I Had My Hair, Skin, And Eye Color Analyzed By A Professional To See What Colors I Should Be Wearing And It Turns Out I've Been Dressing Wrong My Entire Life

Hi! I'm Shelby, and if you ask anyone about my fashion choices...they'll probably tell you I wear a lot of black.

A woman takes a mirror selfie in a bedroom. She is wearing black leggings and a furry dark jacket. The room appears tidy with a bed, dresser, and framed pictures on the wall
Shelby Heinrich

My affinity for black clothing doesn't just come from the fact that it's a reliable wardrobe staple. It's also because, in the last few years, I feel like I've completely lost touch with my personal style. Months and months spent in sweatpants during the pandemic— paired with me entering my 30's this year — left me with absolutely zero idea how I want to present myself, and what colors look even good on me in the first place. This confusion has led to me constantly reaching for an all-black ensemble, aka my comfort zone. And as a result, my confidence has really suffered. I wanted to branch out so badly, but didn't know where to start!

Woman in black sleeveless top and blue jeans taking a mirror selfie in a room with many small light bulbs. She is making a peace sign
Shelby Heinrich

My attempts at researching fashion and personal style eventually led me to professional color analysis, which you've probably seen all over TikTok and Instagram lately. Based on the four season color theory created by Johannes Itten in the early 20th century, color analysis involves studying your natural features to determine which colors look best on you. Things like your skin tone, eye color, and hair color are all considered to reveal your personal season (winter, spring, summer, or fall) and undertone (cool, warm, or neutral). From there, color experts give you a set color palette that aligns with those categories.

If you're wondering how this trend got started, the concept as a whole has actually been around for decades, but modern color analysis has gained a ton of popularity in Korea and the K-beauty space in recent years, partially thanks to Korean celebrities like Blackpink's Jisoo using color analysis services to find their best colors. As a result, tons of studios have popped up around the country, predominantly in Seoul, South Korea's capital. Some people have even shared their journeys flying to Korea just to get their color analyses done!

Jisoo is being assisted by a person in a suit with a clothes hanger in a well-lit changing room. Korean text is at the bottom of the image
Kim Ji-soo / Via youtube.com

But thanks to the sharing power of the internet, color analysis has made its way across the globe. If you search "professional color analysis" on TikTok, you'll see hundreds of thousands of people sharing their experiences, whether it be professional studios or color newbies like me who just want to know once and for all which colors they can pull off.

Top left to bottom right, six images show: kalitaku with color drapes, two women with color drapes, edwardzo with two others, person holding yellow cloth, person with wet face, edwardzo with flag
TikTok / Via tiktok.com

After seeing countless color draping videos on my For You Page, I decided to give color analysis a try! If I was feeling this lost on my own, surely some professional guidance couldn't hurt in my journey to re-learn how to dress. And as someone with zero knowledge of color theory, I was SO curious what my season and undertone would be.

Luckily, I didn't have to fly to Seoul to book an in-person color analysis (although that would've been amazing!). Since I live in Los Angeles, I was able to book an in-person appointment* with Omyo Color Studio, which is located right in the heart of K-Town (at 3923 W 6th St. Los Angeles, CA 90020) and was founded by certified color expert Haejin Suh, who actually trained in Korea before opening her color studio here in LA.

A woman with long dark hair, wearing a white top and black cardigan, smiles while sitting in a lush garden courtyard with ornate architecture in the background. Names unknown

Haejin told BuzzFeed that she's always had an interest in the beauty and fashion space, given her background in art and design. When she decided to become a color consultant, she weighed virtual and in-person classes in the U.S. and South Korea before deciding to take the plunge and study overseas. "I flew to Korea to take a course that focused on the basics and history of personal color, the styles associated with each season, image consultation, and fabric draping, while prioritizing attending sessions with real clients. Finishing the course fueled my passion to create a business that combined my love for people, beauty, fashion, and color, making it a pivotal moment in my career."

