On TikTok and Instagram lately, there have been many videos of people analysing celebrities. But instead of their love lives, these beauty gurus and consultants are looking at how they dress.
Specifically, in terms of how well the colours worn complement their skin. And sometimes they even describe the colour palette that suits these stars, saying stuff like, “She’s a cool winter”, and “He’s a warm spring”.
It might sound like alien descriptors, but what these content creators are doing is called colour analysis—a method of determining which colours are more flattering for each person.
Curious to learn more about the field, we reached out to Colour Me Beautiful Malaysia, an image consultancy brand specialising in colour analysis.
Bringing colour to your world
Before colour analysis became an internet trend, Michelle Chan had already started Colour Me Beautiful Malaysia back in 2016.
At the time, she was working as Employee Style Manager for Galaxy Entertainment Macau, a developer and operator of entertainment and resort facilities. Her role involved upkeeping the grooming and etiquette standards of frontliners.
That’s when she felt inspired to launch a firm dedicated to image consultancy in Malaysia.
“Beauty and grooming have always been my passion,” Michelle said. “You feel good when you look good. It’s very inspiring when I can help men and women look good and improve their confidence.”
With that in mind, she reached out to Colour Me Beautiful, an international image consultancy brand headquartered in the UK, to open up a Malaysian branch.
In Malaysia, Colour Me Beautiful isn’t the only one offering colour analysis services, but the other image consultants we could find tend to offer it as one element of a package, and not standalone.
Prior to starting the brand, Michelle was running Carat Comms Management, an event management company that she founded.
She had been in the field for the past 20 years and organised both local and international beauty pageants. It was this experience and exposure that also inspired her to launch a business focusing on colour analysis.
To elaborate, she explained that even then she realised the difference that wearing the right colour made, especially in terms of standing out.
“Wearing the right colour wins in the first impression on stage, and in the eyes of the audience and judges,” she shared.
It’s not just colours, it’s about hues
Contrary to popular assumption, colour analysis isn’t a new fad. It was actually popularised in the 1980s after Carol Jackson (a professional colour consultant) published a book called Color Me Beautiful.
The literature features a guideline that helps readers choose thirty shades that make one look “smashing”.
Despite its simple proposition, there is a level of technicality to the practice.
Some colours are said to draw attention to “imperfections”, like wrinkles and uneven skin tone. By selecting the right colours that harmonise with your natural appearance, your complexion will look healthier and brighter.
The field has developed since then and most colour consultants today use the Munsell colour system that has a more in-depth look at colours. Specifically in terms of hue, chroma (colour intensity), and value (lightness).
According to Colour Me Beautiful’s website, colour analysis generally looks at three factors—the colours of your eyes, hair, and skin.
This is done by draping a wide range of coloured cloths and different colour combinations to find out which ones have the best impact on your overall look. Once that’s determined, you’ll receive a swatch wallet containing all the 42 shades that look best on you.
Along with that is a small crash course on how to adapt your personal palette to your wardrobe. That way, you’ll be able to apply your consultancy results to your next shopping trip.
Part of the brand’s Colour Consultation (RM450) also includes discussing and demonstrating makeup shades that appear more natural on you.
But if you want to take it a step further, Colour Me Beautiful Malaysia offers an Image Makeover (RM1,500). After four hours of consultation, you’ll receive an additional 28-page personalised style workbook.
It’s not a pigment of your imagination
Speaking to Vulcan Post, Michelle shared that Colour Me Beautiful has been in the colour consultancy industry since 1983. And the international brand provides the same services all over the world.
“I am their certified consultant represented in Malaysia,” she stated. “We get to refresh our training and get updates from HQ about the colour, style trend, and cosmetic collections from time to time.”
Initially, the idea was to focus on working professionals and entrepreneurs, but the group’s clientele has expanded to include students, teachers, housewives, and even international tourists.
Before launching the brand, Michelle’s few years of research found that Asians were less aware of colour analysis and consultations compared to Western countries.
However, this has since changed as the concept is getting more popular thanks to social media.
“There has been a lot of testimonial sharing on the benefit of image consultancy especially on colour analysis and personal styling in Asia,” Michelle said. “Locals are starting to discover the benefits of it and would like to improve their image using the consultancy services.”
Though their current reception ratio is 40:60 with more international clients, the image consultant shared that interest from the young local demographic is increasing.
“I believe with more testimonials shared on the benefits of colour analysis, the confidence and happiness it generates for a person, we (the brand) will receive more visibility and enquiries in the near future.”
Orange you glad for trends?
You’re probably wondering why spend so much money on this when there are online filters and apps available. I, too, thought the same.
Michelle addressed this by saying that virtual analysis can be less accurate compared to in-person consultations. “In fact, some clients came to us because the online tools were confusing.”
Although other countries like Korea are getting known for this service, she shared that it helps to do so in an environment that’s more familiar with your skin tone.
Seeing how the global practice has already lasted a good several decades and is actually evolving, it seems as though it’ll be here to stay even after the current trending phase ends.
Featured Image Credit: Colour Me Beautiful Malaysia