bobbi brown smokey nudes palette

By Gabrielle. Eyeshadow palette by Bobbi Brown.

When I mentioned I had an appointment to go blonde tomorrow, there were a few comments that talked about certain hair colors not fitting the coloring of certain people. Those comments totally put me on the path down memory lane! When I was in middle school and high school, I think I went to a dozen different parties where a make-up specialist or fashion stylist would determine whether we were a winter, a spring, a summer or a fall. Then, once we knew what season we were, we would then be told what colors we could wear, and which we should avoid. I usually ended up as a winter, and I remember that basically no season seemed to be allowed to wear yellow. Hah!

Did any one else do this? I assume it was happening across the country, but maybe it was just in my home town. (My town was very Mormon and very white, so many this was a Mormon thing? Or a white people thing?)

I haven’t thought about what “season” I am for maybe 15 years or more. And the realization made me wonder: how many of us avoid wearing certain colors because we were told at some point they didn’t look good on us?

That seems like such a silly thing to me now! I would say the cut and fit of clothing can make a much bigger difference in how we look in certain pieces than the color. And I would also say that colors come and go with trends, and whatever color is trendy magically seems to look good on the general populace. Over the years, I think I’ve worn every kind of color. If I decide I don’t like how I look in one item or another, it’s more likely to be because I don’t like the style, not because I think the color “doesn’t work for me”.

Beyond clothing, I would say makeup trends have completely changed as well. I remember at around age 13, being told that only blue-eyed people could wear blue eyeshadow successfully. But these days, I can’t imagine anyone giving that sort of restrictive beauty advice! I feel like over the last decade, I’ve seen every color of eyeshadow worn gorgeously on every color of person. And there are lots of articles like this one that share makeup colors that look good on all skin tones. Which of course, makes me conclude all the color advice from my youth was totally bizarre, or, that we’ve redefined what we think is beautiful.

The “coloring rules” for hair have also changed. The categories used to be black, brunette, red, and blonde, but now people sport hair color in every shade of the rainbow. Or, someone might have dyed blonde hair, but intentionally keep dark roots as a contrast to the blonde — meaning, she’s not trying to pretend she’s naturally blonde. Consider someone with blue hair. The whole idea of certain skin tones looking better or worse with blue hair seems odd to me. Who gets to say who looks good in blue hair? If the person with the blue hair likes the look, isn’t that enough?

Anyway, this is for sure on my mind because of my hair plans. Will I like how blonde hair looks on me? Will my skin look different? Will my eyebrows seem unusually dark? At first those seem like normal questions to me, but then they suddenly feel weird. Because among the billions of people on the earth, there is most certainly someone out there that has skin and eyes and eyebrows that match mine, and hair that is naturally the color I will end up tomorrow. And if I saw that person, would I think: geez, that hair color doesn’t look good with her coloring, or, she sure needs to lighten her eyebrows. Well, of course not. None of us would. Having never seen her any other way, we wouldn’t know the difference.

Related, if my hair was its current natural color, it would be almost completely silver — which is very different than the dark brown hair color I grew up with. Does that mean my coloring has changed to match the silver and I don’t know it? Or is my coloring the same, and the whole idea of hair color and skin color relating somehow totally wrong? Same for Ben Blair, he had very red hair when we married, but it has faded to a light brown. He was told not to wear red as a redhead, but I’ve always like him in red. So many questions!

That was long and rambling, and frankly, I don’t even know what my conclusions are. But I’d love to hear what your take on “seasons” is, and what you think of having hair that “looks good with your coloring”. Do you feel like there are certain colors you look best in? Were you ever told you didn’t look good in a certain color? Or maybe you feel very different than me. Have you had good luck following color advice you heard at some point? I’d love to hear!