Colour Me Beautiful (or just do your best, dear!)

6282476027_d203c9251d_zSome of the first changes I made to Mr Shambles’ man flat were to liberate it from the Cell-Block H grey windowsills and the Guantanamo Bay detention camp orange bathroom wall. You see, I knew how colour could transform a room and it’s the same with us..

Back in the day, I bought the Carole Jackson’s Colour Me Beautiful book and gave myself a mental breakdown trying to work out what ‘season’ I was. I finally decided that I was a Winter but promised myself that one day I would get my colours done professionally. Recently, Mr Shambles cranked open his wallet and offered to pay so I booked the appointment before he could say, ‘HOW MUCH?’


This is what happens when a tomboy is forced to wear a pink skirt.

Over the past 30 odd years, I’ve found colours which suit me more than others. Aside a pink and green striped woolen skirt which I bought in the 1980’s (when I was most likely on a period) I haven’t really committed any fantastically hideous fashion crimes.

So maybe wearing a girlie pink skirt with my beloved American football shirt was a bit criminal but I was under orders to wear the sodding thing and arguing with Ma wasn’t an option. I was wearing it. End of. The result? I had a gob on me in every holiday photograph where I was wearing it. See picture opposite.

So I arrived at the consultant’s home studio, looking sweaty thanks to an air-con malfunction in the Shambles mobile. I’d been asked to take six tops with me, one of which I wasn’t comfortable wearing. Firstly, the she sat me on a stool in front of a full length mirror. Then she uttered these evil words..

‘OK if I take your make-up off?’

Bearing in mind that only a handful of people have EVER seen me without make-up, I hesitated long enough for her to know that, yes, it WOULD be traumatic, thank you very much!. I even wear my slap to put the bins out, for God’s sake!

And if you saw me au naturel you’d understand why.

After staring at me for a bit, she concluded that I was a ‘warm and clear’ which means that I have a yellow undertone to my skin (which I knew because I naturally look like my liver is packing in, innit) and so I need to wear make-up and clothes which have a yellow undertone. Pastel shades do nothing for me. As she said; ‘They make you look like you’re in dire need of a blood transfusion, dear!’

I was draped in the colours that suited me, then the ones that didn’t so I could see the difference and there was a distinct difference.

Scientificky bit…

Colour analysis is based on the 1898 color theory by artist and professor Albert Munsell. When the colour craze began in the 1980’s, there were only four seasons (Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn) which focused only on whether a person’s undertone was Warm or Cool. This worked well for some but for the majority of people (like me) it didn’t work so well.. hence the breakdown. It was later refined into a new theory:

IMG_0522Deep…Dark and rich.

Light…Light and delicate.

Soft…Soft & muted.

Clear…Clear & bright.

Warm…No cool undertones.

Cool…No warm undertone

I have green eyes (with brown in one of them) so I am a warm and clear when it comes to make-up. Having odd eyes suits my overall personality. They are are different, as am I. The consultant was really taken with them saying, ‘You have the most beautiful eyes, you should really make the most of those!’. *preens*

She went through my tops and told me I was already doing it right. The one I wasn’t sure of was a yellow one. Yellow is in my palette but it was too pale. The right yellow for me is the IN YOUR FACE yellow, DOUBLE YELLOW LINES, yellow.

I’ll pass on the yellow.

I can see how the experience can be life-changing for some women. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut, especially once the menopause kicks in. Why spend time maintaining your bushy bits when you can sprawl out on the sofa in your leggings (with strained gusset) watching the entire box set of Desperate Housewives?

Ma would kick my lazy arse from heaven itself if I gave up on myself. She was applying the lippy even when she’d just had her insides removed due to cancer. She’s my role model. A proud woman who never gave up and neither will I. I intend to make the best of what she sacrificed her foo-foo for.

Most people need guidance now and then and I knew I needed help when I got an answer phone message saying ‘Hi, this is the 1980’s. Can we have our Azure Blue eyeliner back?’

Now I understand that using a cool blue on my green eyes means that people see the eyeliner instead of my eyes. Likewise, using a pink based foundation will only make it blatantly obvious that I’m wearing make-up and black mascara is way too dark for my eyes..

*throws away entire contents of make-up bag*

Having my colours done has given me a much needed boost. What I’m lacking in oestrgoen, I’m making up for with colour.  You take a book of colour swatches home so you can whip em out of your handbag when you shop, thus preventing hormonally imbalanced impulse buys that will end up in the charity shop still with the tags on.

Paying was a bit traumatic but all in all, it was a good experience. The consultant was absolutely lovely and later on in the year I will go back for the style consultation and DENY that I have EVER worn leggings.

‘With THESE thighs? No, dear!’

Or Scholl’s with socks.

Shhhhhhh it’s our little secret. 😉



Header Photo Image Credit by Yann Gar via Creative Commons