Here is an excellent question from K, one that I am asked often for most Seasons as some variation of,
Should All My Colours Be Equally Good?
In K’s words,
My question relates to the darker and cooler colours of the Bright Spring palette. Bright Spring was clearly the hands-down winner in the draping, so I don’t doubt that. However, despite really enjoying wearing the lighter and brighter shades in the palette, the cooler and darker shades seem “heavy” or “draining” somehow – the lighter ones seem to reflect more light off my face and “brighten” me up more. The darker and cooler colours also feel too serious or something. I am on the warmer side, so perhaps this could account for it…
I wondered if the darker colours were only supposed to be used in smaller blocks, or intermixed with the lighter values, in order to brighten them up? Or, should all of the colours in the palette look equally good in a large block under the face?
I also feel better in warmer, sunnier makeup, again seems less serious/formal than the cooler shades. I have tried to wear some of the cooler fuchsias as lipsticks, and it feels overdone and constrained somehow (although I do recall your comment about winter makeup being like housepaint on spring, so perhaps even if it’s a swatch match, the heaviness of the pigment/texture could throw things off)…?
These are good questions with some answers that apply to all persons of any Tone. Each woman and her own natural appearance will refine other answers. There is no one-size-fits-all when there are only 12 groups.
My first thought when I read the Q was, too dark for what? From K’s question, I take it that she’s asking about wearing the darker colours in large area, as she says, rather than whether they’re too dark to wear at all because they fall outside her own darkness range as a person within that Season. The second option can’t be it because the drapes measured her value (light/dark) range. They measured her heat level (hue) and chroma too. The Season is the name given the hue/value/chroma settings that she is herself, or the best harmonic match.
Think of your palette colours as the paint puddles on an artist’s hand board. They are the colours you will use to make an abstract painting.
No rule tells the artist that she has to use equal areas of each colour. The size of the colour elements in the painting will vary widely unless your composition is intended as a tablecloth of equal sized blocks. That’s not wrong. It can still have interest, emotion, and mood. But most of us don’t dress as coloured checkerboards. It feels somehow limited in the mind, restricted instead of expansive, not expressive of who we are as individuals. Our clothing choices tell others our story. A checkerboard is like a spreadsheet of us rather than a picture of our beautiful spirit.
could be good on an Autumn; I owned a T-shirt like this once, it was great
Every colour in any painting has a presence regardless of its surface area. Without that one thin black line, it’s a different painting. You notice one tiny yellow sail on one tiny boat in a big blue ocean landscape. You notice a woman’s nail polish or a miniature diamond within seconds. Could be the little areas attract more of our attention because they take more effort to be noticed.
We are not one block of colour to look at. In the eyes of others, we are the entire colour palette, every colour, all at once, all the time. Fan the thing out. There. That’s what the rest of us see when we look at you. Extracting one colour and wearing it as a solid block doesn’t repeat any person perfectly. The colours that are most natural and instinctive will be the ones that work best alone in large blocks. Though everyone has maybe 10 that are fantastic, the best of the best might be
- the undertone colour or close to it, like yellow orange on True Spring, or mulberry on Dark Winter
- representing the primary colour dimension, like antique mauve and silver smoke on Soft Summer
- sometimes repeating an eye colour, like flame gold and hot, rich green on True Autumn
- sometimes exemplifying the feeling of the Season, like bright and energetic on Bright Spring, or blossom colours on Light Spring
- the complement to the core colour, as purples on the five Spring-influenced groups, or a combination, such as periwinkle on Light Summer, that holds the blue of Summer and the purple of Spring and is heartbreakingly lovely
- and sometimes it’s beautiful and I’m not sure why: True Summer in soft fuchsia, watermelon red, or rose petal, with dangly, swirly silver earrings is plain gorgeous.
True Spring; no bold lines, the blocks are distinct by colour divisions; not misty, earthy, heavy, bold, geometric; instead, this is energetic, hippie, fun, busy, buoyant, and natural (where natural is not the same as earthy)
On a Bright Spring, the pure, fresh, spanking new colours will absolutely look better in a single block under the face than the business suit colours, even better if they’re shiny. Of course, they do. It would be odd and worrying if they didn’t. Bright Spring is defined by brightness and a good measure of lightness. It is expected that those types of colours would be automatic and easy. Bright means bright by any connotation of the word, including light, upbeat, clear, and vivid. Bright means intelligent too . Revlon Colorburst gloss 046 in Sizzle contains everything I mean – clear, intense, purely pigmented, just enough red to have kick. Every Bright Spring I know would be great in it.
Light colours are extremely visually attractive on Light Seasons. That’s the whole thing about that type of colouring. Light means light as buoyant and airy too. When you see dark colours on a Dark Season, conversation hangs for a few seconds. The mind is preoccupied with seeing. The Most Important Thing, TMIT, is not just most important for technical reasons. It’s also very organic. A colour-analyzed appearance is appealing to our intellect and intuition equally. The right and left brain hemispheres are equally fulfilled. For a second, the satisfaction is so high that nobody talks, like the first spoonful of dessert or sip of your favorite coffee, where one sensory system is 99% engaged.
Bright Spring; as busy or quiet as you like; more dark colours and/or small areas of black contribute to an overall darkness level that is darker than True Spring; pure pigments, still happy, bright, and fun; the composition speaks of movement, the colour blocks remain quite distinct; modern, clean, and stylized, less natural than a field of daisies or a wheat sheaf, more energy than a lily pad
The darker colours of the Bright Spring palette will not turn the person yellow, pale, shadowed, or otherwise distorted as colours of other dimensions, found in the other 11 Seasons, did. Worn alone, their mood may be too somber for the natural appearance. The feeling we attach to neutral colours and dark colours has more gravity than do the light and bright colours. For this reason, Bright Season people tend to look better in the shiny version of their colours than the matte side of the drapes.
Bright Spring contains Winter and that presence is important. When Winter steps into the warm Seasons to create its four Neutral Seasons, its effects are less subtle than when Summer steps in. The cooling and darkening are more noticeable. You can tell in the person. They look more contrasting, though not necessarily dark. Some aspect of the appearance or character may be exaggerated, like strength of eye colour, the sharpness of the planes of the face, sweetness on a dark person or intensely goal-driven tendencies in a light person.
William Shatner was like a True Spring Captain Kirk. Willing to be childlike and funny, with rounded edges. You’d be safe if you met him at a party. Chris Pine is the Bright Spring version. Edgier, more aggression, more contrast in the colours of eyes and coolness in skin, and you’d know to lock up your daughters. Point is, Pine is missing something if he dresses too safe. He needs the cooler colours and the darker colours to activate the bright, fun colours. Otherwise, he’s a boringly inauthentic version of himself. This applies to every Bright Spring I’ve ever seen, and I’m certain that includes K. Wear the cools and darks. Choose small areas but don’t leave them out.
Bright Winter; Winter’s presence is darker, sharper, balanced, and less reachable; for all Brights, the light element is clear, large, and holds the prominent interest and mood; the lines express the teardrop shape of Spring; this woman has a logical reason to flip up her eyeliner at the outer corner
What about a Soft Summer woman in a long navy dress? Even if it’s her navy, the dustiness really needs to be completely obvious, it’s TMIT after all, or the full impression risks being darker than she is. Her body will seem small in comparison to her neck and shoulders. The navy may even start looking darker than it is. The whole picture is like a willow tree top on a black flagpole. Thinking, “Well, I can see it’s muted where the fabric is sheer…” is not near muted enough.
As an aside, I can’t talk without them, you should try shopping with me, that straight solid vertical line says Winter to me, for no logical reason. Winter always feels like solid, still equilibrium. Solid, but not earthy. A marble statue is solid but not earthy. A pharaoh is solid and a little earthy. Maybe that’s why I keep the pharaoh visual in my head when I put on Dark Winter and True Winter eyeliner. Geronimo, Chief Tecumseh, they’re earthy. A Grecian column is still, neither earthy nor energized. It just is. None of them makes sense with flipped up eyeliner.
Back to the navy dress, with a silver gray shawl, sure, could be fine, but if the colour really is the darkest option in the swatch book, this is not the most beautiful painting I could put under a Soft Summer-coloured head, no matter how light or dark her hair colour.
Soft Summer is about this dark to look at
About the colours you saw yourself in during the draping process, where some looked more captivating than others:
The Test Drapes are not intended to be colours you buy, at least not the drapes that the new colour analysts from the training course are receiving. They are intended to be a little, hm, obnoxious. Terry and I looked for a colours where the other contestant colour would not be worn well, if at all, by the same person. The analyst is trying to make a decision, not suggesting you’ll be wearing these colours. If you’ve draped real human beings, you’ve seen how challenging these decisions can be. The drape colours, and you have many in our Test Drapes, push the extremes so the analyst is most supported in making the correct choice.
Dark Winter choices; top, bold colour in a neutral background ; middle, warms and cools together; lower, more colour, use of undertone colour, small areas of intense heat, spans white to black
The Test Drapes also allow the client to see who they’re not. I can babble on about saturation till the cows are home and fed. When my client understands what to never, ever put down $ for again happens when she or he sees the colour in textile. She develops a broad understanding of what Winter colours really look like, what pastels really are, and what muted actually means. If the drape colours are focused on being oh, so pretty, they can end up too similar. Wrong decisions might slip in.
True Spring; use as many or few colours as you like; the effect is sunlit, warm, natural, alive, moving, changing, safe, joyful
The Luxury Drapes and your swatch book colours are not ponchos. They do not look equally perfect in equal space under your face, though other analysts might disagree or have a different definition of perfect. **They are equally wearable without warping the overall harmony.** That is how they’re special. They allow you to narrow down to 1 out 12 the colours in the store that you have to choose from. In fact, they contribute with gigantic importance to the final harmony.
Four to eight of the colours are magic. At your analysis, they might not be the same 4 to 8 as the next woman of your Tone, though once an analyst gets used to her drape set, they usually are quite reproducible. They could be different between Sci\ART analysts, all of whom have different drape sets, so any two analysts would name the exquisite and confirming colours differently, as would the women you chat with online. We can say that none of the colours detracts in any of the ways your face demonstrated in wrong colour during the analysis.
Light Spring; you can feel the blouse, the texture, the scent, the necklace, the highlights; how lovely to be in the world and look like this
We can’t wear head to toe magic colours. A painting in only magic colours is both mundane and insane with nothing to set off the magic. We literally need grounding, as in ground colours. The rest of the colours take part in dimensional compositions that create a scene. They set up the lighting, give the eye a place to rest so it can take in the actors and the action, arrange the music almost to the point where you can hear a single note throughout the composition. They match and support the plot.
Dark Autumn; small areas of black; no white; a parchment effect, a bronzed impression ; corners; bold elements without being a modern geometric; more natural than modern/synthetic (which is Bright)
Really, colour is only definable by wavelength. Nothing else.
Colour as we see it is a massive optical illusion.
We cannot even know the truth of a line until we see it in its real colour. The real shape of a face, for instance.
That’s why the room goes quiet when the colours and the person connect, when the magic snaps into place. Because we need a minute to absorb what our eyes see and admit that before, we never saw what we were looking at. It’s a “So this is what she really looks like.” moment. Somebody might laugh. In the brilliant Cluetrain Manifesto, David Weinberg said that laughter is the sound that knowledge makes when it is born. The lens just focused on that human being. Once the colours and the person are on the same wavelength (literally), the full force of their nature is brought into the light (literally).
Light Summer; quiet grace, the optimism of the flower, swirly, no black lines, more colour or less colour is up to you
Whether your colouring is lighter or darker matters some, depending more on what your eye likes to see if you were looking at a woman who looks like you, rather than any rules someone sets down. The overall darkness level of the painting is nice when it’s the same as yours.
Your inherent contrast level – how big is the colour jump between your own big colour blocks, eyes, skin, hair – matters a little, but I think people get too hung up on it, at the risk of looking like they wear the same thing every day. Your Colour Book is like a 16 lane highway. Narrowing yourself down too much is like only driving in the middle lane. I don’t see being too careful about this making much difference for the better. You probably look better and more interesting than you think you do, in more colours than you think. If you are more medium in overall contrast, then insert a medium block of any size. Spend time expanding yourself to use your colour-analysis swatches all the way to the ends of every strip. Get out of the middle lane and try an off-ramp. It will be good.
True Summer; says who, water has to be blue? It can be silver gray, hydrangea purple, light misty blue, and cloudy day dark gray, better at the same time.
The warmth or coolness of your position in your Season does not affect which colours look better in clothing that I’ve ever seen. I actually like when warms and cools are worn together by Neutral Season people. It looks interesting, imaginative, and artistic. It gets that “How did you know how to do that?” thing going.
Warm or cool side colouring within a Tone can play a role in cosmetics in some people. Cosmetics are less predictable because they sit on your face and mesh with your internal pigments to result in a mixed colour. The same lipstick doesn’t look identical on two women of the same Season. The Seasons are too broad for that.
This aspect of your colours needs a little experimenting and custom-choosing, one woman at a time. Your Season is your center of gravity, which doesn’t mean you can’t move around without tipping over. Women often start where they’re most comfortable. Within a year, they decide to try an old too-cool lipstick again before they give it away and wonder, “Why did I think this was so bad? Why was it planted in my head that it is dark and purple? It’s neither one.”
Soft Autumn paintings; more Autumn geometry on top, great boots, an excellent handbag, a warmer overall feeling; in both, beautiful use of texture; bottom, an interesting way to bring in blue, as a pendant on a necklace
I sometimes wonder if we look for too many rules. Is there a line where we want to be told every aspect of how to dress, or how we do anything, by someone else, so that we don’t have to take on any responsibility for it ourselves? I’m all for getting advice on hair colour and makeup from colour analysts and other advisors who have a critical approach to colour and our appearance.
