Let’s face it, girlfriends. Thanks to cable TV, we’re now addicted to endless episodes of makeover shows where each “Plain Jane,” with her closet-from-hell, learns to choose the right clothes, makeup, and hair style, then right before our eyes, transforms into a real beauty! And, ever notice how looking great makes her feel empowered? And, all in less than an hour! Amazing!
But, what if this new self-confident charmer is one of the millions of your single sisters on the hunt for Prince Charming, who happens to be on the hunt for his Princess Charming? Well, in that case, this might be the perfect time to check in with your mirror, mirror on the wall to see how you fair with all this growing competition.
You know, Cinderella had this so easy. With the wave of a wand, and a bit of “bibbity bobbity boo,” her fairy godmother morphed her from rags to riches, then sent her off to the Ball looking like the Princess she was about to become, and the rest is history!
In the real world, this all gets a bit more complicated. For starters, chances are your prince will first see you dressed for the mall, not the Ball. Plus, your chances of being the next TV makeover are pretty slim. You could hire a fashion savvy godmother, AKA a fashion consultant, but if a fee of $200 + is not in your budget, what’s a girl like you to do when the whole point is to leave a first impression that leaves a potential prince wanting more?
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Well, a girl like you will take charge of her life. Presenting the I’ll Do It MYSELF Makeover!
You start with your face. Of course, if you’re thinking, “How ’bout I start with something else,” remember Cindy Crawford’s immortal words: “Even I don’t wake up looking like Cindy Crawford.” So, again, your face is your focus, specifically the colors of your face. I promise you, when you learn how to use the power of color to compliment your eyes, skin, and natural hair color, just like on the makeover shows, magic will happen! Those eyes will sparkle and your complexion will glow. And, glowing is definitely a plus for first impressions, especially when your prince will remember forever the first time he saw your face.
On the other hand, glowing is practically impossible when you wear colors that clash with your own. For example, if you have watercolor eyes, translucent skin, and hair the color of soft wheat, imagine the catastrophe of deep bronze makeup, double black eyeliner, and a dayglow dress with dark chunky jewelry. Right! Not good! The strong colors overpower your own, and POOF! you disappear. Wearing colors paler than your own washes out your natural glow so you look tired and older than you are. Again, not good. To go for the glow, here are the “must knows” that make it happen!
UNDERSTANDING BASIC COLOR ANALYSIS
Many fashion consultants rely on the Munsell Color System to accurately determine a client’s color palette. This scientific system is based on three components: HUE, VALUE, and CHROMA:
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HUE is simply the color’s name.
Simple Hues: Red, Yellow, Green, Blue and Purple.
Compound hues: Yellow-Red, Green-Yellow, Blue-Green, Purple-Blue and Red-Purple.
VALUE: How light or dark a color is.
The more white in a color, the higher the value. True black has the lowest value, true white has the highest.
CHROMA: The clarity or strength of the color.
Muted, grayed colors have low chroma; clear, vibrant, bright colors have high chroma.
HOW TO DETERMINE MAKEUP COLORS
FOUNDATION: Match to the skin tone at the outer corner of your eyes. Blend the makeup on your face and neck, and then match to your skin tone in both indoor lighting and sunlight. Hint: To ensure you choose the correct foundation color, take a friend along for a second opinion.
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EYE MAKEUP: Use your lash and brow color for everyday mascara, eye liner and brow pencil. For a more dramatic effect, increase the makeup’s color value. Choose eye shadow in your eye or brow color. Hint: Your eyes contain a rainbow of complimentary colors. Use a magnifying mirror to see the full spectrum.
LIPSTICK and BLUSH: Match to your cheeks and lips. Gently pinch both cheeks and lips, noting if the color goes pink, red, or orange.
With a bit of practice, your makeup routine will take you from ordinary to glowing in five minutes or less.
HOW TO DETERMINE WARDROBE COLORS
If you’ve spent a lifetime believing you can’t wear certain colors, then understanding Hue, Value, and Chroma opens up a whole new world. Just imagine! Red is not just one color, but a full range of options from yellow-red to purple-red, from pastel pink to deepest burgundy, all from which you choose the reds that compliment you.
