What is Colour Analysis?
Discover my tips on how to understand what colours suit you
Colour analysis was big in the 80's
Colour analysis was big in the 80's having your "colours done" was a thing for the ladies that lunched. I was fascinated by it even then and remember my mum getting herself done. She had a little wallet of fabric swatches that she carried around in her handbag and checked things against when she was shopping.
I always wanted to have it done myself but, in those days, it would’ve cost me the same as a months rent. It was very much something that was perceived as a luxury. Instead, I made do with devouring the contents of my mum’s book, ‘Presenting Yourself for Women’ by Mary Spillane.
It was 2013, some 30+ years later that I finally got my Winter analysis when I actually formally trained myself as a consultant. If you’re curious about what colours suit you then read on to discover my tips on how to complete a self-assessment.
What is colour analysis?
What is colour analysis?
There are a couple of different systems, but the concept is generally based on analysing your skin tone, hair and eye colour and using that analysis to determine which colours are going to suit you best.. If you’ve ever googled it chances are the two big names that crop up House of Colour and Colour Me Beautiful. Then of course there are the independents like me, who are not linked to a franchise.
What are the benefits of colour analysis?
If you haven’t ever had a colour analysis you might be wondering what it’s all about and why does it matter what colours anyone wears anyway. Colour analysis is about finding out which colours really enhance your natural radiance. It is not about restricting your personal choice or making you wear colours you don’t like.
Here are 8 reasons why colour can boost your personal style and self-image confidence, take years off you, take the stress out of getting dressed, turn you from drab to fab, be stylish, coordinated and save you time and money.
1| Your skin will look clearer and more radiant when you wear your best colours, giving you a glow and people may comment on how well you are looking.
2| The colour of your eyes will seem brighter, more vibrant and truer.
3| If you wear make-up you'll need less as your skin tone looks more even.
4| Wearing your best colours (particularly near your face) really can take years off you as the colour works with your natural skin tone and eliminates shadows.
5| You will save time when you're shopping as you can be focused; you can literally scan a shop for colours in your palette and disregard the rest.
6| It will save you time as your wardrobe is fully coordinated and you can confidently mix and match separates as you get ready each morning.
7| You'll save money as your wardrobe becomes more wearable, fewer items but worn more often.
8| Shopping for clothes becomes easier because you really know what you are looking for and what suits you, you make confident choices.
What are the different colour analysis systems?
When someone has had a colour analysis you might have heard them say they're a "summer" or an “autumn”. When they say this, they are talking about a group of colours suit them best based on the particular combination of their hair, eyes and skin colours.
The seasonal colour analysis system has 4 main categories- spring, summer, autumn or winter. House of colour use the seasonal system, but they then divide each category into 3 sub seasons such as deep winter, jewel winter etc so there are 12 categories in total.
Colour me beautiful moved away from their original seasonal system to a different method called the tonal system. They still consider hair, eyes and skin tone but have 6 categories deep, light, warm, cool, soft and clear. They will give you a combination of 3 of their categories for the colours that suit you best e.g., you might be deep, warm and soft as opposed to Autumn.
I originally trained in the seasonal system but found the resources that were available to work with restrictive. So, a couple of years ago I retrained in a more sophisticated tonal system that gives me far more accurate results. As far as I’m aware there’s only me and one other consultant in THE UK trained in this Absolute Colour System method. I now have 18 groups to choose from so I can give you a much more nuanced palette of 50 colours that will flatter you.What are the different colour analysis systems?
What skin tone do I have?
When I do a colour analysis reading the main thing, I focus on is your skin undertone. This never changes. If you have cool undertones but get a tan you will still have cool undertones – you will have a tanned cool undertone, which may alter the boldness of colours you can get away with.
Cool undertones – your skin will be pinkish, your veins will look blueish, silver, pink and blue look best against your skin.
Warm undertones – your skin will be peachy or yellowish, your veins will look greenish, gold, peach and green look best against your skin.
What season am I?
For a quick self-assessment guide the seasonal system is the simplest to use and a great starting point.
Spring = warm undertones and light colouring
Summer = cool undertones and light colouring
Autumn = warm undertones and deep colouring
Winter = cool undertones and deep colouring
How can I find out which colours suit me?
You could do a visual check yourself; Natural daylight is best so try sitting with a mirror in front of you while you face a window and see which colours look best. You could use clothes you have, scarves, towels any fabric really or even pieces of coloured card.
What you are looking for is harmony with your natural colouring, so make up free or just a little make up works best for your self-assessment. You are wanting to see if you notice you or the colour first. A good way to tell is to do the ‘blink test’. Hold the colour under your chin, close your eyes and then open them quickly – what do you notice first? Your face or the colour? If it’s the colour, then that’s not good. You want to wear the colour, not have the colour wearing you.
Here’s a checklist for you.
Warm v cool
Salmon v fuchsia
Terracotta v burgundy
Cream v white
Rust v raspberry
Olive v emerald
Turquoise v cobalt
As a general guide you will find that mimicking your natural colouring will work well and sticking with colours that aren’t overpowering your face. The darker your hair, the darker colours you can get away with. Black is going to great on you if you are fair or have warm undertones.
If you find that you need more makeup, a brighter lipstick or a tan to ‘get away’ with a colour then that would suggest it’s not one of your best ones to go for.
If this has whetted your appetite to find out more then you could download my pdf here which has further information on how to make sure that you are wearing colours that suit you.
How can I book a colour analysis consultation?
And finally, if you’re really curious and would like a definitive answer you could book with me for a full online colour analysis reading.
Here's how it works:
You send me the answers to a set of questions and photographs.
I complete your reading.
I’ll post your personalised swatch of 50 colours to keep in your handbag will make clothes shopping a breeze.
I’ll email you a pdf guide full of Comprehensive information on how to make the most of your colours. it focuses on easy-to-follow tips.
We will then book in a 15–20-minute video call to chat through your results.
You have ongoing support lifetime access to my exclusive Absolute Colour Club with video tutorials plus a forum for chat and to check in with colour quandaries.
Here's what Clare had to say recently after her online reading.
"I'm so pleased I did it. It answered so many questions I hadn't even asked and I'm already receiving more compliments and feeling more confident about what I wear. I couldn't recommend Lisa more!"
I hope you’ve found that useful as a beginner’s guide – if you like to know more about it all just email me, and we can book a no obligation virtual coffee.
p.s. Your best colours may change as you get older and lose pigment so it's worth a refresh if you were "done" a while ago or your hair colour has significantly changed. I suit much softer colours since I embraced my grey and my previous Winter, bright colours are too much these days.
Tagged as: Colour
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