The previous post was Dark Autumn Landscapes. In 12 Season colour analysis, the Dark Autumn group has a natural colouring that is mostly defined by the properties of the Autumn colours (dark, warm, muted), and importantly influenced by a smaller Winter effect to darken more, warm less, and mute less.
Winter does more than that. It inflicts intensity and complications (which is different from Autumn complexity) on a warm, natural, functional, undemanding (Autumn) group of colours. I said a lot last time about choosing dark colours that are still fathomable and knowable, glowing and rich as Autumn is, instead of black which is too Winter in every way. Black should be occasional from head to toe. Even in footwear, the dark bay Hanoverian horse is better than black. The shadows are black but where the light strikes, it’s brown. If black is necessary, matte is better.
The dressage photo above says a lot to me about the intersecting line between Dark Autumn and Dark Winter. Animals tie us back to our own earth origins and many are necessarily Autumn. The horse is Autumn. The rider’s outfit cost thousands but if you stood beside her, she’d be dusty and smell of hay. The white bandages, saddle blanket, and breeches are Winter’s but the picture is about the horse. The animal is not black. He is darkest brown.
Winter doesn’t only mean verbs like ‘inflict’. It really never graces, embroiders, or enhances, and it barely embellishes. It bejewels. The rich texture of True Autumn becomes luxurious texture. As Nana said about all Autumn, you must feel it to know it – fur, suede, velvet, raw silks. The photos in the previous post were chosen because they had texture – tapestry, fur, roughness, or the scaly skin of the cobra in the music of the bellydance. Texture expresses heat just as colour does. Absence of texture feels colder.
Autumn is close enough to touch while Winter has receded out of arm’s reach. Winter can feel more modern, like a 21st (or 23rd) Century city. Dark Autumn speaks of old luxe, dignified though not monastic. Vintage-antique (the Chanel cardi with handsewn silk flowers and bronze piping) works better than vintage-kooky (the daisy skirt).
As they bridge rural and urban, old world and new, tradition and Winter’s yet unwritten edge, estate and city streets, their scope of looks is enormous. Buckles, zippers, chains, jackets with metal buttons. Riding boots (with breeches, suede knee patches and all), cowboy boots, cowboy hats, tough chic, biker, army. As long as the message expresses strong, work, utilitarian, muscular to some degree – because that’s what the colours say. Then add in Winter’s majestic and serious. Pouffy, polka, bows, round collars, to me, makes no sense. The colours are of Nature matured. It looks inconsistent and scrambled if styles are the opposite, as if the colours, the cut, and the person are all moving in different directions at once. Unstable.
Autumn is honest so keep to the natural look of things. No pink leather or leopard shearling is what I’m saying. This is the Marlboro guy (actually, he’s True Autumn to Indiana Jones’ Soft Autumn). They borrow better from the guys (RayBans, neckties) than from the theater (cat eyes, glitter gloves). Brown is the color of work, countryside, and common sense. A very difficult colour to get right but so worthwhile since it is Autumn’s black.
See how his white shirt and the white wall are greying her face and lips? Do you get the feeling that if those were replaced with cappucino brown, she’d go all five-star dark golden?
Down below…now we’re talking. Pageant Queen makeup has no place here. Pink isn’t right regardless of complexion depth.
Strong flavours. Mustard, spice, vinegar. There is nothing nothing wishy-washy here. A T-shirt and pants? I hope they were free. This is the legging and the dark cognac equestrian boot, the tribal print scarf and ethnic earring, the leather vest, the heavy medallion necklace and the oversize belt, the bronzed burgundy suit jacket. Like a wine cellar, it’s a Season that acquires itself over time. You should hear the drums, taste the wine that fills your whole head, and feel the heat of the forge.
Fabrics don’t have to be completely stiff or lines utterly straight. We’re dressing womens’ bodies after all. Drape is better when it’s not overdone and the fabric has some depth, like heavy velvet curtains.
Wear prints like stained glass. Patterns are pronounced, definitions between colour blocks are quite distinct and strong, and colours are prominent. A Rubik’s cube geometric is too repetitive. An element of antique, abstract, indigenous, or unrestrained is good.
This section is taken from the Dark Autumn chapter of the book, Return To Your Natural Colours.
- One very light colour + one medium-dark to dark colour + one medium to dark colour as accent
- Two medium-dark to dark colours (or neutral colours) that are different
- One light, medium, or dark neutral + one dark, medium, or light neutral + one colour as accent
- One medium-dark to dark colour + one light, medium, or dark colour + one colour as accent
- Little use of complementary colours, in small areas only
- Overall medium-dark to dark effect
What that looked like in my head:
Dark and cool recede. Here, with dark and warm, a push/pull visual effect is created that adds tension (Winter’s complications) and interest.
If you think about it, you can see some clearing and cooling. Previous fluidity is beginning to set and stiffen. We have to add in the person, her warm chestnut to warm black hair, perhaps her faint red highlights, her bronzer and flesh-tone eyeshadow surrounding her dark chocolate eyes, spiced peach lips, deeply coloured stones in warm, golden settings, the purse and shoes, to fully appreciate the dark warmth. The viewer has a lot of colour to integrate.
Icy, cold colours make sense frosted. Muted colours don’t. Muted colours are gentle and calm, not metallic. Dark Autumn colours are barely muted, so gentle gets replaced with assertive and maybe even a little pushy. Sometimes, we worry that dark=power and light=weak, which may be true in dictionaries but it’s not how others see us. What others see is probably dark=force and light=ease (but not pushover). Dark Autumn colours wears metallic well in their warmest clothing and cosmetic colours since they convey the heat that smelts metal from ore. Metallics in their colder range are less successful.
Was your first thought when you saw the Polyvore, “I was expecting tribal and spicy. This looks pretty normal.”? It has to be normal enough to wear to the office. Try putting it on a light, sunny blonde and suddenly, if it’s not spicy, it’s at least truly weird. She’d look like she decided to wrap herself in a Bedouin tent. Your personal power is among the wonders of this world but it only works for you, and hers for her. Power fizzles like a wet match when you try on someone else’s.
So, you know your Season, you’ve been buying the right colours in clothes, is there another step? Always. Combining your colours in absolutely stunning combinations is another level. I am thankful to Stephanie, source of so many awareness expanders, for introducing me to Shigenobu Kobayashi’s books. In his Color, Image, Scale, he takes a big selection of colours and shows you twelve truly gorgeous 3-colour combinations with each one. Isn’t it interesting how 3 and 4 in the graphic above feel very different, beyond just temperature, simply from the change in accessory colour?
