trying on clothing to make sure it looks good, you can find the perfect fit in minutes and know that you won't regret your choice.
Another huge benefit to knowing your colors is that makeup shopping is a breeze. You can optimize your makeup to bring out all of your best features while blending perfectly with your skin and hair.
On the flip side, color theory is also a tool you can use to know what colors to avoid wearing. Color psychology has been around since Johann Wolfgang von Goethe brought it to light in the mid-1700s and it's only becoming more important in today's modern age.
The first step in finding your color season is deciding your hue: whether you have a BLUE UNDERTONE or YELLOW UNDERTONE. This can be quite difficult since your undertone is subtle and may not be obvious especially if you have neutral or olive skin.
A note on olive skin: sometimes olive skin is mistaken for warm-toned when it is actually cool-toned. This can be quite confusing, so if you think you are an olive take a look at this video for more details.
When comparing your undertones, it is essential to avoid using your face as a reference, since hormones, acne, freckles, and other features may affect the coloring you see. The best places to look for undertones would be your chest, wrist, upper arm, or the inside of your thigh.
Another thing to note is that all indoor lighting will cast color on your skin, so these color tests should be outside.
The three primary ways that most people determine their undertones are through the white paper test, the vein test, and the jewelry test.
The White Paper Test:
This method of testing is pretty simple. You will need a white piece of paper and a sunny area that is not indoors.
Once you are ready, take your piece of paper and compare the paper to your hand. If your hand appears pinkish in hue compared to the paper you are cool-toned. If it appears yellowish, then you are warm-toned.
The Vein Test:
For this test, find a nice spot outdoors on a sunny day and look at the veins in your wrist. If they appear more blue than green, you are cool-toned. If they are more green than blue, you are warm-toned or olive toned.
The Jewelry Test:
For this test, take a silver and a gold piece of jewelry and compare them with the color of your hand. If the silver blends better you are cool-toned. If the gold blends better you are warm-toned.
Lastly, if you're still having trouble finding your undertone try going outdoors and comparing your wrist with a friend of similar depth (not too much lighter/darker than you) and see if your skin looks more yellow, pink, or green if you have olive skin.
Cool undertones mean you are a SUMMER or WINTER type.
Warm undertones mean you are a SPRING or AUTUMN type.
Next, you will need to find your color value: whether you are a LIGHT or DARK type based on your hair and eye color. This step is much easier since these colors are more obvious.
First, taking the color of your hair and eyes into account, try to determine if the combination is more dark or light overall. DARK combinations will be WINTER or AUTUMN and LIGHT combinations will be SPRING or SUMMER. At this point you may already know which season you fall into, however, there is still one more category within the four color seasons.
The last aspect of your coloring takes into account your CHROMA. This is the level of your color saturation. In other words, it is concerned with how distinct your colors are from each other. If your hair, skin, and eyes are all similar in coloring you have a soft or muted chroma. Conversely, if your coloring is very distinct in each category you have a clear chroma.
The combination of hue, value, and chroma make up six distinct characteristics:
WARM vs. COOL - DEEP (dark) vs. LIGHT - CLEAR vs. SOFT (muted)
Considering these options, think about which of these six characteristics is most prominent in you. This will be your dominant characteristic. Then find the next characteristic that is the second most noticeable. This will be your secondary characteristic. Now you are ready to find your distinct color type! Next week we will be focusing specifically on autumn colors, so if you happen to be an Autumn or have an Autumn friend, don't forget to check out next week's content!