Color Consultation: How It Helped Me

First Half of Swatches

First Half of Swatches

Second Half of Swatches

Second Half of Swatches

Years ago in the early 90’s, I had my ‘colors done’ by someone who worked for Beauty for All Seasons. At that time, my hair was my natural shade of dishwater brown with blonde highlights. My eyes are green, and I was unaware of to what classification my complexion fit. This concept intrigued me and I wanted to give it a try. I did enjoy the process and found that this little swatch fan was useful and I’ve held on to it for all these years as a guide and that was the best part. Here are some reasons I found it to be a helpful process then and now.
1.) Keeps me focused.
I love color. I react to color. As a seamstress, you can see from my About Page, one little glimpse into my fabric stash shows I’m a fan. Prints, solids, texture. I love it all. Sometimes I get carried away and want it all. Every season, I see new colors that are ‘in’ and the retailers make these colors available to us in fabric and clothing. The problem is that I don’t have the space. This is why I could use a little direction. This may be why I have been fascinated with the wardrobe capsule idea which is a concept of a few key clothing items that mix and match with each other creating a much larger collection that meets the needs of one’s lifestyle. (More on the capsule wardrobe subject at another time.) I digressed….

Earlier this year, I had my colors done again by someone at the Puyallup Washington Stitching and Sewing Expo. Her opinion and expertise was backed by 25+ years of being in the color consulting field, claiming that her eye for color came naturally to her. Her swatches for me looked like this:

Main colors showing coloring contrast

Main colors showing coloring contrast

This shows the basics: Hair, Blush, Eye, and Skin and the contrast levels between all four areas. This swatch set shows my coloring as more muted and softer with less contrast than the first color fan.
Based on my coloring, these are the recommended metals to wear: gold, gold/silver mix and rose gold. ( I live in the desert, so I’m opting for copper; a more-readily available color). Preferred metal textures are brushed/burnished.
Basic Neutrals and

Basic Neutrals and “Reds”

Groupings: Pastels to act as a bridge neutrals with basics of Navy and Soft Browns. My Reds are the blush colors. No true reds for me. More watermelons and corals.
Greens, Blues, Purples

Greens, Blues, Purples

Here are my lighter Greens, Blues and Purples. (My darker greens/blues are with the eye colors) No grays or black. Bummer. It’s not that I can’t wear these, and if I do, blend with the softer pastels to blend them better with my coloring.

I want to say that each of the swatches help me to think in color relationships. Ideally, the colors from each swatch should all go with one another making a seamless and flattering blend. This means hair color, skin tone, eye color, makeup shades and clothing working together seamlessly as a system. The goal is to pull yourself together with these colors in mind so that your best features shine and you look rested, healthy and radiant.

2.) Compare and Contrast
The first swatch group had key information written on the back of each color. See below:
The Similarities. Old vs New
Turquoises/Blues=Skin Intensifiers
Purples=Hair Intensifiers
Reds/Blushes=Eye Intensifiers
Hair color(s)=use Light and Dark versions of Hair Color to build wardrobe basics
Navy=Wardrobe Neutral

Differences: Old vs New
Whites: Cream/Vanilla vs very Light Yellow
Grays: Charcoal and Light Gray vs no Grays
Metals: Silver vs Gold, Gold/Silver Mix, Rose Gold
Contrast: Higher vs lower
Undertone: Cool vs Warm

It’s tough to be objective. I can be my own worst critic and see myself very differently that others see me. I have worn both warm and cool undertone colors for years so soliciting input from someone else can throw a new spin on things. Both swatches have some color overlap and serve as a guidelines only. They are suggestions of flattering colors based on different sets of eyes and what they see as complimentary.

Many of the fashion and body image blogs I read are abut self awareness and self acceptance. Mass merchandisers pump out colors every season that may only look great on a small percentage of the population, so I may love a color, wear it, but something doesn’t feel right. It may not be the best color for my complexion, leaving me looking washed out, sickly or overpowered. I have worn true red and received compliments. Maybe they love the color red..? It got a reaction and that feedback can be a refreshing way to gain some insight on what suits me. I take it in and let it ruminate. Who doesn’t love a compliment now and then?
3.) Time To Rebel
Chuck it all. Forget it all. Or anything they said. Sometimes I wear what I’m in the mood for right then. No rhyme or reason. No one else needs to approve. Dressing should be fun and expressive and if I want to abandon all of the ‘shoulds’, then I go for it. Every once in a while, it feels great to rebel in a harmless way and wear something that is shocking or daring. No harm no foul. Even this step help define my style, what colors feel right and what fits into my life.

Would you pay a color consultant to give you their opinion?

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One Comment

  1. I’m so glad you like it! I’ve had a great time putting this all together. Thanks for replying.

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