Easy Hacks to Apply Colour Theory to Your Makeup Looks

I apologise in advance for the high school flashbacks but it turns out that those hours spent in the art rooms weren’t just for counting the clock. Colour theory plays an important role in makeup (it’s an art form after all) and it all comes back to the infamous colour wheel.

Those colourful wedges are the secret to understanding how to create striking makeup looks that suit individual faces and features. With Summer trends proving to favour high impact colour, practicing the basics of colour theory is the key to success.

#1 Choosing a complementary eye shadow to your eye colour will make them pop!

 The beauty of complementary colours is that they give each other life and movement. If you want your eye colour to really stand out, gals with green eyes should go for pinks and purples, blue eyes look striking with reds and oranges and as brown eyes are neutral, they can pull off just about any colour.

#2 Match your foundation with the undertones in your skin

Generally speaking, we all either have pink or yellow undertones in our skin. Matching your foundation shade and its own undertones to yours is the key to getting a seamless colour match. The quickest way to determine your own undertone is to look at the veins on your wrist. If they’re blue, you probably have pink undertones. If they’re green, your skin most likely has yellow undertones.

The only exception to this is if you use a fake tan. Most fake tans create a yellow based bronze so using a yellow based foundation will neutralise your own pink base and blend better with your tan.

#3 You can correct your skin tone by applying complementary colours

Those bright purple, peach and green concealers you see at Priceline are designed to correct variations in your skin tone such as redness, dark circles and sallowness (also referred to a dullness). The theory is simple; complementary colours cancel each other out when mixed.

Take under eye circles for example. These are a mix of blue and purple hues so peaches and orange pink hues neutralise the dark circles allowing you to put foundation or regular concealer over top and blend it in with the rest of your face. If you have redness, use a green concealer, and if you have sallowness, where your skin looks a little yellow and dull, use purple.

Using the reverse of this theory, if you use too many colours that are similar to that of your problem, you will draw attention to it. For example, if you have dark circles, using a purple or blue based colour on your lips will make them stand out even more.

#4 Matching your skin tones colour temperature to that of your makeup colours will brighten your face

If you have warm undertones in your skin, warm colours such as reds, oranges, lime or vibrant greens and red based purples will brighten your overall complexion making you look more youthful and awake.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, those with cooler undertones should stick with purples, blues, teals and blue based reds for the same reasons.

#5 Tinted hues create softer makeup looks while shades create bolder looks

For simpler day time looks, choose tints, that is, colours that have been lightened with white. If you want to create a really bold, high impact look, shades will give you a really rich and luxurious feel.

This same theory is also why browns are better than black on aging skin as they are softer and offer less contrast. Less contrast means fine lines, pigmentation and imperfections fade into the background.

Main image via @halsey

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