Sussex style will colour you beautiful

Colour Me Beautiful

Colour Me Beautiful - Credit: Archant

Image consultancy company Colour Me Beautiful offers tips on dressing for your shape and colouring, as well as advice on updating a tired wardrobe

To me, Colour Me Beautiful will forever be associated with Bridget Jones’ Diary. Bridget’s domineering mother was forever urging her to ‘have her colours done’ on the principle that it would help her ensnare a man.

The company has since had a funky makeover and offers trend projections, make-up hints and style readings. I went to visit consultant Sylvia Rattenbury at her home studio in West Grinstead for a colour analysis. Sylvia offers a variety of services, based around personal styling and image consultancy.

The afternoon’s learning curve began with a make-up lesson. Now, I know what I like when it comes to slap (defined eyebrows, neutrals and red lipstick), which perhaps made me a less than ideal candidate.

When Sylvia suggested blue eyeshadow I practically fell into a swoon. I’m a child of the Eighties, and the memories are still fresh. We settled on an oyster shadow with darker taupe accents and a sweep of brown eyeliner – with lashings of mascara. A creamy neutral lipstick finished the look.

The colour consultation promised to cut down on shopping time and reduce impulse buys, both of which can only be good news in my book. There was also plenty of advice on how to co-ordinate my wardrobe and increase outfit options without spending more money on clothes.

Sylvia began by showing me pictures of various celebrities, looking by turns luminous and dowdy. This was all to do with how the colours they were wearing affected their complexions.

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I had imagined a scientific process, possibly accompanied by whirring machines, but the low-tech process is by trial and error – draping the subject with swatches of colour and observing the effects. Interestingly, I felt I was noticing myself properly for the first time in ages. To my unutterable anguish, I found that black didn’t do me any favours. Quashing the impulse to speed home and burn the majority of my clothes, I discovered that cream, navy and chocolate are my friends – and it really did make a difference, making my skin appear dewy and fresh, rather than flat and dull. Sylvia determined my dominant colouring and we found that my best colours are in the Warm & Clear spectrum. Many are what I would go for instinctively. Sylvia gave me a personalised wallet containing 42 fabric swatches and colour combination tips to take on future shopping trips.

Colour Me Beautiful advocates a bold approach to colour, adding splashes of interest with scarves and costume jewellery. I haven’t done that, but since my consultation I have bought an emerald dress, yellow jeans and a teal trench coat, so perhaps I’m learning.


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