What to expect at your colour analysis session

Colour analysis is not about limiting options, but about opening your eyes to all the colours you can wear. Sometimes, prior to a draping, a client will worry that the process will limit the colours they ‘should’ wear, but the opposite is always true; afterwards, they express surprise at the wide range of colours that look great on them. Before I had my colours done, I believed I couldn’t wear pink. Afterwards, I realised I had just been looking at the wrong pink! In fact, I had so many shades of pink that looked good on me, from a cool dusty rose which really seemed to bring my skin to life, to a raspberry pink which looked especially good if I wore it in both my lipstick and a scarf.

Image: Kettlewell Colours

In our session, I will start by covering the basics of colour theory and answering any questions you might have. After our introductory chat, we will begin the draping itself. We will establish which season you fall into, and this can take anywhere from 45-90 minutes; I like to allow 2-3 hours for a draping as a minimum. Once we’ve ascertained your season, we’ll go through every drape I have for that season and fine tune. Whilst all colours in your season will look good on you, some will really make you shine and my favourite part of the process is finding the colours that are your very, very best. 

After we’ve done this, and I’ve given you your new colour swatch, we can discuss make-up, hair colour, etc. I encourage clients to bring along their make-up or any clothes they might have questions about.

Image: DesignSeeds.com

What you need to know before your draping

  • Your face will need to be free of make-up and fake tan.
  • If you’ve dyed or bleached your hair, I will ask that you wear my (very fetching) white head scarf during the draping.
  • If there isn’t enough natural light I won’t hazard a guess at your season (God forbid!). I’ll return another day or, if possible, find us another location.
  • You will need to be sat in front of a mirror so you can see what I see as I drape you. If you don’t have one, just let me know and I can bring mine.
  • I will bring make-up along with me for you to try (if you would like to) once we know your season.
  • If you usually wear glasses, please wear contact lenses if at all possible.
  • Come with an open mind. I absolutely understand that if you’ve been wearing black all your life you might feel uncomfortable at first being diagnosed as a Spring/Summer/Autumn. But, rest assured, you will receive compliments galore as you wear your new colours!
  • I’m always happy to drape children (and partners) but do bear in mind they need to be willing and able to sit for up to an hour.
  • We both need to be able to concentrate, so a space free of distractions for the session is important.
  • Bring a camera/smartphone if you want. I am more than happy to take pictures of you looking amazing in your best colours!

Once we are done, you will leave with a little swatch book that you can take shopping with you. (If you wear scarves, these are a great place to start!)

What does it cost? I charge £80 for a colour analysis session which includes the swatch book. If you are a considerable distance from me I may need to add on extra for petrol or travel costs. I do group discounts; the cost reduces to £70 each for two or more. Depending on the time of year I can typically fit no more than 3-4 sessions in a day.

Where will it take place? Wherever you like, although most clients prefer I come to them. I can come to your home or even your workplace just so long as we have a quiet room with excellent natural light. If you’d like to come to me this can be arranged too, just let me know.

How long will it take? Please allow at least 2-3 hours. I like for us to have plenty of time for chatting, questions and for playing with make-up afterwards.

What should I wear? Anything you like apart from hoodies or polo neck jumpers. You will be wearing a thick white cotton cape during the draping process, so be sure to factor that extra layer in.

Can I bring a friend? Yes! Absolutely. The more the merrier. It’ll be magical for them to watch.

Can you help me shop? Of course! If you’d like to hire me as a personal shopper just let me know and we can talk about costs, logistics etc.

Can you help me sort out my wardrobe? I would be delighted to! I offer a wardrobe review and decluttering service, just ask.

Is there a reason why I shouldn’t be analysed? If you are taking medication that changes the colour of your skin. If you feel unwell (we’ll reschedule). If you have a very deep tan, fake tan, or are sun burnt (we’ll need to wait until this has faded).

Will I need to throw away my entire wardrobe if I’ve been buying the wrong colours? No, not if you don’t want to! Some people have the motivation and means to do that, but generally speaking I recommend that clients go through their wardrobe and swatch their clothes. Compliant clothes go on the right, non-compliant on the left. As you wear out the clothes on the left, you can replace them with compliant ones. You don’t need to start big, either. Scarves, lipstick and nail varnish are a great way of introducing your new colours without breaking the bank.

How do I book? Just contact me via e-mail: janine@inlovewithcolour.com.

What is colour analysis? Great question.

In a nutshell: colour analysis is the process of determining what colours most suit you by using a series of precision-dyed, colour-calibrated fabric drapes.

I was first introduced to colour analysis in my mid-twenties when my local colour analyst did a talk at a group I was a member of. During the talk she did a brief demonstration on one of the women there. Holding up different coloured drapes, she showed us how the colours changed the look of her face. In warm, soft colours, the woman’s skin looked like dough and her jaw looked wider. In cooler, brighter colours, her skin came to life and her eyes shone out from her face. At 9AM the following morning, I called the analyst up and booked me and my three friends in.


I was so excited to have my ‘colours done’ that I barely slept the night before. At the draping, watching the transformation in my friends was utterly captivating. I saw my friend, who had lived in black, grey and purple most of her life, come alive in the bright, tropical colours of the Spring palette. Her warm turquoise eyes shone so brightly when the analyst put the coral pink drape under her chin. Honestly, I don’t think I’d ever noticed the colour of her eyes before.

After. I never thought pink suited me; turns out I’d been buying the wrong shade!

I soon saw the transformation in myself. After being ‘diagnosed’ as as Summer, I swapped my black mascara for navy and my bronzer for rose pink blusher. I swapped black for teal green and watched my face change before my eyes. It was thrilling.

Your colours, when worn in clothing (and make-up, and hair) will make your skin look clearer, your eyes brighter and sharper, and you will look youthful and vibrant. In the business, we call this being ‘in focus’.

Systems vary, but chances are you’ll be assigned a season: Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter. If you are a Spring or an Autumn, warm (yellow-based) colours will make your skin glow. If you are a Summer or Winter, cool (blue-based) colours will look best. Winters and Springs look best in bright, saturated colours. Autumns and Summers look best in slightly softer, less saturated colours.

Within these palettes we’ll find your ‘sweet spot’. For example, one Summer might look best in the light, pastel shades. Another might suit the deeper, richer colours.

Is it possible to tell what season someone is just by looking at them? Sadly not. This is because 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. This is because your skin’s undertone, not overtone, is what’s responsible for your colouring. 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 (what 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?

All the information you need, including how to book, is on my ‘What to expect at your colour analysis session‘ post.