What’s Your Color Story?

Each of us has a color story. A range of colors that are synergistically related to our body’s natural coloring. The colors in your color story have the same color temperature, the same intensity, and the same degree of contrast as those that are seen in your skin, eyes, and hair colors.

The definition of synergy is as follows:

  • The interaction of two or more agents or forces (in this case colors) so that their combined effect is greater than the sum of their individual effects.
  • Cooperative interaction among (colors) that creates an enhanced combined effect.

All colors shift slightly when seen next to another color. Color specialists call this simultaneous contrast. The color of your skin, hair, and eyes will shift slightly depending on the colors that surround them. In the image above, notice the smaller center box looks pinker on the left than it does on the right. The small box on the right appears less vivid – muddier, because it is overwhelmed by the brighter outer box. The color in both small inner boxes is exactly the same. This is what happens when people where makeup and clothing that is more intense than their own body coloring can handle. Their face seems dulled or muddier.

Not convinced?  Here’s another example. Again the inner box is exactly the same. But the box on the right almost disappears while on the left the color is vivid and enhanced by the other color. The color of the smaller boxes seem to ‘shift’ as well with the one on the right appearing more yellow. When you adorn your body by wearing clothing, accessories, and makeup in your color story there is a synergy between your face and your outfit. That synergy enhances both….your face and your outfit…to a degree that is not possible in colors that are not part of your color story.

It is this synergy that a professional color analysis attempts to identify by viewing a large variety of test colors against your skin. To be accurate, the light souce in which this testing is done must be ‘balanced’ and true. Ordinary flourescent or incandescent lights are not balanced. Northern daylight or specialized lights with a high color rendition rating provide the best possible light in which to perform a color analysis. None of the lighting found on shelves of big box stores have a CRI (color redition index) high enough for this procedure.

Your color story is a harmony in which you will shine. Your skin will appear smoother. Your eyes will appear brighter. Your hair will appear enhanced….if it has not been colored in a shade that is out of sync with your skin tone. Has anyone ever said to you  “Wow, you look terrific in that color”? No doubt, you were wearing one of the colors in your personal color story. How did that make you feel? How often did you wear that piece of clothing? I’ll bet a lot.

Your color story is fairly consistent througout your life but it does evolve somewhat with time. The colors that were optimal for you at 20 may need to be softened, lightened, or ‘tweaked’ at 40, and perhaps again at 60. But the shift will be subtle.

If you had a color analysis more than 10 years ago you should consider seeing a professional color consultant again if:

  • you’ve lost the swatches you were given as a shopping guide
  • you never really followed your color recommendations because you were unconvinced they made a  distinct difference (they may not have been the right colors)
  • you’ve changed your hair color and the colors in your guide no longer look good with the new hair color
  • your colors used to look great on you but now all or some of them don’t work
  • you were color analyzed in a system that had only 4 color types

If you have NEVER had a color analysis, look for a consultant (sometimes called an image consultant) who specializes in color and uses a system that is either customized or has a bare minimum of 12 color categories. A good color analysis will enhance your appearance and self esteem. It will simplify the process of selecting clothing and makeup colors. It will save you money and time wasted on shopping for clothes that ultimately disappoint. Sticking to your color story will make everything you put on your body relate in the most pleasing harmony.

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