I analyze your best colors to bring out your own personal glow.

Archive for August, 2010

Amel Larrieux

I thought I’d start off my celebrity profiles with my favorite singer, Amel Larrieux. Amel is a Winter. Let’s take a look at some of her photos and fashion colors.


Usually, the easiest way to tell if your skin has warm or cool undertones is to put on a black or white shirt. For black women, I have found it especially telling with white shirts; black can be tricky sometimes. Here, even with slight touches of gray if you look closely, all you see is Amel looking lovely in white. She makes the white look so crisp yet so soft. She does not look washed out at all; which is common for someone with a warm skin undertone in white. Winters definitely glow in white.


Here, Amel is in a deep jewel-tone purple. Winters look FABULOUS in cool-hued, royal jewel tones. A warm-toned person would look washed out in this and deeper jewel purples (I know because I am warm and I have a deep indigo dress that I look super-pale in).


See how Amel looks like it ain’t no thang to saunter down the street looking all ethereal? The burgundy dress really sets off her skin. Interestingly, burgundy is one of those both-ways colors. Burgundy can work on cool and warm skin tones. I’ll refer to them as Season Neutrals and expand on those in a future post.


This picture is from my trip to San Francisco to see her sing. What’s awesome (color-wise) about this picture is you can start to see the difference in Autumn and Winter in similar colors. I am wearing gray and Amel is wearing a grayish-lavender. See how Amel is holding down that shimmery lavender-gray satin, looking all fresh and I look like a wilted piece of lettuce? That’s color tones at work. I am an Autumn. Amel is a Winter. I am wearing a cool gray and it washed me out to oblivion. Gray is actually another color neutral, but there are definitely warm grays and cool grays. I have no business in a cool gray. Amel on the other hand can work it all day and all night *snaps in a Z formation*

Now for comparison, some photos of Amel in warm colors.

Now, Amel does not look bad in any of these shots. What I see, however, is that these colors do nothing for her skin. Her face looks matte and not glowy in the orange; the orange is the star of the show. The brown washes her face out. The gold is kind of just sitting on her, rather than flowing with her skin tone. Compare these last 3 photos with the ones of her in cool colors. The difference to me is striking, she shines in the cooler tones, making her a clear Winter.

Hopefully, this all made sense to you and you can start to see the difference in wearing colors that flatter your skin tone the best. If you have a black celebrity woman you want featured, e-mail me at bohemianbahamian@gmail.com

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Winter

Winter people are those with cool skin undertones and dark hair. Excerpts from Beauty and the Bath:

The Winter palette has the range of all dark, vivid, and bright colors.
It also has all those very light icy colors. It holds all the primaries, being white, black, pure red, and navy. Winters do not wear most oranges well.
Light-medium browns and some camel are not the best choice for Winters.
No woman can wear a Pure White as beautifully Winter can.

Winters in the Media

Autumn

Autumn people are those who have warm skin undertones and darker hair (including red hair). Autumn people look best in vibrant, deep, warm tones and muted warm colors. Excerpts from Beauty and the Bath (the bold print emphasizes what I believe are good points to remember; italics are my own notes):

To compliment their skin tones, Autumns should wear colors that are earthy. Basically, colors that make you think of a warm, crisp Autumn day is typically going to flatter an Autumn. (I am an Autumn–more on that in a future post. This explains why, before I knew about Seasons, I was always drawn to golden yellow, olive green, and copper-brown for clothes and felt pretty in those colors.)

Autumns look stunning in shades that are rich or muted, yet still warm and inviting. Shades such as camel, beige, olive, orange, gold, dark brown and even gray will bring out a healthy, gorgeous glow in an Autumn.

Warm autumn color and skin tones have a color palette that is composed of the following shades- off whites, warm beiges that range from light to dark, warm browns from light to dark, camel, gold Mustard, pumpkin, terra cotta, rust, peach & Salmon orange, orange-red, tomato red Lime green, yellow-green, moss green, grayed green, olive green, jade green, forest green, turquoise, teal blue, dark periwinkle blue. (I would remove lime green from this list and replace it with certain shades of fuschia/magenta.)

If you are a warm autumn color and skin tone, you will want to avoid colors that are clear and bright.

Typically black and white are not good Autumn colors either as they will wash you out and make your complexion appear wan.

Instead of classic black and white, choose combinations of black with taupes, creams,oyster, and beige. A look very flattering to a warm autumn color and skin tone.

Pastels and blue tones are not good color choices for Autumns either, as they will bring about a washed out appearance to your complexion.

If you need a blouse, never opt for one in a snowy white. Instead, choose your blouses in a more neutral shade such as oyster, ecru or eggshell.

Autumn Women in the Media:

Summer

Summer people are those who have a cool skin undertone with light-colored hair. Cool pastels as well as vibrant colors in cool tones look good on Summer people. Excerpts from Beauty and the Bath (the bold print emphasizes what I believe are good points to remember; italics are my own notes):

Your color palette for summer is delicate, soft, and light, including delicate pastels. You will find examples in the seasonal colors used for Easter.

The brighter colors such the strong bright yellows are not in your palette, choose yellow as a light pastel instead.

Your best complimentary colors are pink, light blue and light gray.

