The Best Skin Finish on Winter Colouring

January 2, 2013 by · 14 Comments 

In any change you want to effect, three questions matter:

1. What do I want?

2. Where am I now?

3. What am I willing to do to get what I want?


What Do I Want

Very hard question. Most of us are schooled in what we don’t want. You might want to develop the full edge and potential of your appearance. If your idea of great makeup is to take what’s already there and make more of it, as mine is, Winter’s best makeup might have your redefining your position. The colours in the face are a lot and now we’re going to add a lot more. Adding just a little more doesn’t move Winter very far from the start point, or nowhere close to the max point, but maybe you just want to know a nice eyeliner and gloss and that’s all. There is no right or wrong answer.

There is nothing wrong with being a Winter without makeup. The important thing is to channel what you do towards the outcome that you want. Too often, we’ve never identified either what we want or what we do to help or hinder that. If you’re a Winter, the time has come. No face is more altered with makeup. As in life, the good and bad are equal. As in all things Winter, they are also simultaneously at both outer limits. Other types of colouring tend to look more similar with and without makeup, which is a definite good thing. But it’s the Winters who can go miles from where they started, and that’s good too.

I like a lot of colour on Winter, a lot of makeup, a lot of drama. The face is that way already. I want every woman to be all they could be. Would our 80-year-old selves excuse us for having been less than that? Would our reasons have been good enough? Hint: no excuse or decision based on fear or negativity is ever good enough.

This is good.

Shiseido banner



I know it’s hard. This is the group whose language is power, a currency that women have been un-trained to deal in by every force in their lives. Power is not second nature to us.


Where Am I Now

Even harder question. Unpacking our own luggage and seeing what’s really in there can be scary, especially if the zipper has been jammed for awhile. Lots of people can’t admit their height and weight and those are facts. As the oft-heard quote states, “Reality is an acquired taste.” And slowly acquired at that.

All those Winters from the 80s, which seem to have been in the majority, are very seldom Winters, which is fine because they’re usually wearing Summer colours. The real Winters are buried among every other type of colouring. Their road back is a longer one for the Tone you might think would be the easiest to analyze and dress. They don’t see it coming unless they are very dark of hair and eye to begin with.

Once, I’d love the Winter to walk in who is overdone in her Winterness. The young ones are, even without makeup. They’re bringing it. More eyeliner (that we remove), thigh high boots (brown, but they’re trying to be bigger and it’s good), cape flying, doing something luscious with the hair, more ME-ME-ME. In our fifties, we women have toned ourselves so far down that we can lose our discernment of what is just normal and right.

Especially in our later years, when our faces finally carry all the power that took 50 years to build, isn’t it time to stop being so careful? I get that not everyone wants to present a heavily made up, dramatic face, but it’s not even about drama in makeup. There is so much caution to shake off. Drama and glamour haven’t been added for a long time and yet, this is where they are most at home, most normal.

Personal Colour Analysis is a gateway to Here’s Who You Are.


What’s In A Winter Face: both extremes at the same time.

To be more specific:

1.  Contrast. You saw this coming. It means that there is a lot of distance between everything and everything else, such as:

Features from skin.  The skin is very even, smooth, and quiet. Insert into that landscape a mouth, cheeks, eyes, and eyebrows whose colours create a big and sudden jump from the background. That Shiseido banner up above.

Light – dark levels of contiguous colours. Eyeliner is dark (it contains more black than any other group). The eyeshadow next to it, the lid colour, is a fair bit lighter (lid colour is medium on the other groups). The next band, the eyeshadow contour, is quite dark by comparison (more about that later). The eyeshadow highlight is icy light, nearly white (not the case for pastel on Summers and creamy on Warms).  The brow is quite dark (but not darkened more than Nature designed on anyone), very sharply defined, and dramatized extra (crisp, arched, lengthened, whatever works on that face, which is simply to see what’s there and make more of it).  For sure, any particular face might need these adjusted a little, but this is the generic look.

Textures, ultra matte to ultra shine. Quiet skin. No special effects. Snow White’s face isn’t contoured (which sets up lowlights for Autumn), dewy (sets up highlights, best on Spring), or cottony (sets up fluffy, just right on a dreamy Summer). On a Winter face or a winter landscape, those look muddy, busy, and trivial, a million miles from Winter. You want foundation whose coverage is opaque enough to make a very even blanket. Powder the whole face evenly.  Add lots of eyes, lots of mouth, more blush or less (both can be good). Done.

