How to Frame Your Face with Color Contrast

Cyndy Porter Style Conversation Framing Your Face with Color Contrast


What is your color contrast level, and how can you use it to frame your face?

Think about someone who has a fair complexion with light eyes and hair.


Or, a woman with a darker complexion, dark hair and eyes.

Perhaps, someone with dark hair, a light complexion and red lips. 

Which woman can best wear bright or patterned clothing? Who will look washed out when wearing light, monochromatic colors? 

When I tell women it is best to match their clothing to their natural contrast level, they typically look at me bemused.  But if you think about it, if you put a bright color or a strong pattern next to something that is monochromatic or muted doesn’t the latter just visually disappear?

The same principle holds true for us. Our contrast level can be used to frame our face, naturally and quite beautifully!

The goal is to bring attention to our faces not our clothing or our body.  Even if you have a rockin’ hot body, that’s not what you want to lead with.  You want people to pay attention to what you have to say, to look into your eyes not elsewhere.  Supporting your face with the clothes you wear is just one of the many principles that should make up your personal Style Formula™.  Your formula of what to wear and not wear so you look your personal best every day.

Are you high, medium or low contrast?  Grab a mirror and map it out:

On a scale of 1 – 10 with 1 as very light and 10 as very dark what are your:

scale-1-10 face contrast mapEyes

Whites of your Eyes




If you fall within a few points on everything (you are all light, all medium, or mostly dark) then you are low contrast. 


If you are all over the map with dark hair, light skin, white teeth, and dark eyes, for example, then you are high contrast.


If you are pretty balanced or in-between those
two levels, then
you are medium contrast.


So, now what?

You will find if you match your natural contrast level you will look harmonious.  Your clothes will support your facial features and you will not draw attention away from your face.

If you get dressed and you aren’t sure, try this trick: look in a full-length mirror and close your eyes. When you open your eyes, do you see yourself or your clothes?  If you see your clothes they are too strong for your face and should be toned down.

There are always exceptions to the rule. If you have worked with me you know I always start with your personality; your personal brand.  What if you have a high contrast personality with low contrast features?  Then this is a factor. If you are the life of the party with a big personality, then you can wear bigger bolder prints and colors.  People will expect your personality to match your visual presentation.  It is a bit confusing if you don’t.  Personality as well as the occasion matters; if you are shy or bold, if you are presenting to a group of 500 or a librarian, make sure your clothes and their contrast are in sync. 

It is easy for a natural “high contrast” woman to wear lower contrast clothing and still bring attention to her face.  But if you are a “low contrast” woman you will want to consider darker hues in your hair, brighter lipstick colors and statement eyewear to balance things out.

If you want some more examples check out these Pinterest Boards:


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