Colour Analysis is the process of determining the colours which best suits a person’s complexion, eye and true hair colour.
When we wear colour near our face, for instance the top you’re wearing or a scarf around your neck, the light reflects it upwards, casting either flattering tones or dark shadows, onto your face.
This has happened to me so many times. I buy something absolutely gorgeous, but every time I wear it, I just feel weird. For some reason I don’t feel like myself. Now I know why. I was wearing the wrong colour. I can take it one step further. I love playing around with different hair styles and colour. About four years ago I decided to highlight my hair. The hairdresser gave me a file with every possible hair colour you can think of. I wanted to bring lighter colours into my dark brown hair, so I opted for a golden blonde/caramel colour. What a huge mistake. I absolutely hated it. In stead of livening my hair up, I looked and felt dull and drained. It’s only now that I know exactly why I hated it. It’s not because highlights doesn’t go with me, but because I chose the wrong colour! I am a cool, and coppery golden tones does not work with my complexion! As simple as that!
(my disastrous highlights)
Knowing which colours suit us is an important factor when choosing clothing, makeup and hair colour, as wearing the wrong colours can make you look sickly, dull and old. Where in turn wearing the right colours will let your best features ‘pop’. Your eyes will shine, your skin will look smooth, your teeth will appear whiter, fine lines, wrinkles and dark circles under your eyes will be minimized. You’ll just feel great because you look great.
According to the Tonal Method all people fall into two basic colour groups, warm or cool. This is mainly determined by a person’s skin undertone colouring, true hair colour and eye colour. You either have a warm undertone, which means your skin has golden peachy pink undertone, or a cool undertone, which in turn means your skin has a blue undertone. After you have discovered your basic colouring, you can be further subdivided into seasons, which I will be discussing at a later stage.
When you think of warm colours, think in terms of nature:
- colours of the desert: brown sand, burnt orange stone, green cactus;
- colours of a forest: green moss, yellow, orange and brown leaves brown tree bark, green grass;
- colours of a sunset: golden tones of yellow orange and red.
When you think of cool colours, think in terms of nature:
- colours of the arctic circle: bluish white ice caps, blue water, black and white penguins, a team of grey huskies;
- colours of the sky: soft white and blues;
(Image from The Wardrobe Academy)
In the above pics you can see exactly what I mean. Julianne Moore is a definite warm whereas Sandra Bullock is a cool.
So how do I know whether I’m a warm or cool?
Short of calling in a colour expert such as an Image Consultant/Personal Stylist, there are a couple of easy home tests you can do.
- Firstly, what jewellery suits you best? Gold or Silver? If gold goes better with your colouring you are a warm.
- Still unsure between the silver and gold? Drape something silver/grey around your neck, followed by something gold/yellow. Now see what it does to your face. Do you look alive in the one and dead in the other?
- Look at the inside of your wrist where the skin is most transparent. Is your veins bluish purple or greeny yellow? Bluish purple most likely means you’re a cool, whereas greeny yellow makes you a warm.
- Is your natural hair colour any shade of golden coppery red, do you have golden tones, then you are a warm. Cool hair shades vary from platinum blonde, ash blonde/brown to black. And of course the lovely salt & pepper grey.
Use all these home methods and you will, most of the time, be able to classify yourself. But remember, these are not written in stone fail safe tests. It is just a guide.
Here’s another one of my shopping mistakes. I bought this lovely floppy brown bag. I just could not get myself to wear it. It wouldn’t go with anything. Again, have I applied my colour knowledge, I would have realised, while buying the bag, that the bag is mostly a warm brown (rusty, terracotta, caramel, mahogany, coffee browns). I should have opted for a cool brown (all browns with a grey undertone, grayish brown).
(Image from http://www.woolworths.co.za/images)
So I went out and got the right tone of brown. And I love my bag! It goes with everything!
One of my motto’s in life, which I try to live by, and regret every time I don’t, is: “when in doubt, it normally is the wrong choice/decision. Trust your instinct”.
Another one of my motto’s: “rules are there to be…challenged”. I love the colour Olive Green, which is actually a warm green. For some reason Olive Green just works beautiful with cool people with green eyes. It makes our eyes pop. So technically I can wear it. I can even take it further. Lets say Orange is my favourite colour (which I actually hate). Orange is one of those massive NO-NO’s for cool people as orange is mostly all warm. But for this example I love orange. If I wear all my corremt cool colours, I can still incorporate my beloved orange through accessorising: shoes, handbad, belt, nail polish etc. Just as long as the overall look and especially the colours are still cool.
(Image from: http://thebigears.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/outfits1.jpg)
Here are some examples of women wearing the wrong colours compared to their correct colours. See if you can work it out for yourself.
(Images from Colour Me Beautiful)
I hope you had fun reading all about your seasonal colouring, and have learnt something. Please leave suggestions in my comments box, as this is my very first blog post, and I’m still learning the ropes.