Beauty School 101 - Color Theory in Cosmetics

by MakeupByKaylena on 12:17 PM

The 411 on the Color Theory in Cosmotology
Understanding how color works is a very important step to know when going about makeup application. When going for "beauty makeup" or makeup to help your eye color and skintone stand out, you generally want the base color of your eye shadows looks to be complementary to your eye color and pigment of skintone.

So here are a few tips on how to understand the Color Theory when it comes to choosing cosmetics that will compliment you!

Color Wheel

A color wheel (also referred to as a color circle) is a visual representation of colors arranged according to their chromatic relationship. Begin a color wheel by positioning primary hues equidistant from one another, then create a bridge between primaries using secondary and tertiary colors.

These terms refer to color groups or types:

Primary Colors: All colors are created from an original base of three colors, known as the primary colors: red, yellow, and blue. Colors at their basic essence; those colors that cannot be created by mixing others.

Secondary Colors: These colors are combined in equal amounts to make the secondary colors: Orange-red and yellow, Green-yellow and blue, Violet-red and blue. Those colors are achieved by a mixture of two primaries.

Tertiary Colors: When primary colors and secondary colors are combined in equal amounts, tertiary colors are created. Chartreuse-green and yellow, Turquoise-blue and green, Plum-red and violet. Those colors achieved by a mixture of primary and secondary hues.

Complementary Colors: Those colors located opposite each other on a color wheel.

Analogous Colors: Those colors located close together on a color wheel.

The color wheel can be divided into ranges that are visually active or passive. Active colors will appear to advance when placed against passive hues. Passive colors appear to recede when positioned against active hues.

• Advancing hues are most often thought to have less visual weight than the receding hues.
• Most often warm, saturated, light value hues are "active" and visually advance.
• Cool, low saturated, dark value hues are "passive" and visually recede.
• Tints or hues with a low saturation appear lighter than shades or highly saturated colors.
• Some colors remain visually neutral or indifferent.

Types of skin pigmenation

Nearly everyone, with the exception of individuals with albinism, has pigment in his or her skin. And technically, you have four types of pigment:

• Melanin (dark brown or black)
• Hemoglobin (red)
• Hemoglobin (blue)
• Carotenes (yellow)

The combination of these pigments is what gives skin its particular color. The way colors, including pigments, can be combined forms the basis of color theory. Color theory focuses on principles discussed in beauty school programs that concentrate on permanent cosmetics technician training.

Identifying Skin Tones and Undertones

When it comes to permanent cosmetics, determining the tone and undertone of the skin impacts the choice of pigments you should use on your client. Unlike topical cosmetics that are placed on top of the skin, permanent cosmetics are placed under the skin, so the color of the skin must be a consideration. In addition to the tone or color of the skin, the undertones must also be considered. Skin tones include:

• Cameo
• Ivory
• Golden
• Peach
• Pink
• Tan
• Olive
• Copper
• Brown
• Ebony

Color theory is an important part of beauty school training for prospective hair stylists and colorists, cosmetologists, estheticians, and permanent cosmetic technicians. It is essential that your color theory knowledge is as enduring as the permanent cosmetics you apply to your clients.

Cool and Warm Colors

Cool colors suggest coolness, and are dominated by blues, greens, violets, and blue-reds. But reds can be both cool and warm. If the red is blue based, it is cool. If the red is orange based, it is warm.
The same kind of thing can happen with greens. If a green contains more gold, then it is warm. If a green contains more blue, it is cool. Whenever most colors have a blue base, they will always be a cool color.

Warm colors range from yellow to gold through the oranges, red-oranges, most reds, and even some yellow-greens.

There are three main components to consider when picking colors to use. These three components are skin color, eye color, and hair color.

Skin Colors
Light Skin: Yellow, Gold, Pale Peach Pink or slightly reddish (rosy) undertones
Medium Skin: Yellow, Yellow- Orange, Red Olive (yellow-green)
Dark Skin: Red, Orange-Brown, Red-Brown Dark Olive, Blue, Blue-Black, Ebony

For a person with a light skin tone, you can use light colors for a soft, natural look, but using medium to dark colors will give you a more dramatic look.