REDS: Your cheek and lip colors
GREENS / BLUES: For green or blue eyes, use your eye color. For brown or black eyes, use green or blue in your eye “rainbow,” or use a color wheel to match your eye color to complimentary greens or blues. http://www.realcolorwheel.com/colorwheel.htm
YELLOWS: Trickiest of all colors to determine. Usually Summers and Springs wear soft yellow; Falls wear golden yellow; Winters wear intense, bright yellow.
NEUTRALS: Current or former (if your hair is colored or grayed) natural hair color, and eyes if primarily brown or black. Use neutrals for suits, coats, skirts, pants, jackets, shoes and purses.
BASIC STYLE DESCRIPTIONS
Color analysts often use the four seasons to harmonize skin, eye and hair color with the complimentary fashion style. To define each season’s style, I’ve grouped celebrities by their season, based on promotional photographs. Note: About 50% of us also have a secondary season. If a celebrity’s photo exhibits a secondary, it is noted in parenthesis.
SUMMER: Look of Yesterday
COMPLEXION: Clear, cool, delicate
HAIR COLOR: Ash blonde, light to medium cool red or brown; matures to salt and pepper, cool or icy white
EYE COLOR: Iris -Soft green, blue, hazel, amber or cool brown; Sclera (white surrounding the iris) – Gray or white
COLORS: Minimal to moderate intensity, soft, grayed, translucent, water color tones
NEUTRALS: Cool tones of tan, beige, soft white, cool gray
FASHION STYLE: Soft, subtle, elegant, delicate, serene, nostalgic, blended tone on tone, minimal contrast
JEWELRY: Silver, white gold, crystals
BRIDAL GOWN: Cool white, silver
AVOID: High contrast, dark colors, warm/earth tones, gold and copper accessories.
Celebs: Jane Seymore, Charlize Theron (Spring secondary), Cate Blanchett, Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, Grace Kelly, Sarah Jessica Parker (Spring secondary), Scarlett Johansson (Spring secondary), Mia Farrow, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Queen Elizabeth, Diane Sawyer, Celine Dion (Fall secondary)
FALL: Look of Nature
COMPLEXION: Warm tones of olive or gold, may have freckles or appear mottled
HAIR COLOR: Warm gold, brown, red, chestnut, auburn; matures to warm white, salt and pepper
EYE COLOR: Iris – Warm gold, green, hazel, amber, brown; Sclera – Warm off-white
COLORS: Warm, golden colors; Falls are not limited to earth tones
NEUTRALS: Warm browns, tans, dark greens, khaki, dark rust
FASHION STYLE: Earthy, warm, fiery, golden, exotic, layered, sensual
JEWELRY: Gold, copper, tortoise shell, semi-precious stones, feathers, wood, shells
BRIDAL GOWN: Warm off-white, beige, champagne
AVOID: Black, black with white, pastels, clear chroma
CELEBS: Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Lopez, Cindy Crawford (winter secondary), Oprah Winfrey, Julia Roberts (Summer secondary), Halle Berry, Salma Hayek, Julianne Moore, Sophia Loren, Annette Bening (Summer secondary), Queen Latifah (Spring secondary), Barbra Streisand (Summer secondary), Penelope Cruz (Winter secondary).
WINTER: Look of Sophistication
COMPLEXION: Pearlized, clear, cool, translucent
HAIR COLOR: Black, ebony, dark cool brown; matures to silvery or icy white
Note: Lightening or highlighting hair diminishes the POWER of Winter’s contrast.
EYE COLOR: Iris – Black or very dark, Sclera – Pure white = High Contrast
COLORS: Icy, high intensity, bright, jewel tones, clear and cool
Note: Only Winters wear black, or black and white as colors.
NEUTRALS: Black, cool gray, pure white.
JEWELRY: Silver, white gold, gem stones, rhinestones.
