The right shade of paint can work like a face-lift

By Lauren Beckham Falcone |   Thursday, July 30, 2009  |


Want to look years younger? Cancel that plastic surgeon and pick up a paint brush. Turns out the fountain of youth comes in a can of Benjamin Moore.

According to interior decorators, a splash of semigloss is the recession’s answer to a nip/tuck. With the right room color, you can look younger, feel better and save money. And Glidden paint is a lot cheaper than Botox, and lasts longer, too.

“A room color can definitely make you look younger,” said South End-based interior designer Tony Cappoli. “And some colors can make you look older.”

Cappoli said blondes look great surrounded by yellows, brunettes stand out in pinks, and everyone looks good in apricot and lavender tones.

“I painted my powder room Benjamin Moore Tango,” he said. “It’s this great apricot color that absolutely really softens the skin tone and brings out warm pigments. And considering the powder room is where everyone checks their makeup or lipstick, you’re going to look good and feel good.”

It’s best to start with a hue you look good wearing.

“But there are rules between fashion and home decor,” Cappoli said. “People wear black and it really slims them down, but translating that into a room is tricky. It’s got to be high gloss.”

And be wary of certain grays and blues and greens.

“Some can really drain you,” he said.

Farrow & Ball color expert Ann Pailthorp said to go with something in the blush range to highlight natural skin tones.

“For me, blond and blue eyes with pink undertones in my skin, I would go with Middleton Pink to help me bring back those naturally flushed cheeks of my youth.”

Brunette with a tan?

“Try Orangery to enhance the glow,” she said.

Brown hair and blue eyes?

“Try Light Blue to make your eyes sparkle,” she said.

Marc Silipo, design manager at Babel’s Paint and Decorating in Norwood, agreed.

“Some colors that can make you look better are the pinks and peach tones, which will give a room a warm glow and your complexion look healthy,” he said. “I have the color Tiger Lily from C2 Paints in my bathroom and every morning I look great in the mirror, until I leave the room. I only wish I could bring the room with me all day long.”

Stephen Drucker, editor in chief of House Beautiful, said readers responded in droves to a recent feature on face-flattering paint shades.

“People don’t think of color that way,” he said. “They just think to pick a color they like, not necessarily one that will make them look younger.”

Drucker said decorating a room is very much like getting dressed. Some outfits age you - like that miniskirt from 1991. Some don’t - those dark denim jeans and a crisp blue blouse. Same goes for your wall color or couch.

“You might be at a certain age where you really can’t pull off a white T-shirt and jeans,” he said. “But a big white canvas couch with navy denim pillows? You’ll look 10 years younger sitting on that.”

So steer clear of the Queen Anne sofa with damask upholstery. It’ll age you faster than a day without sunblock.

“It’s true,” Drucker said, and added that seafoam greens and certain blues don’t do a lot for a complexion.

“They’re pretty colors, but if you wouldn’t wear them, don’t paint the room that color.”

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