Sunday, August 20, 2006


Color And You -- Part IV
Your personal coloring
Fans who have read all of the books in the Anne of Green Gables series surely remember one of Anne's pupils. This girl, who had blonde hair and brown eyes, was very proud of being an "October blonde". She took great pains to dress in colors that set off her features to perfection.
Now, none of us want to be as self-focused as Anne's student was. However, she did recognize something about today's topic: Every woman -- regardless of her ethnic background -- has a family of colors that suits her best. The colors within a particular womans color family will not only harmonize with each other, they will reflect a woman's own hair color, skin tone, and eye color.
Through time, there have been a number of theories developed to determine which are a woman's best colors. These theories all depend to some degree on three things: 1) Every woman is somewhere on a scale from light to deep or dark. 2) Every woman is somewhere on a scale from very warm in skin tone to very cool. 3) Every woman is somewhere on a scale from intense or high contrast coloring to either soft, delicate, or or muted coloring.
All of the colors in our clothing fit somewhere on these three scales, as well. Colors that coincide with our individual level of depth and intensity of color, with our warmth or coolness, and with our level of color contrast are the ones that coordinate well with each other and that suit us best. Artists, sewing experts, and fashion experts group colors according to segments of skin colors, hair colors, and eye colors along the three scales. Thus, if a woman can identify that she is within a certain segment, she knows which colors to choose from.
Many people think that color theories began in the 1980's. That is not so. Color typing theories existed at least from the 19th century, if not before. From the dawn of time, women have given some thought to which colors suited them the best. Artists also have sought to paint their subjects in flattering colors and surroundings. As soon as color movies came along, Hollywood began putting certain actresses in certain colors, according to which were most flattering. Famed designer Edith Head drew up a chart for every skin tone, eye color and hair color between dark, dark hair and light, blonde hair However, since color analysis was a fad in the 1980's, many people associate color theory with that decade.
The most famous system of the 1980's was Color Me Beautiful, which divided women into four seasons - winter, spring, summer, and fall. This system recommended a palette of about 40 particular colors for each season.
In the Color Me Beautiful system, winters and summers have cool skintones, while summers and autumns have warm skintones. Summers have softer and lighter coloring and lighter eye color than winters do; winters have deeper coloring or coloring with more dramatic contrast than summers do. Though autumns can be quite fair-skinned, their overall look is deeper and less delicate than that of spring's. Spring will have lighter hair and lighter eyes than autumns will, and her skintone will be delicate and clear.
Later on, these four seasons were refined to include three sub-categories within each season. For example, the summer woman could be light summer, soft summer, or cool summer. This exanded Color Me Beautiful's color categories to twelve. In effect, there are now are six warm and six cool counterparts along a continum from light to dark and from clear to muted in color. Each warm season has a cool cousin, and vice versa. Thus, light spring and light summer colors are related by being light, but spring is warmer and summer is cooler. Deep winter and Deep autumn are releated by being deep, but winter is cooler and autumn is warmer. Cool summer, soft summer, and light summer are related by being cool, but vary in depth and intensity of coloring.
As a general rule, Winters are best in true and primary colors. They should think true, blue, and vivid when they shop. The very fair Winter is more likely to wear icy or deep colors, the Winter with darker skin is better in brighter colors. Winters should avoid any color with a yellow undertone to it. Their best brown is not only cool in tone, but it is so dark that its almost black. Just a few of the many colors that winters can wear are emerald, icy pink, icy yellow, icy green, icy taupe, true gray, navy, aqua blue, royal purple, burgandy and bright burgandy, and fuchsia. Winter is the only season -- with the possible exception of clear spring -- who can easily wear black. They are the only season who can carry off pure white. (Ok, you fellow non-winters, let's be honest: We also want to wear black and white, and no color theory is going to stop us. But, we have to wear black and white remembering that we will never look as fabulous in them as the winter woman does. We also must soften our black with a flattering scarf, a soft white or creamy white collar, or makeup. And, we must pair a stark white blouse with a jacket, vest, or sweater that suits us. Many autumns cannot succesffully wear one bit of pure white, not even in amounts as small as a collar or cuffs. They are better off sticking to their season's oyster white, no matter what. Blondes often love the drama of their blonde hair against the dark color. But, in reality, black does nothing for their skin.)
