When I wrote the articles about True Season children two years ago for a previous blog, there was no Autumn article because I didn’t know any Autumn kids to watch. I still don’t know many. I know many Autumn grownups these days. They’re so levelheaded, so reasonable, that it’s hard to think of those elaborate parts of their character that can be quirky or funny. To them, what is, is. Not more, not less.
They’re like everything that’s great about trees and home baking. Not fancy or fussy, I love their company so much for the WYSIWYG, sound, comfortable, real-world advice they offer. Their constancy and durability give us a feeling of people who are extremely trustworthy, reliable, and rock-steady. There’s no zigging and zagging.
gentle eyes, a soft face, perhaps some Summer; she could even be a Soft Summer but the eyes look too orange
Capable. This is the kid you want yours to be with if they go horseback riding. If yours falls off and is having wrist issues, the Autumn child can catch both horses, lead them home, find a grownup or a phone, call the parents, and get the right kind of help.
Life goes smoother if the other kids could just agree with them. There may be no physical attacks but there will be direct words spoken and order imposed. She’s doing the talking at the lemonade stand. Not bossy, not show-off, just doing the job.
Least likely to be picked on. Assertive from an early age.
dark but somehow soft (muted actually) ; the strong facial lines, smile lines
True and Soft are social, not solitary. Dark may isolate himself more and talk to dolphins while all the other kids are trying to tip the raft. Winter needs time apart.
Might be stocky or sturdy, especially the boys, and boy, can they eat. Regardless, boy or girl, these children are strong and willing to use their strength. They are powerful athletes and real survivors. Their stamina and endurance stays with them into adulthood as 50 year olds who can still outskate all the kids in pond hockey.
someone was smart when they put him in orange; notice the orange tones in the hair and a very strong face, even for a baby
When the Soft Autumn child tells a story, the emotions involved will be inflated higher than anyone else’s version because their Summer-ness felt them so deeply. The Dark Autumn child will have more worries about the events in the story and their meanings and repercussions. The Winter in him will keep him worrying about it for days. The True just tells it like it is. The most exaggerated thing about this person is that they have no exaggerations.
Need time to process surprises and really wishes you wouldn’t. His Spring sister’s idea of euphoria would be a surprise a minute.
building, digging, stacking, carrying, exotic eyes, Carol’s T3 defined points at the outer eye corners (from Dressing Your Truth)
They must have their own experience of something to change their mind. They are the original can’t-tell-them-anything kids.
strong and striking, Autumn and Winter ; not romantic or cute (Summer and Spring)
The Autumn child is straight up. He doesn’t conceal, cannot deceive. He’s not a jokester and is never devious. His Spring brother, who takes life less seriously and has a big imp streak, has figured out that when Mom’s on the phone, he can climb out a window, double back around the house to the kitchen, and sneak his fifth Popsicle of the afternoon. The Autumn child might walk very quietly into the kitchen, but if noticed and asked, would be compelled to admit “5″.
Spring fills us with the wonder of the moment. It is immediate. Summer is the cradle that keeps us safe while pushing us to meet our highest potential. Winter symbolizes mental capacity, to reason, to rationalize. Autumn is the work we do on Earth, to enrich, to build, to create, to leave something better than we found. Autumn completes our wholeness as the power of the physical body, inseparable from emotion (Summer), spirit (Spring), and logic (Winter). Without the balance between them, we cannot heal ourselves because each one is assaulted when the other feels injury. We also cannot fulfill our human potential. We cannot have been put on Earth with the abilities we have to live as cavemen. We must be here to live up to a higher ideal. The pendulum between the four powers sways but our answers are not behind us. Once we learn our center as a humanity by respecting all four energies equally, we will find a sustainable way of living and the answers to longevity.
Sensible, practical, no-nonsense, peaceful. Harrison Ford. Martin Sheen. Their steadiness makes them shoe-ins for feel-good TV presidents. The Summer contribution of do-the-right thing to Autumn’s save-the-day strength.
The Dark Autumn boy will explain, indeed expound, actually expostulate, on his topic, with no awareness that nobody has had a chance to speak for 20 minutes. The Dark Autumn man is not very different, but he speaks more slowly so he has time to formulate his thoughts. He is the professor to Dark Winter’s philosopher.
strong and capable at every age
What happens when a Summer and Autumn live together? Felix&Oscar.
Soft Autumn’s husband asks that you not tell her that a family member is in personal crisis or he’ll be sent back to the Farmer’s Market. The rest of his morning will be spent making ham sandwiches. He already delivers an asparagus quiche to the Art Gallery once a week. She combines Summer’s love and upstanding decency and Autumn’s foot on the gas to nurture the entire world.
True and Dark Autumn will be on time. Let’s get to it. Then we go on to the next job, though we tell ourselves we’re going to rest. We can chat after, but I won’t be late for my next appointment or make you late for yours.
If a client has all her children colour analyzed, she could be a True Autumn. She sees the sense and the savings, and is completely open to change. Light Spring will do the same, a mix of her Summer desire to make her family happy and her Spring enthusiasm when she spots a good thing. They will adopt their new palettes very quickly, without Winter’s tendency to contest or Summer’s to resist.
hazy eyes, hushed skin, a future Soft Autumn
If it’s a plain and honest opinion you want, go shopping with an Autumn. Summer’s deep streak of kindness will embellish with the compliment, any compliment. If you’re ok with the cold-blooded comment, a Winter can tell you that your suit is fine if you don’t mind looking like a birthday cake. And then you say to them “Now, how would you feel if someone spoke to you that way?” And they say “Fine. I wouldn’t care.” They’re telling the truth. They are thick-skinned (so they balance matte and opaque cosmetics), while Summer is thinner-skinned, as sensitivity of skin and emotion, as wearing a softer, lesser pigment deposit (so tinted moisturizers), as being more touchy of feeling internally and of texture externally, as tactile, with highly developed brain-hand connections and sense of touch. Summer skin is soft matte. Spring’s looks best dewy. Just as everyone’s busy is different, everyone’s Golden Rule comes out different but it’s still the same rule. Winters should shop with other Winters. Buy them the book Getting To Yes for Christmas. It will help them in life. The kindness of Summer and sweetness of Spring might see this Winter, meaning me and only me, as having the heart of that first cockroach that crawls out of a nuclear accident zone. On the other hand, I won’t tell you 3 months later that I really didn’t love you as a blonde but didn’t want to hurt your feelings, knowing what that hair cost you and all.
Dark Autumn brings in Winter’s flash. Whether Gamine, Classic, or Natural, words like Dramatic and Flamboyant will apply. Getting out oh the car, she will not come across as medium. Something is extraordinary and exaggerated – height, hair thickness, texture, and length, snap in her character, or embers for eyes. Julia Roberts may be Dark Autumn, Bianca Jagger, Dark Winter, perhaps both Flamboyant Naturals. The Dark Autumn will reveal or release much more of herself, while the Winter will keep larger parts of herself locked down.
The three Autumn groups look rightest in brown eyeshadow and liner because brown is dark orange and orange, gold, rust, etc. are cornerstones of Autumn. The only other great one for brown eyeshadow is True Spring. Everyone else is better in their grays.
Autumn’s face (left) speaks to us of resilience, bravery, and grit, in colours that are darker and more muted than the lighter, brighter skin on the right; Summer on the right is dreamy and swoopy – on both girls, gorgeous base hair colours for Soft/True Autumn and Light Summer
Will promote what she believes in gladly. She told every one of her True Autumn friends that some of the best makeup colours around are at Dressing Your Truth online store for Type 3. The three lip glosses just glow with rich warmth. And an Autumn pink eye shadow, you’d find that nowhere. Then there’s, the jewelry! She saved hours with the 6 pages of superb choices at the store. She thought about all her outfits and chose what would complete each. (Her Spring daughter just bought everything she liked, with no planning at all, figuring it would all work out. Imagine that.) To express her traces of Summer or Winter, a Soft and Dark Autumn resepectively might look at the Type 2 (Summer according to me, not to the folks at DYT) and Type 4 (looks Winterish) accessories. Since both SA and DA are Neutral Seasons, they can be flattered by silver and gold. A Soft Autumn looks great wearing Autumn colours in Summer’s way (analogous, flowing, floral, soft). Dark wears her palette in Winter’s way (bold, more contrast). So integrate your smaller contributing Season by wearing their style in jewelry with clothing and makeup in the colours and style of your own Season.
Soft Autumn, try out Lancome RIL 230M and 240M, your natural lipcolour is one of these or in between. Also NARS Mayflower lips, Body Shop 11 and 07 lipstick, and MUFE RAI 19 (for TA too) lipstick.
On Dark Autumn, NARS Pigalle, MUFE HD8 blush, Lauder Maple Sugar and Rich Currant lips. A good, dark,warm, barely muted blue eyeliner is Revlon Colorstay pencil in Navy. Dark Winter could wear this very well too as they have warm tones in hair and eyes.
True Autumn : MUFE HD10 blush, Givenchy Gold Brown lips (really nice, this lipstick, but sample it at Sephora first, big $$).
Here is an actress I greatly admire. Although she was a beautiful Juliet Capulet opposite diCaprio’s Romeo, when I really took notice and have loved her since was in Stage Beauty.
