Bust out of that boring black, white and gray — neutrals are a color complement, not a replacement and may not be ideal for highlighting your features. Your light hair and eyes likely land you squarely in fair-skinned territory, so embracing color is your best bet for warming things up and making your enviable features sing.
Adapted from the classic school of color analysis for painters, color theory for clothing and makeup matches a person’s dominant facial characteristics — typically hair, eye and skin color — with basic color palettes. Blonde hair and light eyes go hand-in-hand with fair skin, and, according to color theory, look best with other pale and subdued colors like pastel pinks, light blues, brown, beige, pale greens and purples, with a few jewel-toned blue-greens and red mixed in for just a touch of contrast.
Warm or Cool?
Get an even more personalized color for your look — blondes with light eyes come in two different flavors. Are you fair-skinned with warm — think red or gold — undertones in your skin and hair, or fair with cool, or blue, undertones in your skin and hair? Golden and strawberry blondes tend to be warm-toned, while ash or sandy blondes tend toward cool tones. Check your foundation to be sure: A pink base screams “cool,” while a yellow base is pure warmth. If your foundation is neutral, fear no color temperature — you can pick and choose your faves as the mood strikes you.
With your coloring, you’ll do best with bright, pale, warm-toned colors that bring out the natural warmth and radiance in your skin. Cool and warm color matching is all about contrast level — if there’s too much contrast between the color temperatures of your clothes and skin, your clothes may wear you instead. Ditch cool colors that make your skin look gray and pack on the pinks: coral and salmon are all safe bets. Warm blues and yellows, sage, lavender, khaki and even gold can also make your features pop. For bold hues, rock bright pink, red, yellow or purple. For neutrals, wear ivory or warm gray. Stay away from dark or dull colors, particularly black, which may appear too harsh.
A blonde with your skin coloring will look best in soft, dusty, diffused colors with cool undertones, as warm colors are too bold against cool skin. Pick out cool pinks like dusty rose, powder pink or mauve, or blue-toned purples like violet or periwinkle. Go all out with blue, so long as it’s not a warm or red-toned type. For neutrals, go for chocolate brown, taupe, soft white or sand. For rich colors, wear a brilliant blue-toned red. Avoid harsh or bright shades of orange or yellow, which will create too much contrast and wash you out.
References and ResourcesJoy of Clothes: Your Dominant Color
Carol Thompson Beauty: Seasonal Color Analysis
Alexandra Stylist: 12 Tone Color Analysis
Color Me Pretty: Four Season Color Analysis
Real Simple Magazine: What Colors Look Best on Me?
Her Life Magazine: Color Palettes for Your Skin Type