Gold or Silver Color Analysis-test:
Are You Warm or Cool?
"Fuss-free Approach to Finding
What Colors Look Fabulous on You"
The Gold or Silver-test is a simple approach to determining if you look best in Warm or Cool colors. It's not as detailed as the seasonal color analysis but it helps you to move one step closer to gaining general idea of what colors look best on you, and that is sometimes enough for some.
It can also be a good indicator to figuring out if you're a warm season; Autumn or Spring. Or a cool season; Summer or Winter – which is all explained in the Seasonal Color Analysis.
|| How the Gold or Silver color analysis will benefit you
Even though I prefer the seasonal color analysis over the gold or silver test, the gold or silver approach is still useful in confirming what type of Dark, Light, Clear or Soft-muted you are. By knowing if you're a Cool or Warm, you'll be able identify if you're a Light Spring or Light Summer - Deep Winter or Deep Autumn, and so on.
When it comes to determining your best colors, you'll have to look for your hair's, eyes and skin's dominant undertone. I'm saying dominant as most people have a little bit of both coolness and warmth in their coloring, but the majority will always have an undertone that is more obvious than the other.
The undertone is basically the underlying color of any hue. For example - tomato red has a yellow undertone, while true blu has a blue undertone. A person's coloring has either a dominant warm, cool or neutral undertone. A neutral coloring usually has both coolness and warmth equally present and can wear both cool and warm colors well.
Skin Tone Not That Significant
The skin tone is getting less significant when analyzing a person's coloring. That's because the skin's undertones get camouflaged with tan and makeup. Also, most skin tones have some cool and warm tones. This can leave you very confused when analyzing your coloring.
The skin tone doesn't tell the whole story of your coloring – you need to look at it as a whole. As a color analyst, we'll weigh in your skin's undertone as needed.
How to do the Gold or Silver Test
Silver and gold are the two most common metals that can easily reflect if warm or cool colors look best on your coloring. Silver is considered cool and complements anyone with dominant cool undertones - and gold is considered warm and harmonize best with colorings that are predominantly warm.
The silver or gold test is one of the effective ways to uncover your undertone. If you're a cool, it eliminates the warm groups from the seasonal color analysis, or if you're warm you'll be able to cross off all of the cool groups. This leaves you with a few groups to work with.
Here's how you do the Gold or Silver Color Analysis on yourself..
- A large mirror
- Two jewelry pieces – one in bright silver (not pewter as it is more neutral) and the other one in a clear, gold. In some cases, you may need a warm, bright yellow and a royal blue cloth
- Natural lighting
How to do it:
Simply hold the jewelry in those two metals against your face, and take notice of which one makes your overall complexion look brighter and stands out more. This is best done under natural lighting and with NO makeup whatsoever.
Observe the changes in your face...
So Are You Warm or Cool?
As explained in the guide to seasonal color analysis, your best colors make you look healthy and will soften all imperfections such as dark eye circles, wrinkles and discolorations. You need less makeup when wearing your best colors.
However, 'bad' colors can emphasize imperfections such as yellow teeth, lines and uneven skin tone, and make you look sick and pale (not in a good way). A sure sign that tells if a color is 'bad' for you is if you see any dark shadows where you place the color against at.
Here are a couple of things to observe:
- Do you look healthier? Notice the quality of your skin, eyes and skin tone
- Does the metal make you look bland, or just ok?
- Does the metal create or accentuate dark eye circles?
- Do you see any unflattering shadows? (specifically under your chin)
- Does it make your teeth look yellow/more yellow?
Do you notice any differences when switching between gold and silver?
If the gold metal makes you glow and you feel fresher and look more alive, then you're definitely a gold!
If the silver metal lights up your face, making your coloring look more luminous and healthy, then you're a silver!
However, if you can't decide because both metals seem to look equally well on your face. It may be that you look fantastic in both, or just good, then you might be a Neutral!
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If Gold Looks Better on You Than Silver
Then you probably have:
- Blonde, red, brown or black with reddish or golden highlights
- Fair to dark skin color with a dominant warm undertone (peachy or yellow)
- Earthy quality to your eyes, eg. Dark brown to light brown/topaz, hazel, green, warm blues
This means you look fabulous in peachy, rich, golden and earthy colors which will enhance your warm coloring.
Note: Some of the deep colors may look a bit strong on you if you're a lighter shade of Warm, so I suggest that you check out Color Me Beautiful's warm seasons Spring and Autumn for more details on which spectrum of the warm colors look best on you.
(Left) Heather Graham looks good in the lighter, peachy and warm colors.