Summers are best in pastels and soft neturals. They should think about the adjectives blue, pink, and soft when they shop for material or clothing. The very fair summer wears the lighter, brighter, and more delicate colors in her palatte. Brunette summers are better in the deeper or dustier shades of summer, and they can often wear winter's burgandy. Summers should avoid pure white, black, or any color with a yellow undertone. The summer womam's best white is soft white, otherwise known as "winter white" by clothing and cloth manufacturers. Winter white is cool, just as pure white is, but it is softer than pure white. Just a few examples of colors that are great for summer are petal pink, soft yellow, mint green, light rose beige, rose beige, rose brown, cocoa brown, light lavendar, mauve, orchid, dusty pink, dusy rose, rose, light and soft yellow, and watermelon. Though summers thrive on most pastels, they cannot wear the very icy pastels of the winter palatte.
Autumns look best in earthy, yellow, and intense colors of fall. The fair Autumn will look better in the more muted shades. The Autumn with darker skin will tend towards the fall colors that are a bit brighter. Autumns should avoid pure white, black, pink, and any color with a blue undertone. Soft autumns can wear soft navy; other autumns may find that navy is trying to their complexion. Just a few examples of colors that autumns can wear: warm beige, camel, medium camel, coffee, rust, light gold, avocado green, moss green, teal blue, red-orange, and light gold. Autumn's best white is oyster.
Springs are best in crisp, clear, delicate colors. They should think clear, yellow, and bright when shopping. The very fair Spring can be overwhelmed by the brightest spring colors. The Spring with more definite coloring is better in the brightest colors and too pale in the lightest spring colors. Springs should avoid pure white, black, and any color with a blue undertone. Spring's best white is ivory. A few examples of spring's best colors are light and clear warm pink, clear peach, lavendar, dove gray, light camel, warm beige, sunny yellow, spring green, sky blue, periwinkle, light green, light turquoise, and light orange.
One hint: If you are not sure if your skintone is warm or cool, check out your eyes. Are the rims of your irises gray? If so, you are most likely cool-toned -- either one of the winter categories or one of the summer categories.
Another hint: Try wearing your specific best white -- at least a touch of it near your face. You will probably find that it does wonderful things for your complexion. A dress in your season's darkest color, trimmed by a touch of white near worn near the face, can be very flattering (and practical, as the darker color does not show stains)
There are merits and drawbacks to each of the many color categories that have been proposed throughout history. However, since all of them depend on each of the three color scales we mentioned earlier, any one of them can be of value. You will find something in each system to point you in the right direction in making wise color choices.
Depending on where you fit on the scale from cool to warm, light to dark, bright to muted, you may be able to pick up a book or read a website on personal color theory and instanty recognize your color category. In fact, many, many women fall into an easily recognizable color category and have no trouble at all identifying their home on the scales of color.
Think how many women all over the world have light to dark olive-toned complexions, cool dark hair with little to no warm hightlights and dark eyes with little to no warmth in the eyes. This is a very definite coloring type. This category falls within the "winter season" of the Color Me Beautiful color theory, though not all winters have this same exact coloration.
The winter woman has definite coloring and will likely recognize her best color family the moment she learns about it. So, too will the decidely autumn woman, who has some depth to her coloring, with lots of red or gold in her hair, gold in her eyes, and warmth to her skin. She has no trouble seeing that she will be at home in the rich browns, golds, and earthones of fall.
There are some of us who cannot pick our our color family in one reading. We have to put more thought into is. This is probably because we are somewhere near the center on one of at least one of the color scales. Most likely, if we have trouble understanding our personal coloring, we are confused about whether we are cool or warm in skintone We will fall probably fall to one side or the other of the center point between cool and warm, but the difference may be subtle. This subtlety may be hard for the poorly trained or untrained eye to discern.
Many color experts say that people who are near the center of the line between warm and cool have "neutral" coloring and are able to wear either warm or cool colors. My non-expert experience is that a person with "neutral" coloring can get away with crossing the line between cool and warm. However, I agree with the experts who say that even people will more netural coloring will look their best if they can discern whether they are better in a slightly cool palatte or a slightly warm palatte. Besdies, by choosing either warm or cool, women can coordinate around netural accessories more easily. This saves the trouble of buying shoes in both warm and cool seasons. However, if you have coloring that is right around the center of the scale from cool to warm, you will have to decide this issue for yourself.
I, for example, have a cool skintone -- but I am a little warmer in skin, eyes, and hair than "the coolest of the cool". Also, since my hair lightens so much in the sun, the " sun gold" in my hair coveres over my natural ashy sheen. For me, it took a little trial and error to discover settle on the fact that I am cool in skintone. I am, however, obviously in the light to soft range. There's no question on that one. So, taking that as my main color cue, I quickly and easily ruled out any color categories that involve deep coloring, bright coloring, obviously cool coloring, or obviously warm coloring.
