Saturday, October 10, 2009

How To: Color Theory

My background is in Art/Architecture. I have a Bachelor's degree in Art and I am an avid painter (my medium of choice is acrylics). So, it's actually hard for me not to think of makeup in an "art" way. In my opinion, one of the most asked questions is "what color of eyeshadow will work with my [blank] color eyes". Let's open up that can of worms, shall we?





image taken from: http://www.alifetimeofcolor.com/study/g_color_wheel.html

This is a very simple color wheel, only including the primary (and secondary) colors that we all know from our elementary school days when crayons were all the rage. People will tell you "oh, it's easy, just look on the opposite side of the color wheel"! Ok, that's nice. But how many people are really going to wear bright red eyeshadow on their green eyes? And how many people's green eyes are that green? Only a few lucky ones, I'm sure. So, what does this mean for you, the makeup wearing public? And what does this really mean when we are talking about eyeshadow?

Taking it a step farther, what does this mean when people say "warm" and "cool" colors. In reality, every color up there can also have warm or cool versions of itself. There are warm blues and cool oranges.

Ok...

"so, Jeweled Thumb, what if my eyes are green?"

As I said earlier, technically red is on the opposite side of the color wheel. However, using variations of red + the other colors around it will also bring out your eye color (just not as much as wearing red eyeshadow would).

I'm going to display some "swatches" from the Sephora.com website for the brand Make Up Forever (MUFE for short).

First, we have "green eyes":

image taken from: http://www.fancyflours.com/food-color-green-leaf.html


So these are 8 different shadows from MUFE. Obviously, all of us makeup loving fanatics will know that these swatches are not entirely accurate. Depending on the shadow, some could have more pigment and apply more "true" than others. Some will have more of a metallic finish while others will be more matte. These are just a guideline. You can add white to any of these shades (in theory) to make them lighter, but they will still have more red in them which will make the green look more green. So why do these all work? They are all red mixed with the colors around the red, white OR BROWN. See, I'm sure as you all noticed when you were a kid. If you mixed all your paint colors together, you will get brown. So, the darkest shade, has brown and red and probably a little purple thrown in (which is blue and red).

So the shade names I generally suggest for green eyes?

Copper (red + orange + brown) & Peach (red + yellow + white)

Key words:
copper
bronze
peach
rust
burgundy
mauve
wine
...

I could write pages and pages on this, but I'll stop... for now.

1 comment:

Jasmine said...

Ooo thanks, this is just what I wanted, but (you are going to laugh) since my eye color brown isn't on the color wheel, does that mean that... hmm well, I have no idea what the opposite of brown is.

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