The Pout Painters

Duo of Beauty Bloggers & Makeup Enthusiasts

Friday, 24 March 2017

Luscious Contour Kit Matte Drama - Swatches & Review


Hello people! It’s officially Spring in Pakistan so now is the perfect time to bring out those vibrant outfits and experiment with makeup. There are tons of contour and highlight products available in different formulas these days. Unfortunately, most of them have inaccurate contour shades making them unusable so we were excited to find the Luscious Contour Kit Matte Drama in the mail.

Luscious already has a contour kit out in the market but we haven’t tried that one. The previous contour kit had a powder formula but this one has a cream shade besides three powder ones. Let’s check it out, shall we?



The Product Claims


You asked, we listened! Presenting a brand new version with a flair for drama! Featuring a combination of 2 blendable, ultra-matte powder contour shades, a matte highlighter, and a cream luminizer that work together to create gorgeous celebrity-grade contours on any complexion or face shape. Advanced light-adjusting technology ensures the results always look natural. Use the contour shades for shading and defining, the highlighter for emphasizing and the illuminator for a strobe-like glow. Let the drama begin!

Dark Drama: Use it for a deep contour effect on the hollows of your cheeks and jaw line.
Medium Drama: Use it to diffuse the lines of Dark Drama, and to contour your forehead and sides of the nose. If you have a very pale complexion, use it as the main contour shade.
Matte Highlighter: Use it under the eyes in a “V” shape to highlight the under eye area, on your cupid's bow, and forehead.
Cream Luminizer: A special formula that mimics light. Use it on your cheek bones, the bridge of your nose, under your brow bone, or anywhere you want a strobing effect.




Ingredients


Dark Drama: Talc, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Isopropyl Myristate, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, MAY CONTAIN: Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491) Iron Oxides (CI 77492), Iron Oxides (CI 77499)

Medium Drama: Talc, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Isopropyl Myristate, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, MAY CONTAIN: Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491) Iron Oxides (CI 77492), Iron Oxides (CI 77499)

Matte Highlighter: Talc, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Isopropyl Myristate, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, MAY CONTAIN: Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491) Iron Oxides (CI 77492), Iron Oxides (CI 77499), Yellow 6 Lake (CI 15985)

Cream Luminizer: Petrolatum, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Mineral Oil, Synthetic Wax, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Ozokerite, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Synthetic Beeswax, Polymethyl Methacrylate, MAY CONTAIN: Mica (CI 77019), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491), Tin Oxide (CI 77861).

What Do We Think?


Cream Luminizer: Warm light gold, good for warm South Asian skin tones. Creamy but a bit more glittery than I'd like my cream highlight to be causing the glitter to splay in all directions even if you blend a little more than just dabbing your finger over it.



Matte HighlighterNot a true yellow but the pigmentation is controlled. It's something in-between a yellow and beige which looks like a dull yellow with more white in it on warm skin. I personally do not like to use matte yellow highlights. I feel they are just an unnecessary addition to the layers of makeup on my face. But you can use this as a brow-bone highlight, on the front planes of the face for that subtle lift or to clean up your eye shadow fallout if you already set your under eyes leaving that area brighter. It doesn’t have good blending power but since it’s such a light colour you can get away with it.

After swatching the contour shades a thousand times and putting them on myself and anyone I could find, I can talk about them without any second thoughts. Both the shades are totally matte with no micro shimmer at all, unlike Inglot HD sculpting powders which do not reflect noticeable light anyway.



Medium DramaThe lighter shade has strong red undertones which is basically wrong for contouring. The pigmentation is excellent and I didn't feel them to be chalky either (not the Inglot quality though). The swatch didn't appear to be as patchy as the Dark Drama’s but did not blend well. The depth is okay to contour medium skin but its tone is way too warm. It’s okay as a bronzer but doesn’t blend. However, due to the red undertone no matter how lightly you apply and convince yourself that no it could look good, the moment you step out in daylight it shows up red and unflattering.



Dark DramaI couldn't tell what the undertone on this shade is because it won't blend! I tried so hard to break the pigment down but it won't budge from the place so much so that my skin started irritating after continuous brush strokes. This shade swatches patchy and sits in lines. My face looked freshly bruised and burnt after applying this shade over the top of the lighter one. I asked everyone around me how does it look and you can guess their answers.



BUT, are these contour colours completely useless? No. The lighter shade with red undertones is a perfect bronzer on me (bronzers have red undertones not orange) while I was afraid to use the darker shade as bronzer due to poor blend-ability. I will continue using the cream highlight but not on important occasions or anyone who wants me to do their makeup. However, in cool and mild weather, this product does last well enough and the glitter of the cream just sits on top.


