Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Exploring the Ethereal Face

How Ethereal effects a style blend will differ and if you have Dramatic in your mix you essentially have two opposites working together, which is exciting.  I am not an expert but as I understand it, the Ethereal element is essentially requiring you to have some degree of elongation in your overall outfit because you have some in your face and/or body.  In my case it's both and I think I probably have a good dose of it.  My body is quite Ethereal influenced, being essentially elongated but with the more subtle curve associated with an S curve.  Ethereal clothing lines suit me well and match my lack of anything sharp, the flowing S curve effect and the elongation.  It seems to me that people find their body shape reflected in one of the aspects of their style ID blend but that the face is more complicated which is partly why dressing for the face matters.

Features of an Ethereal face include an oval shape, especially elongated, high forehead and tapered chin, a long, thin nose, hooded or heavily lidded eyes, wispy, fluffy, curly and very soft hair is also associated with looking ethereal. Ethereals have a softened dramatic appearance and faraway gaze that suggest dreaminess, wisdom, thoughtfulness or other-worldliness and a look of pure femininity without a sexy overtone.  Ethereals do not do come-hither looks.  An Ethereal face looks benign or kindly and we often see Ethereal elements in paintings representing Jesus or Mary.  

It's unlikely that anyone is pure Ethereal so various Ethereal blends will differ in their appearance and individuals will have the Ethereal essence in varying proportions.  People who blend Ethereal essence with Dramatic, Gamine or Natural essences will look less soft than those who blend Ethereal with Classic, Ingenue or Romantic.

For Interest:  Celebrities Who May Have Ethereal in their Blend

You can search images of these people online and they may look more or less Ethereal depending on the photo, what their blend is and how much Ethereal they have.  It's not uncommon for an Ethereal aspect to show up in models as they are generally either Dramatic or Ethereal due to the elongation required by their job. 

  • Cate Blanchet
  • Tilda Swinton
  • Corinne Bailey Rae
  • Frances Conroy
  • Liv Tyler
  • Sophie Dahl
  • Gwendolyn Christie
  • Lily Cole
  • Vanessa Redgrave
  • Bryce Dallas Howard
  • Darryl Hannah
  • Uma Thurman
  • Carolyn Bessette Kennedy
  • Leelee Sobiesky
  • Rosie Huntington-Whitley
  • Vanessa Redgrave
  • Kat Dennings
  • Giselle Bundchen

I have come to the conclusion that some people have a colour palette that works more readily with their style ID than others.  I don't think there is a wrong colour palette and style ID combination but I think some are more typical, some trickier to manage and some really unlikely.  Personal preference comes into play somewhere but I also think that personal preferences exist for a reason.  I think we may instinctively know some things without knowing how or why we know them. Some people are better than others at paying attention to or believing in their instincts.

I found that while I had all the information about what worked and what didn't, I struggled to put it together into a bigger picture.  This can happen to people who have Ethereal or Ingenue essences (or both, as I have) because they are more likely to be neglected by most style advice, style gurus and mainstream fashion.  We don't see ourselves represented anywhere so we can't figure out how we fit or how our various features work together.

As I mentioned, I believe I have a strong Ethereal aspect in my style ID and I also think both the Ethereal and Ingenue aspects of my style blend have quite an impact on how I use makeup.  Or more accurately, how I don't use it. 


Light, soft, iridescent or slightly sparkling effects are the concepts associated with ethereal colour.  Sparkle is tricky because it can also look strong and hard but to some degree it is the context.  Iridescence is slightly different from sparkle, the difference between shimmer and flash and for the ethereal look I would aim for more shimmer than flash though one or two flash points may work.  It will also depend on what other archetypes are influencing your look.  A Dramatic might want more flash and a Natural might  want less sparkle and shimmer overall, perhaps saving it for special events or night time.  An Ingenue might want the shimmer to translate into overall dewiness of the complexion and a lip gloss.

Ethereal looks in makeup are popular right now and I can find many Youtube tutorials on using various highlighters.  There is far too much makeup involved in this effect for my personal taste so I won't be road testing this.  I am inclined to suspect that if you truly do have a lot of Ethereal in your face, you will get a lot of mileage from a tinted moisturizer and a bit of highlighter if you wish.

