Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Art lessons for your face

Specifically, your eye shadow.

When we talk about colors, there are three basic qualities they have: Hue, saturation, and value.

Hue is which color: blue, red, green, etc.

Saturation is the dominance of that hue in a given color or pigment. A pure hue is saturated; gray is desaturated. I think of it as the intensity of the color.

Value is the lightness/darkness of the color.

When I do an eye look, I make sure to have three values: light, medium, and dark. That's regardless of which or how many hues I use. I could have a monochromatic look with shades of green, or I could do a multi-hued look with green, purple, and pink; the principle will be the same.

We can run into trouble and make a boring look if we confuse hue and value. Suppose I put green on the lid and purple in the crease, but they're the same value. Doesn't matter that the hues are different: You get no contouring effect by doing that. It looks blah. I have to have, for example, a light green on the lid and browbone, medium purple in the crease blending up into the highlight, and a very deep/dark purple in the outer V. Think in terms of having high contrast. Always blend where colors meet, of course, but make sure the contrast is there.

As to saturation, that comes into play when you decide whether you want a subtle look or a bold one. Saturated colors are bright and bold, suitable for going out in the evening. Colors that are more desaturated are muted and suitable for work.

I recommend no more than 3 hues of shadow in an eye look. After that, you get muddy or you look like a rainbow. If you're doing a monochromatic look, you can blend some black into that outer V.

What think you all?


  1. this is awesome Miranda..good info thanks!!

  2. Awesome color class, Miranda! Bravo! Great pointers! :D


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