Tagged Color theory

The chemistry of color changes; autumn fashion tones 2015

japan-autumn-leavesColor changes with light. And light changes with the seasons depending on how high the sun is in the sky. What looks pink in one season looks beige in another, what looks subtle and delicate at one time can look garish at another and what is comforting can suddenly become unsettling. It is the atmosphere diffusing the light, the distance from us either concentrating or thinning it and the reflection of color from surrounding objects bouncing into it that causes this trickery.

The need to seasonally change cosmetic color can be seen as vain or unnecessarily trendy but if harmony is the goal it is worth considering. As an example, suntanned skin reflecting on vivid lipstick color tones it down through the white-hot summer sun rays to look appropriate and flattering. Nature knows what it is doing; the alchemy of temperature and sunlight changes colors naturally in the plant world so that our optic nerves can appreciate the non-jarring autumn russets and golds where in the summer sunlight those colors would simply disappear.

Like it or not, we are affected by color around us as it stimulates our hormones because we view it through our optic nerves. Pleasure and pain is part of daily life but we seek pleasure more often because it creates internal calm so surrounding ourselves with seasonally appropriate color feels good and reinforces that harmony.

Enjoy these fall 2015 cosmetic and clothing color combinations that are borrowed from nature with the autumn sunlight lower in the sky.  Then see the following links to my make-up services so I can create a combination just for you.

Autumn greige collage

Autumn ice plant color collage Autumn plum 2015 Atumn animal print Russett fall color collage

If you are unsure of what make-up or clothing colors look best on you click here to read about Personal Color Analysis or click here to read about my Make-up Enhancement Lesson.

If you already are confident in your application and just would like me to update your make-up colors to coordinate with new clothing then click here read about my Make-up Update Service.

Jane Balshaw; jbalshaw@comcast.net, call/text 603-491-7305

How to’s: primers, concealers and neutralizing powders

primers, concealers and powder; Euchlora.com

I have been burning the candle at both ends lately with the project that my husband and I have undertaken in our time off.  As a result, I have darker than usual circles around my dust-induced allergy laden eyes.  My end-of-summer skin brightening routine has been working—the background melasma skin tones are nearly back to normal—but there is still some freckling & deep spotting.  Thus my “need” for some extra make-up tricks.  Here are the 101 basics on evening out skin tones and what I did on my own face.

PRIMERS: A primer is a translucent gel or moisturizer that contains clear-toned pigment that will neutralize the offending colors in your skin.  Apply a thin coat under your make-up foundation or under a powder.

CONCEALER:  A concealer is an opaque, dense creme that has browned-out pigment to totally cover demarcation in your skin.  Apply over primer, under/over make-up foundation, under powder.

NEUTRALIZING POWDERS: A neutralizing powder is a mix of various minerals and pigments that are fleshy colored yet toned to a particular hue on the color wheel to counteract discoloration in the skin.  Apply as a last step over moisturized skin or primed skin or make-up foundation.


Because I have ivory-olive skin (a yellow-green cast) any injury in my skin takes on a deeper greenish brown tone.  [Melanin clusters in the skin to protect itself when an injury occurs then continues to do when ever exposed to UV light.]  In my case, some summer time breaks out on my chin and some Black Fly bites on my cheeks left dark greenish-brown splotches.  So I blended a primer with a faint red-orange cast.   When you overlay colors that are opposite of each other on the color wheel they cancel each other out.  Red-orange over shadowy blue-green = neutralized beige.  I smoothed on a bit over my chin and on my cheeks.DSC05897

When congestion forms behind my eyes in the sinuses (for example the irritating dust from the project I am working has created this), my skin tones intensify and get an even deeper, olive-green.  To counter act this tone, I blended a concealer that has the tone opposite on the color wheel.  Red-violet over yellow-green neutralizes to make beige.  


Because the pigment is concentrated in concealers, let the color tone do the work NOT the thickness of your application.  A little goes a long way; dab, dab dab, into place.DSC05905I applied a sheer coat of Moisture Foundation blended to match my ivory-olive skin harmonizing all other make-up dibs and dabs together while still letting my skin show through, freckles and all.  I finished by dusting my face with a more opaque SPF mineral powder that I blended with luminescence for a moist look and that I also tinted to neutralize my skin color a bit.  By “neutralize” I mean less tone-specific so that I could play around with any choice in eye, lip and cheek colors.DSC05909 DSC05910

Here I am in different lights and different angles.  I like the final result; more dewy evened out skin while still letting my own natural markings shine through.  (Forgive the grainy photography – these are IPhone Selfies.)Jane Balshaw luminescent powder; Euchlora.com

I can blend something just for you too!  jbalshaw@comcast.net 603-491-7305

The best of Fall Color for your face

copper eye collage best

Shimmering rose-copper, translucent autumn russet, burnished bronze and sparkling plum….red berry, claret, bordeaux and harvest grape….these lucious make-up colors that are so fashionable right now are to my eye the best of the 2014 autumn trends.  Wearable by anyone at any age – whether your personal look is a-la-natural or stylized – these glamorous neutrals make being woman quite fun this fall!

