What I learned from a colour specialist

 

I’ve been having a bit of a love affair with black clothes lately. It’s the safe option, it goes with everything, you don’t have to worry so much about spilling food on it – definitely a priority for me as a clumsy food whore. Black is often our security blanket or comfort food when it comes to clothes, but.. just one lil problem… all black errthang doesn’t really cut the mustard for summer vibes.

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Speaking of mustard! – I got this beaut in the Zara sale for about a tenner last week, and it’s already a hit! It’s been on a date night, out for drinks with the gals, and picked up a couple of compliments along the way. Now, the sleeves are challenging for the clumsy food whore that I am, but I’m willing to be extra careful for this one.

This colour has neeeeeeeever EVER been on my radar. So what made me brave enough to take the plunge? A consultation with a colour specialist that’s what. And nope, I had no idea such a thing existed either until mother dearest enlightened me. For months, maybe even years, mum has been going to a colour specialist and showing off her little wallet with swatches of the colours she goes looking for in the clothes she buys, because they’re guaranteed to suit her skin tone, eye colour, etc. She doesn’t wear a lot of black. She always gets compliments. She had to hook me up.

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So two weeks ago mum took me to a consultation with Linzie, a colour specialist for Colour Me Beautiful. We went to her g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s house tucked away in the countryside and after an essential cup of tea, Linzie sat me down in front of her mirror and got to work. First, she experimented with colour palettes by draping some collars around me, one collar had bright shades, one was more muted, and others she instinctively dismissed without having to bring them anywhere near me. She decided that my dominant colouring is soft and muted, but with some deep shades thrown in there too; so I should wear gentle colours but they aren’t necessarily dull. This also means that I should wear tones that are from the same colour groups (different shades of blue), or shades that are only a couple of shades lighter/darker. So taupe can be worn with a natural beige, or light navy with salmon pink. Basically “nothing shouty”, as Linzie instructed; I ought to avoid wearing colours and shades that are too contrasting against eachother, and .. wait for it .. no black!

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So the question to all of this is WHYYYYYYY?!?! Why can’t I just wear all black errthang, or go wild and throw on royal blue with pumpkin orange?! Well, because then it’s not you wearing the clothes; the clothes wear you! You want to wear colours that are going to highlight your best features, not hide them. Linzie told me that my eyes are my strength, and the soft, deep shades will showcase them rather than distract people away from them, while the warmth of the chosen colours will keep my skin tone looking warm too. To demonstrate, Linzie held up different colours against me which was something of an illusion. With the wrong shade, the colour would drain from my face and your eyes went straight to the colour; with the right shade the warmth was injected back into my skin, and your eyes went straight to mine. Some wise words from Linzie; “if a woman wears the wrong colour, people remember the colour; if she wears the right colour, they remember the woman”.

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After Linzie carefully chose my swatches, we got to makeup. Linzie told me that for a night out – let my makeup do the talking, but for the daytime, let my features do the talking. Then she told me something that I was glad to be sitting down for – blue eyeshadow. Blue. Eyeshadow. I was sceptical and absolutely dreading it. I don’t think I’ve had blue eyeshadow on since I was 11 and at a sleepover, listening to Girls Aloud. But, Linzie performed something of a miracle and I am well and truly converted; blue eye makeup really does showcase brown eyes people!! Only a tiny bit in the outer corners and my eyes became the first thing you would look at rather than the makeup. I was very pleasantly surprised.

After experimenting with lipstick and blusher shades that tick the soft and muted boxes, Linzie’s work was complete. I have my own little wallet of swatches with the colours that will suit me and highlight them big brown eyes. The colours I’m excited about – sky blue, shell pink, and soft violet. The colours that still scare me – evergreen, coffee brown, and pumpkin orange. But, I’ve been given a little nod of approval I often need and the confidence to go forth and wear a mustard yellow blouse with blue eyeshadow. Black can take a back seat for a while.

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I love learning about what works for me and what doesn’t in terms of what I wear, so meeting Linzie and hearing her expert opinion was amazing. I’m feeling excited about injecting more colour into my wardrobe and being a bit braver with what I throw on. To me, fashion is about art, trends, creativity, but style is all about YOU and who you want to be, what you want to say, and knowing what makes you look good and feel good.

 

 

Have a great weekend!!