In Color Me Beautiful's 12-season systesm, that left me with four categories to choose from.
Looking at the only four categories that could in any way descrbe me, I determined that I fall best into the light summer category. I share some colors in common with my light, warm counterpart -- a light spring woman. The reason that a light spring and light summer can wear some of the same colors is that they are both flattered by colors that are light to medium in intensity. But, the spring woman can wear some warm colors that I cannot -- certainly not near my face -- and I can wear some very cool colors that the light spring woman can't. For example, springs wear olive green well and khaki well. Olive and khaki both wash me out.
Light spring and light summer are both fairly near the line between warm and cool. Warm spring and cool summer are further away from each other on the warm to cool continum.
Soft summer and soft autumn are even closer to each other on the scale from cool to warm than light spring and light summer are. Some women with blue eyes are surprised to discover that they are actually soft autumns, with more warmth and richness in their soft coloring than they would ever have guessed.
Obviously, in this article, I can't explain all of the ins and outs of every method of color typing, nor can I list all fo the colors that suit each color category. (Moreover, I am not qualified to do so, since I am not a professional color analyst). However, let me throw out some questions to ask yourself as you begin to think about your own coloring:
Step back from a mirror first and look at the overall effect. Is the overall effect light, soft, dramatic, warm, cool? Then, consider each individual component: your hair, your skin, and your eyes.
1) Is your coloring deep? Do you have dark hair? Does your hair range from black to deep brown, from a dark chestnut or dark auburn color? Is your hair perhaps a blue-black. Are your eyes also deep? Are they dark brown, brown-black, deep hazel, or dark olive? Is your skintone blue-black, rose-black, beige, olive, or bronze? If so, you will belong to a deep color category, either leaning towards warm or cool. You will probably be a winter or an autumn in the Color Me Beautiful theory. You will wear colors that are medium to deep in range. These colors will have strength and richness.
2) Is your coloring light? Is it delicate? If so, is your hair blonde -- from ash to golden and from light blonde to light brown? (Your hair may darken if you make it a practice to shield it from the sun, and it may lighten when you do let the sun bleach your hair) Is your skintone from light to medium, beige to peach to ivory to rosy? Is there little overall contrast between your hair, your eyes, and your skintone? Are your eyes possibly light blue, gray, green, blue-green, grayish blue-green, blue with white starbursts or a bit of gold around the pupil, gray-blue or blue with brown around the center? (Your eyes will not be brown, deep hazel, or deep blue) If you find yourself in this category, you will wear colors that are light to medium in range. You will most likely be a light summer or a light spring in the Color me Beautiful theory. If you tend towards summer, you will look fabulous in light pink. If you tend towards warm, you will glow in light, clear peach. (There are a few springs who look better in pink than peach, so this is not a fool-proof test. Generally, however, you can choose between summer and spring by looking at whether pink is better or peach is better.). If you tend toward the cooler side, likely your eyes will have a softer, perhaps grayer look. If you tend toward the warm side, your eyes will be be bright and clear -- somewhat like the persons's in the bright category, only lighter. You will wear colors that are light to medium in range.
`3) Is your coloring bright? If so, there will be a lot of contrast between your skin and hair color. Snow White is a cartoon image that exemplifies "bright coloring". Likely, if your coloring is bright, your eyes shine and are clear and bright, rather than soft. Perhaps, your eyes remind people of beautiful jewels, and you often get lots of comments about how pretty and striking they are. Also, your skin is probably clear and may have a transparent look. It may be snow or milk white. Your dark hair means that you will have someting in common with the deep category, and you can wear some of deep's clearer colors. But, in contrast to a true deep, you have an "overall" brightness" that looks better in colors that are bright or clear and true. Not for you is anything that is too muted or too dusty. If you tend towards the cool end of the spectrum, you will be in the winter category of Color Me Beautiful. If you tend towards the warm, you will be a clear spring.
4) Is your overall coloring muted? If so, the intensity in your coloring will be about medium range. Your hair will be ash to warm, dark blonde to light brown. You might think of your hair as being somewhere between blonde and brown, and it is likety to be vari-colored with lots of natural blonde highlights. Like the light person, your hair may lighten or darken depending on sun exposure. Your eyes will be grayed green, hazel, brown-green, brown, medium to dark green, teal, gray-blue. Your skin will be ivory, beige, bronze, or golden. If you lean towards warm, you may have freckles. Some women who are muted feel that they they are "plain", especially if they try to wear the wrong colors. But, actually, muted coloring is rich and soft. If you wear colors that are also rich and soft, you will look beautifully feminine and womanly. Your look will also have just the right hint of authority to it, as well. In your best colors, you are the woman who looks neither as if she is too girlish nor too intimidating.