Packaging & Value:

The packaging is actually very good being compact, sturdy, metallic, light-weight, having equal pan sizes and enough space between the pans preventing mixing. It is travel-friendly because of its size, shape, weight and material. The net weight is 12g so I guess that includes the packaging not just the amount of product you get. The price does seem a bit excessive taking the weight into consideration but there are manufacturing costs involved. I would have been happy paying that price if the product delivered but unfortunately, it was a fail for me because of the powder shades not blending. If they blended well I would have been able to use them as bronzers or eye shadows.

We look forward to more face products from Luscious with suitable shades and improved formulas.









Price

PKR2250

Pros

High pigmentation
Light weight
Travel friendly
Sturdy

Cons

Warm contour shades
Poor blendability

Our Rating

2/5

What is your favourite product to contour with? Have you tried this one out yet?

Love,
Fizzah & Sadaf

Disclaimer: This is a personal blog edited by its owners and the opinions expressed here belong solely to its owner's. For questions and queries please email at thepoutpainter@gmail.com

PR sample(s) for consideration. This, however, has not affected my sincere opinions as my loyalty is to the readers. For further details, check our Blog Policy.
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Monday, 5 December 2016

Top Makeup Mistakes To Avoid On Your Big day

Makeup Mistakes Bridal Makeup Makeup Artists Pakistani Makeup Artists

Disclaimer: The views mentioned here are based on our collective observations of various artists and are not meant to bash any particular person. We do believe all five fingers are not equal and therefore resemblance of any below mentioned mistake to any person’s work is purely coincidental.

Hello ladies! Wedding season is upon us so get ready for some mouth-watering quormas and cringe-worthy bridal makeup. Yes, we have all lamented at how bridal makeup artists in Pakistan have ruined the beautiful faces of our friends and relatives. It’s high time we put our foot down and address this issue. 

We are not makeup artists but by studying international professionals and heeding their advice, we have learned to pinpoint basic mistakes (we are neither talking nor judging trends here). Our aim is not to bash anyone but to help you identify these problems and deal with them before you face a catastrophe of epic proportions on your wedding day.

Onto the main event!

Foundation

Coverage

Perhaps the most talked about mistake in makeup is the “cake face” where the bride looks like a pastry with lots of whipped cream slathered over her face. This totally hides the skin beneath giving her an unnatural plastic mannequin appearance implying that you have lots to hide. Not just the foundation but the setting powder used on top also has coverage. The powdery matte result does not look appealing at all.

Most people do not need high coverage even if they will be having a flash photography session. Foundation is meant to even out your skin. Since most women are blessed with pretty even skin, they don’t need layer after layer of full coverage foundation all over their face. Renowned British celebrity makeup artist, Lisa Eldridge, explains how to tackle problematic skin beautifully. She suggests applying a thin layer all over and then going in with a full coverage concealer to spot conceal. This gives you gorgeous even skin without any heavy feel. The tricky bits are completely covered and the areas which were already even don’t have high coverage.

It’s not true that you need more coverage for night time as compared to daytime. If proper spot concealing and colour correcting has been done then a heavy layer of full coverage foundation makes no sense. You could take precautions for flash photography though. Make sure the products your MUA uses have minimum amounts of silica and mica which cause flashback. Take a test photo with flash to see the effect. Otherwise, avoid flash photography on your wedding day.

Wrong Shade

All the exposed areas are not one color. The bride posing with mehndi covered hands near her face clearly shows that while the face looks like vanilla frosting, the hands are like caramel syrup. You may have seen ladies who fake tan using a darker foundation shade that matches their body even though you cannot fake tan your face. This is the correct way to go about it regardless of what shade your face actually is. 

As colourism is rife in South Asia, you often notice that brides are made to look like porcelain dolls courtesy of inferiority complexes left over after British colonization. Now porcelain is actually cool toned and light. This is a rare complexion in our region which means that a high majority of brides are painted with the wrong tone and depth of color. Most people in Pakistan have undertones purely yellow or a mixture of yellow and peach. They are most warm toned so this popular light cool toned foundation shade turns them grey and ashy. In short: a lifeless zombie.

Blush

Wrong Shade

As we have already established that the incorrect base has been made, the bridal makeup artist cannot exactly choose the right blush shade for their client. We have looked through a lot of bridal makeup by famous names in Pakistan and have come to the conclusion that they probably just have one or two shades that they use on everyone. It’s not a secret that bridal salons in our country are more like bridal factories. Oh, well at least they are churning out consistent albeit eerily similar brides. The favorite blush color is a bright warm pink, which looks absolutely garish against the fake porcelain foundation. 