FASHION STYLE: Sophisticated, sleek, high contrast, dramatic, expensive, powerful, uncluttered, modern, angled, vivid
BRIDAL GOWN: Icy white
AVOID: Earth tones, pastels, fluff!!
Celebs: Snow White, Catherine Zeta Jones (Fall secondary), Elizabeth Taylor (Summer secondary), Lisa Minelli, Marlo Thomas, Eva Longoria, Lucy Liu, Elizabeth Hurley, Judith Dench (Spring secondary), Juliette Binoche (Fall secondary), Anjelica Huston, Isabella Rosselini (Summer secondary)
SPRING: Look of Today
COMPLEXION: Clear, moderately warm to moderately cool
HAIR COLOR: Golden, strawberry or ash blonde, auburn, red, light to dark warm brown; matures to salt and pepper, warm gray or white.
EYE COLOR: Iris – Green, blue, hazel, brown, amber; Sclera – Cream to white field
COLORS: Clear, warm, bright
NEUTRALS: Warm whites, beiges, tans, brown, navy, soft black
FASHION STYLE: Crisp, modern, bright, sunny, curvy, energetic, youthful
JEWELRY: Gold, silver, semi-precious stones, plastic
BRIDAL GOWN: Off-white
AVOID: Muted or high intensity colors
Celebs: Reese Witherspoon, Rene Zellweger (Summer secondary), Cameron Diaz, Rachel Ray (Fall secondary), Jennifer Aniston, Reba McEntire (Fall secondary), Ellen DeGeneres, Jada Pinkett Smith (Fall secondary), Meg Ryan, Katie Holmes (Winter secondary), Kirsten Dunst (Summer secondary), Dakota Fanning (Summer secondary), Debra Messing (Fall secondary), Diane Keaton (Summer secondary).
These descriptions only touch the surface of how color transforms your self image and creates unforgettable first impressions! The services of a professional consultant, preferably one trained in the Munsell System, are invaluable for assessing your color palette, complimentary prints, accessories, makeup, body proportion, and fashion and hair style. Fees can range from $200 to $1000+, but, considering the money you’ve wasted buying makeup that just never worked, and clothes still hanging with their price tags in the back of your closet as you cry “I have nothing to wear!”, a professional analysis is a bargain. In the meantime, here’s a list of shopping hints to get your transformation started!
* To build a coordinated, workable wardrobe, determine your basic needs based on your lifestyle, such as professional, casual, evening, hobbies and athletic clothing. For each area, purchase a core outfit, such as a professional suit, a cocktail dress, slacks and complimentary jacket, plus a few blouses, sweaters, and accessories.
* You don’t need a king’s ransom to look like a million! Even drug stores carry quality makeup. Shop end of season sales, and consignment and thrift stores for quality clothes and accessories. Many a Princess does!
* Collect fabric swatches by asking a fabric store or seamstress to save you scraps. Also, don’t forget your closet! If you own colors in your palette, just snip a swatch from inside the hem. Keep your swatches in an envelope to bring when you shop.
* When shopping, first match the item to your colors. Next, double check in a mirror. Hold the item by your face, then ask the $64,000 question: “Does this color compliment or clash with my natural coloring?” If “yes,” try it on to check that the fit flatters your body. If color and fit are both “yes,” buy it. If color and fit are “no,” no matter how much you love it, pass. Remember, you glow when the colors that you wear compliment the colors that you are.
* To spice up any outfit, think accessories. Before you run out to the mall in those great fitting jeans, add sunglasses and earrings, or throw a beautiful scarf around the collar of your coat. You will radiate “I care how I look, and I look and feel great”! Not a bad first vibe, especially for an unsuspecting prince watching extraordinary you emerge from an ordinary crowd of shoppers.
* Gather your “other seasons” sisters for a wardrobe “swap meet.” Some of my favorite clothes, scarves, and jewelry have come from just such an event!
One final fashion accessory that promises to get you glowing every moment of every day: Believe you are the Princess worthy of the Prince you dream of. Then, dress to prove it.