The color pink is like cilantro. People seem to either love it or hate it. Rarely is there an in-between. Often these feelings are rooted in psychology or personal history with the color. Pink frequently comes across as passive, girly, flighty, weak, unserious and juvenile. It is also commonly seen as a safe and calming color. Interesting fact about the color pink, however. While it is calming at initial glance, after staring at it too long it can evoke feelings of aggression and irritation, particularly in men. Perhaps rethink that pink date top?
Yet, to say you don’t link pink is like saying you don’t like weather. Just like there can be all different types of weather, there are practically a gazillion shades of pink out there to choose from, from bright shocking colors to soft, muted tones.
Pretty in Pink: How to Find Your Perfect Shade
With Valentine’s Day around the corner, I put together a guide on how to choose your best pink by showcasing some well known celebrities and picking their perfect pink shades. Take a look below to help choose your perfect shade.
Think pink and Reese Witherspoon’s character Elle Woods from Legally Blonde might come to mind immediately. Reese is one of the few actresses who can wear Barbie pink and get away with it. She can wear these clear, bright, shocking pink shades because her coloring, while light, is very clear and vibrant. She has light. Pink shades that are pastel looking or muted won’t match her more radiant coloring. Reese Witherspoon needs colors with more energy, making bolder pinks a better choice.
While also blonde (most of the time), Scarlett Johansson’s coloring is softer than Reese’s, giving her a more muted tone in appearance. Shocking or vibrant pinks are way too energetic for Scarlett and will wear her instead of she wearing them. I chose colors that have a cooler base (not too yellow) and selected pink shades that have a muted look, or like they were mixed with a touch of white paint versus being watered down.
Cate Blanchett has extremely light coloring, making blush pink shades quite perfect for her. Her coloring has the same muted quality that Scarlett Johansson has, but Cate’s lighter eyes don’t give her coloring the same level of depth that Scarlett’s deeper brown eyes do.
Emma Stone has the same vibrant, clear and energetic coloring as Reese Witherspoon, but her red hair, despite not being real, gives her a warmer appearance with a slightly muted tone. Natural redheads tend to fall into the classically known autumn category of being able to wear muted warm tones, but Emma Stone’s clearer, more lively appearance makes her more of a spring who looks better in pink shades with a clearer, lighter and warmer cast.
Julianne Moore is a natural redhead with the features of this coloring that make her a true autumn. Her freckled skin and darker eyes give her a more muted and richer coloring than that of Emma Stone and she looks more flattering in deeper, richer, pinks that have a warm or yellow cast and a more muted or dusty tone.
It’s hard to imagine that Reese Witherspoon and Zooey Deschanel share some similar traits in their coloring, but they do. Both women can wear true shocking pink shades due to their energetic and clear coloring. The biggest difference is that Zooey can go with darker, jewel tone brights to mach her coloring that is much bolder than Reese’s.
While also a brunette, Natalie Portman has much more muted coloring than Zooey Deschanel, which means that, while her pinks are better when they are cooler or blue based (and not too yellow or warm), the shades that are best for her are ones that have that same dusty appearance as Cate Blanchett’s pinks. However, the difference between Natalie and Cate is that Natalie’s colors need to be much richer and deeper in appearance because her coloring is darker.
Jessica Alba and Natalie Portman are not far off from each other in terms of coloring. They both have a more muted quality to their coloring, only Jessica’s is far richer and deeper than Natalie’s, making deep berry shades perfect for her as long as they have that same muted tone. With Jessica’s skin tone, I’d choose cooler colors that aren’t too yellow or warm to keep her from looking sallow.
Salma Hayek has much more contrast between her hair, skin and eyes than Jessica Alba does. This makes it possible to wear cooler pinks that are rich and a bit clear while also allowing her to wear slightly muted tones, as well. As long as the pinks aren’t too dusty and have enough depth to them, Salma can wear slightly muted colors while also wearing colors that are a bit clearer, like a deep watermelon pink.
Ruth Negga has some similarities in coloring to Salma Hayak. Her very dark eyes and hair, with her lighter Ethiopian-Irish skin tone create a contrast that allows her to choose vibrant jewel toned pinks as well as more muted berry shades, just as long as the tone of the pinks she chooses are cooler based and not too warm or yellow.
Lupita Nyong’o has a beautiful deep ebony skin that is rich and dark enough to carry colors with tremendous energy and vibrancy. She can go for more clear, shocking pink tones while also choosing much deeper, yet bold shades. The colors that look best on her are clear, unmuted, blue based and not warm or with a yellow cast.
Actress Zhang Ziyi’s skin tone has an almost porcelain and translucent quality to it that can go in two very different directions. With dark hair and very dark eyes, she has a coloring that can carry vibrant and shocking pinks while also being able to wear soft, petal pink colors. Whatever end of the spectrum she wears, the pink shades will look best if they are clearer and less pastel or muted.