You probably realize that blush shades depend on skin undertone meaning warm blushes are usually recommended for warmer skins, cool ones for cooler undertones and so on. It is important to note that the depth of the blush also determines the level of drama you wish to achieve. Apparently, our local bridal MUAs think the bride has been cast in an 18th century English play so they go with that stark contrast. There are countless blush shades, which are to be chosen according to your overall color theme, complexion and level of definition you give to the rest of your facial features. More on this balance later. Using the same color for your blush and lipstick is a splendid idea but of course, the blush should be considerably lighter. 

Bad Application

Contrary to popular belief, there is more than one way to apply blush. The bridal makeup artist must determine this by your face shape.

The convention in Pakistan is to apply the blush all over the cheek from the ear to the apple to everyone. Heaven forbid if they tried blending it upwards towards the cheekbone and temples.

When you flush naturally, warmth creeps up towards your temples. A blushing bride should surely flush like a human being. This style of application also helps slim down and lengthens your face slightly so it’s a good one for wide round faces (avoiding the apples). It is not wise to pull attention to your apples if you have round/broad face shape so the blush is kept closer to the perimeter. Those with narrower longer faces benefit from blush dusted backwards from the apples as it gives the appearance of fuller cheeks. This is also true for more square jawed ladies because it imparts a softer feel. However, if this doesn’t work for you it’s best to go with the way you naturally flush. 

Highlighter

Cheekbones

2016 was the year of the glow and let’s just say consumer brands have earned a lot from this trend via influencers. Our bridal makeup artists love trends and this particular one has been exploited in shocking ways. We have seen everything from a band of shimmery highlighter going from cheekbone to apple to oily faces created by full-face application of strobe creams. A more recent observation of ours is highlighter applied in circular motions on the apples of the cheeks. Some go as far to dust the face with a glittery powder.

How many of you actually glow like that? Yes we are aware that ladies with oily skin do look like oil slicks at times but no one wants to look like that on their wedding day. Our skin is not naturally matte so a matte face is a statement look. Our natural oils give us sheen on the high points of our faces. Since we want to appear naturally beautiful as brides, it is a good idea to add some luminosity. Target these high points with any highlighter that is slightly warmer than your undertone and don’t put too much. The blush shade selection rule goes for highlighter as well. Gold highlighter is not for cool toned skin and pink highlighter looks ashy on warm toned skin. 

Browbone

This deserves a special mention because the situation is dire. I have seen our local bridal MUAs use white cream shadow or a light concealer to clean up the brows and highlight them from brow bone to crease. I kid you not! On top of that, they liberally apply golden or white glittery shimmer.

Don’t pick a brow bone highlight shade that is too far from your natural skin so beiges and creams are good picks. Stick with matte eye shadow and if you are really in the mood for some sheen, then place it right under your arch.

Contour

Cheeks

Unfortunately, the contour craze carried into this year as well. The Kim Kardashian may have helped the world rediscover contour but not everyone is Mario. Following a trend blindly gets you nowhere. People had no idea how to pick a contour shade or what it was supposed to do. All they knew was that they needed a brown shade and it would make their face appear thinner. As consumer brands did not make contour shades before people used bronzers instead which are for warming up your complexion. We have even seen Pakistani makeup artists use dark pink blushes instead to accomplish this. The result is a thick straight stripe of dark warm brown below the bride’s cheeks. What purpose does it serve? None, except to make her look weird may be.

The contour kits you see today do have a few colors and even one contouring shade for medium skin if you are lucky. The trouble is that makeup artists choose the darker warmer shade believing it will give their brides that “intense” look. The fact is that contour application is meant to redraw the natural shadows on your face (under your cheekbones, jaw line, etc.). Your natural shadow is always cooler against your skin so any colour that looks warm against your skin cannot be a contour shade for you. That would be a bronzer.

Nose

I mention this separately because I want to scream every time I see how our local bridal makeup artists contour a nose. This is, again, done with a warm brown shade; too much product is applied and then left unblended. Everyone is given the same nose sculpting style which makes no sense because we have a variety of nose shapes. What they do is basically start working down the bridge from the brows and make two straight lines ending at the tip. The sides of the nostrils are shaded and the area below the tip. A shimmery highlight is placed all the way down the bridge of the bride’s nose and the tip looks like a tiny ball of sparkles.

If you are unsure about how to contour a certain nose it’s better to skip it rather than butcher it; most people don’t need it anyway. I have already done a detailed guest post on nose sculpting. The nose contour shade should match your natural facial shadows. Shading under the tip shortens your nose so it’s not a smart idea for those with small noses. Blending the sides of the bridge slims it down so if you already have a thin bridge, don’t touch it. This is especially true if your face is round or wide. If your nose is flatter, highlighting the tip of your nose with a matte shade makes it seem more pointed so avoid that if your nose is naturally pointed. Remember never to use a shimmery highlight anywhere on the front planes of your face because it makes your face appear oily. Your cheekbones, inner corner of your eye and the small space right under your eye brow arch maybe enhanced by it without looking oily.