You can wear colors that are rich, but not deep. Your colors are soft and of medium intensity. You will probably be either soft autumn or soft summer in the Color me Beautiful theory.
5) Is your coloring obviously warm? If so, your hair will be gold, red, or strawberry, or it will have obviously gold, red, or strawberry highlights. Your eyes will have a warm look to them, too. They will be warm green, hazel, topaz, warm blue-green, or teal. Your skin will be golden, beige, ivory, or bronze, and you may have freckles. You will be either a spring or an autumn in the Color Me Beautiful system. If you are spring, your colors will be warm, but they will be delicate and clear. If you are autumn, your colors will be warm, but either deeper or more muted or both.
6) Is your coloring cool and soft? Everyone has a little bit of warmth to their coloring, but it's not easily visible in the truly cool person. The cool woman has little gold or red in her hair, eyes, or skintone. While she won't have have red (reddish brown, copper or ruddy tones) in her skin, she may have obvious pink or rose in her complexion. She may also have a blue or gray undertone. Her skintone will range from fairest beige to rose-beige, to pink, or taupe. Her skin may be "soft " or "dusty" looking. Her hair color will be ash brown, dark brown, or deep ash blonde. Overall, her appearance will give off an ash tone. Because of the ashy sheen to her hair, she may feel that she needs to lighten or highlight her hair. The cool woman does look very natural and beautiful with some well-done highlights. However, if she wears her best colors, she may discover the beauty of her untouched hair and decide not to highlight it after all. This woman grays beautifully to a gorgeious silvery color. As her hair starts to gray, the silvery ash strands may even look like pale, ash blonde highlights. (Lucky woman!) This woman will be a cool summer or a cool winter in the Color me beautiful system.
Many women of African, African-American, Native American, Aisian, or Indian coloring assume that they fall into the deep and cool category, or whatever category in a particular color theory covers dark hair, dark eyes, and dark skin. However, if such a woman steps back from a mirror and looks at the overall effect of her coloring, she may discover that she actually projects a soft, warm, or, even, "lightish" appperance. Doris Pooser and Donna Fujii are two color experts who have put a lot of thought into how to help women of various ethnic backgrounds choose their best colors. At Donna Fujii's commercial web site, she has a free color self-analysis test that will help you deterime your color category -- no matter what your hertiage. If you can find an old book by Doris Pooser in a library, she also outlines categories that will help you even more in this area.
For all women of any heritage, Leslie over at www.stylemakers.com has a free, very thorough, online test to help you determine your color category. In my non-expert opinion, I think her system is the easiest and most accurate free online color test - at least of the ones I've sampled. Most any woman can take her test and discover her best color category. She also offers inexpensive makeup and scarves that coordinate with your particular color season.
No matter what your color category turns out to be, clothing and fabric stores will always offer something that will flatter you. They realize that not all of their customers look good in one group of hues, tones, and, tints, and shades. So, in order to keep all of their customers happy, they offer a selection to flatter all a wide variety of skintones.
If a particular hue, color, or shade is all the rage this year, you'll see lots of it displayed around a store. And, because dark haired, dark-eyed, olive or dark skinned women are so common in many countries, their best colors will be in clear sight, as well. But, if you do a little searching, you will find something that is just right for you -- even if you don't look good in the current fashion favorite or if you don't fit the dark or deep category. Perhaps, your best color will be at the back of a clothing rack or on a bolt at the bottom of a bin, but it will be there, somewhere.
Interestingly, the way that Color Me Beautiful identifies color families as "seasons" works with the seasons of the year. People with "spring" coloring will have the easiest time finding clothing or material in spring, summer in summer, fall in fall, and winter in winter. In the other seasons, they will need to do a bit more hunting to find colors in their palatte.
If you are a bit confused by all of this talk about identifying your own best color catgory, don't fret. And, don't spend a lot of time analyzing yourself to try to make yourself fit into a color category. One important purpose of finding your color family is to be able to choose clothing quickly, allowing you to spend more time on more important things -- such as God, your family, and other people. It should not be a pursuit that takes you away from your priorities. As we mentioned in a previous article, simply pay attention to colors that have brought you the most compliments over the years. Identify what these colors have in common and work from that to figure out why the harmonize with your coloring. Work backwards from this to determine your best color category.
