A Little Color Theory


If you’ve ever played with markers and mixed the colors to created new colors, or if you know fun facts like “red + blue = purple; or “blue + yellow = green”; or “yellow + red= orange”, then, believe it or not, you’ve already dabbled in color theory!

Let’s talk about why color theory is (or at least, should be) important to you.

Believe it or not, color theory is part of your every day. It’s behind the reason you paired that ensemble you have on today. It’s major part of your makeup application, and if you color your hair, it plays a major role in that as well. If you’ve ever watched “The Devil Wears Prada”, it’s kind of like that part where Miranda tears Andy to shreds over the cerulean sweater! lol

So what’s color theory?

Color theory is basically how color works together -how to create colors using other colors, how colors compliment each other and how they can cancel each other out.


First you have your primary colors – red, blue and yellow. These colors cannot be created.

Then you have your secondary colors – these colors are created by combining your primary colors. Orange, purple, green.

Your tertiary colors are a combination of primary and secondary colors – yellow-orange, red-orange, red-purple, blue-purple, blue-green & yellow-green.

So again, why does this matter?!?

Have you ever colored your hair (or know someone who has) and it came out looking orange, or green? Well, let go to the color wheel and see why. Chances are there were either red undertones and you mixed it with a color with yellow undertones or vice versa, and now, you (or they) have orange hair!





Or perhaps it turned green, and that’s probably because you (or your friend) tried to go from a color with yellow undertones to a color with blue undertones, or the other way around.



makeGreen                                 or                               cmyk


Then you have the whole concealer thing with the makeup. How do you know what to use? Well, here’s how color theory comes into play with color correction for your makeup woes! So you’ve seen the concealer palettes, or just the single color correctors, but what are they for exactly? More importantly, which one is right for you?

Dilemma: Your skin is looking a little sallow or you have blemishes with yellow undertones.

Solution: Use the lavender concealer. The lavender with cancel out the yellow tone and it will help to even out your skin tone.  (see chart below)

Dilemma: You’ve got some redness, maybe a healing pimple, or rosacea

Solution: This is when you would use the green color corrector. Green will cancel out the redness, giving you a more even color to work with. (see chart below)

Dilemma: Those stubborn dark circles under your eyes. Those are often due to poor circulation, and thus have a blue tone to them.

Solution: Using the corrector with the peach/orange tone, will help to correct the darkness under your eyes. (see chart below)


So you see, color theory really is pretty important. Knowing the basics will get you very very far, and will save you a lot of grief and money!!!  So before you make your next trip to the drug store for that box color for your hair or before your next trip to the makeup counter, think about the color wheel and consider which color would be best suited for your needs.


Images from








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