Three natural colours are the best guides for choosing the colours of your clothes and cosmetics. They are hair colour, complexion and colour and eye colour. Of these, the first, the original natural colour of the hair, is the most important.
Hair colours falls into three general groups – brunette, the most common, blonde and redhead. To find the colours of clothes, cosmetics and accessories which suit you best, you should refer to the hair colour group to which you belong.
If you are not quite sure about the colour of your complexion, examine your forearm. Turn your hand palm up and see whether the delicate skin between your wrist and elbow shows a pink, rose, olive, white, beige or a brown tint. Compare this part of your arm to a friends arm, with a different colouring and you should see the difference between one type of complexion and another.
Woman with a medium-to-dark brown and black hair are included in this group. Brunette hair is associated with complexions that range from white – beige, beige with a hint of pink, golden beige and light or dark olive, to black. Eye colour is usually brown or hazel, speckled tones of grey or green, grey or deep blue.
There are two exceptions to this group. The first is the woman whose hair colour was originally blonde (until she was about 15 years old) but has darkened with age and is now medium–brown. She has a reddish complexion and belongs to the pale blonde group. In this case eye colour is usually green, hazel, blue, blue green, or dark brown.
The other exception is the brunette who has definite auburn or red highlights in her hair and has a reddish or copper complexion. She belongs in the redhead group. Her eyes are usually green, hazel or golden brown.
Although dark-skinned brunettes can wear essentially the same colours, there are exceptions, and so we have included them in a separate category. Here we discuss those women with dark brown, brown-black or black hair; skin colour which ranges from light brown to mahogany to black; and hazel, grey, grey-green, dark brown or black eyes.
The blonde group is subdivided into two categories – pale blondes and golden blondes. Pale blonde hair colour can range from platinum and light blonde to a brownish blonde. The pale blonde has ash tones in her hair, her complexion is usually pale or translucent and her eyes are light-blue, light grey or blue-green. The golden blonde group ranges from light golden to strawberry blonde; and no ash tones are visible in the hair. The golden blonde’s complexion is peach or ivory and she has a tendency to blush easily. Eye colour is either crystal blue, blue with brown flecks, blue-green or golden-brown.
The third hair colour group consists of women with light red or dark auburn and brown hair with definite red or auburn tones. The complexion is usually fair or reddish, and eye colour may be turquoise, green, blue, brown or hazel.
The bright primary colours — blue, red and yellow – are the pure colours from which all other colours derive. They can make us feel vivacious and exciting. With equal amounts of blue and red are mixed together, a secondary colour, violet is created; mixing blue and yellow creates green; mixing yellow and red produces orange. This mixing creates complimentary colours. So yellow and violet are complimentary colours, as are green and red, and blue and orange. Complimentary colours provide the greatest contrasts; when worn together they seem to bring out the best in each other.
The other colours are made up of equal parts of primary and its closest secondary. Any adjacent colours such as yellow and light green, match in a subtle but pleasing way.
When we refer to cool colours, we mean those colours with blue tones in them like blue-red, blue-green, fuchsia, magenta and purple. Warm colours are colours with yellow or gold tones in them – yellow-orange, orange, or yellow-red, example. We also referred to monochromatic colours schemes. These are combinations in which light or dark shades of the same colour are used, for instance in the blue family, shades from pale aqua to dark blue-green.
The neutrals include black, white, off-white, most of the browns from beige to dark brown through camel and to nutmeg, and greys from pale solver to charcoal.