Styling By Skin Tone

Welcome!

You know I love fashion, I love shoes, and I love wearing black. I wore black as my only colour for years due to insecurity with my weight and not understanding what colours fit me Shopping in the same stores my friends did I rarely found shades I felt confident in, so I hid under my black dresses and shirts. As I got older I realized that I was shopping in stores that had strong summer themes, which lead a lot of their clothing to be in warm tones, which just don’t suit me! I changed where I shop and suddenly I can find just about anything in a flattering shade, and when I can’t, I’ve learned how to adjust my look to wear it better.

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While skin tone does influence which colours look better naturally against your skin tone, they don’t have to limit you. Today we are going over how to determine your skin, eye and hair tone as well as what colours match well with them. After that we are going to get into how to adjust your make up and hair style to wear colours that aren’t as naturally suitable for skin tones.

Determining Tone

It is important to check your tones under natural lighting, indoor lights will skew results. (This also comes into play with dressing rooms with fluorescent lighting).

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Skin Tone

The quickest and easiest way to determine your skin tone is to look at your eyelids and wrist for your veins. If you see them as purple or deep blue, you are cool toned. If they are a blueish green, you would be a neutral tone and if they are olive or green you are warm toned.

In my case I have very purple veins showing around my eyes and deep blue on my wrist. This leaves me as a cool toned individual.

Eye Tone

Eyes are interesting as blue can sit in any category. If your eyes could be considered “ice blue” or a deep blue without yellow tint, they are cool. Other cool colours include grey and deep green.

Neutral eyes includes dark brown and blackish eyes.

Warm eyes include blues that have a tint of yellow or a brightness to them that would be reminiscent of water. Warm also describes mid to light brown as well as hazel and light green eyes.

I have a Scandinavian looking ice blue eye with a dark band around the exterior, leaving me in the cool category once again.

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Hair Tone

Hair tone doesn’t really have a neutral but it is very easy to see if your hair is warm or cool. In the case that you have matching tone for your skin and eyes, it is recommended to dye your hair in the same tone. It isn’t necessary, and even as this sounds contradictory, dying your hair to match your other tones looks more natural.

Hair tone is most easily seen in the undertone of the colour. Cool hair will have blue, silver, ash or violet undertones where warm hair will have red, brown or yellow undertones.

I have dark blonde hair with no real hue, but seems to be cool. I do have lighter blonde balayage that I have to use purple shampoo on to keep it cool. When it becomes yellow the colour looks odd framing my face but lends well to why warmer toned shirts.

Matching Tones

A good rule when it comes to tones when shopping is to hold the fabric directly against your jawline. If your natural skin tone seems accentuated by the colour, it likely matches you, if you wind up looking ill or natural beside the colour, it isn’t a good match.

Something to be aware of is the trend of clothing tones changing depending on the season. In the spring and summer months you are much more likely to find a plethora of warm toned clothing whereas in the winter months you are more likely to find more cool toned items. Autumn tends to be a fairly even mix of the two. When in doubt, navy looks good on everyone.

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Cool Tone

Cool toned skin looks marvellous paired with jewel toned colours. Bright blues, emeralds, deep purples, ice blues, true pink and the good old white and black. For metallics, cool tones can wear gold as metallic surfaces reflect their tone onto what is around them. A gold metallic shirt would reflect warm tones onto your face, warming you up (in order to make this work the best, warm up your eyes with red or yellow toned colours). Gun metal and silver metallic work well with cool skin tones without adjusting warmth in the face.

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Neutral Tone

Neutral toned skin can play with both warm and cool colours without it looking off. Faded blacks aren’t a good match with neutral skin, so make sure to protect your blacks when being washed. Dark denims, shades of brown and mustard yellows can really compliment this skin tone.

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Warm Tone

Warm toned skin pairs nicely with rich ruby reds, blush pinks, pastel colours and leafy greens. Floral designs often look very nice on warm toned skin as they often have a combination of the above mentioned shades. Rose gold and gold looks lovely paired with warm skin and gun metal can be used if you cool down the eyes with greys, blues and purples.

Adjusting To Other Shades

Colour against the face

Separating colours that don’t match your tone with white, black or neutral tones can help you wear the colours you love without looking off. A white collared shirt with the collar popped over the sweater that doesn’t match can change the whole look. Using a scarf can have the same effect.

