Marsala Pantone 2015Marsala is Pantone colour of the year for 2015. It is an elegant colour, but not necessarily easy to wear.  Here at Colour Me Beautiful, we know how to work colour to everyone’s best advantage.  If you have a soft and muted colouring and favour chic and understated looks, you can wear it head-to-toe.  For everyone else, wear it with your favourite colours from your palette, either in contrast (Clears and Deeps) or blend it (Lights, Warms and Cools).

Here are a few tips on how each dominant colouring can wear Marsala.

The SOFT colourings (you have mousey hair that you may have highlighted à la Jennifer Aniston).
Marsala on you will create an elegant and sophisticated look when you wear it head to toe.  As a block colour, wear it with one of your neutral shades; try it with Taupe or Rose Brown.

The LIGHTS  (you have very light blond hair and pale blue or green eyes. Think Gwyneth Paltrow).
Wear Marsala if you are looking for an understated look on its own, or with Stone or Pewter shades.  For a more colourful ensemble, wear it with Petrol or Light Teal.

The WARMS  (red-heads like Emma Stone).
Go for the Wow factor when you wear it with your Orange Reds and the Greens in your palette such as Turquoise and Lime.

The DEEPS (dark hair and dark eyes – think Eva Longoria or Halle Berry)
You will bring Marsala into your wardrobe in a print together with your Burgundies, Aubergines, Damsons and purples.

The CLEARS (think contrast between hair, eyes and skin tone just like the Duchess of Cambridge).
Marsala is a soft and muted colour so it would not be the first choice for you.  However, it can work as part of a print with shades such as Chinese Blue, Emerald Turquoise or Fern, for example.  Or you may want to opt for an accessory, but not a necklace or scarf as they are too close to the face; bracelets and handbags would work a treat.

The COOLS (that’s the silver fox or salt-and-pepper girls out there like Jamie-Lee Curtis or Helen Mirren)
You will wear Marsala when you prefer a softer approach to colour in your wardrobe.  Wear it with greys from Charcoal to Silver Grey.

One piece of advice for everyone, if Marsala is close to your face, make sure the lipstick you wear works with it and doesn’t clash, unless you want to achieve a creative or dramatic look.

Veronique Henderson

Managing Director
www.colourmebeautiful.co.uk

Dune shoes borderSo, you’ve got the fab dress (or skirt/ trousers and top), now to find the perfect shoes!  This is often the hardest part of putting a party outfit together.  Shoes are a feature of your party wear and can make or break your look.

There are three basic requirements for your party shoes:  they need to give you height, look amazing with what you are wearing and they need to be comfortable – yes, that Holy Grail of shoes!  It should be an easy task with only these three criteria to fulfil, but it rarely is.

When we are dressing our body, the aim is to create a balanced look, i.e. we want to look like we have the perfect body shape.  When it comes to picking the right shoes, you need to focus more carefully on your lower body.  Think about the length of your legs, especially from the knee down, and the shape of your calves and ankles.

We have put together some tips to help you choose the right party shoe styles for you.

Height and Comfort

There is no doubt that a higher heel adds length to your legs but can you really wear them all night?  If you are going to an event by car or cab and are likely to be seated for part of the evening then you can sacrifice comfort a bit.  If you know you will be doing some walking and standing then you need a certain degree of comfort – how much will depend on your comfort threshold.   Shoes with a heel and platform at the front half are usually a good choice to balance height with comfort.  If you are going to sacrifice comfort entirely, don’t pay too much, you are not likely to get much wear out of those skyscrapers.

Mid heels might make you feel as though you’re not making the effort, but there are plenty pretty styles to choose from which won’t compromise your party look.  Kitten heels are perhaps even better than mid heels as they are not trying to be high, they are stylish and glamorous in their own right.

Flats have been a big story this year and there are many decorative styles to choose from, so don’t rule them out.    With the right outfit they can look very elegant and classy.

Styles and Stockings

Those with a shorter length leg from the knee to ankle need to beware of straps and wearing anything too high up the foot.  Low fronted shoes give the illusion of longer legs and narrower ankles, as do open-toed shoes.  Closed shoes shorten the length of the feet and legs.