I’ve also come to understand that we express more than colour. We express line, pattern, and motion. You can’t just wear your colours, though no others on Earth could flatter you better. If the style does not respect your lines, patterns, and movements, harmony continues to elude.
That Dramatic True Summer was very worryingly difficult, so I’m trying an easier combination today, the Soft Autumn Natural. It came back to me that colour felt worryingly difficult in the beginning too. Having a real woman in mind gave me an endpoint I could envision and taught me how the Seasons’ colours work together to make a picture. With each woman whose colours I analyzed, I could write the articles and start seeing the similarities. I’ll have to learn Kibbe that way too. By holding Claire in my head, the need for length past the hip in a jacket becomes clear.
Kibbe’s book is the only personal style book that I can get to work on me and others. Indulging my love of an adjective, it is comfortably organized, ergonomically specific, and reliably stratified. And reproducible! Using his system, five people should come up with the same style answer for a given person. Kibbe’s translation of a very abstract thought system is linear and logical.
I’m a beginner. I need to start with easy pictures and lists. If we set out discussing tempering chocolate, I will never produce a chocolate cake. If the idiosyncrasies of different analysts’ tastes come into the picture too early, I’ll get confused because I won’t be able to tell them apart from the basic truths that really do apply to me.
I also think his 13 types is complete and enough. It just takes time to figure out what he means by certain terms and descriptions and to get a sense of the relative differences between the groups. Like, what exactly is a straight skirt? Of the 3 types with small rounded facial bones, whose are the most small and round?
Soft Autumn Is
In 12 Season personal colour analysis, ‘Season’ describes a type of natural colouring. In a Soft Autumn, all the colours that make up the body, skin, hair, eyes, maybe veins, teeth, inner lips and cheeks, and internal organs for all I know, are:
- muted, soft, heathery, so slightly calmed by a murmur of grey
- warmed quite a lot, as every colour appears in a late afternoon sun on a day with a little overcast
- fairly light to medium dark, no extremes like black and white
Looking at the person, you see the colours all at once like when the swatch book is fanned out. The feeling is affectionate, safe, restrained, sensitive, mellow, supple, and sympathetic. Words like strident belong somewhere else.
Kibbe’s Natural Is : “Girl Next Door Chic”, “Losbter Party hostess”.
He also has a Flamboyant Natural – who’s the modern version of Carly Simon…Miley Cyrus could be FN. With her bigger body, broader facial bones, smaller eyes, I wonder also about Andie McDowell (not a Soft Autumn).
And there’s a Soft Natural category…the Olsen twins?
- soft and round edged geometric shapes ; slight oversize/unstructured
- earthy materials, slightly chunky
- outline relaxed, straight, narrow, loose, soft tailored
- textured fabrics; glitz at night
- detail minimal, simple neckline, open neck, soft shoulder
- mostly separates, mixing pattern texture colour
- color pizzazz, break the rules mix n match, neutrals with texture
- circle, swirl, ornate, sharp, severe, fiddly
- sheer, clingy, flimsy, restrictive
- cropped, monochromatic
SA N Separates
- relaxed straight lines? yes, pretty good
- bold and direct? I think so, enough anyway.
The hard part: keeping colour zippy and colour combinations energized. I even consulted Kobayashi’s Color, Image, Scale, best colour combinations ever, and didn’t have much luck getting pink beige into any snappy colour combinations without losing my Soft Autumn vibe.
Like: that it feels tight in style, not just colour. I don’t look at any item and think “Why in the world would that be there?” These could all live in one woman’s closet.
The Hair Style
I quite like chin length hair on Claire. If the bob were not severe, keeping to the idea of rounded edges that are a little fluffed, perhaps this?
The Hair Colour
Highlights, bleach, or any kind of processing that is obvious will feel forced instead of being true to the feeling of naturalness that an N emanates.
Though Hollywood advice to Soft Autumns appears to be that blonde is necessary, it is never the best choice for the skin, whether she’s an N or not. The natural colour is usually medium-dark warm-ash brown. Very medium in colour. If the texture is also without body or definition, the hair feels left behind once the woman is dressed and made up. Consider a colour that is one shade lighter and a fair bit warmer than the natural colour.
JLo Lite, like what’s at the ends of the hair. Golden Blonde before anyone would call it red.
Jennifer Lopez Pictures
SA N Makeup
Natural means the no-makeup look, which can still require a good bit of makeup to achieve. The movie makeup and hair artists in the poster at the top did a pretty good job.
Try these and let us know what you think:
Bronzer: Urban Decay Baked
Blush: Mercier Rose Bloom
Eyeliner: Urban Decay Stash
Eyeshadows: NARS Portobello, Key Largo, Blondie
Lipstick: Givenchy gloss Delectable Brown
Which brings up the interesting question of what a SA Dramatic would wear.
Other SA Kibbegories
C. had a lovely idea, comparisons. Katrina did just that with a SA Romantic and it’s brilliantly good.
Here is Jen’s Romantic Soft Autumn. We know with colour that two women of the same Season will interpret their palettes very differently in the items they choose to buy, how they colour their hair, or wear their makeup. The same applies to Kibbegories. We still retain every bit of our individuality. Our creativity is simply more focused and our visual voice is so much more beautifully coherent.
If you did a Polyvore of another Kibbegory, please post links in the Comments. We’d love to see it.
Please allow me first to introduce Tricia, the woman who created these colour collections. Her ability to re-invent herself and hit the target with beautifully convincing and tasteful precision astounds me.
I asked Trish to tell you a bit about herself:
I am 35, I live on the Wirral peninsular, UK. I have a background in Biology and used to be a Infant School Teacher. My first choice of career at the age of 7 was a Make-up artist (after realising that I’d never be either a Ballerina or a Princess). I had my own make-up kit since I was about 5 and have always enjoyed giving my friends make-overs. I have a life-long interest in style anlaysis, colour analysis and make-up and plan to qualify with Colour me Beautiful this summer.
My Colour analysis journey began in 2007, when I decided that my dark Gothic look was not doing anything for me, and my interest on Vintage style clothing was growing. After reading all the available literature I could get my hands on I came to the conclusion that I was Clear Winter, which I confirmed with a CMB Analyst. The transition to colour has been fairly easy for me, but the hardest part has been accepting my yellow overtones and incorporating Spring’s warmth in to my palette e.g. I stopped dying my hair blue-black and retuned to my natural dark ash brown, I swapped my pale-pink setting powder which was made my skin look pallid, for a icy-yellow shade which added back the natural bright tone. I also experimented with peachy-pink blush and lipstick which I found suited me far better than the cool blue-pinks, plums and mauves I had been wearing (which made my skin look ashen!). A huge wrench for me was to drop the Vampy burgundy lipsticks in favour of bright pinks and reds which make my skin sparkle. I am still learning and each day I seem to learn new things about colour, which is one reason I find this subject so fascinating.
The Warm Palettes
In the previous post, we saw neutral (meaning browns and greys) and coloured eyeshadow and blushers for the Summer and Winter types of natural colouring, or Seasons. In this post, Tricia has assembled the same groups of colours for the warm Seasons of Spring and Autumn.
MAC products were used to create these sets. If you would like to know the details of a particular colour, please post a note in the Comments and Tricia will be glad to answer. She also has lists of many equivalents from MAC to Pretty Your World, Lora Alexander’s simply fabulous line of colour-analyzed cosmetics for the 12 Seasons. PYW eyeshadows are pure silk, as are the blushes, and you can compare a particular colour from Trish’s 4 Season groupings to where Lora placed it among the 12.
The Autumn blushes are called Sculpt, Taupe, and shaping powders which we’ve inserted here as Tricia acquires more of the colourful Autumn blush choices. These seem as if they could be used as excellent contours and sculptors by numerous types of colouring, with warmer and cooler choices. As great flesh tones, they remind me very much of the light and dark colours Kevyn Aucoin used to demonstrate where to place these products on a face to create a most incredible facial shaping, forming, and chiseling in his essential book Making Faces. The book can be bought anywhere. That image can be seen here, though the colours are more intense in the book.
Remember that there are many colours you could wear in addition to these. You may prefer a more colourful blush effect or a more natural or sculpted face. Look at these palettes and think about why Tricia included each colour where she did and what her vision of these Seasons might be. In the end, it’s your vision of your Season that will develop and mature, influenced by everyone else’s input, and finalized with your own.
Eyeshadow is the one cosmetic product that I find can be matched to the Colour Books without smearing it out on paper or on your face. How much eyeshadow can you really apply to your eyelid in one shopping session, let alone truly know if it suits you? Impossible. This is a product worth learning to judge from the pan.
Like every other aspect of choosing your most beautiful colours, recognizing your best eye makeup depends in large part on recognizing everyone else’s too, at least in a general sense.
Tricia Bratley is a (trust me) beautiful (shockingly so and I’m going to prove it in the next post) Bright Winter. She lives on the Wirral Peninsula in the NW U.K. And she loves makeup, all makeup, not just her own Season’s, in which she is most accomplished. Tricia assembled the palettes you see below, took the photos, and so graciously sent them to me to share with you.