Haejin also emphasized that her services aren't meant to be restrictive or make you feel like you HAVE to wear certain colors in order to look good. "My studio really emphasizes people's color range rather than dividing each person into a limited color palette. Not everyone can be divided into four seasons due to the beautiful and complex nature of people's skin tones, hair color, eye color, facial features, and much more. I hope people can still wear whatever colors make them feel confident while referencing personal color for important events, investment pieces, elevating style, and decreasing impulse shopping."

We love that!

Before we get into the details of my appointment, let's talk about cost. Prices for Omyo's Color Studio actually vary depending on how many people are in your party. Individual appointments cost $230, while 2-person appointments cost $175 per person, and 3-person appointments cost $130 per person. So it's definitely cheaper if you want to make it a group thing with friends!

Here are all the services included in Omyo's color analysis:

-Style & Image analysis

-Intro to Personal Color

-Seasonal Study

-Personal Color Analysis

-Personalized season recap

-Image consulting

-Makeup pouch analysis

-Styling & Makeup recommendation

-Makeup application

-Nail swatch (single-person consultations only

-Post-Consultation (digital summary of your best color palette)

On the day of my appointment, Haejin advised me to wear a white shirt and no makeup to ensure the most accurate results. Here's me with a bare face right before leaving for the studio, feeling humbled but very excited.

A person with long hair, wearing a white T-shirt, looks at the camera in a casual indoor setting
Shelby Heinrich

When I arrived at the studio, I got even more excited and was thoroughly impressed! It felt very professional and sleek. I couldn't wait to get started.

A modern, well-lit office with a white table, chairs, computer monitor displaying "ONYO COLOR STUDIO," various office supplies, and a clothes rack in the background
Shelby Heinrich

To kick things off, Haejin had me fill out a brief questionnaire on my style and color preferences. After that, we dove right into learning about personal color, hue, and the four seasons.

Haejin explained that color hues generally fall under warm or cool. Colors with warmer hues have more yellow undertones, while colors with cooler hues have less yellow and more blue undertones.

A computer screen shows a color comparison chart titled "HUE - WARM vs COOL," displaying warm colors (more yellow) and cool colors (less yellow or more blue)
Shelby Heinrich / Haejin Suh / Omyo Color Studio

Next up, the four seasons. According to Haejin, spring and autumn include the warmer hues and colors and summer and winter include the cooler ones.

Monitor displaying a presentation on the four seasons with images: tulips for spring, autumn leaves, a beach for summer, and snowy trees for winter

After my crash course in color theory, it was time for the main event: color draping!!! This is the part that most people like to share in their color analysis videos online. Haejin provided a tripod so we could record our draping session, and I was very grateful she did! There was a ton of info I wouldn't have been able to remember otherwise. The entire process took about 20 minutes.

Again, I'm only going to share the highlights of my swatching, but the whole process was (again) very thorough and informative. By the end, it felt like we'd literally swatched every color of the rainbow and left no stone unturned!

At the start of my color analysis, Haejin explained that she'd be looking for the evenness of my skin as she held up the fabric, starting from the top of my forehead to a portion of my neck. We began by comparing my complexion against spring vs. summer colors, aka warm vs. cool.

A stylist helps a seated woman by holding fabric swatches near her face to determine the best colors for her

-Complexion is cooler, but can do warm colors when they're slightly light

Shelby Heinrich

It might not show up super well in photos, but as we went through the different colors, I swear I could see my face transform between the warmer and cooler tones! While the warm spring colors still looked nice, they brought out more redness in my face than the cool summer colors, especially when they were more vivid. Because of this, Haejin concluded that my complexion is probably cool-toned, but I can still pull off warmer colors if they're slightly light.

Two women evaluating colorful fabric samples draped over one of them
Shelby Heinrich

We then compared my complexion against neutral colors to help confirm my undertone. Once again, warmer neutrals like chocolate brown and deep beige brought out more redness, while cooler neutrals like gray and ivory made me look more even. With all this information, we concluded that I'm officially cool-toned!!!

