How to Choose the Right Metallic for Your Palette


There are a couple of things to consider when choosing a metallic accessory such as jewellery or metallic garments.

1. Undertone (or temperature) of your colouring

2. Brightness of your palette and sheen of your skin

Let’s look at each individually.

How to choose metallic jewellery and garments based on your skin sheen, colour palette and undertone - click here to discover moreUndertone or Temperature

Whether you have a cool or warm undertone will make a difference to which metallics blend best with your skin.

When choosing a jewellery item to wear, if you want it to look harmonious with your skin tone, then choose a metallic that has the same undertone (or temperature) as your skin.

Cool Undertone

  • Silver
  • Platinum
  • Gunmetal
  • Rose Gold

Warm Undertone

  • Gold
  • Bronze
  • Copper
  • Rose Gold

You will notice that both warm and cool undertone’s can wear rose gold.  This is because it has the pink (cool) plus yellow (warm) elements and sits in the more ‘neutral’  or middle of the warm/cool spectrum.

Now if you choose, particularly with jewellery, you may want your piece to really stand off from your skin and become a real feature.  If so, you can choose the alternate metal undertone to your skin which will create an element of pop.  As the jewellery piece is less than 10% of your total outfit, adding in that alternate undertone won’t be detrimental to the overall harmony of your outfit.

You can of course mix metals in your accessories.  If you are warm, go for a higher percentage of a warmer colour with smaller of cooler, and vice versa for cool undertone skins.

But if you wear a garment that is more than 10% of your outfit, you will find that it casts an unflattering pall over your skin and if you are warm, will wash you out and make you look tired and ill.  If you are cool, the golden glow may make you look like you have a case of jaundice and should head immediately to the nearest emergency room.

Sheen of Metallics

Brightness of Your Palette

how to choose a metallic that works with your colour palette
Notice how a brighter metallic works with a more vibrant palette and a brushed metallic works with a muted palette.

Sheen and shine make a colour look brighter and so shiny metallics tend to work best with colour palettes that are brighter and more vibrant as the sheen works well and harmonises with the clear and pure colours.

Brushed metals are softer and work well with palettes that are toned (muted, soft or smoky) as they are more related.

Skin Sheen

How to choose a metallic to suit your skin and colouring
You can see how shiny my skin gets a couple of hours after putting on makeup (and yes I powder up each day, but my natural shine breaks through pretty quickly).

You will also want to consider the sheen of your metallic garment or accessory and consider the natural sheen of your skin.

If you are more naturally matte or have a low sheen to your skin and  hair, choose a brushed metal or a metallic that has a duller appearance.

If you have a more shiny skin and hair, then you will need to match your natural shine to metallics that reflect more light and are more shiny and bright.

Want to discover your best colour palette, how bright or muted, warm and cool?  You will get this and so much more as part of my 7 Steps to Style program.  Find out more here.

Discover your colours and style with the best, most comprehensive online style program

Fabric – Should I choose Matte, Sheen or Shine?

How to Choose Makeup and Fabrics Based on Skin Sheen

Which is the Best for You – Matte, Sheen or Shine?

How to Choose Fabrics to Flatter

How to Mix Metals


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