But there’s a difference between asking, “What looks good ON me?” and “What looks good TO me?” I can talk lipstick into the ground. What I love way more is the woman who tuned me out awhile ago and is thinking, “What would MY eyes like to see?”
True Winter? No. Too safe. This is nowhere on True Winter.
True Winter? Still no. Too much outward energy. True Winter is the Earth, and often a person, turned inward. For many Winters, empathy is a learned quality. Pent up energy, surging outward, but still cold, is Bright Winter’s feeling.
True Winter. The whites are so white, they’re blue. The black is the pitch of night. The number of colours is 1, elevated and undeniable. The feeling is contained but not gentle. This energy form is hearing its own rhythm.
At what point we insert our own opinion differs for each of us and no answer is wrong. The women and men who read here are brilliant and very far from being doormats. The fashion industry has made easy prey of us all. I get confused too and ask my kids what looks good on me.
I just wonder if we women have gotten so used to being told what to do that we’ve learned to like it. It’s easy. It’s familiar. It’s the devil we know. It would tick everybody around us off royally if we announced that from now on, we will think, choose, decide, and undertake on our own. Problem is, it keeps us stuck in someone else’s vision.
For me, beauty exists when I recognize the natural world I live in. Maybe that’s why I don’t find a lot of little detail attractive on certain types of natural colouring. We don’t see small detail in the dark (Dark Autumn and Dark Winter). We don’t see intricate detail from a distance (the 3 Winters).
I would rather you have hair colour and makeup in opposition to every word I’ve ever written a million times over before you let someone else tell you what you think. Or worse, what you feel. My answers, anybody’s answers, to how you wear your colours can only take you so far because they are neither right or wrong. Ask yourself, “What feels good TO ME?” Only there can YOUR right answers be found.
We have two themes in this article. One is to assemble outfits that are ‘off-Season’. It’s easy to find clothing in our 12 Tone palettes at certain times of year and near impossible at other times. The second is to introduce a new style voice, since I wonder if my outfits are a little repetitive.
My daughter, Ally, has more style in her little finger than I’ll find in my whole life. She’s Kibbe-innocent but can see whether lines match people instantly. Today’s Polyvores are from her perspective. I asked her to keep in mind that she’s dressing women of all ages, to which she replied, “No woman of any age needs to wear granny clothes and I’m not picking those.” Fair enough.
Ally’s also here to break a few rules. In her charming 17 year old way, she asked, “Why does anyone have to do what you say?” Point taken. Nobody does. You’ll find colours and styles you might not normally see.
Light Summer in December
True Summer in October
Any one piece may not be perfect. But the whole thing together works. As S., the student who arrives this week for the training course, so aptly pointed out, the word ‘match’ isn’t always appropriate. I use it too often. Whether your clothes match the swatches in your palettes, whether your lipstick matches your red belt, whether your sweater matches your hair – it doesn’t really matter so much. They need not be identical colours. They need only look like they live in the same harmonic field relative to the the whole composition.
The idea is to use colour to create a vision that is cohesive. All the elements are working together and with you. Everything has a good reason for being there. That’s how we look at paintings, landscapes, and other people. We don’t dissect the saturation of their blouse. So the vest above is on the dark side. So the pink backpack could be pinker. In the big picture, I’m not sure it would make an important difference. The parts are finding enough in common to stay together. Not unlike marriage, or any other relationship.
True Autumn in April
Yes, it really is this cold here in April.
It strikes me that we’re still just making Polyvores. This may answer part of our purpose, which is, how to wear muted, warm colours when everyone else looks like an Easter basket.
The other part of the question is, where do I go to find my colours in April when the stores are full of coloured candy floss?
- shop wider; I’ve actually begun buying things I find on Polyvore. As eBay is the world’s biggest yard sale, Polyvore is the world’s biggest shopping mall right in my house.
- buy online, always risky, but many allow free returns.
- shop all year round for all year round; within 6 months of your PCA, once it’s caught up with you, or you with it, you will keep most of your choices for years, and you’ll spend more per item because you’ll know it looks right and will work with the rest of your closet
True Winter in September (or March)
Any of us who knows both her colours and her body line finds shopping nearly as easy as it used to be. There’s no one-stop-shop any longer. We buy Christmas outfits in July, we are always looking. Other than True Winter and Soft Autumn, I don’t really dedicated stores for colours. Even for those groups, you’ve only got their (limited) design lines to select from.
By request, the Bright Spring Dramatic Classic
Dramatic Classic, where pouffy becomes maternity or Jack Sparrow. A rounded edge is Peter Pan.
What’s interesting here is that the Bright Seasons tend to have a lot of sweetness in the personality. I’ve heard them called pushovers but that comes from someone who’s only working from a traditional, narrow, male-based definition. Power wears many hats. These people are not mean, abrupt, rude, or rough. As the Bright Spring is a Spring, she will take things to heart. You can’t throw words around that you don’t mean. Being with her is an exercise in being happier and more gentle.
Dramatic Classic is not sweet in the traditional sense either. If anything, it’s a little sharp. If you began with the absolute average woman, DC isn’t closer to being the average child. It’s closer to being the absolute average man.
The intersection of the two is that Bright Spring’s colours and DC’s lines are both very clean. No extras, no gadgets, no fuzzy, no fluff. If you drew the outline, the edges would be sharp, no question where one thing ends and the next begins. Nothing fades into anything else. Absence of blur effect, noise reduction up.
I gave Ally a few colour words – lively, clean, same or opposite colours, a little bit of Winter, and the shape words – sleek, expensive, close, upside-down triangle or straight lines, and then just asked her to dress me. She didn’t read the book because we get too rigid about rules and end up in costumes. Her job was to pull together an overall effect.
Black is small, shiny, on the bottom half, with other elements that warm up the overall look. If black is in the top half, it takes up small surface area, it’s opened up like lace or pointelle, or there’s lots of skin.
Every item need not be sunny, there’s Winter here. But each vignette should say bright, alive, warm, crisp.
Something delicate really looks good. Crispness near the face looks good, it need not be especially yellow. Bulk with angularity looks clunky or spiky. Fine, thin crispness is good, like icicles.
Smooth, geometric, shiny, new, expensive – all work with the pearls, in a chunkier setting. The pearls are fine because the edges are defined, as feathers would not be. Those long dangling earrings, some DC’s might disappear them, but on a Bright Spring DC, they’d be great. The sharpness offsets the small size.
Hearts are an inverted triangle shape, as are teardrops, both great on Spring and DC.
The whole earring that sprays up – unless you know different stores than me, you’d never wear earrings. Chunky smooth pieces that sit close to the ear and have a solid presence on the ear lobe are good.
Mixed metals are good here when they’re shiny.
No platforms on shoes. Frankensteinish.
I normally would never wear a bow, but the asymmetric position of it is good. I like the design on that sweater, interesting with the blouse. One of those excellent combinations that nobody could do like Bright Spring.
I hope that you go to the site and make these images bigger. There are some really nice things here.
Every time I apply the 12 Tones of colours to a different medium, it’s like learning it all over again. Once you’ve learned to choose clothes, you figure makeup will be easy. Not so. It’s a whole new sorting experience. Students who come for the Analyst Training Course will bring a page of makeup swatches that we’ll classify to Season. We will also have a bag of fabrics and we’ll organize those. And they’ll think, “Does this ever get easier??” This is partly why I feel that those who are serious about their colours should own their swatches in more than one format.
Shopping in the Theoretical Universe
When one of the three colour dimensions (hue, value, chroma) changes in a colour, so do the other two. Maybe you’re looking at a green item and it seems a little less pure and more heathery than your swatches. You’re really not sure if it’s still in your Tone’s chroma range or not. Compare the item to your swatches based on something besides chroma.
Darkness level can be useful. If the Tone has definite upper value limits, like the Light Spring and True Spring (though really, they all do except the 3 Winters), this can exclude certain Bright Spring colours. The pastels of Summer have a fair bit of pigment, much more than the Winter icy light colours, so giving a light colour to Summer or Winter isn’t hard. The Winter ones are much closer to white.
Sometimes, the distinction isn’t so easy, especially between neighbour Neutral Seasons, meaning the 2 Softs, 2 Lights, 2 Darks, and 2 Brights. We have to go after what makes them most different. You have to get colour-specific because they’re too similar in terms of the 3 colour dimensions. Is one redder, greener, yellower, etc? Even with Trues and their 2 Neutral Seasons, it would be hard to distinguish True and Soft Summer by darkness. For some of the colours, the saturation difference doesn’t seem obvious, though it is there, because both are muted. True Summer is cooler, but ‘cooler’ is too generic. True Summer is bluer than Soft Summer. Even the blues are bluer.
Neighbouring Neutral Seasons are more accepting of one another’s colours without interfering with the overall harmony. They have the most important colour dimension in common – Light, Soft, Dark, or Brightness. They’re similar in value. The heat setting is close, one cooler, one warmer, which musn’t be discounted. One definitely looks better and one definitely looks worse, but there’s some willingness to compromise.
True cool Season palettes share no colours with their Neutral neighbours because the Neutrals contain a little heat, the one dimension where True cool Season skin won’t negotiate. There are definite detractions from appearance.
True warm Season palettes share no colours with their Neutral satellites because their Neutrals contain a little coolness, the one dimension where True warm Season skin won’t negotiate. The person doesn’t look as good in many little ways that, when added into a bigger picture, make a big difference.
So, why couldn’t the True cool Seasons share colours, like a True Spring wearing True Autumn colours, since they both respect the need for warmth? The theory seems sound enough – as long as the theory only recognizes this one single dimension, which isn’t how colour works. The result reminds me of one of Sherlock Holmes’ more famous quotes, from A Scandal in Bohemia,
It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly, one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.
Any two True Seasons have only one colour dimension in common: heat (Spring and Autumn), high saturation (Winter and Spring), coolness (Winter and Summer), low saturation (Summer and Autumn), lightness (Summer and Spring), and darkness (Autumn and Winter) . In an analysis, a person who looks good in Autumn and Summer is probably enjoying the softness of the colours. It’s the only thing the two Seasons share. The fact is that they differ in the other two. All three have to be bull’s eye perfect for ultimate harmony. True Seasons do not share colours no matter how dark blue the True Summer’s eyes are or how blonde the True Winter.
Winter colours on Summer people stick out. It’s hard to see anything else. Summer colours on Winter people are weak. Maybe a couple of each could slide by but the whole thing isn’t right. It fascinates me to no end how the Sci\ART drape colours that Kathryn Kalisz assembled are not always exactly to be found among her swatches. And yet, the harmony with the Tone is unmistakable. I think of True Autumn’s famous schoolbus yellow, beloved by many who have been draped with it. It’s not exactly in the True Autumn swatches. You might even think it’s in the Bright Spring group. Lay all the fabrics out together and you’ll see that the colour belongs with True Autumn.
So many of Conan Doyle’s character’s quotes apply to PCA. From The Sign of Four,
I never guess. It is a shocking habit,- destructive to the logical faculty.
Colour analysts do not guess. You know or you don’t. If you’re not absolutely sure, don’t call it. Say the truth, “I don’t know.” Fine, we’ll figure it out some other way, but don’t bring in a mistake that will carry through the rest of the analysis. People send me photos and I say, “I do not know.” When I was in medical school listening for heart murmurs, the students would say “I think I hear a murmur.” And the Scottish professor who had seen it all or the genius woman who led the surgical department, they replied, “Pick one. Either you hear it or you don’t. Commit.” Colour analysis is not guesswork. It takes some confidence. You have to know when to open-mindedly yet politely ignore the client the way a doctor does with rambling medical histories and pages of internet self-diagnosis. It’s not that the ramble contains no value or truth, it’s just that given the facts of the patient’s condition (or colouring) and the facts of symptoms and illness (or colour classification), some of their conclusions cannot be correct. In our training, we will cultivate the strength of your convictions.
And from so many of the stories, the most immortal quote of all, for the I-look-just-like-my-Soft-Autumn-sister who drapes to be a True Winter:
“… and when you have eliminated all which is impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”
The Neutral palettes will compromise on heat level as long as their important dimension is respected. Keep colour dark, and Dark Autumn skin says, “A trace cooler, a trace warmer, a trace more saturated, I’ll play along. Your total look won’t fall apart.” If colour goes light, Dark Autumn skin says, “Sister, get it right or you’re done like dinner.”
Keep colour light and Light Summer skin says,”Stick with the cooler of Light Spring’s colours and it won’t be a big deal. They’re all pretty light in the big picture of white to black. Yes, OK fine, Light Spring is a bit yellower, so don’t plant a big block of it right under your chin, but your harmony won’t self-destruct.” Once colour goes dark, Light Summer skin says “There will be no good choice. We won’t like anything we see in the mirror. You did pretty well in the True Summer drapes, arguably your closest runner-up, till they turned dark and we took a wrong turn.”
Back to the topic, choosing blue for True Spring. It’s kind of tricky because blue is inherently associated with coolness. Many have trouble with True Spring blue. I would guess that the difficulty arises between True and Bright Spring. The other Seasons’ blues are quite different. Is Bright Spring blue just bluer? Yes, partly, and as the amount of blue increases, so does the darkness. Other things change too. Red is arriving in Bright Spring. Yellow is moving out. Pigments are not being muted. They’re so pure, they’re almost synthetic. True Spring still looks from-nature, without the sense of the Brights’ “Whoa blue.”
By the time we add enough yellow to colours to create a True Spring group, the most yellowed colours of all, there’s not much blue or red among the swatches. They’ve turned into turquoise and coral. But True Spring does have some blue that harmonizes perfectly with the other colours. It’s very blue but not as blue as it could be (which would be closer to Bright Spring) and not very dark.
