Short answer: Colour analysis is the process during which your analyst will find out what colours look best worn (in clothing, make-up, hair and accessories) by you. And by best I mean those colours that make your skin look perfect, make you look slimmer and magnify your eye colour. The analyst does this with a set of precision-dyed fabric drapes. Systems do vary but typically you will be assigned a season (Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter). If you are a Spring, warm (yellow-based) saturated colours will make your skin glow. If you are a Summer, cool (blue-based), less saturated colours will look best. Winters look best in cool, saturated colours and Autumns in warm, less saturated colours. A very simplistic explanation, but essentially that’s the essence of it.
It sounds a bit bonkers, doesn’t it?
I was first introduced to colour analysis in my mid-twenties, back in 2010. I had never heard of colour analysis before. My local colour analyst came and did a talk at a group I was a member of at the time. I can’t remember how long the talk lasted, but I was transfixed immediately. After the talk she did a brief demonstration on one of the women present who had visited her previously. Holding up different coloured drapes she showed us how the colours changed the look of her face. In warm, soft colours her skin looked like dough and her jaw wider. In cooler, brighter colours her skin came to life and her eyes were the first thing you saw when you looked at her, in fact they positively shone out from her face. The next morning I called up and booked me and three friends in. Watching the transformation in others was utterly captivating. I struggled to see the transformation in myself, so uncomfortable was I in front of a mirror without make-up on my face. I found it difficult to look at myself in the mirror. I had every faith though, having watched the others. Afterwards I swapped my black mascara for navy and my bronzer for rose pink blusher (I was diagnosed as a Summer). I swapped black for teal green and watched my face change before my eyes. It was thrilling. I watched the change in others too. I watched my friend, who had lived in black, greys and purples purchase clothes in colours from her Spring palette. Her warm turquoise eyes shone so brightly when she wore her colours. I’d never even noticed the colours of her eyes before.
Trying to explain colour analysis without being able to show someone what it is, is tough. My partner thought I’d joined some sort of cult. Other people got defensive in the face of my enthusiasm: “I don’t need to be told what colours to wear.” However, they saw the transformation in me and my friends. Quite quickly their disdain and apathy turned to curiosity and then they would say, out of the blue one day, “Oh, I called that lady… I’m going next month…” I was thrilled. Sometimes I’d go and watch the transformation. I never tire of it. It’s like magic, colour theory. Colour magic.
The important thing to remember about colour analysis is this: you can’t tell what season someone is by looking at them. You can’t tell by looking at hair/eye/skin colour. Any season can have any combination of hair/eye/skin colour. The only way you can ascertain what season someone is, is by draping them. The draping should be done in a neutral-coloured room with excellent natural light.
Colour is always relative. Colour is always next to another colour. Colours affect each other. What this means is that when you are able to mirror your natural colours in your clothing, both you and your clothing benefit. Your clothes look more expensive. Your skin looks clear, eyes brighter, you look younger. If you put a warm, muted colour next to a bright, cool colour, both colours will suffer. The cool colour will look harsh and blue, the warm colour sickly and cheap.
A colour analyst is using the drapes in order to get your skin to react to the colour. What determines how your skin reacts? Your skin’s undertone, not to be confused with overtone. Someone’s skin can look yellow (warm) in colour but still have a cool (blue) undertone, and vice versa. A colour analysis session using a set of precision-dyed drapes is the only way to find out what undertone you have, and therefore what set of colours (season) suits you best. Everyone’s colouring is unique. You may have the same hair and eye colour as someone else, but that doesn’t mean your season will be the same.
Interested in having your colours analysed by me?
All the information you need, including how to book, is on my ‘What to expect at your colour analysis session‘ post.