Everyone should own a Little RED Dress

According to studies done by A. J. Elliot et al (documented in his Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and his Journal of Experimental Social Psychology), red enhances women’s attractiveness to men, an effect that is apparently universal. This probably doesn’t come as any great surprise when you think about the colour and how it is used in marketing (Special K lady anyone?). It’s certainly a powerful colour, and often a colour that many veer away from for fear it might draw attention to them. Ironically it’s likely to be one of the most flattering colours you could own.

The wonderful thing about red is that every season has a shade that flatters them.

Spring has poppy red, a warm bright red that looks especially striking when worn as a lipstick with a top/dress in a similar colour.

fdsfds
Spring’s warm poppy red

Summer has a cool cherry red that’s a bit more pink and soft in comparison to Winter’s red. A Deep Summer would also look incredible in a deep claret red (burgundy).

Summer’s soft cherry red

Autumn’s red looks like burnt orange and red mixed together to form a warm muted red.

brick-red
Autumn’s brick red

Autumn could also wear a softer version of Spring’s poppy red, which looks more red than the brick.

Winter’s red is cool, dramatic and uncompromising. A Winter can wear true primary red, scarlet, claret or crimson.

Scarlet red tunic

So, have I persuaded you yet? The Dress Spot is a brilliant website if you are looking for a dress in a particular colour. Perfect for finding your own Little Red Dress!

Jewellery for Autumns and Winters

Autumn

Autumn looks best in antiqued, warm earthy metals. Texture is important too. Brushed gold will look better than a light, bright yellow shiny gold (which will look better on a Spring).

Rose gold is beautiful too, and Morganite makes a stunning peachy alternative to a traditional diamond if you happen to be looking for an engagement ring. It is considerably cheaper too.

Heart Shaped Morganite 14K Rose Gold Engagement Ring, Etsy from £196.80
Heart-shaped Morganite 14K Rose Gold Engagement Ring, Etsy from £196.80

This coin necklace from Stella & Dot is also perfect. Note the satin finish and antique feel.

Rio single strand coin necklace, £51 in the sale, Stella & Dot
Rio single strand coin necklace, £51 in the sale, Stella & Dot

Peridot is a wonderful gemstone for Autumns.

9ct Gold Peridot Figure of Eight Drop Earrings, £39.99 H Samuel
9ct Gold Peridot Figure of Eight Drop Earrings, £39.99 H Samuel

Brass, especially if it is antiqued, is fabulous. Interestingly, Summers can also get away with antiqued brass as it isn’t as yellow as some of the warmer metals.

Bronze Antique Skeleton Key Long Necklace. around £11 from Etsy
Bronze Antique Skeleton Key Long Necklace. around £11 from Etsy

Copper is nothing short of perfection. No other season can handle such gorgeous rich warmth. The texture is stunning on this necklace too.

Copper Fringe Necklace, around £32 from Etsy.
Copper Fringe Necklace, around £32 from Etsy.

I have to confess I’ve been lusting after this beautiful vintage ring myself for a while but have resisted what with it being gold (and me being a Summer). I’m hoping I can convince my lovely Autumn friend she needs it 😉

Antique Art Nouveau Lady Moon Ring 14K approximately £228, Etsy
Antique Art Nouveau Lady Moon Ring 14K approximately £228 from Etsy

Winter

Platinum and mirror shine rhodium-plating were made for Winters. Your typical platinum or white gold engagement ring (rhodium-plated of course) with a big sparkly diamond will look completely at home on the hand of a Winter.

The Tiffany Setting engagement ring, 1ct from £8,525
The Tiffany Setting engagement ring, 1ct from £8,525

Some Winters who lean warm might be able to handle gold but this is risky. Silver-coloured metals will always look wonderful, the shinier the better.

0.65ct Natural Pear Cut Purple Amethyst Pendant Necklace 14k White Gold, approximately £131 from Etsy
0.65ct Natural Pear Cut Purple Amethyst Pendant Necklace 14k White Gold, approximately £131 from Etsy

For Winters, diamonds truly are a girl’s best friend. As are most bright, cool, saturated gemstones 😉

Oval Ruby and Diamond Cocktail Ring in 14K White Gold, £295.20 from Etsy
Oval Ruby and Diamond Cocktail Ring in 14K White Gold, £295.20 from Etsy

With regards to gemstones, Winters truly are spoilt for choice. Most are cool and bright, such as tanzanite, emerald, ruby, sapphire and amethyst.

