A Review of Online Color Analysis Services

woman doing a color analysis consultation; a stylist holds various swatches up to a brunette woman (two pictures side by side to show the different colors)

Social media has influenced me to do any number of things in the last few years (some great, some questionable), but one of the best ones was booking a “color consult” to find the shades that flatter my hair and skin tone.

For some people, this kind of thing is obvious. I am not one of those people. After nearly four decades on this planet, I still had no idea what my skin’s undertones were, and while I knew I gravitated toward certain colors in my closet and not others, I couldn’t easily discern a pattern. I’ve been making a conscious effort to “buy better” recently, and I hoped that narrowing the down the field of color options would help reduce the number of returns and the number of items hanging in my closet with the tags still on.

I tried Created Colorful; my mom tried Your Color Guru — here are our reviews of our adventures in online color analysis!

Readers, have you ever considered “getting your colors done”? Do you have any reviews to share of online color analysis services?

N.B. Elizabeth and her mom paid for both services out of pocket; this post is not sponsored by either company.

The 411 on Online Color Analysis

The idea of color analysis isn’t new. Anyone who was alive in the ’80s probably remembers the “Color Me Beautiful” pop culture phenomenon. I’m not an expert, but the general idea is that everyone has their own ideal color palette, based on their unique hair, eye, and skin colors. The right colors highlight your features, while the wrong colors can make you look tired or washed out.

{related: your favorite colors for your working wardrobe}

Color palettes are assigned different seasons: spring, summer, autumn, and winter. At a very high level, winter colors are cool and deep (think jewel tones), summer colors are cool and muted (soft blues, purples, greens), spring colors are warm and muted (pinks, yellows, camel), and autumn colors are warm and deep (rust, chartreuse, brown, burgundy). Among those seasons, there are variations, so, for example, if you’re somewhere in between an autumn and a winter, you might end up with a “Deep Autumn” color palette, which includes the richest, darkest shades in the autumn family.

Our Adventures with Online Color Analysis

We have a family wedding coming up, so my mom and I each tried a different online color analysis service to help narrow down our search for outfits.

My Experience with Created Colorful

I used Created Colorful. The process was pretty easy. I submitted a series of selfies with various colors draped over my shoulders. They wrote back a few days later, asking for a few more options, and a few days after that I received my results. (They say on the website that it takes 30 days, but I got it much quicker!)

{related: how to create a capsule wardrobe for work with your favorite colors}

I received a detailed email with an explanation of my skin tone, a list of 20 shades that complement my features, some tips on colors that I should avoid, and some makeup and nail polish recommendations. (Do note that the makeup recommendations are from Beautycounter, which is an MLM, but you can just as easily use the shade recommendations to buy from other brands.)

I found out that I’m a Cool Winter, so I should be mostly looking for deep jewel tones. Given the choice between emerald and olive, emerald is going to be more flattering. If we’re looking at lilac or amethyst, I’m going with amethyst. The package is priced at $180, but they send out promo codes periodically to their mailing list.

{related: how to add color to your work wardrobe when you usually wear neutrals}

My Mom’s Experience with Your Color Guru

My mom used Your Color Guru, and it was a less detailed process, but I think the results were equally good. She sent a quick series of selfies and received both a digital and physical color card with her best colors on it. She’s a “Twilight Winter,” which seems to be a different, branded name for the Cool Winter palette I received. I was a little surprised, because I’m much fairer skinned than she is, with lighter eyes and slightly lighter hair. Regardless, the color palette seems to work beautifully for both of us! For hers, we upgraded from the initial package to get a detailed makeup palette and got some great suggestions for a range of natural to dramatic looks.

{related: prints and personal style: which prints and textures are “you”?}

Your Color Guru packages range from $155, which includes a color card and “color radiance report,” to $245, which includes the makeup card and hair color consult, to $545 which includes a 45-minute video chat with the founder. We got my mom the $155 package with a $40 add-on for the makeup card.

Our Online Color Analysis Reviews: Yea or Nay

Overall, we were both pleased with the results, and I think we’ve both been using the information to weed out some items from our closet that weren’t working for us. Obviously, you can wear whatever colors you want (I’m still hanging onto an olive blazer that I love), but the process has certainly helped me put my finger on why I’m reaching for some items more than others, and will hopefully help in honing my shopping in the future.

Readers, do tell: Have you ever had an online color analysis or otherwise “had your colors done”? Either way, what are your favorite colors to wear for work and weekends?

Stock photo via Deposit Photos / AlterPhoto.

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