Speak On It

Question Everything: Does Colour Define Us?

Colour. Colour is something so diverse that although we appear unaware of its presence in everyday life, subliminally our very judgement is determined by it. This posed the question to me, does colour define us? Do our colour choices alter the way we’re perceived?


Through the upcoming series I will be uncovering colour, from the broad spectrum of the colour wheel to look at how our emotional connection with colour offers an insight into our persona.


I’m going to start by looking at yellow – be that mustard, canary or lemon, yellow is a colour that can take us to a foreign land at sunset or conjure up images of an English country garden on a summers day. In the workplace however, yellow is rare to be seen. On the morning commute we are faced with a trail of slate grey and dark black suits that line the stations and roads of the city, so if our career dictates a certain dress, can we said to be bound by society’s notions of colour and conformity and not that of our own?


Stylist recently quoted that “According to a UK Survery* 36% of employers thought co-ordination of colours was an important indicator of a candidate’s personality.” (Management company The Ladders)


The individual is celebrated in modern culture yet we are all too happy to blend in and fit the mould at work. Is it night-time then where our true alter ego and inner colour expressionist is revealed? Yellows take on a gold shimmer, transform and become luxe by night.


Charlize Theron at BAFTA 2012


Charlize Theron’s lemon Stella McCartney BAFTA dress illustrated how yellow can be elegant, feminine and vintage even.

Marni and Moschino SS12


Our relationship with colour alters from season to season as shades and tones of a primary or secondary colour are reinvented, taking them from drab to fab. Yellow has lined the catwalks of the SS12 shows, back with a vengeance and a real presence for the summer of 2012. A time for austerity, pride and creativity as Britain takes the spotlight for the media frenzy that will be the Olympics. Could yellow therefore offer us the role of the peacock, daring to show off and proud to sport intense and vivid yellows?


Powder Eye Shadow in Yes!

At Illamasqua we celebrate and embrace colour; we provide you with the tools to explore new variations, pigments and intensities with confidence. Dare to be different today, wear that yellow blouse, indulge in a canary yellow accessory and embrace a lemon lip? However you choose to celebrate colour, we’d love to see your interpretations!

I caught up with our Director of Product Development David Horne for his thoughts and perceptions on yellow:

“YELLOW conjures up the warmth of the sun, it evokes joy, happiness and a positive vivid accent to any colour combination. It is the colour that makes a smiley face, the primary shade which breathes life into other colour and is the ultimate hue of vivacious self declaration.”

Whatever our personal connection with yellow might be, as a nation it is fair to conclude that yellow as a colour is something seen as a statement of confidence, contentment and pride. Will yellow be deemed the most daring, provocative colour story for this series…we’ll let you decide.

What are your thoughts?


Govinder Rayt

Govinder Rayt

Writer and expert