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Colour analysis – what are you doing with me, Anna?

Updated: Mar 20, 2023

Medium Bright or Bright? Colour analysis allows you to see in which colours your face gets "lost"

Colour Analysis Controversy

Just recently, on multiple, non-connected occasions, my fellow stylists and I have been discussing Colour Analysis, that every time we pull out our colour drapes we feel funny and very old school. Many of my Dutch colleagues ditched this consultation all together, focusing on Contrast and face characteristics only (if all these terms sound Chinese to you, read on).

As a professional, it is my duty to keep an eye on recent developments within my trade. However, our modern world thrives on fake-ness and overabundance of novelty for the sake of novelty, I came to realise one thing: you have to keep your head cool and look at the facts.

And the reality is this: Colour Analysis is still one of the most popular consultations and it is extremely useful. When done right that is.

Why knowing your colours is useful

Whatever colour you may be wearing reflects on your skin. It therefore can make your face look old, sick, tired and angry. It can draw attention to your wrinkles and red spots.

We all want to look fresh and rested, we all want to make the right impression. I know for sure very few people realise that. Can you imagine, just by wearing a different top you can look more authoritative, more serious, less tired or younger? You can manipulate the impression you make!

What happens when you wear less complimentary shades? Well, women are lucky and they can call in the help of their dear friend, the make-up, who is partially able to compensate for our negligence in colour choices. Besides, the younger you are the more you can “pull off”. Why bother?

However sad, our skin tone changes with age, our hair turns grey and our overall contrast turns softer. Abundant make-up starts to look hideous. Besides, there are women who could not be bothered by make-up or prefer a more natural look. These are just some of the examples of when a blouse in the right colour will “save” your complexion. No botox is required.

How do you know which colours suit you?

Wrong colour or contrast

So, knowing colours that suit your complexion is useful. It teaches you to shop wisely and choose your hair colour wisely (yes, that too!). So how do you get about it? The answer is not Google (we are all guilty of doing those “which colour is mine” tests). It is not Seasons (wait, I have light eyes and light hair, I must be Summer so how come Kate Middleton is Summer when she is darker??). It is not looking at your veins, your eye colour, your hair colour (what was my natural colour again?). It is your skin tone. And it is a deceiving one, must I tell you…Every now and then I have a client who you would swear be a Cold but turns out to be a Warm. Who you would swear is a High Contrast but turns out to be a Medium.

Look at the amazing Cameron Diaz and how a wrong colour choice affects her complexion: 1. Black is too dark for Cameron and she needs to "bring out" her face with extra make-up. 2. Cobalt Blue is too cold and bright, we see the dress but not the girl 3. Wrong temperature Red ages Cameron 4. The black-and-white contrast is too high and requires extra make-up.

A Colour Advice Session with The Panachery

Checking colours of various temperature, intensity and brightness, as well as contrast

The ONLY way known to the industry at the moment to determine your best colours are colour drapes. You sit in front of a natural light and you look at yourself in the mirror as we start using drapes on you. YOU start noticing the difference a colour can make to your complexion!

To make things more interesting, we are looking at whether you are:




Or any combination of the above. You can be cold-muted-dark. Or you can be warm-semi dark-semi bright. Can you imagine how detailed this is?

The next thing we look at is your contrast. This is a crucial characteristic and is a key to your hair colour, make-up and print choices.

Now that you know which colours work best for you, we spend a good hour explaining how colours work. What is a cold or muted, bright or light colour. So that when you go to the store and put your eyes on a blouse you will immediately know if it is a match made in heaven or a dull making evil.

Practicing colour combinations during Colour Advice Sessions

We practice. Sometimes we even use paint! We use swatches! We will use anything to make YOU understand how colours are made and how they work. This is an important part of the consultation. Because reality shows, the colour swatches you may have received elsewhere, or found in a book, do not work in real life. It is virtually impossible to find exactly the same shade or saturation when you are out there shopping. It is therefore crucial, that you understand the theory behind colours and practice, practice, practice!

Last but not least, we talk about colour combination schemes. Because let’s face it, this is something that will instantly take your outfit to the next level.

Understading and practicing colour combinations

Results of the consultation:

  • You know which colours suit your complexion and which colours you should avoid.

  • You understand the underlying principles of colours rather than getting a list of colour names or colour swatches (again, I do not believe in colour swatches)

  • We talk about theory and support it with lots of practice.

  • You learn how to combine colours in your wardrobe and avoid the “parrot” effect.

  • You understand your contrast and why it is important.

  • You will know how to look your best

A colour consultation as described above takes about 1,5-2 hours. A mini colour consultation is a part of the wardrobe detox service.

Setting up - colour drapes


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