This series sets Summer and Winter neutral (as in grays and taupes) eyeshadows, colour eyeshadows, and blushers, adjacent. Within each palette of eyeshadows, you may find options for the three Seasons within each True Season, but Tricia focussed primarily on the True Summer and True Winter when she organized these collections.
These palettes consist of MAC colours. If you have any questions about specific pans, please post them in the Comments and Tricia will come in and answer.
These photos are so good that there is nothing I can add. Enormous thanks to Tricia for her work and her generosity
Never fear, the True warm Seasons are next.
Rarely do the people whose natural colouring fits into this Season realize it. When Julie Andrews played Mary Poppins, she portrayed the average of this appearance and character to perfection. Her hair was dark but the overall effect was of light and clarity. Even her speech and manner were clipped and brisk. She was elegant and groomed and made riding the carousel in a sidewalk chalk picture normal and natural, elegance and magic at once. In Mary’s world, imagination and reality were the same and make-believe didn’t exist.
The word Season describes your natural colouring. In the colour world, there are 12. A personal colour analysis tells you which is yours. Why use the word Season, it sounds so dated? Because you are a child of a planet whose landscapes change as it circles (actually, ellipses)the sun on an axis, and we call those changing scenes seasons. The pigments of your skin fit into certain of those landscapes without beginning or end. There is no me, there is no you, there is no line that separates us from our world. I didn’t make that up or believe it from a yoga video. They’re called mirror neurons and they’re quite real. For honouring and celebrating the amazing coolness of being here, Season is a great word.
Your pigmentation causes the same frequency and wavelength of light waves to be reflected from your body (because that’s what colour is) as those reflected from your seasonal landscape. Nature’s wizardry doesn’t end there. The waves that move in that frequency and wavelength can be absorbed by the retina of another being and create electrical energy that becomes biomolecular energy. This generates an image in the brain tissue of that other. Were that other’s eyes closed and you could stimulate those eye neurons in that same way, you’d generate the same image in their brain.
Season is not about how skin looks, it’s about how it reacts. It needs to be given something to react to, like drapes or makeup or clothes. Otherwise, I don’t have a clue. You could argue that human pigmentation can’t possibly be narrowed down to 12 groups. Sure enough, you could have 20 or 30, but at some point, a very powerful way of improving your closet and your bank account would be too weak to work. There would be too many similarities among them to make each unique. The fact is, an eye isn’t able to tell that many similar colours apart.
The pigments that make up a Bright Spring person look a lot like the True Spring colours, meaning they’re clear and pure, warmed by yellow, and fairly light. When those colours get mixed with a bit of Winter’s, they become even more clear, but less warm and less light. With input from 2 True Seasons, Bright Spring is called a Neutral Season. They have warmer and cooler versions of each colour in their skin, hair, and eyes, and so in their colour palette.
Though the Spring presence is biggest, Winter always deals a strong hand. Often, these people resemble Winters, have been told they’re Winters, and dress like Winters. Once their hair turns white, they move over to Summer’s wardrobe and would look better if they’d stuck with Winter.
With the great distance between the parent Seasons of Winter and Spring, the landscapes are as variable as the individuals. The colours speak to me as lush and wild, so the landscape the same, like a jungle. The overwhelming collective life force of Spring and the violence of Winter co-exist. Winter places a cool veneer on the surface but the invisible reality is of life energy gathering force to sustain the frenzy of freedom and bloom that is coming in True Spring. Tension is building, for when this spring uncoils, True Spring will very truly have sprung.
These people have a thousand variations. My picture is pretty hot, or at least building up a lot of charge. AC pictures the melting snow running among the newest flowers. In the comment dated August 23 following The Brown-Eyed Spring article, which is also about Bright Spring, she said
One of the pictures that I have of Bright spring in my mind is of a landscape with frost and the first yellow and purple spring flowers peeping through the snow, the sound of water running under the clear ice, the crisp clear wind, the feeling that it may all freeze over again, but also the knowing that eventually it will be spring. Life will prevail.
She is in fine tune with her colours because she is on the cool side of her Season, so it’s apt that her inner landscape be cooler. Most interesting that the picture she resonates with coincides exactly with her position among the Seasons.You can follow a link to her very beautiful face in the comment mentioned above. Perhaps, her colour story looks like this.
This person sparkles. They have wit, conversation, joy, and humour. Winter gives them formality, organization, and some seriousness with the darkness in their appearance, but it’s not heavy-handed. Spring’s sunshine relaxes them, still with enough cool to give them quickness of movement.
Playful, cold, and clean, it’s all fun and games but there are many reasons for not wanting to get in this water. Winter=risk. A Winter element brings an edge, something that isn’t too comfortable. Winter will never make everything too easy for anybody. Like neon, we brace for this colour. In the beginning, you need to roll the dice and have a little faith that you look years younger. Don’t look at the drapes, look at the face when you’re choosing a Season.
These persons look more delicate than they are, like the finest icicles and waterfalls. This is not daintiness, frills, or fragility. Rather, think of the morning after a freezing rainstorm. The branches are coated with a thin layer of ice, looking like frozen feathers. The world looks more tough than soft, but we feel no threat. The sun is getting warmer, we can hear the music of melting ice, and we know the tough part is temporary, almost pretend. In scenery that seems so tight and yet is so easy to snap lies a contradiction that feels excitable and exciting, almost high-strung, to know everything could change in an instant with the right touch.
Light bounces everywhere. We know the thaw is imminent. Just a little more sun, a little more time, already we anticipate the gladness of Winter’s passage, and might even miss its majestic and solitary beauty just a little. While still quiet and cold, the colour information tells you this isn’t November.
This is a charming and very social person. Spring’s easy smile greets you, more friendly than you really expected. Spring’s love of dialogue appears, less reserved and more joking than you really expected. You’re carried along by an optimistic and open personality, but one who never fully lets themselves go. Winter still has a hand on the wheel and decorum will matter. It crosses your mind to wonder why this dark landscape is so sunny. How can it feel so right to have the sun out at night?
Since who we are not is 90% of the inventory of any store, 97% in Bright Spring’s case, let’s get a sense of what that looks like: earthy, heathery, dusty, misty, hazy, dilute, creamy, undefined, slouchy, rough, rugged, chunky, cozy, faded, subdued, faint.
The person is: spirited, vivacious, happy, charming. They’re the can of ice cold 7Up. Bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, ready for action, curious, and interested in everything. The body carriage is upright and perky, movements are quick and snappy, and none of this goes with the adjectives in the preceding paragraph.
What would it feel like to be standing by those crocuses above or in the jungle at sunrise with your eyes closed? The air is clean and brisk. It’s soft and sharp at once. You smell wet ground and new life. You’d prefer to keep one eye open, having no sense of being snug or sheltered, but it’s still ok. You’re pretty sure nothing’s coming to get you. Birth always brings so much hope and promise that this feels more like a party. Life is so vital right now that it feels a bit unsteady. When you open your eyes, you expect that it will look different than moments ago. How might you do that with apparel?
Bright Spring is :
- funny, quirky, unique, unexpected, bold, bright, artistic, varied >> a deep and pure blue-purple shirt with silver writing, whirls, or sparks.
- unconventional >> if you do floral, make the flowers blue or green or extreme purple and turquoise (black flowers are a harder take on life, leave them to Winter). If you do tweed, make it pink (tweed being Autumn’s texture, but everyone needs warm clothes; think of a one-of-a-kind Chanel suit).
- the problem with plaid is the same as with paisley, it is widely recognized as a workday fabric. It says practical (Autumn), not playful (Spring). The prominent squares say functional (A), not fun (S). Flannel is another less-than-perfect fit. By its texture, it dulls colour and says “grounded” >> Bright Spring might feel useful, sensible, and pragmatic, but others see decorative to ornamental. Crystal is not down-to-earth. The Zen moment is when everything you add to you keeps your compass pointing the same way. Compliments become holistic, about the whole you, because no element sticks out, pointing away from your True North. Pick shiny over muffled in fabric.
- Winter looks right when they’re overdressed for the occasion compared to everyone else. BSp carries some of that, though they wear informality better >> high end workout clothes are great. Jeans are often (not always) too rough. This person shines. They’d look good in a dress made of tin foil. It’s light, delicate, shiny, and hard till you touch it. Softening effects, like scalloped edges, are less good. Youthful looks work on Bright Spring with care, keeping enough formality to balance the Winter that looks bigger than it is. Polka dots to satisfy Winter’s classic style could be great in a formal and still symmetric design, or it becomes too young.
- Spring is young >> modern textile is better. It takes up more dye, not dulling fabric. The same colour is more muted in wool than Lululemmon knit.
- I want to direct you to a comment AC added, dated Sept 11, is this woman getting a handle on her colouring, I ask you??, after How Winters Intensify Eye Colour. She has realized that her colouring is assembled like a triadic colour scheme, meaning 3 colours equidistant on the colour wheel. Of course it is, the brilliant woman! Triadic colour schemes are brilliant on Springs. Anything based on a triangle is, but take care. Bright Spring isn’t that zingy. That scheme is very invigorating at any darkness level. This natural colouring is more settled. Use the 3 colours but keep one element smaller in proportion.
