2014年2月10日 星期一

[Makeup Newbie Frustration] Colours and Undertones

Courtesy of http://todayilearned.co.uk/2011/04/05/different-perception-of-colors-by-gender/
The image shown above went viral a couple years back. From what I observed, most people consider it to be a spot-on depiction of how male and female see colours very differently. As a female, while I'm not fixated on using specific names for certain colours, I do believe that the subtle difference in colours matters. Take my favourite colour purple for example, a slight hint of red, blue or gray can make it fab or drab to me. (Thus, making me impossible to shop for.) 


I used to think that I have the whole colour system down, until I ventured into the makeup world. If men are baffled by how women can name 20 shades of pink, then I feel very much like a man when it comes to makeup. 

In makeup, the colour system is very complicated. To help customers choose the right product (or confuse the hell out of them so they will buy everything and try them out of frustration), a  system called "undertone" is introduced. Basically, undertone is the hint of colour you see "under" the surface colour. If you think a colour generally looks purple, but looks a bit on the blue side, or looks blue under different lighting, then it's a "purple with blue undertone." Some colours indicate their undertones with a dash, usually with the undertone in front, e.g. blue-red. Other times, the undertone is not any specific colour, just named as "warm undertone", "cool undertone" or "neutral undertone".  I can sort of differentiate between a pink-red and a blue-red, but how blue+red does not equal purple still confuses me.

For the experienced shopper, undertone really helps them choose the right shade, because an orange-red is completely from a blue-red. But for novices like myself, it can get a little crazy sometimes. Grey with purple undertones, purple with pink undertones, pink with blue undertones......the list goes on and on. Some of the descriptions help me envision the colour better, others just leave me in bewilderment. The solution? Find a good swatch site, (Temptalia has an insane collection of swatches), forget about the description and just trust your eyes and your monitor colour settings. If you still can't decide, well, the only sure fire way to find out is to buy and try!

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to check if I can still afford a meal if I buy all the purple shades from UD......

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