“I am cool,” said Rosemary Allan in the Wheretoget offices one afternoon. It’s not every profession that allows you to make such a statement and be taken seriously, but Allan is a color consultant. It’s her job to know who’s cool, who’s soft and who’s light.
When the idea to get a color consultation was first thrown around, our editors didn’t really know what it was. Some thought it was to do with hair styles, others thought maybe makeup. One member of the team nearly hit the nail on the head when she said it’s to do with the colors you can wear to suit your palette, “for example,” she said, “I’m winter.” While she was correct in saying that a consultation teaches you what colors and, more importantly, shades suit your coloring – that is to say, the tone of your skin, hair and eyes – the British system has been updated since it was first founded in the ‘80s, and it is no longer the done thing to divide color groups up into the seasons, because, after all, winter doesn't look the same in Morocco as it does in England.
The new system taught by leading color consultancy Colour Me Beautiful, the company Allan represents, is based around three categories, each with two possibilities: warm/cool, deep/light and soft/clear. Each establishes whether you are more suited to yellow-based colors (warm), pale and delicate colors (light), bright and shiny colors (clear), and so on. By the end of a consultation, Allan's clients will know the definition of each, and, most importantly, which ones pertain to them.
To prepare for a session, we were asked to arrive wearing no makeup so we could be properly assessed, and we each had to fill out a questionnaire to determine what type of dresser we are. Responding with mostly Bs means you like to make a statement, whereas mostly Es pointed to a more understated approach. The answers aid Allan and other color consultants like her to make suggestions that suit the style of their clients. This is important because finding “your colors” doesn’t mean you’ll want to wear them: if you’re a B kind of person, you might want to go directly against the grain in order for your outfit to really pop.
“In a room full of people, if you’re wearing your colors, people will look at your face and instantly see a whole picture of you,” Allan explained to us. But there are some people who aren’t looking for their personality to shine through their clothes, “sometimes you want people to see your business card [and not you], so you wear something different.” By this she means that if you want your clothes to stand out, reach outside of your recommended palette. So whether you’re aiming to compliment your coloring or purposefully clash, it can only be a good thing to know what that palette is for you.
Once sat in front of the mirror, Allan draped each of us in turn in a rainbow patchwork of fabric. The effect was immediate and surprising: “it’s like putting a buttercup underneath your chin,” Allan quipped in her delightfully British accent. Every swatch of cloth had a different selection of shades from the different categories on it, and as Allan rotated through them on each person, she showed us how certain tones can bring out eye color and make skin tones look more even, where others highlight dark circles and rosacea. Even the skeptics among us couldn’t deny the difference it made.
An uplifting take-away from the session with Allan is that no color is strictly off-limits: it is more a matter of finding the right hue. Unfortunate for Allan, her favorite color is lime, which doesn’t fall in her description of cool, deep and clear, but she can wear as much sea green as she likes. Once you know your colors, she told us, you start seeing them everywhere.
So what was the WTG team's reaction to getting a consultation? Most of us arrived nervously and left confidently – two of our editors were so enthused by Allan's advice that they jumped in front of the mirror even though they hadn't originally planned to. Some learned something new, some had their style re-affirmed – but mostly, we were just relieved that we were told we can still wear black. The trick to weaving your colors into your closet is to mix it up: keep the ones that compliment your features closest to your face, and style out the rest where they're less likely to cause offense. Through this method, anything is possible. Apart from scarves. Your scarves need to be correct.
Check out what the team had to say about their consultations and how they're going to use their new-found knowledge for their future fashion choices:
cool, light, soft
warm, deep, soft
cool, deep, clear
warm, deep, soft
warm, deep, soft
warm, deep, soft
Check out Colour Me Beautiful's multicolored selection of beauty products to suit even the most specific palettes, and our selction of silk scarves to make the most of your coloring this summer:
You can find out more about Rosemary Allan on her website, Bwonderful.com, or on her Facebook page. Wheretoget readers are offered an exclusive price of €250 for a full color consultation (usually €350) if purchased before September 30th 2017 and redeemed within 12 months by referencing the code "WTG" when you book.
All images by Diana Liu.