- The palette shines light outward, while Winter palettes always absorb more than they reflect. As light gets hotter and we approach True Spring, the sun will heat up even more. Below, you see Bright Winter on the left, Bright Spring on the right.
- anything too crayon/child’s drawing/cheery/playful is the extreme to avoid. Winter is very grownup, formal, majestic, regal, like kings and queens >> find the balance that still says elegance and excellent taste. You can wear a lot of colour well, but use those grays, small areas of B&W, and some darker colours that feel more serious.
- colours that are too soft, too pastel, too grayed – from a distance, those elements would all flow together, which is Summer’s watercolour look. Bright Spring’s facial features are very distinct from one another. Outfits look better when they are too, with adjustments for your own personal appearance >>bold elements and intense colour are better. Following The Brown-Eyed Spring article linked above, there is some great discussion for those interested in the use contrast, with links to Imogen Lamport’s excellent explanations (If you don’t know her blog, you should. I find her better than anyone at explaining fashion concepts and their practical, real world, real body, real budget application). I’m sorry, I’m not very helpful, my brain locks up, but grateful that Fil, Imogen, and others can help.
- most of you easily have the darkness to wear black. When it’s solid, it looks too heavy and dark >> when it’s lightened up, it looks more delicate and crystalline, and if ever a word described you, that would be it. This Pointelle Cashmere Cardigan is great. Every Spring should take advantage of transparency, in clothes, makeup, jewelry, hair laminates, wherever. Wear a bright shell underneath, not black or white or neutral, all of which are too serious and not invigorating enough. As much as crystalline is real and right on you, the other big word for me is glaze. So thin it could crack, transparent sugar.
Bright Spring’s Makeup
Winter’s red influence is far-reaching. Logic might tell you that this person will wear their warmer bright melon well in blush and lipstick because the Spring element is dominant in their colouring. To my eye, the pinks look better. They can be warmer and cooler but they feel more right than orange variations.
Every Season has their extremes, True Spring’s tambourine jingling hippie, Soft Autumn’s Earth Mother, Bright Spring’s harlequin, bells on the hat and all. The makeup takes some courage here, at least the lip colour. Start with sheer since transparency works. Hair can be very dark but the skin usually is light and bright and needs that in makeup. Lauder is one of my favorites for clear colour in lip products. Wild Rose, Lush Rose, Rich and Rosy, gloss in Fresh Berry and Wild Coral.
Mixing MAC Dollymix and Fleur Power is good. Shiseido RD 401 is a nice blush. Smashbox Radiance is too.
Eyeshadow is harder than anything to find, especially if you prefer matte textures or have mature skin and wear them better. Nothing here you’d call brown. The greys in the beads in the choker and in the diamond shaped earrings below are examples of good colours. The colour is mostly grey and neither earthy (which is usually an orange grey or brown, like a saddle, or a green grey or brown, like army), nor Winter’s hard, dark, cold knife grey.
Examples? Help me out here if you know of any. Become the artist and mix your pigments. Use Clarins Vanilla Beige or MAC Chamomile under the brow, and then again to lighten and yellow MAC Print a little, turn it into that cleanest yellowed taupe. MAC Mystery was suggested, a really good clean brown. Make your life easy, and mine so I don’t have to scour the makeup counters in search of something hard to find on a good day, and buy Mediatrix, Conversationalist, and Upbeat from eleablake. I’d have to buy Daisies and Diamonds too, to make colours I already own right and to bring out the yellow in these eyes. (and check out Dishy blush while you’re there).
Bright Spring Accessories
Do not have a brown or black purse. Connected to a person so sparkly, it looks like luggage. Ditto the generic brown or black shoe, suitcases on feet. Black is fine if it’s not chunky and usual.
Choose patent leather over suede.
Wear fun and colourful exercise type shoes (and clothes).
Wear coloured coats and shoes, ballet flats in fun patterns, sparkly accents, gold or silver threads woven into scarves.
One part of shopping is crazyeasy for Brights : jewelry. Wear lots of it. It looks good. You sparkle and so does it. Not matched? No problem. From Harry Winston to costume jewelry. Fancy, cheap, pretty, silly, all fine if it reminds you of the thinnest layer of crackling glass.
Look for delicate, not heavy and complicated, not 10 interwoven strands of pearls and chains. I looked for purity of colour, for colour a person would notice within 2 seconds of shaking your hand, for movement, jingle, like bells on a velvet rope, like crystals suspended in mid-air. When I think of Winter, I keep coming back to dry. Spring, I get sugary, so I looked for a little sweetness in the frost.
I like hearts. Above, they’re little twinkles. Bright Winter is big glitter, harder words for a colder Season. This is frost, not ice. Swarovski is all you really need.
Learning and becoming your Season is like hearing a language you grew up with. I had a Russian grandmother. Understood it fine till I was 10 and we moved from Montreal. Now, I get the odd word, but there’s still roots in that soil. At first, it will feel very foreign, very “I have no idea what this colour language is saying to me.” Look inward for truth and you’d admit it plucked a string. Something felt a ping. From there, you keep moving towards it. Because you already are it, you’ll move fast. You’ll find a place waiting for you that will enfold you, while another person would always stay the square peg. You can choose to stand still, but life is much more fun if you keep moving towards the heat.
How the other 9 Seasons intensify eye colour has been discussed in previous posts (Spring, Summer, Autumn). I neglected Winter because I figured these eyes don’t need a lot of help, they tend to be self-emphasizing. I thought I wouldn’t have much to say (will I ever learn?). But I was wrong, there are still ways to make what you have better, and really important ways not to make things worse.
Previously, we said you can emphasize eye colour, or any colour, by repeating it, by using the complementary colour, or by using contrast.
For All 3 Winters
1. Coloured eyeliner, of course. Sometimes repeating your eye colour works, sometimes it doesn’t. When it doesn’t, it’s because there’s conflict with your inherent pigmentation, skin and eyes being usually made of very similar pigments. Stick with the personal colour palette. Once you get a perfect colour for your skin, it will automatically be perfect for your eyes and hair. At what point obvious colour in eye makeup becomes too young is your decision, and might depend on your age, your taste, where you live, and what kind of day it is.
The exact colours to buy are in the swatch book. If you try to guess at the best brown/blue/purple/green, you have about a 20% chance of being right. Think of how many blue or green eyeliners are available. If you know your Season, you could look at the colours Sci\ART analyst and makeup artist Darin Wright has posted, and sells, at eleablake.com. Go Personal Makeup Colors > Liner > Eye Liners > then pick your Season. Some of us couldn’t scroll down to the lower ones, but one smart woman pointed out that using the up/down/left/right keys works for her, and it did for me too.
You have darkness, so very dark pure plums, violets, and sapphires can look like a softened black if obvious colour isn’t to your taste.
These eyes are very hard to dominate. Heavy liner looks fine, certainly on the Darks and Trues. Bright Winter is a more delicate face, always something of the sprite, and some may need a lighter hand with dark liner. IMO, black doesn’t suit anybody unless you’re very dark, darker than Halle Berry, because it’s too hard. Very blackened browns and greys look more real and less pharaoh.
2. Wearing your eye colour in clothing, which is more effective than eye makeup since the colour block is bigger. The high colour saturation in Winters strengthens the effect even more. Winter looks cluttered and fussy wearing many colours at once but the colour(s) they do wear are very bold. Since there’s less colour distracting the eye, the one colour it does see is maximally compelling. If it happens to match the eye colour, they carry each other that much higher.
3. Wearing makeup. No group looks more heightened with makeup than Winter and they know it, often not leaving the house without a fair bit of it – but, boy, it can take them places. If any group can carry a little too much, it’s this one.
4. Generic brown eyeshadow is too hot, flat, and safe for this group. They are far more grey people. It looks cleaner and sharper. Grey includes a thousand choices from ice to near-black. The Darks will wear iron and diesel smoke. The Trues and Brights wear stainless steel and coal.
It becomes essential to learn your right greys, the colour I think is the most challenging and often the last one people get very comfortable choosing after their PCA, but such a high-efficiency engine in clothing and eyeliner. I appreciate that the idea of saturated grey is oxymoronic. Closeness to greyness is how we decide a colour is of low saturation. What does Winter do, who needs high sat everything?
It comes together in an item that looks densely pigmented, like a heavy layer of paint, not gauzy or watery or dilute or sheer. Light wouldn’t shine through it – or so it should feel, even if the item is sheer. The grey consists of B&W only, which looks harder, not bluish or pinkish or any ishes, which look softer. Sound softer. Hear ish and the whole message softens, like speaking with your head straight (no ish) or tipped (ishy). Seeing another colour with the grey, like Summer’s mauve greys, feels like the compromise we associate with softening or muting, the presence of 2 colours at once. There’s no iffiness about Winter’s colour. It is or it’s not. Water can be lots of colours but nobody argues over the colour of blood. Solid B&W grey feels like no bargain, no deal, no give…why, just like Winter!
6. These eyes can be black brown to the point that no detail can be seen in the iris and the intensity of the colour doesn’t seem much affected by colour. What is strongly affected in every one of these eyes will be the crispness around the edge of the iris. In wrong colour, it blurs and fuzzes, which, of course, is happening to the whole face. The same colour suggestions apply regardless of eye colour if the skin Season is Winter.
