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3 Steps to Show What Colour Can Do For You

Do you find wearing colour a bit scary or are you unsure of how to incorporate more colour into your wardrobe? Have you always wanted to wear more colour and have a colour analysis done but have been unsure as to what it actually is? 

From my experience as a Personal Stylist I come across many women that find the idea of wearing actual colour quite daunting.  I also see this every day out and about and on the street. I often look at women and think to myself that if they could just add a pop of colour to their outfit it really would make such a difference to their complexion and overall look. 

Black, grey and navy  seem to be such a uniform and although these are great neutral basics to wear, how much more interesting and uplifting would it be to incorporate more colour into your wardrobe?

Dull and just a bit boring!
Many Stylists and Image Consultants don't like the idea of including colour analysis in their sessions. The main reason being is that the colour group or palette you identify with may not include colours that are available in the stores at that time of year. For instance, when I conduct my colour analysis sessions, I work on a simple system called the 'Seasonal' system which basically relates to the 4 seasons of the year - Winter, Summer, Spring and Autumn. If you were identified as say Autumn (which includes colours that are earthy, warm and muted), these particular seasonal colours in clothing may not be readily available in the shops in the Summer months. 

However, as a huge lover of everything colourful, I personally think it's quite exciting to learn which colours suit you the best and even though your ultimate colour palette may not be around in the stores at that particular time, when you do find an item within your season it is so worth the purchase. 

What can colour do for me?

Well, choosing and wearing colours that flatter and enhance your skin tone can have a huge impact. Apart from looking great against your complexion, hair and eyes, colour really can play a huge part to uplift and create a more youthful appearance.

Wearing the right shade of a colour can brighten and illuminate your face, minimise dark shadows and help your eyes look clearer, brighter and more awake.This process really can help you to feel more confident and energised.

What happens in a colour analysis session?

Stylists all have their own unique system of conducting these sessions. There really is no wrong or right way and for me, seeing the effects this can have on the complexion still amazes me. I thoroughly enjoy seeing the reactions and amazement on a client's face when they fully understand and see the difference before their own eyes!

Step 1

I always ask clients to come along bare faced and preferably with no fake tan application. This is so that I can get a true indication of their natural skin tone. First, I take a close up look of their eye colour, brow colour, hair colour (usually the roots as 90% of women these days colour their hair) and also see if they have any freckles. I also ask if they tan or burn easily and other questions relating to how they already wear colour and the colours they are naturally drawn to.

Here with my lovely client Rowan from www.projectlingerie.com
Step 2

Taking the hair back away from the face, a white cape is then placed around the shoulders to blank out their clothing underneath. Using the seasonal colour indicator drapes, I will then work out if the client falls into a more cool (blue based) or warm (yellow based) undertone. 

Using the indicator drapes, I will notice certain things as I go along. For instance, if I drape with the cool drapes and the client tends to be more on the warm side, I may notice her natural colour drain away from the cheeks, lips and eyes. Along with this, her skin could look less illuminated, dull and tired. If using the warm drapes on a cool toned client, I might notice the colours cause a yellowing of the skin or a sallowing effect. Any dark circles under the eyes could be enhanced and once again make the client look really tired. Generally, one colour grouping will suit above the other.

The pink on the left is too cool and icy for Rowan's complexion. The effect is her skin looks washed out and any redness and imperfections are enhanced. The Autumn pink on the right is her perfect pink as it enhances her eyes and blends perfectly with her skin tone and warm colouring.

Step 3

Once warm or cool has been established, the next step is to take you through the four seasonal ranges to establish the best seasonal palette for you. As mentioned, these are:

*   Winter (Cool, Bold, Vibrant)                  
*   Summer (Cool, Soft, Muted) 
*   Spring (Warm, Clear, Bright)                 
*   Autumn (Warm, Earthy, Muted)

I now show you your ultimate, individual seasonal colour palette. Starting with the neutral shades such as, navy, brown, grey and white of each seasonal palette, I work through  all of your gorgeous accent colours to show you how you can incorporate them with your neutrals to create some fantastic colour combinations and outfits. Make up, hair colour, glasses and jewellery options are also covered so you get a complete guide on what works best for your colouring. Pocket sized colour swatches are available as a reference for you to take home or to keep in your handbag for when you are shopping. 

Rowan's perfect seasonal palette is Autumn - Warm,  Earthy and Muted

How will having my colours done affect my style?

Knowing your best or ultimate colours will most definitely have an effect on how you dress. You will now find you look at colour in a totally different and refreshing way. I have even had a past client call me the day after her colour session to say that the whole experience had opened her eyes. She said she was studying everyone on the train that morning, looking at their colour options and working out if they had it right or wrong. She was now totally hooked!

Now, one thing I do say to clients is this doesn't mean you can no longer wear colours that are not in your colour palette. Of course you may already have clothes in your wardrobe that don't match exactly and I definitely do not suggest you throw away your entire wardrobe. For instance black is a colour not many of us can actually carry off near our faces. Unless you are a Winter palette, black can be rather draining, ageing and make you appear tired. However, as most of us do wear black I always suggest instead of just wearing it by itself, try popping on a colourful necklace or scarf just to break up the 'blackness'. A lower neckline will also help to take the blackness away from the face.

Even if you need to slowly introduce certain colours (you may want to start off gradually by wearing colour in accessories or a scarf to ease you into it), just by trying and experimenting with colours will make so much difference. Colour can help lift your mood and really help to enhance your confidence.

Gradually introduce colour by wearing accessories
Picture courtesy of www.kettlewellcolours.co.uk

I believe colour is a fantastic way to inject some interest, confidence and radiance to your personal style, in fact I am a passionate colour fanatic! I adore colour and am still fascinated by the variations, tones and ranges of colour out there in the world.

Previous clients have found the process a life changing experience and knowing your ultimate colours makes shopping so much easier. You are less likely to be attracted to colours that don't work for you. Walking into a shop, you will now scan the rails and if your colour palette isn't there you can walk out and move on (this is how I work my personal shopping sessions for my clients). Avoiding colours that don't work helps to avoid expensive mistakes and you will find in choosing your perfect colours you will have an investment piece you can wear for longer

One brand I have bought from in the past is the fantastic on line boutique called www.kettlewellcolours.co.uk .Stocking basic items such as t-shirts, tops and skirts, you can shop by your colour palette. It's such a great idea and I wish more stores actually had their clothing set up in colour groups. Their items are of the best quality and whilst mainly good for layering, they do stock a few lovely wrap style dresses.

Arabella Dress
So ladies, I will say it again I LOVE COLOUR! I want to colour the entire world! Well, not quite but why not brighten up your life by choosing colourful clothing and gain a much more interesting wardrobe of outfits. 

Next time when you are browsing the rails, put down the boring black, navy, grey and white and choose something more colourful. And, if you would like to find out more or experience my Colour Analysis and Styling sessions please click on my 'Style Advice' tab above or contact me by clicking the 'Contact' tab above.

"As a constant black wearer I found my Colour Analysis session with Nicola a life changer!
 I could see the colours bring my face to life!"
- Claire, Richmond

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