7 top colour analysis tips – part 2

February 26th, 2015 by Kim Bolsover

For tips 1 – 3, read my 7 top colour analysis tips – part 1

Colour Analysis Tip #4

drape & mini starter kitDo you need drapes at all?

In my colour analysis program I show you exactly which drapes to use to produce both a seasonal and tonal colour diagnosis (see tip # 3).

But I also show you how to do colour analysis without a drape in sight which is immensely useful when you’re out and about and meeting potential new clients.

After all, you won’t exactly come over as a real expert if a possible client asks you to demonstrate your skills right there and then and your reply is, “Well, I can’t do that without my drapes…

I have picked up lots of paying clients simply by being able to give them some great tips and advice on the spot, without needing my drapes.

One of those clients introduced me to her boss who “because you clearly know your stuff inside out” subsequently gave me 2 years of regular and extremely lucrative image work.


Colour Analysis Tip #5

Spend time on neutrals

In fact, spend lots of time on neutrals as this is where your client should be investing her money. These are the most useful colours your client will wear.

I’ve provided lists of neutrals for each of the seasons and tones in my colour analysis program.

For starters, try these:

  • Warm – Camel, Moss Green, Brown, Caramel
  • Cool – Grey, Black, Navy
  • Bright – Black, Charcoal, Royal Blue, Red, Navy
  • Muted – Medium Bronze, Green Grey, Olive Green
  • Deep – Black, Maroon, Deep Brown, Aubergine
  • Light – Stone, Taupe, Pewter, Navy, Light Grey

Any good colour consultant will make sure every client knows her best lightest neutrals and her best darkest neutrals before picking out her best accent colours.


Colour Analysis Tip #6

Don’t overwhelm your client

Most of us, especially when we’re starting out, are so keen to impress our clients with how much we know, we think we have to dump the whole of our training course on each poor person!

Stop right there.

In my experience, your client will remember just 3 things from her first colour session with you, and these should be:

  • which colours to wear
  • which colours to avoid
  • which season she is (or tone, if that’s how you work!)

You need to check your client regularly for the eyes glazing over syndrome. When you see clear evidence that her brain can take no more, stop!

If she looks like she can handle just a little bit more, then I would suggest you briefly mention:

  • how to wear any colour; particularly important for those clients who insist on following the current fashion trends
  • how to wear black; especially if she’s not a strong Winter or a Deep Autumn


Colour Analysis Tip #7

Client handouts

Not every client wants a colour swatch wallet!

Shock! Horror!

My swatch went in a drawer years ago and I haven’t looked at it since. But give me a list of words, and I get it.

And there are plenty of other auditory learners out there.

So assume nothing.

Prepare client handouts for each season or tone (see tip #1) and then just print them off as and when you need them.

Here’s an example of some information I might include for a Bright (Clear) client:

  • Colour selections: Use light and dark colours mixed together, or one bold colour on its own. Mix basics like black, charcoal, royal blue and red with many other shades to look great. Soft monochromatic blends will look rather dull on you
  • Best colours for glasses: Shiny metals, black, navy, dark brown (or bright frames when in fashion)
  • Best colours for jewellery: White pearls, shiny metals (gold or silver) bright stones and enamels, polished wooden pieces
  • Hard to wear colours: Soft, dusky, muted colours (e.g. beige, sage green, dusky pink, mustard) are not the best shades and will not be flattering next to your face. If you like these, team them with a brighter colour next to your face or use low necklines

I included done-for-you client handouts for all 4 seasons and for all 6 tones in my colour analysis program. You can print them off and use them as they are, or you can copy and paste to create your own.






7 top colour analysis tips – part 1

February 26th, 2015 by Kim Bolsover

I receive lots of “please help” emails from people who have invested in ‘stylist’ courses, only to discover that the module on colour was scant (to say the least) or didn’t exist at all.

Based on her body shape and scale, a stylist can probably prescribe a client’s outfit down to the minutest detail and still the client will ask you, “Fine, but what colour should I wear?

Colour is the first thing we see, so make it the first subject that you help your clients with.

Here are my 7 top tips taken directly from my colour analysis program to get you on the right track.

Colour Analysis Tip #1

ladies seasonal walletsDecide how you’re going to present colour

There are many different methods of colour analysis out there and deciding on which you should use is rather important!

  • You might choose to present the 4 seasons: Spring, Summer, Autumn (Fall) and Winter
  • You might decide to follow the tonal route of Warm, Cool, Bright, Muted, Deep and Light
  • You could use 12, 16 or even more seasons or tones

Hundreds of years ago, before I created my colour analysis program, Ermentrude came to train with me in person.

I was happily explaining how seasonal always leads to tonal and vice versa when she said, “I’m finding the tonal information really confusing. Can we just do the seasons instead?

This taught me a huge lesson and led me to discover exactly why some colour consultants choose to work with the seasons, whilst others prefer the tones, and why some prefer to combine the two.

The results of my investigations meant that when I created my colour analysis program, it was designed specifically to cater for all types of seasonal and tonal approaches. And, as I don’t run a franchise, the course content then leaves you free to make your own decision.

By the way, Ermentrude came back about 18 months later, saying, “I’m really happy with the seasons and now I feel ready to add the tonal information.

With my colour analysis program you can do the same.


Colour Analysis Tip #2

Learn to identify colours in groups

You need to be able to quickly identify colours from 3 distinct groups:

1. Warm colours

Look for a golden yellow or orange tone

Examples: Peach, Coral, Salmon, Orange, Rust, Terracotta, Orange/Tomato Red, Soft or Periwinkle Blue, Moss Green, Lime Green, Golden Yellow, Mustard

2. Cool colours

Look for a rose or blue tone

Examples: Rose Pink, Fuchsia, Magenta, Lavender, Royal Blue, Plum, Burgundy, Maroon, Blue Reds, Aubergine, Pine Green, Emerald Green, Jade

3. Neutrals

These can be split into three further groups:

Cool neutrals, Warm neutrals, and Universal neutrals


Colour Analysis Tip #3

extensive seasonal and tonal drape selectionLearn how to use colour analysis drapes

Drapes are (often) rectangles of precision-dyed cotton or cotton poplin, designed to stretch from one shoulder to the other when placed directly under your client’s face.

You may prefer to fold them into 4 as this allows you to layer several drapes together on one shoulder.

The purpose of the draping session is not for you to show off how brilliant you are! The purpose is to determine which season or tonal direction your client is, so that you can then help her choose the specific colours to wear to make her look and feel absolutely fabulous.

In my colour analysis program I provide you with lists of specific drape colours to use for comparison purposes.

For instance, to check whether your client is Warm or Cool, you could try these drape comparisons:

  • Orange Red vs. Light Blue Red
  • Dark Yellow Green vs. Emerald Green
  • Dk.Periwinkle Blue vs. Grey Navy
  • Warm Purple vs. Royal Purple
  • Salmon vs. Clear Bright Pink

The course manual contains similar lists for comparing Deep vs. Light and Bright vs. Muted, and also for Spring vs. Summer, Spring vs. Winter, Spring vs. Autumn and all the other permutations you can think of.

If you’re looking for drapes for your business, take a look at our online trade catalogue.


Click here for tips # 4 – 7