7. Complementary colours exist opposite each other on the colour wheel. In each other’s presence, they set up a current, almost a pulsation.
Notice the blueness of the white of the eye above? In right colour, that blueness is accentuated. It acts as a complement for orange-brown in eyes. Self-emphasizing eyes, just by pulling on the right shirt!
This seems easy. The usual pairs are,
Blue if brown eyes.
Brown for blue eyes.
Purple for yellow.
Red for green.
Be careful. You need the right complement. Every single blue and every single orange don’t come together to make the vibration of adjacent complements. It’s not just low-lying fruit. The money shot depends on getting it right. Make your blues more purple, the complements get yellower. Make your inborn blues more saturated and redder, complements get more staurated and yellower.
Luckily, once you know your inborn colours, you Colour Book contains their inborn complements. It’s actually really hard to know your exact eye colour and which pigments matter to make the colour effect work. A blue eyed Winter isn’t going to have big use for yellow in makeup, but can sure wear primary yellow in clothes. She’ll repeat the blue in liner and then contrast the white of the eye by choosing a dark blue liner.
Play with your eye colour and this tool (enter Complimentary under Scheme and play with the Sat and Brightness sliders.)
If you have a brown eye, all the blues in your personal colour swatches will complement the orange tones, brown just being dark orange. Pick the ones that make sense to you as eye makeup, like the black sapphire liner.
Green eyes are obviously not going to pick red eyeliner, they’ll pick red clothes. Many Winter greys have a red undercurrrent because red is a huge part of the undertone. I have really never seen a subtle red presence in grey in clothes or eye makeup. I doubt these items are coloured that specifically. If you could find it, it would be interesting with eyes that contain green.
When I say contrast, I’m almost always meaning light-dark contrast, or value contrast, though there are other types. Wearing the lightest lights and the darkest darks at once is as important on Winter as getting their colour right. It applies to makeup as well as clothes and jewelry.
A very defined and precisely shaped brow is so important. It can be almost old-world movie star stylized. Elizabeth Taylor eyebrows. Casual is not so successful on Winter. Can you even imagine her in sweats? It’s almost impossible. Winter finds it hard to make jeans work and easy to dress up.
Define the brow with pencil or powder of the same colour, not darker, which can be picked out a mile away and looks cliche. Some Winters have a light brow. Go with that. To thine own self, right? It introduces gentleness that’s not expected and is extremely approachable and attractive.
Another way to define the brow is to surround it with light colour (highlight below, foundation above), like they surround the lips with light colour on makeup ads to make them jump out of the page. Always find ways to heighten the contrast on Winter. Winters will choose an extreme icy light under the brow.
You’re using very light and very dark eyeshadows. The eyeliner is quite dark, almost black. These 3 Seasons look good with dark eyeliner on the inner rims of the eyelids. Everyone else looks too vicious. Winter looks fierce, which they already look like anyhow (and are) so the stretch isn’t beyond credibility. It looks hard and they look hard, both in a good way. Great partnership (terrible grammar, sorry, Word is sending me all sorts of flags.) You haven’t altered course. The needle is still pointed the same way. You’re elevating what you are already, the name of the game.
9. Mascara is blackest black and lots of it.
In 12 Season personal colour analysis, Dark Winter is the group whose natural colouring is mostly composed of the Winter palette pigments, incorporating an Autumn portion that will darken, mute, and warm the colours as though 4 drops of darkest chocolate were mixed in. They might look like Demi Moore, Sandra Bullock, or Paula Begoun.
I apologize to women of colour who get tired of being outnumbered by women of light Caucasian skin in these discussions. My own experience is with light complexions so I’m more comfortable suggesting makeup for that skin. Among my clients, one woman of Indian ethnicity was Dark Winter. Asian women have been Bright Winters and Bright Spring. One African-American was Dark Winter. I used the very same makeup for them that I do for light women and they looked great. No doubt, more intense and darker colour would have worked as well.
Eyeliner is black brown or dark gunmetal. Dark Winter is not playful, they’re functional. When I wear coloured liner, my children say “Mom, you’re just not that happy.” I just found out I am an INTJ personality, same as Bill Gates, which is weird because he doesn’t look Dark. Ben Bernanke, now, that makes complete sense. I quite love the eleablake liners in Currant, Walnut, and Midnight Blue. If Dark is going to do colour, do it right. It gets cartoony quick.
Teal matters. As a repeat to teal in the eye colour or to complement the orange tones in brown eyes, whether in makeup or clothing or jewelry, this is an important colour for everyone with any Autumn in them. Some degree of gold-orange, in this Season it’s the darkest, coolest version as darkest chocolate brown, is present in the skin and overall colouring.
Eyeshadow is dull dark grey (with an icy highlight under the brow). Clinique Totally Neutral is good. I see Edward Bess Soft Smoke and Chanel Gris Exquis online and they look good. MAC Smut is a contender, with a good name. Dark Winter grey is like a dark, dull, dirty (not dusty, which lightens as it dulls) grey.
The Darks can do a brown in eyeshadow better than the other Winters because of that browning-by-Autumn element. It is purpley. I mix Dynamic and Groovy.
Could be Liv Tyler, Josh Groban, Elvis Presley, Anne Hathaway.
Eyeliners are black brown, coal, black if you insist, black sapphire, and dark purple.
True Winter is quiet. They are not working (Dark) or playing (Bright). Shape and outline matter more than colour. A perfectly lined eye using white and mid to darkest gray, that would look no different if seen on B&W TV, has unbelievable impact.
Red is the signature colour of the Winter group…and so eleablake gives True Winter the perfect cool, dark green liner in Eucalyptus.
Of all the Winters, True adds the fewest colour elements. They are perfectly defined and refined by B&W alone in very symmetric but strongly defined shapes. Colour in clothing can almost get in the way of the eye colour. One colour should stand alone, like one leaf left on a frozen tree, one red berry on a bush. Let that one colour be the eyes. And then the lips. I’ve never seen any other group do this B&W+eyes effect with such force. They’re just electrifying (explosive will be the territory of the Brights.)
Chanel Smoky Eyes is a good all-in-one quad. It’s sparkly, which looks good on the young. For the rest of us, it’s those cleanest greys in a matte version.
Bright Winter describes the natural colouring of the person who is primarily Winter, with the faintest yellow light shining on the colours, making them lighter, clearer, and a bit warmer than True Winter’s. Who? Zooey Deschanel, Audrey Hepburn, Liza Minelli, the cute pixieness of Spring but the glamour is bigger.
Fun not functional applies to all Spring blends. Winter is the bigger gun in Bright Winter and brings with it glitz and shine. When you mix the two, the flash can’t be held back. Cat eyes, shine, colour, it all works, but stay true to Winter’s need for control and just do one thing at a time in a reserved way. Winter holds too much back to fit 100% with thrills and bright lights.
Here, coloured eyeliner to the point of crayon actually makes sense. It can also backfire if you get it wrong and take away from the eye colour. Depending on your colouring, this is the lightest of the Winters. Your eyeliners are here.
Purple is to any Spring what teal is to any Autumn: important. An element of yellow is present in every colour in the palette/person. Know your purples. Yours are lighter than TW and DW, more variations on sugarplum and poster violet than majesty purple.
The Chanel Smoky Eyes quad is a great choice here too, or equivalent colours. I think L’Oreal makes a Smoky Eyes. MAC has a number of greys, though I wish they weren’t all so dark and similar. They need to make the same grey range that they’ve done so well with brown.
First: Reminder: The importance of blush to heighten eye colour can’t be overstated.
With such strong eyes, a lip with enough colour to at least be natural is important or the eyes look spooky. The TW face seems off-balance. You’ll see the current page number above her photos and the Page option below so you can move around.
The lips should be in contrast with the skin just like every other feature. On a young girl, fire engine lips can look like playing dress up. She’ll wear clear fuchsia pinks, sheer reds, and purple glosses. The whole strong eye-pale mouth look, I never love it on any Winter. Lip colour doesn’t have to be dark, especially if lips are thick or thin, but the lips should not look like they’re wearing concealer or be chalky. Choose a sheer plum. Wear a nude look, but your nudes won’t be in the same tube as Soft Autumn’s.
The bottom of page 2 is bizarre, like Snow Princess disguised as Cinderella-pre-prince. What could be has been diminished utterly. I couldn’t find this girl till the second last photo Page 8. I can’t even talk about the one above it. Hair colour matters. Even on a Winter, spending all your time on the eyes and forgetting the rest isn’t a look that works outside of magazines, like the second one down Page 10.
As a general impression to the viewer, these colours on Elizabeth Taylor don’t hold a candle to these. The eye colour is grayed, the liner is too hot so the whites of the eyes are yellowed, the face looks pudgy. Quite possibly the most beautiful lips ever given to a woman just make you want to turn the page. The next one is the goddess. Do you know what the waterline of the eye is? The inner rim of the lower lid. It’s a makeup effect to draw a white line on it because it looks so clean and healthy (off whites and beiges on other Seasons). In right colours, it will be very white on everyone, very important effect on Summers who can be quite pinkish to begin with. See how white it is in the good photo – that’s been edited in but it just elevates what’s already there. If it were placed in the worse photo, it would look weird or sinister, it could never fit in. And yet it belongs on this woman.
