From Jules Standish, The Colour Counsellor and Author of How Not to Wear Black
Most of us love a Little Black Dress as an effortless, glamorous and smart wardrobe staple – especially during the winter months and party season. But how you wear your LBD is key, as few of us can wear black well without it ageing us if we have the wrong skin tone says Jules Standish, The Colour Counsellor and author of How Not to Wear Black and discover your true colours (August 2011, O Books, £7.99).
FACTS: The reason black can make a warm skin tone look older is because up against the face it reflects and highlights all that’s dark. Shadows around the chin, lines either side of the mouth, grooves between the nose and mouth, forehead lines or the dark rings under the eyes. Wrinkles and sunken areas will appear deeper, and the older you get the more ageing black can be. Black will flatten a warm complexion by giving it a grey appearance making it look drained and tired, stripping away any natural golden glow. Understanding your skin tone and underlying genetic pigments is vital to knowing what colours suit you according to Jules.
What Skin Tone Are You – can you naturally wear black?
Summer Complexions tend to be light and colourless, not rosy cheeked and don’t tan well. This colouring is best suited to cool pastel shades of pale pink and blue, purple, off white. Neutrals are greys and blues. Celeb Spy: Claudia Schiffer is a cool summer.
Winter Complexions are cool, light or dark, not translucent, and not rosy cheeked, with a distinctive, striking look to the appearance. Black can be worn against face with no signs of dark shadows, lines or ageing. Cool colours include electric blue, fuchsia pink, emerald green, burgundy with black and white neutrals. Celeb Spy: Megan Fox is a striking winter. Winters skin tones are the rare few that can wear black well naturally without it ageing their looks.
Spring Complexions have yellow/gold undertones, tend to blush easily, have broken veins or rosy cheeks and can vary from very fair, freckled to dark and golden. This colour palate is bright and warm including lime green, golden yellow, coral, turquoise, red, and grey/stone/blues neutrals. Celeb Spy: Amanda Holden is a bubbly spring.
Autumn Complexions have more bronze undertones than spring and never have rosy cheeks. Muted colours include olive green, burnt orange, mustard, caramel and teal. Neutrals are browns/dark greys/blues. Celeb Spy: Penelope Cruz is a dramatic autumn.
The Rules of How to Wear Your LBD if it’s not in your natural colour range
- Wear a black dress with a low neckline and ensure that your natural skin colour reflects up against the face.
- Invest in a fabulous gold (warm skins) or silver (cool skins) necklace, or wear gorgeous coloured stones of amber, turquoise, citrine or jade.
-A wrap or scarf is a great accessory in a colour that suits your skin tone.
- Choose a black dress with a coloured pattern in it.
- Opt for a two-tone dress with a block of colour on the top and black on the bottom or colour down the middle and black at the sides for a really slimming look.
- Coloured jackets or cardigans can offset the LBD beautifully, are warm and hide upper arms.
- Wear make up that is the perfect colour for your complexion and features. Warm (coral, green and brown) based make up is best for yellow/golden based skin tones while cool (pink, blue, purple) for the pink based ones.
“Nigella Lawson has the cool skin one and dramatic dark features to wear black to maximum effect and she does! Joan Collins is another high profile lady who looks dramatic in black. If you don’t have a winter skin tone like these ladies then we can learn how to wear black without it ageing our looks.”
Jules Standish, The Colour Counsellor
Written as an easy to use, self-help guide, How Not to Wear Black will introduce you to your true colours, help you choose the right clothes and accessories to help you look as attractive as you can, and understand the effects of black on the ageing process. By learning to choose the correct colours for your genetic blueprint you will minimise lines, wrinkles, blemishes and dark shadows with dramatic results – an immediate and cost-effective route to anti-ageing – and to feeling great!
Jules Standish is The Colour Counsellor: a personal colour & style expert passionate about getting women into their true colours to look younger and healthier in an instant! Jules works with a wide range of individuals from celebrities to housewives and businesswomen. Jules is also a freelance journalist and has written many articles for the media.
Stockist Info: How Not to Wear Black by Jules Standish, O Books, £7.99, 2011
ISBN 978-1-84694-561-8 – www.colourconsultancy.co.uk