Warming Up Or Cooling Down The Face

Warm toned skin compliments gold naturally, but metallic shades can be used to change the appearance of tone on the face. A cool skinned individual who wants to wear warm toned clothing could use a gold highlighter and yellow toned brown shades round the eyes.

For a warm toned individual who wants to wear cool toned, try using a more purple hued blush and blue, white and purple tones around the eyes. Also using a matte finish foundation will help keep the cool toned look.

Clashing Hair colour

In the case that you hair tone does not match the tone of the top you are wearing, separate them. An up-do will separate the two tones that are clashing. Another option if you really love warm toned clothing but you are cool toned is to balayage your hair. If the top is cooler near your face and the bottom is warmer where it would rest against clothing, it can help pull it all together.

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Weddings and Confidence

While it is generally easier to wear what matches you, it isn’t always what you like or what you have the opportunity to wear. Weddings can be the most problematic as bridesmaids don’t often have a lot of control over hair style or dress colour, but you can always fake a different tone for a day with neutral foundation instead of your cool or warm tone and use a little highlighter to warm you up if you need it.

The most important thing I want to say about all this is that while there is colour theory and everyone has good and bad shades on them, the most important part of pulling off any outfit is confidence. Don’t let your clothes wear you, make sure you wear them. Pull your shoulders back, straighten your back and walk with the knowledge that you can do anything.

As always I really appreciate you coming here and spending some time with me. I love hearing back from you guys so please let me know what’s on your mind in the comments.

Accessories – How To Style As A Plus Sized Lady

Very happy to be writing about this today! If you missed the first on, click here to read up on belts. I really enjoy writing about styling as a plus sized lady. As it can be difficult to get clothing and accessories that fit my body it is very important being able to make what I can get to look nice, and a great way to pull an outfit together through accessories.

As with many things in fashion, there are rules and there are circumstances where the rules should be thrown out the window. Let’s start with the rules.

Accessories that match pull outfits together. A tan belt, a tan bag and a nude pair of pumps paired with a blue dress allows the outfit to have a common and central colour that avoids looking messy. The same does with a black belt, black purse and black pumps paired with grey dress pants and a white blouse. Having matching pieces brings an organization to an outfit, and having them being subdued colours and tones keeps the look professional.

When it comes to matching accessories to jewelry, the rules says not to mix metals. Gold accents on a purse should be paired with gold jewelry. When it comes to building a versatile wardrobe on a budget, pick one metal and match to it. For example, my engagement ring and family ring are both gold, so I have opted to buy accessories with gold rather than silver accents to keep fluidity in my outfits.

As a rule, I would recommend always having a “set” of accessories. A matching belt, purse and pair of shoes pull a look together. As a minimum I would recommend having a complete set in both black and nude as they will pair well with pretty well every other colour. If tan doesn’t pair, black always will. You don’t always have to use all three items together. Having two matching items that work beautifully together can do as much as having the three.

Now let’s break the rules. Let’s return to the blue dress and say you wanted a statement piece. Let’s say you have a tan purse and pumps and a gold belt. This also works as the belt and shoes still match and the gold compliments the outfit. In this outfit let’s assume you would wear a gold ring and gold earrings. Now you have a strong theme in your outfit. The tan ties the belt and shoes together. The blue dress is the background. The gold belt, ring and earrings match well and now the outfit looks lovely and no part of it looks messy. The reason this works is due to the matching. Mixing metals and many colours at the same time makes outfits look messy.

In this day and age, mixing metals, prints and textures has become very common and when done correctly can lead to good results should it be done in moderation. A loud top, bright printed bottoms, statement shoes and a bold purse is just too much! Pick and choose and when pairing two prints, try to find a common colour between the two to tie them together. You can also match jewelry to outfits by matching the colour of the stones or beads to a colour in the outfit. This allows for loud looks that maintain an order that stops them from becoming a disaster.

Now all this being said, rules are meant to be broken. These are general rules, but your personal style doesn’t need to stay between the lines. For business and events, it’s probably best to stay within the lines, but personal style knows no boundaries! I would love to see your outfits and the confidence you have wearing them! DM me on instagram at @evablakeman!