Thursday, August 13, 2009

Learning Colors & Picking The Right Color Combinations

You guys will not believe they kind of LOVE I have been getting since I started my own makeup line ! From people stopping me at the grocery store to just giving little tips to ladies at work or my clients that I do makeup for. Everyone seems to want to know MORE !!! So this Blog was created to answer all questions due to me not being able to put all of this information on my website where you can buy makeup at WWW.FACEPAINTCOSMETICS.COM. Below is going to be the basis that everyone who is starting out in makeup should go by and as you all know, the color Wheel is divided into primary, secondary and tertiary colors. Some color wheels have more shades of these included, some have less, but it’s all the same concept. For makeup I suggest the use of one such as the one above.

Example 1:
Using the color of your eyes as a starting point.
Let’s say your eyes are Brown, and you want to do your eyes using two colors. Brown falls into the orange category. In this case, you could pick a color immediately next to it (something in the yellow family, like gold, for example. Or, something in the red family, like a coppery red, or a burgundy. Keep in mind that it doesn’t have to be the EXACT color, just something along the lines of it). As a second color, pick something directly opposite from it on the Wheel (like an indigo shade, or a pale blue, or even a blue-violet) to complement it. This combination of colors is sure to bring out the color of your eyes!
Example 2:
You want to use a color (let’s say green, in this case) but you don’t know what to match it with.
Basically you would use the same strategy; either go up or down in the same line ( doing a monochromatic look with different shades of green), pick colors that are right next to it (blues or yellows, to harmonize) or go crazy and pick opposites! In this Wheel, opposite green are reds and purples.
Keep in mind that neutral colors (black,White, gray…) go with absolutely anything, so you can add these to the mix whenever you want.

Example 3:
You are wearing an outfit of a certain color, but don't want to match your eyeshadow exactly to it.
Again, just choose either a harmonizing shade, or a complementary color.

Primary Colors

Colors that "cannot be obtained by mixing other hues, but one can produce all the other hues by mixing the primaries." (red, blue, and yellow)

Secondary Colors

Colors "made by mixing their adjacent primaries; for example, yellow mixed with blue makes green."

Tertiary Colours

"A mixture of primary and secondary hues: yellow-green is a mixture of the primary yellow and the secondary green."

Elements of a theory
When first learning about color theory, there are several elements to understand before getting into the aspect of makeup. First, there is the element of pigment; second, the three dimensions of a color; third, color harmonies; and fourth, color reflectiveness. Understanding all these elements is important, as they come into play in makeup color trends.

Pigment. All forms of makeup, be they water-based, oil in water, wax-based, cream, stick, cake or mineral, fall under the first element of color: the theory of color in pigment, which is what gives color its color. No matter what the pigment’s source, natural, chemical or mineral, the same color theory holds true.

The three dimensions. The second element of color theory to understand involves the three dimensions of a color.2 These dimensions help to more accurately describe color and include:

Hue—The name of the color, such as red, orange, yellow or green.
Chroma/intensity—The brightness or dullness of a color, or the measure of a color’s strength or purity; its saturation.
Value—How light or how dark a color is, corresponding with its position on a scale that runs from black to white with all shades of gray
in between. All colors have a gray value, as if seeing the same makeup or picture on a black and white television. The value of a color gives depth and dimension to what you see. It provides contrast, light against dark. In makeup, colors must be selected carefully so they don’t all have the same gray value, as that would result in the client’s face being uninteresting, washed out and lacking in definition and nonverbal communication.

Hue, chroma and value can all be measured separately and must be taken into account when designing a makeup or mixing product. When each of these dimensions is recognizable, it is easier to distinguish the relationships between colors.

Color harmonies. Color harmonies are the next important element in understanding color theory. The word harmony refers to a collection of parts that are aesthetically pleasing to the senses of sight, sound, touch, taste and smell. In the world of color, color harmonies are a collection of colors that are pleasing to the eye and emotions. Color harmonies can inspire many emotions and be placid or exciting, cool and refreshing, warm and exhilarating, tantalizing and sensual.
There are five basic color harmonies used: analogous, complementary, monochromatic, achromatic and triadic. The following color harmonies are a guideline for selecting makeup colors for eye shadow, blusher and lip color.

Analogous—any hue on the color wheel with two colors to the left or two colors to the right of the hue; generally used for daytime and business looks
Monochromatic—variations in value and intensity of a single color; for a chic or elegant look
Complementary—colors opposite each other on the color wheel; often used for a sexy or sensuous look
Triadic—any three hues of an equidistant triangle on the color wheel; used for a fun look, with multiple colors in the wardrobe
Achromatic—a colorless scheme of black, white and gray, which could also refer to any neutral color going from its lightest value to its darkest value; for an elegant or a sophisticated look

Color reflectiveness. The final element of color theory is color reflectiveness. There are six common types of reflectiveness to be aware of:

Matte—no shine, can be opaque or translucent
Shiny—a gloss look
Metallic—highly reflective, bright, not see-through
Opaque—not see-through
Translucent—lightly fogged, barely see-through
Transparent—see-through, such as glass

I find this tool helps a lot for those days in which you are just stumped for ideas, or are unsure of what colors bring out your eyes more, etc. I hope this has helped you too, sorry if it’s a lengthy post! Any questions feel free to ask.