Blue Your color territory is most of the blues, remove only the royal blue or Chinese blue shades that a Winter season would wear. (See my note below)

Gray You can wear grays from light blue-gray to any soft charcoal blue-gray

Blue-Greens Blue greens can range from pastel to deep.

Pink For pink you can wear all the pastel pinks that have a blur undertone. You can also wear the deeper rose tones, which includes fuchsia, but even these may look best on you when powdered and muted.

Red Choose red as you will choose gray and green, reds that carry a blue undertone.

Watermelon Your shades of watermelon will be the most flattering when going towards more of a coral hue.You will want to avoid orange red and orange.

Lavender You can wear anything in the lavender family, the orchids and mauve pastels.

Plum, Burgundy, and Raspberry You wear these shades well, but if you are a Summer that is more on the fair side try to keep a softer shade near your face.

Yellow You should wear only one shade of yellow, the light lemon (see my note below) and you should avoid any yellow that has a gold undertone.

Aqua Aqua should stay in the light to medium range.

Soft White Soft white containing no yellow is your best best white,this shade is often called winter white. (Meh. Summers often look good in pure white. The only exception is super-pale, light-haired Summers.)

Navy The strong navy of a winter season, is not for you, choose instead a navy that is softer and grayer, this will compliment your softer complexion.

Beige/Brown Your beige and brown always have a brown tone. Wear any shade between your rose beige and rose brown swatches, including cocoa, but avoid yellow-beiges, gray beiges, and dark browns

Meh. I disagree with some of this analysis because it goes overboard trying to force Summers into the light shade of the spectrum. While these shades often look better on Summers, Summers can also wear vibrant cool colors like pure turquoise, fuschia, neon yellow, lime green, etc.

I have yet to see any black women who are Summers. They would have to be a cool undertone with natural blonde hair that is ash blonde or white blond in tone. If I see any, I will of course include their pictures here.

Spring

Spring people are those with warm skin undertones and light hair. Light, airy, and muted warm colors makes Spring people glow. Excerpts from Beauty and the Bath (the bold print emphasizes what I believe are good points to remember; italics are my own notes):

The best white for a spring is ivory, a creamy tone, or an off-white. Beiges that are clear and warm, from light beige to camel.

Your browns start at the golden tan and can go as dark as milk chocolate, any golden brown is good but be careful not to go to deep or too dark. Golds from buff to golden yellow, on the bright clear side.

For gray only a warm yellow shade is flattering to a spring skin tone and choose a lighter shade if wearing near your face. (Yes, there are warm grays. More on this in a different post.)

Peach, apricot, salmon, coral, and peachy pinks are beautiful for a spring season.

Aqua and clear turquoise are extremely flattering for you as well as periwinkle blue, light true blue

Light to medium violet are vibrant on you, if you choose a periwinkle shade of blue which has more violet in it rather than a pale powder blue, it is much more vibrant on you.

Any light orange, bright coral, and orange-red look good, choose clear reds but not those that have a blue undertone. (Choosing the right red is important for seasons. More in a different post.)

A very fair spring should avoid a dark black and all springs should avoid a pure white.

Spring Women in the Media

Model Jasmine Sanders is the only black (or black-multiracial) female Spring in the media I have seen so far. I will add others as I find them.

Some Tips To Remember

When discovering what colors do and don’t look good on you, keep the following tips in mind:

1. When I refer to colors looking good on you; I am mainly referring to cosmetics and tops/shirts/blouses, as they are the closest to your face and the key to you either looking radiant or sickly.

2. Keeping number 1 in mind, if a color you like is not one that flatters you, it doesn’t mean you have to give it up completely. You can wear it as bottoms, in accessories, as nail polish, or even in your home as decor. Also, the wrong color may not necessarily make you look hideous, but the key is that it will not flatter you the same as something in your tone will. For example, Spring and Autumn are often warned to avoid black. Black does not always look bad on these two seasons but it will often just “sit” on you. See number 6 also.

3. Determining your colors depends on your natural state. Apply this advice keeping your natural hair color in mind. Often, artificial hair colors can throw off judging the colors that look best. It is also a good idea, if you color your hair, to let your color-season dictate the range of hair colors to choose from–if you are going for a natural look. If you are going for shock value, disregard this.

4. If you are warm or cool, it doesn’t mean colors who, at their primary core are considered warm or cool, are always for you and it doesn’t mean the opposite-toned colors are completely off-limits. For example, yellow is generally considered to be a warm color. However, some yellows are warmer and some cooler than others. If you are a warm Season, don’t just grab any yellow item and get crunk. If it’s a golden yellow, it will work. If it is one of those electric neon acid yellows, it won’t work. That particular kind of yellow however, can look good on Summers, a cool Season.

Similarly, Spring and Autumns don’t share all of the same colors; neither do Summer and Winter. Spring and Summer can often look better in the lighter colors than Autumn and Winter. Autumn and Winter can often look better in the deeper, more vibrant colors than Spring and Summer. I will show examples of this in future posts.

5. Most black women will be either Autumn or Winter, given that most of us have naturally dark hair. Of course there are black women with naturally lighter hair too, which is where Spring or Summer would come in.

6. Finding the right color can make the difference between “That’s a cute top/dress/blouse!” and “You look gorgeous!” Wearing the right color makes everything flow head-to-toe, while wearing an off color, makes the COLOR or the ITEM stand out, rather than YOU.