You can see some very lovely examples of Winter eyes and line patterns in the Our Eye Album: Winter article. Accompanying the Bright Winter eye 5 photo are some suggestions as to how a woman with those eye colours might approach intensifying them.
For those here for the first time, in 12 Seasons personal colour analysis, Soft Autumn is the type of natural colouring or Season that is mostly governed by Autumn’s personal colour palette, with a small but important influence from Summer.
In the previous Soft Autumn Landscapes, we thought about how perfectly Kristin’s photos of Belgian scenes depicted Soft Autumn’s palettes and colour language. How does this translate in your appearance? How do you take the beauty of how you already are and elevate it, level by level, by repeating it in perfect harmony with the original?
Very muted means nothing bold, cold, hard, sharp, super-shiny, super-sleek, super-anything, severe, or strict. White and black, both extremes, are outsiders. I hope Kristin will forgive me if I show you white and black on SA using her photos. Does your eye anything else? All the good, easy feelings go away and you feel the tension of being expected to deal with the white dot and come up with a reaction.
Though I always expect to feel more tension with black on this colouring, since SA is the light side of the Autumn group, I’m actually more uncomfortable with white. Perhaps that’s because Autumn in general goes to a medium-dark place. More so, stark white feels a bit painful because the inherently muted colouring makes the white absolutely sparkle so I feel I have to squint or look down.
What’s worse, to balance the clanging, insistent white, the person just gets grayer. When you force two things together that don’t belong, they both seem to go further in the bad direction. Something has to give to keep the balance. The white glows more and the person mutes more. On a Winter person, they can subdue that white to be just white, not phosphorescent-where-are-my-sunglasses-I-can’t-see-the-woman white.
Colour schemes are not necessarily analogous or monochromatic, but rather depict easy, easy transitions. The very low saturation (meaning high degree of grayness) unites the colours, enabling the gorgeously unrestricted flow for the eye from one visual element to the next. Without extremes of light and dark, contrast is low.
I like feminine and masculine combinations a lot in this and Soft Summer. When magazines put lacy tops with denim jackets, I always see it best in the Softs. Summer is inherently female. Autumn is not really masculine, but they sure can pull off a suit and carry a briefcase. There is often a squaring of jaw and a straightening of brow, which is why they look so good with square handbags and jackets.
I like complements on this group too. With the simultaneous warm and cool presence of Neutral Seasons, you often see a blue-ish eye and orange-ish hair.
The coral sleeveless top: The beading is not in high contrast to the top and it’s muted, not sparkly. Peanut shells (a big SA visual for me, in texture, strength, fibers, and colour) do not sparkle. Brown is not too hot, quite grey, and not extremely dark, so Nutella brown. The fabric drapes a bit (Summer grace) but has some structure (Autumn substance). It’s not gauze. We’re aiming for a medium overall darkness effect.
The leopard cardigan: It’s quiet, not a Hawaiian print, geometric, or outright floral. You’re not wearing the whole animal, which would smother SA in the drama. Muted animal prints work well to convey the strength and texture that so defines the Season, but this is controlled and cooled, very neutral. I’d add a more substantial belt to add strength through natural texture (Autumn).
The twinset: The jeans are browned. The peach brown tank is browned, nothing candy or blossom about it, which would be Spring. Summer brings femininity and flowers are great, but not a profusion of blooms. The octagonal shapes remind of flowers, but with more structure and rigidity. On a Spring, this would look like, I don’t know, a medieval church? Too ordered, which on them proceeds to, > recurring > mechanical > heavy > clunk. A Dark Autumn can take medieval weight all the way to heavy, leaded stained glass and just look better.
Brown cardi: there are vines (Summer) in an earthy (Autumn) colour. To balance the waviness, the skirt has more sustenance, more grounding and squaring. These bodies tend to be more squared than rounded, though some have very womanly Summer bodies.
The blue top and the grey Bermudas. A reminder that all Neutral Seasons have cool and warm versions of every colour, of the importance of neutrals, and a segue into the next section.
To see an evening look, Soft Autumn Darkness Adjustments shows some choices.
Ashley asked for us to talk about the boundaries of Soft Autumn blue. Blue is inherently cool and has more options in the cool Seasons. By the time SA rolls around, Summer is leaving us and taking its signature blue with it. Once the warmth of Autumn gold or Spring yellow start mixing in, blues turn quickly to teals and then greens. A small amount of gold makes a warm, muted blue. When Summer’s blue and Autumn orange mix, colours mute more by the effect of complements. When we get to True Autumn, Summer’s blue is gone so some of the graying by mixing complementary colour lifts and colours are clearing again.
SA’s should look at Territory Ahead. Very Mesa, desert, glowing clothing. It’s not necessary to look like an ad for Frye boots, but there are some great building blocks here. Susan pointed us to this skirt. The tone-on-tone adds interest and the flowers are brought in as texture (Autumn) rather than floral bouquets. There are some great blue options there too.
In the picture below:
Across the top, SA blues. On the left, that’s about as light as blue (or any colour) gets. The darkness range really hugs the medium section of the scale.
Across the bottom from L to R,
- the blue tyedye long dress is Soft Summer, still foggy but distinctly cooler, a little fresher
- the purple dress is too pink-red, Autumn really isn’t a pink person in the ballet pink sense; with Summer blue leaving, they have few purples till Winter red reappears in Dark Autumn, the ochre yellow base of the Season complements purple, so what they have is very muted
- the one next to the right (so 3rd from L) is better
- the last from L, blue with embroidery and gathers on right side seam is probably darker than my Colour Book shows, but I wouldn’t mind it, it has the required dullness and neutrality (at least in the photo) ; I would not go darker, depending a bit on the darkness level of the woman
Not hot and not dark, which go to bloodshot and obvious too easily. As quiet as the colours are, they are very medium in darkness. From the blue selection above, you can see that the range of darkness for colours isn’t wide. The same goes with makeup.
Eyeliner: Nutella again. Lauder Softsmudge Brown is good. Rimmel Sable is warmer and works on some, too red on others.
On some Seasons, strong dividing lines between colour elements look right. That’s not the case on the Softs Seasons because that is exactly opposite to how Nature made them. Smoke the liner with a little eyeshadow over top if you like, to enlarge and define more in a diffused, blurred line sort of way. Darkening the line might backfire and just close in and take over the eye.
Lipstick: Bobbi Brown makes about 9 good lipsticks, as Rose, Soft Rose, Tulle Rose, Italian Rose (darker).
Again, not too orange, this isn’t True Autumn heat yet. Still a fair bit of pink. Like the roofs in the top photo, there is also a fair brown element. I start with the terracotta flower pot visual and adjust the colour to suit the individual woman from there.
At Aveda, looking for some boundaries, I wondered about not pinker, more saturated, or darker than Aveda Wild Plum or Lychee Luxe (bit sparkly, be careful of that in makeup, same discussion as with white above; matte is your best buddy). Their Rayflower could be a flesh tone. Any SAs who try these out, I’d love some feedback.
Also, Rimmel Heather Shimmer or Revlon Colorburst Soft Rose. I like definite colour. If it’s too skin tone, the lips disappear into the face, which works better if you’re under 20. The really light lips look best on the Light Season faces (same discussion as black above).
Eyeshadow: Aveda’s Gobi Sands eyeshadow and Clinique Double Date. These colours are not that hot. The stones and wood above the white dot in the photo at the top are right. As a Neutral Season, there is a warmer palette too, as MAC Soba.
Blush: Aveda Peach Lights looks like a contender (all feedback welcome). MAC Buff (bit pinker) and Clinique Mocha Pink are good too.
A Park in Paris
An inspiring closing note that another Susan shared with me for you to enjoy (and on behalf of all of us, I thank her). This is the Parc Luxembourg in Paris. How you feel sitting on one of those benches, surrounded by those colours and textures, that light and temperature, that’s how looking at Soft Autumn should feel. Could you feel yourself relax? Listen to those feelings. They’re real.
I warmly thank Maytee Garza of Reveal Style Consultancy in New Jersey for performing the PCAs for both of the women you will meet in these articles. Maytee’s work upholds the highest standard of colour accuracy, from which we all benefit. Also a thank you to both Emmas for permission to use the photos.
The picture of another person won’t help you find your Season. The variability in human colouring is too wide and the common key, hidden. But pictures are wonderful to help you visualize the Season’s special radiance and right colour’s ability to transport a face to a new, other place.
After two years of waiting to see this Season, my last two clients were True Springs. One was a 12 year old girl, choosing her colours nearly perfectly with the well-tuned colour pitch that children have, the second a 50 year old woman of Icelandic descent. Though I still learn from every PCA, True Spring skin was quite special.
Here is our first Emma. (Her eye close-up is the True Spring eye 3 in the Our Eye Album: Spring article.)
