Since as far back as 2000 BC, people have been exploring the connection between color and the human body, and the art of chromotherapy, or color therapy, as a way to treat and heal. Some call it pseudoscience — but that’s probably just because they’ve never met Roxie Darling, NYC’s coolest hair colorist-turned-intuitive healer.
New Yorkers already know Darling, the former lead colorist at Hairstory Studio who now works her magic out of Soho’s Suite Caroline salon, as the go-to girl for vivid Crayola color. So it makes perfect sense that the authority in all things technicolor recently decided to follow a vocational calling outside of the salon by becoming an intuitive color healer. (Yes, that’s a job a person can have.) Last September, Darling started channeling her expertise into a new project called Spectrum Experiment.
The “experiment” involves Darling photographing her clientele beneath a spectrum of colors created with photography lighting in her own Brooklyn studio.
Ahead, we’ve teamed up with makeup artist Meredith Menchel and Darling herself to show exactly how you can make Darling’s transformative approach work in your own day-to-day life, without having to worry about root touch-ups or how many color-therapy photos on your Instagram feed is too many. (For what it’s worth, there’s no such thing.)
If You’ve Been Too Busy Budgeting Your Trader Joe’s Trip To Follow Your Dreams
Best for: Capricorn, Virgo, Taurus, and Aries.
Your color prescription: Purple/blue.
Why it works for you: You’re most likely the one who would rather spend their hard-earned money on Blue Apron kits than weekly happy hours. You tend to be the grounded, logical survivalist in the room — and Darling explains that’s totally normal for earth signs. But that also means it’s time to stop being sorational and start spending some time outside of your budget-tracking Excel sheets and a little more time in your dream journal. Purple and blue will remind you to stop focusing so much on the little things you need to get by and more on what you really want.
Trend to try: Upside down eyeliner.
A fun twist on a Hollywood trend, this two-toned, upside-down liner is for the earth sign who needs a healthy balance between work and play. Start by dipping a dense eyeliner brush in a blue cream shadow and drag it halfway across your lower lash line. Then do the same with a purple cream shadow and continue the same line until you reach the outer corner of your eye. The opposite of the practical cat-eye, this inverse trend will remind you not everything has to make sense — especially not your eyeliner.
If You’re Ready To Know Yourself Better Than A Rupi Kaur Poem
Your color prescription: Purple/yellow.
Who should try it: Libra, Taurus, Virgo, Aquarius, Sagittarius, and Cancer.
Why this works for you: If you constantly ask yourself, “What the hell am I doing here?” this color combo is yours for the taking. Alone, the color purple channels your long-term vision and psychic power, but when combined with yellow — a color all about asserting your independence — you have the opportunity to figure out your place in this world.
The trend: Floating crease.
We have Solange to thank for our recent obsession with a floating crease. The minimalist trend adds edge to an otherwise low-key look that only takes seconds to create. After dipping a tapered eyeshadow brush into a purple gel shadow, draw a line on top of your crease. Use a cotton swab dampened with micellar water to clean up the edges; the thinner the line, the bigger your eyes will look. Use the other side of the swab to clean up the edges as needed.
Pair the purple line with a dab of canary-yellow shadow in the inner corners. You can use a brush to recreate the graphic look, or just use your fingertips to paint the color. Everyone knows a light-reflecting highlighter brightens the face, but this bright matte yellow takes things to another level.
If You Spend More Time With Your Head In The Clouds Than At The Office
Your color prescription: Orange/red.
Who should try it: Pisces, Aquarius, Gemini, and Libra.
Why this works for you: No offense, but it’s time to get your shit together. While your head is in the clouds, your Venmo requests are piling up as you live off the late-night menu on Seamless. Darling says most water signs can benefit a lot from typical earth-y behavior. While red is the color of survival, orange is all about your intense emotions — combine the two, and you’ll be the new mom of your friend group in no time.
Trend: Brow liner.
Just like your upside down eyeliner, but a few inches north. Take your thinnest brush and dip it in orange pigment, lining it up just beneath the brow. Once that color dries, add a bit of glitter for a disco effect. While brow liner isn’t the most practical trend in the world, you can ground your look with a classic DGAF-red lip.
Genuine People Wool Ruffle Turtleneck, $110, available at Genuine People; The Shiny Squirrel earrings.
If You’re Ready To Ditch Your Day Job & Make Money Moves
Your color prescription: Blue/orange.
Who should try it: Cancer, Virgo, and Scorpio.
Why this works for you: Like the iconic writer and politician Shirley Chisholm once said, “If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.” If you’re having trouble asserting yourself at work or in your personal life, it’s time to bring out the boldest combo there is: blue and orange. Blue is all about creative expression, not only inspiring you to insert yourself more creatively into a space, but also to inspire others. Orange represents your “deep waters,” says Darling — her favorite way to describe the place in your body where all the emotions are stored. Mix the two, and you’ve got the kind of elevated passion to change the world.
The trend: Color-blocking.
Color-blocked lids used to be a bold look reserved for the runway; now, it’s one of the easiest to pull off IRL, as long as you’re prepared for a lot of color. Use a cream or gel-based shadow to cover your entire lid in one solid shade. Menchel suggests tapping a similar shade in a glittery finish right in the center of the lids, too, to keep the shade from looking flat. Finish it off with a blotted orange lip, and in mere minutes you’ll have a fire and ice combination hotter than Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen.
If Your Inbox Is Overflowing With Cancelled Brainstorm Invitations
Your color prescription: Pink/purple.
Who should try it: Leo, Aries, and Taurus.
Why this works for you: You have a lot of power, says Darling, but hoarding it all for yourself is the opposite of productive: She explains that now is the time to channel that power and put it to work. Colors like pink and purple add softness to an otherwise abrasive energy and inspire you to share the wealth. She adds that pink is the color of generosity, which is ideal in a team-based environment where you collaborate on ideas.
The trend: Two-toned lip.
Two-toned everything has erupted all over Instagram recently and, as far as we can tell, there’s no turning back. This bold, yet sweet, look is exactly what you need. To achieve the gradient effect, take a dark purple lipstick and start filling in the outer edges of your lips. Then, take a pink lipstick and fill in the center. (Or you can totally cheat by trying one of these smoky lip kits.)
Opening Ceremony Floral Ribbed Turtleneck, $325, available at Opening Ceremony; Eleven Six Camilla Sweater, $495, available at Eleven Six; Oscar de la Renta Single Tendril Crystal Earrings, $435, available at Oscar de la Renta.