Have you ever had your colours done? Have you ever even heard of the process? I hadn’t until very recently and immediately booked myself an appointment.

I went to the House of Colour headquarters, in Croxley Park, to meet with expert Lynn Ainsley. The process involves deciphering not just what suit you best, but exactly what shades harmonise with your natural colouring. You leave with a set of swatches that match you best and full knowledge of ‘your colours’.

Lynn had a ‘wow’ moment when she had her own colours analysed before she became a personal stylist.  “I call it my ‘Shrek moment,” she explains. “My consultant held up two greens against my skin; a warm moss green and a cool emerald green and I remember thinking the moss green made me look like Shrek – heavy faced and green around the gills. 

“In the emerald green my skin and eyes looked fresh, bright and clear and I looked alert and glowing really. The emerald green has turned out to be one of my best colours, but the irony was I had actually come to the class wearing the moss green (my Shrek colour). I now talk about my Shrek moment when I host classes.”

The consultation begins by choosing a word that describes your overall look. There are four to choose from; fair, bright, dark or blended. Lynn went with fair, I have fair hair and light eyes, which then lead her to two of the four colour palettes from spring, summer, autumn and winter with which to start the colour analysis process.

Watford Observer:

We started with spring and summer with a white gown (similar to what you wear at the hairdressers) wrapped around me I sat in front of a mirror as Lynn placed drapes in ‘cool’ (from the Summer colour palette) and ‘warm’ (from the Spring colour palette) under my face.

Yes, you read that right. Different colours caused visible changes to my face. Of course sometimes it isn’t so easy to tell, but with some shades I could see the blue in my eyes bursting out while others made my skin look sallow and blemishes darkened. 

Lynn could see that the warm coloured drapes from the spring colour palette were making my skin look fresh and bright whereas those from the summer palette were making me look washed out and faded. So at this point Lynn knew I suit warm colours better. She then went on to look between the drapes from spring and autumn (also warm but more muted) but it soon became clear that I suit the light, bright colours from spring the best.

Unfortunately my favourite colour to wear, black, is not in my palette.  After getting to grips with colour we move to make up. Lynn reveals an inedible tip to match your blusher to the tips of your ears. It is a product I have never used, always going for a bronzer in the hope of defining my jaw, but was shocked to discover blusher alone gave my face far more definition. 

She advised me on how to find my foundation colour, and to stay away from black on my face as well and go for brown mascara.  She then presented me with three lipsticks from my colour palette, none were the dramatic blood red I usually go for, but again I was surprised at how well they suited me. The makeup combination altogether left me with a very soft, natural looking face that I have recreated with confidence time and time again since then. 

We then went on to assess even further what suited me by looking more closely at my spring colours. Out of all my colours she noted down instructions such as 100 per cent, meaning I can wear it head-to-toe, or 25 per cent, meaning it suits me but best kept to small pieces like accessories.

The best thing about all this was Lynn talked me through how to combine all the colours, making a capsule wardrobe a realistic goal.  The approach is much like a pyramid. At the base, should be the most expensive items of clothing such as suits and coats, chosen in neutral colours so they can be work flexibly with other colours.

In the middle are your basic but versatile colours, mainly blues, greens and yellows, which are great for items such as skirts, tops, shoes and anything that you’re happy adding a dash of colour with.

The top of the pyramid are the remaining colours that are best suited as an accessory, like a bag or belt. 

The worst thing about the consultation was the thought of my black wardrobe waiting for me at home. (It has been a couple of months since my consultation and I now carry my swatches everywhere for when I buy something new, Lynn gave them to me in a handy little wallet). 

I have to hold my hands up and say I still wear black frequently. However the biggest change has been my interest in colours, which I look for while shopping with my trusty swatch wallet in hand, as well as my confidence wearing them. 

Find out more at houseofcolour.co.uk