Shop for pink
If you were able to use the examples above to help you find your perfect pink color, take a look at these shopping suggestions, all broken down by different shades.
- Topshop Tie Sleeve Blouse 2. Banana Republic Tweed Blazer 3. Pour La Victoire Pump 4. Lauren Ralph Lauren A-Line Coat 5. Monica Vinader Semiprecious Stone Earrings 6. Olivia Burton Big Dial Watch 7. Nordstrom Tissue Weight Wool & Cashmere Scarf 8. J. Crew Textured Trouser Socks 9. GUESS Piped Trench Coat 10. J. Crew Lea Ballerina Flats 11. Corinne McCormack ‘Marge’ 52mm Reading Glasses 12. Gucci Marmont Pump 13. J. Crew In-Transit Long Sleeve T 14. BLANKNYC ‘Easy Rider’ Faux Leather Moto Jacket 15. Ted Baker London Alissaa Leather Tote
- Topshop Cropped Rib Glitter Socks 2. Vince Camuto Rib Knit Dolman Sweater 3. Banana Republic Lightweight Wool Peak-Lapel Blazer 4. Donna Ricco Textured Wrap Waist Sheath Dress 5. Rachel Roy Pebble Jacquard Fit & Flare Skirt 6. Banana Republic Drape-Sleeve Fit-and-Flare Dress 7. Mynt 1792 Sleeveless Seamed Sheath Dress 8. Eileen Fisher Asymmetrical Featherweight Cashmere Sweater 9. Eileen Fisher Bateau Neck Jersey Tank 10. Via Spiga ‘Medora’ Pointy Toe Pump 11. Eileen Fisher Jersey Midi Dress 12. LOEWE ‘Mini Puzzle’ Calfskin Leather Bag
- IRO ‘Ashville’ Leather Jacket 2. Nordstrom Cashmere & Silk Wrap 3. Halogen Modal Jersey V-Neck Tee 4. Adelyn Rae Strapless Peplum Sheath Dress 5. Topshop Knit Beanie 6. Fownes Brothers Bow Short Leather Gloves 7. Sejour V-Neck Sweater 8. Banana Republic Italian Cashmere Blend Rope Trim Pullover 9. J. Crew Scoopback One Piece Bathing Suit 10. BOSS Dylea Belted Faux Wrap Sheath Dress
- Christian Louboutin Glitter Low-Top Sneaker 2. NYDJ ‘Barbara’ Colored Stretch Bootcut Jeans 3. Project Social T Seam Front Dolman Tee 4. Free People Moonlight Tee 5. Derek Lam 51mm Optical Glasses 6. Jeffrey Campbell Shree Slingback Pump 7. Theory Pouch in Suede 8. SUSAN HANOVER Semiprecious Stone Double Drop Earrings 9. ADDITION ELLE LOVE AND LEGEND Acid Wash Hoodie Sweater
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Another great post! I’m not sure I recognize my coloring in any of these movie stars ( ;
But I am drawn to the many variations of the bright, clear pinks! Thanks for showing how different pinks can be.
Thanks Carol! After I did 10 I had to stop. Of course, I could have gone on forever. Sorry you couldn’t have identified with any of them. One thing I noticed after I did this was how close I got to the lipstick shades most of them were wearing. So if it is any help, check out your best lipstick colors.
I too didn’t recognize my coloring in any of these ladies, but when it came to the clothes I immediately was drawn to the warm pinks.
I wish I could capture every single coloring in this post, but after I got to 10 I had to abandon it for fear of getting too long. I hope this post was informative regardless!
Me, too!! Great visuals and explanations, Bridgette!
A great recap of the variations in pink and how to pair them up!
Thanks so much!!
I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed seeing so many different complexions and the pink tones that would best suit each. A gorgeous, inclusive post. Thank you!
Thanks, Jen! I tried my best to include as many different skin tones as possible. I wish I could include even more but I feared length.
I like your analogy, “pink is like cilantro.” You love it or hate it! I was always on the “like” side of pink (especially when it comes to cute shoes) but wasn’t always comfortable with it. Then one day I threw cation to the wind and bought a pair of patent pink flats. They’re actually called magenta but that just shows how many variations of pink there are. Yay for pink in all shades and tones. Below are some of my pink’ish Tory’s; patent magenta, Camelia pink and clay pink together in the same picture and dark peony. Many different names for pink Tory flats.
Those are some great pink flats, Brian! Thanks for sharing!!
I always wanted color pink but just last year I dared to get a pair of flats in this color (soft pink) and I could said I feel happy when wearing them , according you nice blog I should get more like a warm pink but sometimes it’s hard to match with other clothes or shoes but I love to try new outfits and flats .These are the only pinkish flats that I got last year. Well as other nice blogger said males flamingos are pink why not to wear it ! Have a nice day !
Male flamingos are pink so why can’t men wear it! Love it! It’s great to see whenever someone wears what feels right for them!