What do you think is your best feature? Do you hear that you have beautiful eyes? Do people tell you that you have beautiful hair? Have you received compliments on your figure?
You may have learned to select certain colors of cosmetics, certain colors or styles of clothing, even certain types of handbags that you know will enhance and magnify the effect of your best features. But did you know that you can use certain styles and colors of jewelry to enhance your best features? Even better, you can use certain colors and styles of jewelry to disguise and distract attention from those features that you wish you didn’t have.
For several centuries, jewelers working for women in royalty- known as court jewelers- have designed jewelry that enhanced the women’s best features and distracted attention from their flaws. Using principles of color, brightness, level of contrast, proportion, sharpness of angles, and appropriately sized curvilinear or straight lines, these court jewelers could amazingly transform a woman’s appearance. Jewelers working for other wealthy women also practiced these principles, and passed this knowledge down to their apprentices as part of their jewelry education.
Today these principles are not well known in the jewelry industry. Individual components of this science are practiced by celebrity stylists, and in formal programs such as those that analyze a person’s hair, skin, and eye color for clothing and make-up color recommendations. But the knowledge of the overall major theory is no longer being taught or practiced as a specific body of information.
When I was a sophomore in college, I was introduced to this body of knowledge as a happy accident one day when I was visiting one of the many art museums found in Houston, Texas. I was in a small crowd of people studying a painting of a very severe-looking older woman wearing a stark black and white high-bodiced gown. She had graying red hair, a large hooked nose, sagging cheeks and jowls, a sharp long chin, small closely-set eyes, and a map of deeply-set wrinkles covering her entire face. Yet all of those features were almost impossible to see. What was easy to see, in fact striking, were her hypnotic bright blue-green eyes, her glowing youthfully plump alabaster skin with a slight coral flush, her also coral-colored full lips, and her startling youthfully slender but curvy figure.
Staring at this conundrum, I would walk closer to the painting, then retreat a few feet, then pull closer; trying to figure out just how such a technically unattractive aging woman could look so, well, radiant and frankly sexy. It was astonishing.
The small crowd of people eventually dispersed, but I remained in front of that painting. I had to figure this out. Finally, a well-dressed older woman, approached me and said quietly, “ Eeet eez ze jewelry.”
Over the next two years, this woman became one of my closest friends. She taught me the basics of the art of using jewelry to alter a woman’s appearance, and introduced me to the books, and articles, and handwritten notes that explained the mathematics behind the theories. She spent a great deal of time translating much of the material from French, Italian, and even Russian; and mentored me until I finally mastered the material.
In my next post, I will explain how to use a “triangle of pearls” to brighten your skin, eyes, and take years off of your appearance.
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Deborah Weinhauer’s interest in jewelry began in her childhood during trips to museums. Now living in Melrose, a suburb of Boston, she specializes in custom diamond and gemstone designs, as well as creating jewelry that enhances her clients’ beauty.