How Can I Be 3 Seasons?
December 7, 2011 by Christine Scaman
I get many emails with many terrific questions. I may not always know the answer but I’m better for trying to find it. Thank you for sharing your perspectives with me. To maximize the usefulness of PCA for you, it’s important for us to know where it lets you down.
This week’s posts are aimed at a 3 of the most frequently asked questions.
How can you be 3 Seasons?
Definite answer: You can’t. You’re not. You’re ONE Season ONLY. Everybody, all the time.
As many of you know, this topic gets emotional, inflammatory, even explosive. Even defamatory. So, a little digression:
#1 : Getting different results from different analysts…
I’d like to say I’m always right. I’d like to say everybody’s always right. About everything.
I’d like to say that I’ve never met a woman who got 3 different Season verdicts, and this is from 3 different Certified Sci\ART analysts, in person even. Not in this reality. Shouldn’t even step out our door if that’s what we’re expecting.
Of course I think Sci\ART is the most correct system or I’d have changed lanes by now. I never hear the places we disagree as criticism and I never intend it that way.
I sure have read some rants aimed at analysts whose Season IDs disagree or who use other systems – and this from members of the public, not even other analysts. It’s fine to point out mistakes, it’s vital, so we can all learn and grow, but there’s a way to do it without fanning the fire more than necessary. Everyone’s just trying their very best. That should be respected. Colour is real hard to do, even with a great set of drapes. Accusations drag everybody down. Kurt Vonnegut: “Rage and loathing over a book is like wearing a suit of armor to attack a hot fudge sundae.” If you have vented or accused, consider taking down your comment – and I don’t mean on this site, where I have no problem with rage and loathing.
I very much appreciate the many ” Please help me understand how I can be 3 different Seasons?” emails I get regarding every PCA system, including Sci\ART. They’re a valuable reminder that every belief system needs to be open to questioning and that every ideology is potentially flawed. I also appreciate women of intelligence who can react with composure and curiosity, rather than falling to pieces and succumbing to their evil twin’s inclination to point fingers and fling insults and curses. That looks bad on all of us and the whole world of colour analysis. Knowing we behaved elegantly feels so much better.
Time to lighten the mood.
#1a. So, the question was: “How can one analyst see me as 100% cool and another as 100% warm?”
An in-person analysis is surely best but it’s still a bit of a minefield.
First, there’s the accuracy of the drapes if the 2 PCAs systems were different. The test drapes aren’t intended to be pretty. They need to create reaction in the skin and be exactly suited to the colour parameters of only ONE Season.
Second, what might be very accurate but being called True Autumn in one system might correlate better with another system’s Soft Autumn colours. So maybe Company A’s Cool Winter would contain many colours shared by Sci\ART’s True Summer. Or Company B’s drapes for True Autumn would have fit better into Sci\ART’s Soft Autumn and Color Me Beautiful’s Warm Spring.
I haven’t studied every other company’s palettes but I’ve seen quite a few. It was Kalisz’s work as Sci\ART that got the 60 different colours in the 12 palettes nailed down. Finally, there was exactness and consistency in all 3 dimensions of colour in every colour in every one of the 12 palettes. A division line, almost a physical curtain, appeared to separate what PCA was and what it is now.
I still see colour collections from other systems that contain imprecise colours, shared colours, or the use of materials that make colour accuracy near impossible. If the colours aren’t right to begin with, the whole system becomes debatable and the tools are moot. This will be among the most common causes of misdiagnosis. Those 12 Sci\ART palettes that Kalisz began with, and the 8 Neutral Season colours she developed, are very VERY exact. She eliminated terms like pale yellow, Chinese blue, sienna brown, or cool red and replaced them with 12 exact different versions of each one. This is what raised the benchmark. Her achievement was no small thing and the importance of it for a correct Season ID can’t be overstated. It really is huge. Whether they’re called flow or Neutral or whatever, it’s not the various names or number of Seasons that are the sticking point between companies. That becomes “My philosophy is better than your philosophy.” “Is not.” “Is so.” The issue drills way deeper than that to the very colours themselves.
In her excellent comment to Can Natural Hair Colour Ever Be Wrong?, Denise suspects that different analysts look for different things. I’m certain she’s right. The thinking process that decides how the drapes are used, in what order, to draw which conclusions, will vary among analysts and how they were trained. The logic tree guides the conclusions so it has to follow a consistent path.
I use drapes that contain only a single colour at a time because every single colour is telling you something. Too many colours at once overwhelms the logic system. Might be that True Winter’s drape set looks acceptable until we get to the darker ones. The meaning of that would be lost with too many of a Season’s colours being evaluated together. Would I get the same results with napkin-size drapes than the larger ones I prefer? Maybe.
Even with custom-dyed drapes, the eye of the analyst and their interpretations will vary. This does happen. As you know if you’ve had a Sci\ART analysis, the drapes were hand selected by a master and are freakishly accurate. Despite that, I’ve had a woman leave one Sci\ART analysis a True Spring and leave me a Dark Winter from the very same drapes.
More power to the people who can standardize the colour system – but even then, even if the palettes and the drapes were custom-coloured and you could convince every analyst to sign up, how you remove the human element of error, I do not know. Computers can’t do this, only a human eye can pick up the subtleties. Towards the end of the session, when the worst colours have been excused, the answer is unveiled among layers of subtlety. Could any colour analyst, Sci\ART or not, honestly claim that they got every single person right? I’m sure some could. Perhaps they could add their name and business link to the Comments at the end. You should go see them, not me.
It’s not practical to have 2 analysts weigh in on every person’s session, which is why I’m so happy when people arrive with a friend whose character won’t just agree with everything I say. The more eyes, the better. Re-draping or continuing the following day is useful but many people make travel plans to come just for one day. The analyst has to wrap it up that day.
#1b. Another good question: “If I was analyzed in another system and I trust the result, does the information from other companies or websites like this one still pertain to me?”
I don’t necessarily believe my way is the only way. It’s just that those are the results I understand and those are the palettes I can move around in. Those are the people and palettes in my head when I pick makeup and hair and clothing. But they can only apply to Sci\ART colours and therefore people analyzed in that system. How useful are my words if you were analyzed by a different system? I guess they’d have some value. But for choosing items to buy, you might rather stick with the company that analyzed you.
For the consumer, this is, of course, a complete frustration. As CCR sang, “…clouds of mystery pouring confusion on the ground.” How could it be otherwise? But you know, every industry is this way. This doctor gives you diagnosis A, the other one is convinced of diagnosis B. This makeup artist swears you’re cool, the other that you’re warm. What’s the answer? I think it’s to pick one system and stick with it. Hopefully, they have support materials to help women analyzed with those drapes make decisions about their appearance. You can pick whomever appeals to you but then you need to commit to that system afterwards too. They’re not interchangeable, though I know women would love it if they were.
All this colour talk is an academic exercise unless it helps you make better purchase decisions. You should be able to walk into any store, salon, boutique, or makeup counter, announce your Season, and trigger a whole set of clues in the sales staff’s mind. For store staff to bother learning it and feel successsful using it, one regulated system must prevail. I expect that work is underway to equalize colour analysis once and for all. I hope it works – and that the producers reach out and survey some analysts for ideas. They would hear many a good suggestion.
As ever, I’d be very grateful to hear your viewpoints. They always add to the conversation.