Both images show two women; one is seated with fabric swatches around her neck while the other stands beside her, discussing the fabric samples. Their names are unknown
Shelby Heinrich

Now that we knew my undertone, it was time to determine my season. Since I'm cool-toned, my options were either summer or winter. Haejin shared that I could wear both seasons pretty well since I had such a strong distinction between warm and cool, but this was to see which season was the very best for my personal color palette. We compared swatches of light summer colors against strong winter colors, and she suggested deeper winter colors like jewel tones for professional events, but lighter summer colors for my day-to-day wardrobe.

Two women perform a color analysis with fabric swatches draped over one woman's shoulder. They evaluate how different shades complement her skin tone
Shelby Heinrich

As for neutrals, Haejin recommended softer neutrals like gray and milk white for everyday looks with minimal makeup. She said I could still pull off black, but perhaps with a square neck top, stronger makeup, and/or paired with white to break up the harshness. Finding out black wasn't directly in my palette of neutrals was slightly heartbreaking but overall enlightening!!!

Two photos show a person with a neutral expression being draped with different colorful fabrics by another person
Shelby Heinrich

With all this cumulative color info, Haejin informed me that I'm a cool summer light! This means I'm cool-toned, and my features work best with lighter summer colors! She said that bold summer colors also work fine; I'll just need to wear a bit more makeup.

A hand with green nail polish holds a card reading "SUMMER COOL, OMYO COLOR STUDIO" on an outdoor stone pavement next to grass
Shelby Heinrich

But the draping wasn't over yet! After determining my cool summer status, Haejin determined my "best," "second best," and "least best" colors. Here's my best:

Emily Bridges sits with a multi-colored blanket draped over her, holding it with one hand. She is in a room with a desk and shelves in the background
Shelby Heinrich

Second best:

Two people holding a color analysis drape fan with various fabric swatches

Haejin suggested these cool winter colors for warmer weather or if I want a bolder, edgier look.

Shelby Heinrich

And least best:

A person stands indoors with various colored fabrics draped around their shoulders while someone holds the fabrics next to them

After the color portion of the draping, we rounded things out with a pattern assessment and some hair swatches. It turns out I'm best suited for thin patterns, then smaller patterns, then larger patterns.

Side-by-side photos of a woman being shown different black-and-white patterned fabrics by another woman
Shelby Heinrich

And lastly, hair swatches! Haejin took me through different shades of blonde, red, and even fun colors like pink and purple. Unsurprisingly, cooler shades like lavender and baby pink suited me best.

Kim Kardashian seated, having hair extensions applied by a stylist
Shelby Heinrich

Once we finished draping, Haejin summarized everything we learned about my season and undertone and where I fall on the color spectrum. She also told me she'd be compiling all the relevant info into a post-appointment PDF for me to keep, which I was very thankful for since it was A LOT of (important) information!

Close-up of a person's hand holding a pen, pointing at color palettes on printed sheets. The sheets are titled "Summer Cool Light," "Summer Cool Vivid," and "Autumn Warm Deep."
Shelby Heinrich / Haejin Suh / Omyo Color Studio

In the final stretch of the appointment, we turned our attention to beauty and accessories. Haejin determined that light silver and pearl works best with my skintone. She also recommended white gold and clear accessories. Deep gold and deep silver were the harshest.

A person wearing multiple bracelets and a smartwatch on their wrists, with a color swatch and paper on the table in front
Shelby Heinrich

Haejin advised me to bring my everyday makeup bag to the appointment so she could assess how much of it works with my undertone. I was shocked to learn that my go-to foundation, bronzer, and eyeshadows all fall into the warmer category! In a way, it was a bit of a relief. I've always felt like I look a bit "off" with makeup on, but it turns out it's not me, it's the products I've been using!

