A Blonde True Winter Part 2
June 30, 2011 by Christine Scaman
Perhaps you met Hanka, the newest member of the Sci\ART family of personal colour analysts, in the first article, A Blonde True Winter.
If you have watched an analysis performed, you could accept any result as amazing, surprising, but completely plausible. The Sci\ART process forces you to just see what is, not what you think should be, a reality check.
Your eyes only need to see this once to go through to the other side, where the Season stereotypes have evaporated. You know the feeling of being dragged to your colour frontiers, resisting all the way (because the change we resist the hardest is the one we need to make the most to reach our next level), and surrendering the preconceptions. After that, like with all change, you realize it was harder to think about than to actually do.
But enough philosophy. Hanka responded to some doubts in the Comments of the previous article. People very rightly ask for visual proof. I’m not posting the blonde photo here, I’m hoping you’ll see this one first, and let it imprint itself in your mind (and you’ll turn inwards and find an awareness of the pathways your mind immediately starts to set out on, with so little substantiation; until you’re aware of that, you can’t have a roadblock ready for next time.) Hanka has done a lot of work in voice and theater, and sent me this photo from a performance a short while ago.
I never analyze skin from photos, far too many variables going on, so I look for other things.
1. Am I looking at makeup or the woman? The woman. I see intensity of colouration, whites are sharp, colours appear highly saturated, no soft, misty feeling. No sunshine, no earthy feelings, even in the skin, from what I can see.
2. Did dark eyeliner close in the size of the eye, because it would on someone who couldn’t balance the darkness? No. In fact, the eyes seem bigger with crisper outlines and better definition from the face. Our eyes are the focal point of our body. When our appearance expresses us truthfully and most beautifully to the viewer, others are looking at our eyes and listening to our words, no tensions, no distractions from busy colour F/X elsewhere. The eye wanders around the composition with ease, very happy that all the colours belong reasonably together, no feeling of a colour battlefield.
3. Does the hair colour steal colour from the face, or clear the skin to look clean and fresh, but not yellow or grey? Seems clear and fresh, not older in any way I can see.
4. Does the hair colour dull or drain the eye colour, or intensify it? Intensifies it. The eyes can balance and corroborate that hair colour. They are able to vouch for each other and seem believable on the same head. I’m not saying that Hanka should darken her hair, which I have never, ever seen improve a person. For most of us, our best hair is the colour we had around 25, when we’d settled into our Season but before we darkened with maturity, and then lightened a shade or two to soften the concentrated pigments of chemical colour. My opinion only, very open to being convinced otherwise. Like lipstick, though, wigs are an interesting means of ‘draping’ and seeing what happens. You can be surprised.
5. Do my eyes keep coming back to a too-bright lipstick, or am I looking at eyes, but having the lipstick in the same visual field and feeling good with that? The latter. Is the lip perfect, maybe not, but there are certainly some things about it that work.
6. Flip the lip colour to something nude. Does the face lose definition and freshness, or is it a relief? No relief, it would be boring and flat. I like lip intensity to approximate the intensity of hair and clothing, adjusting darkness a bit for complexion and occasion. On a lighter Season, our eyes would be stuck on these lips and keep coming back to the lips, unless we applied an effort we could actually feel to drag our gaze elsewhere.
7. Look at other things in the photo. They will have an effect, which is why PCA is done in a grey room. That wall plaque behind her may be throwing some heat into the skin. Does it feel like it belongs with her, could she wear a turtleneck that colour and would you feel good, or feel like “Uh, Hanka, have you got anything else to wear?” Maybe I’m not sure. You don’t have to always know. If I can’t make a decision with certainty, I don’t make it. I keep going. It might not be her best outfit, but something about it might work…the darkness level? the rosiness? Not sure. I like it better than the yellow-brown doorframe off to the right, and I feel better all of a sudden when I block it out with my hand.
8. Is the makeup just making the hair colour work? Again, not sure, but the face is not so different from the body, except that it photographs whiter as makeup always does.
9. If you have progressed far enough in your understanding of personal colour to agree that hair colour can be variable (even if you can’t get to admitting that it should have a place in the Season decision), if I showed you this woman first…would you still say Spring? Or were you really just seeing a blue-eyed blonde and got stuck in the trap they taught us oh, so, well, way back when.
PCA is about skin and one photo tells you next to nothing about skin. Colour is understood by comparison because pigments x, y, and z in your skin, though they look like everyone else’s skin, will react totally differently to colour A than Hanka’s pigments, or your BFF’s. Skin may all look similar, but it reacts differently. It can’t be predicted, expected, or assumed. Stereotypes are assumptions.