If you're anything like me, your love of earrings is pure and undiscriminating. We love earrings of all shapes, sizes, materials, and styles, we cherish them like children, and we would gladly have extra earlobes grafted to our heads in order to wear more earrings.
However, even love this pure demands a bit of judiciousness. The art of selecting the best earrings for you depend on such factors as your facial shape, skin tone, hair length/style, and color.
Besides, don’t you often find yourself reaching through the dozens (ok, hundreds) of earrings you already own for that one pair that look fabulous on you and make you feel like the Queen of All That?
Want to wear more earrings that make you feel that way?
Welcome to Basic Earrings 101!
What’s your facial shape? If you don’t know, here’s how to find out quickly: pull your away from your face with a band so that you are just seeing all face, unframed by hair. Basic facial shapes are round, oval, square, rectangular, heart-shaped, pear-shaped, and diamond-shaped. Which one are you?
Round faces tend to round chins and cheeks - so choose long, slim dangly earrings that create movement and straight lines near your face, like the Chan Luu - Double Drop Crystal Briolette Earrings on Silver Chain [insert picture]. Small sparkly studs or luminous pearls will work for you, too. You can also try something fun and funky like the Gerard Yosca - Pink Bead & Filigree Drop Earrings [insert picture].
Oval faces are just about mathematically perfect; 1.5 times as long as they are wide, with the forehead slightly wider than the jaw. This shape can handle just about any type of earring from hoops to chandeliers. For something more fashion-forward, check out the Gerard Yosca - Coral Stone Earrings w/Wood Bead or his Purple Stone Multi Charm Drop Earrings [insert pictures]. Large or small hoops will work for you, as well as chunky bezel-set stones or multi-chain dangles.
Square faces feature a square jawline, and the hairline at the forehead can also be square-shaped. Try earrings that give your face softness and roundness like hoops, large round stone earrings, or something interesting like the Gerard Yosca - Turquoise Stone Earrings w/Turquoise Drops [insert picture] . Cascade earrings, like the Chan Luu - Seven Briolette Cluster Drop Earrings [insert picture] will add some drama and interest as well.
Rectangular faces tend to square chins and hairline, and are long and narrow. Similar rules apply here as for square faces - you need to bring attention and roundness to the face by selecting rounded types of earrings. Since this face tends to be long and narrow, shorten i! t by wearing larger, chunky earrings in stones that give depth and interest, like turquoise, amber, mother-of-pearl, and dichroic glass.
Heart-shaped faces are widest at the temples and narrowest at the jawline. You’ll want to give the jawline the illusion of a slightly fuller look by choosing a larger earring like the Gerard Yosca - Blue Filigree Bead Drop Earrings or his Turquoise Stone on Mega Circle Earrings [insert pictures]. A good medium-size hoop works for you, as well as earrings that flare at the bottom, like the Chan Luu - Hand-Painted Shell Earrings w/Chains [insert picture].
Pear-shaped faces have a narrow forehead and are widest at the jawline, with a round chin. To give this face more balance, try earrings that have more width at the top rather than the bottom. For example, look for beaded earrings that have the larger bead on top close to the ear, and the small! er bead on the bottom. You can also wear cute clip-ons like the Gerard Yosca - Wood Beads & Turquoise Swarovski Crystals Clip-on Earrings [insert picture] . Small studs will always work, as well as pearls.
Diamond-shaped faces are widest at the cheekbones and narrow in the forehead and chin. You can follow similar earring shapes as those for the heart-shaped face. Look for earrings that will play up those cheekbones while giving more balance to the chin, like the Gerard Yosca - Yellow Stone Earrings with Drops, his Coral Bead Chain Drop Earrings, or his Jet Stone Earrings w/Jet Teardrops [insert pictures]. You can also wear long dangly earrings that flare at the ends, like tassles.
Your skin tone is definitely a factor in choosing earrings that will make you look fabulous. How do you tell your natural skin tone? Basically, skin tones are warm or cool. Wa! rm skin tones have yellow, peach, or red undertones. Cool skin tones have pink, violet, or blue undertones. If your skin has a pink tone, or you have dark skin with blue undertones, fair with blue undertones, or is milky white, your skin tone is cool. If your skin is ivory with yellow undertones, peachy, dark skin with yellow undertones, or is fair and ivory, your skin tone is warm.
Once you determine skin tone (cool or warm), you can find the colors that suit you best. Cool colors are silver, pewter, blue-based/true primary colors, true white, and black. Great earrings for cool tones are sterling silver or silvertone, blue topaz, lapis, sodalite, blue or teal puau shell, abalone, opalite, chalcedony, amethyst, ruby, red coral, cherry amber, green or lavender jade, white or pink pearls, emerald, green serpentine, rose, and jet.
For warm tones, try gold, brass, copper, pastels, oranges, topaz, earthtones, c! lear yellows, soft grays, and golden tones. Good "universal colors" for both cool and warm tones are soft white, periwinkle, watermelon, corals, and light warm aqua.
If you check fashion magazines a few decades ago, you’ll find phrases like "short hair, small earrings" and "long hair, long earrings." DON’T BELIEVE IT. Anything goes, no matter how short or how long your hair. Use your facial shape to determine the types of earrings you wear, not your hair length. Obviously, if your hair is long and usually covers your ears, and you wear it up, you can make a statement with earrings. If your hair is short, your earrings will be on display every day and you can change them up to suit your mood.
Hair color does have a bearing on your earring choices as well. Make sure that your hair color properly compliments your skin tone, and please don’t make the mista! ke I once did. My coloring is fair with blue undertones, my hair is dark brown, and my eyes are hazel. Clearly cool tones all the way around. But I had a yen to have red hair, and went to a salon to get it done. I walked out of there with not just red hair, but Bozo-the-clown red hair. I mean red-red, fire-engine red, red enough to set off smoke alarms. Did I mention that when I blush, I turn deep red? Yes, your mental image is dead on–I looked exactly like a walking beet.
As with skin tone, hair colors are cool and warm. Cool hair colors are ash blonde, red, medium brown with ash gray tones, no red or golden tones/highlights, and brown with red or gold undertones. Warm hair colors are golden blonde, strawberry blonde, or auburn. The rules here are the same as for skin tones; go with the cool and warm shades in earrings to compliment your hair color.
Congratulations! You have now passed Basic Earrings 101 with flying colors (cool and warm). Keep these tips in mind as you run, not walk, to the nearest mall, jewelry store, or boutique for your next batch of earrings. Most of all, remember this: do not wait for a "special occasion" to wear your fabulous earrings. Wear them to the supermarket, the library, to school, to work, in the car, taking the dogs out for a walk, driving the kids to soccer, or washing the car in the driveway. You bought them because you love them, so wear them on all the non-occasion days. You’ll have a whole lot more of them than the "special" ones.
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