Princess-Cut Emerald Stackable Ring For Women 14k White Gold, around £433 from Etsy
Princess-cut Emerald Stackable Ring 14k White Gold, around £433 from Etsy

AAA tanzanite, which has the distinctive dark blue hue, is quite expensive so you might be better off going for a synthetic version. The lighter, more common lilac version is still pretty though, and reminiscent of your icy pastels.

D'Yach 14k White Gold Tanzanite Stud Earrings, £126.49
D’Yach 14k White Gold Tanzanite Stud Earrings, £126.49 from Overstock.com

Skin undertones and overtones

There seems to be a lot of (very understandable) confusion around skin undertones and overtones. If you’ve had your colours analysed you’ll know that your undertone determines what season you are and yet your undertone is invisible. If you are an Autumn or Spring it can be said you have warm undertones; conversely if you are a Summer or Winter it can be said you have cool undertones. Colour analysis is not about overtones. If it were, women who wear the same foundation would be the same Season.

People often think undertone is skin colour – it’s not. Your undertone is invisible. Your overtone however, is not invisible. It’s the visible colour of your skin. When purchasing foundation both overtone and undertone are important. Some companies have finally cottoned on to undertones. Cosmetics companies who understand undertones and overtones are much more likely to have a foundation shade that matches your skin. Shopping for foundation becomes a lot easier. Your overtone might look yellow, or pink, brown or peachy. It might be described as sand, beige, ivory, biscuit or ebony. All common foundation names. Your undertone might be described by cosmetics companies as ‘pink’ or ‘rose’ if it is cool and ‘yellow’ or ‘golden’ if it is warm.

There is also such a thing as a false overtone. This is the colour your skin can appear to turn when you are wearing the wrong colour. When I wear khaki I look jaundiced. A Winter wearing the wrong colour might look ruddy in the face.

What influences your undertone? There is no definitive answer to this, but it is generally considered that the following are factors:

  • Oxygenated (red) or non-oxygenated (blue) blood vessels that run under the surface of the skin.
  • Melanin (which also influences hair and eye colour). The more melanin in the skin, the darker the skin tone.
  • Skin thickness. This varies by Season and influences how much colour shows through.
  • Carotene, which gives skin a yellow hue.

The only way to find out whether you have cool or warm undertones is by having your colours analysed in person. Some people offer online colour analysis where you send them a series of photos. I love the idea of it, but unfortunately it’s often inaccurate. It’s impossible to simply look at someone and tell what season they are (although I’m often asked to do this! 😉 ). During an in-person colour analysis session it’s important that you see the way the colours change your skin, in real time, in front of the mirror. Watching your skin react and your face change is all part of the (deeply exciting) process.

An Autumn Celebrity – Birdy

It’s quite unusual for me to venture an opinion on a celebrity’s season. However, I will make an exception for Birdy. She is getting it so, so right.

I watched a video of her on YouTube today and she is perfectly in focus, which is so rare for someone in the spotlight. I couldn’t tear my eyes away. I think she’s even wearing brown mascara, clever thing. I notice her eyes and the line around her iris. She often wears Autumn coloured clothes. She is utterly hypnotic. Her make-up is Autumn perfection.

birdy-2

Photos can be airbrushed easily enough if someone is wearing the wrong colour (the image still won’t look right though). Videos are much harder:

She does seem to be drawn to Autumn colours. Look at how rich her hair looks in this gorgeous rust jacket. Her skin glows. Her blusher is a warm coral and looks completely perfect on her skin. It brings to life her delicate cheekbones. No black fake eyelashes trying to steal the show.

birdy-autumn

I love how even on her first album she’s wearing a rust jumper and peach skirt. Only her black boots stand out as not quite fitting the picture. My attention is drawn down to them. It’s funny how black does that. Even in small quantities on the wrong person it’s so demanding.

Birdy's first album cover

I do sometimes see Birdy in black, and wearing black mascara too. Look how it is stealing the limelight here:

birdy-black-mascara

Let’s finish on a high though. Her single Wings is beautiful if you haven’t already heard it, and apart from her black trousers and boots, she’s Autumn perfection.

