Colour Analysis

Colour Analysis is the process of finding colours of clothing, accessories and makeup to match a person’s skin complexion, eye colour, and hair colour. The goal is to determine the colours that best suit an individual’s natural colouring. Colour Analysis was extremely popular in the 80’s, which is why many ladies have already had their colours ‘done’ many years ago.

Styled By Susie determines your results using the “seasonal” colour analysis, which places individual colouring into four general categories: Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn.

Other ways include 12 or 16 categories, such as “Bright Winter” or “Muted Summer” for example. This can be helpful to match exact shades to a client’s colouring, and while I was trained to read colours in this way, I have chosen to use the Seasonal basis.

My reasons for sticking to Seasons, is that Colour Analysis can be very confusing and, at times, stressful. To be told to wear an exact shade can make shopping even harder than it is already, and I have always wanted to take the stress out of shopping!

By wearing a colour that flatters your skintone can make a big difference to your appearance.  Colours that are unsuitable can make you look pale, for instance, or draw attention to wrinkles or uneven skin tone.

I find it has been easier to tell my clients their Season, to give them a general guide. For example, I am “Autumn” which means when I shop, I seek out colours that are orange, mustard, khaki, brown, coral or navy. Shopping is easier for me because I completely avoid pale pastels such as light grey, and it narrows down the selection when I shop.

Here are some common questions I am asked by clients, and hopefully they will help guide you.

Q: “I don’t like the colours. Autumn looks so unappealing, being brown, sludgy colours. I prefer pinks and bright colours”.

A: There is a big difference between the colours that you LIKE and the colours that SUIT you. I love pastels such as mint green and lemon, but I know they make me look washed out and flu-like! Instead, I have chosen to use these colours for my interiors at home. A season may look unappealing to you, but if you just try wearing the colours you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how many compliments you receive. People will say “you look well” and that will be your colours at work!

Q: “I love black. Do I have to throw all black clothing away?”

A: Many image consultants and stylists would say yes, but I say no. It depends on your reasons for wearing black. If you’re wearing black to hide away, then I don’t agree with black as a wise choice. If you’re wearing it because you think it looks chic, powerful and you feel confident in the colour, then by all means, wear black.

The important factor to remember is that black should always be worn with a pop of colour. If I wear black (which I do, as I am a bit of a frustrated rock chick), I wear a red lipstick with it, or a bright headscarf. You could add a bright statement necklace or scarf so that you still have some colour lifting your skintone.

Q: “If I dye my hair will my Season change?”

A: No. You should try and keep your hair colour changes in line with the advice though. I’m Autumn which means I have a yellow, warm based skintone. Warm skintones should stick to warm hair colours such as red, chocolate, caramel and honey. If I was to dye my hair ash brown (not hash brown ha ha), ash blonde or pastel colours, then it would severely wash out my skintone.

The only two seasons that grey gracefully are Winter and Summer as they are cool skintones. So you can dye your hair, but remember to keep in mind whether the colour is a warm tone or a cool tone. Your hairdresser can advise if you’re not sure.

Q: “Will my colours change as I age?”

A: Maybe. I usually find that a client can change Season but not tones. For example, if you were a Winter in your 30’s, then you could make the cross into Summer in your 60’s. Winter and Summer are both cool seasons. It would be very unusual to change from a Winter to an Autumn (a cool season to a warm season).

Q: “I don’t like my colours. *Strop*”

A: Hey, there’s no law to say you have to wear them. I’m not going to lock you up in jail if I see you out and about in grey with pastel tones.

However, if you are going to fully commit yourself to looking your absolute best, healthiest version of yourself, then your Season will work best for your skintone. If you dislike your colours so much that they make you feel unconfident, then you don’t have to wear them. The Styled By Susie advice is not legally binding, just advisory.

But be honest with yourself – there’s a reason you booked and paid money for a stylist. If you don’t want to take on the information then why did you book the session? Eh eh eh eh eh !!!!

Q: “Have you ever had a client who isn’t any Season?”

A: No. Some clients I can instantly know which Season they are. I have worked with 100’s of women since 2013 to know 90% of women’s colouring when I see them. If you served me a coffee in Starbucks I would probably be able to tell you which Season you were! But, there are many women it takes a little longer for me to work out.

This sounds corny, but as a stylist, I see myself as an artist. If I am looking at you and studying you when working with you, it’s not through critical eyes. Most of the time I am imagining you in colours, outfits and styles. I have to mentally put your look together, which takes concentration and a creative eye/mind. I believe that you can only be an effective stylist if you have the eye of an artist and the mind of a creative.

Q: “I bet you look at women all the time and study what they’re wearing”

A: Nope. I have my own life with my own mind that rarely stops, and I am much more interested in the person I am talking to, rather than studying her outfit. If someone starts questioning me too much when I am out for drinks or dinner, I usually tell them to book an appointment!

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