Finding the Right Neutrals – Warm & Cool

Why do some neutrals look better on us than others?  The likely reason is that the ‘undertone’ of these neutrals is in harmony with that of our skintone.    Like our skintone, colours have an undertone as well.

In describing undertones, we use the words ‘warm’ and ‘cool’ to describe the ‘feel’ we get from them.

In this colour wheel, we roughly divide warm and cool colours this way:

In general, if a colour has more ‘yellow’, it’s considered ‘WARM’, if it has more blue, black or white, it’s ‘COOL’.

Left: Cool Neutrals (colour combo)
Right: Warm Neutrals (colour combo)


How do we know if a colour is WARM or COOL?

Truth is:  determining a single colour’s undertone is  DIFFICULT.  The best way to do so is by COMPARISON.

If Colour A has no yellow in it, while Colour B has, then Colour A is COOL

So, the presence of yellow / a greater amount of yellow makes a colour ‘warm’ or ‘warmer’ than another.

A greater amount of blue, black or white in a colour makes it ‘cooler’ than another.

The colour on the right has the most yellow, therefore it is the ‘warmest’ among the 3 colours.

Even blues can be warm.
Left: Coolest colour, Right: Warmest (has the most yellow)


If your skin tone is warm, then the colours that are in harmony with you are warm as well.

If you find that a colour just doesn’t seem ‘right’ on you, it’s likely that that colour has the opposite undertone.  A person who has a warm undertone will find that colours with yellow in them look more  HARMONIOUS with their skin tone.

The following pictures are used the illustrate how colours of a different undertone look out of place – they stick out like a sore thumb, drawing attention to themselves.

Original Colour Scheme (done by Nippon iColour Visualiser)
Warm Neutrals



The colour of the decorative partition has been changed. Notice how it doesn’t jive with the rest of the colours in the combination. The original on the left looks a lot better. This colour is too ‘cool’ for the whole colour combination.


The same partition has been ‘repainted’ – this colour is better than the earlier one, but it’s still not the best.


Finally, this colour fits best into the general colour scheme. It attracts the right amount of attention without being strangely out of place.

The same principle applies in choosing neutrals for your outfits.

To find the best neutrals for you:

  1. find out your skin undertone
  2. select different colours and put them against your face, ask yourself, does the colour look ‘weird’ on me?  If the colour shouts for attention in a negative way, then it isn’t the right colour for you.





Software for Mixing & Matching Clothes

Updated (again!) 2/8/2013 – The site below ( is no longer available through that link it seems.  I’m not sure if it is now called something else.  If I come across something like this again, I’ll do another update!

Updated: 23/7/2013 – Another site worth looking at…


Changing one’s appearance takes a lot of courage.  We all want to dress sharp and trendy, but a little part of us is also rather insecure about wearing something new and ‘unlike’ us.  What if it doesn’t work?  More often than not, we settle for ‘safe’ and classic and what everyone says is ‘us’.  Well, being all that is good, but I’m sure many of us would like to try something new some time.

One of the ways of dealing with style uncertainties is to try out online makeovers.  Virtual makeovers have been around for a while now.  They are software that allow us to ‘try out’ clothes, hairstyles and makeup to see if we look good in them or not.  I got to try out a couple of them and want to share my adventures with you.  You might even find that it will worth your while trying them out.

First one…. “My Virtual Model”

1.  Select your body shape (V, A, 8), if your waist is defined or not, your height and weight, and choose a hairstyle / colour that suits you.  You can upload your own picture if you want.

Start with giving your virtual model some vital statistics

Here’s what my model looks like

Next, choose what you want to dress your model with…

My model in casuals.

Dressed for a party….

I find this a rather good software to play around with because of the following reasons:

  • shows the good and the bad in our clothing choices fairly well (it confirms that I don’t look good in babydolls and some other items.)
  • good for colour matching purposes.  You can see the combination there and then.

The cons would be:

  • it doesn’t take body variations into consideration (eg. fat and crooked knees and heavy upper arms etc etc)
  • not 3-D – the shoes just don’t look good here
  • only for women.  (I’m yet to find something good for men.)

I treat it as a game, so I don’t expect too much out of it.  Have fun if you’re going to try it out!

True Colours

You take a double-take as you walk past a store. Something calls your name. “Ahhhh….” You see a shirt in the style & design you’ve been looking for! You check it out.

‘Style’ – Check.

‘Cutting’ – Check.

‘Size’ – Double Check (Perfect!)

But wait a minute…. ‘Colour’ – eerrrr……

5 colours. Well, it’s 4 TOO many colours to choose from.

You like them all. You look in the mirror, holding up one colour after another….. doing some sort of comparison; but they all look good.

Your brain begins to do its work….. “This blue and pink are hard to match. I don’t own many such items because of that. This red is SO nice but it’s a bit bright…not sure if I can take it. The purple is good too….”
Oh, your brain hurts because it hates making such decisions. You settle for black. A safe colour, you say, and it’s slimming too!

You walk out of the store with another black item to add to half of your wardrobe in the same colour – just to be safe. But somewhere in the back of your mind, fleeting between conscious- and unconsciousness, you wonder how long it’ll be before you can break out of the colour rut.

  • Do you want to be confident in your colour choice? Not just stay ‘safe’?
  • Do you know that there is a way for you to determine what your BEST colours are?
  • Are you ready to learn and discover other colours that can look fabulous on you?

If you want to feel confident the next time you choose colour for clothes, come and talk with me. After I have analysed your unique colouring, you will get a Personalised Colour Swatch containing 45 of your best colours in various shades in a convenient palm-sized pack. Take it with you when you shop for clothes, accessories, glasses frames, and even your home deco! You just need to compare the colour of an item with a similar colour in your swatch to see if it flatters you or not! Simple!

Today might well be the day you begin to make wiser colour selections and save money, time and stress whenever you shop for clothes.


The Colours of the Rainbow

Rainbows are happy miracles.

Seeing one after a storm brings such a sense of gladness that it’s hard to describe.  You feel a sense of awe and hope.  It prompts you to stop what you’re doing so you can take it all in and wish time stood still for that very moment.  It induces a deep reverence for nature and a leap of joy in your heart.

Rainbows bring happiness.  Were they in shades of brown and grey, they would not attract us so.  But they come in exciting bright colours and that makes them so special.

Rainbows ARE happiness.

When you feel a little blue, glum or grey, gravitate towards your happy colours.

My happy colours are orange, tomato red and lime green.  What are yours?