A life lived in full colour
Call it time of year or time of life, but we have been feeling a little jaded of late in the Townsite offices. At a recent fashion show in the Town Hall a rather twinkly creature with a smile which could light up a room, caught my eye. She was one Lara Lauder, colour consultant with House of Colour, dressed discreetly but beautifully and positively lit from within. What was her secret? During her 15 minute mini-presentation before the catwalk parade, I found out. Lara talked us through the transformational power of colour, how it can either drain and age us or make us look lively, healthy and radiating joie de vivre.
And so it was that on a dull November afternoon, I found myself in Lara's Great Bedwyn studio on a chair before a full length mirror. Stripped of make-up in the full, unforgiving glare of natural daylight I looked careworn and tired. The first step was to discover whether I was a warm or cool skin tone, yellow or blue based, as determined by a series of coloured swatches draped around the neckline. Once it was established that I had a warm skin tone, Lara applied a light dusting of make up in her 90 second make over and I lost ten years instantly. Before the session was over I would lose a few more.
The House of Colour spectrum is divided into four seasons - Winter and Summer (cool) and Spring and Autumn (warm). We now knew that I was a warm but had to refine it further to find whether I was an Autumn or Spring. It is a painstaking process and one which requires the surrender of half a day of your busy life to its rigours, but oh my, does it get results. Shade after shade is draped around the neckline to see how it effects the shadowing and tone of the complexion. The results are extraordinary.
A navy blue which I love and have favoured for years revealed itself to be less than kind to my complexion. Equally, a dove grey which would not normally catch my eye proved to have magical properties - my face came alive, my skin tone looked even and I had the healthy glow of a woman who is not 51, menopausal and smokes too much - quite miraculous. I was being steered towards warm bright colours which I would usually avoid on the grounds of them being too youthful. Ironically, once I had them on I looked young enough to wear them!
The best advertisement for the transformative power of colour is Lara herself. Until a health crisis forced her to re-think her life several years ago, she was working a 60 hour week as an Assistant Head Teacher in a primary school. By her own admission she was dowdy and exhausted. By chance she was given a gift voucher for a House of Colour
consultation last Christmas and it proved to be the key which would unlock the next phase of her life. 'It was hugely empowering and changed my life completely,' she said. Her own transformation was so total that she was inspired to invest in the thorough training which has made her the professional she is today.
Although colour analysis is largely considered to be a feminine pursuit, Lara confirms that more and more men are seeking her services as they try to become either more effective, or less threatening in the workplace. At first glance a session with a colour consultant may seem like an unnecessary luxury, but we should think of it more as investment which will save us money in the long run - no more costly mistakes. For the price of a haircut and half a head of highlights, you will be given the tools to look your very best today, tomorrow and always. A full ten out of ten and thumbs up from a more youthful and radiant Townsite.