The Best Skin Finish on Winter Colouring is: Even.


2. Drama. It’s like a deficiency when drama is left out of a Winter eye design. Not wrong. There is no wrong, no answer that works across the board, even within a Season. Winters I’ve seen, they not only balance drama, they are enhanced further with it. It doesn’t look even dramatic, exciting, stimulating, theatrical, or otherwise extraordinary. It looks normal.


Photo: Krappweis

Photo: Krappweis

Would the image above make sense with a soft and gentle eye colour or shape (expression)? Winter’s is not a gradual, blended, or soft face.

When Summers buy cosmetics, look for products that have a gentle application. Remember when we applied your makeup and we divided the foundation with moisturizer, as I do on every Summer and Spring, because heavy and matte products look like a mask on your delicate skin texture and softened colouring? The same principle applies to all your cosmetics. Having said that, we also showed you that when a colour is correct, you can apply almost any amount of it and it just blends believably into the skin. That’s true, but these are two different ideas. Summer begins with a product that swatches like a watercolour. Winter is looking for oil paint.


3. Keep the number of cosmetic colours low. 1 is good. Colour is subtracted from winter landscapes. Many steely dark grays, many icy grays or icy colours (means nearly white). Very little colour activity. And suddenly, a deeply flushed cheek. A red or purple mouth. The colours in the face are shocking enough on a still and quiet energy.

Remember how on Lights, dark colour takes over? On Winters, it’s colour itself that becomes too much too quickly.

Photo: pixaio

Photo: pixaio

Would this be more effective if we added a buttercup, a bluejay, and a lilac? No, the red would lose its voltage. There are thousands of these photos out there because they make sense to humans by reinforcing something we already know and recognize.


Photo: Nossirom

Photo: Nossirom


4. Intensity. Don’t leave any features behind. Enhance each one to the same degree. Thou Shalt Not Be Wimpy. Apply a lot of colour to each feature and don’t blot any off till the whole face is done. Each part looks like too much on its own but it all works together when all the pieces are in place. Blend nothing till every part is done or you’ll overblend that feature back into cautious and unbalance the face.

Thou Shalt Not Be Wimpy applies equally to concealer as lipstick. The blues and purples in the skin are so saturated that a sheer concealer won’t hide them nearly as well as a product with good opacity. My favorite is Arbonne for that reason, plus it stays where it’s applied, it lasts amazingly well all day, and it dries fast so I can apply foundation over it immediately without overly diluting it or smearing it everywhere. I am very fussy about where concealer goes but I use a lot of it. For reference, I wear Arbonne Medium.


What Are You Willing To Do

Look very different to yourself? Exchanging a plaid duffel coat for a black and white herringbone is a step. Wearing bigger jewelry than all your friends? Be the only one of the girls to wear a fuchsia red mouth?

Draw a lot more attention to yourself? Stand out and apart? As many have discovered, getting noticed for being different isn’t easy, even is it’s a good different.

Wear your real true This Is Who I Am hair colour?

No right or wrong, just questions. Everything looks easy from the outside. Try it, you may find it takes some effort. What are the conditions on what you’re willing to do?

Would you wear twice as much makeup as you wear today? Most Winter women accept the eye makeup fairly easily. Lips can always be sheer. Winter’s sheer is Spring’s “Oh, dear Lord, too much, wipe it off, start again.” Winters, pick sheers with a lot of colour or save your money and buy Chapstick. Where you hear the brakes screech is with the blush. They feel like clowns for a week. What everyone else sees is a pulled-together face. Not in how much, which you can decide, but in how red. Blood on snow, right?


The Nature of Reflected Light

The Spring, Summer, and Autumn articles  preceding this one are linked in their names. The idea is that our natural colours have a way of reflecting light. Beyond just the colours of the reflected light, the wavelengths have properties that reach our other senses, as texture for instance. In Chinese medicine, our fingers are entry and exit points for energy. Of course. How could they not be? They touch everything. They’re up and down-loading who we are all the time. Each of our sense organs is doing the same. Each of the 12 Tone colour collections speaks a certain language, is evocative of certain emotions, reminds of certain landscapes, and makes sense if consistent in colour and touch and sound and scent and taste. It’s all happening at once. The knee bone is connected to the neck bone.

