Colors stimulate more than just your eyes—they can perk up all of your senses. Every shade of the rainbow is capable of inspiring a particular emotional response, and certain colors are even thought to heal and energize those who wear them.
We’re talking about theories of the chakras, first developed by practitioners of Hinduism and eventually adopted by Buddhists. Essentially, chakra theory has it that the body is thought to have many chakras, or areas that act as energy points or “wheels.” The seven main chakras stem in a straight line from the pelvic region up to the top of the head. Every chakra is represented by one of the seven standard colors of the rainbow, each of which holds unique healing powers and properties. Call it advanced color theory!
What does this all mean? Your favorite makeup shades might actually help keep you healthy and balanced, and changing up your look just might influence your mood and energy level. Use our chakra-inspired guide to discover shades that might be right for you. Even if you’re skeptical, you can just use it as an excuse to expand your kit with some fresh shades.
The root chakra, located at the tailbone and perineum, corresponds to red. The color represents well-being, power, and stability, and wearing red is thought to increase energy and passion, as well as personal acceptance.
Try: a red lip or a traffic-stopping polish
When: you’re in need of a confidence boost
This optimistic color inspires imagination and creative energy. Put on some orange, and it just might help you stop procrastinating and spark motivation. It’s also thought to heighten one’s sex drive, as this chakra is located in the pelvic region.
Try: a flush of orange on cheeks or lips
When: you’re feeling antsy about a big project (or big date)
This sunny color promotes clarity and instinct. It’s the color you want when you just need to trust your gut—that’s where this chakra is located.
Try: a pop of yellow on eyes or a canary-hued mani
When: you’re groggy or indecisive about any decision, big or small
While red is often thought of as the color of love, in chakra theory, green is the ruler of all mushy thoughts. Holding down the fort as the heart chakra, green is a harmonizing color that can make you feel relaxed and in balance with those around you.
Try: green on fingertips, lips, or eyes
When: you want to shoot a friendly gaze to everyone you meet
Greens we love: 1. Cult Nails Nail Lacquer in Feelin’ Froggy, 2. Lit Cosmetics Glitter Pigment in Mary Jane S3,3. Sugarpill Cosmetics ElektroCute Neon Pigment in Sparkage, 4. Ellis Faas Creamy Eyes in E124
Got something to say? Blue represents the throat chakra and the shade is believed to help inspire clear communication and drum up patience.
Try: any blue, anywhere
When: you’ve been dealing with stress at work, or are dreading a major presentation or important interview
This uncommon purple-blue promotes hopes and dreams and keeps you thinking big, as it’s located in the pineal gland (aka third eye). It’s the color of imagination!
Try: indigo on eyes, fingers, or toes
When: you’re feeling bored or need a dose of inspiration
Indigos we love: 1. Cult Nails Nail Lacquer in Wack Slacks, 2. Inglot Cosmetics Colour Play Mascara in Purple, 3. Too Faced Perfect Eyes Waterproof Eyeliner in Perfect Purple, 4. Kevyn Aucoin The Loose Shimmer Shadow in Lapis
This warm and pretty purple is associated with the highest chakra, located at the top of the head. It’s a unifying color that balances you when you’re feeling overwhelmed or out of whack.
Try: violet shadow, blush, lipstick, polish—this hue is the most adaptable and flattering on the chart!
When: you want to keep your energy in check