Do you identify as a “Twilight Winter” or “Moonlit Summer”? These seemingly poetic descriptions are actually terms coined by The Color Guru, among several other color consultants, who offer tailored style recommendations for a fee. While The Color Guru has its own seasonal color analysis system, similar categorizations are widely used in the industry. You may have come across fashion influencers discussing their unique color palettes or identifying their “season”.
My introduction to color consulting occurred during a visit to New York City while observing a friend who seemed remarkably refreshed and vibrant—an inexplicable transformation. When I remarked on this, she attributed it to an in-person session with a color consultant who meticulously assessed various fabrics against her complexion. It emerged that black didn’t suit her, but she radiated with peaches and pinks.
The concept of color analysis intrigued me. Somewhere between welcoming my first child and transitioning to remote work, I lost touch with my fashion sense. Additionally, I yearned for more playful ensembles in my wardrobe, possibly influenced by the ‘Barbie’ movie or the ’90s fashion resurgence. However, I felt a bit hesitant about incorporating more color, as I had always relied heavily on neutrals and made regrettable investments in vivid outfits that didn’t quite complement me. Thus, I decided to give The Color Guru a shot.
If you’re curious, here’s a fundamental overview of color analysis, the process of engaging a personal color consultant, and the impact of my personal color review.
Understanding a Color Specialist
Color consultants specialize in recommending shades that harmonize best with an individual’s skin, hair, and eye tones. While any personal stylist may offer color advice, some specialized professionals focus solely on color guidance rather than selecting outfits for clients. Instead, they equip you with a personalized palette to facilitate independent shopping decisions. They may also offer insights on appropriate makeup shades.
Many consultants employ a seasonal color analysis system, which classifies individuals into winter, spring, summer, or fall categories based on their skin undertones. Each season boasts subcategories, and professionals employ this system to determine your grouping and propose a personalized color palette.
Obtaining a Personal Color Analysis
There are two avenues to pursue a color analysis: in-person or virtual, each accompanied by its respective advantages and drawbacks.
In-Person Color Analysis
During an in-person consultation, you can directly appraise how various fabrics complement your complexion, aiding in visualizing their effects on your skin tone. Personal stylists offering in-person color consultations may be available in your vicinity. Additionally, franchises such as House of Colour, a British company with numerous trained stylists across the U.S., offer color and makeup guidance. Attending with a friend or a group is also feasible.
It is worth noting that The House of Colour’s stylist training program necessitates a substantial initial investment. Therefore, glowing testimonials on blogs or TikTok may stem from stylists who have a vested interest in promoting the program.
Virtual Color Analysis
Virtual color analysis may lack the personal and tactile aspects of an in-person session, but it offers convenience by eliminating the need to leave your home. Moreover, conducting the analysis at your convenience may be more cost-effective.
My personal experience with The Color Guru’s basic package entailed uploading a few photos and responding to prompts online. A subsequent report, comprising a beautifully crafted 15-page PDF detailing my personal color palette, was furnished a few days later.
Implementing my Virtual Color Analysis Findings
The report integrated the headshot I submitted, showcasing my face against a spectrum of hues and shades. The initial recommendation encompassed a “warm vs. cool” assessment (I was advised to favor cool metals like silver—unfortunately rendering numerous gold earrings unsuitable). Further comparisons juxtaposed my photo with warm and cool colors, ultimately affirming my affinity for pinks with cool undertones and my aversion to warm oranges with yellow undertones. Another contrast highlighted my preference for vivid, clear hues over soft, muted tones.
My analysis identified me as a Winter type, signaling that bright, cool, and deep colors suit me best. The assessment also revealed that within the Winter category, I align with the “deepest” coloring, classifying as a Twilight Winter. Though I may not fully comprehend the implication of being “deep,” the visual aids within the report provide me with an approximate understanding, featuring colors such as navy, cobalt blue, and what appears to be a maroon shade. In addition to the digital report, I received a laminated color palette card for in-store referencing.
While the results affirmed some of my existing inclinations, they also introduced fresh perspectives. Previously, I steered clear of bright blue, yet the report advocated for its inclusion—a suggestion I now appreciate. It also cautioned against specific colors, such as orange and brown, which compelled me to reassess my wardrobe and future purchases.
Cost Considerations for Color Consultations
The expenses associated with color consulting vary widely. Although some companies may not openly disclose their fees, The Color Guru offers predefined packages at set rates. A basic photo analysis amounts to $169, inclusive of a PDF report and a physical color palette card sent by mail. Incorporating makeup and hair consultation elevates the cost to $249, while an all-inclusive package, involving a 45-minute consultation with an expert, is priced at $795. Services rendered by professionals affiliated with House of Colour generally surpass $200 for a single session spanning a couple of hours.
Constraints of Color Consulting
It’s crucial to recognize that color analysis overlooks several factors relevant to personal style, such as individual preferences and the influence of regional climate and culture. Suggestions like bright, bold pink or neon yellow, although suitable according to the analysis, may attract undue attention in specific regions. Similarly, my association of navy with a preppy aesthetic calls into question the alignment of certain recommendations with my usual style. Nevertheless, embracing the prospect of standing out more may entail being receptive to new ideas.
The analysis prompted me to part ways with garments that never resonated with me, fostering a greater mindfulness about my wardrobe’s color scheme. Moving forward, I intend to factor in my color palette when making new purchases.