Whatever your Season, unless you’re incredibly creative, I doubt you’d come up with some of Kobayashi’s pairings on your own. I assure you that I wouldn’t. For Dark Autumn’s most striking use of complementary colours, insert a complement between two similiar rich colours in your palette. It looks fantastically good. The split complementary colour scheme is worth getting to know too. You pick three similar colours (analogous, colour wheel neighbors) and then add the complement of the middle one. It is worth scanning your colour analysis swatch book into a computer, or a photo of it, and using a computer program (Google it, there are many) to give you the complements, finding them in your Book, and writing the pairs on the back. Getting the complements exactly right sets up much more vibration than guessing and only being close.
Many Dark Autumns are darker than Halle Berry. How about this woman, wearing Dark Autumn’s version of white? From the clean whites in her face, you’d swear she must be wearing white, but white will grey her. It takes this colour to do what white does on a Winter face. How cool is that?
A straight body, straight across the shoulders, they walk stiff and straight, not Summer’s rolling walk or Spring’s sashay. Rectangular body, linear. Similar lines in the clothes.
Comfort colours, which are often food colours, are staying in True Autumn. Dark Autumn is wild and hot and passionate > red, of course. All the reds and oranges work. Complements also raise energy, with great opportunity to use them in dark and mysterious ways, as dark olive and burnt orange/red orange/browns (dark orange).
Something about dark grey can be very warm – as Bobbi Brown was thinking when she named her eyeshadow Hot Stone. MAC Copperplate eyeshadow is a heavy good grey for Dark Autumn. I used a dark grey blouse to cool the leopard skirt. A big thick grey block can be too heavy and stuck. Add a necklace, a jacket, the coolest bag and watch, maybe the leopard skirt. Give the eye somewhere else to go. Take care with animal prints. Buy the suitcase set or the wallet. Animal prints are like leather pants, they can work against you all too easily.
Jeans are good. Keep them dark without a whole lot of orange stitching.
Winter brings red and more black. Some of its blue is cooling the colours but you’re not seeing it as blueness yet.
The colour of Eva’s dress isn’t dark per se. For a light colour, it’s dark though. It has weight, substance, density, and naturalness. Maybe the colour is a little warmish and would suit a True Autumn more perfectly, but I give it to her anyhow for daring to be different so successfully. See how Alba’s above is a little cooler, a little glitzier, perhaps less burlap? The whites of Eva’s eyes aren’t quite as clear. Who cares, Eva took a step towards Eva and away from cookie cutter.
Eva Longoria Pictures
Colour is one half of a most beautiful appearance. Style is the other half. In the late 80s, David Kibbe wrote a book called Metamorphosis. He outlines 13 body types and goes into great detail about every aspect of appearance pertaining to that body type. Like Sci\ART’s 12 Tone Season system, Kibbe’s is a logic system that works for me without being overwhelming or impractical. Yes, it takes time to understand and implement but when it’s right, the result is incredible. Geometry comes out of the features of your face like colours do when your palette is right. The book is so good that we talk about it a lot in our Facebook group. The next section may seem confusing without having read it.
The Dark Autumns I have met have been some type of N, C, and interestingly twice, G. They look like they have black in the way that they look like they have drama but they are more square than angular and sharp. The clothes and fabrics above are all structured because I have those women in my head when I select clothes.
I ask myself, what does a Theatrical Romantic Dark Autumn wear? I searched and searched and found one I liked. Those who read RTYNC know that for me, certain colours make sense in shapes that evoke feelings and patterns we are familiar with from Nature. Of course, there are as many versions as there are women. We all own more than one cookbook. None of us owns a cookbook from which we make every recipe, even from the very rare book where we tried them all. All I’m saying is that colour is more than just colour, the same colour on me and on you looks and feels totally different to the audience, and we all have a different idea of what looks good.
I looked at that dress (off shoulder, center, bottom row) for a long time wondering if something so filmy makes sense in a food and earth colour. How do you feel about it?
Einstein said “Imagination is better than Knowledge.” Turns out it takes a lot more imagination to be yourself than to be someone else. I love about Kib and colour that both only want you to stay true to who you were meant to be because you’re already her. You really can’t not be her, ever. Your roots grew a tree that is perfect and like no other. Forget cookie-cutter. Forget “I must be blonde or size 6.” If you’re clinging to those, you’re probably neither and people can see that. Why force your opposites to fit you? Knowledge of your colours and the essence of your body type is where you start. Trust the process of finding them. From there, imagination lets you interpret what hangs from your branches infinitely, always holding the truth of your tree. Renata chose the very adept words ‘emotionally grounded’ to describe how knowing your colours and your style feels. So right.
…remember TMIT, The Most Important Thing, for your Season. That aspect of the colour should be the first thing you see. Even if you’re a Light Summer buying red lipstick, the noticeable lightness of the red compared to all the other reds at the counter will help get it right. Your red, once it’s on your face, it will just look red, not red and dark. Light lips look good. Light colour, light colour deposit, light texture, light weight, light shine, light lipliner. Light is good on Light Seasons at every age.
…smear it out on white paper or white paper towel. This works well for colour analysis swatches that are on white backing and partly why I like that presentation better than fabric or plastic disc swatches. This is the only practical way I know to see the nuances of a colour. The same applies to eyeliner, eyeshadow, even mascara. Not foundation though, which is applied on the side of the face and jaw, about 4 colours at a time, assessed in daylight or with full spectrum lighting.
…compare several colours at the same time on the same paper in the same lighting. Colour perception and the 12 Season Personal Colour Analysis (PCA) process itself are based on comparisons. That’s how our eye positions a colour correctly. Especially for foundation, don’t buy on the basis of a single colour test.
…take samples home. Sephora and MAC will sample anything. May cost more but expensive products often have more beautiful pigment quality (though staying power isn’t related to cost). 2 beautiful lipsticks are worth far more than 4 meh ones.
…stay in touch with your analyst. Many of us are forever swatching makeup, hearing from clients about great finds, and keeping extensive and updated lists of great products for you to try. We can save you a lot of time even after your PCA. For you, it’s a frustrated afternoon. For us, it’s a Copy&Paste. We want your colour analysis to work for you and we recognize that you need help getting your Sea(son) legs once you start on your own. If your analyst doesn’t have these lists, Rachel at Truth Is Beauty blog and MarySteele at her Luminosity Color Analysis Page on Facebook have posted them online. Need something warmer than this, redder than that, darker but still in your Season? Ask us! If you want to know, so do other women and we can pass the info around.
