It's what's on the Outside that Matters

Light and Dark professional women.Color Analysis is about what is on the outside, not inside.

I recently got a comment on my Facebook page regarding a virtual makeover I did a while back. I usually ask my readers to share their thoughts on her season before I tell them what I think.

Without going into too much detail, the woman, who I found out later is a color analyst herself, said “I would let her personality and design preferences help determine her season." She added, “Do you know anything about her?”

Clearly, she is implying that to do a color analysis one has to learn about the person's preferences, her personality, her favorite colors, etc.

This is just one of many myths I talk about in my report “15 Top Myths of Color Analysis.”

I responded with the following comment:

“I don't believe that a person's personality affects her palette or 'season. Color Analysis is about the 'outside' of the person - harmonizing with her skin, hair, and eyes. Once we know her category, or where she sits on Munsell's color tree, then her insides (personality and preferences) determine how she wears her palette.”

I wanted to add how tired I am of seeing this myth out there. Color Analysis is challenging enough and no one needs to add things into the mix that have no bearing on a correct outcome.

There is an entire ‘system’ out there built on the belief that your personality and also your body and face shape will determine your season. I’ve had many clients over the years who told me they had spent a small fortune on this system, not only in their training but, once they were analyzed, in the purchase of all new clothes and makeup. Then after trying desperately to make it work, they finally realized it was a lot of non-sense.

There is definitely merit to Style Personality and it’s an important part of your image management playbook. That does come from inside; but not from the outside, as that system purports. You can still project an alluring style or a bohemian look, or a classic conservative look whether you are short, tall, large, or skinny. THAT comes from your personality and who you are inside.

But color analysis is based on the outside – skin, hair, and eyes. I call it “S.H.E.” in my training. S.H.E is the only thing used to categorize a person’s coloring.

After a person knows her best palette of colors, then she can decide how best to utilize those colors based on her style personality, profession, etc. And, of course, there is some wiggle room with colors that can be added or ignored based on her preferences. But the palette is the starting point.

I went to Esthetician school 10 years ago and one of my classmates was a very sweet, quiet woman who was a native of Hawaii. She was a classic Deep Winter. But she never wore the bold, dark, and bright colors of that palette. She opted for light yellows and pinks and soft earth tones. She never wore makeup. She was demure and quiet.

For our graduation, we got to dress up to the hilt. She wore what she said was a traditional Hawaiian outfit which consisted of shimmery red silk and lots of black.
She was stunning!

She was still quiet and demure. She didn’t have to say a word. And yet her look stunned the rest of the class. THAT is what color analysis is about. Using colors to make you shine!

I do think some people are actually afraid to shine like that. My classmate was. And I’m not talking about dressing up in special outfits. It could just be jeans and a black t-shirt and red lipstick and she still would have amazed us. And her personality would have been exactly the same.

So just to summarize: your personality is about the inside; color analysis is about the outside.

Look at these two young professionals again, each wearing their right colors. I ask you: does anyone care what their personality is? What their favorite colors are? I am, of course, talking in relation to the colors they are choosing.

If the Winter on the left was demure and shy and the Spring on the right was bold and outgoing (who knows for sure and who cares), they may be tempted to switch outfits if they believe their personalities dictated their color selection.

Luckily they don’t, and they look great.

Light and Dark professional women.