(Right) Eva Mendes looks best in the deep, rich and warm colors.
Here are some of your best colors
- Muted and warm colors such as camel, beige, bronze, mochas and charcoal grey
- Exotic mango orange, softer tones of peach and gold
- Earthy green like lime, grass, celery, olive, moss and jade
- Off-white, ivory and cream look more inviting on you than snow white because of their slight warm and yellow tinge
- You suit warmer shades of red (eg. Tomato red) a lot better than the blue-toned reds such as burgundy and true red.
Just because blue is considered to be a cool color, you can still find warmer shades of blue that will look stunning on you. Like for example bright, navy blue, marine blue and teal.
If you have a very deep but warm coloring (eg. Dark brown hair, olive-golden skin tone, dark brown eyes) you can pull off navy blue because your coloring flows into cool.
Charcoal and deeper nuances of gray suit you better than light grey. However, mid-gray looks good on almost anyone because it's neither too light or dark.
Quick reference of your coloring:
- You most likely have yellow or peachy (warm pink) undertones
- Your eyes are typically brown, green or hazel; also hints of yellow
- Hair color is typically brown, black, red, auburn or strawberry blonde
- The veins on the underside of your wrist are more green than blue
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If Silver Looks Better on Than Gold
Then you probably have:
- Black, olive, ivory or pale white with evident cool undertones
- Cool or ashy looking hair color, eg. Ashy dark brown, white-blonde, salt & pepper, silver
- Cool or jewel-like eyes, eg. Dark brown, black, blue, emerald green, violet, gray
This means you look stunning in colors that have a cool undertone.
Note: Some of the colors might come off as too strong if you're a lighter shade of Cool (for example, blonde hair, very light skin and eyes). For more accurate color palette suggestions you might want to check out Color Me Beautiful's cool seasons Summer and Winter for more details on which spectrum of the cool color chart looks best on you. Or take the seasonal color analysis instead.
(Left) Gwyneth Paltrow looks good in the lighter, delicate and cooler colors.
(Right) Lucy Liu looks best in the deeper, vivid and cool colors.
Here are some of your best colors:
- Delicate pastels such as pastel green, baby blue, light and rose pink (best for very pinkish-cool complexion with ashy light blonde to medium ash brown, blue eyes)
- Different range of pink shades such as raspberry, light rose, soft-reds, plum
- Vivid colors such as emerald green
- Crisp, pure white than warm whites looks magnificent on your cool-toned coloring
- You look gorgeous with blue-toned reds such as true red (best on darker hair color)
- Almost every hue of the ocean goes perfectly with your complexion
- Depending on the intensity of your coloring, light to charcoal grey looks great with your complexion
Quick reference on your coloring:
- Your eyes are typically blue, blue-green, turquoise, cool brown, gray, violet
- Hair color ranges from light blonde to jetblack but instead of golden highlights, it has hints of either silver or ashy undertones (or could look bluish). Graying hair is very common
- Skin has more obvious pink or blue undertone
- The veins on the underside of your wrist is more than likely more blue than green
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If Both Gold and Silver Look Equally Good on You
If you're unable to determine if you suit gold or silver best because they both look equally good on you then you might be a neutral; which is a coloring that has both obvious cool and warm undertones in hair, eyes and/or skin.
(Left) Jennifer Aniston is a neutral with cool coloring who looks best in silver but can look good in gold too.
(Right) Katherine Heigl is a neutral with a warm coloring and looks best in gold but can look good in silver too.
This is also a strong indication that you may be a Soft-muted in the seasonal color analysis. Think Jennifer Aniston and Drew Barrymore, or Katherine Heigl.
They have a cool and warm quality to their coloring – it's neither too dark, nor light, neither warm nor cool, and definitely not clear.
However Jennifer Aniston seems to lean more on the cool side because of her piercing blue eyes which indicates she's a cool neutral. While Drew Barrymore has hazel-greenish eyes which makes her look a bit more warm – a warm neutral. Katherine Heigl has light blonde hair but warm brown eyes and that makes her a warm neutral.
They can wear both warm and cool colors well because of their coloring's neutrality.
Note: One type of color that you may want to restrict from is ash tones because they make your coloring look bland.
Quick reference on your neutral coloring:
- Your skin tone has no obvious yellow, olive, blue or ruddy (pink flush) undertones
- Your veins might be a mix of blue and green
- You seem to have cool or warm color features. For example: Blonde ashy hair but with golden brown eyes, or mousy hair color with blue eyes, or mixed eyes (blue with some yellow or grey in them)
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