Various makeup products are spread out on a table beside a water bottle, a laptop, and paperwork. A person in a light sweater is partially visible
Shelby Heinrich

Next, Haejin took me through different lip shades and textures that work best on me. They were generally pink and berry shades, and she recommended glossy and balm lip products instead of matte lip products. I also appreciated that she introduced me to a lot of K-beauty makeup brands I hadn't heard of before, which I'll definitely be checking out later!

Person's hand near several lip gloss tubes and swatches of different lip gloss shades on a notebook, beside a water bottle and a computer mouse
Shelby Heinrich

Finally, Haejin told me to "take out my phone and take lots of pictures," because we were entering the "Styling and Makeup Recommendation" phase. This involved visual references for the makeup, styling, and accessory suggestions we discussed earlier. We did this for both summer and winter, but I only included summer to save us some time.

A computer screen displays a collage of makeup styles with models illustrating different makeup looks. The screen has the label "OMYO COLOR STUDIO" and "MAKE UP"

This is just a small snippet of the makeup section. Haejin composed specific product suggestions for eyes, cheeks, and lips, and even included promo codes!

Shelby Heinrich / Haejin Suh / Omyo Color Studio

Some aesthetics Haejin mentioned for summer palettes were "Clean Girl" and "Coastal Grandma," which I could totally see here. I personally never considered myself to fit into either of those aesthetics, but I left ready and willing to try! Who knows, maybe 2024 will be my Coastal Grandma year.

A computer monitor displays a fashion guide with three style categories: Casual, Romantic, and Pure/Clean. Each category is shown with outfit examples
Shelby Heinrich / Haejin Suh / Omyo Color Studio

As expected, most accessory recommendations for summer palettes were silver, like we discussed earlier.

Slide displaying various fashion accessories such as bags, jewelry, glasses, and watches, titled "Style Characteristics."
Shelby Heinrich / Haejin Suh / Omyo Color Studio

And for the grand finale, Haejin gave nail color recommendations. We swatched 12 different colors. Here are just a few for reference. Notice how my lime green nails do NOT fall into my cool summer color palette (LOL).

Close-up of a person's hand with neon green and white nails, as another hand applies a nail art sticker to one nail
Close-up of a person's hand with neon green and white nails, as another hand applies a nail art sticker to one nail
A hand with bright green nails is shown next to three nail polish samples in light purple, mint green, and dark purple being held by another hand
A hand with bright green nails is shown next to three nail polish samples in light purple, mint green, and dark purple being held by another hand
A close-up of a hand with two fingers painted green and one being painted white. Another hand holds a nail tool above the painted nail
A close-up of a hand with two fingers painted green and one being painted white. Another hand holds a nail tool above the painted nail

Shelby Heinrich

After we wrapped everything up, I thanked Haejin profusely for her time and expertise, and she let me know that I would receive my digital color guide in a few days. I left Omyo Color Studio completely floored by the depth of my appointment and the attention to detail. While this experience was provided for editorial consideration, I would happily pay $230 of my own money and have been telling everyone I know to book their appointments ASAP. I went from having zero idea which colors work best on me to now knowing which tried-and-true shades to reach for whenever I feel stuck. It really was illuminating, and I know this sounds dramatic, but I feel like I had a new lease on life (or at least....my closet, lol). I can't wait to start buying within my color palette and see the results!

A person holds a color sample card with various shades against a blurred outdoor background
Shelby Heinrich / Haejin Suh / Omyo Color Studio

If you're interested in booking a professional color analysis appointment with Haejin and Omyo Color Studio, you can visit their website, TikTok, or Instagram for more info.

Note: This service was provided in exchange for editorial consideration, but I was under no obligation to write positively about the experience. All opinions are my own.

Would you try professional color analysis? Let me know in the comments!

Check out more API-centered content by exploring how BuzzFeed is celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month! Of course, the content doesn't end after May. Follow BuzzFeed’s A*Pop on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube to keep up with our latest API content year-round.

Illustration of diverse people in traditional clothing celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM)
Charlotte Gomez / BuzzFeed