…ask cosmetic counter staff for help with lipstick. Don’t get into the Whys and Hows of the Colour Book of swatches. Be very narrow in your question. “Do you have a lipstick in this colour?” They’re often very good at this.
…try many colours from your palette. Neutral Season women, especially those who lean to their warmer or cooler side, may feel better in one set of colours. Even pure Cool Season women have a variety of shades and may find some too purple, too pink, too dark. Dark and Bright Season women should try sheer formulas, especially if they’re not used to a lot of colour. Soft Season women look fabulous and young in naked flesh type colour, either mauvier or brownier.
…have a sense of your best lipstick range. From within your palette, consider setting the darkness and brightness of lipstick to the intensity the eyebrows have on the face. I’ve talked about using the level of hair darkness and brightness as a good guide for about how strong the lip colour should be to look balanced. That can work as often as any rule can, including the eyebrow suggestion, which is about 80% of the time. Next time you’re at a meeting or a family meal, look at all the eyebrows. Not the colour, but the darkness level and the contrast. In about 80% of the 5 Winter blend Seasons, they will be quite dark and contain some black. If they’re wearing their right colours, the eyebrows may seem even more contrasting than in their pyjamas. As pigmentation darkens and saturates, so do the brows. As complexion gets darker, a Winter’s other colours will get much darker faster by comparison with the darkness of the skin, while a Summer blend’s brows (and other colours) often remain only slighter darker than skin. Eyebrows can go in and out of focus during a draping like every other feature as we try to pin down “How light are your lights and how dark are your darks?” In right colour, the brows will achieve their best darkness and best definition from the face (but be careful, they also become severe in too dark colour when the rest of the face gets too shadowed.) The eyebrow starts and stops sharply, as so most things Winter, so it looks fine if eyeliner does too. The lips look good at the same level of definition from the face as the brow. It creates a balance between two similarly sized colour blocks that are right on the face, which the hair will not be.
…explore every aspect of your Season. A Bright Winter – dramatic, theatrical, yet delicate enough to appear in a fairy tale. Bright Winter is distinctly lighter and brighter than True Winter. That brightness probably makes them look lighter relative to True Winter than they really are. But it does matter, that sunshine. Winter is a fascination to me in that they have those icy pale colours that can appear as ultimate powder puff innocence on a colouring and person that are quite intense. But in BW, the innocence is genuine and of those baby pale colours, peach is the one I love most. I find it interesting to use cosmetics to express every aspect of what the person/Season is, and all the Springs have this guileless sincerity. Their lightness of colours is important, even though they’re Winters. If BW could find a peachy pink colour with enough clarity and saturation, the contrast needed on the Winterness of the face would appear and yet look as a youthful baby peach lip. At the link, Bagatelle, Magnifique, Pink Teaser look excellent. This is a blog to Bookmark, the photos, dupes, comparisons, and reviews are absolutely outstanding. Springs will love Chanel’s Spring 2012 collection. If you’re a Light Spring looking for blush, again, look to the Beauty Look Book for great photos and comparisons.
…remember the companies that have done the thinking for you. eleablake and Pretty Your World create gorgeous cosmetics custom-coloured for your colour analysis result. If you haven’t tried the blushes for your own colouring from eleablake with a soft diffusing brush, I feel very comfortable saying that you don’t know how good blush can be.
…apply lipstick to your face first. To really be impartial about a colour and decide if it matches the swatches, it can’t come within 4 ft. of your face. Also, clothing colour doesn’t change on your body but cosmetic colour does, adding another level of confusion and distraction. Use the paper, not your arm or hand. Get the decision away from your body.
…assess the colour by looking at the product in the package, the sticker on the tube, the plastic tag under the tube, or the pan. Every product has too many variables of warmth, yellowness, green tinges, shimmer, etc. As you really come to understand your Season, you’ll get more discriminating – and more often disappointed if you just buy from the tube. Every person will see more by smearing the colour out. Keep a pad of unlined paper and a pen in your purse. Get paper towel from the cleaning isle or the Ladies Room if you have to. I’ve done both and haven’t bought a loser lipstick in many months. Dedication pays off!
…apply a cosmetic on its own on an otherwise un-made-up face. All the products together bring in the harmony and the balance. Yes, they balance what’s in the face already but the intensity of chemical pigment will dominate natural pigments. Even in your best colour, it can just look odd or off.
…get discouraged. Analysts understand that matching makeup is the hardest thing, which is why many give you a list to get you started. Some Seasons are much more difficult than others. Some personalities may be more questioning than others. True Summer has a tricky and unexpected palette to begin with, being given to an idealistic personality. The perfectionism of True Winter can get in the way too. Both continue to seek, though with different motivation. Might Autumn, the pragmatist, and Spring, the optimist, be easier to satisfy?
…assume that every colour recommended for a Season will work for you. At the end of all this, you do need to try it on your face, with your hair and your clothes. Be open to the possibility that even after a PCA, you don’t really know what looks good on you for a few months. You have a pretty good idea of what doesn’t suit you. Ask for opinions by finding an honest friend and giving them a choice. Not “Do you like this colour?” Rather “Between these two, which lipstick is better on me?” And expect that once you think you’re onto it, some family member will come along and say “Dear, are you sure you should be wearing that lip colour?” and you feel doubtful and disoriented all over again.
…ask cosmetic counter staff for help with blush and eyeshadow. You can’t be sure that they have a strong concept of colour saturation or the difference between Spring’s and Autumn’s warmth.
…give up. Getting anything perfect the first time doesn’t happen. Don’t be letting that keep you at home. This is where less expensive products are a great option. Get to know e.l.f., Palladio (at Sally Beauty), and the many drugstore brands that do let you test. You’ll buy a few duds. And you will have learned something when you figure out what made them duds.
…wear your hair down if the colour is off. Hair colour usually takes a few tries to get right but nothing can get in the way of right cosmetic colour more. Those months while hair is being adjusted can delay or drag out that feeling of reaching a finish line. You’ve come this far, keep going. You’re almost there. Tie hair back in a grey or right-coloured scarf.
…overdarken your hair to get your love of red lips to work. Especially with dark colours, chemical dyes create so much more heaviness of colour deposit than a natural head would have. It’s demanding on the skin to try to balance the hair and the other more intense cosmetics needed. As if constantly trying to be heard over a background din, the skin can look drained and tired. It’s also very demanding of the viewer’s visual processing faculties who have to clear the solid black wall to get to the woman behind/beneath it. If the words unexpected, unique, surprising, and delicate apply to your colouring (Spring), all the sparkle will be sucked into the black hole. Even those Seasons who wear darkness and saturation well, don’t go darker. You’ll overwhelm what your skin tone can pledge as “this is the real me”. By all means, enrich the colour you have or gloss it up.
