What is color analysis and why is it all over the internet right now? An expert explains

Have you ever tried on an item of clothing and immediately put it in the "no" pile, but couldn't quite figure out why. Well, its color might be to blame.

Color and style consultant Julia Dobkine, aka agile_styling on TikTok, says everyone has a color palette based on their natural undertones, whether they're cool, warm or somewhere in between. A color analysis, which can be done by an expert like Dobkine, is the best way to determine your personal palette.

When it's all said and done, color analysis gives you the confidence to pick out clothes each season that, as Dobkine puts it, make you say, "This is me," "This is what looks good on me" and "This is what I will project to the world."

Although experts have been reading people's colors for years, TikTok has recently hopped on the trend and launched its very own color analysis filter.


So, what's the deal? Keep reading to figure out how to find the shades that best suit you.

What is color analysis?

According to Dobkine, color analysis is a process that helps people find colors that complement them — everything from clothes and makeup to hair and jewelry.

There are 16 different color palettes that each person can identify with, but people tend to lean toward the seasonal ones: winter, spring, summer and fall. Then there are the "flow" palettes, which Dobkine says fall in between seasons.

Each palette focuses on the varying hues of a certain color. For example, black is found in three palettes while orange is only found in warm palettes.

How does color analysis work?

When a client goes to Dobkine to have their colors done, she asks them not to wear any makeup or jewelry and to wear white. She covers them with a white drape and uses white light to eliminate any other lights in the room. She also wears white, so her colors don't reflect onto her client.

Dobkine starts by finding their color temperature and matching it with their undertones. From there, she assesses how deep, light or bright the colors on this person's palette should be. She'll then hold up different color palettes to the person to see which one they like best.

"It's always a process of elimination," Dobkine tells "There's different techniques and different clues that I'm looking for and pretty much every person's really, really individual."

How do I get my colors done?

It’s never too late to get your colors done. In fact, Dobkine's TikTok followers know that she often says that learning your personal colors is the best style investment you can make.

Her recommendation: Hire a professional, especially if you want a deeper analysis.

"There's a lot of nuances around color temperature, color tone, intensity and volume," she says. "Sometimes it's hard for a regular eye to recognize a cold color verses a warm color."

Or you can always turn to TikTok. The color analysis filter is a great way to find your colors if you're on a budget — but know that it won't go into nearly as much detail as a professional like Dobkine would.

What you should know before your color analysis

Your color palette won't change as you age

"Personal colours are yours for LIFE," Dobkine wrote in a TikTok video.

Even if you switch up your hair color or deepen your tan, your colors will remain the same.

Sure, your skin tone can be affected by various factors including smoking, medication and sun tanning, but its overall undertones will be unchanging.

The same goes for dying your hair. Dobkine adds that your color palette can also help you figure out the hair colors that flatter you.

"Your palette is picked once in a lifetime," Dobkine says. But keep in mind that the palette is quite extensive. "Even the drape which you see in my videos they only represent a small portion of color palettes. They can be up to millions of colors."

Color analysis helps you build a better wardrobe

If everything in your closet falls within the same color family, it's a given that they'll complement each other. So, knowing your color palette can help you build a smarter wardrobe — a capsule wardrobe, if you will.

It pays off: Dobkine says she's had certain items in her wardrobe for 20 years because she took the time to find pieces that bring out the best in her — literally.

"Any piece of clothing, mix and match, and it will look great. It will complement you, but it will also complement the outfit," she says.

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