What Colors Suit You?

By Kash O’Hara, The Style Agency - Personal and Celebrity Stylist

Have you ever wondered why your friend looks amazing in a certain dress, but when you borrowed it, it was all wrong and did nothing for you? It’s probably because it was a color that someone with your skin tone should stay away from.

One of the most important things I look at when working with girls is their coloring. Their coloring is made up of their skin tone, eye color, and hair color. By choosing the most flattering shades of color, your skin instantly looks smoother and brighter, your hair shines, your eyes sparkle, and you glow. However, choosing the wrong colors can wash you out and make your skin look dull.  

Choosing the right colors to wear can be narrowed down to two main categories: cool (winter) or warm (summer) skin tones. 


 Kash's Skin Tone Test

Use my simple five step test to determine which category you fall into:

1. Turn your arm over and look at the veins on the inside of your wrist. Do they look:

a. blue/purple  

b. greener

If they’re bluer, you have a cooler skin tone. Greener means you have a warmer skin tone.

2. If you go out in the sun with no sunscreen, do you:

a. burn easily

b. tan

If you burn easily, you’re usually more of a cooler skin tone, and if you tan, then your skin is likely to be warmer in tone.

3. What looks better next to your skin?

a. Silver

b. Gold

Silver indicates a cooler skin tone and gold indicates a warmer skin tone.

4. What color are your eyes?

a. Golden brown, green, blue, hazel with gold flecks

b. Black or deep brown, grey, steel blue, or hazel with grey flecks

If you answered a), you have cooler undertones. If you answered b), then you have warmer undertones.

5. What color was your hair when you were young?

a. Jet black, ash blonde, or a shade of brown with no visible red undertones

b. Gold, red, reddish brown or strawberry blonde

If you answered a) then your skin tone will be generally be cooler. If you answered b) then your skin tone is generally warmer.

If you have mostly cool answers, you fall into the cool category. If you have more warm answers, then you fall into the warm category. If you have a fairly even mix of answers, then you fall into a ‘neutral’ category.

Cool skin tones

What colors should someone with cool skin tones wear? Cool colors are those that have a blue undertone. Imagine a crisp and stark winter's day with pure white snow, enhanced by crimson sky, icy shades of grey, blue, pink, fuchsia, purple, burgundy, slate-grey, black and white. These colors will all look great on you. Cool skin tones should avoid beige, orange, brown and gold.

Warm skin tones

If you fall into the warm category then colors with a yellow undertone (rather than blue) are best for you. Think of walking in the park on a sunny autumn day. Rich shades of gold, orange-brown, yellowish-green (khaki), burnt red, camel and beige are your best colors.

Neutral skin tones

Lucky you, all colors look good on you! However, you’ll find that most people with neutral skin tones sway more one way than the other; so, while a warm color may look good on you, a cool color would look fabulous. Or the other way around!

Erica JonesComment