Low-cut T-straps work for most people but ankle straps will only look good on those with long legs and slim ankles

Stockings or tights add another dimension to the mix.  Flesh-toned tights often work best, but if you are going for sheer black you ideally want black shoes or a black dress, especially if you have shorter legs.  Mixing a different colour dress, tights and shoes will appear to chop up your look making you and your legs appear shorter.   If you are taller with long legs you can afford to mix a  couple of colours. It all depends on the look you want to achieve.

Colour

There isn’t as much choice if you want a colour shoe, and if it’s versatility you need then black, silver, gold and/or sparkly are the best options. Colour shoes can look wonderful as a statement or to match an outfit, but as with tights, you don’t want to clutter your legs with various colours if you are trying to elongate them.   Ideally, you want to match your shoe colour to your dress colour.  Alternatively, your shoes might be the colour in your otherwise neutral outfit.

Have a glamorous and feet-friendly Christmas!

 

Fiona Wellins
Colour Me Beautiful

 

New Look blogWhen it comes to looking good, it’s not your size or shape that matters, it’s the fit of your clothes.  By knowing your basic body shape and understanding the guidelines for choosing the types of clothes that will accentuate your good features and minimize your less-than-perfect areas, you will be able to dress in the way that suits you best.

At this time of year you will be thinking about your new party dress and with so much choice, you need to start by knowing what suits you.  When choosing your dress your aim is to create the illusion of having a balanced body – in proportion on the top and the bottom.  So, once you know your body shape you can make sure choose the styles that flatter your figure and avoid those that don’t.

What dress shapes should you get for your body shape?

Neat Hourglass
Lucky you! You have a balanced body with your top and bottom half in proportion so you can wear pretty much any dress shape but ideally you want something shaped. Choose a dress that will show off your body with a dress that defines your waist, enhances your bust and highlights your hips and bottom.

Full Hourglass
Wow! You have the most feminine body shape with full curves in all the right places. Choose dresses that are fluid and shaped so you can accentuate your curves rather than cover them up.  Think wrap, bias or soft pleats.

Triangle
Great! You can bring all the attention to the top half of your body.  You are often referred to as pear shaped, so with your choice of dress  you should aim to accentuate your bust and minimize your bottom and hips.  Think embellishment on the top and no detail on the bottom half.  You might even prefer separates.

Oval
Brilliant! Proportionally you have a flat bottom and hips. Your problem area is your central torso, so, wherever possible use accessories to draw the eye to the area above your bust and below your hips. Your aim is to give the impression of a slightly longer body.  Choose something A-line, wrap or a drop waistline.

Rectangle
Lucky you! You are the one with the flat hips and a flat bottom. However, some rectangles will also have a fuller bust, which gives a softer edge to their shape.  Your main aim is to soften those edges even more and create the appearance of curves.  Choose simple, straight lines or shift dresses.

Inverted Triangle
Magnificent! You have great shoulders – halternecks are made for you, To balance the upper and lower parts of your body, you need to highlight your hips and bottom, focusing all attention below your waist.  Go for simple straight lines, shift dresses or choose separates.

 

Body Confidence Calendar Cover small 2Get the Body Confidence Calendar 2015 and support Breakthrough Breast Cancer Colour Me Beautiful consultants bare (almost) all for a good cause!  Each one of their uniquely beautiful bodies was tastefully draped to create a fun and inspirational calendar with a very strong message.

The aim is to sell 5,000 calendars to raise £50,000 for Breakthrough Breast Cancer.

Why a Body Confidence calendar?

The idea for this calendar began with a jokey comment, but transformed into a very real and worthy project.  When Colour Me Beautiful consultant Meg Hanlon discovered her close friend and colleague Maria Hastings was diagnosed with breast cancer, she was motivated to do something. Several months later after a great deal of hard work from Meg, Maria and 11 other Colour Me Beautiful consultants, the Body Confidence Calendar 2015 is ready and looking fantastic.

The calendar was created to raise funds but also to remind you and your female family and friends to do a regular breast check.  On the inside cover of the calendar there is a Breakthrough Breast Cancer ‘Touch, Look, Check’ page with information and instructions on how to check your breasts.  Each month has a different inspirational woman and gives confidence boosting quotes and helpful style tips.   Seeing women of different shapes, sizes, colourings and personalities looking fabulous is also a reminder that you deserve to feel good about yourself and be body confident, every day!

