1) Determine the undertone. All beige colors have either a red/pink, yellow, green or orange undertone. Period. That’s all you have to understand and learn. The color examples I have chosen below have very obvious undertones to help you ‘see’ the color underneath.
stonehouse 1039 red undertones shelburne buff hc-28 yellow undertones
orange undertones manchester tan hc-81 green undertones
2) Remember to Compare. The easiest way to see the undertones in beige is by comparing the color to another beige that you know the undertone is either red, yellow, green or orange. Illustrated above are good examples of the undertones. Pick up a sample of each and carry them with you to help you compare to each other.
3) Understand the color red. The most difficult beige undertone to work with is:
Red. Those red undertones just do not play well with others! Especially pinky beige with yellow beige because the yellow beige ends up looking ‘dirty’ next to the pinky beige. I have found the best colors to work with a red/pink beige are browns, cream and dark blues.
4) Know which undertones to mix to create a unified room. To create the best put together, coordinated look when mixing undertones is to keep the red undertones with red undertones, yellow with yellow, green with green and orange with orange undertones.
5) Practice makes perfect! The good news is that after you learn what is not working in a room with the undertones, you will be able to correct the mistake. Take a look at your carpet (is it a pinky beige?) and compare it to the beautiful Powell Buff that you painted your walls. Now that you have learned that pinky beige and yellow beige do not work together you can easily ‘fix’ the whole rooms looks by changing the wall color to a pinky beige also, such as shaker beige hc-45.
So I hope this helped you understand beige colors and their undertones better. If you want to be a color superstar like me, you have to take Maria’s True Color Expert workshop!