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Colour Rules - Break or Follow, You Decide!

(Warning....this is a long post)!

So last time I talked about the different palettes of colour and how you can identify your own.

A recap:

Do you know how difficult it is to find celebrities that haven’t ‘moved’ themselves into another palette by changing their hair colour, wearing coloured contacts etc. etc.!! I’d really like to have a good look at them all without an iota of make-up, in natural daylight for a proper assessments but that’s not going to happen is it! So you’re going to have to trust me on this one.

Ok so, we need to talk rules (oh err not my strong point)...

First of all, I’ll let you into a little secret. It’s all about tricking the eye of the beholder. Your best look is when you are balanced and harmonised (oh dear we're getting all spiritual again). Actually no, what I mean is whatever you’ve got going on up top (hair, skin tone, eye colour), you need to replicate below the neckline. That said, I don’t give a monkey’s what you wear waist down, feel free to go wild!


Your look is light and delicate therefore to balance this, you need to wear light shades. Darker shades such as aubergine will overwhelm you and cast shadows underneath the chin (not a good look believe me).

Try a light grey, cocoa, mint, pastel pink

You can wear 2 light colours together, a light and a deep colour together but never 2 deep colours (blah). Unfortunately, Lights can suffer in winter as of course shops only sell black don’t they! So make sure you splurge in the summer.


Your look is much more dramatic and strong with your dark hair and eyes. So it goes without saying that your best look is dark and dramatic also. Wearing a light apricot will wash you out and work colleagues will send you home thinking you’re ill. Come to think of it, yes buy a light apricot top - you just never know when you might fancy a sick day (joke).

Try black (of course), damson, scarlet, emerald green.

You can wear 2 deep colours together, a deep and a light colour together but never 2 light colours together.


Your look is warm and golden and so to balance this, all the colours you wear should have a yellowy undertone. This means that the colours you choose should have yellow in them. Neutral colours such as grey or blue will look pretty flat without an injection of warmth (flat is not a good look).

Try olive, terracotta, aqua, lime. That olive hasn't come out very well on the photo has it but I think you can get the gist.

So, warm based colours of medium strength (not too light and not too dark) are you best looks.


Your look is cool and strong. To balance this, you need to wear cool and blue-based colours which are strong also. Colours with lots of blue in them work so well. Pinky colours too. Stay away from warm colours, they won’t do anything for you at all.

Try hot pink (oooh I say), sapphire, bluey-green, charcoal. Yes, yes I know you have to add yellow to blue to make green but if you look closely it's very blue toned (unlike say sage green that has lots of yellow in). It's complicated, I know.

Your best look is when you wear your cool colours in contrast (black and white is the biggest contrast) as oppose to layering up a tonal look


Your look is strong and clear so you need to wear colours that reflect this and make your eyes ‘pop’. You have lots of contrast between your hair and eye colour. Strong, bright colours are perfect for you. Sludgy colours will look, well, like sludge on you!

Try scarlet, bright white, emerald green, bright blue. Two things to note here: firstly the second colour is bright white in real life - Autumn light is not the greatest for taking photos and secondly I really didn't set out to make you look like a flag - it's just the way I've lined the colours up.

Strong colours worn in contrast (eg. black with bright blue or white with scarlet) is your perfect look and not to be saved for best!


And so we come to the softs, ahh yes good old softs. Your look is very blended right? Eyes, skin tone and hair colour - none stands out as a dominant feature. So to balance this, you need to wear colours that aren’t too strong. We’re talking muted and soft. If you wear a bright scarlet top, we see your top coming before we register it’s you - the top takes over if you get what I mean.

Try charcoal blue, taupe, jade, claret.

Your best look is when you wear soft, muted colours layered up so there is little contrast (stone and nude for instance)

Well ladies, hope you’re not too exhausted after all that. Remember this is just one belief (to which I subscribe). I sometimes look at celebrities and can’t work out why they look ravishing when it goes against all the rules. I put it down to them being beautiful and having good make-up artists and stylists (I have none of these).

If I’ve wetted your appetite for colour and you would like to learn more, there are some good books around. Colour Me Beautiful has produced some nice books over the years. Unfortunately fashion changes so quickly that some of the imagery is a bit dated but they are excellent for illustrating the palette colours.

N.b. I don’t work for Colour Me Beautiful but I did train with them so if I recommend their products it’s because I’m familiar with them.

And if you're wondering what I'm like, this is me.....in my full soft regalia. No rules broken today. And yes I know my roots need doing.

Until next time (a bit of colour science I'm thinking)

Donna x
10 comments on "Colour Rules - Break or Follow, You Decide!"
  1. Great to see you ... absolutely love your outfit and have to admit that I'm very amused to see how well you coordinate with your background. Am also feeling quite chuffed, as being a 'warm', I actually have a lot of those colours in my wardrobe *punches air*

  2. Ha ha my house is definitely soft and blended Helen! We are known as Mr and Mrs Bland in our family x

  3. Lovely to see you too! I'm working up on exposing myself on the blog more soon! I'm still confused between being a warm or a deep?! I'm leaning towards deep atm! I have hazel eyes & natural red tones in my brown hair & pale olive skin! Do I fit into any of the above categories?! Lol! Ax

    1. Hi Andrea, it can be confusing can't it. Can you send me a head shot of yourself preferably in natural light and I'll let you know. Email me at iwontwearsludgebrown@gmail.com x

  4. You look great......you work your colours really well. Im warm light blond, dark green eyes with yellow, freckles and warm skin tone and am a warm!!lol!!

  5. Really helpful post, thanks. I've been diagnosed as a sultry winter with house of colour - best colours charcoal, navy, carmine red, damson and pine green but my personality is more wallflower than dramatic and I hated being told to wear bright lipsticks (think fuchsia pink) as they are so attention-seeking. I'd be a 'deep' in your system I think.

    1. Yes definitely a deep with those colour suggestions. This is the problem with following the rules to the letter, you lose some of you!!! I'd go with something that you feel comfortable in and perhaps pop on a little eyeliner to emphasise your eyes - much more subtle for you x

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  7. Hi, i think i may be a soft like yourself, my hair is blonde highlights very like yours in colour and style as a child i had blond hair it went mousey in my early teens.

    1. Hi Linda, it sounds as if you're a definite Soft x