This season, fashion is fascinated with colour – and we’re more than happy to oblige the obsession. So whether you’re seeking punchy block shades for an instant style impact or want to go head-to-toe in the must-have hues of the moment, the first step is to find the perfect colour to suit your skin tone. Need a helping hand? Read our exclusive extract from How Not to Wear Black by Anna Murphy, Fashion Director of The Times, and start the building blocks of your new-season wardrobe now.
Find Your Skin Undertone
First, hold a piece of white paper next to your unmade-up face and look into the mirror. How does your skin compare? If it looks pink, rosy, or blue you have a cool skin tone. If it appears more yellow, green or light brown then you are probably warm. If your skin looks grey or ashen then you are most likely neutral.
What Shades Suit You?
When it comes to colours, you’ll be unsurprised to learn that cools look good in cool shades, warm in warm ones and that neutrals have more latitude. So if you are cool, seek out hues that make you think of winter and/or the sea: blues, blue-greens, purples, magentas and blue-based reds. When it comes to neutrals, favour black, bright white, navy and cool greys. Warm tones should pick yellows, oranges, browns, yellow-greens, orange-based reds and softer neutrals such as creams, taupes and gentle greys. There are also a handful of hues that work well for almost everyone. Pure white, for example, goes with all skin tones.
Wear it as an Accessory
Distressed to learn that a colour you love doesn’t suit you? There may be a version of it that will be, one that’s tweaked to skew warm or cool. And if there isn’t? Wear it as an accent, especially if it is not next to the skin, perhaps in the form of a belt or handbag.