An All-Inclusive Look at Professional Color Analysis

woman wearing warm cloths - Professional Color Analysis
woman wearing warm cloths - Professional Color Analysis
woman wearing warm cloths - Professional Color Analysis

Dante Kim

April 15th, 2024

Are you looking to enhance your image and boost your confidence through your wardrobe choices? If so, you should consider professional color analysis! A color analysis session will help you identify the colors that flatter you the most, enabling you to make informed decisions about what to wear. With many different color analysis types available, you're sure to find one that suits your needs. Whether you're looking to make a statement or simply enhance your everyday look, professional color analysis offers a range of benefits. Learn more about this exciting process in our blog post!

Table of Contents

What is Professional Color Analysis and Why is it Important?

aged business woman - Professional Color Analysis

Professional color analysis, also known as PCA, is a method for determining the most flattering colors based on individual natural features such as eye color, skin tone, and hair color. This service has gained popularity on social media platforms like TikTok, where people have showcased their travels to South Korea to undergo this process. 

Unlike DIY seasonal color analysis, which is done at home using online quizzes or guides, professional color analysis involves a trained color analyst assessing an individual's unique features and determining their undertone. The key difference lies in the personalization and accuracy of the color palette provided, which takes into account the specifics of each individual's features.

Who Should Consider Professional Color Analysis? 

If you've been guessing what colors to wear without knowing if they suit you, turning to professional color analysis can provide a definitive answer. If you feel that the colors you have been wearing for years no longer work for you, getting re-analyzed could be a wise choice. Hair color changes over time, and as a result, the colors that suit you best may also change. 

Another scenario where professional color analysis is beneficial is when someone has been color analyzed as a 'season,' but they are seeking a more tailored and personalized color palette. If you have had your colors done by different consultants, and you are confused by the conflicting results, professional color analysis can offer a more accurate and consistent outcome. 

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9 Benefits of a Professional Color Analysis

woman outside a mansion - Professional Color Analysis

1. Look Like Yourself

Disharmonious colors can visually distort your face, so that you don’t look like what you really look like. If you wear those colors often, you may think that that distorted effect is what you actually look like, but it isn’t. Some colors can turn your face redder, yellower, or greyer than you really are. Some can make you look spottier than you really are. 

Some can enhance the shadows under your eyes and the hollows of your face and make you look extremely tired, ill and/or old. Some can make you look pinched, like you’re grumpy or judgemental. Personal Colour Analysis isn’t really about transforming you, although it can feel like that. It’s about revealing what you actually look like. If that thought disappoints you please consider this: If you haven’t seen yourself in your own colors, you don’t really know what you look like.

2. Look Strong

As human beings, we naturally want to look at other people’s faces, and specifically we want to look at their eyes. That’s where we find out about them. (I can’t learn much about you if I’m staring at your arm.) If they’re wearing harmonious colours this is easy — it’s not interfered with. Disharmonious colors make this hard, they’re interfering all over the place. They can not only add visual weight, they can diminish you and make you look weak. If a color overwhelms you, it can visually come forward and push you backwards. 

That looks like someone who is “off with the fairies” or fading away. You know how some women can seem to shrink into themselves as they age? This is that effect. You are diminished by the color. Your colors will do the opposite. You come forward in them, you look present, strong, and powerful. Which you are, so why let the colors you wear lie about you?

3. Look Beautiful

Harmony is beautiful to our eyes. This isn’t a wishy-washy aesthetic preference, it’s just the way our eyes work. (Again, see Why the Colours You Wear Change How You Look for more about this.) Surround yourself with more of the colors you’re made of, and we will see your beauty, because we can’t help it.

4. Look Younger

Now, there’s a couple of different things we can mean when we say that someone looks young. 

  • There’s the super-healthy-all-my-cells-are-in-tip-top-shape youthful appearance. That’s the bouncy, smooth skin of children, the healthy color in their face, the sparkly eyes, and so on. These are the kind of youthful effects harmonious colors can enhance. 

  • There’s the I-can’t-look-after-myself-please-help-me youthful appearance. Disharmonious colors can have this effect by making your eyes look overly large in your face, making the brows look lifted towards the middle of your face (aka the 1920s brow effect), and reducing the shadows on your face, giving a rounded, flattened look.

5. Look Slimmer

Disharmonious colors can add apparent weight in a couple of ways. A color that is brighter or darker than you are can draw the eye down to your clothes instead of up to your face. The more our eyes move downwards the shorter we will perceive you to be, and proportionally wider. Weird but true. 

A colour that is more intense than you can come forward and look larger whereas you can recede and look smaller by comparison. The trick here is that the place you wear clothes (ie. your body) looks larger, and the place you don’t (ie. your face) looks smaller, and that’s just not a flattering optical illusion.

6. Getting Dressed is Quicker and Easier

Again, the big benefit here is reducing the number of decisions you need to make. You don’t need to wonder if this-color-top goes with that-color-pants and those-color-shoes. You don’t need to try them all on, decide it doesn’t work, try something else, and something else, and then settle for the first outfit after all. (I remember that game and I’m very glad I don’t have to play it anymore!) When all of your clothes are in your colours, they just all go together. No guesswork, no agonising.

