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Pearls! Compliment Your Complexion

Tone examples on white pearls

On a few occasions when I was first starting out working with pearls, there were people who would tell me they loved my pieces but they just can’t wear pearls because they just never look “right” with their skin. I felt really bad that a gem that symbolizes joy brought disappointment and didn’t feel accessible for all – and this had zip to do with price points, it was completely about appearance and not being able to feel like pearls elevate said appearance because they weren’t complimentary to the complexion.

I later learned that pearls have tones and overtones, and these play a big part in how they accentuate the beauty in the skin tones. Just like some people are absolutely STUNNING in teal while others look washed out or ill, the same goes for wearing pearls due to the tones in the pearl’s coloring.

When looking at a classic Akoya or freshwater strand of white pearls, you are frequently looking at gems that have a light or white body with other colors overlaying that. This overlay is called the “overtone,” and can be anywhere from pink to green and warm to cool. Each overtone is gorgeous in its own right, just like each of us is. Figuring out which elevates and enhances our own appearance can help build confidence when shopping for pearls – and confidence in itself is gorgeous!

Here are some basic tone examples, and some of the skin tones they accentuate. I’m hoping this will help you whenever you are looking to add these beauties to your accessories collection.

Rose: This traditional overtone is very popular and is recommended for those with alabaster fair complexions.

Cream: This is quite possibly the most versatile color, embracing and accentuating both dark and light complexions. These beauties REALLY shine on the luscious rich colors of those with deep skin tones. Similar to their Rose cousins, Cream also works very well for those with light complexions – ESPECIALLY for those with a pink/ruddy tint. They are gorgeous for redheads.

Silver: This is the closest you can get to a bright “true” white when it comes to pearls. There might be undertones of greens or blues, giving these pearls a truly ethereal look. For those with dark hair and olive/tan/caramel complexions, these pearls accentuate that contrast and really “pop.”

There are more to pearls than the “classic” look, which makes them so much fun and honestly so exciting. When you start looking at the multitudes of colors available in pearls outside of the traditional white strand and dive into the global rainbow excitement of black pearls, or blue, gold, purple, green – nearly anything goes, they look lovely for all, and it comes down to preference, personal style, and wardrobe.

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