Jawline

Thankfully, the jaw line is more or less hidden but still, the contour there is left unblended and most of our bridal makeup artists do it to everyone regardless of their face shape. A square or narrow jaw should not be contoured because it will look unnaturally harsh and abnormally thin then. Again, there is only one contour shade for your entire face which must be slightly cooler and darker than your foundation shade not a warm dark blush shade as some MUAs here are fond of using for the jaw line. 

Forehead

I am sure most of you know that contouring withdraws attention from the area you place it on making it recede from your vision. Brides with smaller foreheads should never have contour taken way up there because it will make it appear even smaller. You probably have a headpiece there already to take up space and contouring is just going to make things worse. If you contour there it’s best to keep it as close to the hairline as possible. It works very well for larger foreheads.  

Brows

A major issue with Pakistani bridal MUAs is the destruction of brows. Brows frame a face so they can make or break your look. Most of our local MUAs are fond of using black or dark brown powder for all brides no matter their natural hair colour. They apply it horizontally with an angled brush and focus on the central line. The entire brow is the same shade intensity and the tips are often ignored. You are familiar with the end result: sloppy and strange. You will have seen harsh boxy brows and Instagram brows too. 

There is no excuse for bad brows because a MUA can literally create a full natural brow from scratch as you may have seen in tutorials. The right shade and gentle hair-like strokes are important. Stick with your natural shape and keep a light hand near the inner corner particularly for close set eyes. Threading is also a culprit when it comes to boxy unnatural brows. Those little hairs at the edges that give that natural look to your brows are ripped off while threading. Try tweezing them for a while instead and see the difference for yourself. Fuller brows give a more youthful appearance to your face and luckily, they are a trend these days.  


Eyes

I request a moment of silence for all those brides who had to endure unblended eye shadow and glitter fallout at their weddings. Eyes are the most dramatic part of any traditional bridal look or so they say. The traditional bridal eye makeup consists of yellow-gold glitter on the lid (usually going into the crease), black in the crease and outer corner extended to Mars, a thick black cat eye hiding the lid, kajal spilling out from the waterline in an unblended black line below the eyes and giant false lashes to make sure no one can see the mess they made behind them. Another favourite is black “smokey” eyes with a black eye shadow applied evenly from lash line to brow bone and then winged liner is applied over it with falsies.

Glitter is extremely popular in Pakistan but does it really work for everyone? Please bear in mind glitter and shimmer shadows are not the same thing. While finely milled shimmers and loose pigments look absolutely gorgeous on anyone and can be used in a multitude of ways on the face, it's the chunky glitter that's the culprit here.

Comments like pheeki dulhan, pheeka makeup from some aunties attending your big day are probably the reasons every other bride is made to stand out on her wedding and it's not even wrong to ask for. In fact you should be the one that stands out on your wedding day but a chunky glittery eye is not the right fix for that situation. It's not a natural look if you apply it all over the lid and since most girls here are not used to wearing makeup regularly, they are unable to carry it off. There are eye shapes like hooded eyes or those will small lids that don’t look flattering with a high contrast between the lid and crease which is exactly what a full lid of glitter does. Instead of enhancing the eye it just brings out the fact that their lid space is small. Metallic or intense shimmer eye shadows and loose pigments (of all sorts) can be mixed with mattes to give a beautiful effect even on these eye shapes. If you choose glitter then make sure it is used in a way that brings out your eye shape and you are comfortable with it. 

Most local bridal MUAs try to create maximum contrast between the lid and crease, which is a terrible idea for hooded eyes. They try to create fake creases on brides with hooded eyes or small lids. Your makeup will crack and your natural crease will eventually show. Thick solid eyeliner covers the lid, which is again bad for brides with less lid space. Winged eyeliner is meant to give your eyes more length and also tilt your eyes upwards. It is best for round eyes as it transforms them. Long winged liner is not suitable for people with upturned eyes as it overemphasizes what you already have stealing balance from your face. It is also unsuitable for people with more facial width near the eyes as it will make your face appear wider. People with wide set eyes should not wear long winged liner because it pulls their eyes further apart. Side smoked eyes do the same to this eye shape so it’s better to avoid them. 

The Arabic trend of cat eye is not good for close set eyes because it makes them seem even closer. A solid line on your lower lash line makes you look harsh which is usually not what a bride desires. Solid black eyeliner is quite dramatic on its own and not recommended for those who don’t usually wear it. The discomfort the bride feels with makeup she is not accustomed to clearly shows through. Black in the entire crease is a big NO for the same reason. On deep set eyes, it makes them look set abnormally deeper into the skull. Bright eye shadows are also not fantastic for brides who never wear them otherwise. It is best to stick to soft neutrals in that case. They can make just as much of an impact as black or glitter if used correctly. 

