Personal Style

How to find your best Colors now

As the first step on your personal style journey I would like to introduce you to color analysis. A kind of color analysis that actually works for everyone. And show you how you can find the colors that make you look fresh and natural even without make-up. And to celebrate the launch of my blog this will be the start of a mini series to give you the tools you need to rock your wardrobe.

“The best color in the world is the one that looks good on you.”

Coco Chanel

I found the following simple way of color analysis on Merriam Style and it was the first system that didn’t completely confuse me or leave me with the wrong color recommendations. (I am looking at you, seasonal color system that told me I am a winter type and supposed to wear all the bright colors that completely overpower my delicate complexion!) With her ISTJ superpowers Merriam built that very simple and yet genius system that works for literary everybody. Check out her YouTube channel, she has so much valuable content there!

In a nutshell this is how her system works:

1. Temperature: Warm or cool?

First you need to find out which temperature your skin has. Right, only your skin. Forget about your hair and eye color, they are only important to determine your contrast level. But they don’t do anything for your color type. Our skin color – from ebony to ivory – is made of a wild mix of colors and we can analyze which one is the most prominent, blue or yellow. (A lot of people call that the skin undertone but I don’t find that language helpful. It’s just confusing because it suggests that there is a secret tone underneath your skin tone.) 

In other words: Are you a cool or a warm type? To find out the temperature of your skin color, you can drape some fabric in two very bright colors around your upper body (first bright pink or blue and then bright orange or yellow for example). Make sure you wear no make-up and can see yourself in daylight. What do you see in the mirror? Does the orange enhance your wrinkles, redness and circles under your eyes? If so, you have a cool undertone like Taylor Swift. Does the blue make your face look yellow-ish or more tanned? Then you have a warm undertone like Beyoncé does.

You might find that you look great in one of the bright colors. That’s fantastic, you are a warm or cool radiant type. If you find that you look only less crappy in one color than in the other, stick with me!

Side note: Warm skin tones can pull off cool colors and still look good. Blue and yellow are complementary colors, that means they enhance each other. So when a warm skin tone wears blue they look more golden. Lucky you, warm types! But when a cool skin tone wears yellow they look blue or gray. Usually a sign of bad health and therefore not very attractive. By the way, this is the origin of the neutral undertone misconception. Most so called neutral undertones are actually warm and delicate.

2. Chroma: Bright or muted?

Now that you got your temperature right, let’s find out how saturated your skin color is. The best colors for you will have a very similar chroma value to your undertone. They will either be more pale or brighter. So if you found that you look kind of meh in a bringt color, grab a pale color in your temperature (denim blue or peach for example) and drape them again around your upper body. (If the bright orange was great on you, you can still experiment. Just saying.) Does the pale color look harmonious within your complexion? Do you feel like the overall impression seems calming to the eye? Then you’re a muted aka delicate type. Or does it seem to wash you out and make you look dull? Try again the bright color. Does it take away all the attention and seem to wear you instead of you wearing it? Try as long as you need to find out in which color YOU look good. (The colors usually don’t change in beauty. Sorry Coco, I think we mean the same but use different perspectives here.) Congratulations, you found your chroma!

If you value a good old overview or are a visual learner, here are the four color types Merriam defines:

Cool and radiant

You look great in all cool and bright colors like bright pink and royal blue. Think power color à la Samantha Jones. You are the only type who can actually pull off snow white and true black without them overwhelming you.

Cool and delicate

Cool pastels and denim blues are made for loving you, baby. If you love black, try to wear a washed version or switch to charcoal or a muted navy. Although off-white is slightly warm, you are still going to look better in it than in an optic white.

Warm and radiant

Bright orange, fire red, curry yellow and camel are your best friends. Avoid cool and bright colors, they don’t do you any favor. If you like black and white try dark browns and ivories.

Warm and delicate

You my friend look best in soft earthy tones. Beige, ivory, peach, muted terra cotta make your skin glow. If you also love to wear cool colors, stick to the muted ones.