7. Save Money

When you know how to choose clothes you will actually wear, you won’t need to buy so many items to luck into a few that work. All those clothes you don’t buy? That’s money saved. Do you ever buy makeup, wear it once, and then put in the back of your makeup drawer? No more random (and expensive) experimentation — know your colors and you will use the things you buy, and not have to keep buying more to try and find something that works.

8. Shopping is Quicker and Easier

One of the reasons many of us end up with wardrobes full of black is because black is an easy decision to make. It’s safe. It may not do anything for our appearance, but we don’t have to think about it too much. (And don’t we all have enough to think about?) If you’re choosing colors instead, what criteria do you use? Do I like this color? Will it go with anything else I own? Does it look good on me? How do I know? Black just seems easier. 

Knowing your best colors gives you a better alternative. You don’t have to sort through hundreds of items in a store and decide item-by-item whether it’s worth trying on (I feel exhausted just thinking about that). Simply find the ones in your colors, and choose from them. Reducing the number of decisions you need to make will reduce your stress levels and improve the decisions you do make.

9. Declutter Your Wardrobe

Do you buy clothes that you wear once or twice, and then simply clutter up your wardrobe? Most people wear only a small percentage of their clothes regularly. Do you ever pick up an item from your wardrobe and just feel uncomfortable about it, but you can’t explain why? It’s likely that the colour is disharmonious with you. 

You’ll feel a bit uncomfortable seeing yourself in it, and so will everyone else who looks at you. They won’t know why, but that’s the effect disharmony has. When you know your colours you won’t accidentally buy something wrong for you, and then wonder why you don’t end up wearing it. Your wardrobe may well be smaller, but you’ll actually have more to wear.

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How Much Does a Professional Color Analysis Cost

woman counting money - Professional Color Analysis

The cost of a professional color analysis can vary significantly based on certain factors. Understanding these factors can help you navigate your options and select a service that meets your needs and budget. The type of color analysis service you choose plays a significant role in determining the cost. 

In-person consultations are typically the most expensive option, ranging from $200 to $800, and provide a hands-on experience with a professional stylist or color consultant. On the other hand, online color analysis services have also become popular and are a more affordable option, ranging from $100 to $300. Some consultants offer group rates, allowing you and your friends to receive a color analysis at a discounted rate per person.

Consultant’s Expertise and Location

The expertise of the color analyst and their geographic location significantly impact the cost of the color analysis. Renowned consultants in major cities usually charge more due to their high demand and the cost of living in metropolitan areas. The depth of the color analysis session is another factor that influences the cost. 

Some sessions offer a basic overview of your color season, while others provide a more detailed analysis that includes a personalized color palette, makeup recommendations, and a style consultation. The more comprehensive the service, the higher the cost. Additional services like wardrobe audits, personal shopping, and style consultations can increase the overall cost but provide a more complete style transformation.

What You Can Expect for Your Money

A professional color analysis goes beyond discovering your best colors. Typically, a session includes a personalized color palette tailored to enhance your natural coloring, style recommendations, advice on clothing styles and patterns that complement your body type and personal style, makeup and hair color suggestions that align with your color season, and a confidence boost as knowing your colors can increase your confidence in your style choices and lead to a more cohesive and flattering wardrobe.

Is It Worth the Investment?

Whether a professional color analysis is worth the investment depends on your personal goals and interest in fashion. If you struggle with selecting colors or want to refresh your style, a color analysis can be a valuable tool. It can save you money in the long run by preventing unflattering or impulse purchases, leading to a wardrobe that makes you feel confident and cohesive.

How Long Does a Professional Color Analysis Take

looking at time - Professional Color Analysis

Several factors can influence how long your color consultation will take. Some of these factors include the intensity of your color analysis, the type of service you choose, and the expertise and efficiency of your consultant. For example, on the lower end of the scale, a simple online color analysis can be completed within minutes. 

An in-person color consultation involves using a variety of drapes and fabrics in different shades to determine one's color temperature, clarity, and depth. Sometimes, consultants may also delve into additional topics such as body shape, style recommendations, and makeup and hair color suggestions. A more extensive color analysis can last anywhere from 1.5 to 2 hours.

Timelines for a Professional Color Analysis Session

The duration of a professional color analysis appointment can vary depending on the type of service and the consultant's approach. Typically, an individual color analysis session can last between 1.5 to 2 hours. For example, the House of Colour's Individual Color Analysis session includes a 2-hour appointment where you discover colors in clothing and makeup that make you look amazing, determine your color season, apply customized makeup, and rate individual drapes to find your Wow Colors. 

It's important to note that some consultants may offer more in-depth services, which could extend the session length. For instance, some consultants provide a more comprehensive analysis that includes style recommendations, makeup and hair color suggestions, and a confidence boost, in addition to the personalized color palette.

