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TikTok colour theory
via TikTok @color.nerd

How to find your perfect make-up shades using colour theory

TextHannah Bertolino

TikTokers are bringing it all back to A-level Art to find the blushes and eyeshadows that match your skin tone

In the latest TikTok beauty hack, MUA’s are teaming up with artists to pinpoint their perfect make-up shades using colour theory – the study of how colours mix, match, and contrast each other, most often used in painting and art using a colour wheel.

The trend started when beauty influencer Miss Darcei tried on a warm purple blush following a commenter’s recommendation. Soon after the video went viral, artist Peter Donahue dueted the tutorial – breaking down Darcei’s skin tone and blush shade on a colour wheel to explain why purple make-up shades blend with dark skin tones to look pink, creating an especially flattering colour combination. 

“The hue of that blush was around here – a warm purple,” said Donahue, while marking down the tone of the blush and Darcei’s skin tone on a colour wheel. “That’s key because if you’ve got a beautiful brown skin tone, that’s going to land you in the pink (colour) zone to get beautiful pink highlights like she got.” 

He also noted that if someone with a darker brown skin tone wore a purple blush that was too cool, it would cause gray tones and if they wore one too red, it might cause a “cartoon character” appearance.

Since posting his explanation, #purpleblush has gathered up 10.2 million views on the app, with TikTokers taking their own stab at the blush combo. In most of the videos, users opt for Fenty Beauty’s Cheeks Out Freestyle cream blush in Drama Cla$ or NudeStix’s Nudie Blush in Moddie Blu seem to reach the perfect warm-toned purple.

Speaking in a new TikTok, Donahue explained that all skin tone and make-up matches can be mapped out using a colour wheel. “Some of the language about undertones and warm versus cool is actually misleading,” he said, explaining that all skin tones actually fall between orange and red shades. “If you look at colour this it actually might dispel some myths.”

Further, he stated that someone with dark skin and yellow or green undertones will want to try a cool-toned purple to reach a pink blush shade. Otherwise, someone with a lighter skin tone and yellow undertones will want to try a magenta colour to reach a similar effect. 

Map out your own blush shade on Donahue’s colour wheel below.


Reply to @justatwicefan_once what color is your skin, actually? ##colortheory ##makeupcolor ##purpleblush ##oliveskin

♬ original sound - color.nerd

I’ve seen this all over and was SO scared to try purple blush but WOW omg 💜 ##fentybeauty ##purpleblush

♬ INFERNO - Sub Urban & Bella Poarch

Reply to @whatsupclouds ##FentyBeautyTries the VIRAL purple blush @Yashora ✨💜 Don’t sleep on our Cheeks Out Cream Blush in Drama Class, y’all!! ##fentybeauty ##purpleblush ##viralmakeup ##tiktokmademebuyit

♬ Lo-fi hip hop - NAO-K
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