Bright Spring blues are not just more saturated than True Spring. They’re redder by the arrival of Winter (so purplish) or less yellow (so without a green or teal quality that True Spring’s darkest blue has) . When you compare them side by side, the individual colours in the palettes are not as similar as the whole palette appears to be. This is a hard call though, if you only look at one palette. So if there’s one palette where you get hung up, buy it. Make sure you know the difference. Learn to trust your eyes and your taste too. If the blue item doesn’t disrupt your beautiful harmony, then it will probably be just fine, especially if the colour block isn’t too big.
Shopping in The World As We Know It
Got all the talking out of my system. I’m scanning the Polyvore layouts looking for True Spring blue.
I want colour. As I look, I think ‘lots of blue, lots of blue’.
There should always be more colour than darkness to perceive in all of True Spring. More colour and a feeling of sunshine. Yellow sun shining down on blue would make it look a little green IF you compared the blue to a redder blue. It leans a little turquoise/teal, not red/violet, to harmonize with the rest of the composition, or palette.
Remember that colours on every monitor look different. We’ll think more about comparisons than absolute colours. I started this post about 10 times and kept changing everything till I only worked on it in the same two hour slot each day. Imagine how long that took.
1 looked pretty good, but too dark. It’s saturated, so must be Winter or Spring. Spring’s blues aren’t red. If anything, they’re greenish, presumably from all the yellow in them. Winter’s colours are redder. I’d put this in Bright Spring as their second-darkest blue.
2 is too hazy for True Spring. It’s too dark for Light Spring and a little too saturated (too much blue) for True Summer. It also has a green quality, meaning it must be heated with yellow or gold, which True Summer isn’t. It’s in between the warmer and cooler darkest blues of Light Summer.
3 is not saturated enough for a Spring. It’s also more pink-mauve. I’d put it in Light Summer.
4 is interesting. It’s reddish, making it look a little purple. Means Winter. Too light for Dark Winter. I’d see it between True and Bright, closer to Bright.
5 doesn’t have the slight greening of True Spring’s darkest blue. Looks to me like Bright Spring’s darkest blue. A true blue that is obviously no black.
6 is more saturated than 3 but not enough for True Spring. I see haziness. Must be Light Spring. Amazing how hard it is to gauge colour in different lighting, ay? And across different textiles.
7 is hard. Doesn’t seem red enough for True Winter. The saturation is very high, leaving the Brights and Dark Winter. It feels too saturated for Dark Winter. Not sure. Probably be alright for all 3 Winters. I’d need to see the item surrounded by gray under full spectrum lights to decide for sure.
8‘s shine is making it look lighter than it is. I could imagine Light Spring’s darkest blue. Looks like it could be bluer, like it’s not at full saturation. It’s not True Spring blues which lean to green, and not dark enough to be Bright Spring’s dark blues. Bright Spring dark blues are greenish or reddish. This is pinky, like Summer’s mauve undertone.
9 is heathered. It lives between Light Spring and Light Summer.
10 is a good contender. It could be Bright Spring too, better if it were a trace more violet. Bright Spring is a Neutral Season. Like all Neutral Seasons, they have warm and cool version of colours including blue. Bright Spring has a greener blue and a redder blue.
11 is nice, ay? makes me think of Japanese art, those blossoms on branches. The blue could be good for True Spring. The flowers that go to white and black moves the item into Bright Spring or Winter, but the blue doesn’t have the red-violet quality of Winter’s effect on blue.
12 has yellow and significant haze, so a Summer. It’s a sunny day, not a shady one, so Light Summer. But it’s too desaturated for Light Summer. Maybe it’s at the low end of that Tone. If we pretend the light on it is a little cooler, it would be True Summer.
13 has yellow and more pigment, still hazy. It feels better in Light Summer.
14 is a little too saturated for Light Summer, it could be Light Spring.
15 is yellowed too much for Light Summer, looks like Light Spring.
16 is very close to white. One of the Winters get that.
17 Well, gosh, Light Spring? It’s a little too red for Light Summer and a lot too red for Soft Autumn. Not dark enough for True Autumn. My gosh, are you feeling exhausted? In Light and True Spring, those orchid purples appear. But it’s dusty. Maybe Light Summer is better. I feel all tired out now. In the same way that there are lines of garments that make sense on nobody, I guess there are colours that are right in none of the 12 Tones. That colour is making me feel weird.
18 isn’t lots of blue. What I get first is dusty, then dark. Soft Summer. Thank you, goddess, easier one.
19 could be True Winter. It’s not at full max sat like 22 and it’s reddish. You’re not alone in finding this really hard and I have all 12 Colour Books.
20 True Spring, oh, please? Nope. Not greenish and a little too dusty. If I had to say, does it lean green or purple, I think, “Shoot (or a word with similar first sound), I don’t know.” I hold up the True Spring swatch book and the blouse turns pinkish. I see a marketing opportunity here. We could sell pieces of cool, neutral, and warm gray. You could hold your garment up to it and watch them change each other. This top looks like Light Spring.
21 is Soft Autumn, right? I’m not so sure. It’s a little too colourful and not dark enough. Amazing too how hard it is to judge one colour dimension when the other two aren’t constant, as in, how hard it is to tell which of two colours is lighter when their saturations are not the same. Soft Autumn is less saturated and more dark. Light Spring purple is more decided about itself, it’s is either bluer or redder. Light Summer? Yes, probably.
22 could be True Winter in the light areas, aggressively blued with definite black feelings. The saturation is so high that I think of a Bright Winter. Shopping in the real world is like searching for the lost world of Atlantis.
23 is True Summer. I pick up no heat, or hardly any. It goes a little darker than True Summer at the bottom and the top blue part is not quite as freshly cooled. Soft Summer would be fine here, though her blues are a touch warmer, and her lighter blue-gray is less blue. Whatever. We are going to have no clothes unless we cut ourselves a little slack.
24 could be True Spring quite well (or Light Spring). The aqua writing is too blue for True Spring (would be greener) and works better in Light Spring.
25 Stark white, high contrast stripes means there’s Winter in it. The blue is too blue for True Spring. The two Bright Seasons could manage this but they would want to add sunshine to the overall look. Too saturated for Dark Winter. Could be True Winter.
26 Light Spring. Groan. I have to believe this is getting easier. For True Spring, it would need a faint green tinge and no dusty quality. This has a red tinge. I know that because I held the True Spring book up to it and the item looked even redder. But I gotta say, it’s so close.
The other confusion might be with True Autumn, but there’s no problem here. True Autumn blue is redder (purpler, actually), duller, and darker. I figure the purple must come from making gold (Autumn) from the yellow primary, since gold is added to Autumn colours. Adding purple would mute and darken yellow. Then, adding gold (purpled yellow) to blue makes darker, muted, purply blue. True Spring’s darkest blue is not as dark as True Autumn’s, and it’s a little green (from all the yellow of Spring), not a little purple. Autumn mostly has teal and brick, what happened when all the gold was added to blue and red.
27 Enough fooling around or we’ll be here all night. 27 is good. I’m using 36 as my reference red-blue in this panel. 27 one leans green.
28 is one of those pieces that would keep me wondering why. Why does it look like a strapless dresss with an undershirt? That orange stripe would captivate my attention and I’d be stuck. Not everything has to make sense of course. Like my liking of yellow-beige stone with plum doors for a house. Just put it here randomly.
29 Bright Spring. Too light for True, and tending red. Plus, details are silver.
30 I can feel a tough one coming on. Too blue for True Autumn and Dark Autumn. Must be an Autumn, though, it feels muted and earthy. What’s too blue for Autumn and still muted? Summer is. This is too blue for Soft and True Summer. Wouldn’t be Light Summer, would it? It’s a trace dark, but as Sherlock says, once you’ve eliminated the probable… Honestly, it doesn’t feel altogether harmonizing with Light Summer’s freshness and it’s somewhat dark. How about Soft Autumn? It’s a little too blue, but it feels more belonging. Is that just the cut? If it were a sheer blouse or shiny taffeta, would I have an altogether different feeling? This textile reflects light in a way that mutes colour. One thing I hoped this post would illustrate: We post photos of ourselves in a Light Summer colour when we’re really in Soft Autumn. I get sent photos of a woman comparing Light Summer and Bright Winter, and the colours she’s wearing are off for both. Maybe by just a hair but it changes the whole skin reaction, just as it changes the perception of a garment. Photos and I don’t get along. My other point: sorting drape colours accurately is hell on wheels. Understandable why analysts have trouble agreeing.
31 is OK. A bit light and better by colour in Bright Spring. The lace is rough, which makes the saturation look lower, which would place it in True Spring.
32 Quite blue for a True Spring or True Autumn. Not enough chroma for the 3 Winters. Too saturated for a Summer blend. Dark Autumn?
33 Heart be still, it seems fine. Lots of blue, not too dark. Navy isn’t something I agonize over. I organize it in fairly dark and dusty (Summer, ease up on darkness for Lights), really dark and saturated (Winter), not dark and very blue (Spring, more dark for the Brights), and there are better choices (Autumn).
34 Thanks be to Jesus!!!, another good one.
35 is good. Lots of blue, not max blue, not too dark. How do I know it leans green? Because I’ve given myself a reference point, which is 36. In a store, do the same. Gather up a bunch of close colours. Your eye will sort them automatically.
36 is a red-blue. Would be True or Bright Winter. It on the darker side and not fully saturated, as True Winter is, but I can look at it again and think, “No, no, Christine, you ding-dong, the darkness is fine for Bright Winter. It just needs a trace more chroma.” Holy cow, who cares? There are 30 million worse blues you could wear.
37 Put the kettle on, dolls. It’s good.
I met with Chantal* and Rita* within a month of each other.
Chantal’s hair is cut in a short, wash and wear style. The top layer is very yellow, while the hair beneath is medium-dark brown, entirely natural. She is in her late 50s and will probably still have yellow hair in 20 years. Makeup took away 15 years and showed us a very defined bone structure, with high cheekbones and a nose that tips up at the end. Her expression is focused, questioning, and very alert. A personal colour analysis (PCA) long ago said Spring, which we agreed seemed reasonable. She loves colours. Where most women arrive wearing black or no-commitment colours, she had on a lovely green blouse.
Rita expected to hear Light Summer. She does appear fair, with blue-looking eyes and medium brown hair, coloured to a red-gold colour that works surprisingly well, a bit like rose gold jewelry. Although seemingly light of skin, hair, and eye, it was something about her expression and the shape of her features that put the geisha image in my head. Young, exotic, yet apart, on a Caucasian woman in her 40s.
These women have a lot in common. They live practical lives and make practical choices. Both are sensible, serious, organized, quiet, thoughtful as in pensive, and introspective. Neither is rapid in their movements, impulsive, random, giggly, youthful (except to look at), overtly cheerful, or chatty. Nor are they blunt, direct, or sharp in the slightest. They are very polite, pleasant, and hold their cards close.
On meeting them, the impression is light and warm, except that the intensity of the eye in the face is compelling, rather than blending evenly into the face and equally with the other features. The eyes seem like ‘more’. This is not an impression I get from the brown-eyed Bright Spring, maybe because hair is usually darker and the overall look is more balanced.
In the world of 12 Season colour analysis, the natural colouring known as Bright Spring takes its pigmentation from the Spring qualities of colour (warmed by yellow, pure colours, not very dark). Winter has a little say, causing the colours to be cooler, redder, bluer, darker, and even more pure than Spring alone. Bright Spring is a colour rush.
Accepting Bright Spring, or any Season, from the draping is usually easy. It’s a done deal by the time we’re finished. 9 in 10 people can easily see their appearance change. It is what it is. The makeup is harder to accept. The conundrum of “I don’t recognize myself.” and “That woman in the mirror looks fantastic. Why is she acting like me?” takes time to sort out internally.
The book RTYNC (in the right column) and the documents I send clients (similar to the book, but they continue to evolve as I learn and widen my own experience) suggest that Bright Spring looks most consistent with their natural appearance when they dress as activated, energized, bursts and squirts, crazy zigzags, a sunny morning after a freezing rainstorm,
combined with the delicate, a chandelier, gold foil, tinsel, cinnamon heart candies,
and the young, a large or small shiny coloured purse (Bright Spring is not medium), hairbands, sheer coloured tights, and mod looks. A little sharper than Twiggy daisies.
Cirque du Soleil. The motion, physical vitality, and adrenaline of the trapeze. Coloured spotlights. Body paint.
What if you’re really a denim and khakis, Old Navy T-shirts, practical jacket, medium black purse, brown suede slip-ons kind of woman? What if you just like to look medium and not one of those qualifiers connects with you at all?
Some questions came up.
1. Can you confirm that colour 3.3 (from the True Colour Australia Colour Book) is a very dark brown? What would you call it?
Yes, but to me equally gray as brown. I think of the colour of a seal. Bright Spring’s grays and browns are uncommon, very hard to find in cosmetics, and don’t have easy associations for names. They’re just colours I memorize and look at again often. Most important, the colour is not earthy.
2. What is the difference between black and coal?
The image of coal is to illustrate the darkest black&white gray possible before flipping to solid, dense black.
3. I noticed that you show lots of gray shoes in the emails while the book suggests using hair colour to choose shoes – I would feel more comfortable with the yellows and browns of my hair colour as I’m not a big fan of gray – do you see that as a good choice for me? And is this boot close enough to my hair colour, which is darker underneath? I’m not sure I can see myself trying to find or wear light yellow boots/shoes! If this is too tan, too earthy, is there a way to work with that?
The boot Chantal asks about, above, is here at Roots Canada.
Overall, I think they’re fine. No two women will wear their colours the same way. I like that the boots are not too dark, orange (a bit orange, but lots of yellow), or lumberjack, with heavy treaded soles or cowboy feelings. Your energy isn’t really mesa or Cheyenne. These just feel natural, which is how you feel to interact with. You have no pretense or drama in what you choose to share. So in that sense, I like their authenticity and ease. The boots don’t feel like they have something to prove and neither does Bright Spring.