Summer’s soft, gentle, serene, muted colours don’t make sense in leather pants. Skin with that colouring has reflective properties truer to the surface of an opal, not a mirror or an elephant’s hide. Soft Autumn skin reflects light like felt and its colours are more beautiful in that texture than done up in Mr. Freezies. Do colours bounce light in certain ways that tell us texture? Or is it that skin painted in certain colours also carries other qualities that bounce light in a way that impresses texture?

The True Winter surface is smooth and hard. Dark Winter is smoother than Dark Autumn but not 100% smooth; it’s also thick, and not quite as hard as True Winter. Bright Winter is very smooth, shinier, and semitransparent – Dr. Sheldon Cooper, as opposed to Autumn’s Magnum P. I. Though some will cringe, I’m still going with rubbery for Winter skin by comparison with the other Seasons.

So far, we’ve said:

Bright Spring: glass

True Spring: persimmon

Light Spring: petal


Light Summer:  peach

True Summer:  cotton

Soft Summer:   flannel


Soft Autumn: suede

True Autumn: velvet

Dark Autumn: leather


Dark Winter: Vinyl

If we start at Dark Autumn and move along to its cooler side, we arrive next at Dark Winter. These are both Neutral Seasons. Dark Winter has more in common with the True Season parent of True Winter, but does share the most important dimension of colour, darkness, with the Neutral it’s paired with and whose descriptor it shares, that is, Dark Autumn.

We begin with Autumn’s canvas, which is strong and textured. As Winter settles in, the skin texture smooths out. Dark Autumn’s leather is transitioning.

Dark Winter skin throws light back like vinyl.





Not just record vinyl, but inflatable products, dominatrix gear, and tarps. Maybe even a car. Industrial, tough, shiny, smooth, waterproof, and useful. Good Dark Winter words. Not bad words for their jewelry and belts either. Dark Winter takes Dark Autumn’s gypsy/Rustic Opulent and shifts it to gladiator. A sweater in black or dark grey metallic looks like chain mail. Stud, armor, and heavy link effects are a natural fit here, scary elsewhere.

Dark Winter is mysterious. It’s Christmas Eve, the dark jewel-toned ornaments, the fireplace, the night, the lights in the windows. Very nice, but there’s something bigger going on. The feeling of waiting for something. Waiting for the reason behind the pretty. Deeper, even darker. Sinister.

Nude lips on Winter looks tired and old. Dead lips, a good friend calls it. My new favourite lipstick is Shiseido RD 305. It is just pink enough to not be red-lips. It is beautifully saturated with the touch of brown that Autumn adds to make your colours less cold and more natural than True Winter. That brown is essential to create the encompassing harmony that only a colour analyzed appearance can give. You are coloured with a little of that brown, where brown is dark orange, and your hair, skin, and eyes have some gold-amber-orange tones. If your skin is light to medium, this colour may be your best natural lip.  It’s not dark, often the case with Dark Season lip colours. It’s fresh daytime believable natural lip colour. Not ready for it yet? Top it with clear gloss.

Bronzer can play a tiny part because Autumn has left behind the slightest texture or roughness. Contour carefully, with powder that has enough red to disappear into the skin (eleablake‘s Miss November is great). Follow the 3 shape at the sides of the face and down the sides of the nose bridge, using a small amount, more to carve more geometric drama into the face than to warm it up.

Soft Summer’s darker foundation trick to contour is too wishy-washy here. More colour is required to be noticeable and achieve the outcome. It’s not a bad option as you learn or if you want a very subtle effect, just be sure the darker powder is as cool as your foundation or you’ll look yellow. It takes a lot of colour to make any difference on the intensity of this inherent colouring. A few shades of beige this way or that will make less difference on Winter skin. Carefulness is plain pointless.

Darkness works. Smoke is natural, like the Autumn muting in the skin. Smoked eyes make sense. The lighter lid eyeshadow can equally well be fairly dark. Any Season can do smoked eyes, but it’s most at home on the Darks. Even the other two Winters are best to exercise caution in darkness so it doesn’t look heavy. They look better in clean and silvery.


True Winter: Ceramic

Even smoother and even harder.

True Winter: ceramic. Like a white sink. Impenetrable, tough, and enduring.


