When picking out your look, an inevitable part of the process is going to involve choosing which colors to use. This is just as true for clothing as it is for makeup. However, deciding on your colors is a lot harder for some people than it is for others – particularly for those of us that are color-blind. To make matters even more complicated, the condition is far more varied than you might think: monochromacy (seeing the world in black and white) is only one of its many forms! This realization made us start to wonder how different kinds of cosmetics appear to color-blind people.
Take a look at our newly created tool below: it illustrates the different kinds of color-blindness and allows you to see how people with the condition perceive makeup and hair colors. Continue below for more information on the subject as well…
As you can see, there are many other types of color-blindness aside from monochromacy, including:
Deuteranopia: blindness for green and red colors. It’s caused by an absence of medium wavelength retinal cones – these are primarily green sensitive, although the deficiency greatly affects how people perceive red as well.
Tritanopia: blindness for blue and yellow colors. It’s caused by an absence of short wavelength retinal cones – these are primarily blue sensitive, although the deficiency greatly affects how people see yellow as well.
Protanopia: blindness for red and green colors. It’s caused by an absence of long wavelength retinal cones – these are primarily red sensitive, although the deficiency greatly affects how people see green as well. In terms of what people with protanopia see, the results are very similar to deuteranopia but with a slight dimming effect.
Seeing colors differently from others can definitely make some aspects of one’s life harder. However, there are still people out there who have effectively adapted to their color-blindness. Andria Tomlin is a makeup artist with deuteranomaly, a deficiency much like deuteranopia (except the medium wavelength retinal cones are mutated as opposed to being completely missing), meaning she has difficulty seeing reds and greens.
This doesn’t stop her from doing her job, despite color being an integral part of her work. Over the years she has developed ways of working out the best colors to use. For instance, when choosing red-based makeup, she applies a blue baseline. This allows her to see the red in different ways: if she sees purple it indicates that the red is more blue-based, while orange indicates that it is yellow-based, and brown indicates a mixture.
Color-blindness is a surprisingly common condition: it has been reported that it affects 1 in 12 men and 1 in 200 women around the world. Do you suffer from color-blindness? Or do you know someone else with the condition? How does it affect your or their lives? Let us know in the comments below.