Personal color consultants offer a wide range of color services depending on the type of system they use; the amount of training and experience they have had; and the color materials they have to work with. The most simplistic form of color analysis would be one that determines the dominant temperature of your skin tone. Are you warm or are you cool? Even that tiny bit of information, if it is accurate, will help you to at least avoid colors with a temperature that is at odds with your skin tone. I’d compare it to buying a tinted moisturizer that comes in two shades. Dark and Light. You would know whether you would look better in one or the other. Unless of course the dark wasn’t dark enough. Or the Dark was too dark and the Light was too light. But with a tinted moisturizer….the color is so sheer that if you rub it in and spread it around enough you can make it work even if it’s not ideal.
So then you might choose to be analyzed in a color system that has four types, like the well known and ubiquitous Four Season color system. I’ll compare this to shopping for a jacket that comes in size small, medium, large, and extra large. Now you have a selection with 4 options.You’ll pick the one that fits you best but it’s not likely that it will be a ‘perfect’ fit and it’s possible that none of them will fit you well….if for example the small is not small enough or the extra large is not big enough.
Now you consider having your coloring analyzed by a consultant that uses a system of pre-set color harmonies that has 6, 8, 12, 16 or even more distinct color palettes. (Yes, Master Colorists Coralyn Lundell and Sharon Chrisman in Greater San Francisco have a system of 32 palettes) The more options, the greater the chance that the best fit for you will fit you more accurately then if your options were just two or four. You get the picture.
Now let’s consider the custom color analysis. Like custom tailoring or custom dressmaking is to clothing, this is the optimal color analysis because it will produce a palette that is color-by-color hand picked from thousands of colors to fit you….and you alone…..exactly. Compare this to custom made clothes that have the sleeves at the exact right length. The bust darts exactly where your bust is and with the perfect amount of bust fullness for YOUR bust. The waist will fall right where your waist falls and the garment will be made to accommodate your curves or lack of them so that when you wear that custom made garment it will look like is was made for you. Because it was. And so is a custom color palette.
So why wouldn’t everyone interested in finding their best colors get a custom palette for themselves? Just as most women buy ready-to-wear clothes so do most women opt for a pre-set color palette. Most are not even aware of the custom option. Here are some other reasons why the custom palette is less frequently persued.
- Time: It is a labor intensive process. A custom palette can take a consultant between 1 hour and 4 hours to complete. This will be reflected in the price. However, women spend this much time at the hair or nail salon all the time and accept it as the “price” or necessary inconvenience of beauty.
- Cost: The amount of training and materials needed to offer this level of color analysis is very expensive for a consultant and that is reflected in the price of the service.
- Access: A very small percentage of color consultants offer custom palettes. You’ll have to be a detective to find one near you…..if there is one. Or you’ll need to travel a distance to the nearest one you can find.
If you are a perfectionist or if you are more enthusiastic about color or personal enhancement than the average woman, you will not be disappointed in the extraordinary accuracy of a palette that is chosen for you an you alone. Addiltionally, it will likley contain more….sometimes many more color swatches than a pre-set palette will.
If the cost of a custom color analysis is prohibitive for you, visit an experienced consultant using a system of pre-set palettes that offers a minimum of 12 types for the best possible results. As long as you are color typed correctly the palette you receive will sufficiently transform your looks and your wardrobe in a positively wonderful way.
Avoid any form of virtual color analysis if at all possible. Results have a high probability of being either partially or completely inaccurate.