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How to choose which colours suit you best

Colour matching

Wearing the perfect colours can revitalise your look and take years off your appearance, so define and refine your style with the knowledge of which colours suit you best.

If you've ever felt overwhelmed by the vast choices of clothes available in the shops or by your own mishmash of a wardrobe then this is for you! Knowing which colours suit you best will help simplify and improve your clothing choices.

Before you set to work on discovering which colours suit you best, you must disregard your preconceived ideas about what your "favourite" colours are, because although you like them, they may not actually be flattering for you. The best colours will leave you looking healthy, vibrant and refreshed.

Deciding on the colours that are best for you is very simple. It just depends on your own colouring, which includes your eye and hair colour and skin tone.

In order to tell your skin tone you need to look at it under natural light, checking to see whether there is a hint of golden or rosiness. A hint of apricot or golden undertones means you're "warm" toned, being slightly pink or rosy makes you "cool" toned.

Cool-toned people look best in blue-based colours; warm-toned people will look best in yellow-based colours.

  • Warm tones suit natural earth colours such as browns, bronzes and sage greens.
  • For pretty feminine summer shades try peach and apricot.
  • If you prefer reds, then try brick red, dark tomato or a burnt orange hue.
  • Earth greens like olive or jade enhance warm skin tones.
  • Clean ivory or oyster whites also enhance the warm skin tone type.
  • For your professional wardrobe, look for clothes in taupe or bright navy. Try brown and gold accessories for maximum impact.

Cool tones

  • Pure white is a great match for cool skin tones.
  • Bold raspberries, deep greens, royal blue, plum and pure black are also winners.
  • Cool-toned people can wear bright ruby red to great effect.
  • Cool skin tones can also be enhanced by soft pastel blues and pinks.

Within these ranges there will be colours that suit individuals best, depending on the combination of hair, eye and skin colour. Be analytical the next time you try coloured clothing on to help you decide what really looks best on you.

If you can't be bothered to try everything on in order to sort through your wardrobe, you can just drape items over your shoulder and check how the colour looks next to your face.

Pay attention to what you are wearing when friends compliment you on your outfit — it's likely that this colour is a good match for you.

If you don't trust your own judgement or just want a second opinion, visit a department store make-up counter. Make-up artists are trained to spot which colours will suit people best. Ask them to consider your skin tone, hair colour and eye colour as they help you find the best colour pallet for you.

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