If you still don't see yourself in a category, make up your own personal color theory by creating your own fabric swatches out of colors you know, without a doubt, look good on you. If you do make your own category, you may have to be a bit more careful about coordinating these colors than if you use a palette that has been carefully thought out by someone with an education in color theory. But, even so, your homemade palatte will help you make wiser color choices than you otherwise might.
Why should you care what color season you are? you might ask Well, if you do find a "color family" or color palatte that works for you, it can save you time and money. First, if you stick to your color palatte when choosing colors, you are less likely to make expensive mistakes. You won't buy a length of fabric or a read-made garment just because the color catches your eye, but because you know it is something that will harmonize with your own coloring. Have you ever brought something home, but lost your enthusiasm for it once you actually had to wear it for a while? Or, did you find that you had nothing else to wear with it, and, thus, you had to go out and buy shoes or another garment to work with it? Chances are, this was because you chose the color for the color itself, rather than considering if it harmonizes with you or with the rest of your wardrobe.
(Every Septemeber and October, I get excited when I see fall colors in the stores, and I long to wear some autumn combination -- such as olive green with brick red. I also have a yen to decorate my house in autumn colors. But, I have lived with myself long enough to know that this yearly passion merely reflects an excitment about the arrival of a new and happy season. While I can wear a few fall colors successfully, there are many that make me look washed out, at best. Besides, my enthusiasm for these colors wanes as soon as American Thanksgiving Day passes. By contrast, a true autumn would adore these colors year round. In the other three seasons, I'm consistently drawn to summer colors. So, it would be a huge mistake for me to blow my clothing or decorating budget on autumn colors. That's not to say that I shouldn't enjoy wearing a fall sweater or creating some fall floral decorations. It's just that understanding my best colors helps me not to overdo it here.
Secondly, if you choose from the color family that works best for you, your selections will all coordinate with each other. Thus, you can get buy with a smaller wardrobe. You can keep it fresh by pairing the garments you already have in new ways to make new combinations. You can also choose to work with one of your best neutrals and put more of your clothing bugdet into classic garments made from these colors. You can then add less expensive, fashionable items in colors that work with your neutrals, knowing that you can change them out as you you need to.
Third, if you carry swatches from your color palatte with you, you can enter a store and quickly find those fabrics or readmade garments that work for you. The fabric or garment you choose does not have to match a particular swatch exactly. But, it does need to blend in well.
Finally, if you know your color family and select one of your best neturals to work with, you need only buy shoes and handbags in one netural color that will work with everything in your closet. Thus, you can buy one pair of dressier shoes in your color, one pair of everyday shoes, one pair of sandals or summer shoes, and some tennis or athletic shoes. And, you can buy one all-pupose purse, with the addition of perhaps an evening bag or dressy purse for special occasions.
If you earn money as a seamstress or you work in some field that involves fashion or art, it is helpful to not only understand your own coloring, but the coloring of others as well. This is true, too, if you sew as a hobby and want to make clothing for othrs that they will enjoy.
Some women fear that sticking to one family of colors will be constricting. Yet, since each palatte has a wide variety to choose from and since these colors all work for you, you are not likely to get bored with your family of colors. Also, once you truly understand the principles of color, you can knowledgably borrow a color here and there from other color seasons -- You will be able to identify a few colors outside of your own category that have a lot in common with the ones from your own. For example, because I am cool, I can borrow a few of winter's lighter and softer colors -- provided that they do not overwhelm my fair skin. Because I am light and somewhat warmer than many summers, I can borrow a few soft, light colors from spring and from soft autumn. I have to be careful, however, not to range into spring or autumn colors that are so warm they make my skin look dull. "Borrowed" colors are probably not best for me to wear near my face, unless they are combined in some way with the colors of my true palette. But, likely, they will work well in something like a skirt.
If you read about color theory and instantly spot your own color season, you are ahead of the game. Chances are that you have already instincitvely chosen at least half of your wardrobe in colors that flatter you. Don't try to change the rest of your wardrobe over to your perfect color family all at once. Instead, come up with a plan and work on it over a few years, as your time and budget will allow.
What happens if you do pick one color category, but when you head down that road, you realize that it's not the right one for you? Chances are you picked that category because at least one of the three basic elements of that color season are right for you: light to deep, warm to cool, or level of intensity. If you get even one of these right, they will lead you toward many right colors and steer you away from some unflattering ones.
