What is color analysis?
“Color analysis is the process of analyzing a person's hair, skin and eye color to match them with the colors that will be most flattering to them,” explains Jeannie Stith, founder of Color Guru. Paola Farina, a personal stylist and image consultant, says the method was developed by Hollywood's costume designers and make-up artists to improve the photographic performance of the cinema stars. “The first approach to color was developed by Suzanne Caygill, but the interest in colors is rooted in romantic philosophy and the first studies are linked to the world of design,” she says.
And Farina notes that many tools used by the stylists and image consultants of today are actually taken from the world of painting. “Carol Jackson transformed a niche phenomenon into a mass phenomenon between the 70s and 80s and in the 90s the color analysis disappeared because fashion imposed everything black,” Farina explains. But now the trend is making a reappearance.
“I think it's made its comeback now because people are sick of their overstuffed closets and drawers,” Stith says noting that some of her clients are realizing that buying disposable clothing may not be good for their lifestyle, wallet, or the environment. More people want to choose their clothing carefully, and many also want that clothing to last. “Seasonal color analysis can help them make the best choice the first time,” Stith explains.
What are the color seasons?
With color analysis, there are generally four different color palettes a person can fall under, and they correlate with the seasons: spring, summer, autumn and winter. Some stylists like Stith, however, have expanded beyond that. “We saw that wasn't nearly specific enough for all the variation we see in people's unique coloring, so we created a 12-season system,” she says. This is the variation she puts on things as a color stylist of today.
During a color analysis, stylists typically use their proprietary training and color drapes to determine which color palettes showcase your natural physical features best and provide you with that natural glow. “We meet with clients to determine how their wardrobe can reflect both their personality and lifestyle,” says Kimberly Mayhew from House of Colour. In color analysis consultations, she adds, consultants use the theory of color taught in the color and image consultant training to determine which seasonal color palette harmonizes each client's natural skin tone, hair and eye color. Simply put, you’ll generally leave knowing which colors you look best in!
What can you learn from color analysis?
Color consultations can typically benefit anyone who wants to look and feel more confident in their clothes: women, men, kids. “We even did a dog once!” says Stith. If you’re looking to get a color consultation for your grandchildren, she does recommend waiting until children are five years old before doing color analysis for them as their coloring can change in those first few years. And the good news is the results usually stay with you for a long time.
“Most people's color palette doesn't change as they age, so you'll avoid color mistakes for years to come, saving you both time and money,” says Stith. “The comment we hear most from people is ‘I wish I'd done this years ago!’"
Some of the benefits to getting your colors done, says Mayhew, include:
- You’ll get help finding the colors that make you more confident and feel like the best version of yourself.
- When you are in your right colors, your skin may look more vibrant and youthful (especially important as we age because we naturally lose pigmentation and elasticity).
- Knowing your colors may make it easier to shop.
- A color analysis teaches you to make a more versatile wardrobe because all the colors in your season can mix and match.
- You’ll find the shades of each color that look good on you
- Studies suggest that colors and what we wear have a psychological effect on people's moods, confidence, and feelings.
- You’ll learn how to slowly incorporate your colors into your wardrobe with accessories.
How can you get it done?
You can ask a personal stylist or image consultant to have your colors done. “It is essential to contact professionals and not improvised people,” says Farina. She recommends checking the schools the consultant attended and for how many years she/he has been working in the sector. “The more experienced ones, the more important the cost will be,” she says, adding that prices can range from $140 to $200 and in some large cities, the costs are also higher. “At the end of the analysis, you should receive a palette of your colors (color fans),” says Farina. Some artists, like her, also give out make-up palettes to show clients things like the lipstick and eyeshadow colors they would look best in.
You can also find a color stylist in your area by searching online. There are stylists who also do this online, so it can often be as easy as sending in your photo or having a virtual consult.
“Getting your colors done can be helpful for looking your best, shopping for clothes more easily, and creating a coordinated wardrobe,” says Stith.
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