I Used TikTok Filters To Do My Own Color Analysis—Here’s What I Learned

written by LAUREN BLUE

As much as I try to be a critical consumer on social media, it seems every time I hear someone passionately declare to their phone, “This (insert trend here) will absolutely change your life,” I believe it. Summer Fridays lip balm? Bought it. Magnesium? I take it every night. Even my Goodreads is filled with book recs I got from influencers promising you will never be the same after you read them. Honestly, sometimes I agree, but other times, all I’m left with is an overpriced makeup product and a few more Sephora points. The latest trend taking over my FYP that I’ve hyperfixated on since the first video I saw is color analysis.

If your algorithm is anything like mine, you’ve seen TikTok videos of someone draping large fabric swatches over another person and delivering mild insults or the highest praises, depending on the color. This process is referred to as color analysis, where a professional finds the most flattering color season (spring, summer, fall, or winter) on you according to traits such as your skin’s undertone, if your features are light or dark, and if your features are muted and soft or bright and clear. Each season also has a subseason that shares qualities, but the colors differ slightly. Of course, everyone who gets these appointments done on my TikTok FYP says it—wait for it—changed their life. Unfortunately, these color analysis appointments don’t come cheap and will cost you around $300. So, in the name of journalism (and to satiate my curiosity), I’ve used TikTok filters to determine my color season and see if wearing those colors really makes a difference or if this trend is one you can skip. Read on for what I learned.

How I Used TikTok For a DIY Color Analysis

I took a three-pronged approach when evaluating myself to find my color season. First, I thought about what colors I usually get compliments on when I wear them. Typically, these are light pinks or blues, with the occasional green thrown in there, so I kept that knowledge in the back of my head for my next two tactics.

Next, I turned to TikTok, where, thanks to the virality of color season analysis, many filters have popped up where you can digitally drape yourself the way someone would in an in-person appointment. Experts recommend standing in front of a window with good natural light (but not direct lighting), wearing little to no makeup, and pulling your hair back out of your face when trying these filters. You’re looking for what color decreases the amount of shadows on your face, reduces redness, makes your teeth look whiter, and makes the whites of your eyes pop. You want a color that makes you shine but doesn’t overpower you. Out-of-season colors may cause a yellowish appearance to the skin, emphasize dark circles under your eyes, or wash you out.

Using these filters, I automatically thought the spring and summer colors flattered me more than the fall and winter, which aligns with my original theory that blues, light pinks, and greens are some of my better colors. Additionally, in this step, some of my friends told me what they thought looked best (the majority said spring), and a benevolent color analysis expert commented that my defining quality was light (this will come into play when determining my subcategory) and that I would fall under spring or summer.

Lastly, I turned to an unexpected color analysis professional: ChatGPT. I still wasn’t sure of my skin’s undertone, and as someone who in their 22 years of life has never successfully found a good concealer or foundation match, I was wary of my ability to identify them correctly. After seeing a viral TikTok where users use the photo app to get specific hex color codes for their skin, hair, and eyes, I decided to give it a try. ChatGPT told me I had warm undertones, meaning I would fall into the spring or autumn categories. This, combined with my other methods, determined my color season is spring, and my subcategory is light spring. My palette is warm-toned and light, featuring many pastels like pink, blue, yellow, purple, green, and beige, ivory, grey, and brown neutrals. Once I figured out what color season I was, it was time to put my wardrobe to the test. Here’s what I learned after strictly dressing in the light spring palette.

What I learned

It was harder than I expected to stick to one palette

When I began this experiment, I opened my drawers to assemble some outfits and was greeted with a sea of black tops. In an effort to ditch my college-girl style and opt for something more mature, I have inadvertently erased all evidence of color in my wardrobe: black going-out tops, modest black tops, and black workout tops. Name an occasion, and I have a black top to wear to it, resulting in something more along the lines of Elizabeth Holmes/Steve Jobs’ sartorial choices than a chic post-grad woman. I don’t even particularly love black, but living in the age of quiet luxury and elevated basics—it turns out black is the new… black.

Finding out black is one of my worst colors (ouch) and was persona non grata for this experiment, I knew I would have to get crafty to put together light spring outfits with my current closet, which was a lot more difficult than I initially expected. At times, I was tempted to stay in my aptly colored light beige robe all day rather than put the mental effort in to find an outfit that fit my parameters.

Getting creative with outfits can be a confidence booster

While it required more effort to put outfits together when sticking only to specific colors, it also forced me to get out of my comfort zone. I couldn’t lean on the same sweater I wear to death every week, and I had to shop my closet to put outfits together. This allowed me to be more creative and utilize pieces I don’t usually reach for, and it also made me feel more confident.

Not only was it a boost to wear bright colors I might usually shy away from, but I also felt great knowing I was getting innovative with my current closet and styling old pieces in new ways. I still relied heavily on the neutrals in my palette, but for someone who usually reverts to a black basic the second an outfit requires actual thought, it still felt fresh. Without purchasing anything, it felt like I had a lot of new ways to wear my clothes.

People actually noticed

I 100 percent believe you should wear clothes that make you feel confident, and no one else’s opinion should impact what you wear. Even so, my love language is words of affirmation, and I’m a sucker for a compliment here and there. I was very surprised that my friends noticed when I wore a color in my palette that I wouldn’t typically reach for and were kind enough to hype me up.

Color seasons aren’t the end all, be all

I really enjoyed this experiment, and next time I’m shopping, I’m definitely going to make an effort to incorporate pieces in my palette into my cart. However, I’m not fully committing to the light spring world anytime soon. As fun as it was to mix things up, it was also incredibly limiting. Committing to my palette would render half my closest useless, and just because one methodology claims those colors to be “unflattering” on me, many of them make me feel confident (not to mention that it would be expensive and unsustainable to replace all those clothes). If you love something—wear it! Don’t let this TikTok trend (or any other for that matter) make you feel like you can’t.