For example, you might detemine that you are a soft autumn. After a while, you decide that you're not one-hundred-per-cent sold on this color category, so you re-visit the color question. You wonder if you should have chosen warm spring or, perhaps, even soft summer instead. What does this tell you? Warm spring, soft summer, soft autumn all contain colors that are somewhere between light to medium in intensity, rather than being extremely deep, extremely light, or extremely bright. Soft summer is the "warmest" of the cool skin categories, so it's safe to say that even if you are toying with switching to cool, you are not cool enough to be a cool summer or any of the winters. Soft autumn is the "coolest" of the warm seasons. If you realize that you are soft summer, after all, you will simply be moving across the line from the coolder side of warm to the warmer side of cool. It won't be that hard to gradually work your way towards cooler soft summer colors. Or, if you change your mind and decide that you are, in fact, a warm spring, you will be moving from soft autumn colors that are warm, soft, and medium in intensity, to warm spring colors that still light to medium in intensity, only a little warmer and a little more delicate. So, you see, the original decision to go with soft autumn proved that you do have a handle on your coloring. You simply are a bit confused about just how cool or how warm your skintone is and you aren't quite sure just where you fit on the intensity scale. Even if you followed your original mistake and bought some soft autumn colors to wear, these colors will be somewhat in harmony with your light to medium look, your delicate to soft coloring, and your warmish skintone. Perhaps, it would have been better if you had chosen colors that were a tad warmer or cooler or a bit lighter or a bit clearer. But, at least you are in the vicinity of your best range of colors, and it shouldn't be too hard to for you to fine tune your wardrobe over time.
Your soft autumn "mistakes" will flatter you much more than if you knew nothing about color theory and randomly picked very cool, very deep, very bright, or very light things to wear. From this example you can see that even if you are a bit off in your original analysis, your mistakes will at least be heading you in the right direction, instead of away from it.
Our color category usually does not change as we age. Over time, however, we do lose pigmentation and warmth in our eyes, skin and hair. Though the surface of our skin may yellow a bit with time, the true tone or undertone of our skin will actually become cooler. Very fair skinned people may look redder or a bit less fair from sun damage, while other people may look paler than they once did. So, while none of these changes are enough to change our basic category, it may move us toward the softest and coolest color choices in our original palette. We may find that we can no longer wear the deepest, strongest, or brightest shades in our basic palatte. If you are a light summer with clear pink in your palatte, for example, you may move towards a dustier pink.
I've come across a few antique books on sewing or homemaking that do include a separate color category for the woman with completely gray or completely white hair. Perhaps, having some specific guidelines in this area is a good idea. There are certain colors that bring out the beauty of gray or white hair and the accompanying changes in complexion. However, even these old color theories draw distinctions depending on a woman's original coloring. The white haired woman with brown eyes and olive skin, whose hair used to be dark, looks better in certain colors. The white-haired woman with blue eyes and fair, rosy skin, whose hair used to be dark blonde, looks better in other colors. So, your pre-gray or pre-white color category is still a factor.
As mentioned earlier, the cool-toned woman will look beautiful all the way through the process of graying, from the first few silver strands until her head is competely white. The winter woman may not be too fired up about the fact that she will probably start turning gray earlier in life than people in the other seasons do. If she decides to fight this, she will have to find ways to cover gray for many decades. However, her consolation is that whatever gray she has will be pretty.
Many summers have mousy or ashy light brown hair when they are young. While this can be beautiful, many people overlook the beauty of shiny, gleaming mousy brown hair. As the summer ages and her silvery, almost-blonde strands show up, she turns the tables on her warmer friend, who is wondering why her gray does not blend so well with her warmer coloring.
Many color theorists believe that warmer toned people have a harder time graying gracefully. Warm-toned hair tends to come in yellow-gray, rather than silvery in the early stages. Many think thats think that this makes the warm person's overall coloring look dull. They advise people with warm tones to cover strands of gray until the entire graying process is almost completed.
I'm not sure that I would give this same advice. I believe that it's fine if you do want to color your hair. Many, people, however, prefer to gray naturally. If you are in this category, but your gray has a dull yellow cast and you are unhappy about it, there are rinses and shampoos that are designed to take away the yellow and make the gray shine.
Everyone agrees that no matter what a person's color category, completely gray or completely white hair can be gorgeous. After all, Proverbs tells us that a gray head is a crown of splendor.