While most of us here in NH will not wear as much eye make-up as shown above, please notice how this copper eyeshadow trend really makes your eyes pop!

  • Plummier and rose copper shades make green eyes greener
  • Bronzy copper shades make blue eyes bluer
  • Hazel and brown eyes can steal from each of the palettes to mix and match picking up and complimenting their individual varied flecks of eye color.
  • This look is best set against a soft medium-toned lipstick and blush in a similar copper shade harmonizing the whole look.

Portsmouth’s Naturopathic Doctor, Angela Lambert, of Ancient Traditions Natural Medicine loves to feel feminine yet is concerned with make-up toxicity and wanting to remain her natural self.  I showed her a simple make-up look using my clean make-up products to give her a slightly bronzy look.  This is one version of the look.  What would your version be?Dr Angela before and afterDr Angela eyes

Alternatively, a very soft eye with a red or plum lip is also a gorgeous look for fall.  Reminiscent of 17th century royalty, this bold lip color set against a very pale, even complexion reminds me of winter snow and red berries.  There is a delicious version for any aged face. red:plum lip collage

  • If wearing the plum-reds team this with soft mauve or taupe eyeshadow and blush.
  • If wearing true reds, team with soft skin-tone brown eyeshadow and a similar blush to just contour cheeks.

02gothicbeautytrendfall2014Make an appointment to play with make-up with me and learn a new look!

Photo credit to Gothic beauty at Trussardi and Rebecca Minkoff. F/W ’14

It’s time to change your make-up colors

color_NEWHopefully most of us are getting to spend more time outside now!  Along with that sun exposure comes a deepened skin tone so what make-up colors you wore beautifully in the winter are now probably making your skin look a little dull.  Your foundation probably looks a little gray/pasty, your blush may look dull and your eyeshadows might just disappear.  Here is the color theory on that.

gray + yellow:redMelanin (skin pigment) is a yellow-red brownish color. A less pigmented skin will take on a bluish gray cast as the more translucent cells show off the blue blood flow beneath [blood only turns red when it is exposed to air].  When you combine the blueish gray with the yellow-red it makes brown skin color.

To flatter a pale skin tone that is cooler/bluer, more subtle and less pigmented with that yellow-red,  softer & grayer, more complex colors work best.

To flatter a darker skin tones that are warmer, redder and more pigmented, make-up colors need to be brighter color to show up.  

Subtle grayish/brownish make-up tones turn to mud when applied to darkened skin tones that are naturally saturated with yellow-red pigment; they neutralize or cancel each other out.  Wear brighter colors instead.

winter summer blushdsc03818

Contact me for your free-of-charge make-up update to try on some new make-up colors or have a new foundation blended.  Right now many of us are favoring mineral powder foundations blended to just the right color and texture; they feel light weight in the heat/humidity and provide an SPF protection of around 26.

Jane 603-491-7305    jbalshaw@comcast.net


Spring make-up trends for faces over 40


Make-up trends are dictated by the changes in clothing; new colors and new styles mean a new emphasis or de-emphasis on the face.  We all should have a classic make-up look based on our personal style but it is fun to sometimes change-up the make-up tones or application.  Spring is a great time to do that.

The color corporation, Pantone, has declared that Radiant Orchid is the color of the year 2014.  So make-up colors as an accessory have followed suit…spring make-up color

…honing in on that particular shade from the palette that fabric mills have created for garments to be made from this season.colors for spring 2014But a mature face does not do well with strong color.  What works well to create a dramatic statement on a younger face or runway model….radiant orchid make-up

…only looks garish and painted on a soft-focus canvas.

The rule of thumb for wearing color on a mature face is to use sheer hints of color combined with neutral skin tones.

To match the current fashion styles and vivid colors seen in clothing, make-up trends have become more subdued but more stylized.

Look number one: NUDENude looks 3

Using colors that naturally appear in the skin when you flush a little bit, they are applied on the natural curvatures of the face without changing the contrast.  On a mature face they translate like this, contouring through the crease of the eye to recreate that open look and defining the lashes…03-22-12-Mature-woman-using-blush-brush.-338x35001-Judi-Dench-80114494Look number two: BOLD LIPS, SOFT EYESberry lips red lips orange lips

Bold lip colors in orchid, berry, cherry red and orange can be worn as an accessory to match that color worn in clothing.  Because the color is so strong, cheek color is minimal/neutralish and eye color is simply a sweep of pale tone – often sheer white to brighten, lift and simplify the face.

