Search Makings and Musings

October 9, 2012


This is my first posting under my new format so I am super excited to be kicking it off!  While I was wondering what I would write about today I started thinking about how every time you want to try something new (like making your own cosmetics) you end up having to buy specialized ingredients and concoctions, which are pricey and who knows?  You may decide that making your own is not for you, then you are left with a drawer full of supplies you will never use.  As I was thinking about how to overcome this problem, it came to me: Franken-make up!  You already have a drawer full of make up, right?  Before making any costly investments, why not experiment with what you already have.  Read on for some tips on how to make your very own Franken-make up, customized just for you!

Franken-make up!  How I love inventing new words!  But I am not talking about make up for Halloween  nope, I am talking about taking what you already have and making it better.  First lets learn a little about color, since if you don't know what colors mix to make other colors, you might end up with a lot of brown pots of eye shadow!

Now, I was an art student for several years, I ended up changing my major to Marketing, but that's a story for another time.  Since I studied art for several years color mixing comes second nature to me.  It is easy for me to forget that not everyone knows that yellow and blue make green!  I won't get into ridiculous detail, but a little instruction is called for, and besides, this can be useful in many areas of your crafty life, so let's get started.

There are three PRIMARY colors.  Primary means that you cannot mix colors to make these colors.  They are "prime", hence primary!  The primary colors are Red, Blue, and Yellow.

There are also what is called SECONDARY colors.  These are the colors that you get when you mix two of
the PRIMARY colors.  For instance: Red and Blue make Violet, Blue and Yellow make Green, and Red and Yellow make Orange.

Then, you guessed it, there are TERTIARY colors.  These are what you get when mixing the PRIMARY colors with the SECONDARY colors.  They are:  Red and Orange make Red–Orange, Red and Violet make Red–Violet, Yellow and Orange make Yellow–Orange, Yellow and Green make Yellow–Green, Blue and Violet make Blue–Violet, and Blue and Green make Blue–Green.  Whew!

It's important to know the relationships of the colors.  Colors can be CONTRASTING or COMPLEMENTARY.  CONTRASTING colors are found across from each other on the color wheel.  COMPLEMENTARY colors are located next to each other.  Let's take a look:

Although this simple color wheel is not labeled, it demonstrates the relationships of the PRIMARY (the inner ring), SECONDARY (the second ring), and TERTIARY (the outer ring).  Look at the outer ring, which are the TERTIARY colors, and select one color for this example.  The colors to the left and right of your selected color are the COMPLEMENTARY colors to your original color.  Now look directly diagonally across from your color.  That color is the CONTRASTING color to your color.  Get it?

See, this stuff is easy.  Oh, three more simple color principles last thing in our little lesson.  SATURATION, HUE, and VALUE.
SATURATION refers to how heavily pigmented a color is.  In the example below all the colors shown are the same color, Red.  The changes in how the color looks are due to less pigmentation.  The left side is very saturated, as opposed to the right side, which has little pigment in it and is referred to as de-saturated.

HUE refers to the shade of the color, as in light-green, apple green, and pine green are all green, they are just different hues.  The chart below illustrates the concept of HUE.

VALUE simply refers to how light or dark your color is.  Here is a little secret:  to increase the VALUE of a color, simply add black.  To decrease the VALUE, add white!

Okay, that sums up our color lesson.  The things that are most important to remember for our purposes are:
1.  If you mix CONTRASTING colors you will end up with a HUE of....Brown!   Unless this is what you are going for, avoid it!
2.  COMPLEMENTARY colors can be mixed with lovely results, as well as any color and Black or White. Just use a small amount to experiment with before you mix an entire batch, you might end up with something you hate, and that way you won't waste much!
3.  Don't spend hours trying to make Yellow, Blue, or Red.  They are PRIMARY colors and cannot be mixed!

Part II of this post will be actually mixing and making Franken-make up!  Stay tuned for next week's post!
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Happy Make upping!
Love and Hugs!


  1. very cool idea Sugar. Nice way to recycle and save money too.

    Go Canes [l_l]

  2. Thanks honey! I love the support! Just wait till I start mixing!


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