9 comments:

Sandra said...

Wow! Elizabeth, all of your posts on colour have been fabulous and this one is very helpful.

I have brown hair, blue eyes and fair skin and look terrible in pastels and lighter colours. I seem to look best in true blue and green with brown or black as a neutral.

Keep the great posts coming!

plainandsimple said...

Hi Elizabeth

I've just found the time to read these informative posts on colour. Thank you for this information!

Elizabeth said...

Hi Sandra.

I'm glad you enjoyed the posts on color. I'm not an expert by any means, but the subject does fascinate me.

It's great that you have such knoweldge of what looks good on you. From your post, I'm assuming that you have some contrast between your brown hair/blue eyes and your fair skin. That would account for your looking best in true blue and green and also being able to wear brown or black as neutral. You are probably a dark summer, a winter, or a clear spring. I would guess clear spring if you can wear a brown that is warm.

Enjoy!
elizabeth

Elizabeth said...

I'm glad you enjoyed the posts on color. One of my goals for the near future is to link to your site from mine, as I do enjoy yours so much. It always takes me just a bit to get a link done properly, so it may be a day or two.

Enjoy!
Elizabeth

Elizabeth said...

PS; Plain and simple, that comment about linking to you was for you.

Anonymous said...

I really wanted to read this, but you are hurting my eyes.

You should consider line breaks in large chunks of text like that. Much easier to read on a computer screen.

Elizabeth said...

It is kind of long, isn't it? Line breaks would be a good idea.

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