Many people have no interest in their colours, but not just blandly so. They’re defensively so. They don’t mind being advice about other fashion guidelines but they do not want to be told there are certain colors that might not be best for them. Why colour? Because colour gets below the surface. Colour gets into the hard-wiring. There’s more at stake if you let someone in. Let’s spend some time in Dark Winter’s personal space.
Ellen Page is an example of a very commonly seen Dark Winter face. Autumn’s squaring of jaw is often present (True Winter’s is longer and narrower, like Cher) but the colouring is cooler and clearer than Dark Autumn. The trace of Autumn heat is surely here in the hair, eyes, and skin unless the person is quite close to True Winter.
Sure, she could be a Bright or any Season for that matter, but this face is the dance of Dark Winter to me. This is the very rare client that gets out of the car and I have to fight with myself not to push her into the one Season that’s fairly singing its own name. This is a far more difficult analysis, with much more second thinking, than with a person whose natural colouring group is less obvious.
And God love the girl for the natural hair and brows. She looks strong, young, healthy, and smart. The blue in the eye makeup isn’t blue enough to say BLUE EYE PAINT and it complements the orange tones in the eye. I think she looks simply great and you know how much it takes for me to say that. As women, we lose the sense of this being enough. We need to manipulate as if media’s solutions could make it better. Learning to see what is right in front of us as special is the PCA version of living in the moment.
I see this face over and over in Dark Winter. The size of Winter, fathomless and colossal as a galaxy, the space they need and demand, with the human warmth, the comfortable welcome, and the great generosity of Autumn. Tell me this is not (Sci\ART analyst) Maytee Garza‘s face.
Some Dark Winters have a longer face or softer colouring or lighter eyes, lots of variations. Some have a more gamine feel, like Victoria Beckham or Winona Ryder. We don’t do colour analysis based on these traits but every type of natural colouring repeats certain facial features a lot.
I talk about liking lips with colour more on Winters than the erased lip that mostly looks good on the almost-children in magazines. A young Winter is an exception. Even in her medium pinks and purples, there’s so much colour already that she can look like she’s dressing up as Mom. An icy lipgloss can really be great (Bobbi Brown Sugar Lilac – I’m pretty sure that’s the name. It looks more iced violet than grey in the tube.). Not pastel (more greyed, there’s tons of these frosty greyish pinks, don’t buy them). Not medium darkness, should go on very light. Icy is hard to find but it’s good. More age appropriate, conveys a coolness, and better at letting the beauty of the face speak for itself without cosmetic getting in the way, which is the best kind of beauty and the best use of cosmetics.
I tried to do a Polyvore. And failed. I couldn’t even get a single one together. I’ve seen what’s there too many times. Going to try something new. For those who have, or will have, my book, you’ll see a section in each of the Season chapters that describes how I see the colour palette being used to best effect. Dark Winter is the first chapter we talk about so let’s begin with it here.
For me, these colours have an austerity, perhaps because they are dark and cold. They feel serious. Soft effects (draping, smocking, cute collars, floppy bows and sleeves, unfinished edges) or busy details (wildly random prints, buttons and stuff for no reason like insets or logos, tons of ruching), styles that show a lot of skin (because sex and power are opposite currencies, the more of one, the less of the other. Dark Winter is the oldest soul Season and look better dressed more quietly, as the philosophers they so often are), clothes that seem too big (batwing and dolman sleeves, shapeless) – well, you can read the book but I don’t care for this on a Dark Winter. This person takes all that and makes it look unimportant, trite, and fussy. Peter Pan collars belong in Spring’s Neverland for a reason. On someone else, those styles can be flattering, slimming, and fabulous. On Dark Winter, it looks like those projects where your kids took your antique silver vase to school and brought it back with beads and macaroni glued all over it.
I’ve had Dark Winters see their palette and hear the way I see the colours interpreted on this person and feel un-represented. They wanted Bright Winter. They say “Oh, but I love colour!” Believe me, colour analysts are not trying to tell you not to wear colour. We are trying to help you avoid colours that make your face look oily, old, heavy, and unevenly pigmented. As pretty as a colour is, it won’t be so pretty after that happens. Wear YOUR colours any way YOU see them. Could you meet me halfway and say that Mrs. Obama might not be doing herself favours in frosted coral eyeshadow, peacock blue eyeliner, and hot fuchsia lips? Even one at a time, she is not that person, regardless of her position in the world.
I tried to keep the negatives out of the book, but with maturity comes an easier acceptance that every quality we have is in equal measure our flaw. We will excel and surpass at some things, which must be balanced by those places where we are weaker. This is a self-contained individual, not one who shares a lot of the internal stuff or leans on others easily. Some have incredible intensity, far more than the situation warrants, while some are much more passive. Once the cage is rattled, the fun times are over, because once they let go…Dark Winter draws a very clear line at anything that smells like B.S. Unlike the Summers, they will not necessarily keep your feelings safe. In colour, this translates as heavy, humorless, dark, unfriendly, morose, somber, and solemn. Don’t email me to say that this vision is grim and depressing. I’ll email back to say that your interpretation forgot the counterbalances that the hawk brings to the kingdom. Piercing focus, deep introspection, and the majestic, solitary stand-apart-ness that gets noticed first.
There is a core of stillness and hardness in Winter people. You can feel the steel rod down the center, and if tested, it will not bend, no matter how lightweight they seem on the surface. The palpable presence of that steel rod is the source of the strong vertical line element that I find works so well in the appearance of Dark Winter clothing. I think many of them sense this hard place too and translate it as “Earth”, that type of un-movable rock-solid center. For me, Earth energy (and I’m not an energy specialist) means secure comfortable homey regular everyday practical common-sense resilient considerate fair. That’s not Winter, that’s Autumn. Perhaps my misunderstanding, since analysts I respect enormously (Angela Wright in The Beginner’s Guide to Colour Psychology) attribute earth to Winter, where the world turns into itself, gathering power from the earth for the coming growing season, and the person of that colouring is similarly inwardly directed. I feel Winter’s need for big elbow room more strongly and feel an air association, as in space rather than breeze or wind.
At the center of Winter is a titanium wire – wait, this is Dark Winter, make that a tungsten cable. Its strength is not in Autumn’s sturdy squareness, but rather in its thin linearity. Winter is the conflict, even the contradiction, of everything and nothing, black and white, playing themselves out at the same time. Winter is the superstar who never feels good enough, who thinks herself a loser. In True Winter, where the polarities are most widely apart, the line between the two becomes thinnest, near invisible, just a fold in a force field. You can feel the hinge but you can’t see it, like the flip side that must always be, eternal and joined as matter and anti-matter.
