How your make-up colours can influence your mood

Colour psychology has the power to shift your mood, and the new year is an ideal time to incorporate this into your make-up palette to encourage a fresh mindset.

Do you wear the same old make-up colours day in, day out? 

According to colour psychology, the simple colour choices we make in our everyday lives — including in our beauty routine — have greater impact than we realise. 

“Colour psychology is a study of how we can use colour to positively influence how we think, feel and behave,” colour psychology specialist Karen Haller explains.

“Colour is one of the most underestimated resources we have to change how we feel and act.

“Changing the colours around us has the potential to change how we feel because each and every colour delivers an emotional experience.”

Choose make-up to reflect your mindset

Maybe you have resolved that 2023 is the year to make significant personal changes to your mood or mindset. 

It makes sense, then, to update the make-up colours you regularly wear to reflect this shift, notes Karen, the author of The Little Book of Colour. 

Australian make-up artist Michael Huxley says make-up colour choices not only have the power to influence our own headspace but “enhance the person we want the world to see”.  

“Experimenting with colour choices along with application techniques allows us to be who we want to be — and tells other people who we are and how we’re feeling,” the Huxley School of Make-up founder explains. 

Changing the colours in your beauty routine need not be a major makeover exercise. 

“Start by adapting some new colours into your existing routine,” Michael suggests. 

“A new lip colour or a special eyeshadow combination are an opportunity to provide a sneak peek into how you’re feeling.”

Ready for a mood or mindset shift? 

Here are tips on what colours to choose.

Make-up colours for positivity

A brighter attitude can benefit everything from overall wellbeing to coping with stress. 

To promote a more positive mood, Karen suggests “choosing colours that inspire feel-good feelings”.

In your make-up routine, this could look like a pop of yellow, bright turquoise or light purple on the eyelids. 

But it need not be as overt as ultra-bright shades. 

Instead, Michael says that simply leaning into “the ritual of getting ready” and consciously choosing colours you are drawn to can foster positivity.

Make-up colours for chill vibes

If you are one of those “always busy” people then you may be hoping to adopt a more relaxed mindset for 2023.

Karen says that colours like light brown, soft pink, soft blue, lilac and pale green can evoke a relaxed mood. 

“The reason we find these colours soothing and calming is because they’re low in saturation,” she says.

Michael suggests incorporating this palette into a “simplified make-up routine”. 

Think radiant glossy skin, softly washed eyes and a creamy blush.

Make-up colours for playful energy

Embracing playfulness has a host of benefits, from fostering better relationships to encouraging creativity.

If you are keen to tap into your playful side, Karen says orange-hued cosmetics such as lipstick, blush or nail polish are worth adding to your routine. 

“In colour psychology, orange expresses fun, play and joy,” she explains.

Michael also suggests experimenting with sparkling accessories such as multi-tonal glitter. 

“Try a hint of glitter at the centre of your eyelid or over some eyeshadow. 

“A small amount makes a huge difference — and even the act of applying it is a playful experience,” he says. 

Make-up colours for confidence

Whether you are starting a new job or simply want to put your best foot forward, both experts agree the right make-up colours can be a confidence booster. 

“A crispy bold lip colour commands attention,” Michael says. “I’d recommend a darker lip liner to frame the lips and a creamy vibrant colour for boss energy.”

Karen adds: “Go for any colour you love that’s bright and vibrant.” 

And it’s not just about the lips. 

“Try a vibrant coloured eyeshadow or nail polish,” she suggests.

Make-up colours for sensuality

Are you looking for love or just wanting to embrace your sensual side? 

Certain colours innately bring out your inner romantic — and interestingly, red isn’t the only option.

“If you’re going for sassy and sexy, you might wear red,” Karen says. 

“But if you’re looking for a more gentle, sensual feeling then you might try soft pinks. 

“Or if it’s a fun and flirty feeling, consider corals.”

Michael adds that drawing focus to the eyes can also enhance sensual feelings.

“Try liquid liners with creamy pencils to make alluring eyes the focal point,” he suggests.

Colour psychology


Uplifting, fun, energetic

Soft blue

Calmness, tranquillity, communication


Order, clarity, cleanliness

Soft pink

Nurturing, love, kindness


Spiritual, introspective, quality


Harmony, reassurance, restorative 


Passion, motivating, attracts attention 


Happiness, uplifting, cheery

Written by Sharon Hunt.