On a mature face, the look translates like this – sheer strong lip color for just a wash of that tone and while the eyes are brightened with pale tones, they are still shaded for lift and lash emphasis:

th-1image-makeoversHere are some of the colors I keep in stock at Euchlora to accomplish these looks; lips…DSC05355 DSC05356

…and eyes…DSC05358

If you would like to have me design a spring make-up look just for you consider a Make-Up Enhancement Lesson.  If you have already had this session with me then all you need is an Update Session.

My make-up studio keeps a Banke of cosmetic color ready to fill into compacts chosen just for you.  In addition, I can custom blend any color or any texture of make-up foundations or lip colors and stock a many loose mica pigments that can be worn as-is.

Please contact me for a lesson, update or simply to try on some color.

Jane Balshaw – jbalshaw@comcast.net   603-491-7305

The Art of the Bath


Oozing into warmth, the quiver of contrast giving way to the rush of blissful release…ahhhh, the comfort of The Bath!  But more times than not when I am invited in to see someone’s newly remodeled bathroom, there sits center stage – framed in artisan tile work, punctuated with gleaming metal apparatus, flanked by artwork –  a gorgeous bath tub that the owner admits to having never used!  And through my own gifting of bath salts that sat unwrapped, I have come to realize that many people do not understand the benefits of The Bath.

My sister and I in our youth playing in the bath.

My sister and I in our youth playing in the bath.

Unlike the shower, the artful bath is not specifically about efficient cleaning; any kid will tell you that!  The bath soak is about renewing ones whole self, through detoxification, by limbering up arthritic joints or aching muscles, clearing sinuses, calming the mind and conditioning the skin.  Ten minutes in the tub can have the same effect as two Tylenol & a massage or an hour-long therapy session!  My daily ritual of a bath soak keeps my troublesome joints pain-free, warms me up to last all day long, keeps my sensitive body-skin free of rashes and helps keep my overly active mind peaceful.

DSC04155DSC04157I take a bath each morning to separate my very early morning ritual of reading, research and writing from my active work day.  That 10 minutes sets the mood of calm and balance for my day and is a treat that I look forward to; a reward, if you will, for the mind exercises.  For someone else it could be the reward for body exercises; that long run or time at the gym.  In the winter I will also take a bath at the end of the day using the warmth and the aromatherapy to induce a deep sleep.  The bath provides that mysterious “margin” in the day that helps us separate duty from the living life fully, that helps us release the compulsive to-do lists and helps percolate thoughts of creativity (I design some of my best stuff while in the tub).

aromatherapy2Any bath tub will do even if it is not luxurious but you want to make sure you can get your shoulders down in it.  Using blow-up vinyl bath pillows can help adjust your neck in a tub that is too straight in the back and in most tubs you should use a suction-cup plastic water-escape cover for the upper drain to allow the tub to fill up deeply (both available at any bed and bath store). I take a bath when I travel and have used some of the most pitiful tubs by rolling up extra towels under my neck and draping wash cloths over the escape drain.

The first step to taking a bath is to allow time for it.  Just like flossing your teeth or scheduling a hair cut, you need to put time aside for your whole body health.

How to take a bath:

  1. Start the water running at your desired temperature.   “Warm” is best.  Too hot will dissolve away too many of your skin’s natural protective oils and too cold will defeat the therapeutic purpose of the bath.
  2. Add salts: Under the running water add in any powders or salts.
  3. Add essential oils: Close the bath room door to trap in the heat/steam and the healthful positive ions produced by running water, and just before the tub is full, add in any aromatherapy plant essential “oils” under the running water.  The fragrance from these oils will release into the room providing a pleasurable and therapeutic fragrance to enhance your bath.  The oils in the water will also treat the skin and penetrate into your body for a therapeutic effect.
  4. Add bubbles: If you desire cleansing bubbles then add several pumps of a foaming wash that does NOT contain any sulfates, dyes or artificial fragrance all of which are bad for the skin and delicate body areas.  Dispense directly under the running water for the best effect.  Euchlora’s Purify Frothing Cleanser is perfect for this.
  5. Turn off water and swirl the tub around with a foot or hand to make sure all “oils” are dispersed.  Climb in and relax.  Wash where you need to but also catch up on your magazine reading, drink water, sip a cup of tea or simply just ponder.
  6. Get out and towel off briskly to remove dead skin cells and salt.  While still semi-damp apply a body lotion suited for your skin type avoiding artificial fragrance and dyes which are not good for the skin.  Euchlora’s customized Hand and Body Lotion is perfect.  Drink a glass of water to rehydrated after especially if you have detoxed.


The De-Stress bath:  Add 1/2 to 2 cups* cup epsom salt and 1 to 2 ml* of the following essential oil blend; a combination of grapefruit, geranium, a dab of clary sage or vetivert.


