On the Record with Laura Harcar

DeKALB – We wear 15% of our clothes 85% of the time.

Laura Harcar of DeKalb, an image consultant with House of Colour, wants to help change that.

Harcar, a DeKalb native whose maiden name is Smoltich, runs her House of Colour franchise out of her home, helping people determine what colors look best on them based on skin tone and under colors and what styles look best based on body architecture.

Harcar spoke to MidWeek reporter Katrina Milton about House of Colour, color and style analysis and how wearing the right colors make a big difference.

Milton: What is the color palette theory?

Harcar: The whole concept began in the 1940s by the Bauhaus school of design in Germany. The idea behind the color palette is that if you wear the right colors, you will harmonize with your outfit: you will look brighter, clearer, cohesive. The right colors will play off your features and show your God-given beauty. People will immediately know something is different about you.

Milton: What is a color analysis?

Harcar: A personal color analysis consultation is a three- to four-hour service that uses a sophisticated process and principles of color science. I will use a time-tested color analysis process to discover your color palette. I will match mineral powder and blush to your personal coloring, and then help you find your perfect lipstick. This very personalized service is part of what is called the “90 Second Makeup Miracle.” You will leave with a palette of colors within a book to keep in your purse when you’re out and about shopping and a new confidence in yourself.

Milton: How do you do a color analysis?

Harcar: I use a scientifically proven process using color drapes. The person comes in all natural, with no makeup or spray tans, and I do the session in natural light. Everyone is born with a skin tone that has under colors: yellow or blue, warm or cool. Tones correspond with seasons: autumn and spring are warm yellows and winter and summer are cool blues. Once you determine your season, I give you a wallet of 36 colors. There are many more colors than those 36, but those are a great start to your color palette.

Milton: Does each season have a color?

Harcar: Every season has their own colors, but they each have different shades and hues. For example, autumn is orange-y red and winter has a true vibrant red. The little differences in color really make a big difference.

Milton: How can learning your color season help?

Harcar: It goes hand-in-hand with confidence and how we’re perceived. In 30 seconds or less, people make assumptions and decisions about us based on how we look. Wearing the right color palette really does make a big difference. … It’s really cool to see the reaction people have when they’re sitting in my studio chair. They’re shocked at what they see. I don’t have to tell them what colors look better or worse, they can immediately see a difference. Once they find the right shade, they’ll notice a dramatic difference. They’ll feel pretty and confident, simply based on having the right coloring.

Milton: What is your color season?

Harcar: I’m an autumn. I look best in warm, earthy, muted tones. By knowing my color season and knowing words that describe my season, if I’m out and about and see a shirt I’m interested in buying, I can ask “is this warm and earthy and will it fit into my palette?”

Milton: What is a style analysis?

Harcar: This life-changing session teaches you how to create a wardrobe that allows you to look your best every day. Using Carl Jung’s basic body archetypes, you will discover how your body architecture helps dictate what style of clothing will naturally look better on you. I will also take personality into account because authenticity is part of creating a wardrobe that reflects confidence, trustworthiness, authority and beauty.

Milton: How does an outfit impact a look?

Harcar: Everyone has their own clothing personality. Have you ever been scrolling online and see an outfit that looks great on the model? After you buy it and put it on, you realize it’s not right for you. Often, you blame your body, but the outfit is just not for you. It doesn’t fit your clothing personality or style. You have to take into consideration necklines, length of sleeves, jackets, skirts and dresses, belt position. A style analysis, is a full dive into what styles and outfits will make you look your very best.

Milton: How much does color analysis and style analysis cost?

Harcar: Color analysis is a one-time cost of $225 per person and style analysis is $265 per person. You are born with a preference of coloring, and it never changes. So this small fee will open up doors that will end up saving you in the long run. No more buying with no purpose. … I also offer gift certificates. It can be a fun way to make sure the new handbag or shoe or dress you’ll wear to a wedding will help you look your best.

Milton: Are color analysis and style analysis just for women?

Harcar: It’s for men, women and children. I completed a two-week in-person training with 9-hour days in Kansas City. As soon as I returned home, I did a color analysis of my husband and son. It’s something that can benefit anyone of any age.

Milton: Why do you do what you do?

Harcar: I seriously still can’t believe this is my job. I love that it combines everything in my wheelhouse. I have a fine arts degree in graphic design, so color theory goes hand-in-hand with what I already do. But what makes me smile most is that I’m changing the way women and men see themselves. Everyone comes into my studio beautiful and handsome, but they leave their session really believing it.

For more information about Laura Harcar and House of Colour, email laura.harcar@houseofcolour.com or visit her social media pages on Facebook and Instagram.

Katrina Milton

Katrina J.E. Milton

Award-winning reporter and photographer for Shaw Media publications, including The Daily Chronicle and The MidWeek newspapers in DeKalb County, Illinois, since 2012.