The Colour Theory & Makeup

A question I hear a lot is “what colours will suit my skin tone?” or “how do I pick a lipstick to match my eye shadow?”. I think it’s fair to say that most of us take a stab in the dark when it comes to matching our makeup and we seem to struggle to know what colours will work on us.

Well, there is no definitive answer to this, as there are no rules when it comes to makeup. However, there are a few guidelines you can follow if you are new to makeup and really don’t know where to start; or on days when you are rushing to office because you overslept before that very important presentation to your most crazy, yet important client.

The Colour Wheel – I cannot stress enough on the importance of this one.


This is a vast subject, but I will simplify it as much as I can. Here is what any makeup lover needs to know about it. (Please keep referring to the above colour wheel as you read further.)

  • Primary colours: Red, Yellow & Blue – These are the base colours on the wheel. All other colours are developed using them.
  • Secondary colours: The colours you get from mixing equal amounts of any two primary colours:

Yellow + Blue = Green

Red + Blue = Violet

Yellow + Red = Orange

  • Tertiary Colours: The six tertiary colours are made by combining a primary and an adjacent secondary colour. These colours are: yellow–orange, orange–red, red–violet, violet–blue, blue–green, and green–yellow.
  • Complimentary Colours: Colours that are opposite each other on the colour wheel—colours that tend to “vibrate” when next to each other, such as blue next to orange, or purple next to yellow. In my opinion, these look best when used on separate areas of the face, versus right next to each other. A blue eye makeup with orange lips can look stunning!
  • Achromatic Colours: Colours that are not a apart of the colour wheel – Black, White & Grey

When you add black to any colour, you get a SHADE of that colour (darker value of the colour)

When you add white to any colour, you get a TINT of that colour (lighter value of the colour)

If you understand these, you know that you have the power to create any colour to suit your skin tone, once you have the base colours!

Moving on… The colour wheel can be divided into:

  1. Warm Colours: These are bright, passionate and energetic, and tend to be eye-popping colours – red, orange, and yellow, and variations of those three colours. However, in makeup, reds can be both cool and warm. If the red is blue based (a red with purple or blue undertone), it is cool. If the red is orange based, it is warm.
  2. Cool Colours: These give an impression of calm, and create a soothing impression. Cool colours include: violet, blue, and green. However, the same theory applies with the colour green. If a green has more gold/yellow undertone, then it is warm. If a green contains more blue undertone, then it is cool. Whenever most colours have a blue undertone, they will always be a cool colour.

Now, there are three types of Skin Tones according to which you should choose your makeup.

  1. Cool Skin Tone: the skin has a little pink (rosiness) & tends to burn easily under the sun. If you have a cool skin tone, you will look good in silver jewellery & accessories & most of the time, your veins will be in blue colour (take a look at you wrist under natural light). If you wear a cool undertone red lipstick, you will look brightened up.
  2. Warm Skin tone: the skin has a yellow undertone or golden-olive undertone & tend to tan easily under the sun. If you have a warm skin tone, you will look awesome in gold jewellery & accessories than silver. Most of the time, your veins are in green colour (take a look at your wrist under natural light). If you wear a warm (orange) undertone red lipstick, you will look brightened up.
  3. Neutral Skin tone–the skin has both pink and golden undertones & you look good in both gold & silver jewellery. Most of the time, your vein is in both blue-green colour. If you have a neutral skin tone, almost all colours would look good on you.

In short, if you have Cool Skin Tone, use Cool Colours & if you have Warm Skin Tone, use Warm Colours on yourself.

I know all this can be overwhelming, and a lot to take in. I hope that a little bit of familiarity with colour theory and the colour wheel will help make sense of the makeup counter, and make navigating a little less daunting, and a lot more fun.

Drop in a comment if you have any queries regarding the colour theory or your skin tone.

Happy makeup-ing!


Love Your Skin

LoveYourSkinBefore giving any tips & tricks on makeup for work, let me start with the basics.

I believe that the secret to achieving any desired makeup effect is having good skin. When I say good skin, I don’t mean it has to be flawless/ acne-free/ spotless cause let’s face it – not all of us are blessed! It simply needs to be naturally healthy & glowy. Of course eating right & exercise play a major role in having beautiful skin. But, there are ways to take care of it using basic cosmetics. I am sure you know this, I will reiterate anyways!

  1. Cleanser – Cleansing is a very important part of any skincare routine as it clears the dirt caused by pollution & also removes makeup. It also helps prevent breakout caused due to clogged pores. While choosing a cleanser for yourself, it is important to know your skin type & pick put the right one to suit your oil/ dry/ normal skin. I like to stick to my Cetaphil cleanser which has a mild, non-irritating formulation that soothes skin as it cleans.
  2. Facewash – If for example you have used waterproof makeup on your skin, chances are that after using cleanser, there are still traces of it that need to leave your skin. A mild facewash will do the trick here. I do not use any soap on my face (whether I have put makeup or not) – a gentle facewash is what I have in my bag all the time & carry it to work as well.
  3. Toners – After cleaning, it is very important to make those pores appear smaller & to give your skin a polished tone. Toners also play a part in absorbing the moisturizer you will use in the next step. I suggest to always use alcohol-free toners, so as to retain the natural oils of your skin.
  4. Moisturizers – Dehydrated skin will never look good no matter how much of makeup you apply. It does not matter if you have oily skin – you still need a moisturizer. There are water-based ones for oily & combination skin & oil-based for dry skin types. Moisturizers are THE most important to keep your skin hydrated… and of course drink a lot of water through the day!
  5. Sunscreen – No, you don’t need sunscreen only when you are in Goa! It’s a must use irrespective of the climate & weather conditions. You need it on cloudy days, as much you need it on sunny days. Apart from preventing tanning, it prevents premature ageing of the skin as well. Higher the SPF (Sun Protection Factor), the better it is, & again, choose them according to your skin type. Most of the foundations & BB creams today have a certain amount of SPF included in them.
  6. Exfoliation – You don’t need this everyday, however it is important to remove the dead skin that dulls your complexion. I like to use ones that have those micro granules instead of scrubs that really irritate my skin.
  7. Hand & Foot cream – Yes, they are a part of your skin too… don’t give them a miss! Use loads of it on hands & feet at night before sleeping – Oh & do not miss the elbows. I love using petroleum jelly on really dry parts of my feet & hands too!

If you need to know what product is the best suited for you, do get in touch with me. I’d like for you to love your skin!

Makeup Love!

Hellooo Everyone!

Makeup is something that I have been interested in since I was a kid & have been forever fascinated with its after effects. The amount of confidence it adds to one’s personality, when used correctly, is just amazing!

So I decided to do this blog and share with you what I understand of makeup, tips & tricks to use it well, and well, basically to announce my love for it!

I believe that makeup can help a woman celebrate who she really is. Not only does it outwardly reflect health and vitality but it also inwardly bolsters confidence.

I also believe it is an under-utilized resource in the workplace. Yes, that’s right, i said it. I agree that our ability to deliver that presentation with best of our skill sets, and create great strategies to launch your next product are much more important….

…But don’t we all run for a quick touch up & make sure we look our best just before that very important meeting?

“Makeup is a bit like high heels – not essential, but they help me feel business-like and enables to put my best foot forward.”  – Sali Hughes

My following blog articles will revolve around these thoughts. In case there is anything specific you want to know, please do put in a comment.

Until next time, stay pretty!