Blending is a major issue in the work of our local bridal MUAs particularly in the outer corner and crease. False strip eyelash brands are making loads of money right now thanks to popular social media influencers who renewed this trend. Not everyone needs them especially those who already have long thick lashes. If you have never worn them before they can make your eyes bloodshot and your eyes might be unable to bear the extra weight. The famous strip eyelashes these days are long and voluminous. The styles seldom vary and the bridal MUA charges you big bucks for them. Some of the ones who charge the most use drugstore strip lashes double stacked. Everyone thinks that wearing these falsies will make them look like dolls. That’s not true. The doll-like eyes are achieved by using falsies that are longer in the middle. For a cat eye effect, the falsies are longer at the outer corners. Bear in mind that they can easily make you look unnatural. The long ones often touch your brow bone and look out of place on small faces. The thick long ones people drool over hide the entire eye makeup at times so what’s the point then? Individual eyelashes are also an option but again, they are a choice and not mandatory as our bridal MUAs want us to believe. Overall, the eye makeup lacks neatness and common sense.


Lips

No one is fooled by overdrawn lips and you just look desperate in them. Changing your natural lip shape merely ruins the balance of your natural features. Our local brides often wear lipsticks with tones clashing against their blush’s tone and competing in intensity with their eyes. Bright lips are not for everyone and depend on how comfortable the bride feels in them. Dark lips tend to age you and make thin lips appear thinner. No bride wants to look older than her age but sadly, that is the exact effect our bridal MUAs produce. If you can carry dark lipsticks off and your makeup is well balanced then rock them but otherwise it’s better to be safe than sorry.

There are several other things you may have noticed but these are the main problems Pakistan bridal MUAs need to work on. The outfit, jewellery, hair, personality, features and preferences of the bride all must be given priority during makeup application. Your wedding day is meant to celebrate your uniqueness not transform you into someone you are not and make you a product of a bridal factory. 


Bad Makeup Does Not Equal Good Photos

We don’t believe that bad bridal makeup equals good wedding photos because it has been proved time and time again by amazing world renowned makeup artists. Although the super intense lighting that our wedding photographers love to use actually washes out a lot of colour and intensity in the makeup essentially “hiding” it BUT we can still see untidiness, bad blending, poor colour choice and shade placement in the photos. Have a chat with your photographer and have them take a few test photos to decide what arrangements they can make to capture the best shots. 

So, ladies, when you book a bridal makeup appointment make sure your money is not being wasted. Be attentive as your makeup is being applied and feel free to point out any such flaws you see. It is your face and your money. You have every right to dictate what goes on your face. In the end, it’s not the bridal MUA’s loss but yours when you look like a train wreck. Don’t be fooled into becoming a victim.

We picked up all of these elements from the works of our various artists we see every day on Facebook and Instagram and created these looks for you guys.

Makeup Mistakes Bridal Makeup Makeup Artists Pakistani Makeup Artists

Makeup Mistakes Bridal Makeup Makeup Artists Pakistani Makeup Artists

Makeup Mistakes Bridal Makeup Makeup Artists Pakistani Makeup Artists


Here we would like to clarify two points. Firstly, while we strongly believe the bridal makeup in South Asia is very much inspired from Middle East, Arabs and Youtube/Instagram artists, this post was not about any of those trends although one could always use them too on a client if they will but of course within reason, but this post was merely about the sheer makeup mistakes and abuse of products we see happening around us. Secondly, since we come from a culture which is amazingly colourful and it shows in our weddings and dresses as well, take those heavy colourful joras and put every aforementioned makeup element on one face, can it not easily intimidate anyone looking at that person?

If we put everything in perspective the responsibility doesn't lie solely on the MUAs, our girls too need the right kind of education and its high time we shatter some stupid beauty standards that have been lingering around us.

We neither like naming anyone nor do we encourage any of our readers to do so, disagree with their work but maintain the respect as well.  

If you are getting married soon, good luck and if you are already married, share your experience in the comments below. We would love to hear about the bridal makeup you have seen at local weddings. Feel free to disagree with any or all of what we have said above but refrain from using any kind of foul language.

Love,

Sadaf & Fizzah



Disclaimer: This is a personal blog edited by its owners and the opinions expressed here belong solely to its owner's. For questions and queries please email at thepoutpainter@gmail.com
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Sunday, 23 October 2016

How To - Create Foundation Colours Using Colour Theory

Foundation Colours Colour Theory Artiste Palette

This post by no way is meant to match you with a foundation shade, rather to give you basic knowledge to see foundation colours properly, decide what could be your skin tone and undertone, and if need be, how to mix and manipulate the foundation shades from the three primary colours or the existing foundation colours.

