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Pigments in Decorative Cosmetic Formulations
By: Edwin B. Faulkner
Posted: April 4, 2012
page 2 of 3
One final aspect of visual color use in everyday life is very important to any reader of this book. It is the essential core of the fashion industry, of which decorative cosmetics are a key element. Fashion, whether home, apparel, or other types, would be a three-legged stool missing a leg if everything were black and white.
The second level of color pervasion in human existence is psychological. Colors mean different things on this level than on the visual level, and can significantly affect human moods and attitudes toward events and people. Specifics of this phenomenon are as follows:
Black tends to signify power and authority. Ever heard someone associate the term “power” with the color black, for example in an office setting wherein one may wear a “black power suit?” It is used in fashion so pervasively as there is a belief that it makes people look thinner. Black is often used to signify villainy and darkness of character; think Darth Vader, Dracula, or Batman. On the other end of the spectrum, priests wear black to show submission to God, and, of course, black is known as the color of mourning in the Western world.
White is the color of purity and innocence; it is commonly worn by brides in the Western hemisphere (though interestingly it is a color of mourning in certain parts of Asia). It is often used in summer fashions, as it reflects light and is therefore cooler in hot weather. Its popularity in home fashions and clothing is largely due to the fact that it goes with all other colors.
Red heats up the emotions and is commonly the color associated with love or matters of the heart—think Valentine’s Day. Red clothing has the opposite effect of black with respect to a person’s weight appearance and is not considered conducive as an apparel choice for successful negotiations.
Blue is red’s counterpoint, as it evokes calmness and tranquility; think of the soothing effect a calm blue sky or gently susurrus blue ocean has on one’s feelings of well-being. Due to this, it is one of the most popular colors and is commonly used in bedrooms and other places where a tranquil effect is desired.
Green is the corollary color to blue, as it produces a similar calm in one’s emotions as evidenced by the reference to a “green room” where people can relax while waiting to go onto a television set. For the same reason, it is a common color for hospital scrubs worn by doctors and nurses, and in fact often hospital rooms themselves sport walls painted a soothing shade of green. It is the color of nature and is therefore, in today’s world, used to symbolize what is good for the earth. It is not much of a surprise that there is no environmental “blue movement.”
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