They are quite warm in colour, warmer than you are. They may not go perfectly with your new clothes colours, even if the clothing style is great with the boots. Wearing your hair and eye colour is one of those areas where women have to decide for themselves. I find that it can get you into problems when you interpret your hair or eye colour incorrectly, which we all do, all the time. Eyes have 20 colours in them at least. Hair is not a good indicator of Season, but it does have the same warmth setting as everything else about your colouring. This is common with True Winters who have apparently warm eyes and hair – if they wear those colours, their skin turns yellow, and there is conflict with the rest of the outfit.
For Bright Seasons, hair colour is the most difficult to understand and replicate. If the colour swatches show more gray, it’s because you are at that coolness level. Brights look poor in brown eyeshadow unless it’s the cleanest colour (no orange, no muted, no earthy). True brown can become mud on these faces. The clarity of your pigments can turn even medium browns into looking heavy and clumpy. But it’s important not to discard every item – I would wear these boots for sure, just with the warmer colours of your palette so they don’t seem like outsiders.
How about the choice above, linked here, also at Roots Canada?
4. I’m having trouble seeing myself as a high contrast person. Is this something that I take on faith as revealed by the drapes or can you help me to recognize this in myself?
No. 1: If we define contrast as distance between lightest light and darkest dark, then you’re a medium to medium-high contrast person. You don’t go to white or black. That’s value contrast. Now, your eyes are extremely intense in your face, giving a sense of a pretty wide span from light to dark, as you have, but not maximum.
Position white and black in your head. Now put a dot at a darkness level around medium. That’s the overall darkness effect you’re aiming for. You’ll achieve it using a span from yellowed-white to coal. Clearly, light and medium colours will be necessary, and the more dark you use, the more light you balance it with.
Above, medium value contrast, yellows with blues, sharp line distinctions in the foreground. Bright, sunny, warm. With every bit of black that’s inserted, the whole thing dies a little. Save it for tiny bits just to sharpen the edges and bring focus.
No. 2: There’s also colour contrast, distance apart on the colour wheel between two colours. You are colourful to look at. Your natural pigments are quite far apart (yellow hair with blue eyes, on some, we see light skin with golden brown eyes), which is why I find complementary colours so good to look at on warm Seasons. They are a logical extension of the natural appearance.
Medium value, sharp edges, a trace of black, neutrals with colours, the pants and T-shirt, the blouse and the earring.
No. 3: I like to see very sharp, clean edges between colour blocks on Brights because that’s what you look like, not all fluffy and blended and soft. That’s not contrast per se, but sharp divisions look more contrasting (is there line contrast?), it’s just a way that clear colours look good. You are moderately sharp to look at (bone structure, eye intensity, haircut is not feathery). Clean edges are a logical extension of the natural appearance. If you follow the guidelines you are made of, your clothes become yours for a reason. They seem connected with you.
This is Bright Winter – simpler, symmetric, darker, colder, with only a faint warmth. Black is half or less of the whole or the whole thing dies a little. Black sucks in light in itself and steals it from everything around it – almost shameful with the purity of the Bright Season colours, and a delicate balance even for Bright Winter because the light is faint and will lose the fight with a black wall.
You really can mix and match quite freely in your Colour Book, aiming for an overall darkness effect that’s about medium (there! a medium thing about Bright Spring). Allover light or dark isn’t so good. You are not monotone to look at. Inserting a colour somewhere is always necessary. Inserting a big colour block plus another one is even better.
Whether it’s lightest with darkest or medium with medium doesn’t matter too much. Your Colour Book duplicates your inherent lightest to darkest range exactly so you’re safe moving around in it. If I were to do the Colour Equations again, I’d lighten Bright Spring up even more, with bright blue, stone, or white pants. The only groups that make any sense to me in white pants (their white) are the Brights. True Winter, it would depend on how it was done.
In the client’s document, I changed two paragraphs to read this way:
This is Spring-like colour worn in a Winter’s way – meaning that you will wear your bright, clear, warm colors best, but using 2 or 3 different colours at once, and with moderate contrast, not as high as a real Winter would wear. Contrast defines how much distance exists between the lights and darks. High contrast implies that you wear the lightest lights and the darkest darks together. You are fine in these combinations, and equally good when combining your midtones.
With colour this bright, especially if the line between the colour elements is very crisp, they will look contrasting. They will not be like a watercolour swirl, which creates the problem of grayed colours when complements combine, quite opposite to the properties of the colours you are made of. You probably have medium-high extremes of lightness and darkness in your skin/hair/eyes, so you would repeat that in clothing and makeup to look balanced. Your palette does the thinking for you in this regard in that it comes close but not all the way to black and white.
5. You didn’t mention pearls as a choice for Bright Spring – I have a simple strand – will it work?
Anything will work. Like diamonds on a Soft Season, it’s not a natural fit but that doesn’t matter. Wear them anyhow if you love them. This is how you make your Season yours, your personal brand of dissidence that lets us know you better. It has to work for you, not the other way round. I know a Light Summer woman, the epitome of gentle grace, who wears the most beautiful, large rounded oval, slightly dangly, super sparkly, aquamarine earrings. It’s brilliant. It says to me “I love my life so much that I can’t hold it all in.”
No matter what we do, as gardeners, cooks, doctors, Seasons, we learn the discipline, we figure out the shortcuts and what we can get away with. Then, we decide how we’re going to break the rules or mould them to suit what we bring to the game. That’s just life lived with complete freedom of expression.
6. I have a sweater in yarn that combines several bright colours, alternating the colourful yarn with stripes in a dark / neutral colour. Would it be more flattering to stick to a solid colour?
Brights look great with many colours at once, just not blended together (blending colours causes either a watercolour effect, or the graying of mixing complementaries that makes the muted colours of Autumn and Summer). Side by side complementary colours or with a neutral colours, both are terrific on you. Stripes give energy.
There is a taste factor. You might like your colours blended together and that’s not wrong, just not what my eye prefers because it’s hard to maintain the high purity of each pigment. Be careful that the yarn isn’t comfy/chunky/heavy looking, especially if you’re working in neutral colours. It risks getting too homemade looking in that Autumn homespun way. Pick something young, Angora, sparkly, smooth. It should not look back-to-the-land. It should look brand new. Fun colours are always better on you, since colour is like your neutral.
A blue-eyed Bright Spring is very colourful to look at.
Your hair, eyes, and skin come together like this. You are beyond just colourful. You are coloured in complementary colours (blue eyes, yellow hair). That’s an extreme, or a type of contrast. So is light, warm hair on top, dark, cooler hair beneath, another type of contrast. The warm-cool in the colouring at once is true of all Neutral Seasons, but quite bright and alive here. To the viewer, it feels energetic and young.
On Bright Seasons, colours seem more at home than neutral grays and browns. Colours become your neutrals. Every Season has its extremes and only that type of colouring is completely at home and at ease in them. As Susan said so well, black is dressy, but only on True Winter is it casual wear. That’s what ‘at home’ means. It is that easy that it becomes your anytime, anywhere, the one thing you don’t plan around, where you can hide and relax. Having said that, nobody is at their best in head to toe black. Nobody.
Black is only thought to be dressy. Usually, it’s detracting. It can make textile look more expensive, yes. It is easier for marketers to sell us a ton of one thing than have to keep changing production lines, yes. The Dark Winter wears it well enough since it’s dark, but it begins to transform into the solid wall that it is on everyone but True Winter, so they warm it up. Walls are not entirely foreign to Dark Winter’s energy.
On Bright Winter, there are no walls, there is excitement. They are better in white than black, and a so-slightly yellowed white. Black shouldn’t be more than half the overall look. Thankfully, both Chantal and Rita knew to avoid it. As Bright Springs, a thin stripe of it here and there is fine but not more than that or it does what it always does – makes the colours dead. It sucks in all the light around it, which is an absolute shame for Bright Spring, the clearest, brightest colours that exist. The overall effect is gasping for sunshine.
7. I was very surprised to read that Spring is strongly associated with triangles and diamond shapes. I feel more drawn to squares in fabric (linen plaids, cotton madras, cotton checkerboard print) and rounded shapes in jewelry (beads, hoops, circles). Any comments?
Your preference. Those shapes are what I feel. Some see triangles as a Winter shape. Squares express more practical, natural, durable, serious, productive energy – maybe truer to how you have seen yourself for the last 20 or 40 years. Could be that the next 20 will be a little different.
Four years after my PCA, I was able to pull in the drama of Winter and could tell where the Enough line was. I couldn’t have done it 3 and 1/2 years ago. It cannot be assimilated in a week, a month, or a year. But you do continue to move closer to your center, hear your guides more clearly, and choose what is and is not the real you.
8. I’m having trouble thinking in terms of adding fun to my clothing. Suggestions of nylon, satin, trims, ruffles!! sound very girly, not a look I’ve ever worn or feel very comfortable with – any suggestions as to how I can approach this?
Bright Winter and Bright Spring read the style suggestions and see this
All I’m saying is that you’re not this. She is beautiful on someone else.
Start with the colours. Only the colours. Stay inside the lines you are comfortable with today. Pretty soon, they will loosen up and you’ll find some extra breathing space inside them. You might try yoga clothes instead of gardening clothes, as an example. The clothes at Lululemon, Athleta, Title Nine, MEC are often superb on Bright Spring and way better than rugged wear.
There is no need to ever get fancier than that. Nylon is a windbreaker. Satin might be a scarf. Forget trim and ruffles, and glitter. Not everybody does everything. The point is to get energy, as movement and saturated colour, into your look. Workout clothes give you that.
9. My biggest challenge is with the repeated descriptions of Bright Spring as light, delicate, charming, and adorable. When I read these descriptions it starts to feel like maybe I’m not really a Bright Spring after all. Could we have made a mistake?
The most aggressive woman I know sees herself as nurturing. It shocked her beyond belief to learn that in the character assessment at work, every single person pulled out the Highly Competitive card. A very controlling Soft Autumn. Bit odd. And yet, she is absolutely nurturing.
A True Summer of very classic proportions, in fact quite straight in the hip, sees herself as extremely curvy. In her view, she is aggressive, masculine, direct, bold, a walking firecracker. Yes, well, I could go with endlessly seeking. She has no risk aversion though, which is not really a Summer thing.
We get mixed up about ourselves. More important, we are hugely complex. There are only 12 Season groups. Just playing the numbers, factor in 100 personality traits at high, medium, and low levels, parenting, environment, birth order, experience – you wouldn’t have 12 possible combinations, you’d have 12, 000, 000. Still more important, the 12 groups are not organized around character, they’re organized around colour.
Could I have made a mistake? Sure. Anyone can, anytime. But I don’t think I did. We’ll drape you again if you want. Free. Just bring someone with you. I don’t talk much the second time unless I think I got it wrong.
You have a great deal of Winter in your character. You are certainly curious, analytical, and interested. You have the youthful appearance/hairstyle/feature shape associated with childhood, so there would be great continuity if you wore that but you don’t have to. You may find some of that a year from now. You may prefer to express more distance and reserve and less party, just as you are.
Don’t struggle or try to chase it, you’ll just push it further away, like chasing money. Try not to overthink it or you’ll extinguish all your abilities to feel it. Leave it there and explore stepping around your borderlines in ways that feel good. Release any effort at trying to control it. Trust that it will happen, don’t feel that you need to know how. Your mind took it in when your eyes did – remember how that happened during our PCA session? We were learning it together just by seeing it happening. A few words at the beginning and then we could feel it.
10. If it sounds like my thoughts and feelings are whirling around – they are!
They’re supposed to. In our short time together, we had to pull apart everything you thought you knew about your colouring, right back to absolute zero, to the point where you could say, “I do not know what is going to happen next.” Then, we built it all back up again with the blocks lined up correctly. It is a lot to take in.
To learn, you have to unlearn. What we think we know pretty well is usually where we are weakest.
To learn truth, you must surrender what you believe to be truth. Ask anyone who’s had a PCA. You get enough proof to get rid of a lot of stuff fast and make space for the real and the right. It’s a shock to the system.
To gain control, we must first surrender control. Control is only an illusion. Trying to get it is what keeps us tired.
To gain power, we must surrender power.
To empower ourselves with new truths is bound to evoke resistance. We will come up against it every single day. In detaching and deciding, we become free and open thinkers.
I know that I overwhelm you with information during and after a session with me. Everyone learns differently and I don’t know what will click with you. I want you to leave a different person than the one who walked in, on every level, not just your lipstick choice. These reflections, the expansion, the open-ness, the wonder and the wondering, they will carry over into every aspect of your life.
Begin with the colours, bringing them closer to your body as nail polish or a beach towel. To the viewer, they still look like part of your energy field. In time, less serviceable items may be easier to replace with brighter combinations or prints that feel too risky today.
Keep asking me questions. I need it to know where you could use some help. Helping you in real and tangible ways is what I am here to do.
And remember the whole point of your personal renovation (Chantal’s excellent words):
Add Joy to the Journey, to every little glimmer, every success, every little deeper understanding.
The first draft of the Training Guide came back from my wonderful editor. Iryna, my equally wonderful book formatter, is waiting to start but I still have some work to do. I’ve been keeping my head down and not attending to posting articles and answering comments as I should. My apologies for that.
I should sound more excited because I am. I’m really looking forward to these training events – maybe especially the part where we put our feet up at the end of each day, have a glass of wine, and share some informal conversation. That and going across the street (from the hotel in London ON) to swatch makeup at Sephora. It’s going to be good.
I’m not going to talk much today. Many have asked for the 12 Colour Equations from the book, Return to Your Natural Colours (linked over in the right column) to be posted all in one place. Here, they be. Any that have appeared previously have a link to that article posted with the title. Explanations are in the articles and/or the book itself.
