COLOUR! Part 3: Describing colour & the impact it has on your Makeup by Make Up Like A Pro
Welcome back to Part 3 of Make Up Like A Pro’s Week of Colour!
On Monday we explored colour in its broadest sense and I gave you a list of colours and the common emotion often attributed to them. Yesterday I explained the role of the Colour Wheel and Colour Theory and the impact that it has on Makeup. Hopefully you are starting to realise the impact that colour has on making Hair and Makeup decisions and that you are getting to grips with a little bit of the science side of it J
Today I am going to talk about how to describe colour using various properties: Hue, shade, tint, tone, brightness and saturation and how you can take advantage of these to create your own makeup effects
The chart below is an example of Tints, Shades and Tones using a Blue Hue
The Hue is the basic colour group i.e. blue (in this example), green, red etc.
The top layer shows Blue Tints – a Tint is the hue plus white which makes the colour lighter and creates pastel shades
The middle layer shows Blue Shades – a Shade is the hue plus black which makes the colour darker
The bottom layer shows Blue Tones – a Tone is the hue plus grey. The tonality refers to the lightness and darkness of a colour, for example in black and white photos tones are visible, rather than colour. For example a light yellow and a light purple would have the same tonality and would therefore look the same in black and white
Brightness, also referred to as “value” describes how light or dark the colour is
Saturation tells us how the colour looks under various lighting. For example when you do your makeup in the bathroom light and then step outside into the natural light, the makeup hasn’t changed but it looks somehow different. The changed saturation gives us a different perception of the colours. The greater the saturation, the more vivid the Hue
These colour descriptions all help to affect how the makeup I put on someone’s face will look on-screen. For a Makeup Artist, there are various things that will impact how a makeup will look, such as the type of lighting used, the colour of the costume that is being worn and how the set (the area that we shoot in) is coloured and the reflective value of it
A little nugget of information that is vital to my job that I want to impart to you is that when you do a makeup in front of a mirror and it looks one way, when you get it on camera it may not be what is seen. This is the same for you guys as I mentioned earlier, that when you do your makeup in front of your bathroom mirror it might look different to when you step outside into the natural light. Just as I might have to make minor tweaks which are part of my job, you might need to make your own tweaks to yourself … such as taking down the amount of blusher that you have just applied to give a more natural feel in the natural light
With this in mind, have you ever thought about why you might notice certain colours more than others? I am going to introduce some more colour terms that you will find useful when you are looking at, and describing your own makeup.
Warm colours and colours that are higher in value often get noticed first. For example colours pertaining to red and yellow are considered to be warm and a bright red (a higher value, brighter red) will stand out and therefore get noticed by the eye much more quickly than a darker red
Cool colours and colours that are low in value are said to recede. Blues and purples are cool colours and meet the eye more slowly than warm colours. A dark blue which is less bright than a light blue would appear to recede from the eye
So now you are more familiar with how to describe colours, can you see how you might use this when it comes to applying your makeup? Very often, the careful application of makeup means that we trick the eye by creating effects. Look at the before and after photo below of Kim Kardashian
The photo is a fantastic example of exactly how this is done … by using the technique of contouring which uses highlighting and shading. You can see that the darker areas under her cheekbones create depth and a darker or cooler colour is used here to create these areas of recession. Alternatively, you can see the areas of highlighting on her cheekbones which create the illusion that the cheekbones are more prominent. You can see in the “after” photo how her cheekbones look more prominent… through the use of careful highlighting techniques
As a rule of thumb which will be useful for you guys, to highlight or draw attention to a feature, use a warm colour or one that is high in value. To create a shadow, or depth, use a cool colour or one that is low in value
Looking at the photo of Kim, you can see the very well-crafted contours and depth that she has created by using the basic colour theory! There is nothing to stop you from doing this yourself. I will be writing a specific article on the Art of Shading and Contouring so make sure that you stay tuned. Sign up to Make Up Like A Pro to receive notification of all my new posts so that you don’t miss out on anything!
The final element of colour theory that I want to mention today is colour reflectiveness and there are six common types of reflectiveness to be aware of. Not all of these will be relevant in the application of Makeup, but you should be aware of the terms
Matte – this means that there is no shine so it can be opaque or translucent
Shiny – things that are shiny will have a gloss look
Metallic – these are highly reflective, bright and not see-through
Opaque – these are not see-through
Translucent – these are lightly fogged and barely see-through
Transparent – these are see-through such as glass
Can you think of some makeup-specific colour reflectiveness examples? A matte lipstick would have a very different finish to a shiny lipstick. Metallic eye shadows look great on some people but not on others, so being aware that there is a difference in those is crucial! A clear matte nail varnish for instance, looks great on a man as it does not have a shiny finish
So, after today’s article, does colour mean even more to you now? Can you look at your face and start to notice the areas that you might want to highlight and those areas that you might want to darken? I hope that you feel like you have more tools to be able to go ahead on your own and start to think about that
I will be giving you examples of some great makeup specifically for highlighting and shading so make sure you stay tuned!
Come back tomorrow as I finish with Part 4 and Part 5 of my week dedicated entirely to colour where I make recommendations as to what colours you should be wearing …
Thank you for reading
Make Up Like A Pro