So, you can do a good thing for Breast Cancer Awareness month and after, you can buy a fabulous calendar (great for Christmas gifts) and you can support a charity that needs your help. The calendar is also endorsed by Lorraine Kelly (Lorraine, ITV weekday mornings).  When Lorraine invited Meg onto her show she was so inspired she wanted to show her support.  She said “I hope you love the calendar as much as I do and that you too will be inspired to be breast aware”.

Lorraine Kelly image

       

          Buy your Body Confidence Calendar(s) 2015 here  2015calendar.co.uk

Get your colours done blog smallCoco Chanel was spot on when she said “the best colour in the world is the one that looks good on you” (interesting for a woman who was always in black and white, but then they were her colours).   Of course, we all have more than one colour that suits us, the point is that colour is so powerful that getting it right and getting it wrong makes a huge difference to how good you look and consequently, how good you feel.

For many years neutral colours held sway in fashion, but we moved on and now colour – in all its hues – is an integral part of our wardrobes.  There are thousands of shades of colours available, which means shopping is more exciting, but also a bit of a minefield.  There may be some colours you love, but do they love you back?  Be honest. Hold different colours up to your face, if a colour lifts your face and complements your overall look, go for it. If it casts shadows under your eyes and chin and dulls your complexion, ditch it.   The colours you wear close to your face have the most impact, so choose the colour of your tops, jackets and overcoats carefully.  Obviously, that goes for your make-up too!

We often instinctively know the colours that work for us and those that don’t, but we don’t always know why.   When you understand why, it helps you make better choices.

Getting your colours right is not just about matching shades with your colouring (hair colour, eye colour and skin tone) however, it’s about matching them with your personality and your style too.  Our clothes make a visual statement about us and how we view ourselves. They reinforce our self-image and help to define who we are. So, when we choose colours, in the same way that we choose styles, we make choices based on what we are instinctively drawn to, choices that fit with our individual taste.  We are always influenced by fashion, other people, friends, and so on, but our personality is the biggest factor in the clothing choices we make.

So, when you have a Colour Consultation, we are looking at so much more than how colours look against your colouring. We are considering your personality, what sort of impression you want to give about yourself, how you spend your time, whether you want to be a bit more adventurous in your clothes or a bit more chic and which colours make you feel good.

One last word on black:  it looks fantastic on some, like Madame Chanel, but it can look ageing and drab on others.  Everyone can wear black but if it’s not a good colour against your face, you need to keep it to a minimum and learn how to make it work for you. A mistake often made is that ‘black makes you look slimmer’, which it does, but if it’s not a flattering shade on you, it will make you look tired.  There are other colours that have a slimming effect, you just need to find out which ones are a success on you.

#GetYourColoursDone

Colour Me Beautiful 2014

Khaki is usually associated with military looks mostly seen in autumn and winter. However, this summer, khaki is a shade to be seen in.   Khaki and olive are becoming more and more like neutral shades, so you can invest in them as wardrobe staples.

As a warm shade, it doesn’t really flatter cool skin tones. If you have a cool, pinkish skin tone, then you certainly don’t want to wear it near your face, but you can wear it on other parts of your body if you like the look. There are also varying tones of khaki so you can go from very light –  almost stone –  to yellowish khaki through to very deep green shades.  You need to choose which ones create the best look for you and fit with your colouring.

The look for the season is more about contrasting fabrics and accessories to make it less utility and not going head-to-toe khaki.  Choosing softer fabrics for your khaki will make it look more feminine. A bold handbag or a patterned top will give it a fun fashion twist.  To dress it up, add some gold detail, lace trims, embellished sandals, statement necklaces or sheer black.  For a clean, smart edge, team with black or with white, depending on which neutral flatters you most.

 

Fiona Wellins
Colour Me Beautiful

Your clothes tell a story about YOU and about who you are. They also tell a story about who you have been.

VB resizeYesterday, Victoria Beckham tweeted a photo of the dress she wore on her first date with hubby David.  She wore a cute belted shift dress, which wasn’t at all the ‘blingy’, flesh-revealing looks she wore a few years later, nor the groomed elegance she has achieved now. The dress isn’t particularly high fashion either, considering she was a member of the biggest UK girl band at the time.  It is a very sweet dress though and it reflects her youth and perhaps the fact that she was only just gaining celebrity status. It may also suggest that she hadn’t really found her own style yet.

