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On the 3rd of January, after a very uncomfortable sequence of flights, a sleepless night and a good dose of holiday fatigue, I met a friend at the airport on arrival. Her first comment was, “What is wrong with you, woman?! Everyone looks drained at the airport, but you are glowing!! What’s the secret?”. I had no tricks up my sleeve, except I wore my colour palette from head to toe.
I am a personal stylist, image coach and colour analyst. Talking and helping people embrace their signature colours is one of my greatest passions, and that was precisely what I did one month after my airport episode in an overflowing room in Nicosia.
Under the theme, THE POWER OF KNOWING YOUR COLOURS, I discussed our relationship with the colours we wear, the myths and hidden messages behind choosing black and relying only on neutrals. But mostly, I shared what colour analysis is, how it empowers our self-image and impact on others.
Colour analysis is a scientific method performed by trained consultants who drape clients in different coloured fabrics to determine which ones make them “pop” based on their skin undertone (along with hair and eye colour). The main idea is that everyone has a signature palette that makes them glow by enhancing their features and natural colouring.
Colour analysis originated at the beginning of the 20th century when a Swiss painter and professor named Johannes Itten noticed that when his students were painting portraits, their subjects appeared more vibrant when painted in colours that harmonised with their natural skin, hair and eyes. Itten then started to categorise colours into four seasons. In 1973, Carole Jackson published Color Me Beautiful, a seminal work on seasonal colour analysis. The book—which has sold more than 13 million copies and became a New York Times Best Seller — picked up on J. Itten’s research and applied it to the idea that our skin, hair, and eye combinations correspond to different seasonal palettes. For instance, cool and icy colours were put in the winter, and warm forest and golden colours were in place in autumn. The correct pairing of person-season palettes would make them appear brighter, healthier, more lifted and vibrant — it was a facelift without the surgery!
Personal colour analysis has been enjoying a well-deserved comeback, partly thanks to apps like TikTok but mainly due to the importance of sustainability and conscious self-care. In addition, the fact that almost all of us are filmed and photographed for one reason or another pushed people to be overwhelmed and look for a way to make curating their wardrobe and getting dressed a little easier.
The logic behind it is pretty sound: the right colours will give you an automatic glow effect, the wrong colours will wash you out, and knowing your season will help you navigate that by giving you the exact colours to wear, to use on your makeup and hair. The best part is that your palette doesn’t change throughout your life and can be diagnosed in children, women and men.
To the converted, the benefits of knowing your colour season are obvious – you look better, spend less, don’t waste time, stress less and feel more confident by being in your WOW mode all the time, even at the airport.