My Final Thoughts On Virtual Color Analysis

The results from my four personal online color analysis over the last few months have been mixed and a little confusing. I assumed everyone would come up with similar results but I was wrong. Today I’m wrapping up my series with my final thoughts about online personal color analysis.

I started this experiment to see if a virtual, online color analysis could be:

  • accurate
  • helpful
  • worth your money

Here’s how it went

My first analysis was an Online Personal Color Analysis With Your Color Style who decided I would be most flattered by wearing the bright, cool, and light colors below. We had a zoom call (which she videoed) so she could explain her choices. She then mailed me this color fan to use.

reviewing palette for virtual personal color analysis

My second was a Virtual Color Analysis With Dress Your Colors who decided I am a Soft Summer and will look best wearing the light, soft and cool colors below. We also had a zoom call so she could walk me through her reasoning. She emailed me instructions on how to use this palette along with makeup colors, etc. I chose not to purchase a color fan.paper soft summer color palette review

Next, I had an Online Personal Color Analysis With Red Leopard who decided I am a Soft Autumn and will be most flattered wearing the soft, warm colors below. We did a zoom call to discuss my colors and she sent me this picture of my best colors from the soft autumn palette that she thinks would be best for me. soft autumn colors for Jennifer Connolly

She emailed me several downloadables to use until my color wallet arrived by mail. The green dots are on the colors she thinks are particularly good for me.

Last week I shared my Virtual Color Analysis With Joan Kosmachuk who decided I am a Sophisticated Spring and will be most flattered wearing the colors below.  soft bright color paletteThe cost of each color analysis varies and you can check out prices on their respective websites.

My thoughts

Color analysis is both an art and a science. There is seemingly no end to the number of systems and “experts” offering this service. The quality of training varies and so with it, the results they can provide. Many analyses are very in-depth and some are no more than something you could read in a book. I’ve developed concerns about the accuracy of colors on monitors and see that as a potential pitfall in this process. It’s also important to ask what training and system the colorist is using before you sign up.

Typing women into categories for color can be as limiting as typing us based on age…and you know how I feel about that! Personal color analysis should show us the colors we can feel confident are our most flattering. But what happens when you get varying results? It shakes that confidence.

I learned something new with each color analysis, but in the end, they all left me feeling limited. I choose to see these as guides, not hard and fast rules. I need to like if not love, the colors I wear. A few of these analyses gave me colors I dislike so I would never wear them. I will continue to buy and wear colors that bring me joy. Does that mean I will wear colors that aren’t the most flattering on me? You betcha!

What do you think?

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  1. Kim Vardas
    May 6, 2021 / 1:35 pm

    Back when “Color me Beautiful “ came out I had one of their consultants come to my home to drape me. I was a winter. I used to carry my swatches in my purse (now long gone). I typically looked my best in the deeper tones of each color but iced lavender and iced pink also looked good. Now that my hair is white I can wear the Winter shades that weren’t as good with my dark hair. I will wear colors that don’t necessarily suit me if I love them. There’s always a way to make any color work.

  2. Trisha
    May 3, 2021 / 1:19 am

    I was originally told I was a winter (although not through a one to one consultation, a group event at a ladies night) due to very dark hair and pale skin. This led me to wearing loads of black, that did suit me, but also lots of bright fuchsias and purples that didn’t, and never knew why not. In about 2007, had a real one to one consultation with Colour me Beautiful, she turned out to be the UK trainer and was brilliant. I understood why those fuchsias did not suit, I was deep colouring, but very slightly warm, not cool, so a deep autumn, with pale ivory skin and olive green eyes/dark but warm hair. The previous person had just seen the obvious contrast, but not the warmth, a danger when not doing a full drape in person. I wore these colours successfully for many years; olive greens, rusts, black still but with deep warm reds and teals – the very warm shades of autumn, oranges and mustards were too warm, as she had said. Unfortunately, with ageing my colours started to fade, I dyed the hair still slightly warm, but lighter more mid brown, and my eyes went to grey/green, actually looking more green proper. I had it redone by another CMB person, the previous one had retired. She told me I had gone bright and warm, making me a bright spring – I could not see this, and didn’t like the bright colour, although still warm, on me, the bright greens, the bright yellows etc, especially as my colouring was now softer than before. This was so dissapointing to me, as friend and family asked if I was ill all the time wearing these shades! I abandoned them after a couple of years and did my own research, coming up with soft autumn, which is just a softer version of the colours I wore before. This makes sense to me, but so disappointing to find, like other people writing here, that some consultants, even in person, are just not that good. Not surprised then, that it is almost impossible to do accurately online, you just might see the obvious and not how a person looks close up in good light in reality against a colour. If some consultants can’t even do this one to one looking at you, you need to be a genius to do it online!