Our clothes reveal not only how styles have changed but how you have, or haven’t, developed your own style and gained confidence in your look.  When you revisit old photos you can see why you dressed a certain way during a certain period of your life from being at school, your first job, university, travelling, marriage, being a mum, and so on.  Whatever path you took, your clothes will have reflected your lifestyle at that time and how you wanted to express yourself in your clothes at that time.  You may have had periods where you couldn’t afford to dress quite how you wanted so perhaps you didn’t bother at all or you got creative with what you had, shopped second hand or rummaged through mum’s or even grandma’s wardrobe.   Or, maybe your career got you stuck in a groove of wearing particular colours or outfits and you didn’t know where to go with your style outside of work.

The important question is, are you happy with your style now?  Do you feel good in your clothes and do you know what you look good in?  When you look back at how you dressed five, ten, twenty or more years ago, do you feel your personal style has progressed in a good way? Do you feel your clothes reflect your personality and who you are now?

Sometimes looking back can nudge us forward.  It can highlight whether we have got into a bit of a rut and that maybe we just need a bit of a change.  If your style is still working for you, and we mean style, not fashion, that’s great.   However, if you are feeling a little lacklustre in your clothes then it’s time for a review and to decide whether your style still fits who you are, your age, your lifestyle and your personality.

 

Fiona Wellins
Colour Me Beautiful

WhiteWhite is this season’s hottest trend and freshest shade.   Despite mixed reviews of the kit, the England team will be glad they are wearing this cool shade under the Brazilian sun.  White is a shade that often denotes new beginnings, it can look incredibly smart (think crisp white shirt or shift dress) and there is something very honest about white. You certainly can’t hide anything in it!  But, don’t let the practicality factor put you off, now is the time to make the most of this fresh shade.

Guidelines for getting your whites right:
The first rule with whites is to make sure they look fresh and white and not yellow or grey.  Washed out whites will instantly let down your look.

  • If you’re wearing white on its own you need to think carefully about your skin tone to make sure you don’t look ‘transparent’.  If you have warmer undertones in your skin you need to wear the warmer, softer whites such as ivory or creams.  Icy white will work against skins with cooler undertones but overall the softer whites work best on most of us.
  • Think about the fabric; different materials create different effects.  If you want to achieve a soft, romantic look then choose pieces in Indian cotton, linen, chiffon, lace or soft knits, for example. If you want to create a bolder look then go for stiffer fabrics such as crisp cotton and tailored pieces. It will also, of course, depend on which fabrics suit your style and your body shape.
  • Your white garment will attract the eye, so think about how and where you wear it. If your hips are your problem area then wear your white jeans with a tunic that covers that part of your body.  If you want to steer attention away from a bigger bust then avoid clingy, translucent or crisp white tops and go for deconstructed draping fabrics.
  • White can look striking for evening wear, if you can carry it off.  White looks glamorous in silk and satin, taffeta, lace and shimmer such as icy white sequins or paillettes.  However, whilst it will make some look radiant it will make others look washed out so consider the effect it has on your complexion when you hold the garment close to your face.
  • The white work shirt is a great staple but don’t go for cheap material, go at least mid range if you can. Thin shirts that are almost transparent are distracting and don’t look professional in the work place.
  • Take care of your whites and they will look good for longer. Make sure you have the right products such as stain remover and the right detergent to maintain your garments and always wash after every wear.

White on white is the look this summer but not everyone can carry it off.  The idea is that you layer and mix different fabrics in your whites but if all white doesn’t work for you, you can still keep it simple and elegant by mixing it with other neutrals like creams, light coffee shades or greys.  For those of you who prefer to add colour, pick just one good shade and keep your accessories to a minimum to maintain a neat, fresh look.

Whichever team you are supporting in the World Cup 2014, enjoy the games and enjoy a stylish summer!

Fiona Wellins
Colour Me Beautiful

River Island denim jacketDenim is durable, comfortable, sexy, stretchy, stylish and here to stay.  Denim is part of every woman’s wardrobe, whatever her age.   This season’s looks are not just about your favourite jeans, however, the skirt, jacket and various other denim pieces are yours for the taking.

For some time denim jackets have been a no no because we left them behind with the eighties, but not so this year.  You can put on your denim jacket and feel confident that you are spot on trend.  A denim jacket is like your best friend and is the ideal Spring/Summer cover up. It’s soft and comfy, lighter than a leather jacket and goes with pretty much everything. You want to get the right shade of denim, somewhere mid-wash works for everyone and will be more versatile.

