Sunday, February 4, 2018

My House of Colour Experience

House of Colour is very popular in the UK. I always kind of secretly envied my UK color friends, because they were easily able to have a consultation done. At the time, those of us in the States had to get a costly Transatlantic plane ticket as a prerequisite if we wanted to partake. Fortunately, there are stylists in the US beginning to pop up here and there, with lots of room for growth. 

In looking at the About section of House of Colour's website, I noticed this description:


Put simply, 30 years of highly professional know-how. You get a unique, accurate analysis and understanding of your perfect colours and styles because our stylists go through the most rigorous professional training available in the UK. You’re in safe hands. The Gold Standard awarded to us by Investors in People, and Safe Beauty Association accreditation means that you’ll learn life-changing colour and style expertise from the best teachers in the world."

Imagine my surprise when I discovered Annette Byman, a HOC stylist was only 45 minutes away from me! I spoke with her on the phone and felt like I was speaking to one of my best girl friends. She immediately put me at ease. It was really tough to wait the two weeks for my appointment. 

My mission? 

To finally put my ongoing battle with Bright Winter vs. Bright Spring to rest, but most importantly, to let you know my thoughts on HOC as a method unto itself.

In the latter part of my waiting, the weather a couple of days beforehand had been iffy. She uses lots of natural daylight for accurate results, so a very cloudy day is problematic. What a relief to see abundant sunshine the afternoon of my session! Riesen, white chocolate and some mixed nuts were there for me to nibble away on, much to my delight! 

In the beginning, she spends quite a bit of time discussing how the process works. She asks you about your lifestyle, how high or low maintenance you are with your daily beauty routine, your particular challenges and then describes how the House of Colour process begins. 

There are four seasons in the beginning to this approach, much like Color Me Beautiful. However, that is where the similarities end:

The warm seasons of Autumn and Spring are framed with gold. Winter and Summer are framed by silver, denoting best metal colors. Annette then discussed the three primary colors of red, yellow and blue. Up until that point, I had no idea that true red is a universally flattering color, but it does indeed harmonize with each palette. 

Next, she seated me in front of a large mirror and covered my hair with a white scarf. I also wore a white cape. She began with neutral colors, comparing both the cool toned drapes against the warm ones. Drapes are layered on your shoulders in a large stack. Then, one by one drapes are taken off in order to compare and contrast. I really tried to not offer my input, but it was tough/impossible because the changes I saw elicited my opinions. Fortunately, Annette and I were in agreement across the board and she welcomed my feedback.

It was obvious in my case, all of the warm colors were much, much better. Without exception, cool colors put large white patches all over my face. The light in my eyes turned off. In some instances, I looked depressed or like I was lacking in oxygen!

Through further examination, the one seasonal category I was secretly hoping a little bit for, got the proverbial kibosh. Winter turned me white/gray/pale and put awful shadows under my chin. Yep. My love affair with Bright Winter ended that very day. Since there are 36 drapes in each season that represent the whole gamut of subseasons, any kind of Winter was totally off the table. Who knew fuchsia could look so awful on me? 

Summer colors were blah, boring and uninteresting. Such a shame about the two cool seasons. I love all of those pinks, purples, cool reds and violets, but they do not love me back at ALL. Sigh. No Light Summer for me, dangit.

We determined I was definitely a warm. I had a feeling I would end up being a Spring based more on my gut feeling than anything else, but we needed to compare with Autumn just to remove any doubt.

There is a green blue neutral color called Kingfisher. It is another one of those universally flattering colors from the Autumn spectrum. Could I wear it? NOPE. It was pretty yucky.  As we went through the Autumn vs. Spring drapes, Autumn looked like someone threw mud onto my face. Spring, for the most part, fit me like a glove. It gave my face color and life without any makeup. 

Next, we did a brief makeover. Mineral foundation with primer beforehand, blush, brown mascara that I liked SO much better than black, and trying on lipsticks for size. We stopped as soon as I put on this gorgeous poppy red because it was THAT GOOD on me. The remainder of my draping continued with the simplified minimal makeup application. I liked knowing I can throw myself together makeup wise in 90 seconds and look pretty well complete.

There are four sub-seasons within each season.( For more information, please see Kettlewell's blog.) This is a "16 season" system that further refines your palette. It was now time to discover which section of Spring I belonged to. 

Annette gave me a booklet. Each of the 36 drapes has a color name, which is listed. Each drape is given a rating. Some are fantastic on you head to toe. Others are better as accessories.  You will also find your best neutral colors during this process. 

A big surprise was the first drape, which was this gorgeous chocolate brown. I never considered wearing a brown dress, but this color made me reconsider! It looked amazing! Sure...there were plenty of colors that did not cut the mustard (hee!) but the ones that were my best TRULY were my best. I needed the brightest and most intense colors out of the Spring palette, particularly the primary blue, red and yellow colors, so Annette said my best category is Paintbox Spring. I figured ahead of time I would be a Blue Spring, so Paintbox was a bit of a surprise! 

We did take a few photos, but smartphone photos being what they are, I did not like any of them. However, this is a reprentation of the Paintbox Spring color spectrum. Doesn't this lady look amazing???

I discovered that I am actually closer to True Spring than Bright Spring and that I need to stay away from the dark and really cool end of Bright Spring. Indigo Tones Bright Spring plume is pretty much dead on perfect for me, since it eliminates the coolest and deepest of Sci/ART Bright Spring by default! 

If you have been draped by the Sci/ART or 12 seasons method, the four seasons method, or want something more personalized, I highly, highly recommend getting a House of Colour consultation. It was highly informative, so much fun and got the wheels turning in my mind to begin a capsule wardrobe. 

Next? A HOC style session! Stay tuned!



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