Use colour theory to pick the right make-up

Friday, 4 August 2017

Want to add a pop of colour to your make-up routine but not sure what colours to pair together or which shades will suit you best? Understanding colour theory is key to ensure that you use the most complementary colour combinations. Amp up the colour in your make-up routine with these simple colour theory guidelines:

Primary colours
The three primary colours are red, yellow and blue. The truly unique thing about these three colours is that they cannot be mixed from any other shade, yet they make up all of the other colours on the spectrum.

Secondary colours
Secondary colours are created by mixing two primary colours together. These colours are: orange (red + yellow), green (yellow + blue) and purple (blue + red).

Tertiary colours 
Tertiary colours are created by mixing a primary colour with a secondary colour and can be found between a primary and a secondary colour on the colour wheel. These shades are: red-orange, yellow-orange, green-yellow, blue-green, blue-violet and red-violet.

Complementary colours

Complementary colours are found directly across from one another on the colour wheel and can be paired together for a vibrant look. The most common complementary combinations are blue + orange, red + green and yellow + purple. For an intense pop of colour, pair an orange eye shadow with blue eyeliner. If you prefer to keep your make-up more understated, why not pair a statement red lip with a pale green eye shadow above the lash line?

We love: L’Oréal Paris Infallible Lip Paint + + Stella Waterproof Eyeliner  + Dolce & Gabbana Perfect Moni Eyeshadow + MAC Retro Matte in Ruby Woo

Analogous colours

Analogous colours consist of three or four colours adjacent to one another on the colour wheel. As the colours are quite similar, combining them creates a subtle harmonious look. Want a feminine daytime look? Pair a bold pink lip with a coral blush and a light peach eye shadow.

We love: Yardley Stayfast Liquid Matte Lip Vinyl + L.A Girl Glow Blush Collection +3INA The Cream Eyeshadow

Warm vs. cool colours

The colour wheel can be divided into two sections: warm colours and cool colours. Warm colours have red / yellow undertones and cool colours have blue undertones. Understanding the difference between warm and cool shades is particularly beneficial when selecting foundation, concealer and lipstick shades as it ensures that the shade you select perfectly suits your skin tone. It is important to remember that red can have both warm and cool undertones.

Other articles you may be interested in:

Contouring with Elizabeth Arden

Find the perfect red lipstick

Determine your skin undertone

Trend to try: Unicorn make-up

How to wear matte lipstick





Want to write a comment? Sign in here sign up now
Tell your friends
  1. Zaheera Packery

    Love this article!! Very informative! Would love to understand how it fits into my skin tone to get the best effects!!

    2 years ago •

  1. Fayyaadhah Bux

    Amazing colors
    Photography on point !

    2 years ago •

  1. Fayyaadhah Bux

    Great tips , Thanks so much

    2 years ago •

  1. Diana Van Den Berg

    Thanx for the tips, it will definitely make a difference next time I mix and match makeup.

    2 years ago •

BeautySouthAfrica - your pre-shop stop for all things beauty is South Africa’s most comprehensive online beauty magazine and your pre-shop stop for product information and reviews. From the latest international make-up trends to the hottest new products on the market, we offer insights into the glamorous world of beauty. Join like-minded beauty fanatics in our loyalty program and earn points, trial beauty products and share your experiences.

Become a beauty addict!

Get great deals and climb the ladder to a Gold Star!


Sign In