A reminder that these palettes went through Photoshop’s colour model, my computer, the servers, and your computer before you saw them. At each step, they changed a little. No two readers are seeing the same thing. Don’t use them to buy clothes or makeup. Use them as comparison with the eleven others. To choose your colours and know your true darkness range, use your 12 Tone swatch book. Nothing else is calibrated right.
Use them to notice how my taste prefers to see neutral colours used, the overall degree of colourfulness, the use of complementary colours (to each other and to the skin undertone), and the gradual or sharp flow between colours. The geometric figures make it hard to impossible to illustrate watercolour diffusions between colour blocks, so for that, you need to read the book or other sections of this website.
If you see light icy gray, feel free to sub in diamond and platinum, certainly neutrals for you. These also can be used in place of white to set the high contrast range with black.
Very purple, this Tone. Not much red, but a lot of pink, fuchsia, and purple. No. 5′s purple is also a near neutral colour for True Winter, more magnificent than black against the skin tone.
In the article Colour Equations Dark Winter.
Easy one. Shoot the sat up to 98-100%. Small areas of complementary colours. Something has to be happy, which means a little random (repetitive=predictable=work=Autumn)
, but not too happy. If it gets too happy, rein it in. Move it darker. Make the pattern repeating. Bright Winter is the “Life is a party. So, how come I’m not having fun?” paradox.
Something has to be delicate too. Add significant jewels profusely. Jewelry is your normal.
And shiny shoes and purses. Super shiny is also your normal.
The original is darker and more saturated in Photoshop. They lose when they’re uploaded. As dark as the belt inset in #1 feels right.
In the article Dark Autumn CE and Apparel.
In the article Light And True Spring Neutral Colours at the Office and CE.
True Spring is a (2 colour + 1 neutral) or (2 neutrals + 1 colour) look. Actually, that’s probably everyone’s best way to use neutrals, but when you wear the 2 colour, they can both be equally sized if you choose (others might use 1 large and 1 smaller block), and they can be complementary or at least quite different colours (others would wear colours of the same family or neighbours on the colour wheel). When you wear the 1 colour look, make it a bright one, not one of the gentler ones.
In the article Light And True Spring Neutral Colours at the Office and CE.
Not happy with that one, it uploaded at the very low end of the saturation possibility. The bigger problem is that it looks too warm. True Summer hinges on absolute coolness. Try again to give a better sense of the darkness and saturation levels. Darn, now Soft Summer looks too light. It’s all about comparison.
In the article Light Summer CE and Being Not Pale.
Also in the book RTYNC, I write an equation called Undertone Colour for each of the 12 Tones that describes how I see my version of the 12 undertones happening. The undertones are shown in the top right corner of the 12 colour layout pages. Below is a graphic that shows the colours I saw as the building blocks of those undertone equations.
To be really clear, I am not a colour mixing expert. This is only how I figure it in my head and much of it is probably incorrect. You gotta start somewhere. This colour chart is a good guide to the colours referenced.
Blue = French Ultramarine
Red = True Red to Alizarin Crimson
Blue = Cobalt Blue
Pink = Rose Madder Genuine looks right. In the photo below, I used Permanent Rose, Cobalt Blue, and some yellow to make the colour at 6 o’clock, True Summer.
Gray = is gray really added? As a product of black in pigments, a single drop can take over a mixture. Is the muting of the Tone done with complements alone to preserve the blue-pink undertone? I don’t know. In the colour circle below, no black was used, even for the Winters.
Yellow – the daffodil, the buttercup.
Gold = Raw Sienna to Gold Ochre.
Practicing The Undertones
A year ago, when I was thinking about the Undertones for the book, I did this. The white page at the top gives you a white balance.
I have many watercolours. If I had one straight that felt right, I used it, though it could easily have been made from the neighbour colours.
True Winter: Winsor Violet + Ultramarine Blue.
Dark Winter: Crimson Lake + Sepia.
Bright Winter: Permanent Red + Cadmium Yellow.
True Summer: Cobalt Blue + Permanent Rose + Spring yellow.
Light Summer: Cerulean Blue.
Soft Summer: True Summer’s mixture + Sepia.
True Spring: A mixture of Cadmium Yellow, quite warm on its own + Lemon Yellow hue.
Light Spring: Permanent Rose + Spring yellow + trace of Cobalt Blue.
Bright Spring: Permanent Rose.
True Autumn: Burnt Sienna.
Soft Autumn: True Summer + Yellow Ochre. I like yellow ochre, it has a thickness and opacity that reminds of a strong Soft Autumn visual I have, which is fudge.
Dark Autumn: Brown Madder (and maybe some red or blue, I don’t recall)
Answer: No. Never. They can appear to conflict until your colours are correctly analyzed.
I get 3 or 4 emails each month about this. So let’s talk about it, framed around pieces of conversations with real women. It’s the practical application of my digression in the earlier post, How To Match Foundation.
Palette and swatch in this post always refer to colours found within your particular group of colours in the 12 Tone system of colour analysis developed by Kathryn Kalisz. Some of the Tones or Seasons may have similar or identical names with other companies but if their origin isn’t Sci\ART, their colour collections are different. I don’t know how other organizations developed their palettes, what their colours are, or what the desired outcome of their PCA process is. It’s not my place to answer questions about them.
The eye photos in this post are just lovely pictures. They are not textbook examples of the words or the ideas.
If hair/eye colours are not in the palette
I am a Bright Spring with dark brown eyes, dark brown hair, and light skin.
Yes, Spring under Winter influence is often brown eyed, from a glowy topaz jewel yellow to black brown. Many persons of Asian and Celtic origin have this colouring of darkness in hair and eyes and lightness and brightness in skin.
Since this is predominantly Spring, not Winter, the person is sometimes not conspicuously contrasting, though they certainly can be. A brown eye with light skin or hair is fairly contrasting in itself. Sometimes, the Bright Spring eye is so light brown that it’s yellow, like a wolf. It’s quite a thing to see. Or to be, I would think.
not this, but notice the coat colours and the eye-coat harmony, animals are just like us,
The color of my veins, lips, and cheeks are all in my color swatches and flatter me. However, the brown in my eyes and my hair is not in my color swatches and does not flatter me when I wear clothes of that color. How can I wear brown as an eye and hair color but not anywhere else without looking washed out?
You’re wearing the colour you think you see, which is never what colour is. Here is one reason for why it’s harder to figure for some Tones.
There is variation in hair and eye colour in most Seasons, but nowhere more than True Winter and the Brights. I’m not sure of the answer from a genetic perspective. I don’t think anyone can answer the magic of how harmony happens in spite what our eyes think they see. Maybe the mysteries should remain mysteries.
The way I reason it is that we don’t know the exact pigments that make up our hair and eyes. If I showed you 20 brown eyes, could you pick out your own? Would you pick the same brown as your friends would choose? Would you pick the same browns, yellows, oranges, and other colours, that the drapes (consistent with the Sci\ART colour calibrations) identify within your colouring? Probably not, on any count. We do not know which colours make up our final colours until one is draped. If you knew and wore the ingredients that go into your total hair and eye colours, you’d be utterly flattered.
Bright Spring has many yellows, beer and clear cider colours. When they have dark hair, it’s usually root beer and black tea. It is never coffee, which only looks heavy and thick on a colouring that is as far from those as you can get. Lighter brown hair is herbal tea, not orangey-muted-gold, not velvety-dense-brown. It might look ash brown or medium brown but it isn’t. It is clear. While clear means high chroma, and transparency is not a quality by which we define colour (because colour can be bright or soft and still see-through), this hair is like coloured cellophane.
People with green, blue and grey eyes seem to always look great if they match their clothes to their irises.
I would not agree. Blue eyes will match blue drapes or blue clothes in any Season but the best match is only in one. It’s not even a difficult decision. Some aspects of a correct analysis are challenging for a woman to perceive on herself. Achieving the ultimate eye colour is usually easy.
The colour a woman has matched to her eyes all her life is never the best or correct one in my experience. She needs her Colour Book to direct her to her turquoise and only then will her eyes become all they could be. I see women hope they’re wearing their eye colour all the time and most cases, they’re barely in the ballpark.
Blue eyes under Spring influence (one of the 5 possible Seasons) are seldom blue. They’re turquoise, aqua, or cornflower (light blue with very little green, the cornflower being one of the few truly blue flowers, but to me, appears a little violet). It’s a beautiful thing when you find it.
Not just me but a lot of brown-eyed people can’t wear brown.
Quite right, many brown eyed people are Winters of some sort and have very little brown in their palette. And when they’re draped, darned if much of the brown in the eyes suddenly turns black and then they’re wearing their real eye colour at last.
Hair and eye colours as they appear are often not in the True Winter, Bright Winter, and Bright Spring palettes. I think the way it works is that the contributing base pigments are there but the mix isn’t.
You could say to me, “OK then, if I could take colours from my palette and mix them, are you saying that I could theoretically make my hair and eye colour from the swatches? ”
I think so but the truth is that I don’t know for sure if any and every mixture would still guarantee that the hue/value/chroma remain constant. If you mixed complements, you would mute the colour if either of the originals contained the complement of the other. You’d mute the resulting colour into a more muted Season.
To make clear green (say, Winter), you need a blue and a yellow without red, I would think. Could it be done? Winter colours contain red, but are there a blue and a yellow without red? I’m not enough of a colour mixer to know.
Thinking out loud now…To make clear orange (Spring), you’d need a red and a yellow that contain no blue. That seems possible, Spring colours are not blue-based, though some contain blue.
Clear violet – needs a blue that leans red and a red with some blue in it, neither of which contain the complement of violet, yellow. That could make a brilliantly clear violet, even a violent violet, if it’s necessary – sure it is, for Winters. How is that done for Spring where yellow appears in every colour? Haven’t figured that out yet.
Can I make amber or warm brown eyes with a True Winter palette? I think so. True Winter contains yellow, very saturated, a little blue without turning it green. It also contains the other primaries of red and blue. Three primaries make brown.
True Winter and the Bright Tones are intricate and unique types of colouring. Not inconsistent, just complex. Which is why I suggest they think twice before colouring their hair. I have never seen it be improved enough to balance the cost, time, and upkeep.
I can match clothes to the rim around my iris (which is sort of a dark periwinkle) and it is quite flattering but if I wear clothes that are the same brown as my irises I look washed out.
So it’s not the right brown that you’re wearing, it’s just the one you think you see as the amalgamation of all the many colours in your iris. Good call to notice that the rim of the iris is different and if you can match it, a superlative colour on every person.
How can brown-eyed people can be any Season, but only Autumns can look great wearing brown clothes and makeup?
There are a million versions of brown eyes. Brown eyes can be in any Season, but they won’t all be the same brown. Same with the 12 Tone palettes. Many Tones have brown choices but they’re not the same brown.
Nine in ten women only find out their real eye colour when they are draped. Those brown-eyed people you refer to in your question and the browns that you refer to looking great on Autumns… very unlikely the same brown.
Are cool hair and warm skin possible?
I was snow white blonde as a child, but am now a dark, ashy blonde. It’s a cool colour.
Dark ash blonde could be found on a cool, neutral, or warm person. Apparent hair colour isn’t tightly tied to the true heat level of your colouring, though your overall contributing colours and appearance are always 100% in harmony. Every person. The true heat level of your hair is perfectly consistent with the heat level of your skin and everything else.
We could take your dark, ash brown hair and place it next to five other dark, ashy heads. It would be interesting to see whose is cool, whose warm, and whose is neutral in between cool and warm. I would guess that your hair wouldn’t be the coolest if we compared it on a scale. It might be cool-ish, but that’s not Absolute Cool.
Because you know, Absolute Cool and Absolute Warm, they’re rare in human colouring. Kind of extreme. I haven’t seen a True Autumn or True Winter in ages. I see several Neutral Season versions of Autumn and Winter every month. The thing to wrap your head around is Neutral. What does it mean? What does it look like?
Just playing the odds, you are neither warm nor cool in skin and hair. If you’re like eight or nine people in ten, why wouldn’t you be, you’re a Neutral Season that might lean towards cool.
Whatever you are, cool, warm, or somewhere in between, the setting is the same in all your features. One genetic code governs your paintbox.
But I have medium light skin with golden undertones and no rosiness in the cheeks. All I see is yellow. Wouldn’t that be warm?
Colour analysis, which guides every colour decision you will make, isn’t about what you look like or appear to look like. Your natural colouring group, Tone, Season, is determined in the one way that can truthfully reveal it: how the colours in you react to other colours. Nobody can know their truthful colouring correctly without testing their own skin’s reactions against an organized and measured set of colours in a colour-neutral environment. If your colours react the way you expect them to, you would be that one person in 50 who knew ahead of time what was going to happen. That’s why it’s so hard to do from books and photos and impossible from verbal descriptions.
Your skin probably is light-medium. What colour your undertone is, or even whether it’s warm/cool/neutral, nobody knows till we test and measure it. Why am I so sure? Because nobody who comes to a colour analysis appointment is ever wearing their correct foundation – until we solve that question forever more and show you how to make the best choice.
If my hair is overly golden, my skin looks red. When it’s natural dark ashy color, highlighted with platinum, it looks tanned and alive. Just natural it is bland. Dark red wasn’t good. But when I went a more natural dark blonde with subtle red tones, I got many compliments. Dark golden blonde, more of a caramel, washes me out, as does all over light blonde with no contrasting darker pieces. Can someone have a seemingly warm complexion with cooler toned ash hair?
Actually it’s really common. Usual, in fact. Though there’s lots of good colour observation here, the description could occur in many of the 12 types of colouring. Sounds to me like you have cool-neutral skin with a little warmth, but placed next to wrong hair colour, it will look warmer than it really is. You may have a false yellow overtone, like many cool Neutral Seasons, and be interpreting that as your golden undertones and yellow warmth from the previous question.
Too yellow hair does make faces red, especially True and Soft Summer, I find. But then, there’s a disconnect in your comments. Dark ash with platinum sets up big distance between lightest and darkest, which I find looks right on nobody.