From the book, the section is here:
- Black + white + a third colour block from the palette
- A medium-dark to very dark colour (or black) + a white or an icy colour
- A medium-dark to very dark colour (or black) + a brighter colour from the palette
- A neutral (grey, brown, or black) + one other colour + possible third colour in small area
- Two dark colours of the same or analogous colours
- Two colour maximum, where black, white, black-navy, black-brown, and neutrals count as colours. Third colour possible, as small area only, in an accent or accessory item.
- Overall medium-dark to dark effect
(Note: For the equations above, and those in the following Seasons, the terms light, medium, and dark signify the darkness level within the palette itself, not on a full white to black scale.)
From the top graphic:
Your hair and makeup are already a colour. When you look at others, you register every colour, meaning them plus their stuff. Chemical hair colour and makeup already add a lot of colour activity for the viewer’s eyes. Clothes and jewelry beyond that and the eye has nowhere to land, nowhere to focus, and nowhere to rest. Dark Winter looks good with a lot of still territory. Gray, white, black. Perhaps the lipstick in the tuxedo image (#1) is enough, imagining in the earrings, hair, and eye colour adding three more colours.
#2: We’re always needing big separation between lightest and darkest. And an overall dark look.
The red and navy (#3) – feel how much more energy there is just by adding the blue. That navy is so close to black but it feels a lot busier. Not wrong, might be great in your eye, just a different feel. Anything added would be white, gray, black.
When the lower block changes to black, it’s such a small thing, but the feeling for me is sharper, cleaner, calmer, and could accept another small block of colour better. With black (#4), as with white and gray, there’s a feeling of settling that is right, as life settles at night, as moving water settles to frozen ice. Contrast is always high. Winter is not a tone on tone look. Contrast can be high without sparks flying, as large blocks of purple and yellow could achieve, and more so if they’re very bright and clear purple and yellow.
I like a lot of red on Winters. Red is a big colour on Winter. When you get your red right, it becomes a neutral, like gray in your wardrobe. We wear a version of it in lipstick every day. I think Jennifer Butler said that everyone has their neutral red and I agree with her. We are conscious of the colour red in every other person, though not the same red. Dark Winter could wear Bobbi Brown’s Rum Raisin lipstick and cover it with her Sugar Lilac gloss (to clear and purple and lighten that lipstick a touch more) or White Brightening gloss and that would be very good. If you want lips that last till noon, put a good coating of Lauder Double Wear Ruby on, then another coat, then cover it MAC Fast Play which dulls and browns it that tiniest trace to accommodate the Autumn influence that lives here.
Complimentary colours together are very energizing and heated, so work better on the hotter Seasons. When the feeling is colder and stiller, the teal (blue) and brown (orange) in small areas bring in that mutually elevating effect without being revving the motor more than a dark and quiet group logically would. The lower block in #5 is black-brown. That’s your eyeliner, clean, red based, dark, Cover Girl Vivid Ruby. The teal could equally be a stone in an earring, a necklace, a clutch, a laptop case and can go much darker.
Two darks together are aferocity that Dark Winter does well. It’s become hard for me to discuss this character and separate myself, but they seem able to generate a strength of intention to be reckoned with. This isn’t a warm and fuzzy person at all. They’re business and move to the power position pretty fast. All black is kind of too mafia. Two dark but different colours works for me. The Dark Seasons do an overall dark look very well (#6). It’s their thing. For DW, I like when the colours are close if not the same, like a tuxedo, like a pinstripe suit, all those linear vertical elements. All black is, well, you know, never amazing.
I love grey a lot on all 8 Neutral Seasons. And T. Rex gray is right about perfect here. Pants, jackets, eyeshadow, socks, wristwatch bands, it’s all part of the final picture and it’s all getting noticed. Bobbi Brown’s Rock eyeshadow mixed with the darkest colour in Clinique’s Totally Neutral trio and you’re there. Make lighter versions for the lid and darker version to put above the crease.
From the second graphic:
As my friend and Sci\ART analyst, Mary Steele Lawler, from Mississippi, pointed out from her colour mixing courses: ” If one paints a warm bright color in a landscape background the painting will be distorted. This is a color fact, because in real life distance causes colors to cool down and become mellow while Bright and Warm make colors advance.” So, you get what she’s saying, that it would look like foreground-type colour plopped into the background for no good reason. The picture makes no sense. The viewer doesn’t get what they’re supposed to make of the whole thing or get past the question: “Why in the world did the artist do that? What can I be missing here?” That’s yellow highlights on a Soft Summer head whose natural pigmentation is of coolness and distance, so background colours.
Therefore, the coolness level has to be the same throughout the elements of a composition that are in the same plane for you not to look dizzy. Nobody understands the concept of colour consistency better than artists. Colour is just as disciplined as drawing. Until the vanishing point in drawing was understood, nothing looked anchored down. This is a set of rules artists don’t break if they want their work to look real. They don’t take liberties with the natural physics of colour behaviour either if they’re aiming for a believable work of art. Kalisz explained her PCA system by simply saying that it adhered to “how colour is”. She didn’t add or invent arbitrarily. She stuck to those rules that Nature put in place long before colour analysis came along.
#1 – somber, grave, looks good on these people, on this personality.
Since this is a Neutral Season (in 12 Season personal colour analysis, these are the 8 groups of natural colouring that are made up of blends of 2 True Seasons; their personal colour palettes contain just slightly warmish and just slightly coolish versions of every one of their most perfect colours), I set the saturation to pretty high. I stay on the halfway-to-cool side of a colour’s warm to cool spectrum. The dark cool olive and the cool yellow (#2) are the same at the same coolness and provide a high value (light/dark)contrast. Any added colour block is quiet. Picture a colour here, it’s too agitated.
In the next one (#3), I was aiming to show a print. Though the two greys are quiet, the print adds energy and so does a saturated cool coral pink, a variation of red, a colour to which humans are highly perceptive. The lower block is inert, or has no inertia, if you think of each element as having a momentum, a propulsive capacity to itself. Because each one of us is an energy field made up of light. Our appearance should have inertia, moving towards other people, our future, our goal. Isn’t that person just more fun and memorable than the static one (whose foreground colours are plopped in their background – does that look like you’re moving in reverse?) ? That lighter gray, I’d even take to cool light oatmeal or champagne, outside the swatches, but the Autumn blend makes those colours very convincing. If that’s what’s in the store but the pink is perfect, fine.