What to expect at your colour analysis session

Before the draping itself, I will explain colour analysis to you. We will talk a little about shopping and colour theory. I will answer any questions you might have. We will then go through the drapes and ascertain your season. Once we’ve ascertained your season we’ll go through every drape I have for that season and fine tune. At this point we are likely splitting hairs, but it can be useful to know the very, very best colours in your season and those which are more useful for accessories, underwear, etc. Colour analysis is not about limiting options, but about opening your eyes to all the colours you can wear. Clients often express surprise at the wide range of colours that look great on them. Before I had my colours done I believed I couldn’t wear pink. Afterwards I realised I had just been looking at the wrong pink.

I really want you to get the most out of your draping so:

  • Your face will need to be free of make-up. I know that for some this will feel difficult. Please try not to worry about it – I absolutely understand, I felt the same. I suffered with acne for years and going out without make-up on even now feels uncomfortable. I will certainly not judge you. It only need be the two of us.
  • Please don’t wear fake tan – I can’t analyse you with it on as I’m looking for how your skin reacts to colours and fake tan gets in the way of that.
  • If you’ve dyed or bleached your hair, I will ask that you wear my white head scarf (sorry about that). It really is important though. Bring a hair brush along for afterwards if you’re worried 🙂
  • If there isn’t enough natural light I won’t hazard a guess at your season. I’ll return another day or, if possible, find us another location.
  • You will need to be sat in front of a full length mirror. If you don’t have one let me know and I can bring mine.
  • I will bring make-up along with me for you to try after we’ve ascertained your season. I think trying it on will be hugely beneficial but I certainly won’t insist you try it if you don’t feel comfortable doing so.
  • If you wear glasses, please wear contact lenses if at all possible. I want you to see how the colours affect your skin. This is incredibly important.
  • Please do try and keep an open mind. I absolutely understand that if you’ve been wearing black all your life you might feel uncomfortable at first being diagnosed as a Spring/Summer/Autumn. I anticipate compliments galore as you wear your new colours.
  • I’m more than happy to drape children (and partners) but do bear in mind they need to be willing and able to sit for up to an hour.
  • We both need to be able to concentrate so a space free of distractions for the session is important. No children please.
  • Bring a camera if you want. I am more than happy to take pictures of you looking amazing in your best colours. I think this is a fantastic reminder and can be useful to look back on if you have any concerns about your season.
  • If you like, bring along your make-up bag or any clothes you are curious about. I’m happy to advise.

You will leave with a little swatch book that you can take shopping with you. If you wear scarves, these are a great place to start. I understand that you might be nervous about going shopping. If you’d like me as your shopping partner, please say and we can go together at a time and cost that suits you. If you want make-up advice I’m happy to help. I may well point you in the direction of my blog or Pinterest for recommendations for your season. If you want someone to help you clear out your wardrobe let me know, it’d be my pleasure to help and I love organising and tidying things. Again, we’ll do this at a time and a cost that suits you.

What does it cost? I charge £80 for a colour analysis session which includes the swatch book. If you are a considerable distance from me I may need to add a little extra on for petrol. I do group discounts. The cost reduces to £70 each for two or more. Depending on the time of year I can typically fit no more than 4 sessions in a day.

Where will it take place? Wherever you like although most clients prefer I come to them. I can come to your home or even your workplace just so long as we have a quiet room with good natural light. If you’d like to come to me this can be arranged too, just let me know.

How long will it take? Please allow at least 2 hours. Most people are done within the hour, others are a little trickier. I like to allow plenty of time for questions and for playing with make-up.

Should I bring anything? Please bring your foundation for wearing afterwards assuming you usually wear it. By all means bring your whole make-up stash with you and we can take a look at it. I will bring some make-up too for you to try.

What should I wear? Anything you like apart from hoodies or polo neck jumpers.

Can I bring a friend? Yes! Absolutely. The more the merrier. It’ll be magical for them to watch.

Is there a reason why I shouldn’t be analysed? If you are taking medication that changes the colour of your skin. If you feel unwell (we’ll reschedule). If you have a deep tan or are sun burnt we’ll need to wait until this has faded. A light tan shouldn’t be too much of a problem but anything more than that might be.

Will I need to throw away my entire wardrobe if I’ve been buying the wrong colours? Not if you don’t want to! Some people have the motivation and means to do that, but generally speaking I recommend that clients go through their wardrobe and swatch their clothes. Compliant clothes go on the right, non-compliant on the left. As you wear out the clothes on the left, replace them with compliant ones. You don’t need to start big either. Scarves, lipstick and nail varnish are a great way of introducing your new colours without breaking the bank.

How do I book? Just contact me via e-mail: janine@inlovewithcolour.com.