How Do You Know What Colors Look Best on You?

To determine what colors are most flattering, the undertone of the skin must be identified. Undertones include deep, light, soft, clear, warm and cool. A drape test can be done to determine the secondary characteristic, which shows if warm or cool colors are most flattering on the skin.

People who have the deep characteristic have dark eyes and dark hair, such as brown or black. The light characteristic has light eyes and light hair, such as blond hair and blue or green eyes. Brown eyes disqualify someone from being light.

Often called mousy, the soft characteristic presents a mix of colors such as golden blond hair with brown eyes or ash brown hair with blue-grey eyes. A clear characteristic is identified by clear contrast in the features. Someone with the clear classification will have vivid jewel-colored eyes and bright hair such as dark-brown, red or platinum blond.

The warm characteristic shows an overall glow to the skin and hair, such as olive-green eyes and medium hair coloring. The cool characteristic shows grayish undertones, such as ashy hair and cool colored eyes like blue-grey or soft dark brown.

Finding out if the skin and hair are flattered best with warm or cool colors is known as identifying the secondary characteristic. This can be determined by holding gold and silver jewelry up to the skin. Whichever metal makes the skin look healthy and not bland is the secondary characteristic color.

The final options are warm-deep, cool-deep, warm-light, cool-light, warm-soft, cool-soft, warm-clear, cool-clear, warm-light, warm-medium, cool-medium and cool-dark.

The drape test can be used to help determine the secondary characteristic. Warm-deep looks best when draped with light-peach, salmon pink or terracotta fabric. Cool-deep looks best when draped with icy-pink, fuschia or burgundy.

Warm-light looks good in camel, bright coral or light moss. Cool-light looks good in cocoa, deep rose or aqua green.

Warm-soft looks good in salmon pink, olive green or mahogany, while cool-soft should try fuschia, blue-green or burgundy. Warm-clear should drape warm pink, teal-blue or true green. Cool-clear looks best in magenta, royal-blue or pine green.

Warm-medium will look best in jade, pumpkin or rust colors when draped. Warm-light will look best in medium-blue, light-mango or clear-red. Cool-dark will look best in pure-white, royal purple or rust, and cool-medium will look best in soft white, lavender or raspberry.