Saturday, 16 September 2017

Getting Bolder

The main aim of this post is to discuss the colour pink, but before I can settle into that I must moan a bit about the tortures of growing out hair.  I have been growing out a pixie cut for a year and it sure doesn't look like it.  When my hair is cut short there is a great deal of detail cut into it because I have a lot of hair, very fine and slipper.  Then there are the peculiarities of my head shape to take into account.  The end result is that as it grows it grows in strange shapes, thinner and thicker bits and the number of trims to reshape it into something reasonable as it grows are rather numerous.  I confess to doing them myself, in part because I am not going to pay for half a hair cut but also because I usually decided at an inconvenient time that something needs to be done about my hair immediately.

Anyhow, I am currently sporting a Soccer-Mom flippy do circa 2003.  If I actually wanted a flippy style I would not be satisfied by what I've currently got, but since I don't want one, this is what my hair wants to do on it's own with little encouragement.  The other option is a sort of turned under, bowl-mullet.  You can understand why I am going with the Soccer-Mom hair.  Periodically I decide I want to inject a little fun into my hair colour which, if you know me, means something really rather tame.  How does someone who likes the natural look do fun?  In most areas of my life, what I consider fun many others would not.  Reading is fun.  Painting is fun.  Going for a walk is fun.  So the few times I got crazy and dyed my hair purple it was a bit like going bungee jumping.  It seemed like a good idea but very quickly it became obvious that it was not for me. 

My idea of taking my hair colour one step or two beyond it's normal state is to put a bit of an auburn or coppery rinse in it.  The problem with that is that the makers of hair dye are not very good at natural looking reds and so many of them skew pink-burgundy.  I bought one with a picture on the box that was very much a light orange-copper, a bit lighter than my natural medium brown.  For those wanting to know, it was Clairol Natural Instincts and it was called Light Golden Red.   At the first look of my newly done hair I was a bit horrified as the colour had a burgundy look to it.  I gave it a vigorous shampooing after application, which is normally not recommended but I had panicked and was hoping to wash most of the colour out.  I am not sure if this extra shampooing worked or if I had just unnecessarily panicked and the shampooing didn't actually do anything.  In some lighting my hair looks medium, brown-auburn and in outdoor lighting it looks like this, more coppery.

 I've now decided that I love it so much I am worried I won't be able to replicate it.

               I tried to brush out the flips a little but not sure I improved on the style any.

As you can see, I think, I seem to be pulling off some richer colours than I might have once thought I could.  I am dabbling in colours a little bolder, though I still have a few things left over from when I thought I was a Soft Autumn ( like this tee shirt ).  Now I sometimes look at a photo such as this and think, hmm maybe there is enough brightness there for me to be a True Spring.  True Spring colours are clearer and brighter, though still warm.  But I think that actually what I am discovering is how far to reach within my True Autumn range.  Every individual will have a personal adjustment of how light, dark, bright, or even how warm or cool to go within an given palette for maximum flattery.  The colours of Sci/Art True Autumn are muted in comparison with other palettes except the Softs, but there is also some brightness available.

In the past my experiments with bright colours did not work out well because my understanding of what colour properties I needed was still undeveloped.  Bright and cool is probably one of the worst colour types I can wear.  Or rather, it wears me.  Anything with some mutedness begins to look right, but warm and bright can look quite wrong too.  These properties are all relative so when I explore brightness it's relative to my best palette and it's in harmony with my own colouring.  The question to explore is where can I push the boundaries? 

In makeup I tend to avoid brightness because it's an area where I really prefer a natural look.  But having said that, for some people, bright makeup colours do look natural.  When I use the word natural I mean it in the sense of natural for the individual as well as in the sense of personal taste.  In eye makeup, which I don't use a lot of, I aim for a me but better look and if I use eye shadow at all I use colours that would actually be in my skin, thus browns are my preference.  I can pull off a bit of metallic but wouldn't use it for day time.  Bronze is a really good colour for me.  Having found my best colours I rarely feel the need for foundation or cheek colour.  I don't own foundation any more and while I have some peachy cheek colour I rarely use it.  My skin tone can take light bronzer but a sculpted look really isn't me.  So when I use colour with a sense of fun I use it in lipstick and toe nail polish.