For a person with a medium skin tone, medium colors will create an understated look, but by using light or dark tones will give you more contrast and appear bolder.

For a person with a dark skin tone, dark colors will be most subtle, but medium to medium-light or bright colors will be vivid.

If you want to use a color that is lighter than your skin tone, look for translucent, shimmery colors.

Have you ever wondered why certain people look better in specific colors? Or why they continue to wear the same colors over and over again? It's because certain colors go well with that person's skin tone, eye color, and hair color. You have to think about all of these things when choosing clothing and makeup, as well as when you want to change your natural hair color.

There are so many people in this world who do not pay attention to the simple rules of color theory, and the things they put on make them look washed out, or gawdy! So you really need to be careful with what you wear and what coloring you wear on your face as far as makeup goes!
14 Response to 'Beauty School 101 - Color Theory in Cosmetics'
  1. Vivianna - Musings of self-confessed beauty addict...'> April 12, 2010 at 2:24 PM
    * [Reply to comment] *

    Wow this post was so helpful! Thanks :D


  2. Arie'> April 12, 2010 at 3:08 PM
    * [Reply to comment] *

    Super cool and informative post!
    I just bought my first Mac makeup powder fix foundation, I went to the store and they try it on my skin tone and give me the nc40 ^_^(looks a little lighter than my skin tone to me thought, but the darker one was too orangy) now maybe I have to learn how to use it :(.
    What mac tone are you for foundation?

    You have an award on my blog :),


  3. Lipstick on the cup'> April 12, 2010 at 4:25 PM
    * [Reply to comment] *

    Great post. Thank you!


  4. abby'> April 12, 2010 at 4:59 PM
    * [Reply to comment] *

    yay for this post i was blog hopping and came across your site and i must say this is such a great read.. now i learned something new by your post and i'll def. keep all this in mind!


  5. Really Petite'> April 12, 2010 at 6:52 PM
    * [Reply to comment] *

    Love your blog! I'm now following you- follow me back? :)


  6. SilhouetteScreams'> April 13, 2010 at 3:31 AM
    * [Reply to comment] *

    Whoooooa this was SO informative *___* totally bookmarking it for future reference


  7. Samy'> April 13, 2010 at 4:46 AM
    * [Reply to comment] *

    Thanks a looot !!! Im studying esthetic and this article is VERY helpful ! That's clear, not like my lessons xD


  8. MakeupByKaylena'> April 14, 2010 at 1:41 PM
    * [Reply to comment] *


    In MAC Studio Fix Powder I'm a NC35during the fall/winter

    In MAC Studio Fix Fluid I'm a NC30-35 sometimes 40 in the summer

    In MAC Minerlized Satin Fish Foundation in a NC30

    It varies with season. & sometimes you have to mix colors to get the right shade. I hope that helped. If you have any other questions, please ask! ^_^



  9. MakeupByKaylena'> April 14, 2010 at 1:42 PM
    * [Reply to comment] *

    @Vivianna - Musings of self-confessed beauty addict...

    Im so glad it helped. Thanks!



  10. MakeupByKaylena'> April 14, 2010 at 1:42 PM
    * [Reply to comment] *

    @Lipstick on the cup

    Thnx doll! ^_^



  11. MakeupByKaylena'> April 14, 2010 at 1:43 PM
    * [Reply to comment] *

    Thanks, I'm glad you learned something! ^_^



  12. MakeupByKaylena'> April 14, 2010 at 1:43 PM
    * [Reply to comment] *

    @Really Petite

    Thanks sweetie. i love your blog as well and I followed! ^_^



  13. MakeupByKaylena'> April 14, 2010 at 1:44 PM
    * [Reply to comment] *


    Thanks doll! I'm so glad that these series help so many people learn something new!! ^_^



  14. MakeupByKaylena'> April 14, 2010 at 1:45 PM
    * [Reply to comment] *


    Oh gosh! Well I'm super thrilled you found my post and it helped you!! ^_^ yay!



Post a Comment


Contact Me

Email Address: