If you are somewhere near my age, you may have had your colors done back in the 80’s. It was something I’d always wanted to do but just never got around to. That is, until my friend Regan at Nifty 50 Fabulous wrote a post about her experience with House of Colour. It was time to pull the trigger and I’m so glad I invested in this valuable experience!
House of Colour is a long-established UK company that has been growing significantly in the US market over the past 10 years. Their method of color analysis is based on the color theories of Johannes Itten (of Bauhaus fame) and was then expanded upon by leading UK image consultant, Carolyn Miller.
What a Color Analysis Involves
Regan gives an excellent overview of what the House of Colour analysis entails but I’ll summarize it briefly here as well. Once you have booked an appointment with a local consultant, plan to spend 2-3 hours with them at your appointment. At your scheduled appointment, you will:
- Be asked to arrive bare-faced/no make-up so that your true skin tones are apparent.
- Your consultant may cover your hair with a scarf or ask you to pull it back.
- You’ll be draped with a neutral cloth over your chest and shoulders and then the paired draping process will begin
- You will undergo a series of paired drapings to determine whether warm or cool tones are more flattering to your skin and then whether you are better suited to brighter/clearer tones or more muted/subtle tones. This could be done in just a few pairings or, may take as many as 12, depending upon your individual features and skin tones.
- Once you have identified your best season, the consultant will go through all 36 drapes within that season and give each color a score. This score will let you know your “best of the best” colors.
- A quick makeup review using season-specific products is done.
- A final photo with your best colors draped is taken.
Your Take Home Kit
Each color analysis recipient receives a:
- A color wallet with swatches of all 36 colors in your season as well as 4 full-season quick reference cards.
- A guide book in which you’ve recorded your best seasonal colors, best makeup colors. (NOTE: The book also has great tips for next steps, wardrobe building, and using your season to guide hair color, jewelry, and eyewear choices.)
- A current season Kettlewell catalog. Kettlewell is a sister company of House of Color and sells clothing based on seasons. It’s a great resource if your best colors are hard to find in traditional retail stores.
- Any optional makeup items you may have purchased during your session.
Bring a friend with you! So, a moment of truth. Sitting in front of a mirror for 3 hours with no makeup on proved to be a bit of a distraction for me. It was hard to focus on how each color affected my skin tone/eye brightness when I was consumed with thoughts of my shiny forehead, the steamer-trunk-sized bags under my eyes, distracting broken capillaries and red spots.
Beth Ann, my consultant, was so patient at helping me narrow things down and keeping me on track! Having a friend along as well would have done even more to get me out of my head and hone in on what really looked best.
Be open to learning and treat the experience as a process. The goal isn’t to immediately toss out everything in your closet that isn’t in your perfect season. No one will police you post-analysis. However, you will be encouraged to replace worn-out items with versions in more flattering colors.
You’ll also be encouraged to pay more attention to tones. Black, one of my staples, is not in my palette (summer) but there are many shades of black. I won’t get rid of all my black goods but will focus on softer, more muted, matte black shades as opposed to intense, clear blacks with a lot of shine. The point is to use this education to get better/smarter with your choices over time.
Why Color Analysis Makes for a Good Investment
A quality color analysis is a one-time investment. Once your appropriate season has been identified, you will be in that season for life. You let your hair go grey or got a deep tan on vacation? No matter. You’re still the same season.
Knowing what colors you’re best suited to makes you not only look but feel, your best! No, you don’t have to stop wearing clothes that aren’t in your season. But maybe you start wearing those colors further from your face. Or you use your color knowledge for an extra boost of confidence on big event days – when you receive an award, for your mother-of-the-bride/groom dress, or for a big presentation at work.
You’ll stop buying clothes you don’t wear. A few days after my analysis I did a closet cleanout using my new color guides. The full-season reference cards (also in your wallet) are so helpful with prints! Which palette blends the most seamlessly with the print of the top?
Use your seasonal color wallet to build a wardrobe that blends harmoniously, saving you time and money. Go bold, by selecting contrasting colors, or more subtle with varying tones of one shade. You’ll end up with fewer things that will mix and match well together because they are in the same tone. Great for both travel and everyday life!
Shopping becomes more efficient. Because you’re learning to be more mindful of your best colors, it’s easier to avoid getting sucked into poor purchases. You’ll have a plan that works (your color wallet) and you just need to shop the plan.
Until next time…keep cultivating a simple, stylish, and satisfying life!