Even then, some would say my choices are not daring at all since I still aim for the pink/peach/orange/red range.   While I've spent much time looking for lipstick colours that are that coveted MLBB ( my lips but better ) I have found that knowing my colour palette and the properties of my colouring has helped me venture away a little from the really safe colours.

Strangely, some of the colours that read as very natural on me are more brown-orange than many people would dare to use or consider natural looking.  It's pinks and true-reds that look a bit odd on me.  When I dabbled in the Soft palettes I used brown-pinks and brown-mauves.  The softness of them was right and the certainly did disappear into my face more, making me feel safer.  But a bolder lip is more comfortable when the colour looks like it belongs on me.  That's why when I used pink I knew it couldn't be something that looked pure, clear, bright or too cool.  Pink became a bit problematic as I discovered that peach/salmon was my better version of pink and I've always had an aversion to the cool pinks, especially bright ones.

There is a colour I've always thought of as hot pink and yet it is actually very cool.  It's a magenta or fuchsia pink and it looks terrible on me.  When we were small and in primary school most of us were taught about warm and cool colours, usually with a colour wheel divided in half and the basic explanation that one side of it was cool, the blues, greens and purples, and the other side was warm, the yellows, oranges and reds.  If our teachers were particularly keen, we may have been shown, or we may have discovered for ourselves, that purple and green could have one foot on either side, and that a more yellow-green was warm and a more red-violet was was warm.    At some point in life we may eventually discover that all colours can have a warm version and a cool version, and that it is the addition of yellow/orange/red that makes a colour warmer in comparison, while the addition of blue makes it cooler.  I always thought of pink as a cool colour, and this is perhaps because pink is red with white added and white added to a colour does cool it.  If the red is an orange-red and white is added we get something we might call peach and peach is not pink.  Therefore pink is cool.

So pink, purple and blue are tricky colours for someone looking to wear warm colours and I have avoided pink for awhile.  Then I cam across a list of lipstick recommendations for True Autumns, swatched and confirmed by a trained colour analyst.  While most of the recommendations are in the brown-orange range, one was Revlon's Teak Rose and it looks very pink.  I read some reviews online, looked at images of it swatched or on the lips of various bloggers.  Often it was described as a warm pink, a bit browned, maybe leaning coral.  I looked at it in the store and it looked very definitely pink and somewhat bright.  I was afraid.

For good visuals comparing the warm and cool versions of colour, you can't beat Imogen Lamport.  Her images won't tell you how warm or how cool the colours are, but they are great as a starting point to get the main idea, that every colour can be made warmer or cooler and just how do they look in comparison with each other.  This one on pink shows the range from blush/nude to bright.

 Imogen's exceedingly informative and helpful blog is here  

Revlon's Super Lustrous Teak Rose reads as a bright pink on me, but warm without being obviously browned.  I'm wearing it in both photos in this post, indoors and outside, natural lighting for both.

 For those of you who wear really bright colours, it may seem funny that I am calling this bright.  But for me it is, and I am stretching myself in my comfort zone by wearing it.  While the oranges and browns I like completely harmonise with my natural colouring, pinks and reds are colours that are most believable on lips.  This might be a coral-red-pink and the more I wear it the more I am beginning to think it could turn into a favourite.              


  1. Loving this lip and hair colour! All your research is paying off.
    I could see you as a Spring as well.
    I have definitely moved from the cooler to the warmer side of your pink illustration.
    Xo Jazzy Jack

    1. I have a doozy of a blog post coming up in which I over-analyse whether or not I might be a Spring and conclude very little. Even just looking at your thumbnail photo above I see how coral-pink could work well for you.xoxo


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