On Summer, their light/dark range isn’t this wide, since it goes from pastel to mid-dark, not icy light to very dark (which is Winter). And so it follows that their best highlight is not that far from the base colour, or else they look striped and severe.
On Winter, they do have this big light/dark range but putting it in the hair is only disruptive, breaking up their force. The randomness looks messy when placed on a colour language that is very far from random. Of course, nothing applies to everybody and you can’t generalize about hair colour across an entire Tone. Some Lights are not flattered by highlights either.
3/4 of women would say their natural hair colour is bland. Not remotely true but media has taught us that it is so they could sell us hair colour. The hair industry, ay? Their biggest problem is that they think they’re fine. Many women would not attest to that – the same ones who bought $40 a bottle of wrong foundation colour. Women love their colourist most of the time. We feel real friendship and loyalty. But regarding our faith that we really are wearing our very best hair colour? Not so sure. Hair is a trend-driven industry – highlights, lowlights, we’ve never tried copper, let’s go lighter. We only have one skin colour. It is illogical that we could be flattered by five hair colours. Become the expert of your own appearance.
Until you are wearing your best clothes and makeup, your natural hair colour will not appear as beautiful and perfect as it is – so I advise women after a PCA to make one trip to the salon to get the heat level set right and come closer to their natural colour. Then leave the hair for a few weeks and work on the clothes and makeup. Your eyes need time to readjust to the real original you and to absorb how your better colours affect your apparent hair colour by making it look perfect and ideal. Then you can really see your hair colour and you can go back to the salon, hopefully only one more time, and finish the fine tuning.
Also, once a woman has had many hair colours, she and those who have seen all those colours can’t make a solid judgment any longer. There’s just too much history swirling around. Someone outside your box needs to touch the reset button. I nominate your friendly neighbourhood colour analyst.
I am at a loss as to what color to dye my hair.
I’m at a loss too till your colours are accurately analyzed. You are like 98% of the real people in the real world who seem conflicting. You’re not. Nobody is. Everyone’s colours make complete sense.
Once we have your Tone understood, every single aspect of your colouring and the colour decisions to follow are consistent and coherent. It’s not even hard. Once we know the truth, each one of us is very logical and connected in our colouring.
But. Even knowing your Tone, I still couldn’t give blanket hair colour advice that would cover every woman equally well. Everyone makes her own darkness adjustment within a Tone. Not everyone is necessarily improved by departure from her natural hair as it grows out of her head. And for nobody is this more true than the Bright Seasons.
Art and Science
Not being able to explain a thing doesn’t make it not true.
C. said it so beautifully here,
…the science of light, the discovery that it is both particle and wave and how it behaves erratically when observed. So nature is evasive and we can not reduce everything in the world around us to neat mathematical equations
….artists working in isolation through history have been representing through symbol what scientists have been discovering in the lab at the same(ish) time and not even known it. Think of the cubists and surrealists relating back to Einstein’s new world of curved space and the theory of relativity, or the complex inherent patterns in Jackson Pollocks’ work reflecting a new understanding of the complex, previously overlooked patterns in nature.
It seems artists, at least revolutionary ones, had/have a deep unconscious understanding of the stuff of the universe and represent it through symbol before we have the words or the science to explain.
All of these threads…point in the same direction. Colour theory, it seems, is not about finding the best lipstick. It is recognizing we are made of the stuff of the stars and finding our place in the universe.
The surefire path to looking easily and believably beautiful is using what you have already as the mooring, and then adding more of it. Anchoring what someone else has into your own physiology isn’t nearly as convincing. To the viewer, this can feel like looking at a seesaw.
Where order and agreement exist between the elements of a composition (for instance, between your natural colours and those in your highly structured Sci\ART 12 Season palette), we sense harmony. Their relationships are visually interesting and appealing. More than that, their relationships confer upon the elements the ability to interact. This is visual magic. Now, appearance becomes scintillating.
However often an untruth is repeated, it doesn’t become a truth. When it comes to our appearance, others can tell the difference. They may not know exactly how we looked before we wandered away, but they can tell we moved farther from the starting point.
When you read what I’m about to say, we have to keep the following people out of your thoughts:
i. You – an unobjective situation if ever there was one.
ii. Your family – lots of history and emotional investment, not always a lot of reality going on, though can be a great place to learn to see apparel colours next to human colours.
iii. Anyone in magazines – make-believe worlds that nobody really lives in.
iv. Anyone under 20 – very pretty but have not reached full power in the face or mind, not the reality I want for you.
Of your friends and people at the office, whose appearance looks calm and complete when every hair is pin straight? You can almost feel the ironed hair groaning, “Stop doing this to me. Let me out of this hair girdle.” as if you’re the one getting ironed flat every day. Appearance empathy.
Highlights, bronzer, coloured eyeliner, dewy, glowy, metallics, the list has no end. Knowing which trend or look is for you is power plus – maybe because the other way round is power minus. The more people sign up for an idea or a trend, the more it can cash in for its brief stint in our attention. It doesn’t care if 8 in 10 look worse. It never cared about that in the first place. Its mandate was to rake in $$$.
The only people who should straighten their hair have 80% straight hair at the start and just need to seal the ends. Most everyone else just looks shorter. Flip up your eyeliner if your eye flips up, otherwise you may be accentuating that your eye doesn’t. If the eye line is straight, then continue liner straight a bit. Many eyes just stop at the outer corner and are a bit squared. They look better with no eyeliner extension. Like over-whitened teeth, that little difference is the edge between creating an appearance that makes sense and one that is confusing.
A Spring woman looks unsettled when she wears Winter colours. She looks more like a child, one who raided her parents’ closet, wearing clothes that look too big and too serious. In her Spring colours, she finally looks like an adult. Spring colours only look kiddish on non-Springs. In her light caramel, peach, and ivory, with sparkling light gold wire hoops from which dangle pieces of coloured glass that catch the light, she is the Director of Educational Development for her province. She knows what she came here to say. Her natural cheerfulness in no way detracts from her credibility. In fact, she was selected for this job because she is so clearly non-judgmental. She so sincerely sees the best in everyone that she brings great comfort to the assembly. She got voted Most Loved Principal by her students. Her workshops are so well-attended because people look forward to being around her. They can feel that she just plain likes them. Spring is the no strings attached person.
Spring shares with Autumn that its colours are very warm, but that’s the end of the similarity. Even the type of heat is different. Spring’s is the yellow found in jellybeans. Autumn’s darker, richer gold colours make more sense as velvet drapes than jellybeans. Spring is smooth and shiny. Autumn is the queen of depth and dimension and we’ll talk about how to make that happen on a face in a later post.
Look at Charlotte’s skin, below. Spring fabrics have shine because of what shine does to colour. Shine can elevate and exaggerate colour. It can also lighten it. Those colours are in the skin too so it follows that we’d enhance them in the same ways, using the same shiny finishes.
Notice that when I add videos, there are two people to compare. Also, IDK what Season Charlotte is, she could be a Soft Autumn or some other. Some of her physical traits resemble Spring’s. Above, look at his skin compared to hers, it’s grey and it’s red. Her hair colour is fantastic. Buttery warm and yellow, not the heavier moose brown of Autumn. The highlights are just that, threads of light, heat, and shimmer. That brown eyeshadow – would it look better grey? No. Moves me closer to considering a very warm Season.
Heaven love her colourist for not making her a beach babe. The hair is coloured but not a lot. It’s believable, friendly, open, not highly contrasting or serious, just like her presence. The upkeep is probably occasional. You can see the yellow in her eyes even from a distance. The brows are dark, which is interesting, with as much drama as the face and her position as an artist will comfortably allow.
Again, below, fantastic golden beige hair. See that she’s not yellow in this dress, most people would be instantly so. Notice the mesmerizing from-elsewhere eyes, they have an Avatar quality, as if descended from a golden, gilded world, the magic that is Spring. She sings with a smile, radiating the pure joy in the sound (many singers frown often, like it’s a job). Spring people seem made from the sun.
Here is another woman with many Spring attributes. Look how yellow her skin is compared to the other women. She actually needs to wear her Spring colours to not look yellower than her clothes.
Nothing should come near this skin, this person, this energy, that could dim its light.
Bring Out the Beauty of Spring Skin
When any drape containing Spring comes near the skin, even if the dose of Spring in the person is small as in Light Summer, or even if the drapes are not quite yellow enough, this skin visibly tightens, plumps, and looks reflective and moist. This happens just as much whether they’re 16 or 60. Tighter skin and easing of lines happens for everyone in their right colours, but I could argue that the Spring colouring takes more years off than any other.
Spring skin keywords: dewy, young, delicate, smooth, tight, shiny, and moist. Like petals. We’d all like to think we have petal skin but it’s not realistic so there’s no point. We’ll get to the other Seasons soon.
Spring makeup tips:
1. Try cutting foundation with moisturizer. You’ll look the same or better. Opaque coverage is never needed here.
2. Keep use of translucent face powder to a minimum, just enough so the next products can be blended. Matte and dry finishes don’t feel right for colours that feel like juice and cream. Even peaches manage to be velvety without feeling heavy.
3. Transparency, as sheer products, are much better than opaque ones with heavy colour deposits. What looks normal and necessary for colour to get noticed on Winter skin looks like house paint on Spring skin.
4. Uplighters, not low lighters! Choose slight shimmer of the finest grind and uplighting liquids. Think of Charlotte’s face. Adding shadowing products would look heavy and dull. Emphasizing the angularity of a young face never looks quite right to me. It feels old and solid and carved out on a very opposite type of energy. By using uplights, so light + shiny + colour (which isn’t the same as white + frost + icy absence of colour) beautifies the geometry of the face and keeps the vitality and vibrancy high, since Spring’s settings are up at the top on those scales.
5. Jingle, twinkle, sparkle, movement, and high shine – they look odd on a face, but keep them near the face with jewelry. Let the jewelry do what the makeup can’t reasonably do.
petals in hazy light
daisy to daffodils
more delicate and less shiny than tulip petals
peaches and cream
> For Light Spring, try
delicate peach-gold bronzer very lightly applied
milky colours, which look creamy, not wildly vibrant yet, as the top rose below
to reflect light, a surface must be smooth; make word associations, as ‘milkshake colours feel smooth because milkshakes are smooth’; creamy and smooth feel connected wherever our brain stores sensory data; creaminess of colours feels right
still some Summer here so keep a little haze with more powder and less bronzer
sheer and cream products, to create a moist and dewy finish as the bottom rose photo below; notice this isn’t icy, glitter, metallic, bronze, it’s just wet (kept within reason on a face)
uplights on cheeks using coloured (coral, light beige, gold), not icy, products; remember that Light Spring’s lightest colours are more ‘colourful’ than Winter’s icy colours because they are pastels
eye shadow probably better light, sheer, and matte to recognize Summer’s haze
Below, notice all the light bouncing off every surface. There are highlights everywhere. Surfaces are tight, plump, moist, with no associations of cold, hard, or frosty.
>For True Spring, try
the least face powder of anyone, just enough to dry the skin so the next product doesn’t catch
cream cosmetics as for Light Spring
eyeshadow can be shiny or matte, your preference; matte is easier on mature skin
peach-gold bronzer, same product as Light Spring’s but using more of it to create a face that is very vibrant with the colours of health
icier lights (more ‘colourful’ than Winter’s but not soft/muted/grayed/dusty/heathery)
more contrast as Winter arrives
The Birds In A Tree picture is smooth, light, shiny, crisp, tight, and clean, with significant separation between lightest and darkest. The overall effect is still warm, bright, and alive.
On the cherries, the overall effect is darker and the placemement of highlight more strategic than the currants above. The surface is still round, tight, and plump and doesn’t need any strategic shading to make it better.
>For Bright Spring, try
sharper angles with more deliberate uplight placement along upper edge of cheekbones, browbone, and center of nose to sharpen the angles, not a warmth diffusion
lighter uplighters, not too gold/peach/caramel/yellow as Winter’s sharpening comes in
multicolours and colourful colours to keep the Candyland feeling of this colouring; peach eyeshadows, dark turquoise eyeliners, fuchsia lips (all from her Colour Book of swatches) together actually looks perfectly fine because that’s how her face is put together to begin with
you can’t put glitter on your face, but you can sneak a little in the hair depending on age and occasion; this is the colouring of figure skating outfits, after all; or just use jewelry, but sparkly sparkly, Swarovski, not pearl/coral/jade/turquoise which don’t feel glassy and twinkly
use glitter in nail polish but keep it delicate, like winking; there is huge delicacy in Bright Spring that more aggressive cosmetic effects don’t respect
more definition of features from skin (a form of contrast)
more distance between light and dark colours
Will the face look wet or oily? No colouring will in right colour because the whites that the color brings out in the face don’t exceed your own. That’s part of the magic. When lights get lighter than your own, which can happen for a variety of reasons in wrong colour, there seems to be a random too-shiny white light bouncing all over, which looks a little greasy.
What your makeup looks like in pans is only how you see it. The rest of us see it painted right on top of your own colours. When you and your product are a match, your appearance has rhyme and reason. I promise you, with only your empowerment in my heart, you look better than good.
Recap: The skin is dewy, setting up highlights. The features are fresh, lively, distinguished from the skin by being very colourful, moist, and vibrant.
Pure season children can be the epitomes of their Season’s personality. They haven’t yet learned to temper some of their strong characteristics. They are not diluted by the blending with another Season that makes for a thousand unpredictable mixtures. True Spring is sometimes very random, laughter that bursts out, changes in subject you can’t keep up with. Others are optimistic. They will see the bright side but can be very quiet and reserved.
Bright Spring usually is very true to that type, snappy, quick, and friendly, though sometimes have softened their clothes to such a degree that their behaviour seems quieted too. Can clothes do that? I think so. A haircut can change how we act. Heck, just move the part in your hair to the other side of your head to shift your center of gravity.