A little goes a very long way on me and even just the use of mascara and lipstick alone can look like a lot of makeup.  This can be frustrating but I think the key is to learn to not only what colours work best for you but what formulas and understand how it is related to your archetype blend.  I have come to realise that my need for light, sheer and minimal makeup is quite likely due to having so much Ethereal and Ingenue in my style ID.  I so easily look overdone, like I am trying too hard or like a child with mother's makeup on.  That's not an effect I want.

Whatever degree of Ethereal you have and are trying to address in makeup, the key is to be subtle, begin with less and add it carefully, play with soft colour around your eyes if you like but keep face and lip colours  looking natural and believable and consider highlighters or illuminators as drama rather than bronzing, contouring and cat-eyes, unless you also have Dramatic in your blend.   I have only dabbled a little in illuminators and since I never need a formal makeup look I can't really be bothered.  An eye shadow powder or cream in your best pale metallic or an opalescent colour would have multi-uses for highlighting and adding a bit of shimmer.   

            Arwen, ( Lord of the Rings) played by LIv Tyler.

 Liv has dark hair and fair skin thus some higher contrast that can take a bit of drama.  This is what I call a my-face-but-better look and you could believe that she actually woke up like this.  It looks like there is liner on the top lids and mascara but nothing on the bottom of the eye.  Just a bit of colour in her cheeks and a natural stain on her lips.  Her brows are probably defined but it doesn't look like they are.  This reminds me of adds for facial cleansers or creams where the model looks like she is not wearing makeup but of course she is.  Or the makeup that is put on children who are performers but not in Toddlers and Tiaras.  It is innocent, believable, and quite soft.


It's difficult to find an in-focus photo of Galadriel, played by Cate Blanchet.  Her colouring is lower in contrast than Liv's but the same effect of my-face-bu- better is happening here too.  Again it looks like no liner or mascara on bottom lashes.  I have never liked anything under my eyes either, finding it looks like too much. Perhaps it is an Ethereal thing.  Her eyebrows are quite likely darkened, given they are blonde, cheeks haven't got obvious colour and lips are natural looking, a bit earthy actually.  I think the colours are warmer than Cate Blanchet's best look but the idea is perhaps to give a certain impression about the character.

There will be variation on how makeup is used according to what other ID you have blended with Ethereal and I am only beginning to get a good grasp of that so not at all qualified to tell you what to do.  Ethereal Naturals will probably favour a very minimal look, so might Ethereal Ingenues and Ethereal Classics but Ethereal combined with Romantic, Gamine or Dramatic can use stronger makeup looks.  My three-way blend is Ethereal, Romantic, Ingenue but those of us with that blend are still individuals and the others I've chatted with online have a stronger influence from Romantic than I do. 

The colours of makeup and clothing come from your own best palette but how you use them is influenced by your archetype blend. 

The Ethereal archetype might take some inspiration from magical images and an otherworldly idea but it's not meant to be a costume.  You can certainly play with it as a costume if you want to but in an archetype style blend it is intended to be just as real and usable as any other archetype and the degree to which it is used subtly, playfully or dramatically is about your own particular needs and what looks right on you. 

Having some Ethereal in my archetype blend doesn't mean I am trying to look like a fairy or elf or alien.  It means aspects of this concept are part of what I am and look appropriate on me. It explains a lot too.  I better understand and accept why I cannot wear a lot of makeup without it looking like stage makeup and why I have had such a difficult time finding the right colour lipstick.  It's not only colour that is important for me, but also texture and weight.  It is probably important for everyone but I seem to have lots of room for it to go wrong. 

Now, if I could just have a Lord of the Rings makeup artist show up at my home every morning I would be all set.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love comments; What blogger doesn't? If you take the time to comment, I will take the time to reply.

Over 50 Tall Gamine

Sometimes I reflect on everything I’ve worn over the course of my life.  Does that sound odd or unbelievable?  I have a good memory for t...