Rose gold is having a moment, but does it really suit you? Should get you get that necklace you love in silver or yellow gold? Such are the dilemmas when buying jewellery online, where you’re not standing in front of a mirror.

Jewellery designer Charlotte Blakeney spent 16 years working as a make-up artist on photoshoots for top fashion magazines around the world, so understands better than anyone how to help women match colours to their skin tone.

“Much like make-up, you can use jewellery to accentuate your beauty,” the By Charlotte founder told GRAZIA. “The play of different metals and jewels against the skin, hair colour and eye colour can illuminate your skin’s natural tones, bring out flecks of colour in your eyes and compliment your hair colour.”

Header image: Elsa Peretti Bone Cuffs in Gold by Tiffany & Co. SHOP NOW

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Models Nadine, Shanina and Hannah wore By Charlotte jewellery in the 2016 Seafolly campaign Credit: Instagram @seafollyaustralia


Fair skin with red undertones “Stay clear of rose gold as it will accentuate the pink undertone in your skin,” says Blakeney. “Silver looks so fresh on a very pale skin, especially those who also have pale or blonde hair.”

Fair with pale undertones “I am not a big fan of 18kt gold on very pale skin. Instead, I would go for 9kt or 14kt gold or white gold to keep very fair skin looking radiant and not pasty. Silver also is very striking on very pale skin tones.”

Lightly tanned, olive or Mediterranean skin “You’re truly blessed in the metal department. As luck would have it, you can wear almost any metal and jewel and have it look flattering.”

Arabic, Fair African and dark African skin “Lucky you – any metal will look striking, although silver can get a bit lost on darker skin, especially in the form of fine jewellery. Gold really comes into its own though on darker skin tones.”

SOUTH-EAST ASIAN SKIN “I love classic gold on Asian skin. Rose gold also brings out a softness to this skin tone.”

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Author Helen Chik is a fan of layering jewellery Credit: Instagram @helenchikx  

Is there a skin type or types that can literally wear all types of metal? “Honey, warm-coloured skin tones really can wear any metal beautifully from rose, yellow or white gold, to silver. This includes the full spectrum of skin tones from olive to dark African skin.”

How much does hair colour come into play, if at all? “It’s all part of the colour spectrum, so it plays a very big role. Often customers who have gone from blonde to brunette or vice versa need a jewellery re-fresh and come into store for new key pieces. Blondes who go to darker tones, for instance, can find a rose gold a good alternative to silver and gold. Pale skin tones who have recently gone blonde find that 9kt or 14kt gold suddenly looks much more striking than before.

Zoe Kravitz’s Instagram account is dotted with pics of her wearing both silver and yellow gold Credit: Instagram @zoeisabellakravitz

What about eye colour? “Eye colour is more connected to the types of stones worn on the skin. Amber eye colours are dazzling with an amethyst stone. For pale eyes, blue or green stones such as sapphires, topaz or turquoise are a no-brainer. Garnets and darker stones against hazel and brown eyes are very alluring.”

It used to be faux pas to mix gold with silver. What’s your best tip for mixing metals in one look? “Just go for it! I love the look of mixing metals and our By Charlotte customer is a big fan of this look too.”

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Perfume bottle pieces from the Elsa Peretti collection for Tiffany & Co. SHOP NOWCredit: Instagram @tiffanyandco

What’s the number 1 tip you give clients when choosing jewellery for themselves? “You wear jewellery on your skin, so it should feel special and significant in some way. The best choice of jewellery is always chosen for its significance, whether it be from a lover or for a birthday or just as a present to yourself to mark a personal goal. Remember, a special piece will radiate beauty from the wearer no matter what the metal or stone.”

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Some of the more delicate pieces in the By Charlotte range. SHOP NOWCredit: Instagram@bycharlotte