Light Spring has Summer’s self-discipline and Spring’s moxie and audacity, which can leave you wondering if you’re seeing Autumn’s determination instead. Both can appear spunky, where Spring is often more spirited and Soft Autumn more low key.
The party children. Playful, silly, unpredictable. Would shoot Grandma with a water cannon and say they were only aiming for her walker. As 2 year olds, it takes a lot of extended family to keep them alive.
spilling happiness ; the heart shaped face of the cuteness on the right, clear yellow skin, butter yellow hair like the center of a Laura Secord Easter egg, like the boots below, all True Spring
Favorite topic is themself, whose isn’t, but they’ll talk about anything. Go to the bathroom and get a drink before this child gets going because they don’t turn off easily. Grownups that can talk for a long time often have a Spring+Summer mix, because Summer might start out quiet, but they have a lot they’d like to share. If the story comes out in a timeline, they got a bigger sprinkle of Summer’s fairy dust. If there are many twinkly smiles and jokes, not taking anything too seriously, and really rather be moving than talking, more likely True Spring.
Don’t get hung up on every little emotional upheaval.
Will play any game at any time with anybody. No rules? No problem. Who needs them? Staying on task to complete a chore? Now, that may be a problem.
Will stand in a spotlight with a bucket on their head if it gets laughs. Laughs and applause is even better.
these boots will find a puddle that will pour in over the top before they get home ; notice the butteriness of the yellow colour, these are True Spring’s yellows
Will get caught behind the couch at Christmas eating candies with the cousins he talked into joining him. He’ll squeal and take off to commence the next antic, like eating his brother’s pet fish. Who can get angry with such a happy kid?
Has trouble choosing. Don’t ask which of 4 kinds of juice she wants unless you plan to be there awhile or don’t mind giving her some of each.
Walk in a pouring rainstorm? Sure! Might meet a bear? Great!! Pirates? Better!! They will be friendly bears and pirates in this optimistic and imaginative mind.
Don’t need every kid to agree. Whatever floats your boat. Would prefer not to be told what to do in return. Can dig in their heels with the best of them.
these children both appear to contain Spring; Sophia Grace – Winter influence ; Rosie – Summer influence
Spring finds reasons to get along. If things get tense, they’ll make a joke. Summer will soothe and facilitate. Others might put up their dukes.
Spring windmills on an Autumn background – and why Spring + Autumn Season blends make no sense to me. How do you shop for “upbeat functional”? how ‘not harmony’ feels
If a True or Light Spring is late for her appointment, when she arrives, she’ll sashay on up the walk, apologizing, floating along in Spring and Summer’s unhurry. If anyone will break down the stereotypes, it will be True Spring. Her iris pattern won’t always follow the rules, in that it contains only blue and grey (no yellow) and much Winter line geometry. Her character may be very gentle and quiet, yet still brimming delight. Her hair might be blonde but it’s usually medium brown. Her eyebrows can be darker than you expect. There is often a pinkish brown somewhere, like the outer part of dry ginger root, and it makes a good eyeshadow that flows really well with the hair colour.
May have learned to blanket her natural sunshine to match all the seriousness around her. She may have forgotten that we need her easy laugh over the smallest things, to brighten the room, the meeting, the world we live in. Serious has nothing to do with smart or kind, just as kindness has no connections to brains or power. And neither does bubbly. Buy her a Flower Power purse at any age .
With optimism are bundled hope and faith. She is not a skeptic, a cynic, a pessimist, or a logician. The world would feel better to her as a simple place where faith sustains and guides, traits for her to honour and express openly. Buying into the myth that grownup=dark can make her feel restricted all the time, like a wearing a bandage that’s too tight when she’s already healed. When she lets herself be herself, it feels really good to be around her. When she’s trying to fit into all the dark seriousness around, I get this crazy feeling of wanting to cry. She holds the most beautiful attributes of the Forrest Gump character, to me a movie that was not about handicaps of any sort. It was about never giving in to bitterness. Forrest knew in his heart that honesty, unwaivering intention, and compassion to a pure, near childlike degree, can simplify life. He knew that IQ, success, and kindness are not prerequisites of one another.
Bright Spring is the Valentine’s Day box of chocolates. More glitz, bigger show, great flash, still delicious, lots of sweet centers. It crinkles and pops right back into shape. Too delicate to survive a year in storage, just won’t come out the same, very in the moment.
Bright Spring incarnate, as if she couldn’t be real, from a make-believe place
Not sure other analysts would agree, but in the presence of incongruent colour, Spring faces appear to become very asymmetric, almost taking on a Picasso quality. On all of us, the lines on one side of our face are straighter and more curved on the other. On Springs, it can seem as if one side of the face is set an inch lower than the other or the straight/curved comparison magnified. Sometimes, one side of the face or a single feature appears collapsed or even receded backwards relative to the other side. It is one amazing sight to behold with your senses and know at the same time that you’re in the grip of a powerful illusion.
Light Spring hasn’t had a theme song yet. Here is a suggestion.
a beautiful face, very expressive eyes, and the anthem of hope and happiness that Spring extends
Everything about life is nothing short of miraculous. Perhaps most awesome is the body’s and our planet’s capacity for healing and renewal. Spring embodies this most extra-ordinary and wondrous gift, the reminder she offers us just by being here.
that’s a nice True Spring grey, you can see the yellow sun
Smiles easily and with genuine pleasure at greeting or interacting with people, even as adults. This is a trait often seen in Spring men. You see their teeth much more often than men from other Seasons.
If straight hair is your natural texture, then wear it that way. If it’s curly or wavy, try doing what you keep reading about …let it be itself. Forcing straightness on Summers (where hair looks so much better with swoopy curls on the ends or wavy ripples like the surface of water), on Springs (where energy and spontaneity look so good and true in the language of hair), on Gamines (whose punchy natural style should not be constrained, whether a suit or straightened hair), on Romantics (where the stiff hair is not consistent with the softly rounded features)….for those of us looking at you, it’s the difference between tension and relief.
True Spring could find beautiful makeup in Lauder Apricot Sun lipstick, MUFE HD 6 blush, and MUFE 19L eyeliner. Lancome Rouge in Love 322M could be the lipstick that’s the natural colour of your lips.
Bright Spring might try Tarte Lust lipstain, Mercier eyeshadow in Pewter, and Dior Devilish Pink lips. Sheer and dewy (not frosty, which is hard-looking and works better on the 5 Winter Seasons) cosmetics allow Spring’s youth, glow, and health to shine better than matte and dry do. Lipsticks MUFE RAI 37 is matte and N45 is more sheer and glossy, might look better on the girl above. On mature women who want lipstick to last more than 15 minutes, use a product that doesn’t go darker, like Lancome Rouge in Love 377N on the cool side and 170N on the warmer side. A favorite of mine on Bright Spring is baby peach, a fabulous eyeshadow highlighter in Lancome Meet Me in Paris.
Light Spring’s face looks perfect in any combination of the words pink/peach/beige/miky, even as an adult. Dior Beige Casual lips, Body Shop 54 and 04 lipsticks, MUFE N35 lip and HD5 blush could be great.
A reminder that I will not be shipping the book, Return to Your Natural Colours, in the month of July. If you’re in the US, Kerry at Indigo Tones may have some copies. Otherwise, best to wait till August.
Nirmala left a comment after the last article on 12B that really sums it up. Kind of paraphrasing here, but as she says, we can’t see ourselves, that’s Problem 1. Though we search for our truths, there’s no easy road. They are quite cleverly concealed, maybe as protection from us, for if any way were revealed too soon, we would probably misuse them like any information we get when we’re not ready.
A clothing system won’t be the as-the-crow-flies route to inner truth. The most it could do would be to open a window. The opinions of others, even professionals, are subjective, variable, relating taste and opinion more than anything else. Compliments are of no value to me, they just drag me off center for a week or two. Though the 12 Seasons of personal colour analysis may not have every answer, it is at least measurable as long as the compass is calibrated right.
The Sci\ART drapes are calibrated into measured increments. That’s what a Sci\ART colour analysis gets you that is so incredibly special. The line between one group and the next is clearly divided in coherent, defined, steady intervals. Connect the dots is way easier when the dots are numbered. Sci\ART has human colouring classified right. Doesn’t mean that analysts who do colour by eye are wrong. I’m a huge believer in humans as little electrical towers and perhaps some people can feel our emissions of light energy as our colours. I’d lose faith if two such analysts came up with really different answers though.
Dark Winter Type 1
Maybe Sally Field looking (not so sure she’s DW). Or Mario Tuttle, though with that nose shape, he’s more likely a Bright.
For Type 1, I went with light, young, fun, random, playful, upward, hearts and triangles, freedom of movement, sprays, fountains. Detail and eye catchers are placed high on the body, so no black outfits with yellow shoes. Some bold is ok, this is Winter, but nothing serious, sharp, or rigidly repeating. Got to get light, bright, warm, fun, and alive into this. And fairly contrasting.
Tunics could be great here. And prints.
Lots of jewelry that doesn’t necessarily match. “Life of its own”, not floppy and not stiff, Perkily crisp.
I like the zigzag of the sleeves on the two tops at the top.
Clothes can feel light without being light coloured. Taylore Sinclair’s totality of radiance actually comes in here, where fabric, design, and texture all contribute to a person’s movement.
Chose heavy heart lockets that wouldn’t get lost in the contrast and weight of the colour. Torn between the 2 lockets.
Black can’t be chunky or serious or this girl will grind to a halt and look glued to the ground.
Shoes are light. Even a wedge is too blocky.
Dressing Your Truth: What I Liked
About the Dressing Your Truth course, my friend asked “What do you like about it?”
- I like Carol. Makes no difference to me how she promotes herself, whether she’s licensed, whether women can or can’t find their Type, or how many websites she owns.
- I recognized my drive for standardization (of colour analysis systems), my obsession with being able to duplicate results (between colour analysts or it’s all useless to the client), and my need to promote it – all as Type 4 traits.
- I learned about the most dominant types of lines in my face. I follow them to apply eyeliner and blush. Our movement path could be drawn on paper as we negotiate tasks big and small, through problems towards solutions. The lines tend to be consistent with other lines, like those in our face. Fascinated me. I really like the part about how we move forward and how we get stuck. I’ve watched people who seem unable to end one interaction or activity and move on to the next. The nearer you get to an ending, the more they’re compelled to drag it out in a thousand ways. Since I almost erase the past as I’m living it, watching this deliberate delaying left me saying “Just make a move. Don’t worry if it’s wrong or right!” Now I get why that was not helpful for them.
It was fun to actually draw makeup with those same lines. I see that if you draw a line across my eyes from outer corner> inner corner> inner corner other eye> outer corner other eye, the line is straight. So now I extend eyeliner out straight a little ways. My kids have not said I look nuts, which they are well trained to do given even a smidgen of provocation.
- The psychology that goes with the lines structures is great. I see now why True and Soft Summer have more issues with their palettes than everyone else put together…because it’s her (Type 2, Summer, whatever) nature to examine every single option over and over, like she can never have enough evidence to make a choice. And why I shoot off like a rocket and ignore all the fine print.
And why my Light Summer sister can get so deeply hurt over words or actions that I wouldn’t even notice. Her weakness isn’t her huge sensitivity; it is her strength because it’s her truth and because the world needs so much of what she has to offer. Telling her “Stop letting every little thing get to you!” is disrespectful and confusing to her. Now, I will hold her in higher esteem for it. Learning to honour others better has been the greatest reward of DYT. So much has fallen into place -why I’ve stood at makeup counters with Summers watching they energy test eyeliners.
Figured out why I have been sent so many more True and Soft Summer clients than any other. We relive the same experience over and over till we learn its lessons. I finally see that I need that character to balance me, to model certain behaviours I will need in my own future. I am grateful they came to see me.
- Picked up a few good clues on clothing to add to my Season and Kibbe, but this was far from the main selling point. As a matter of taste, Carol and I don’t share a belief of what looks good, let alone true. As a matter of statistics, it’s unlikely there are only 4 style Types in the world, even if you could prove that there are 4 main movement types. The diversity of genetics makes the probability too low unless the types are so broad that few can tell where they fit, especially if they contain some of each, which means most of us. And it’s been proven across populations that 4 main colour types won’t work. This energy system won’t be any different. Still, would I take the course again? I would in a heartbeat.
- Learned a lot more that I can apply as a better spouse/parent/workplace than as any kind of fashion star. But then, I came into it exposed to a lot of info about Winters, Dramatic dressing, etc. A newcomer might pick up some great advice or a good intro to thinking about how clothes are cut. I did buy some jewelry and I like it. For all 4 Types, the jewelry is nice for the price at the Store. Mine is about 2-4 times larger than it looks on the site.
IDK the DYT rules for the 4 Types. I’m just extrapolating the energy of the person, like I did with how the colours felt to me in RTYNC (the blue book over in the right column). Doesn’t mean it’s the only way, just my way. DYT is a natural expression we feel as movement. Same with seeing those lines anywhere, a book plot, a mechanical device, a wind pattern. What Carol has tuned into and translated is four different movement types and how their energy feels interpreted with clothing to create a visual image. For instance, when we see parallel lines, they look like a mirror. With that, we associate reflectivity and stillness. Reminding of the 4 True Seasons? Absolutely, but a new spin in many ways.
There’s no reason you can’t be true to your colouring and your movement type even if they don’t coincide. Neither takes precedence because they’re describing different things. Your Sci\ART Season knows your colours. Your Type offers an opinion about your shape as expressed by your style of movement. The whole silver gold thing for Types, I pretend I never heard it.
True Spring Type 2
Type 2 is the Summer “stereotype”, awful word but it serves. So, connections – tops with bottoms, repeating colours, interlocking shapes. Gentle flow and drape. Less delicious and vivacious than the “stereotype” True Spring, more of a Summer analogous colour scheme. Wavy lines.
