skin color:a soft powdery complexion

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sakura124

Member
Japanese
Hi thanks for reading this!

I am now reading a short novel written by Jo Bannister titled "Last of Kin."
At the beginning of the story, there is a description of the main character, who is an old woman, which goes like:

someone of about seventy with a soft powdery complexion, fluffy peach-white hair, faded but still warm blue eyes....

I undestand "complexion" to refer to the woman's skin color, but I don't see what a "soft powdery complexion" can look like, and what color "peach-white" is.
When I look the phrases up in google image search, all I get are makeup stuff and fruits:confused:

I really want to be able to picture what exactly this character looks like...
Thanks for your help in advance!
 
  • Glenfarclas

    Senior Member
    English (American)
    "Complexion" means "I.4.a The natural colour, texture, and appearance of the skin, esp. of the face" (Oxford English Dictionary), so the sense can include the texture and appearance of something powdery (like snow, maybe). "Peach-white" would be either a whitish peach color, or maybe, since we are talking about an elderly person, a peach color mixed with many white hairs in it.
     

    sakura124

    Member
    Japanese
    Hi Glenfarclas, thanks a lot for your comment!
    But, I still don't get a clear picture, sorry:(

    Following your comment, I looked up "powdery texture," and found examples using the phrase to describe apples which have been too long in the storage and have become dry and stale.
    Is it used in this sense, like her skin's not firm and fresh, but dry and wrinkly?
    Or is it used just to emphasize the softness of her skin??
    And when you say "peach color" all I can think of is "pink," which seems a bit unusual especially it is an old lady.
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    Powdery just means sort of faded/maybe a little dusty looking when used like this about a face. It is quite a common way to describe old skin. If you think about what old, white people's skin looks like it will tell you more than looking at images of powder.

    The peach hair seems ridiculous. Peaches are not white. Maybe the idea is that peach modifies fluffy (peachy fuzz is a common way of descirbing very fine hair) I think it describes the textureof the hair, which is white. Are you sure there is a hyphen there? It seems misplaced to me.
     

    sakura124

    Member
    Japanese
    Hi suzi br, thanks a lot for your comment!
    I understand a lot better now about "powdery complextion":)

    It never occurred to me that "peach" might be referring to the texture of her hair.
    There actually is a hyphen between "peach" and "white," though. So I think the peach and white must go together.

    Powdery just means sort of faded/maybe a little dusty looking when used like this about a face. It is quite a common way to describe old skin. If you think about what old, white people's skin looks like it will tell you more than looking at images of powder.

    The peach hair seems ridiculous. Peaches are not white. Maybe the idea is that peach modifies fluffy (peachy fuzz is a common way of descirbing very fine hair) I think it describes the textureof the hair, which is white. Are you sure there is a hyphen there? It seems misplaced to me.
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    :confused::confused::confused:
    This seems quite straightforward to me. Her face is powdery because she's wearing powder from a compact:

    Her hair is peachy-white because she's had a 'peach rinse' on her white hair:
     
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