Grey epsom salt

The science: When you have been under a lot of stress your body produces free radical positive ions. The neutral ionic charge of the salt will help neutralize some of the stress ions and the high content of magnesium in epsom helps sooth muscle tension.  The oils react with the nervous system to calm it and induce euphoria.

The Detoxify bath:  Add 1/4 to 1 cup baking soda plus 1/4 to 1 cup* mineral laden salts such as Himilayan Pink Salt or Dead Sea Salt and 1 to 2 ml* of the following essential oil blend; a combination of juniper, lemon, sage, rosemary, pine or fir.

The science:  When you have over indulged in celebratory foods and beverages (sugars), the body becomes more acidic.  The higher pH of the baking soda helps to counter balance this while the extra salt content in the water draws the impurities out of your body through osmosis.  The oils work with the lymphatic system to draw toxins and kill bacteria in the body through their natural phenols.

Purply blue dead sea salts

Purply-blue dead sea salts

The Soothing bath: Add 1/4 to 1 cup* mineral laden salts such as Himilayan Pink Salt or Dead Sea Salt plus 1/2 to 1 cup* dried milk or dried yogurt solids and 1 to 2 ml* of the following essential oil blend; a combination of chamomile, neroli, petigrain, orange, lavender.

The science: The high mineral content on these kinds of salts treat skin irritations and the lactic acid in the dairy softens tissue.  Additionally, the probiotics in yogurt help balance the bacteria in the skin helping to treat fungal or yeast irritations.  Salt helps to tighten the skin as well.  The oils calm redness in the skin and react with the immune system to halt reactions.

Peachy pink himalayan salt

Peachy-pink himalayan salt

Next time you are in, let me gift you with a pre-blended yogurt bath-salt powder that I keep in stock during the winter months or let me create a blend of essential oils specifically for your skin type.   603-491-7305  jbalshaw@comcast.netbath-feet_2206587b

SOURCES:  Specialty salts can be purchased through The Salt Cellar in Portsmouth, NH or Portland, ME and some can be obtained through natural foods stores or on-line.

*Tub sizes vary and therefore so do the amount of additives.  Use the lesser amount listed for standard sized tubs up to the larger amounts for full sized jet tubs.

Choosing the right shade of red

Red is our neutral final

RED, red, red.  The color of energy and excitement!  Everyone has a shade they can wear.  Don it in the darker months because it is as warming to the soul as it is to the body.

Wear red to lift your spirits, to celebrate holidays and to single you out like those red berries against a winter landscape.  It is the longest seen wave length on the electromagnetic scale so it truly touches us by stimulating our feel-good hormones.  When our energy is low sometimes just looking at red is better than a strong cup of coffee.

Everybody has a shade of red that they can wear.  What may look brown on one person can be a vivid red on someone else in the same way that a purpley-wine can be just the right shade of “red” on another complexion.  Color changes according to what it is contrasted against.

According to my Triadic Color Theory System© our personal coloring falls into color categories of red, yellow or blue.  Just like the color wheel, each hue category has it’s own warmer or cooler sides because we all have dibs and dabs of genetic color marking that mix together to form our own unique tones.

See the simplified charts below to see if you can find your own coloring and determine the shade of red that would be best worn against your complexion.  The face of American is changing, however, so this diversity brings out many variations even on what I have shown.  And if you add to the fact that many of us color our hair, the possibilities are endless.  See information at the end of this post for a link to my color analysis service.


true reds chart finalTomato red, true red and coral red
Hair colors:
  • golden blond, warm gray, strawberry blond, fiery red, golden brown and warm black.
Skin colors:
  • yellow + beige = warm ivory skin tones
  • yellow + pink flush = apricot or peach skin tones
  • yellow + brown = golden tan skin tones

RED PREDOMINANCEred undertones finalrusset reds chart

Burnt orange-red, russet red, warm burgundy red

Hair colors:

  • pale reddish-ash brown, fiery gray, russet-brown, auburn, mahogany, chestnut black

Skin colors:

  • Red + yellow = warm peach skin tones
  • red + warm red = warm russet skin tones
  • red + warm brown = warm copper

BLUE PREDOMINANCEblue final #2blue reds chart

Cherry red, rosy red, plum red

Hair colors:

  • platinum blond, ash blond, silver-gray, medium cool brown, dark brown, blue-black

Skin colors:

  • blue + beige = cool bisque skin tones
  • blue + pink flush = cool rose skin tones
  • blue + brown = cool beige or brown skin tones
  • blue + yellow = olive skin tones

Read about my personal color analysis service.

Thank you to the many hair stylists and photographers for the use of the photos above: Hairstylesfomenwomen.com, thefashionspot.com, emaratiya.com, Ronnie Dankelman to name a few whose information I could find.

Art work shown above by me.  Painted, stitched and stretched cotton.  All rights reserved.