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What is a Color Consultant?

A color consultant can work in either the fashion industry or the interior design field.

An Interior Design Color Consultant

An interior design color consultant will help you choose all the colors that work beautifully in your home environment. They help you choose your carpets, your floor coverings, your walls and your curtains. They'll also advise you on the best colors for your feature wall, or what colors will best highlight a piece of furniture or some other feature.

A Fashion Color Consultant

A color consultant in the fashion industry is someone who will teach you the difference between base colors and how these colors work with you as an individual. Your skin tone is the primary point of interest for a color consultant. Your skin tone never changes; it's the same as when you were two months old. It will be either blue or yellow - cool-based or warm-based.

How Base Colors Work

The easiest way to remember the difference is this:

  • When you get really, really cold, you turn blue, so blue is cool.

  • When you get really, really hot in front of a fire, you're looking at yellow and red.

Here are some examples of what works and what doesn't:

  • If your skin is blue-based, yellow-based red is never going to flatter you. Instead it will make you look sick, or people will ask if you had a big night out.

  • A blue-based red, on the other hand, will make you look fantastic because it works with your skin tone. So it's a case of working with your coloring, rather than against it.

  • If you have yellow-based skin, and you wear a blue-based red, you will look ten years older immediately.

  • A blue-based lipstick on a yellow-based skin makes a person's mouth look huge, plus it makes them look old.

  • A white shirt on yellow-based skin makes people look older.

  • Black on yellow-based skin makes people look tired and old.

  • Brown on blue-based skin makes people look sick.

In a nutshell: if you have a yellow-based skin tone, colors that are yellow-based will flatter you but blue-based colors will draw all the color out of your face and make you look tired and old. If you have a blue-based skin tone, yellow-based colors make you look sick and jaundiced; you'll get a yellow tinge about you that isn't there naturally.

There's nothing you can do about this. It doesn't matter as much when you're fifteen or nineteen; you can play with colors then as you don't have wrinkles or bags under your eyes or any of the other signs of aging that we try to hide. But as you get older you can minimize the things you don't like about your appearance and maximize your natural coloring by the choosing the right color to wear directly under your face.

So a color consultant will show you how to do this and how important it is and what you can do with color that flatters you. And the colors that flatter you most will then co-ordinate to create a wardrobe of minimum pieces of clothing that give you maximum outfits.

When all the colors in your wardrobe co-ordinate perfectly with your natural skin tone, the shirts that you wear will go with three or four different skirts or pants, and the pants will go with different jackets or sweaters or scarves.

So suddenly, you will find outfits creating themselves in your wardrobe, because each piece works with something else. The shoes that you own will go with all your clothes because the most important colors start near your face, and when people look all the way down to your feet and back to your face, the shoes will work as long as they color co-ordinate with everything else that you are wearing. So it's consistency that makes this work. It's consistency in knowing what is your base range of colors and sticking to those when you buy something new.

Body Shape Is Equally Important

For a long time I've tried to determine which was most important, the color aspect or the shape aspect, and I've decided that they're equally important. When you walk into a clothing store, color is the first thing that attracts you to a garment. If it's the perfect color for you, that's great. But if it's a shape that makes your tail look big or your bust look heavy, it's not worth owning. It's halfway there, but it's still not making you look as good as you can.

If you are a person whose shape is most suited to a long jacket and you find the perfect color in a short jacket, it's going to make you look heavier. Yes, you won't look older and yes, your face will look fine, but your body will look heavier. If you find a jacket that's the perfect length in the wrong color, your body will look slimmer but your face will look older. So you need both aspects to work.

If you want fewer clothes and more outfits, you need to get both the color right and the shape right.

(C) Rita Noon. All Rights Reserved.

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