What do you think is the most important feature on your face?

For the longest of time the one thing, I thought, mattered the most in makeup were the eyes. If I wanted to get it right, get it perfect, I’d ensure the eyes had the perfect amount and number of colours, correct placement and proper blending until I began looking at professional makeup artists’ work online, websites, Youtube, ads, bridals, their Instagrams. As I saw more of their work photos, I realised it’s never about putting two different transition shadows in the sockets of the eyes, use a separate highlighter on the brow bone, a separate one in the inner corners and really as if you put your whole energy on the eyes alone. It was never meant to be about the eyes alone.

Skin is the biggest feature you and I have. The base, the foundation is what that ties everything else together.

The skin done so perfectly that I cannot but be flabbergasted at the imperfections we all are made of.

The makeup so amazing that it brings out the best version of the person sitting in their chair. And it, for the most part, had to do with the foundation done right.

Theory and the right theory matters a lot before you try your hands on anything practical. As my teeny-tiny contribution to that, here I am going to talk about the little bit about colour theory and foundations I have learnt in the past few days.

Disclaimer: I neither claim to be a pro nor an educationist, because to teach I believe, you must possess years of hands-on experience and knowledge. This is my attempt at sharing what I have learnt and I will continue to do so in the future as well.

Before we go into skin colours, there are some essential terms related to colour theory which everyone, who either wants to put makeup on others, mix colours, foundations or even wants to perfect their makeup, should know.

Here goes..

Colour Theory Basics

Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Colours:

Color Colour Wheel Betty Edwards
Colour Wheel - Color by Betty Edward

This is probably elementary school stuff and you all must already know there are three primary colours:

  • Yellow,
  • Red and,
  • Blue.

Primary colours are those which are what you need, along with white and black, to create literally ANY colour in the world. Primary colours are basically the parent colours and cannot be created by mixing any colour; you have to have them to create any other hue (colour)! Yellow is the lightest warm primary, Red is a medium, very warm primary and Blue is the dark very cool primary colour.

Mixing any two primary colours gives you a secondary colour. These are also three in total:
  • Orange (Yellow + Red),
  • Violet (RedBlueand,
  • Green (Yellow + Blue).

There are six tertiary colours which are created by mixing one primary and one secondary colour and are named with the primary parent mentioned first:

  • YellowOrange (Yellow Yellow Red)
  • RedOrange (Red Red Yellow),
  • RedViolet (Red Red Blue) ,
  • BlueViolet (Blue Blue Red),
  • BlueGreen (Blue Blue Yellowand, 
  • YellowGreen (Yellow Yellow Blue).

YellowOrange is two parts yellow and one part red hence it leans more towards YellowSimilarly, RedOrange is two parts Red and one part Yellow hence leans more towards Red! Add one colour in a bit more quantity and it overtakes the hue.

You can also understand it like this, the Orange in YellowOrange is itself made from Yellow and Red. So adding a bit more Yellow to it gives us YellowOrange. Similarly the Green in YellowGreen is made up of Yellow and Blue, adding a bit more Yellow to it creates the YellowGreen hue.

Analogous and Complementary Colours:

Betty Edwards Color Colour Wheel Complementary Colours
Colour Wheel - Color by Betty Edward

Complementary colours are not the same as complimentary colours. Complementary colours mean the ones that complete each other. In other words, mixing any two complementary colours neutralises (cancels) the hue. They are any two colours exactly opposite each other on the colour wheel. Yellow and Violet are complements, Orange and Blue are complements; similarly Red-Violet and Yellow-Green are complements. The complement of a primary colour is a secondary colour and that of a tertiary colour is a tertiary colour.

Have you ever looked at two colours and thought to yourself, ‘these two go so well together!’

Analogous colours are the ones lying next to each other on the colour wheel such as Yellow, Yellow-Orange, Orange, Red-Orange and Red. Analogous colours may be any three, four or at the most five colours lying next to each other on the colour wheel, but not more than five!

Betty Edwards Colour Wheel Analogous Colours
Colour Wheel - Color by Betty Edward

Notice how, if we added Red-Violet to the above mentioned group of analogous colours, it looks out of proportion? Red-Violet involves Blue which is opposite Yellow (complementary!) and contradicts the actual definition of analogous colours.

Do you see what I mean?

What Do We Get By Mixing The Three Primary Colours?

A brown.

Any two complementary colours when added give a brown hue or a type of brown hue.

