Monday, 9 November 2015

Using Colour Me Beautiful to Boost Wellbeing

If you were to take a look at my wardrobe, you would see a plethora of black fabric.  Skirts, trousers, dresses and tops; all of them are black.  I don’t use my black clothing as a ‘think thin’ statement, and, fortunately, it isn’t because I attend a multitude of funerals, I just like wearing black.  I believe it may have something to do with my passion for the Gothic genre.  I do have the occasional flutter of blue, red and green, but I have to be in the right mood.

During my Resolution Challenge back in 2013, one of the hardest weeks for me was when, at my daughter’s request, I had to give up wearing black for an entire week.  Suffice to say it was highly entertaining and one of my hardest challenges.  You can read the post I wrote about it HERE.

So, when I signed up for a Colour Me Beautiful session with my mum, I was worried that black would be on my no-no list.  Fortunately, I am one of the lucky ones who can get away with it (phew!), but I was surprised at how much colour can change your total appearance.

The session was a birthday present for my mum and we were looked after by Lisa, from Transforming U, who made us feel incredibly welcome.  Lisa explained the history behind Colour Me Beautiful, telling us that it has been the world’s leading expert in image consulting for millions of women and men, around the world, for over 30 years.

It’s not just about the colours; the session gives you advice and confidence to utilise your clothing for your wellbeing.  Being well dressed doesn’t necessarily have to mean ‘expensive’.  Lisa showed us how to match our clothes with our personality.  She also walked us through the process of staying current and appropriate for our age. 

Wearing clothes, that flatter your proportions can change your entire look.  Finally, we got to look at which colours complement our colouring.

There is a science behind the colour me beautiful approach, and it was fascinating to learn more about this side of the colour analysis.  The influence behind today’s Colour Me Beautiful system is the Munsell system.  In 1903, Albert Munsell created a system of colour that he based on human eye response.  It contains three characteristics; hue, value and chroma (clarity).

The hue represents cool or warm colours, whereas the value refers to its depth on a scale of 0 to 10 (black is 0/white is 10).  The grading between light and dark colours measures the depth.  Finally, the chroma refers to the clarity of a colour, from vibrant to clear, also graded on a scale of 0 to 14 (muted is 0/clearest is 14).

Once we understood the science, Lisa was able to find out which colours were best for us.  The first step was to find our dominant colouring; this is done with your hair and eye colour. 

I am a brunette with brown eyes. However, I dye my hair a reddish colour and this has an impact on my overall colouring.

My mum is blonde with brown eyes.
Once we knew our dominant colour (I was ‘deep’), we could move onto the colour test.  This is where Lisa draped a variety of colour swatches across us to determine if we were warm or cool, clear or soft.  The outcome will govern the different shades of a particular colour that we can wear.

My result was; Deep – Warm – Soft, and so my colour palette includes rust, navy, moss, salmon, chocolate brown, red, purple, and a host of other incredibly rich colours.

For the first time in ages, I was excited about wearing colour.  Interestingly, my mums result showed that lighter shades of blue were not a good colour for her.  My mum has always worn blue clothes and makeup so it was quite strange for her to rethink not only her clothes but her makeup routine.  As it happens, she switched to wearing more earthy tones and it has transformed her face.

It was this aspect that fascinated me.  By placing a swatch of colour close to our faces, Lisa could tell what worked and what didn’t.  I didn’t grasp it until she put two shades of brown under my chin.  One of the shades made my cheeks looked pink and healthy, and the other made me look like a bubonic plague survivor! It was an eye opening experience.

Since returning home, we have both decluttered our wardrobes and recycled our clothing.  I’ve taken out all the wrong shades that made me look drawn and ill, and pulled the better colours to the front – I may have also indulged in a small shopping spree! 

I bought a rust jacket in the sale, something I would never have thought about wearing before, and I team it with my jeans and a chocolate brown blouse.  Every time I wear this outfit I am told by friends, family and even strangers on the street, that I look great.

According to Lisa, this is the ultimate test.  If someone asks if you’ve not slept, or wonders if you are under the weather, the chances are you’re wearing the wrong colour.  When you are complimented on your outfit or told you are glowing, then you’ve got it spot on!

The session was great fun and both of us thoroughly enjoyed the day.  We’ve both learned so much and it has definitely influenced our shopping.  Lisa gave us each a wallet that contains small swatches of our unique colours.  I take mine with me everywhere I go so I can match up a top or jacket colour to the swatch and check it’s a good choice.

The Colour Me Beautiful session has given me the confidence to wear colours and certainly helped with my wellbeing.  Instead of thinking I look ill, I now feel an inner glow that boosts my self-esteem.  I still wear a lot of black, but I team it up with a variety of coloured accessories, jackets and scarves. 

Try it for yourself or put a Colour Me Beautiful session on your Christmas list. 

I’d be interested to hear if anyone else has used colour to enhance their wellbeing; please feel free to leave me a comment below.


  1. I did a colour therapy evening once, but I don't recall much about the science etc. It turned out I was getting it pretty much right, knowing I was an 'autumn' colour match, so deep reds, browns, bronze, moss, similar to you, are my colours too. I need to stay well away from summer brights hot pink, blue, yellow etc, and traditional spring pastels. But winter greys, silvers and black suit me. It'd be great to check again and see...

    1. Thanks, Lisa, yes we appear to have similar colours. I love wearing autumnal shades so I was happy! I'd recommend the session to everyone xx

  2. What a fascinating post Shelley. It sounds great fun and actually quite life-changing :-) xx

    1. Thanks Sue, it was a wonderful experience xx