Seasonal Color Analysis – color harmony – and skincare: how the colours we wear change the perception of our complexion

We take great care of our skin through treatments and cosmetics, but we should not forget that in support of these practices, the colours we wear can also help us to make our face radiant and enhanced. 

Colour (of hair, make-up and tops, which are in close contact with the face), being a physical phenomenon, interacts with our natural skin, lip and eye colours and this interaction can be positive or negative. 

It is the undertone of the skin, the background colour of our complexion, that is responsible for this interaction. Our undertone can be either warm or cool, and the best colour effect is achieved when the colours we wear ‘repeat’ the same temperature as our complexion: a warm undertone harmonises with warm colours, while a cool undertone harmonises with cool colours. 

What happens if we contrast our undertone with the colors we wear? 

Let’s take a practical example: if a person has a cold undertone, i.e. tending towards blue rather than yellow, with a pinkish overtone, and wears warm colours, the face will look yellowed and any imperfections (discolouration, wrinkles, enlarged pores) will be perceived as more pronounced. 

The contrast between the different colour temperatures in fact causes the skin to react, which will appear more marked and aged. Similarly, when a person with a warm undertone and a golden overtone wears cold colours, their skin becomes greying, pale and dyschromic. 

So colours, just like cosmetics, are responsible not only for the brightness and tone of the skin but also for its texture. Enlarged pores, shine, dehydration and various imperfections that alter the surface of the skin can be visually corrected with what are known as ‘friendly colours’, the basic concept of the now well-known discipline known as Armchromy or Seasonal color analysis. 

Born in Hollywood in the 1920s during the transition of cinema from black and white to technicolour, thanks to make-up artists and costume designers responsible for the success of the looks of the great divas of the past, today it is in the midst of a revival in various countries, including Italy, which is seeing a great deal of this type of content in image-focused social networks such as Instagram and TikTok. 

It’s not only a matter of temperature

Another factor that affects the perception of the face is saturation, which we will exemplify: a person with fair skin and dark eyes and hair when wearing a light, opaque colour veiled in grey (an example: sage green) will look “dull” in the face, because a high contrast between skin and hair wants bright colours (an emerald green is better). 

Similarly, a person with light hair, who is delicate as a whole, may look pale when wearing colours that are too dark and bright because they are overpowered by the intensity of the colour. 

The balance of colours around the face, as we can see, is not an element to be underestimated or neglected if you want to create a pleasant and harmonious contour to make your skin and iris stand out, whether light or dark, which can certainly benefit from the friendly colours that light it up, making it brighter and more vivid. 

In addition to a good skincare routine, therefore, being aware of the colours that harmonise with our skin is another effective beauty ally to use to our advantage.

About the author of the post: 

Elisa Bonandini è Beauty & Style Expert specializzata in Armocromia e Face Styling, autrice di 3 guide di bellezza e stile “Smart Beauty, ridisegna la tua immagine” editi da EIFIS Editore. Collabora con aziende nei settori moda, ottica, make-up e cosmesi come speaker e content creator ed è contributor per diversi magazine femminili, tra cui Donnamoderna, per cui cura lo speciale di Armocromia.

Elisa Bonandini is a Beauty & Style Expert specialised in Seasonal color analysis and Face Styling, author of 3 beauty and style guides “Smart Beauty, redesign your image” published by EIFIS Editore. She collaborates with companies in the fashion, optics, make-up and cosmetics sectors as a speaker and content creator and is a contributor for various women’s magazines, including Donnamoderna, for which she writes the Armocromia (Seasonal color analysis) special.


-“Smart Beauty Lei, Ridisegna la tua immagine”, di Elisa Bonandini, Eifis Editore, 2018

– “Reinvent yourself with color me beautiful: four seasons of color, make-up and style” di Johanne Richard, Taylor Trade Pub., 2008

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