#15 – Get my colours done
Having my ‘colours done’ is on The List because it’s one of those things I’ve been meaning to do for ages, ever since a former colleague recommended it to me. Her experience was that it showed her how some colours actually made her look ill and some made her look younger. As someone with little confidence about buying clothes, this sounded like something I could benefit from but I just hadn’t got around to it, partly because it is quite expensive. Putting in on The List meant I had to get around to it! A friend recommended a colour consultant that she had used in the past, so it was really then just a case of pick a date and get on with it.
For the uninitiated, having your colours done is a relatively simple process of identifying which colours suit you so that you can choose clothing and make up which flatters you, makes you look well and healthy and can also make you look younger. Colour analysis operates by establishing which colours suit you hair colour, skin tone and eye colour. The result of the analysis is to show you which colours you should wear close to your face. The theory is that anything below the waist doesn’t matter in colour terms because it isn’t reflecting onto your face, so trousers and skirts are less important than tops. It’s also about showing you how to combine colours to the best effect for you.
There are several companies offering the service, all of which seem to deliver broadly similar results and use similar methods. Traditionally, people were labelled as a season (Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter) however, I used a Colour Me Beautiful consultant and their method has six base types (determined by hair colour, skin tone and eye colour). Added to this base type are two further subcategories: the hue (warm or cool, depending on whether the colour has yellow undertones or blue undertones, largely determined by whether you have dark skin or pale skin) and the depth (strong vs pale colours).
Kerrie, my consultant, used some key colours to identify whether I was cool or warm and deep or light. This was pretty obvious, once she held the colours up against me. It was really easy to see in the mirror which colours suited me and which didn’t. Even in this photo, you can see that my face above the brighter blue looks brighter and healthier, whereas the bit of me above the paler blue looks tired and pale. (It should be noted that I was at the session with a slight hangover so wasn’t feeling my best in any case!)
We’d already established that my base type is ‘clear’ which apparently means I need to go for contrasting rather than blended colours (e.g. beiges and similar muted colours are not great for me) and the colour swatches identified my subtypes as ‘cool’ and ‘deep’; cool because of my pale skin meaning I needed to head for colours with blue undertones, and deep meaning I need to go for darker colours rather than paler colours (unless using them for contrast). In ‘old money’ my palette would be a Winter, which is the only palette that includes black. (Somewhat of a relief since I can’t avoid wearing black for work!)
Kerrie then looked at make up for me and made me up to look very lovely indeed.
This was a particularly useful part of the session for me as I’m pretty scared of make up and so petrified of making myself look like a clown that I very rarely use it. At the moment, on the rare occasion that I do use make up I tend to go for browns, but Kerrie showed me how to use colours without going over the top.
The final part of the session (for now) meant going through the entire colour palette that notionally suits clear, cool and deep people to identify my ‘wow’ colours; the ones which work particularly well for me. Some were not a surprise – reds, purples and greens which I love and wear now anyway. Some were more surprising – there’s a lot of blue in the palette, some of which really did seem to suit me but which is a colour I rarely, if ever, wear. Kerrie suggested that if I wanted to experiment with blues, it would be best to start with a couple of cheap items (from somewhere like Primark) and see how I feel when wearing them. The one huge (and for me startling) omission from the palette was any orange at all. I like orange and have quite a few items of clothing in orange (and actually thought I look quite good in orange). Hmmm…
Of course, colour analysis doesn’t produce any hard and fast rules, it’s more a helpful guideline. You can still wear whatever you like essentially, it’s just that the analysis shows you (in some cases startlingly obviously) which colours make you look better and, once you know that, why wouldn’t you want to look your best? Kerrie assures me that sometimes it’s possible to make something work for you which normally wouldn’t, depending on what you put, it with so I’m hoping she might be able to make some helpful suggestions for all my orange!
I came away from the session with a useful colour swatch which shows all the colours in my palette, and identifies my particular ‘wow’ colours (the ones with red dots on them). This swatch wallet is handbag sized so can easily be taken on shopping trips. Friends who have had their colours done have also told me that over time, you get very used to your colours and can recognise them quickly so it apparently makes shopping trips easier and also means your entire wardrobe co-ordinates so it’s easier to mix and match items. This will be a blessing for me as I hate shopping!
The session was great fun and very confidence inspiring. I’m a bit happier about choosing clothes than I was before. Now the hard work starts though, as at some point I clearly need to go through my wardrobe and make some changes…
If you’re interested to find out more, my colour consultant was: http://kerrieellis.co.uk/