Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Colour Analysis - a growing concept

I've only recently understood fully the ins and outs of colour analysis, when I had my own colour palette analysed the other day :) I'd heard about this concept but never expected the extent to which the exact types of colour can be identified and the difference it would make to your overall appearance.

The idea is to have the colour palette you wear, either with makeup, hair or clothes, to compliment and enhance your individual palette. We've all remembered somebody for the colour they were wearing - "that lady with the blue blouse…red hair… green trousers…" This is where the incorrect colours were worn, overpowering and distracting from their natural features. When the correct colours are worn, people first notice you as a whole image, focusing on your eyes and mouth which is instinctively the ideal.

You probably already have an idea about the colours that suit you best, so having the professional analysation helps to click everything into place; confirming a lot of what you already know, and expanding into the all important details.

So how does it work? Over some tea and biscuits we began to explore my sense of colour and style. The colour analyst, Oya Komar, was asking me questions such as "Do you tend to wear patterns or block colours? Gold or silver accessories? Defined liquid liner or smudged pencil?" We then made our way to the analysis room - the large windows allowed for plenty of sunlight and the walls were a fresh, clean white, with one wall lined with many different-coloured pieces of fabric. I sat in the chair in front of a mirror, and after my hair and clothes were covered with fabric of the same clean white and any makeup colours removed, Oya began to layer different cool and warm shades of fabric on my collar area. Reflections created on my neck and face is what determines which category is suited to me. Cool tones were giving a harsh, metallic-like hue to my skin, whereas the warm tones were livening my natural skin tone. But it's not as simple as red being a warm and blue being a cold colour.. Cool colours are those that lack yellow, and the warm are those where you can see the yellow undertone. So egg yolk = warm yellow and sunshine = cool yellow.

Then to distinguish between the clear, bold colours or muted colours. The main difference here is whether the colours are overpowering your natural tone or complimenting. Bold colours drowned out my complexion, making my skin look more tired and sallow, whereas the muted colours seemed to even my complexion, minimising the need for foundation and blush.

The next step was determining the best level of intensity. This is where Oya's well trained eye came most in handy. We layered different depths of a warm, muted colour, finding that darker shades were best for me. Breaking up light and dark colours is a great way to achieve the correct depth of colour for yourself.

There are 4 categories in total, named after each season.

Spring = Bold, Warm

Summer = Muted, Cool

Autumn = Muted, Warm

Winter = Bold, Cool

I left my session with a mound of new information relevant being an Autumn girl. A follow up email laid out everything I needed to know with images to refer to.

The Season that you belong to tells us a lot more than just your colour palette. Preferred structures, materials, finishes, makeup styles etc can also be read, here are some examples:

Bold = Block colours, defined eyeliner, leather, all over hair colour.
Muted = Patterns, smokey eyes, suede, highlights.

But colour analysis is not just for individual use; It is used globally in many different sectors that involve style of any form. For example, the film industry can represent a characters negative mood by selecting the incorrect colours to drain the colours in the face, making him/her look gloomy or dishevelled. Many Fashion Designers rely on Colour Analysis information to produce their garments, understanding that if they correlate the structure, finish and materials with the correct colour group, they will sell more.

Thanks for reading, why don't you have a play with the colour groups and drop me a comment for which Season you think you belong to? :) Best wishes to you all. X

Colour Analysist: Oya Komar
Personal Website:
Location: Istanbul, Turkey (fluent in English)