Contrast is the style secret that nobody talks about.
Until now, of course. Because I cover all of the crucial contrast info in today’s video.
Contrast can be critical, especially for women whose contrast falls at one end of the spectrum or the other, like my case study here. I’ll call this:
The Case of the Two Jennifers
As a style detective (I am now making this a thing) it doesn’t take a lot of style sleuthing to see the difference in the color and contrast of two very famous Jennifers: Jennifer Aniston and Jennifer Connolly.
They’re both famous and stunning and over 50, but they are polar opposites in their contrast.
Where Jennifer Aniston’s contrast is subtle (low), Jennifer Connolly’s contrast is striking (high).
And this one distinction changes everything. First, let’s look at Jennifer A.
As you can see by looking at this picture of Jennifer, all of her coloring (hair, skin, and eyes) fall in the Medium Range on this Grayscale. There is very little difference in the value (darkness/lightness) of her hair, skin, and eyes. It’s all right in that 5-6 range.
Little difference = low contrast.
Because her contrast is so low, her most flattering outfits will also be low contrast. (Yes, I know that Jennifer Aniston looks good in EVERYTHING, but that’s because she is superhumanly gorgeous.)
But what does that mean, exactly?
It means a print or an outfit with colors that are close to each other in value (lightness/darkness). Here are some examples:
Honestly, none of these look like Jennifer’s style, but you get the idea.
The difference between the lightest and the darkest colors on these outfits is LOW. And the difference between the lightest colors and the darkest colors on Jennifer Aniston is LOW.
Now let’s go to the other end of the contrast spectrum and look at Jennifer Connelly.
Seriously. Could she be any prettier? In the color system that I use, Jennifer Connelly is a Clear, which means that her coloring is bright and high contrast. As you can see, her skin is at 1 and her hair is at 10. That’s about as high contrast as you can get.
As a High Contrast beauty, Jennifer Connelly glows in black/white and other high contrast color combinations.
Now that we’ve cracked the Case of the Two Jennifers, let’s move on to another famous face known for its medium contrast.
Oh, wait. That’s me. Well, since my picture is here anyway, we might as well take a peek. Like many of you, I have medium contrast coloring. My skin is a level 4 on this grayscale, and my hair is at 9-10. Since my coloring goes about halfway across the grayscale, my Contrast Level is Medium (or more specifically, Medium to High. But that’s a topic for another post).
“When in doubt, choose medium contrast. It’s universally flattering.”
More women have medium contrast than any other category, and it works on everyone. A few more pointers on working with contrast:
- Low Contrast: You can choose looks that are Low to Medium in contrast
- High Contrast: You can choose looks that range from Medium to high in contrast.
- Medium Contrast: You can experiment with both High and Low Contrast looks.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this mini crash course in contrast!