Neutralisation Browns Complementary Colours
Book - Color by Betty Edward

Brown Primary Colours Colour Theory Neutralisation

The logic behind mixing complements and getting a brown hue and getting the similar result by mixing three primary colours is because any two complementary colours, when broken down into their parent colours, give you a complete set of primary colours.

I hope I am making sense without making things sound complicated!

Let’s take Yellow and Violet for example. What is Violet made up of? A Red and a Blue! So basically when you mix Yellow and Violet, you are actually mixing Yellow and an already mixed hue of Red and Blue. Similarly, two tertiary complements such as Red-Orange and Blue-Green also boil down to three primaries.

It always boils down to the three parent colours!

Hue, Values and Intensities:

All the colours we see around are manipulated from any of the 12 colours (primaries, secondaries and tertiaries) on the colour wheel. These are called hues, the 12 hues on a colour wheel from which every other colour evolves.

Value is the lightness or darkness of any hue relative to a gray scale from white to black. Values are manipulated by adding white - to increase a colour’s value, or black – to decrease a colour’s value.

Value Scale Betty Edwards Colour Theory Colours
Value Scale - Color by Betty Edward

Value Scale Betty Edwards Colour Theory Colours
Book - Color by Betty Edward

Value Scale Betty Edwards Colour Theory Colours

Value Scale Ultramarine Blue Betty Edwards Colour Theory Colours
Value Wheel - Ultramarine Blue

Value Scale Crimson Red Betty Edwards Colour Theory Colours
Value Wheel - Crimson Red

Value Scale Vermilion Red Betty Edwards Colour Theory Colours
Value Wheel - Vermilion Red

Intensity is the dullness or the brightness of any hue relative to another 7 tier scale from pure colour to colour so dull you cannot discern it at all. Intensity of a hue is changed by adding its complement colour to it.

Betty Edwards Intensity Scale Colour Theory
Intensity Scale - Color by Betty Edwards

Betty Edwards Intensity Wheel Orange Colour Theory
Intensity Wheel of Orange - Color by Betty Edwards

Neutralisation Yellow and Orange Betty Edwards Colour Theory
Neutralisation of Yellow and Orange With Blue

I think this term needs to be explained a little bit more. Dullness and brightness actually means how intensely the colour is showing itself. Pure hue will have no amount of its complement added to it, as you start adding the complementary colour it starts losing the intensity and a point reaches when the complement completely neutralises the hue and you cannot discern any hue at all!

Colour Theory Applied To Foundations


The colour theory applied to makeup varies from the one a painter applies on a white/off-white canvas and rightly so, your skin is not a white/off-white canvas.

It’s a living, breathing, coloured organ!

Nevertheless, the core principles remain the same and can be used to learn about the skin and foundations as well.

Believe or not, human skin is made up of reds, yellows, blues and greens mixed in various proportions. Each one of us has our own special proportion of colours to our skin which makes us all different hence unique.

Remember I said every colour you see around somehow goes back to one of the 12 colours on the wheel?

So, what do you think is the source hue for your skin?

Forget about the undertones for now. Just try and take a guess.

Let me help you through the process.

Yellow to Red part of the colour wheel (we will treat Yellow-Green and Green are the as exceptions here) is the obvious warm part and what I like to call the living half of the wheel. Violet to Blue part is the obvious cool part and what I like to call the non-living or better yet, dead half of the colour wheel.

Betty Edwards Colour Wheel Coloue Theory
Colour Wheel - Color by Betty Edwards

I have totally made this up. This might sound lame but will get my point across.

What colour is the Sun? Is it warm? It is associated with life?

What colour is the fire? Is it warm?

Why are Zombies blue and purple? Are they associated with death?

What colour is ice associated to? Why do living beings turn cold when dead?

Can you now limit the source hue choice for your skin from the wheel?

It should be any one hue from the living half of the wheel, should not it?

It’s Yellow-Orange.

All the skin tones are manipulated from this one source hue.

Lighter Value Wheels Yellow-Orange Colour Theory Betty Edwards
Lighter Value Wheels of Yellow-Orange

Skin Tones & Undertones:

The two are very different terms and should not be used interchangeably. I understand it could be difficult for a novice in makeup to differentiate the two.

Yellow-Orange on its own is extremely bright to blend in with any skin tone and needs to be dulled down.

Do you recall how you dull a hue? By adding its complementary colour and the complementary colour to Yellow-Orange is Blue-Violet.

Yellow-Orange+Blue again completes the set of primary colours! And that is what could be used to create various skin tones by changing its value (adding white to increase and black to decrease the value).

Skin tones are usually classified as Beiges and Browns. Any of us could be anywhere between Pale, Light Beige, Medium Beige, Dark Beige, Light Brown, Medium Brown or Dark Brown.

