Friday, February 29, 2008


Using Jewelry to Empower and Express Yourself

Just like a fabulous new hairstyle, jewelry is an empowering tool for self-expression. Not only can your jewelry tell a story about you, it can also enhance your favorite features and draw attention away from those you appreciate less. Following a few simple image guidelines, jewelry can even subtly alter the way people perceive you.

Identify Your Goals

As with any image assessment, it’s important to first know yourself. What do you want to communicate? Can you clearly articulate your fashion style? Do you want people to take you seriously or are you yearning to express your creativity? The first step in choosing your accessories is to think about the messages you want to send.

Without a doubt, the right jewelry can enhance your appearance and empower you. Following are tips to help you determine the best features, shape, lengths, proportions, scale, texture and colors for your look.

Know Your Facial Features and Shape

“Know thyself” encompasses more than distinguishing your messages. It also includes identifying your facial features and body type. Presumably you look in the mirror every day. But do you truly know your face shape (without looking)? Do you know if you have more straight lines and angles vs. curves in your face? Do you know the line direction of your face? Are they vertical, horizontal or diagonal? This is important when choosing jewelry because it dictates the size, shape, and line direction of the pieces your wear. Note there are six basic shapes (not including combinations): Oval, heart, square, rectangle/oblong, diamond, or round.

Consider Harmony and Repetition vs. Disharmony and Variance

Once you know your features, the first rule of informed jewelry selection is harmony, or repetition. When you repeat shapes, patterns, colors, textures, and scale/proportion, you create harmony in your look and enhance your features. For example, round earrings emphasize a round face, whereas square earrings de-emphasize it. One often opts to harmonize jewelry with facial and body features. However, it’s important to understand your goals before choosing repetition vs. variance.

For example, straight lines visually suggest authority while roundness and curves evoke approachability. Say you want to present yourself more powerfully and you have a round face with soft features. Rather than emphasizing your features, you may want to select accessories with straight lines, like a pair of square earrings or rectangular glasses that will add angles to your appearance and balance out your natural softness giving the impression of authority.

Conversely, when it comes to scale and proportion, you often want to choose pieces in harmony. For example, if you are a petite woman wearing a large, bold necklace, you run the risk of the “jewelry wearing you,” meaning, people will notice the jewelry before they notice you.

Find Your Balance Points

You can wear the most beautiful necklace, but if the length is wrong, it can throw off your entire look. Here are two easy ways to identify the right necklace lengths, or balance points, for you:

First Balance Point:

Measure the length of your face from hairline to chin
Let the distance fall from the bottom of your chin down to your chest. Where it ends is your first balance point, meaning how long a “long” necklace should be for you. If you want to go longer, go for it. Just double that length for the next best look
Second Balance Point:

Identify the widest part of your face. Imagine a horizontal line across your face at the widest point.
Trace a “shape” that begins from one side of the widest part, around your jawline and chin, then back up to the other side of the widest part.
Repeat the shape you have just traced (or measured with a string or chain) at your shoulder line around your neck.
Remember always to maintain the width of your face, or you will lose the shape. The bottom of that shape indicates your second balance point. This is typically the best length for shorter necklaces.


Your undertone is an important factor in determining the metal color you wear most. There are three categories of skin undertones: cool, warm and neutral. According to,

A pale, rosy, ebony, or dark-red cast to skin usually indicates that you have a cool tone.
Warm, yellow, golden, and honey tones usually lend themselves to a warm undertone.
If you have a blend of both, or are more olive toned, then you have a neutral undertone to your skin.
One way to determine your skin tone is to look at the palms of your hands. Are they more reddish or do they have more yellow? Red indicates cool while yellow indicates warm. Once you determine your skin tone, you can play with different levels of intensity, e.g. deep, dark silvers and golds vs. light, bright silvers and golds. Look for the color that harmonizes with your skin the best. If you happen to be neutral, all the better, you get to wear both! And of course, you always want to consider the colors of your clothing and what makes you feel the BEST!

This is a simple overview of how to choose the right jewelry for you. For more information and in-depth analysis or to purchase your new favorite pieces visit or email Dana directly at dana@danagalincom. And, remember that accessorizing is a fun and powerful tool for self-expression.

Have a look at her site at

Thanks Dana !


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