Happy Tuesday, ladies. I’m curious to explore how our best colors and seasonal palettes change if we decide to let our hair go gray/silver/white. Not every woman wants to have a specific set of colors because they find it limiting. I get that, but just as many women find it easier to have a palette that saves them time and also gives them confidence that they’re wearing their most flattering colors. Today I’m interviewing a personal color expert about your most flattering wardrobe colors as you go gray.
There are as many types of seasonal color analysis as flavors of tea! They use varying criteria to determine what looks best on you but the end goal should be to give you a palette of colors that are in harmony with your personal coloring.
I met Colleen Abrie, CDI while training to become an Image Consultant myself. She’s an amazingly talented color expert and head-to-toe personal stylist with over 40 years of experience as a color and makeup expert, image consultant, and salon professional.
She has graciously created several examples of customized palettes to illustrate what they could look like for the women pictured here with gray hair. These are time-consuming and by no means complete, so I was grateful Colleen would create a few and not all seasons are presented. There are no cookie-cutter seasonal palettes here. Each person gets a totally customized palette which also includes related whites and patterns. These palettes will not work for you and are not intended to because they are all customized to the woman attached.
Can my season change as I get older?
As we age, our skin tone changes and our eye color softens and gets more muted. Along with hair color, this gradual evolution changes what looks best on you, but your color season remains the same. Your color season begins with who you are from the inside out – not the outside in. Color analysis is not just about the color of your skin, hair, or eyes, it includes your personal essence.
Can warm-toned seasons go gray effectively?
All color seasons have a place for grey hair. Warm and neutral skin tones can wear grey hair beautifully like any other season. When you’ve gone grey, it’s crucial to wear your best colors in apparel, accessories, and makeup. If you aren’t wearing your best colors, you set yourself up to feel invisible or risk being overwhelmed by what you’re wearing.
Do I need more contrast in my makeup and clothing when my hair goes gray?
Grey hair requires a daily makeup routine to look fresh and alive, especially on light and medium skin tones. Not wearing your best colors or light makeup might have you feeling like you’re disappearing, not relevant, looking tired, or adding years to your age. Your style personality will dictate if your best makeup includes bold lips and eyeliner or a softer, lighter application. Either way, your BEST colors and makeup products should be your #1 priority for looking fresh and youthful.
Wearing brighter, bolder colors can boost your mood and make you feel alive. But bolder colors don’t look better on you unless they’re your colors. Too bold or too bright can overwhelm your appearance which puts you in the back seat.
What’s the most flattering way to wear gray hair?
Most gray hair looks best either medium (on top of the shoulders or above), short, or super short (pixie-ish). This is true for “most” women, but there are always exceptions. If you aren’t an over-50 French model in size 4 jeans, long hair can be tough to pull off.
COLOR PALETTE BY COLLEEN ABRIE
What’s the best way to deal with gray or white eyebrows?
- Keep your brows trimmed because they tend to get a bit wirey as they go grey.
- Keep them shaped. Women think that because the hairs are light, they don’t need to shape them. But light hairs in the wrong places grab lotions, powder, eye makeup and can create a closed-in look.
- If you can’t tint them at home or in the hair salon, I recommend using water-resistant brow makeup.
- Have a good magnifying mirror so you can see them!
- Go to a professional and have them maintained.
What at-home products Do you recommend to keep gray hair from going brassy?
First and foremost- avoid the sun unless wearing a hat! Sun, hot styling tools, chlorine from spas and pools, heavily mineralized water sources (like a well) and even some medications can dull or yellow, grey hair. Violet shampoos and conditioners are the easiest ways to brighten. There are treatments available from salon hair color brands that have FINALLY recognized the greying client and are offering beautiful results in shades
of silver, grey, or charcoal.
How do you ensure your Virtual Color Analysis are accurate?
Virtual color analysis is 100% possible depending on the accuracy of the photos you provide.
- I want to see photos of your face/neck/chest, a close-up of your eye color, and a close-up of your hair color, and even the palm of your hand, that are taken in natural light.
- I also want to see photos of what you looked like in your 20’s or 30’s, and at age 16. This tells me a lot!
- We have a Zoom call so I can get a feel for your personality, how you express yourself in conversation, your voice quality, the cadence of your speech, and your body type. The Zoom call is also for show and tell for some of your favorite things. What types of things do you love? Anything you want to share, not just fashion.
All these elements build a story about you and set the stage for color selection and your seasonal type.
If you can’t invest in a color analysis and makeup update right now, find colors that bring out your skin tones and eyes. Try on pieces from your closet in good natural light (not direct sun) and snap a few selfies. When judging your photos, look beyond your favorites, or the sentimentality of the pieces you’re wearing. Which pieces make your eyes & skin glow? Which pieces overwhelm you in color or pattern?
Selfies are a great place to start but ultimately to be 100% uniquely and gloriously grey, get your colors and makeup updated.
You can contact Colleen’s and learn about her services on her website here. Or call here at 408.772.3358.
Her services are for all women, professional or retired who want to look their very best.