What Is Included in a Professional Color Analysis

person wearing glasses - Professional Color Analysis

Identifying Your Unique Color Palette

A trained professional color analyst will assess your hair, skin, and eye color, as well as your personality, to identify your unique color palette. This palette typically includes a range of colors that are most flattering for you, including neutrals, warm and cool tones, and bright and muted shades.

Customized Color Palette

Following the analysis, you will receive a personalized color palette that can be conveniently carried in your purse or glove compartment for spontaneous shopping trips. This palette will feature a selection of colors that are most suited to you and can help guide your clothing and makeup purchases.

Education on Color Theory

A professional color analysis may also include instruction on color theory, such as the influence of lighting on color perception and the psychological aspects of color. This helps you better understand why specific colors complement you and how to incorporate them into your wardrobe and makeup routine.

Shopping Guidance

Certain color analysis services provide shopping guidance, including suggestions for particular clothing and makeup items that are most flattering for you, based on your customized color palette.

Follow-Up Support

Many color analysis services offer follow-up support, allowing you to ask questions and receive guidance on integrating your color palette into your wardrobe and makeup routine.

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How to Prepare for a Professional Color Analysis Appointment

woman with friend - Professional Color Analysis

Dos and Don'ts for a Professional Color Analysis

For a successful professional color analysis, there are certain dos and don'ts that you should be aware of. To start, it is important to ensure that you wear no makeup when you visit an in-person consultation. This will help the consultant to assess your true undertones accurately. When it comes to virtual consultations, a close-up photo of you will be required, with natural makeup that doesn't alter the colors of your skin, hair, and eyes.

Preparation for Virtual Color Analysis

For a virtual color analysis appointment, I would suggest preparing a close-up photo of yourself in good lighting before the Zoom meeting. Make sure you follow the guidance provided for taking the picture, as lighting plays a crucial role in capturing accurate colors. The consultant may request that you wear natural eye makeup but avoid foundation for a clearer assessment of your natural skin tone

During the scheduled Zoom meeting, there will be a brief chat to help the consultant understand your personality better before creating your personalized color palette. Following the Zoom meeting, the consultant will create your custom palette online, which will be mailed to you within approximately two weeks of the color analysis.

Special Clothes for Color Analysis

Those attending an in-person color analysis appointment are advised to wear their hair naturally and away from their face to allow for a more accurate assessment.It is recommended to arrive makeup-free to provide the consultant with a clear view of your natural undertones. It can also be beneficial to bring along images or examples of colors, styles, or genres that appeal to you, as this can help in the understanding of your style goals. 

Communication is key, so discussing your goals with the consultant and being open-minded to new color and style suggestions can lead to exciting discoveries. Feel free to take notes during the session to better understand the color analysis process and the recommendations provided by the consultant.

How to Choose the Right Color Consultant for a Professional Color Analysis

woman drinking coffee - Professional Color Analysis

Training and Experience

Having formal training in color theory and analysis is crucial for a color consultant. They should understand how lighting affects color perception and the psychological aspects of color. Look for color consultants who are members of the International Association of Color Consultants, North America (IACC-NA). This organization offers comprehensive color training programs that can ensure you're working with someone who understands how color can affect your life. 

Portfolio and Testimonials

Before making a decision, review the consultant's portfolio and any client testimonials they may have. This will give you a sense of their style and approach to color analysis. TikTok does a great job of providing platforms for consultants to showcase their work and receive feedback from clients. This can help you understand what working with them might be like.

Consultation Process

A color consultant should offer a comprehensive consultation that includes determining your unique color palette, considering your hair, skin, and eye color, and understanding how lighting could affect the perception of color. They should also consider your personal style and any fixed elements in your space when making recommendations. This will help you get the most out of your consultation and feel confident in your color choices. 

Communication and Customer Service

Choose a consultant who is professional, responsive, and easy to communicate with. They should be willing to answer your questions and provide guidance throughout the consultation process. A good consultant will help you navigate color selection, ensuring you feel confident in your choices. They'll be able to explain complex concepts in a way that makes sense to you.

Cost and Value

While cost is important, remember that color analysis is an investment in your wardrobe and life. Consider the consultant's fees and the value you'll receive from their services. Make sure that the consultant you choose provides a comprehensive service that's tailored to your needs. This way, you can feel confident that you're getting the most out of your investment.

Choose the right professional color analyst to get the most out of your color analysis experience

Look for someone with training and experience, a strong portfolio, and testimonials. Ensure that the consultation process is comprehensive, and the consultant is communicative and professional. By choosing the right color consultant, you'll be able to make confident color choices for your wardrobe and other aspects of your life.

Try AI Personal Color Analysis For Free Today

WhatColors offers an AI Personal Color Analysis app that helps you identify your season based on your skin tone, eye color, and hair color. By using patented color-match technology, WhatColors assists you in selecting the ideal colors to wear. This app helps you avoid colors that don’t suit you and recommends the best nail colors for your unique features. 

Download WhatColors on the App Store or Google Play store and unlock your perfect colors today.

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