Browns & Beiges Colour Theory Betty Edwards
Browns & Beiges (Have More Yellow) - Lighter Value Scale

Browns & Beiges Betty Edwards Colour Theory
Browns & Beiges (Have More Blue) - Lighter Value Scale

Let’s talk about Desi skin tones and eliminate the obviously wrong choices here. None of us Desis could be pale, if you think you are, chances are you are mistaking your light beige skin colour with pale. Similarly, none of us could be Dark Browns either, those are African skin tones. Desi skin tones usually span over Light Beige, Medium Beige and Light Brown (may be as well). Let’s put it in a simpler way, we could be Light and Medium, neither Pale nor Dark.

Next are the undertones. Since our skin is a living breathing organ, the normal healthy undertone will vary anywhere within the living half of the colour wheel. What that means is, when it comes to undertones your choices are: yellow-green (olives), yellow, yellow-orange, orange, red-orange which in general terms are known as olives, yellow, yellow-peach, peach, peach-pink and pink (a form of red). Desi undertones are usually restricted within yellow and yellow-peach undertones. Pink, peach-pink undertones can also be spotted but I have yet to spot olives in Desi skin tones.

Is anyone one of you olive-toned? I’d love to hear in the comments below.

The moment you infiltrate your undertone with a hue from the non-living half of the colour wheel, it no longer can be used as a normal foundation shade.

Facial contours are shadows; shadows are non-living and cool-toned. That is why the best, actually original, contour shades are cooler than your skin tone. Add a bit of blue hue to your foundation shade and you get its cooler version which you can contour with. No matter how pale one is, I don’t see any point justifying the use of warm contour shades on anyone!
Have you noticed one thing, the two extremes to undertones choices are yellow and red. Add a bit of red hue to a yellow undertoned foundation, its undertone will shift towards yellow-peach. Add a bit more red hue, you get a peach undertone. As you keep adding red colour, the undertone will gradually shift from yellow to pink.

Demonstration With Paints

Just to demonstrate how the colours work together I am using acrylic paints here. Please note, acrylic paints dry darker than they normally appear while mixing. The material I have used are: Titanium White, Ultramarine Blue, Permanent Orange, Ivory Black, The Artiste Palette (which of course you can shop here :D).

Artiste Palette Acrylic Colours Colour Theory

Since Desi skin tones do not really cover Browns and Dark Browns in them I will not show how to darken a skin colour. I will be honest here too, I think darkening a colour while maintaining the undertone is way too difficult than going light.

Begin by taking out a small amount of yellow and white, this will increase the value of yellow since the yellow straight out of the tube is way too bright to work for any skin colour. Mix the two together and add a bit of orange (which has red in it!) to create a peachy shade. Next you need to add a bit of blue to complete the triad of primary colours since the peach colour on its own is very bright to suit any skin colour. Yes, we do have blue in our skin tones but not as much as zombies therefore a tiny bit of blue is what you need. From here I really just played with the colours, added white to increase the value where I needed, added orange to give the colour a slight red undertone, yellow to change the undertone to yellow.

Please note adding white (or black for that matter to darken) to lighten a colour also takes away a bit of life from it, deadens it a bit. Therefore to restore the life, you will need to add a bit of yellow.

You can apply the same mixing and manipulation method to primary colours used in makeup products as well. You will add white as per your skin tone's lightness and red/yellow depending on the undertone. If you are more neutral, you will need to arrive at a balance between red and yellow. It's all about experimenting, mixing and seeing the colours transform in front of you. You will waste a lot of product in the procedure that is why I chose to practice and demonstrate as well with paints.

Artiste Palette Acrylic Colours Colour Theory

Artiste Palette Acrylic Colours Colour Theory

Artiste Palette Acrylic Colours Colour Theory

Artiste Palette Acrylic Colours Colour Theory

Artiste Palette Acrylic Colours Colour Theory

Artiste Palette Acrylic Colours Colour Theory

Artiste Palette Acrylic Colours Colour Theory

Artiste Palette Acrylic Colours Colour Theory

Artiste Palette Acrylic Colours Colour Theory

Artiste Palette Acrylic Colours Colour Theory

Artiste Palette Acrylic Colours Colour Theory

Artiste Palette Acrylic Colours Colour Theory

Artiste Palette Acrylic Colours Colour Theory

Artiste Palette Acrylic Colours Colour Theory

Sources: Color by Betty Edwards, Internet, a bit of Youtube and buckets of wasted paint.

Do let me know in the comments below if you found this post helpful and if you have any more requests.

Love,
Fizzah

Disclaimer: This is a personal blog edited by its owners and the opinions expressed here belong solely to its owner's. For questions and queries please email at thepoutpainter@gmail.com
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