  3. Nancy
    March 9, 2021 / 10:35 am

    I have tried twice with a lengthy response that got “lost” to reply to your post. Suffice it to say, my life was changed with my in-person analysis that took over an hour, probably two, as I was draped in large swaths of color. It was a process of elimination and seeing all the cool colors that did nothing for my complexion or eyes, and in many cases aged me. The colors that were warm looked best, but the bright, warm colors of Spring made me look my very best. Hair color was covered so it didn’t distract from the results. I don’t think the “virtual type” experience would show the nuances of the color experimentation. And it requires a well trained color analyst. Most colors have a version of the color that looks good on you. Blue needs to be warm and bright for me, but most likely cool and grayed for you. Judging from the colors you wear, they seem to complement your cool skin tones. I can’t say enough how the experience made a huge difference in how I looked…and for the better.

  4. Helena
    December 23, 2020 / 11:39 am

    Whoops I just commented on your last post and then found this wrap up post! Just chiming in to say that in person analysis can give equally confusing results … I think there is value in the process but it’s never conclusive … And anyway colour is only one aspect of style! Anyways thanks for sharing your experience!

  5. Ellie
    October 4, 2020 / 8:38 pm

    Many (many!) years ago, I read the book, “Color Me Beautiful”. I definitely fit into the “Autumn” palette and proceeded to base my wardrobe around those colors. I traveled to visit a friend and was excited to tell her about my new wardrobe. When I opened my suitcase, she looked in and said, “But it’s all brown!” It wasn’t – there were olive and ivory tones along with shades of brown. And all looked good with my hair/skin tones. But it made me realize that there is room for more in our wardrobe than just those colors that may flatter us most. Life is too short not to wear what makes you happy!

    • Jennifer
      October 5, 2020 / 7:37 am

      I agree, Ellie. I want my clothes to provide joy!

  6. Cathy D.
    September 24, 2020 / 11:31 pm

    It has been fun to read your adventures with color analysis, and I’m not surprised with the results. I spent many years trying to figure out my colors and became increasingly confused. Finally, about 5 years ago, I gave up. Since then, I have limited my color pallet to mostly blue, always my favorite color, with lots of white. Even though I’m a very fair natural blonde, I still occasionally wear black pants and black accessories. After all, I’m a New Yorker and black looks terrific with blue. Since focusing on blue, all of my wardrobe problems have gone away. For the first time in a rather long life, I’m happy when I open my closet door in the morning. I thought wearing blue all the time might become boring, but that has not happened. After all, there are many shades of blue.

    Thank you for all the work you put into your very interesting blog!

    • Jennifer
      September 25, 2020 / 7:37 am

      What a fabulous idea!! There are so many gorgeous shades of blue too.

  7. Eve
    September 24, 2020 / 1:37 pm

    Even a blind squirrel finds an acorn once in a while. I imagine they do get it right as much as wrong but I believe we are naturally drawn to our colors. It is really more color combos that appeal to me rather than one color. I love geranium pink with sage green, golden yellow with olive, red with tan. I just feel good when I wear them. It’s really hard to beat blue jeans and a white shirt with black flats. A med blue denim jacket makes be happy over anything.

    • Jennifer
      September 24, 2020 / 9:35 pm

      Great expression!! And so true.

  8. Carrie
    September 24, 2020 / 1:33 pm

    Thanks for taking one or four for the team Jennifer!
    I’m glad you did this series because it has finally put to rest my thinking I needed to get my colours done again. Like I’ve mentioned before I was told I was a winter back in the late 80s through a Colour me Beautiful analysis and I’ve stuck within that palette for the majority of my wardrobe, trying a colour here and there from other seasons along the way. Like one of your readers’ above said “and then out that colour goes again”. One out of season colour that sticks around in my closet is Olive green which matches my eyes and I’m finding that greyed down jewel tones look good that my hair is now silvery white (still some blonde in the back) Thats another thing, the colour analysis people state that blondes can’t be Winters and I think that’s baloney too.

