Category Archives: Colour

Prepare Your Face for Make-up

A flawless make-up application requires a bit of prep. Start with a clean face using products designed for your skin type.  If your skin is flakey, exfoliate as part of the skincare process. Finish with a moisturizer designed for your skin type. Let the moisturizer absorb for about 15 minutes prior to your foundation application. Moisturizer will create the perfect canvas for your make-up masterpiece.

Do Socks Really Matter?

In the Vancouver City Hall Protocol Manual for the 2010 Olympics one of the clothing details that were addressed was wearing the right socks. Although, this may seem very basic or even unnecessary to some, you would be surprised how many of us get it wrong. When choosing your socks consider the following:

  • Coordinate your sock colour to the hem of your pants. For men, neutral tones work best.
  • The thicker the sock the more casual the look. This style works best with casual clothing and casual shoes; the thinner the sock the more dressy the look. Always wear thinner socks when dressed in trousers or slacks and thin soled shoes. 
  • Avoid sport socks for work
  • When worn with pants, socks should cover the shins. This way it is unlikely your shins will show when sitting with your legs crossed, unless your pants are too short. (a later blog post).
  • Never wear socks with sandals.

The Most Slimming Colour Combination

As an image consultant, clients often ask me how to wear colour in a way that will help them look slimmer.

The most slimming colour combinations are when dressing in monochromatic colour schemes: This colour scheme is created by dressing in one colour and its own variations A simple way of achieving this is by tinting (adding white), toning (adding grey or the colour’s opposite in the colour wheel, its complement on the colour wheel), or shading (adding black). This creates different values and intensities of the same colour. When worn, it is commonly known as “tone-on-tone” dressing.

When used in a wardrobe, monochromatic colour schemes have a slimming effect and can make the wearer look taller.

They also create a harmonious effect and make the wearer come across as elegant and refined.

The unfortunate thing about dressing in monochromatic colour schemes is that sometimes they can look boring. One way to remedie this is by accessorizing with jewellery or with an accessory such as a scarf that adds a small splash of another colour. This will create a focal point and draw attention and add interest. When using a focal point in your wardrobe, be aware of where your focal point is drawing the attention. I always recommend focal points close to the face. This will draw attention to your face and away from less flattering areas of the body.

How to Dress in Contrasting Colour Schemes

Clothing worn in contrasting colours combinations can appear very strong and sometimes hard on the eyes. An example of this would be dressing in a wardrobe combination of true violet and true yellow. Although this example contains complementary colours which are across from each other on a colour wheel, contrasting colour schemes are a combination of 2 or more colours that are on opposing sides of the colour wheel.

When wearing contrasting colours they tend to look best when worn in different intensities and example of this would be dressing in one dark; one light and one bright colour. This will draw attention to the brightest colour and the rest will complement that colour in the background.

A less dramatic version of this colour scheme is when the colours are all muted. Muted colours are more restful to the eye and appear more harmonious. In these wardrobe combinations they are also easier for most of us to wear and feel confident in.

How to Wear Colour Schemes Effectively

Throughout history, clothing colour combinations have been made more complicated than they need to be because fashion has always dictated what we should wear. However one of the nicest things about being a certified image consultant is that I get the privilege of showing my clients what colours look great with their colouring and what they should wear based on their personality, body shape and goals. Instead of focusing strictly on fashion, they are shown how to dress to look their personal best with colour.

In general there are two types of colour schemes – related colour combinations and contrasted colour combinations.

Related combinations are colour schemes where the colours have something in common. An example of this is an analogous colour scheme, where colours are side by side on a colour wheel. Monochromatic colour combinations are another related colour scheme. These colour combinations refer to colours that are made from the same base colour. The colour is altered by toning with grey, adding black, white or a small amount of another colour. When these colours are worn together they appear tone on tone.

Contrasting colour schemes are colours that have nothing in common. They are on different sides of a colour wheel. When side by side they draw attention to each other and stand out. Complementary colour schemes are the most contrasting. Complimentary colour schemes are when the colours are exact opposite to each other on a colour wheel. For example: red and green; blue and orange; violet and yellow; another example of a contrasting scheme is using three colours all equal distance apart on a colour wheel. An example of this is would be wearing red, yellow and blue together in a combination.

To look more elegant, softer, more approachable or harmonious opt for related colour combinations. To appear more dynamic, fun or energetic dress in contrasting combinations.

I highly recommend playing with colour and creating your own colour schemes with a box of Crayola crayons or paints. Find the combinations that interest your personality and suit your colouring. Incorporate them into your wardrobe and the way you dress.