For the bottom half you can go for darker denim, infact the darker the better. Mid to dark denim looks more current and is more forgiving on curves.   Just find the right cut for you whether A-line, pleated, pencil, mini or midi.  Be careful with the weight and stiffness of the denim, you want it to fit comfortably and flatter your figure.   The longer length styles are a great staple for spring and summer. You will be a bit more restricted with the mini in terms of where you can wear it.

You will also see smocks and shirt dresses which are super versatile pieces to have in your wardrobe (see link to an earlier blog on the shirt dress at the bottom).  Other creation are  boiler suits and bikinis – not so versatile and you probably want to avoid them altogether!

The season’s denim pieces are available in every price band and more expensive isn’t necessarily better. Find what suits you and your budget.

Think about what other colours you can wear with your denim.  If it’s a top or a scarf, basically anywhere near your face, make sure it all works together in terms of your colouring.

 

Fiona Wellins
Colour Me Beautiful

cyclists resizeThe Women’s Tour of Britain cycle race is the first international level stage race for women in the UK (hooray!). It started on Tuesday and, true to British form, waterproof jackets have been a valuable item in their kit so far.  However, for any keen cyclist, the most important item in your kit is your shorts.  Bib shorts, to be exact.

Investing in any sports gear requires careful consideration and you need to take into account the following: support, fit, comfort, fabric (breathable, waterproof, lightweight, etc.), indoors or outdoors and the cost. There is also the style factor, looking good in your workout gear helps motivate you.

Cycling has seen a huge growth in recent years, especially since the success of our medallists at the 2012 Olympics. The current average spend on Lycra runs into the hundreds (not to mention a new bike which is over £1,000). Yes, you can spend hundreds on a Lycra wardrobe (or on a pair of Louboutins, right?).

According to Roadcycling.co.uk, “Few sports require as much or as varied clothing as cycling, in the UK at least.”  They assure you that you can rely on bad weather for the best part of the year so you must invest in clothes that keep you dry and warm. They also advise that whilst you can easily spend a fortune “constructing a cycling wardrobe, an outfit of base layer, short-sleeved jersey and bib-shorts, paired with arm and knee warmers, gilet and lightweight packable rain jacket should see you through all but the deepest winter”.  (For winter they recommend more layers, of course, including gloves, long-sleeved jersey etc.).  How’s that for an excuse to buy a bigger wardrobe?

Back to the Lycra bib shorts. These are the foundation of a cyclist’s wardrobe.  If you are going to be in a saddle for long periods, you certainly want comfort and that’s what the bib shorts provide.  Then we come to the fabric; Lycra.  Do you find yourself grimacing slightly at the mention of Lycra?   Do you instantly think of aerobics classes, 80’s legwarmers and… cyclists?   It may not be a look you want to embrace.  An amusing article in The Guardian last year wrote how cyclist-haters (motorists) use Lycra to make up derogatory nicknames for them such as “Lycra loonies” or “Lycra louts”.    They may still carry a bit of a stigma, but these are the shorts you want for cycling. Not only that, you have a choice of Lycra and/or other fabrics.   Today, manufacturers combine spandex with other yarns to ‘promote moisture transfer and breathability’.  Some fabrics can apparently help to improve your aerodynamics and blood circulation.  Naturally, the more you pay the better quality and performance of your shorts.  Of course, we are not experts, but there is no doubt that the Lycra short has a well-earned place in sport and maybe it’s time that we all embraced it for its brilliant design, even if it’s not our style.

Cyclists know that Lycra  feels good and does the job, which is more important than how it looks. Besides, you can simply invest in a cycling top or a rain jacket in a flattering colour to attract all the (right) attention.

Good luck to all the teams!

Fiona Wellins
Colour Me Beautiful

Cycling gear Information from:
http://road.cc/content/buyers-guide/84904-bib-shorts-buyer%E2%80%99s-guide
http://roadcyclinguk.com/gear/buyers-guide-five-essential-items-for-new-cyclists.html/3
http://wheelandsprocket.com/articles/buyers-guide-to-lycra-cycling-shorts-pg1265.html

Article from The Guardian
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/dec/04/the-curious-effect-of-lycra-clad-cyclists-on-otherwise-rational-people