The purple and black (#4) is overall dark, where the purple energizes, warms, and dulls the black to the right extent (which is to say not a lot for DW). The clutch is meant to convey silver. Could be earrings, cuff, watch, necklace. Substantial diamonds are good because they add big presence without putting in another colour block.
#5 is there to remind that A. we can do a lot without black, that B. all teals are important colours on Autumns as turquoises are to the Spring blends, and that C. white is fine but not alone unless you’re very cool and near True Winter.
Dark Winter does say December to me.
To all of you and to those in your lives who remind you of how much there is in you to love,
I wish you the happiest holidays of all!
Excellent question #4: Are there people who are really best in only some of their colors and for whom other colors in the palette are a compromise?
Short answer: No, there are no such people. I would say you are best in all 60 colours of your Season’s colour palette, your personal colour analysis swatches, though many women will only partially agree.
From the analyst’s position, what I care about is that no colour brings out the imperfections that we worked for 2 hours to eliminate. In that context, all 60 colours do work. Many others might too. From the question above then, it depends on your definition of “really best”. Mine is the youngest, most flawless, and evenly coloured skin tone possible. Your personal issues with powder pink or baby blue are not foremost in my head as long as I have you in your best pink and blue.
No doubt, women have preferences in their palette. Some will just never see themselves in yellow, especially True Winter and Soft Summer. It may take a woman 10 years to overcome being a green-hater. When we conclude the draping, there are 15 beautiful Final Drapes (not the test drapes) that we look at to begin exposing the client to more of their most beautiful colours. She will always love some and not love others. Few will ever own an item in every colour in their swatch book.
She will always look better in some when we see her colours the second time wearing her perfect makeup colours and the hair down. And she’ll look worse in some because wrong hair colour is detracting from how beautiful and balanced she could look, but it’s important for her to see that. As awful as the gray cap is, it’s a real moment in personal growth when you see yourself looking better in it than in your present hair colour. This is when you truly get it.
You have no worries here. Having something to work towards is empowering in itself. By that stage of the session, you will find your mind supplying you with the colour your hair should be or the colour that will perfect the skin. It’s a brand new voice for everyone, nudging you to make the right change. What the colour should be will appear in your head as soon as you stop trying to be the boss of yourself. It’s a very polite voice. It won’t interrupt the traffic flow in your head till you hold up the STOP sign.
It’s also in how you wear your colours. A Dark Winter in a big block of light colour won’t look quite right. She needs darkness to balance it with the larger proportion of dark colour in her and set up the contrast that every Winter needs. If her complexion is very dark, that block of light will work better because the contrast will already be in place.
Many Soft Summers don’t feel right in some of their lightest drapes. Flip one or two of the medium and dark colours over her shoulder at the same time and the picture clicks. Soft Summer is the queen of the sophisticated colour combinations, where sophisticated can mean “to become less simple and straightforward through experience or education” and “to develop into a more complex form”. Soft Summer is very much about layers of meaning, intention, and nuance, in their thoughts as in their colours. When other Seasons combine colour, they drive up the energy. Soft Summer colours are so gentle that they can be combined and still keep the picture elegant and so refined. For me, this Season’s magic isn’t fully apparent until its colours are combined. I’d say the same about Soft Autumn. They’re not so much speak-for-themselves colours, like True Autumn and True Spring. They seem to support one another with a synergy other Seasons don’t achieve as well, or at least, as graciously.
Many Bright Season persons need time to adjust to the colour brightness and energy if they had no inkling of the outcome. The analyst’s job throughout is to keep them focusing on their face, not the drapes. It’s easy to get scared off if you’ve been dressing like your friends or if your cosmetics salesperson thinks “She’d look unbelievable in this red but there’s no way she’ll try it, let alone buy it.”
True and Dark Autumn usually love all their colours. If they arrived wearing blonde hair and black whatever, they recognize there’s a little work to do but they don’t shy away. They are job-oriented anyhow and now have their better alternatives. The next time you see them, they’re glorious.
Light Summer can be surprised, having lived as a Soft Autumn with warm golden hair for 20 years. Since it is impossible not to like this palette, the adjustment is easy. They look better in the gray hat and their Final Drapes than they do when the hair is down but the problem is plain to see. They are usually just excited to get going though apprehensive about how to explain to the colourist what needs doing. They go in armed with photos of what they do want and what they don’t want.
Light Spring is usually happy too. Springs are very natural people with lots of spunk and spirit and a good bit of daring. These personalities are not caught up in the complicated inner quests. There is often something very spiritual in their life. Emotion runs close to the surface. I seldom find Springs bury a lot of themselves, much more WYSIWYG. They’re hard to repress and anxious to get going. Black’s not good? Fine, give me grey then. They’ll be sending me links to gorgeous products they unearthed within about 2 weeks of their PCA.
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.
Such a pleasant and sensible personality. I adore these people. Like any relationship, those who live with them may have plenty to deal with, but true to Summer’s politeness, the rest of us have it easy. There is a great equilibrium in this person, equal opportunity analytical and emotional processors and completely adaptable to your personal preference.
Autumn’s determination is coming on board. Settled by Summer’s consideration for others, it feels more like stability. Ask a Winter what they think. Ask a Summer how they feel. This person gladly answers to both, easily exploring both worlds, allowing them to flow in and out of one another, calm and safe, without the need to erect or protect boundaries between them. This is Part 1 of why we analyze so many of them.
The darkest of the Summers, Soft Summer does not look like a light person. They look like Kate Middleton and Angelina Jolie, like Christy Turlington and Fergie. Their very mediumness makes it strangely easy to mistakenly place them in almost any Season. And that’s Part 2.
This is the group that feels dusky to me. Many appear to have a natural tan year round. Dark Winter is often called dusky but they have too much hardness and clarity for that. Think of Demi Moore, Cindy Crawford, Hilary Swank, or Sally Field compared to Ellen Pompeo where the hair to skin to eyes transitions are incredibly gradual or not even there.
How The World Feels
So very comfortable. Not mild exactly, that feeling is more in some of Light Spring’s colours. Just easy to be with. The Soft Seasons are surely the least demanding. These are the days when the heat and humidity of summer have passed recently enough to still feel them. Not too hot or too cold, too squinty light or too dark. The air is cool enough that clothes don’t stick and faces don’t shine. Our limbs move through downy silky air. Being outdoors is the relief it was intended to be. The easing that comes with simply being in our Nature home is denied in our lifestyle. Yet, the restoration is undeniable when we make time for it. We come from earth and are balanced and completed by intimacy with it. In Soft Summer, Nature is the shelter, support, and contentment of the bed of moss under the canopy of pine branches.
