The Color Wheel and Color Combinations

Before you can become a makeup guru, you need to know how different colors work. Knowing this helps you put together a perfectly suitable color palette for yourself or a client. Remember that the colors need to go well with the facial features and also be in alignment with the look you are aiming to achieve.

The Basics

When a ray of light is passed through a prism, you see the seven basic colors. Each and every color in existence, falls somewhere within this spectrum of light. In the 20th century, Johannes Itten created the color wheel that showed the primary, secondary and tertiary colors and also introduced color matching.

Different Kinds of Colors

In the color wheel, the three basic colors, red, blue and yellow are known as the primary colors. They cannot be created from any other colors. Every other color is derived from one or more of these primary colors. The primary color blue is the strongest color and is associated with coolness. Red is warmth and adds fullness, Yellow has the least strength and it is both warm and cool.

Secondary colors are derived from a mix of two primary colors in equal proportions. For example, yellow mixed with red gives orange, red mixed with blue gives violet (purple) and yellow mixed with blue gives green. These are the three secondary colors. Tertiary/Intermediate colors are created when a primary color is mixed with a secondary color falling next to it on the color wheel. A tertiary color may be named with two color names such as yellowed brown. This means that yellow has been added to brown.

Complementary colors are those that are right opposite each other on the color wheel. Mix them together and you get browns or grays. When complementary colors are put next to each other, they brighten the look and intensify each other. In facial makeup, complementary colors have the best effect when used on different areas rather than when placed right next to each other.

Analogous colors are right next to each other on the color wheel. These colors generally fall in the same family and harmonize well. They serve to highlight each other perfectly without setting a jarring note. That is why you will find so many analogous colors in your eye shadow palette. The darker colors are used to define the eye shape and add depth while the lighter ones highlight the eye perfectly.

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Lastly word

Yellow, red and orange are the warm colors while blue, violet and green are the cool ones. Colors that have yellow/red/orange undertones are also warm. They are brighter and tend to draw attention to the area of the face they are applied on. Cool colors or colors with blue/violet/green undertones are soothing and tend to give you an understated look.

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