Tagged Personal style

Beauty and personal style; Bloom where you are planted

414136772_dd9b2ec29fThere comes a time when we realize that as a woman we hold the power to be our best self.

…that we can settle in on and embrace who we have become and set aside the angst-imposed beauty-striving in favor of beauty-thriving.

…to bloom where we are planted in life.

As Kevin Kline’s character famously said in the movie My Old Lady, “A perfect flower is nearly old”.

It is the accumulation of our unique qualities that define our personal beauty.  Whether we have short legs or thick ones, low brows or non-existent ones, a wide back or thin lashes or whatever “they” tell us is imperfection, these are the very things that work to our advantage to help define our  personal style.

OUR unique personal style.  Why not set aside the scattered/obsessive, insta-flashing, tweetering and glossy layouts of information out there about how we should c h a n g e ourselves, instead why not BE ourselves?  We alone hold the power and I would like to encourage it.

All this spring I am going to be writing on this topic.  Some of what I am thinking about is how body proportions are trendy & how to embrace our own, how facial bone structure contributes to how our skin ages & how to be OK with the results and what goes too far in the world of skin rejuvenation.

Let start a dialog, OK?  Please leave a comment.

Gorgeous roses at the end of their life.  Their color is intensified and their shape is perfected.

Gorgeous roses at the end of their life. Their color is intensified and their shape is perfected.


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

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.

Spring make-up trends and personal style

Spring color collage 2013

You’ve heard me preach it over and over; to embrace our individuality, to enhance who we are naturally and be the best version of ourselves.  The world would be so boring if we were all “vanilla”.  And if you think about who stands out in a red-carpet situation it is always the woman being the most elegant interpretation of herself and not necessarily whatever trend of emphasis is being forced upon us (boobs or backs, long hair or short hair, lashes or lips, gaunt or curvaceous…)

And so it is with make-up.  Wearing what emphasizes our own personal style, face shape and coloring is far more fetching then trying to mimic what we see in fashion.  This is one place where “staying current” is a moot point; unless, of course, current trends just happen to be your style.

As shown above, make-up as a trend is the final accessory to the greater design influence in fashion.  These influences usually start with color forecast by color associations then the fabric mills create the cloth from that information.  Below: Lenzing Textiles released their fabrics well over a year ago.lenzing-ss-2013-colors-07l

The designers then interpret their work through the cloth colors available to them then make-up follows suit.  spring 2013 yellowWTFSG-gold-eyeliner-290x290-1Milan Mens Fashion Week Salvatore Ferragamo Spring-Summer 2013 Runway Show_0143spring 2013 aqua and orangeeye-makeup-trends-spring-2013-michael-kors-becomegorgeous

As any one good with color knows, the way hues combine, with their inherent contrasts and harmonies, is what drives style.  The high contrast and opposite (Complimentary) color schemes fashionable for several seasons now, have lent themselves to dramatic styling like color blocking on both the body and the face.  The fashionable thick dark eye liner and smoky eye make-up is a great foil against this.  This spring we are screaming into the most extreme versions of this styling with the addition of bold color too.  Below, Armani and Dior…Armani-Spring-Summer-2013-Makeup-Trends-Promo6dior_spring_2013_cherie_bow_makeup_collection9

But for the designers currently, the only way to relieve the consumers vision and remain fresh is to go backward.  So soft is coming back.  Phew.Screen Shot 2012-10-13 at 3.52.11 PMtrends 2013 orangeSpring pinks 2013

But to my mind, it never left.  Every face has the need for a soft look; that day off or work-out or I-don’t-wear-make-up look.  Low contrast on the face, monochromatic color schemes…DSC04392

I have a combination of colors I wear on the week-ends that are just extensions of “me” to uplift and brighten just a bit.  Left to right EYES; my eyebrow color, my go-to soft contour color, my neutral lid color (it just disappears but adds a bit of light-catching luminescence), a brighter lid shade for a bit more color and my darkest hair color to line lashes.  CHEEKS: Sheer no-color to contour a bit.  LIPS: sheer peachy nude and darker coppery peachy nude.DSC04398

photoMy personal at-work style is more dramatic.  I like a fair amount of “neutralized” color on my eyes using Complimentary color tones to bring out the green or the blue in my hazel while coordinating with the color in my clothing.  Anyone who knows me knows I like a fairly pigmented lip color as well (as we age we need more).

And since I will probably wear some of the current clothing colors this spring, I will experiment with a new palette of make-up color in my personal color range, taking into consideration my age.DSC04403

Why change?  Because it is fun!  If I can help you discover your personal make-up style and show you come current colors in YOUR range, please click here for more information.  Happy spring!