I know two of these women. They’re certainly True Spring, they look like T1, but they lead in movement with T2, at least when I met with them.
Beauty Sixth Sense
Do I agree that women have a “Sixth Sense” about their own beauty, as Carol claims in the Dressing Your Truth course? Not for a second. I know for sure they don’t. I had to be in my 50s to come close to recognizing me. Others can’t always tell either. I have a True Winter daughter whose Kibbe or Type I cannot figure out. I wish women wouldn’t feel so devastated and to blame when they can’t find their answers. I wish they weren’t so willing, eager even, to believe every word of it all. I read it all like a novel rather than non-fiction, let it come at me like one person’s story, like one person’s travel diary. Your journal to the same place would read different. I read it like a recipe book. I find one I might try out, and 20 that I would never use but I don’t burn the book. Why give someone’s opinion more importance than that?
Anyone’s an expert if they say they are. One quick look at logic trees with 4 only branches (4 Seasons, 4 Types) can tell you they will only apply to each person superficially at best. If you saw a 4-branch tree to cover all disease in the world, how much attention would you give it to find your own aches? Not more than a glance.
Kibbe used the Yin Yang metaphor to describe variations of shape of bone and flesh. He also brings in the very important issue of scale, not just what it is but how certain bodies make it look (the Yang-er you are, the taller you appear and the smaller you make jewelry look). If you can find yourself in his book, he’s the guy who got human body geometry sorted most ergonomically. He makes a point of keeping the colour talk very general. It surprises me how dogmatic DYT gets on this point given that it’s not their emphasis. They could do the whole thing as well, indeed far better, if they just left colour out of it, but fine marketer that Carol is, she realizes that if she’s not 100% convinced, nobody else will be either.
Bright Winter Type 3
boxy practical functional big textured simple natural regular strong corners
a very Yang person, pants have a fly and a worn with a belt
not so straightforward to express work instead of fun with these colours
heavily accessorized…now that works with BW and T3, glad I found someplace these 2 come together,
though come to think of it, a BW usually has some big Yang elements of character and colour
every one of these Seasons/Kibbes/Types have their intersections; it’s when you find them that the fun starts.
the slightest whiff of Spring and turquoise and purple should appear (Autumn? teal and burgundy)
not too confined at the neck so she can move towards you, as it is her movement to do
I deleted several comments to this website aimed at exposing Ms. Tuttle and her sources. Find them on Amazon if you like. Truly, I just don’t care. Anybody can pick up the similarities in wording and philosophies between various colour systems. So what? Ballet, yoga, and Pilates have similarities that stem back to their common origins. However similar the language, DYT seems to have applied the knowledge in a different way so that’s fair.
Why does DYT create such intense emotion when it doesn’t work for a person? In any discipline, there will be those who can deliver and those who can’t. The consumer decides for themselves, just like which vet to take their pet to. We’re not saving lives here. It’s clothes. So Tuttle’s explanation doesn’t work for you. Another one will. Where does our perspective go? The words of others only have as much power on our path as we choose to give them. These days, I’m picking up the pieces and moving on about everything.
In an email, I was advised to examine my own reactions carefully as to why I removed those accusatory comments and blame-filled reviews that were deemed “heart-wrenching”. My contemplation came up with this: I didn’t find it heart-wrenching at all that some clothing system didn’t work for one person. Probably did for many and didn’t for many. The expectation was unrealistic to begin with. Call me a heartless Type 4 but I couldn’t get bogged down in something so full of holes and hope to see me come into focus somewhere out of the haze. That’s looking for love in all the wrong places and we’re back to the Kingdom of Heaven being within, but it takes a heck of a lot more self-work to get to it.
Everyone finds their true self, the deepest soul that their body incarnates, in different ways. Colour has been a metaphor for many revelations but it doesn’t bring me to my knees. Where I go to get myself right, where I finally understood what it means to say “Love is free”, learned the true purpose of prayer, figured out what the Chakras/sacraments really represent (abundance, health, humility, love, truth, wisdom, and grace in that order, my opinion only), and met my best and worst selves in a way I could work on them, was in Carolyn Myss’s book Entering the Castle. It’s the Bible that I read and practice each day.
Although your colours hold true as part of your energy spectrum at every level of your being, they’re also part of the physical world and part of the five senses. The special and specific grace that you came here to share comes from deeper than that, or any tip-of-the-iceberg colour, image, or clothing system. Your truths are far more encompassing and more connected to the energy of Divinity. We’re a long way from understanding that but we can approach it and we can feel it.
Soft Autumn Type 4
All the usual True Winter adjectives – bold, simple, symmetric, long straight lines.
Structured for sure. I keep my jewelry in fishing tackle boxes. $4.46 at Walmart now that you ask.
The lower R corner outfit would be secondary T2, with S straps on shoes and teardrops or earrings.
This one was by far the most difficult. In my mind, I can see these colours looking fine for this person (though not how I see their best), but finding the clothes is another thing.
Long ago in our lives, shopping began as an exercise in acquisition. It suddenly made a lot more sense when you learned your right colours and shapes, becoming something you could fully control. Then a few more levels of refinement opened up. Now, it’s a game of hide and seek.
Colour analysis is interior decoration of the soul. If we could extract our soul from our body and stand it beside us, would the two be the same? How beautiful is it when the things we wear are like a window that lets others see to our ocean floor from high up on their own mountain road.
So Bright Spring. Here we go. This Season…this ode to the magnificence of colour so beautiful, a heart aches.
The knockout that is Bright Spring, this woman often looks formal and dark. Once she recognizes you, her smile lights her face and she exudes warmth and charm. She looks much more complicated than she is. You expect her to stand on ceremony and convention but not at all. Her personality is quite informal. The simpler things in life make her truly happy and she knows how to pause and recognize them.
In 12 Season personal colour analysis, the Bright Spring is the person whose natural colouring is based in Spring’s spunky, sunny colours. Winter added a bit of its blue and red, but her inborn colours are not nearly as dark and detached as you guessed.
Like the fox, the seahorse, and the swallow, she’s busy when she’s standing still. She is sharp, delicate, and quite sweet, like spearmint. The yellows, oranges, and browns in her eyes (and Bright Winter’s) are the glowing, pure, peachy red-browns of the animal below, which we’ll see later in dark carrot pants and clear topaz stones. There is no sense of weight, darkness, or toughness. Quite the opposite, she reminds us that the most generously coloured life forms and ecosystems are the most fragile.
Thanks to Heidi for helping set the stage for us. It looks like Winter but it so is not. It’s young, modern, energized, over the top, waiting to dance, exaggerated, and it never stops moving.
If you live in the US, access this version.
Bright Spring Colour Equations
In the book Return to Your Natural Colours that you can see pictured in the right column above Recent Posts, a chapter is devoted to each Season’s persona, natural setting, relationship with the other Seasons, best styles, textiles, cosmetics, hair colour, and jewelry. There is also a section called Colour Equations (CE), a conceptual bridge between the Colour Book of swatches that you take to the store and how to translate into colour combinations. The CEs are helped by some illustrating.
Cheat Black In
No point pretending it won’t happen. And why not, but go easy. This isn’t a green light…and don’t accelerate for the yellow, it’s about to turn red.
Use the smallest real estate possible for the black and not right under the chin. Open necks are better. Just let black bring the picture into focus.
Break it up with a lively print.
Add animation as shine, details, and accessories.
Give the eye distractions. Use pure, juicy, colour so delicious that it can’t get bogged down in the black and keeps moving along.
If there’s black in the top, consider not wearing it in the bottom too – as the triangles top with the light pants. At its best, this look isn’t overall dark. Still, black and beige just can’t pick up any speed and on this woman. Compared to her, the clothes seem to be moving in reverse. The look is not creamy or gradual, because the woman never is.
Few Bright Springs probably guessed their Season right. They’ve lived as Winters for years, or some kind of Summer. Darker outfits (blue purse outfit on R) can look quite fine but serious and Wintery, where light is being pulled in. Take the same top and add light in everything else, white pants, yellow shoes, transparency in earrings instead of density – I think it’s better. Spring emits light.
The two models lower L – the blonde girl (perhaps a Light Spring) shows a dull way to wear black. It’s trying to own her. We lose interest in the girl and seem consumed with negotiating the black block. The woman to the R, very possibly a Bright Spring, wears similar colours in clothes with less weight and more movement. Bright Spring is not a heavy look, it’s like aluminum foil.
Like her Dark Autumn look-alike, Bright Spring is much better in black and cream (DA’s being a far darker browner cream) than in B&W.
If you wear black, choose warmth in your other colours and accessories. Silver looks more Winter and a little dry.
Green dress/yellow purse in the center – this print is quite random for a Winter person. This could feel unbalanced or zingy on some Bright Winters, and just perfect for the show biz energy of others.
Darks with darks can look too dark. Build an office look with greys. Add interest and entertainment, like the pink purse at the top.
Even Grey Should Be Fun
Light and energy must come out of it. Vivacity is always present in the face, the eyes, and the movements. They are quick and neat.
Textures and edges are smooth and shiny because the person is. The control of their Winter side won’t let them appear shaggy, haphazard, or erratic. They do look unpredictable and spontaneous. The song “Shiny Happy People” was inspired by Bright Spring. The cardi at top L is Lurex and you can still add colour and fun with the beads.
Every woman works out her best use of contrast on her own, it seems. A general rule for this group is to keep it high and clean. Outfits in various versions of the same colour don’t usually make sense (unless contrast is very high and/or edges very sharp), meaning distance between colour types and darkness levels is quite high. If she is older, the coolest looking lady at church with her white hair, dark brows, and turquoise eyes, she’ll bring these closer together to repeat what she looks like.
There is no true red. Here, we have clearest orange, many pure lipstick pinks, fuchsia pinks, and purple pinks. Red only appears in the Winters but you can cheat that in too. That red pants outfit, lower L – cover the silver watch and look at it. Then cover the gold watch. Isn’t that intriguing, that shift in what the eye notices?
Notice that the beiges are very very pale light, barely yellowed, not earthy browned. Rather like ‘icy beiges’.
A full grey dress (middle top) needs to be jazzed up with more colour. Sunglasses like those are small but they’ll get noticed and will hold the viewer’s gaze and attention.
Gold is good. Not too hot (yellow), very shiny.
If you look inside your eyes, many will see those dark carrot pants. So will many Bright Winters.
At the center of the lower band, see the girl in the grey blazer, two-tone shoe? Let your eye travel from the earrings to her face and across to the tank top. See all the repeats?
Watermelon and moon slices, outfit R side : On a person who looks polished and streamlined (your weight has nothing to do with it), pick jeans that are the same. Next to you, faded can look like a rag. Too dark is better than dusty, wrinkled, or patchy. Keep them ultra smooth and classy. And if you want to wear leopard stilettos (or flats), please don’t let me get in your way. It looks better than most other things.
Detail + Innovation + Restraint = Originality (Sp) + Discipline (W)
As you overview the collection, can you feel Winter’s presence? It causes Bright Spring to have a much tighter way of moving the body than the relaxed and unconfined True Spring.
Mixing silver, gold, and other shiny metals is fine.
If you wear black, taupe, and beige, make the print electrified and the cut, cough, distracting, as the dress in the top R.
Black and white have tipped over to Bright Winter, perhaps more so in the colorblock print at lower R, regardless of how hot the other colours are. Try to avoid pure black and white together. If you wear one, don’t wear the other. B&W only really looks good on True and Bright Winter. Even the Dark Winter could think twice unless she is very cool in her colouring.
Pure stark white pants are one of those items most of us must think about carefully. To me, they look right on the True Winter, Bright Winter, Bright Spring, and that’s about it. Take pictures of yourself and look at them yourself. You can see oh, so right and oh, so wrong within seconds. Light shoes are pretty good despite having dark hair if contrasting with the clothes. Not white pants and white shoes.
Don’t get too matchy. You can be as Classic-symmetric or Gamine-irregular as you body’s lines dictate, but keep the humour good, free-spirited, and lighthearted. Even at a meeting, as outfit L side, keep shine and design interest in a grey jacket, wear a pink but simple watch, add dangle and sparkle in the earring.
Bright Spring = Lighting the Darkness
The icy blues and greens dress at top R – yes, it could be sunnier. Maybe this is cheating white. Wear pale gold earrings so as not to cool it further with silver. It could be more contrasting but that bit of black looks more at home on Bright Spring than anyone else. The print could be less watercoloured. Whatever. The dress is beautiful. Imagine seeing that woman on the dance floor. This is heart-stopping beauty that no other natural colouring could wear so well. Don’t take my suggestions too literally. They can’t apply equally to thousands of women. Make it work for you. The dress is also an example of high saturation light colours (Spring), without being so close to white as to be icy (Winter). We often hear “high saturation” and our imagination shoots right up to dark sapphire. High sat means not softened with gray.
Our red is a wardrobe neutral too, more out there than taupe but equally versatile. For the three Springs, traditional neutrals (grey, beige, taupe) can be too monotonous, like a dial tone voiced over a wind chime or a water cascade. No match found. Wear your colours a lot.
Consider making the clothing coloured and the accessories grey/beige/taupe.
Details are good. Orange starfish (with diamonds), not orange balls. A shiny cap on a toe. A star shower, not a single star.
Could Miu Miu be the designer? Something about this colouring is so very young that anything remotely kiddish accentuates a feature that already comes across very strong and you might not want at the office. I’d leave ribbons, little animals, peace signs, and hearts for after work or to the Seasons who could use some de-formalizing, especially if they work with the public. On any Bright Sring, the Winter aspect lends a seriousness and maturity that may not suit very young additions perfectly, but they wouldn’t be as out of place as on Dark Winter.
Springs have known all along that life really is this much fun.