How to Make Your Features Pop with the Right Jewellery

Posted on 17 June 2016How to Colour Jewellery Style Tips

Last week I made a massive fashion faux pas. I chose to wear a piece of jewellery based on the fact I loved the design (and designer) and not because it actually suited me.

If you follow me on Instagram it will be no secret that I love and collect 1970s vintage Givenchy jewellery. Some time back I acquired this gorgeous 1978 Disc Pendant Necklace with retro Givenchy logo and pastel enamel detail. The gold tone is a very yellow-based gold tone. Admittedly I got dressed in the dark, but every time I went to the bathroom that day at work (filled with natural light) I thought, "what were you thinking?". It did absolutely nothing for me, both the chain and pendant colours were wrong; a great piece for someone with a darker complexion, and would look stunning on sun kissed skin, but not my pale freckly skin!

This prompted me to think about what jewellery I had been wearing and why.

In my younger years I nearly always wore silver. When I started collecting vintage jewellery I changed to gold tones. But which should I really be wearing?

Gweneth Paltrow = Warm

How to Know what Colour tones work with your Skin tones

Choosing the tone of your jewellery is no different to choosing the colour tones of your clothes; you should chose the tones that best compliment your skin tone and colouring. If you are Neutral you are the lucky one that can wear most colours. There are tricks to get away with wearing colours that don't necessarily compliment you; but we'll get to that later.

Testing your Skin Tone It is important to know that your skin tone is about "undertones" and not the colour of your skin. The quickest and simplest way to determine your tone is to look at the veins on your inner wrist in natural light.

Blue or purple Veins = Cool
Green Veins = Warm

If you can't tell the colour and/or have an olive complexion = Neutral

If this doesn't work it is said to look at your natural features to determine your "undertones", there are a series of considerations to take into account, answer each of these and average out your answers to the dominant response as you may test warm for some and cool for others :

1. Eye colour
Golden brown, green, blue, hazel with gold flecks = Cool
Black or deep brown, grey, steel blue, hazel with grey or blue flecks = Warm

2. Skin Type
Do you burn easily and not tan? = Cool
Tan easily and rarely burn = Warm or neutral
If you have very dark, ebony skin and may not burn easily, you may also have Cool tones, further tests may be required.

3. The White Test
Clean your face to ensure it is free of make-up and leave 15 minutes for it to settle. Now either hold up a white piece of paper next to your face or crisp white towel around your neck.
Does your complexion glow, or look pink or rosey = Cool
Do you look dull, sallow or yellowish = Warm
Do you look greyish = Neutral

Sarah Jessica Parker = Cool

Of course sometimes the best way to test is to simply try a range of colours to see what looks best on you. You will see the difference in how your features pop in the right colour, trust me. A perfect example is when I was shopping for a wedding dress. I was down to two dresses. Both my mum and I had fallen in love with this stunning Ivory dress, amazing detail, beautiful train; everything you want. The other was a simple white gown, minimal embellishment, no train. Both looked amazing, but I couldn't go past the fact that every time I put on the white gown, I glowed, my eyes and hair colour just popped. A perfect example of no matter how nice the design, if the colour is not right it's not going to do you justice.

If you still haven't been able to work out your undertone there is another way; the Jewellery Test, keep reading.

So What Does This Mean When Choosing Jewellery?

If you refer to the colour chart you will notice that the yellow tones are suited to Warm skin tones; so it is understandable that warm toned people look good in yellow-gold and brass jewellery. Cool tones therefore are better suited to Silver, white-gold jewellery, or pewter tones. Neutrals can mix it up and combine yellow and white gold. Hold up both a yellow-gold and white-gold/silver piece of jewellery close to your face (again, without make-up); which piece makes your eyes pop and gives you that glow?

As far as coloured stones, go for those in your colour chart as first option. Now these guidelines do not necessarily mean you have to avoid the colours outside your chart altogether. The trick is to keep the colour away from your face or direct skin. For instance if you are a Cool tone wanting to wear a yellow gold with bright orange jewels, the trick is to wear it against a colour that suits you, ie black, away from your face and not against your skin. Wear a longer Necklace chain to sit on top of the clothing or a Cuff over long sleeves. Another trick is mix your metals, a touch of soft yellow-gold can look nice with silver or white-gold. If you really want to wear yellow-gold, opt for softer matte tones, antiqued (with black based highlights) and rose-gold. In costume jewellery there are many shades of yellow-gold; people with Cool tones should avoid anything that is too "yellow", it just wont work for you.

The good news for someone is... that signed Givenchy 1978 Retro Disc Pendant Necklace is now available for sale ;-)

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