The first drapes we compare, of the 10 to 20 sets we will go through, are a set of 4, representing each of the True Seasons. I spend a fair time at the beginning of a client’s session deciding which True Season(s) I’m looking at, and which I can forget about. I’m also teaching our eyes what this particular face does in the presence of wrong colour, because they’re all different.
Usually, True Season skin is different from the outset, in that only one True Season drape of the four seems to flatter, instead of two, or maybe three, with the Neutral Seasons. The skin tone’s perfection demands absolute colour heat or coolness and it does not compromise, even at the earliest stage of the draping.
Describing my Icelandic lady’s draping: Weirdly, both Spring and Autumn seemed ok. I even had trouble deciding between them, which happens very rarely. Spring’s drape made the skin brighter and more evenly coloured for sure, nearer to the face that’s already wearing perfect foundation and concealer, the result we’re striving towards. The difference just wasn’t as obvious as it usually is. On all the Spring blends of my previous experience, Autumn’s drape was very wrong. Not so here.
Spring was better, but why the difficulty deciding that? Because I’d forgotten the What’s Most Important rule. For True Spring and True Autumn, heat is most important in colour. Saturation, not so much. Lightness/darkness, a little more, a little less, fairly forgiving. When heat in colour is at the max, good things happen, whichever kind of heat it is. By that, I mean that Spring and Autumn have very different heat. Hold in your mind a buttercup (Spring) and a rusty nail (Autumn). Very different look, feel, aura, everything. Spring’s yellow, Autumn’s gold (darker, richer, greyer) both seemed far better than the pure cool choices.
True Winter and True Summer, I was very sure about…hopeless, ghostly, tired. Like Bright Spring, True Spring looks a bit dead in True Summer pastels. It’s dramatic. Why? Because now two colour dimensions are off. True Summer is max cool and pretty muted. True Spring is max warm and pretty clear. Many Springs are wearing Summer colours because they feel safer and buying pure colour is not easy to do, especially pure and light and yellow colour. In Summer colour, they age themselves tremendously.
Once the drape colours became more specific, it was easy to choose between Spring and Autumn. For me, the next revelation came when I realized that this was the first time I was seeing a person not becoming yellow in True Spring’s drapes. You can see that Emma doesn’t look yellow, and believe me, in True Spring’s test drapes, everyone else does. I’d seen the easing of lines and luminous eye that a Spring blend will have, but I had to ignore the yellowing of the skin, teeth, and white of eye. In True Spring drapes, the skin colour is suffused with vitality and life, while it is bland and pale in the Spring Neutral Season drapes. In right colour, especially the bright clear orange-red, you can watch a bloom rush up into the cheeks and the shadows go away.
This skin takes a lot of colour, and noticeably yellow colour, to come fully alive. Cosmetic colour cannot be wishy-washy, not dusty (looks dead), not earthy (looks like a rug), and not creamy (cream-of-wheat face). This colouring is strong. It will fade Light Spring’s beige-pink lipsticks to make them paler, even greyish (because remember, Light Spring’s colours are a touch greyish from their Summer bit).
The misty sunbeams of Light Spring are not here. This is tropical colour. The lagoon, the Bird of Paradise, fruit punch, Kool-Aid colours, full on yellowed heat. True Spring’s pure, golded, ripe, fresh colour will be hard to come by in the earthy, flesh-toned world of the cosmetics counter. Not impossible, but it will take an empowered woman with a mind released from marketing chatter to make these choices. And like everything in life, it will take a few overshoots and undershoots to perfect. Nobody got anything right the first time. Your best makeup and hair colour are on the other side of your mistakes, not on this side.
We’re putting makeup on Cameron Diaz and Robert Redford here. Could be Amanda Seyfried and Wayne Gretzky, they’re pretty yellow, but not as yellow. They’re probably Light Springs. As you see from the photos, not every True Spring looks obviously yellow. The majority don’t. But the colours that work on Ms. Diaz have a good chance of looking glorious on all True Springs.
PCA is not about what you look like, it’s about how your skin reacts to colour, right? Ms. Diaz is the stereotype for the Season, our prototype to try and transfer data from. None of us can really picture anything on ourselves. It works better to visualize on someone whose skin acts like ours, someone in our Season. If you’re not sure about a colour, think of who you’d put it on – Diaz or Lindsay Lohan.
Most of the time, a Season’s makeup colour will be believable and attractive on every face of that natural colouring because the colours are chosen to be the same as those already in the face. That’s the whole point of 12 Season personal colour analysis. These are the colours that could have just happened by themselves. Every woman makes her darkness adjustment depending on intensity of hair and eye colour, rest of the makeup, comfort level, age, occasion, and complexion, but the colours always come from that Season’s palette.
- MAC Duck and Uniform (a green)
- Clinique Roast Coffee (darker) and Brown Sugar
- ELauder Bronze
- Grey is brilliant in makeup but can be hard to understand and to find the one you want. If we ignore the dark, sharp, and blue greys and look for medium colours (since sunny grey will take some searching), ELauder Graphite may be good. Many eyebrow pencils are greyed and Lancome Sable is a nice, soft one.
- True Spring can carry a lot of colour without looking parrotty, and navy eyeliner may work well. Clinique Navy is great, a bright, true navy. No dark colour should ever be so dark that it appears to hold black. Light is supposed to come out of the Spring palettes, not be absorbed into it. The more saturated, darker Deep Cobalt is for Bright Spring.
- looking mostly for yellows, peaches, the colours of Rice Krispies and parchment. Colours for Charlize Theron, not JLopez. Not red or orange browns, but yellow and peachy, all the way to dark peach.
- ELauder Sandbar Beige, Riviera Rose, Wild Sable, and Cafe Au Lait, Ivory Lace, and Buttercream Double Wear. The Stay Bronze pot could be a good liner, but this stuff dries almost instantly and doesn’t move without more eyelid pulling than I want.
- MAC Cork.
- EArden Vanilla, Teak, and Wheat.
- Lancome Positive and Chic.
- Grey? nothing I loved. Grey is inherently cool, and I see it as liner better than shadow. MAC Omega was decent but I don’t think I’d buy it.
- clear, candy, lollipop, warmer than Barbie pink. No greyness (smear it on paper towel and wait 30 min. to check). Gladiola, not sweet potato.
- Shiseido RD 103, PK 304 (very nice).
- MAC Fleur Power.
- Lancome Rose Mystique is a lovely red in lisptick and gloss, may go on too blue for some. Revlon Love That Pink is good too.
- Lancome Jeweled Pink.
- Maybelline Color Sensational Hi Shine Coral Luster.
- L’Oreal Always Apricot and Charismatic Coral.
- Tarte Lipsheer Thursday
- Merle Norman Popsicle, Persimmon, SunKissed
- MAC Crosswires and Sheen Supreme Made To Order; See Sheer is a possible, similar but toned down from the discontinued Viva Glam Cyndi (and from the opinions of True Springs, too muted and brown – try MAC Ravishing instead)
- Clinique Rose Toffee (sheer), Ambrosia (more golden orange), Sugared Grapefruit (light)
- medium to dark brown.
Important Heads Up
I haven’t applied the makeup above to any True Spring faces. I just went shopping with the swatch book. Don’t buy anything without trying it.
If you want colours from an artist who has test-driven the colours, be aware of Darin Wright’s fantastic products, custom-coloured for all twelve Seasons at eleablake.com. For tough to find Seasons like True Spring, this is one-stop successful makeup. The eyeshadows for True Spring look shockingly beautiful from the website.
In Part 2, the hair, the person, the look, and and our second Emma.
Use of Images
The images contained in this article are of private individuals, not celebrities. I consider the permission for me to use them as a privilege. It is my intention to protect these women’s privacy and generosity. If you use any of the photos without permission, I will seek legal counsel. I do not want to have to reduce the beauty and detail of the photographs with watermarks.
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And not just a Summer, but a Light Summer!
Geoff was one of the people I analyzed as part of my training, with Terri there to guide me. Though I wasn’t tuned into people’s colouring back then, his impression seemed very medium and still is in my memory. He had medium-dark sandy brown hair and eyes that seemed twinkly somehow, but light or medium in depth, no idea what colour.
It has been pointed out that if I believe that eyes and hair are irrelevant to Season (and I do), then why do I keep talking about them? Because skin is hard to talk about. In a previous article, Jocelyn Is A Bright Winter, I had watched her at work for years, so I had some idea of how her skin reacted to colour. Geoff and I just met that day, which is the case with most clients.
His Season was Bright Winter. At the time, I had no idea what the significance of that was. He could have been any Season and it would have seemed perfectly plausible. Every one of the 12 Seasons had an exactly equal outcome probability. That precious trust is one of the hardest things to hang onto as experience brings expectation, complacency, and ruts. The beginner is far more willing to wander off the beaten path, too naive to know what the implications are.
As time passed, I often wondered if I would ever have the confidence to a call a medium-colouring person a Bright Winter without Terri standing beside me. Terri had analyzed hundreds of people, probably thousands, having been an analyst since the 80s, first with one of the biggest brands in PCA, and eventually settling more comfortably with Sci\ART.
In PCA, the average is the exception. The general population, the people at yoga class, your family, nobody quite looks like the pictures in books. Those perfect averages are as rare as the patient with a disease who shows up with all the textbook signs and symptoms. At least, I never see them. Most everyone has something that seems not to fit.
