Real World Practices, Stay Inspired, Working With Colors

Psychology of Color for Creative Professionals: Money’s Hidden Palette

This article on Psychology of Color for Creative Professionals is written by our guest author, top-pro Makeup Artist and educator Irina Rudova, Los Angeles, CA and edited by Julia Kuzmenko McKim. Read more about Irina below

Markets are currently experiencing rapid changes due to the accelerated pace of technological innovations and shifts in consumer behavior.

This dynamic environment demands more than ever before that creative professionals continuously re-evaluate and broaden their skill sets, stay on top of market trends, and ensure their skills remain relevant to the evolving landscape of technology.

Fortunately, we find ourselves in one of the fastest-growing industries. The beauty and well-being aspects hold significant importance in the minds of consumers and, as a result, play a significant role in the current economic landscape.

The Future of the Beauty and Wellness Markets

Use promo code BRMagic20 for $20 off the Beauty Retouch and Beauty Retouch Mini panels

Brands within the beauty industry, regardless of size, are actively investing in innovations.

If you follow the industry trends, you may already know Sisley Paris (by the way, Sisley Paris in-house retoucher is a RA Panels user) has just launched Neurae, a new skincare brand that draws inspiration from the mind-skin connection and is elevated by neuroscience.

According to a McKinsey & Company report (Jan’2024), around 80% of consumers in the US, UK and China now consider wellness a top or important priority in their everyday lives (source: The trends defining the $1.8 trillion global wellness market in 2024).

Another report (May 2023) suggests that online beauty sales in the US are projected to reach $45 billion by 2027 (source: McKinsey, Industry Reports ).

This means that content creation within the beauty and wellness market will not slow down. However, with the introduction of Generative AI and a flood of new applications that leverage AI for content creation, we are expected to know more and be able to do more to continue growing as independent creatives.

If your goal is to work with commercial clients in the beauty industry, check out Become a Professional Beauty Retoucher.

One of the key areas of expertise for absolutely all content creators is Color. Whether you’re a photographer, retoucher, graphic designer, or makeup artist, it’s expected that you not only understand the basics of Color Theory but also use colors to capture the viewer’s attention and influence their perception in a specific and desired way.

To achieve this, I’d like to take you on a little journey to explore Colors in a manner that might be different from what you’re accustomed to.

Today, let’s look at one of the most impactful colors we can work with in new ways.

Color of Affluence & Power

Money is a form of energy, an energetic catalyst, fueling the actions that drive civilizations forward. Throughout our lifetime, we learn to master the art of engaging with it and using it to pave our path to further growth.

Have you ever wondered which color resonates most profoundly with money in the human psyche?

Your first thought might be green, synonymous with the globally recognized greenback – “green” US dollars are the world’s most recognized currency. However, let’s explore the true color of wealth: Red.

In Sanskrit, the red root chakra, Muladhara, is the foundation responsible for stability, safety, and grounding. A symbol of vitality and life’s robust force, meets our primal needs, ensuring survival. It embodies energy and vitality, a powerful force of life. Here lies your endurance, physical strength, and activity – crucial elements in your work and professional growth.

Celebrities often use Red in their performances and public appearances. Fashion icons like Rihanna significantly influence trends with their red attire, supported by expert teams of her caliber who are well-versed in the power of colors.

Vogue Magazine, April 2011 – 10th Annual Shape Issue, Rihanna on Fame Family 

Super Bowl Halftime Show 2023, Hollywood Life 

In our everyday life, color affects us through sight and skin.

Try color therapy by wearing scarlet or fiery colors as part of your work attire, and observe the transformative impact on your mindset throughout the day.

Maybe, you’ve noticed the shift in your mood after spending hours retouching images adorned with bright shades of Crimson or Vermilion?

Those are the actual objective effects of color on our perception and emotional states.

Red draws attention swiftly, which causes it to dominate makeup palettes for lip products.

Makeup artists can experiment with intricate textures that demand time and concentration to observe the actual effect of color on their mood.

For example, try using red flock powder to craft sumptuous, velvet lips. You will notice a difference in your inner state as you spend time working with the product of this color for an extended stretch of time.

