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Bella Interview: Chad Hayduk, Co-Founder of Three Custom Color Specialists

Now that you've taken my quiz to determine if your undertones are warm or cool, I thought it would be, er, cool to delve into the topic a bit deeper. In my three-part series, I'll be featuring tips and tricks from Chad Hayduk, co-founder of Three Custom Color Specialists.

Perhaps one of the best services offered by this nifty cosmetics company (see a tour!) is its adeptness in customizing blends — whether to help you recreate a beloved discontinued shade, or whip up a batch of your own perfect hue.

Another one of its specialties? Taking the guesswork out of the oft-posed question, "Am I a warm or a cool?" Look for more color-specific lip, cheek, and eyeshadow choices from Chad later this week. In the meantime, check out some helpful tips from Hayduk below.

On determining your undertone

  • The easiest way to tell is by taking a gold and silver lipstick or eye shadow to see which one melts into your skin. If the gold disappears and the silver is icy, you are a warm. If the silver melts and the gold is dramatic, you are a cool.
  • Also, ask yourself what happens when you are in the sun. If you burn and/or get a rosy-red tan, you're a cool. If you get a golden tone, you are a warm. Eighty-five percent of the population is warm.

On mixing and matching warm and cool colors

  • There is no reason why you can't mix warms and cools. Cools can look really dramatic on warm tones and vice versa.
  • To look the most natural, choose colors that are more appropriate for your tone.

About how neutrals fit into the mix

  • Just because it's taupe, camel, or brown, that doesn't mean it's a neutral. "Neutral colors have equal parts warm and cool," Chad says. "Think of true red and champagne, which is equal parts of gold and silver."

On color selection choices

  • For cools, "Think of the colors of ice — silvers, whites, and blues," Chad advises. Look for jewel tones like sapphire, ruby, emerald, and amethyst.
  • For warms, Chad says, "Think of the colors of fire — golds, bronzes, coppers, russets, khaki green, and chocolate brown."
  • Once you get the knack, you can then start using these guidelines to pick out optimal colors in other areas such as clothing and even your house paint choices, so you'll look best in many aspects (and lighting) of your life!
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