People can look nice in all kinds of colours.
The principles of personal colour analysis do not suggest otherwise.
Instead, personal colour analysis is about viewing beauty through the lens of natural human pigmentation.
But there are other types of beauty aesthetic, forms of self expression and ways to connect how we look with who we are.
Maybe wearing bright colours makes you happy and that's that.
Maybe your appearance respects cultural conventions.
Maybe the convenience of black trumps everything else or you already have a sense of style that represents you.
Maybe you have zero interest in clothes at all!
There are many ways to be ourselves and many ways to appreciate beauty.
However, this broader approach is not the focus of my work at Spicemarket Colour so I’ll make this point just once.
If you choose not to dress in your natural colours, that doesn’t mean you look bad.
It just means you live by a different set of values.
And many trends, styles and fashion choices are, by definition, absolutely not natural - which is often the objective entirely.
Design comes in many forms.
To demonstrate, allow me to introduce 11 unnatural looks I love to love.
Crisp and graphic
Gwen Stefani has been running this look so long it’s hard to recognise her without it.
She looks completely manufactured yet also striking, like a living piece of pop art.
Why do I love her look?
Because she maintains it with diamond precision.
Makeup is always perfectly applied and I have never, ever seen even a millimetre of regrowth on that platinum head.
High maintenance indeed but clearly true to Gwen’s sense of self expression.
2. Vintage fabulous
If you’re not familiar with Dita Von Teese, she is a phenomenally successful burlesque queen.
And she looks straight out of old Hollywood.
Burlesque is about escapism and the glamour of a bygone era.
It’s Marlene Dietrich and art deco and something more exciting than the everyday.
Dita is theatre.
Natural beauty has no place in this world - and that’s ok!
3. Faux red
Neither Christina Hendricks nor Emma Stone are natural redheads.
They’re probably not natural blondes either, although they might have been in their childhood as both seem more balanced that way.
But it really doesn’t matter.
They have become iconic redheads and that’s how we think of them now.
They stand out from the crowd and they own it.
4. Op shop chic
Actresses Chloe Sevigny and Maggie Gyllenhaal build their very individual fashion personalities by mixing clashing colours, prints and textures.
Their sense of style is interesting and curated, flagrantly throwing shade at typical parameters.
Teaming casual with formal, modern with a dash of grandma’s closet or classic with avant garde, the quirky, bric-a-brac results are truly unique and distinctive.
I think of it as eclectic ladylike - feminine but with a boldness derived from the unexpected.
Nothing really “goes” with anything else.
I love the seemingly random effect but I guarantee, like a deliberately discordant art collection, every element has been very carefully considered.
At the heart of some stylistic approaches is a desire to challenge mainstream beauty standards.
Tilda Swinton really is one of a kind.
Her sense of style is experimental, inventive and sometimes pretty weird.
Does she look beautiful styled naturally?
But would that be true to her?
Not so much.
Never go natural Tilda, you fascinating original!
6. Rock chick
There are so many interpretations of this much-loved style that it always seems to stay fresh and cool.
Kristen Stewart and Pom Klementieff love a little edge.
And why shouldn’t they?
They look classic and modern at the same time.
I love the space for androgyny and the option to dial up the comfort levels with jeans or flat boots.
Natural or unnatural - these girls have great styling either way.
7. Playful and daring
For many people, fashion should be fun.
Katy Perry is clearly a member of this tribe!
She changes her look with breathtaking regularity but playfulness is a common theme - whether it’s crazy use of colour, retro chic or something akin to cosplay.
Some of Katy’s choices are outrageous and utterly unthinkable for most people’s everyday.
And that’s why her style is so enjoyable.
Vicarious, entertaining fashion.
8. Young and trendy
What to do when you’re young, gorgeous and uber cool?
Zendaya and Sophie Turner are some of the hip, influential members of Hollywood’s young bunch.
They are seldom interested in natural beauty.
Instead, watch as they set trends and live life on the cutting edge of fashion innovation.
They’re making statements, wearing whatever the hell they like, and having a great time doing it.
The world would be lesser without their fearless energy.
9. Gothic majesty
Ah the steadfast attraction of unsettling beauty!
Goth chic holds enduring popularity.
This look really seems to have resonated with Eva Green and Rooney Mara, both of whom wear it a lot.
Interpretations of this style vary but the outcome is typically the same: formal, distant and romantic with whispers of a long-lost time.
Unless you are a Dark Winter, this look has quite the transformative power, rendering some people almost unrecognisable.
I’m sure it’s exactly the effect these ladies are after.
10. Peachy porcelain doll
Dreamy, dewy and delicate, there’s a lot to love about K-beauty’s current makeup trends.
When perfectly executed, these looks create a hazy, feminine glow beloved by Korean models Jungha Byun and Sungkyung Seo.
This look is fresh and youthful - almost floral - with everything lightened up using contact lenses and hair dye.
Manga princesses come to life.
Human cherry blossoms.
It’s impossibly pretty.
11. Cos they can!
These folks really are in a league of their own.
When you’re a bona fide superstar like Rihanna or Beyonce, you can essentially do whatever you want.
There are no fashion faux pas, no mistakes, no barriers to time or money.
Occasionally they opt for something low key or natural but it’s often in contrast to the excess and luxury of everything else.
These ladies use fashion as art or to make a statement, to reinforce their brand or showcase someone’s amazing design talent.
We are supposed to be beguiled, shocked or awed by their choices.
We are supposed to bow down!
This is by no means an exhaustive list.
I delight in the many ways people use individuality to express themselves.
It’s an interesting, fun space we should give ourselves permission to explore.
Natural beauty is just one approach.
When I refer to examples in my discussion about people looking unbalanced, or inharmonious, or not their “best”, please remember the context.
It’s not criticism or a value judgement upon other interpretations of beauty.
Spicemarket Colour is simply a place where natural beauty loves to be loved.
At the end of the day, the most important beauty standard of all is to be true to ourselves.