Sometimes it can also backfire, Red may evoke feelings of unease and fatigue, triggering a survival mode. In such instances, essential oils like frankincense work wonders and will help to unwind, and enhance mood by diminishing feelings of stress and anxiety while improving concentration and memory.

Red also signifies competition, the drive to expand influence and emerge victorious.

Photo by Aleksey Dovgulya, Makeup Irina Rudova, using red flock powder

During the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004, athletes in red achieved the highest victory rate, succeeding in 55% of cases. Red is the most popular flag being found on 74% of all the flags of the world today (source: Colors of Flags).

Using Red in all aspects of your life and work supports financial well-being, abundance, and prosperity.

As you know, colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel are called complementary. These colors when used together enhance one another, so Red looks stronger when used against Green on a canvas, in a film frame, or in any other setting for that matter.

The same is true for meanings.

The Meaning Behind Color Green

The meanings of two opposite colors reinforce each other. Let’s take a look at the meaning behind the color Green and then put the two of them together.

In Sanskrit, the green or heart chakra, known as Anahata, is linked to our capacity for Love.

So now, we have two contrasting colors – Green for love, Red for the foundation, stability and safety.

The logical interpretation of using these two colors together can be this:

When you passionately love what you do, and put your heart and soul into your work, eventually, as you get better at your craft, money effortlessly finds its way to you.

If you haven’t yet, you should study Color Theory and successfully utilize it in your work, beyond just the common use of color in your images, film, or makeup palettes you are selecting for your kit.


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A post shared by Julia Kuzmenko McKim (@juliakuzmenko)

However, benefitting from this knowledge will be harder if you neglect these 3 critically important aspects that you should keep at the top of your mind to grow as a creative professional:

1. Find Joy in What You Do

It’s crucial that you enjoy your profession, your art and craft, and that you keep your inner fire burning!

It is difficult to go the distance in any field when you don’t have that inner drive, the spark that makes it easy to persevere, get back up and plow forward after setbacks.

By the way, Red is also the color that represents fire.

2. Business Mindset and Monetization

While being a struggling artist might have its romantic allure, being financially secure is undoubtedly more rewarding, and allows you to go even further in your development.

Put a sufficient amount of mental focus into your business planning, strategizing, and marketing with the purpose of positevely affecting your bottom line.

Use the power of Red in sales – in your portfolio, branding, and when networking. In a study published by Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research, waitresses wearing red received up to 26% more tips. So, don’t be too shy to stand out in Red.

To be invisible is to remain without attention and recognition. And as we all know, attention is the currency in today’s world.

3. Peer & Industry Recognition

It is great when you have an army of regular clients, but have you ever considered becoming a recognized expert in your field? Are you ambitious enough to strive to become a leader and a force to be reckoned with in your industry?


If any of these aspects remain unsatisfied for an extended time for you, consider acquiring additional skills for a breath of fresh air. For instance, delving even deeper into the study of colors could be a valuable exploration.

See you in the next article soon!

About Author:

“Hi, I’m Irina Rudova. In my 15-year odyssey as a makeup artist, I’ve had the privilege of gracing faces with transformative artistry, collaborating with global brands like Porsche, Cartier, Mercedes-Benz, and Toyota, as well as magazines in the USA, UK, Turkey, Spain, Russia, and esteemed members of the Grammy, Emmys, and fashion world.

I’ll be more than happy to share with you my experience and knowledge.

This is the first of 6 exclusive articles for Retouching Academy.” 

Connect with me: @irina.rud0va

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About Irina Rudova

Irina Rudova is a Los Angeles & New York-based makeup artist and educator. With a career spanning over 15 years, Rudova has contributed to publications in the USA, UK, Turkey, Spain, and Russia, highlighting her expertise. She is known for working and collaborating, including as a key makeup artist, with global brands such as Porsche, Cartier, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, the fashion world, and esteemed members of the Grammy, Emmys. With a wealth of experience and knowledge, Irina is eager to share her expertise and knowledge. Instagram: @irina.rud0va, Los Angeles & New York

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