Let’s call this lovely woman May. She had been analyzed many years ago as a Summer, in a 4-Season system. It was closer than the other choices, though she did wear some Spring colours, especially the robin’s egg blues. May is remarkably colour perceptive, even to the fine details, and could decide even with the first drapes which was better. She is one of the few women I see who came in wearing her best colours.
We began as Light Seasons always do. Terrible, but terrible in Autumn. We could have counted 15 different problems. Overwhelmed by Winter’s aggressive darks. No surprise so far. True Summer made the skin a bit greyed, but it looked younger and more evenly coloured. True Spring brought an easing of lines and that typical smoothness of skin of this Season, but she was too yellow. Very typical of the Light Seasons. Seen this many times.
And I’m feeling a bit nervous because those eyes are brown and they are not changing, though the skin and eyelids around them are changing dramatically. Eye colour intensity or crispness of outline of the iris don’t change equally in everyone, but as I get to the better Seasons, these factors are usually helpful guides. Contradictions can happen, as the Soft Autumn eyes in skin that has cooled and softened to Soft Summer in a woman in her 60s, and skin always matters most. The eyes won’t change in a face while the skin remains the same, it’s just easier to see in the eye as we refine the very best colours.In May’s case, we seldom looked at her eye colour or sharpness. We did it entirely by looking at skin.
Life often teaches us what we most need to know at the time we are truly receptive. I get challenged a fair bit about ignoring eye and hair colour, and sometimes I question myself. May came along, I believe, to teach me to stick to my guns. If eyes don’t matter, and ANY Season can have ANY hair and eye colour, then it was time for me to put my money where my mouth is.
We knew True Summer and True Spring weren’t right. I kept seeing those dark eyes and going back to Bright Spring. Bernice Kentner of CMAS, whom I hold in highest esteem, has said that a brown-eyed Spring is mostly a Winter blend, and that has been my experience so far. There was no way. May is not crisply cool to look at, and Bright Springs usually are. Those drapes were not only draining, but they looked crazy, like the woman and the colour were separate and had been Photoshopped together.
I thank May for sitting there so patiently, Summer that she is. PCA is like a video game. It doesn’t let you see any level of clues till you’ve mastered the previous level. It holds back knowledge you’re not ready to use correctly. We tried Light Spring and Light Summer a few times and couldn’t choose. I never belabor these moments, I change the energy. We went backwards, tried Soft Summer and the True Summer and Spring again, just to give our eyes more ways of seeing. Then, it was obvious. Light Summer was clearly and obviously the one. Her skin was the absolute youngest, without being yellowed as Light Spring caused. In a 12 Season Personal Colour Analysis system, Light Summer is the person whose inborn colouring is predominantly Summer’s, with a trace of Spring’s clear, light, yellow sunlight.
I wonder if she was a Light Spring as a younger woman. Her skin may have cooled and softened into Light Summer. But a brown-eyed Light Spring is still most uncommon. And those eyes are brown, but fascinatingly so. A blue-eyed Light Summer has a very clear open wreath around the pupil, like this:
See the browner doughnut around the pupil? And see also the absence of lines and spokes and specks and other detail throughout the iris? Very typical of all 3 Summer groups.
In May’s eyes, substitute all the blues for browns and you’re there. Same very prominent open wreath, actually even wider doughnut than the eye above, same absence of strong lines, and of a darker brown than the very slightly lighter brown outside the wreath.
What else was fascinating? Her eyelashes are light-medium blonde, about like the eye above or perhaps a bit lighter, and far lighter than her eyes. Her eyebrows are extremely fair.
Her hair colour is lighter than her natural light brown was in her earlier years, and her natural is now gray. Hair is hidden during the analysis, so imagining her in darker hair would not have made a younger face.
If you can’t buy a brown-eyed Summer, what else can you picture? Nothing I can think of. Try putting other Seasons’ makeup on her. I can’t see it. She is wearing the lightest silvery taupe eyeliner I have. Even through tinted lenses, can you imagine darker without the eyeliner being an obvious dark line on this skin? Not really. May is wearing quite a bit of light gold-peach bronzer and carnation pink blush and lipstick, but the white analysis lights are still on so the skin seems a bit whiter.
Suzie Greif, the owner of Spectrafiles, sent me a makeup kit at Christmas. Suzie is the daughter of Kathryn Kalisz, founder of the Sci\ART Personal Colour Analysis (PCA) method. Spectrafiles is the new company that is now producing the Colours Books of swatches. It was a lovely and thoughtful gift, but I have only been using it for a couple of weeks. Why? Because I had never loved loose powder makeup before. It always seemed to end up on the counter or some other place it wasn’t supposed to be.
I eventually opened the packages because the colours looked so impressive – and have used them every single day since. Believe me when I tell you that they are fabulous. The powder sticks to the brush for one thing. It’s the other brands of eyeshadows that I’m sweeping off my cheek. The Reveal product from eleablake is completely controllable. It diffuses perfectly onto the skin, no grabbing or jumping. The pigment deposit is noticeable but not shocking and easily adjusted.
The makeup colours that look most believable and attractive on your face are the colours that are already in your face. Personal Colour Analysis is the system whereby you learn exactly what those colours are, every red, blue, pink, green, brown, grey, your day lipstick, your truly perfect customized red, and so on. But even when you know, finding right makeup colour is not easy. Many colour analysts help you get started by sending you a list of specific products, but you’re still spending hours looking at so many products that it may feel overwhelming.
I loved the colours of the eyeshadows, blush, and glosses. In fact, they were remarkable. Once you know your Season, you become a very discriminating makeup shopper because you know exactly which colours will look most natural on you and you don’t want to put down money for second best. Sometimes knowing exactly what you want makes an item harder to find. These products colours were right on and so were the other shades on the colour layout card that came in the kit. How could they not be perfect? They began as the 12 Season colour palettes in a PCA system that is astoundingly precise in every single person. Here is a scan of my Dark Winter card(remember that the colours will lose a little ground in the scan, but they really are perfect):
For all the Seasons, especially the Darks, I love that there are light lipstick choices already thought out for you. If you like purple or blue makeup, choose the right purple or blue so it can look artistic and interesting, instead of trendy. The fact that foundation and bronzer have been matched to undertone is just so good.
Who is the woman behind this genius? Meet Darin Wright, owner of eleablake studios and the woman who designed the Reveal Cosmetic collection. For everyone who ever thought grey hair cannot look young, think again. Darin is proof that when you know your best colours, you know your best makeup. Seriously, could this woman look more fantastic? This is so much more what real beauty is than a teenager in a magazine.
I asked Darin to tell you a bit about why she undertook this huge task, and how she became the person actually who got it right:
I have been a makeup artist for over twenty years and have found it imperative to ensure that my clients received the best possible colors for their skin. I believe that all persons should have a personal color analysis performed in order to reach their power colors, or colors that help them enhance their beauty. I created the Elea Blake cosmetic line before becoming a color analyst. The concept was and has continued to be, to custom blend every client that comes into our studio. We create a palette for our clients one on one and have endless possibilities with our color blending techniques.
Several years ago I revisited the concept of Personal Color Analysis for my clients. I was familiar with the concept from my days in the oh, so fashionable 80’s but felt that the system had yet to be refined. I was always fascinated by the concept but was not completely sold on it. I had found that some clients just did not match up with the results available at the time. I started to research several companies on the market finding most unsatisfactory until I met Kathryn Donovan, owner and creator of the Sci\Art system. I was completely and utterly impressed by her extensive knowledge and professional draping system. Kathryn’s system offered the correct tools, teaching, and support. The clients’ results were so accurate! People’s personas changed and brightened before your very eyes!
More from Darin:
While utilizing this system I saw how fantastic it would be to create ready-made cosmetic colors to go with the Seasonal palettes. For example, if you are a Bright Winter you have a ready-made collection created from that palette. At Elea Blake we have tested each color to ensure that it matches the specific 12 Tone palettes that Kathryn developed. This task was accomplished with many a long night and a frustrated sigh. I personally reviewed each color to make sure that the color would fit into the palette it was created for. The time involved in this process was lengthy and exhausting. The result is the beautiful Reveal Collection.
The most fascinating aspect about these color collections is that there are few rules and endless possibilities! These colors are designed for the creative core in all of us. They bring one back to the days spent with colorful arrays of crayons and construction paper. They are really that simple! You can use these colors alone or layer, blend, and build them. Each color in its prospective palette harmonizes with every other color, so you just can’t mess up! That is exactly the way these palettes are designed. Another extraordinary aspect about these colors, are that most of the colors can be used for a multitude of uses. Foundations can double as eyeshadows, eyeliners can be shadows, blushers can be bronzers or eyeshadows, perhaps even eyeliners.
There is also a bonus pack of colors designed for those longing for the extra spark to their makeup, with hipilicious shades that can be used as highlights, pops, or accents. These are palette friendly optional picks. We refer to use these as eye toners, as they can be mixed or blended with all the palettes.
Darin can be contacted through her website eleablake.com , by email at email@example.com, or at eleablake studios in Chattanooga, TN.