>> in clothing, the translation is in maintaining the mediumness; no piece should demand attention over any other, not eyeliner, not jewelry, not lipstick, not shoes. If you wear a light or a dark, balance it with a medium.
The mediumness on the heat scale (75% cool/25% warm) is factored into the personal colour swatches automatically. A no brainer for you. The genius of Kathryn Kalisz was to create these 8 Neutral Seasons with 60 specific and exclusive colours that are unrepeated in the other Seasons and harmonize exactly within each Season. You have to see these colour collections to appreciate how singular and extraordinary the palettes are and how special this system of PCA becomes as a result. In this and other aspects, it is unique, correct, and quite magnificent.
The clarity level isn’t medium, it’s way low. That doesn’t mean colourless, look at the photos and Polyvore below, it just means not as colourful as the others. When life assaults our senses from every angle to get noticed, what we feel here is gratitude and a place to relax. The choice of where we direct our attention is ours for a change. In a cloud, edges are shadowy, they vanish and reappear continuously. Lines can wave, surfaces can shimmer.
>> in a composition, an outfit, there’s an undercurrent of grey that unites the elements and provides the visual continuity. Prints blur from a distance like tricks of the light. No big transitions between colour elements exist so objects blend into one another so gradually, as hallucinations, being inside a dream, a watercolour mirage.
Peaceful because sounds are muffled, the air is velvety, and intrusive presence is always veiled. Secluded tranquility enfolds us as we are lulled into believing that the only company is the one we choose.
Relief in the stillness that cushions and absorbs. Like Soft Autumn, Soft Summer’s colours are all giving and no taking
>> in clothes and makeup, colour pops don’t belong here. Stay inside the palette and keep colour subliminally gradual. Soft Summer is never explicit.
See the deer? In a B&W photo, you’d miss it. The precise edges of Ellen Pompeo’s features would be very hard to identify too.
Notice the tree trunk colour, a good blued grey. There are some great pinks and greens here to provide the feeling of gentled strength. I know one reader at least will be thankful that the quantity of pink in this photo is so small because she couldn’t bear to wear more than this. She is very much a Soft Summer in her feelings about how pink she is, a colour many have the most trouble identifying with, far more so than True Summer, while Light Summer has no trouble at all.
In 12 Season Personal Colour Analysis, the Soft Summer comprises those whose natural colouring is
Quieted by the fog gray that settles over the True Summer swatches – this is the Most Important Thing. The Season is not muted, it’s MUTED+cool. Gotta see the grey, as opposed to True Summer where it’s COOL + muted. Look at the pictures until you can be consciously aware of the greying that flows through each element, joining it to every other as if by a barely visible web. Like the forest in the movie Avatar, every piece is connected by a grey neural net in our perception.
Cooler than warm and a little warmer than True Summer, but it doesn’t feel like warmth yet. It feels like dull. In How The 5 Springs Add Yellow, you saw that the heat isn’t that hot yet. What Autumn adds to the palettes it influences is really gold, but there’s so little of it still that the effect is more to cloak some brightness (add Autumn gold-orange to Summer blue and you get gray by the effect of complementary colour, right?)
Medium darkness, no black or white. They are jarring. You saw this photo in Soft Summer’s Best Hair Color. If you had to pick a highlight, would yellow really be the one that feels best? And that’s a soft yellow. Bleach that up a few notches and add a chemical glint and the result would not fall from the beautiful tree. By comparison, the taupe feels good. It feels like it belongs (because it does).
Soft Summer Clothing
If anyone ever needed proof that accomplished Season beauty is not about going out and buying anything made in your colours, Polyvore would have to be it. Pick a colour and look at the selection. Even if you ignore the utterly silly and the stuff a 5’11″, Size 2, 20-year old couldn’t look good in, there’s still too much that makes no sense. The image below is set up as little Soft Summer vignettes.
Other than a few greiges, there is a fair bit of colour. It happens to be a bit faded compared to the other Seasons.We’re not sure if it’s the lighting, but it feels as though less colour is really light than we expect for Summer. On a sunny day, some of the colours might be quite light, but not today. Like a rainy day, there is a sense of glad acceptance, of productivity, of dressing for a charity lunch at the museum or an afternoon symphony. I’m pretty sure she gets there in a brushed silver Camry.
There needs to be darkness somewhere, not a lot, just a touch. Very light isn’t what she looks like. Isn’t natural hair colour the best? If ever a Season should emanate cool un-complication, it is this one. The hair is too often called mousy and interfered with.
We’re trying to continue the flow between how you look and what you add to yourself. If you’re lighter, you’ll wear an overall lighter effect than a darker woman would. If your hair is dark and skin light, you’ll wear more lights with darks and not strive to incorporate a medium block. The overall palette remains the same, the one that made your skin the most perfect, that made you look youngest. In women over 30, I could almost do the whole analysis just across the eye band (the client and I divide her face into three horizontal bands when we evaluate the changing drapes), so much are age effects evident in wrong colour. We all lose objectivity within 4 feet of a mirror. Try taking some photos or video of yourself to see how widely separated your light/dark span appears to others. It’s better.
Reckoning the amount of warmth is hardish. See that red cardigan center just south of middle? See how it’s not really blued? It’s more fogged? Take berries, almost any sort, and fog them. Not sugar dusted, rather dust dusted, the colour of the object still coming through. Look for the layer of good old house dust.
Less eyelet and lace than True Summer, though she can wear bits of both, and a little more bulk. Still Summer sheer but a bit straighter though not yet sturdy. Still quite ladylike, though she doesn’t really emphasize that part of herself. Pearls and cameos certainly work, in the rosy, fleshy browns of the inside of red grapes. She is not heavy in texture. She does tasteful ruffle cascades beautifully. Some women are very feminine, others feel conspicuous in girlishness and want to get back to their hoodie and yoga pants or cargo shorts. She will almost always take the time to put in earrings.
Her song, being around her, can feel like this (sorry, couldn’t embed it). That slowed-down, soothing way she moves, the softness of the way she moves her mouth and the sounds she makes, those are very characteristic of Soft Seasons. Ever heard Jennifer Aniston interviewed? Lots of soft oo and mm sounds. Angelina Jolie is similar. She’s quiet, controlled, unhurried, loving but forthright. She is more reserved than Spring spunky. She’s exactly halfway between emotional and analytical.
