Colour analysis is back in season. Here is how to find your hue

The revival of colour analysis and knowing our “season” is changing not only how we dress, but also our approach to hair and make-up. Here’s how it works.

One of the definitive fads of the ’80s, colour analysis is making a comeback on a much bigger scale.

Since going viral on social media, with more than a billion views on TikTok, this popular practice has evolved from just analysing complementary colours in your wardrobe to figuring out what the best shades are for your hair and make-up.


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So what exactly is colour analysis?

Colour analysis is the practice of assessing which colours in hair, make-up and clothing will enhance your natural complexion, and which shades are bound to be unflattering, drawing attention to “flaws” such as pallor, redness or lines and wrinkles.

Your eye colour, hair colour and skin undertone are taken into consideration when determining which of the four colour categories, otherwise known as “seasons”, you fall within.

“I think the biggest misconception is that colour analysis will restrict you; however, that is not the case,” London-based image consultant Francesca Cairns says.

“You can still wear every colour, but it should be in the most flattering tone for you to enhance your features.”


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Why colour analysis matters in beauty

Ever wondered why a bronze smokey eye makes your eyes pop or why platinum blonde hair washes you out?

It’s all to do with colour theory, and which shades and undertones best harmonise, neutralise and contrast with your natural colouring.

The principles of colour theory interplay with personal colour analysis, which is why professional colour analysis services now include individual make-up and hair shade recommendations.

For those who are keen to know their colour type, Francesca’s advice is to try different colours and see which ones you think works best for you.

“Do certain colours lift your features? Do other colours wash you out?” she asks.

“The lipstick test is also a great start, which involves using cool and warm lipstick (shades) to see which ones you think overpower your features and which ones enhance your features – if a lipstick looks harsh, it’s probably because it’s going against your undertone.”

What about colour correction?

Another colour theory that plays a role in beauty is colour correction, where contrasting shades are used to mask concerns such as hyperpigmentation of the skin or brassy, orange tones in hair.

“I incorporate colour correction with all my clients; however, a subtle colour correction is usually enough to help with skin concerns,” Melbourne make-up artist Dani Fischer says.

“A conservative approach is encouraged because there’s no need to paint crazy colours all over our face that then need to be covered up with a full-coverage base.”

Which colour season are you?

Here’s a simple guide to help you work out what your colour season is so you can start putting together your most flattering beauty palette.


For those with warm undertones and high-contrasting features.

Famous “autumns” include Aishwarya Rai, Beyoncé and Zendaya.


Suits warm undertones with low-contrasting features – and celebrities including Blake Lively, Emma Stone and Nicole Kidman.


Refers to those with cool undertones and low-contrasting features.

Famous “summers” include Barbara Palvin, Emily Blunt and Olivia Wilde.


Refers to cool undertones with high-contrasting features.

Celebrities who fit this season include Jada Pinkett Smith, Kendall Jenner and Selena Gomez.

Read more on colour in beauty:

Written by Charlotte Brundrett.