Let Colour Light Up Your Life
Generally, every morning we carry out our skincare routines, and some of us apply our make-up. These activities usually take place in front of a mirror, and often with a towel on our heads. The colour of that towel, as it sits next to our skin, can either give us a little boost or make us feel that we need a holiday! So I was keen to find out more about different colours and how they can make us feel.
Thank you to Helen from Natural Colour And Style, a style consultant from Hampshire, for this guest blog post on this very topic. Helen says...
We all have a favourite colour. Peek inside anyone’s wardrobe or home and there’ll be the repeated flash of a particular hue that has captured their heart. For me it’s blue, as anyone who shops with me will know. Like a moth to light, I home in on any shade from bright turquoise to deep ocean teal.
Having been brought up by the sea I know this love comes from many hours spent watching the waves crash the shore and I often think that by wearing blue, I’ll put myself back in that happy place. Sometimes it works, but on other occasions, the desired effect just doesn't materialise and I’m left feeling deflated. So why doesn’t wearing blue always make me happy?
Psychological Reaction To Colour
The key piece of the jigsaw is that different colours provoke different psychological reactions. When we see colour, the light that enters our eyes sends electrical impulses to our brain— these decipher those impulses and tell us what we see. Interestingly those impulses also pass through the part of our brain that processes emotions. So, whether we like it or not, scientific research has shown that we have a psychological reaction to every colour we’re exposed to.
Primary Colour Reactions
It’s not just a case of what we like—the 3 primary colours impact us in very distinct ways:
- Red triggers a physical response. Our heart and pulse rate increase, activating our instinctive flight or fight reaction. Red also has the longest wavelength and will always look nearer than it is. So, if you need energy or want to stand out, red is a great option.
- Yellow triggers an emotional response, impacting the nervous system which sends messages from our brains to our bodies, and can help us feel confident, positive and optimistic. Just think how uplifted we feel when the sun shines.
- Blue triggers a mental response and is often called the colour of communication. It affects our intellect and gets us thinking. Deeper tones give us focus and help us think logically whereas lighter tones provide calm, soothe us and aid reflection.
What About The Rest Of The Rainbow?
Sitting at the centre of the rainbow, green is a harmonious colour great for balancing our mind, body and emotions. Just consider the calming effect we feel from walking in nature. Some dementia units now use green interiors to soothe patients and prevent agitation.
Pink is nurturing, caring and the colour of empathic love which is why it can help us feel better about ourselves. Deeper, stronger pinks like fuchsia or magenta will be more stimulating. In business, a recent trend for women wanting to create impact has seen a switch from masculine red to a more feminine, but still feisty, strong pink.
Combining the positive elements from both red and yellow, orange is warm and energetic. It’s often playful, sometimes mischievous and very sociable—a great choice if you want to engage in friendly conversation.
The colour with the shortest wavelengths, purple, is the last colour we see which may explain its connection to a higher realm and a universe beyond ours. In the past, used by royalty and the church to demonstrate status, it’s still linked to spiritual awareness. Purple is perfect for meditation and can help restore peace from chaos, particularly for those dealing with grief or depression.
Think of trees and soil and that will give you a hint of the psychological impact of brown. It’s a strong, earthy colour that helps us feel grounded. The warm, rich tones of autumn can make us feel safe and cosy.
Choose Your Colour To Suit Your Mood Or Give A Boost
So, without realising it, the colours we wear can have a significant impact on our mood and how we feel. Back to my wearing blue and thinking it would make me feel happy, perhaps I really needed more energy or a little self-love on those days, and would have benefitted from wearing a red jumper, or reaching for a softer pink scarf.
Feeling good about the colours we wear is something I’m really passionate about and one thing I've always told my clients after I’ve completed their colour analysis is to try to find a hair towel in one of their wow colours. Wearing colours that complement our natural complexion creates a harmony that lights us up. Starting the day post-shower, looking in the mirror and feeling the skin brightening and eye sparkling effects of complementary tones can give us such a boost. That’s the power of colour.