More colours apart than True Summer, ie: less monochromatic. Not all over the map but introducing some variety absolutely works. The combinations in this Season are particularly amazing to me. Maybe they just sound amazing. Hold these colours together in your head till you see them clearly: antique turquoise with grey pearl ; dove grey and cocoa rose; sage and stormcloud blue ; pewter and softest rose. Feels good, doesn’t it? Always softness with strength. The two, together at once, in colour, texture, and design, are the very heart of Soft Summer.
She is Vivianne and Nimue, ruling priestess, Lady of the Lake, loving and seducing Merlin, and granting Arthur Excalibur. She is a moon goddess and the caretaker of Arthur’s dead body on its journey to Avalon. A Camry?? What am I talking about? She lives in a land of chivalrous knights and drifting mists. She drives a Phantom Silver Ghost, of course.
The taupes are tremendous and there are many. In everything from eyeliner to shoes, this is a neutral to be worn and worn. Entire outfits can be based on light dark variations, since any Summer does well in monochromatics.
People ask about maintaining best contrast in their Season. You know, the Colour Book does the thinking for you. If your best look is low contrast as here, the palette won’t give you black, white, or any extremes that are are outside your range in the first place. You’d have trouble setting up max contrast in Soft Summer if you tried. You do want colours to flow easily. That means that you can wear your darkest and your lightest, sure, but insert a medium darkness element to bridge the two ends and bring them closer.
Soft Summer fabric can be matte. The makeup should be. With artificial frosting, this complexion ends up going more muted (read, greyer) by comparions while the frost look hard and glittery. Fabric is also gorgeous with a soft sheen, lustrous like the inside of an oyster and the surface of the pearl within. Some gleam on the lips repeats this just right. As Autumn arrives, gently textured textile, like a light boucle works well, so a little more weave, a little more grain.
The greens are completely magically beautiful. For any Autumn, your teals are transformative, workhorses of your wardrobe. The greener colours can be underdone once Soft Summer is able to spot her teals. That light lustrous shirt, I love it a lot.
Seasonal Colour Analysis Makeup Colours
Kidney purple was a description I loved from a reader regarding the excellence of Dior Addict lipstick Londres. We have some brilliant shoppers, experts in their colours, among our readers. If they’d add their favorite cosmetic colours to the Comments, many women will be grateful, I as well. I would try NARS Tokyo Duo eyeshadow. MAC Syrup lipstick and eyeshadows MAC Shale, Yogurt, Aria are good. Their Malt is a great eyeshadow to reduce frost and saturation in other eyeshadows you may own. Lips? Clinique Voluptuous Violet, Lauder Soft Amethyst, Bobbi Brown Rose Petal, Cover Girl Honey Plum Glow, could all be good. The great red lip with a little more depth for evening? You might look at Mercier Dry Rose.
We’re after believable beauty, not the kind that obviously came from a bottle. Attention getting elements are not believable here. Whispered suggestions, uncertainty about what you heard and thought you heard, Soft Summer colours and shapes move in and out of your perception like ghosts of their original form.
There is no point in reading someone else’s lines when it’s so much easier and more real to play your own part. Heidi described it brilliantly as dialing in the tuning band on a radio to find your own frequency. Stay close to who you are and far from who they want (or tell) you to be.
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.
I see human colouring as a continuation of the pigments found in Nature, as if the planet were one big cell. We are as perfectly coloured as every one of Nature’s landscapes and each of their parts.
We all embody a particular landscape, where a landscape is a collection of colours and shapes that fulfill a purpose and belong together.
Natural landscapes make sense to us. We expect certain things to go together to feed all five senses in a way that is consistent. Bark isn’t pink, doesn’t smell like vanilla, or feel like slime. If it made a sound, it wouldn’t be tinkly. A Soft Summer (bark) woman (Princess Kate) dressed in flamingo (Light Spring), a lush jungle aromatic with vanilla and cocoa (True Spring), or seaweed greens and anemone reds (Bright Spring), she just wouldn’t feel quite right. Nothing wrong with any of them, but there’s incongruence, of puzzle pieces made to fit that really don’t.
All of us emanate our own landscape in colour, feeling, and mood. When we wear colours as an extension of our natural appearance, and when those colours appear in the shapes and textures to which they naturally belong, we look plausible, logical, believable, possible, synchronized. You could say harmonious. To the viewer, it is the purest form of eye candy. It feels so damn good that you keep looking. We call that beautiful.
When our embellishments don’t belong in our landscape, to the viewer, we look forced, like an appearance that couldn’t possibly have happened on its own. To ourselves, we feel like we’re somehow stretching our truths. But what are those truths in the first place?
None of this is new to you, from me. Life challenges us to figure out our questions. Real success is when we become equipped to find those answers ourselves. Instead of taking my/everyone/ anyone else’s word, your own word is the last one you need. Our answers really have been given to us, we just don’t always let ourselves hear them.
In the Comments to The Emmas Are True Springs Part 1, Melinda asked a great question about whether the style, textile, and texture associations are true, and what if I don’t always feel like what they say for my Season? You can read what I said and know that your thoughts are welcome. No two persons will wear their Season in the same way. We all want to convey our inner territories and they have a thousand stories to tell. Choose what you love and let personal colour analysis give you a sense of where not to go if you have a job interview today.
In a world too hot and loud, the quiet palettes can feel discouraged. True Summer is a very complicated Season. Indeed, they all are. The palette (ok, every palette) is one that nobody could figure out on their own, without a colour expert’s input. The pure coolness and the particular degree of clearing, without going overboard, that’s challenging. True Summer is a most gorgeous group of colours that takes too many hits by being misunderstood or compared to the boldness we’re bombarded with. I want to make it beautiful for you.
Dress to look like this. Choose colours that would belong in these pictures. The water in the distance, the gentle splash. The freshest greens. The clean soft breeze. Put them together in a way that feels the same. Be Nature herself. Put the scenery of you together to create the feeling you get from the photos that follow.
Don’t fuss the swatches colours till you feel frustrated. True Summer colours should not feel like there’s sun shining on them, or very fogged in, or earthy. They’re just a little cloudy and cool. Let it be relaxed and easy. Just hold the picture in your head when you assemble your decorations. If you say a colour feels good in this scene, then it does. Be who you would love to be and express. I don’t think many would paint a line of black (eyeliner), yellow (hair stripe), or crimson (there is no alarm here) into these landscapes and call them better.
True Summer, boring? grey? I can’t buy that.
NOTE : To round out this article, a True Summer Polyvore article was added to show you how I might interpret these pictures in clothing.
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.
This is a learning site. Please do use my words with credit back to the web page you copied and pasted them from. If you mix up my meaning and get the message wrong, feel free to omit any reference back to me.