Mollie Cosmetics LTD.
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Colour Theory

February 28, 2017

The colour wheel plays a major part in makeup, the use of colour and tone is what adds depth and highlight to any eye makeup. Everyone wants to know what colours suit them best, how to make the eyes more prominent or how to use colour to enhance the eyes. Knowing and understanding the colour wheel is the key to answering all of these questions.


First of all, the basics. Primary colours, the three colours (red, yellow and blue) that make up all of the other colours on the spectrum. Secondary colours, the colours you get from mixing the primary colours together (green, orange and purple). And finally, tertiary colours, the colours either side of the secondary colours which are made using a primary colour and the adjacent secondary colour (for example, red-orange and yellow-orange).



Now that we know the colours, onto the tone. The tone of a colour can be changed in various ways. By adjusting the hue of a colour by mixing in either white, black or grey you can achieve different intensities of the same colour. This is how pastel and muted colours are created. Creating shade is how depth is created, for example if you had a bright red eye shadow and added a small amount of black eyeshadow, this would create a deeper, richer red. Using different tones of the same colour family is how definition is created within an eye makeup. 


Warm and cool. Most makeup palettes are either warm or cool, its not often that a brand will mix the two together. Usually palettes consist of colours that work well together therefore you would use all warm tones or all cool tones. Warm colours are brighter which therefore brings more attention, they have orange, golden or yellow undertones. Cool colours are not as vibrant therefore they tend to recede a bit more, they have pink, red or blue undertones.


Complimentary colours are colours that are opposite each other on the colour wheel, however in the use of makeup complimentary colours don’t necessarily compliment each other, when used together they can create quite an extreme contrast. For a subtle colourful makeup look it wouldn’t be advisable to use complimentary colours, but if you were trying to make the colours pop and stand out against each other them complimentary colours are perfect for that. As shown in the eye makeup look on the following page, the colour of the blue eyeliner over the orange eyeshadow creates an intense contrast and makes both colours pop, creating an intense look.


The use of complimentary colours can however be used in different ways to enhance the eyes, for example: if someone had blue eyes, an orange eye shadow or a warm toned colour with an orange undertone such as warm browns, coppers and bronzes would compliment the eyes by contrasting the colour and therefore making your blue eyes pop, enhancing the look of your eyes and bringing attention to the enhanced colouring. The easiest way to make your eyes stand out is by using the right shades to compliment your eye colour. Anything that contrasts will make your eyes stand out. For green or hazel eyes colours such as pinks and purples will create the same contrast.