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Anti Ageing Colours to Wear

By: Hsin-Yi Cohen BSc, MA, MSt - Updated: 21 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
Anti-ageing Colours Young Youthful

As they age, many people make the mistake of believing that they must wear dark or sombre colours, when in fact, these colours can be the least flattering to older skins which may have lost their youthful flush and radiance. Veteran actress Helen Mirren caused a sensation when she was snapped on holiday in Italy wearing a bright red swimsuit, proving that it is possible to wear bright colours and look good in older age. Selecting the right hues and shades to suit your colouring can be one of the easiest and simplest ways to turn back the clock.

The Black Dilemma

Many people fill their wardrobe with black clothes under the mistaken impression that it is the best colour to wear all the time, especially as you get older. In fact, black can turn into your enemy as you age. Certainly, black is a colour that is suitable for all occasions, is easy to be dressed up or down and can be very slimming – however, beware also that black can be very harsh on older skin tones. It can be very hard and draining on skin that is already lacking in healthy, youthful colour – it can ultimately be very ageing.

Black can also present a very stark silhouette, drawing more attention to the shape of your figure. If it is worn as either a top or a bottom, it can literally 'cut you in half', instead of lengthening your silhouette.

Colour Me Younger

The internationally-successful ‘Colour Me Beautiful’ image consultancy programme recently launched a new book, ‘Colour Me Younger’, which offers advice on how to rethink your wardrobe and turn back time through the use of colours.

Ultimately, choosing anti-ageing colours is all about finding the most flattering shades to suit your natural colouring. According to Pat Henshaw, co-author of the book, a person’s colouring – their skin, hair, eyes – will take on a different appearance depending on what colour they are wearing.

By selecting a colour which harmonises with your own colouring, this will reflect similar tones in your skin and will enhance your natural look. In other words, anti-ageing colours is less about avoiding certain colours because of your age but rather avoiding certain colours because they do not suit your natural colouring, whatever your age.

Here are some guidelines to help you select the right colours to quite your hair and skin tones.

If you have:

Light blonde or white hair, light blue or green eyes and ‘porcelain’ skin

Choose – light, pastel shades or neutral taupe, medium grey or lighter shades of navy

Beware of – wearing two dark colours together as this can overwhelm your natural colouring

Celebrity models: Joely Richardson, Helen Mirren

Black to dark brown hair, dark brown eyes and anything from very dark to very pale skin

Choose – shades of red and pink as these soften the effect of dark colours on the face; this is also one of the few colouring types which suit black.

Beware of – beiges, taupes or whites which don’t suit your colouring – brighter colours may be better; if wearing pastels, do not wear them with dark colours.

Celebrity models: Diana Ross, Nigella Lawson

Red, auburn or strawberry-blonde hair; blue, green or hazel eyes and freckled or golden skin

Choose – yellow-based colours as these will flatter your complexion by harmonising with your natural colouring. Opt for bright, contrasting shades and always make sure that you complement darker neutrals (e.g. light navy or olive) with lighter shades near your face.

Beware of – pink; it may be better to opt for apricot or coral, rather than blue-based pink.

Celebrity models: Julianne Moore, Maggie Smith

Ashe blonde hair or grey or black hair; cool brown or grey eyes and cool undertones to your skin (pink or blue)

Choose – greens and blues over harsh black as this can be a more flattering and youthful look. Remember also that red is a great colour match for grey hair.

Beware of – beige and taupe; these colours usually need strong, cool colours to accompany them

Celebrity models: Camilla Parker-Bowles, Annie Lennox

Medium to dark brown hair, bright green, blue or topaz eyes and a clear, fresh complexion

Choose – bright, contrasting colours, especially near your face. Again, this colouring type is one of the lucky few who look good in black but remember to add bright colours and accessories

Beware of – beige and taupe, especially near the face. Dark colours on their own are also a bad idea.

Celebrity models: Liz Hurley, Oprah Winfrey

Mousy hair (often highlighted), soft green, blue or brown eyes and a neutral complexion

Choose – colours one or two tones lighter than the darker shades in your wardrobe, to help lift them

Beware of – accessories which stand out too much or are too contrasting; ideally choose pieces which tone with the colours of your outfit

Celebrity models: Sarah Jessica Parker, Twiggy

Ageing gracefully is all about choosing the right colours to complement your natural hair and complexion – when done well, even going grey can look wonderful!

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