Since I do not need to show you what I look like in a pair of jeans, bare feet and a sweater, an overall shape you have seen on me before, I am concentrating on close up images in a study of what wearing my best colours does for my face and in particularly the softer versions of my best colours. My goal, in choosing what I call 'best' is to identify colours that don't require me to wear makeup or even make me look as though I am wearing some. Here, with this soft taupe sweater I have powder for the camera glare and some pink lippie which to me feels bold. I am currently so in love with this taupe sweater it's a good thing there was only one on the shelf or I might have bought two!
This pretty taupe colour matches the shadows under my eyes!
One of the personal colour theorists I have read, David Zyla, promotes the idea that our best colours are the ones that already exist in our own colouring-eyes, skin and hair. In a nutshell, this means I look best in soft pinks, warm/ivory whites, grey-blues, taupe, cool browns, pink-browns and greyed green/teal. I have found this to be quite true. I have always gravitated towards raspberry pinks and mid-toned blues that skewed grey or teal. My closet contains more in the blue-grey-teal range than anything else, closely followed by purple-pinks. Sometimes our instincts know best. Believing them to be somehow stronger looking (yes putting on my personal armour again) I tended to choose the darkest versions.
I find it more difficult, when shopping, to find or determine, the cool brown taupe shades and to find the best greens. What is on offer and what I am attracted to will often end up skewed warmer, with yellowish undertones. There is nothing yellow or golden about me anywhere. Even the brownish flecks in my eyes are a taupe brown and nearly match my sweater. My freckles are even rather taupe.
I suspect there are more sophisticated programmes for doing this, but since I am not aware of them, I used the free site Chip It by Sherwin Williams. Sherwin Williams is a paint company and on this site they will take a photo and identify the ten predominant colours in it and match them to their paint colours. Then they give you a palette sample. I don't think it's perfect by any means. I have seen photos were it looked to me as though certain colours were ignored and they are matching existing paint colours to a photo rather than creating a paint colour to replicate a photo, but for what it is worth I submitted a close up of my iris, my hair and my skin to get an idea of what colours I naturally embody.
This was my hair. Green and blue are a bit surprising. My internet research shows me that Tricorn Black generally reads as a soft black with a very dark brown undertone that shows up in indoor lighting and it looks more charcoal grey in daylight.
These colours make a very good starting point for choosing colours to wear. The colours I wear don't have to be identical but rather obviously should work with these colours. They might be a deeper tone created by adding grey or black to deepen one of the lighter mauves, for example. Experimenting with colour won't go wildly astray if the colours I choose suit these tones above. The Aged Wine colour from the skin tone palette would make my version of a red lipstick.
Back to the psychology of my own experience, I am experimenting now, or perhaps more accurately stated as allowing myself to wear, the softer and lighter versions. Where once I thought that I had to outgrow pink, that I had to look tough to be strong, at the advanced age of 47 I now know better. I am both a stronger person than I have ever been and yet also at a safer place in life's path. It is time to take off the armour.