    Anywho didn’t agree with any of your analysis’ completely, because for the most part IMHO they just highlighted what does look good on you which I think you already know. Red Leopard in my view were way off which I hope for their sake is the computer monitor issue. I can’t get over the paint chip style palette either. When I had my old palette (that I wish I didn’t throw out during a move) they were small silk fabric pieces. Much easier to match up clothing with than a piece of cardboard.
    Personally, I think the most important thing you can wear is confidence! If you love what you’re wearing and add that touch of confidence you will carry it off! I can’t think of one outfit I’ve seen you wear that I thought “what was she thinking? ” so you’re already winning!

    • Jennifer
      September 24, 2020 / 9:34 pm

      Thanks Carrie! The RL analysis didn’t resonate with me either so I’m hoping it was their monitor. I know they have many happy clients who get typed in person.

  9. Sue
    September 24, 2020 / 1:20 pm

    Your experiment confirmed what I had pretty much concluded–color analysis is just as subjective as our own preferences, but way more expensive.

  10. Kay
    September 24, 2020 / 12:50 pm

    Waste of money. IMO. The company with the most hype gets the business. When I meet my maker, I wonder if (s)he will ask me what my “type” is. When my house burned down, the “right” colors went up with the “wrong” ones. I know some people think this business is important and are willing to spend the money, but I’m not one of them.

  11. Chris
    September 24, 2020 / 12:23 pm

    I enjoyed your reviews and looked forward to each new report. I did think the consultants worked in overdrive to describe a credible science or method to support their process. My brain twisted during each analysis. But it was fun. You always look terrific and intuitively select your best colors. That’s why I read your blog!

  12. Anon
    September 24, 2020 / 11:00 am

    P.S. I am looking forward to a Dressing Room Diaries series where you try on items from one of these suggested palettes each time, for the readers to judge. I know that you know some of these colors would not be your choice. So let’s see! It would be interesting. Maybe we’ll all be surprised.

    I always try on the “it” colors for the season, just to see. Olive works for me if it’s a lively olive with a bright undertone. And copper is working for me this year.

    • Jennifer
      September 24, 2020 / 9:30 pm

      As soon as I can, I will!

  13. Anon
    September 24, 2020 / 10:38 am

    Thank you for this. Every monitor or device I use seems to give me differences. Black reads as navy. Navy reads as bright royal blue, etc. I just don’t see how online color analysis can work.

    When I worked in the print industry, newsprint was very limited in the color range it could provide, but costlier glossy magazine print could be quite accurate, although not perfect. Even paint chips, which are ink, not paint, are a guide, but there’s no substitute for the real thing.

    In person, the systems themselves are so varied that they, too are guidelines and nothing more. The art of color depends on the skill of the person providing advice, which is often quite costly and not necessarily in scale with ability.

    There is much variation in color. We should wear what we love, what speaks to us: a scarf, a top, a magical combination — and train ourselves to trust our own eyes. Work the rest of the magic with makeup wizardry. If people give us compliments, trust that, too. Even a pair of gloves or shoes in absolutely the “wrong” color is okay. It’s not near our face.

    We need to go back to childhood and the colors we loved in clothing then. This is where our true colors shone. We all perceive differently. We all have a different spark inside.

  14. Tracey
    September 24, 2020 / 10:25 am

    Wow! I was really shocked to read about your results being so different with each analysis. I am not a color specialist, but I would have a hard time believing that you are a soft autumn. I realize that I am only seeing you in pictures, but you really look like you have cool undertones & not warm Undertones. When I see the colors you wear in your photos you appear to me as someone who has her colors figured out, because you always look really great & pulled together. However, I really enjoyed your post. Obviously, having a color analysis without being in person probably is not the most ideal way to go, since color translates different in pictures & on video. It would be interesting to know if your results would have been the same if you had been there in person wouldn’t it? I really enjoyed this post!

  15. Jan
    September 24, 2020 / 10:11 am

    Your color analysis experiment just reinforces my opinion that you already knew which colors were your best friend. We see it over and over in your blogs!
    By a certain age, we all probably have a pretty fair idea what color or style of clothing best suits us. I am so far beyond having an ad in a magazine or a mannequin in a store try to steer me in a direction that I know won’t work. So I guess what I’m saying is that I won’t be have this analysis done and I will proudly wear what makes me happy. Oh my gosh, our life journey teaches us so much, trust your basic instincts, they didn’t happen overnight.

    • Jennifer
      September 24, 2020 / 9:27 pm

      Perfectly said, Jan!

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