Photo: nade

Photo: nade


Clean. Picture the makeup colours from your palette painted right on that white sink. Dark eyes, red-violet cheeks, red-violet lips. No fuss, no frills. Not smoked (Dark Winter) or clear, as in translucent (Bright Winter). Can you tell this before they’re draped, by looking at them? Absolutely not. True Winter is always the draping surprise for me, even more so than Bright Spring.

For True Winter, that very quiet blanket of skin without a lot of cheek colour, or with an icy light cheek, is excellent, like the picture at the top. For Bright and Dark, colour on the cheek is better, I find. It adds to Bright’s liveliness and Dark’s intensity.

Eyeliner is dark. Eyeshadow is quite light and silvered. Under brow highlight is near white or some icy (near white) colour. Contour and back corner eyeshadow is quite dark. Darkening the outer back corner of eyes looks good as a way of adding drama. Use a dark gray/black eyeshadow. Go over the eyeliner to fill in holes. Drag the dark shadow out past the crease. Turn around and start pulling in inward above the crease, not in the crease. This enlarges the apparent size of the eye and recedes the skin above the crease that can close in. On eyes where the upper half of the lid is smaller than the lower half, the crease is shallow, or the eye prominent, you would omit this effect. Deposit some dark shadow at the outer lid corner.

Other Seasons will use a darker shadow that isn’t much darker than the lid colour or skip the effect altogether. On a Light Season, where dark colour takes off, the eyeshadow contour can just be the medium lid colour packed on a bit more heavily. On a Soft Season, the liner, lid, and contour are quite close in darkness level, as in medium, with contour only slightly darker. They distinguish their roles by being of different colours in similar darkness levels, rather than Winter’s variations on one colour (gray) in extremes of darkness levels. On a Winter, light means really light and dark means really dark. You are it already. So be it, as P. said so cleverly.

I do not know how bronzer can improve this face but I’m willing to see it if anyone has good products or ideas. You wouldn’t want to dull that spectacular opposition of The Purity and The Darkness that only this colouring incarnates.

Winter’s sheer is Spring’s almost-opaque. The best Winter gloss I can think of comes from Lora Alexander at Pretty Your World. The texture, finish, and amount of colour are excellent, with good clarity. Glama and Hot Lips lip colours and Fast Track blush are great (I own them). From this compare page of the Cool Winter selections, Diva looks super good too.

Though True Winter is very red-based and looks great in blue-based red apparel, I find their most natural fit for blush and lipstick is somewhere in the pink-fuchsia-purple spectrum. That may be because true red lips are like true black eyeliner, somehow harder and more dramatic than human faces really are. Dark Winter’s burnt rose red and Bright Winter’s strawberry or pink red alleviate the pure redness. True Winter does the same by using violet, meaning clear purpled pinks. Arbonne’s Raisin gloss is a very impressive purple. Lauder’s Raspberry Pop is good but gentler, as is Merle Norman’s Raspberry on Ice.


Bright Winter: Silicone

How about Bright Winter? That amazing special blend of innocence with a dark, brittle edge. The geisha could span the Bright Seasons. Once the delicacy feels almost too rare to conceive on this Earth, the hummingbird, a membrane-thin gold foil, we’re into Bright Spring.

Spring has a hand in Bright Winter. Therefore, we need a sugar coating, shiny, fun, and ornamental. Pink frosting on lids, cheeks, and lips, lilac highlights, more play (more colours at once), more theater (cat eye, a few false lashes, fine winged brows, bright lips, hats with veils, cloche hats with beautiful ornaments, because hats and earrings are face accessories). Below, the haircut, the dress print and line, all awesome.




Definitely a lighter palette than the other Winters.

The skin’s reflectance had me searching for an analogy. Fine china with that near-transparent edge? Thinking, thinking,…mostly Winter, therefore rubbery and even, but a little softer with a transparency in the outermost layer… oh, you’re going to love this, jellyfish! Not good? Soft boiled egg? Maybe. Yes.

But jellyfish is so good. Stay with me here.


Photo: drakemata

Photo: drakemata

The flamenco dancer.



Photo: bofft

Photo: bofft

Heavenly and magical.



Photo: zoel

Photo: zoel

You see where I’m going?


How do we translate this to makeup? You don’t have to do a lot, you have this smooth and rubbery (all Winters) clarity (Brights) already. Clear silicone skin. Increase it with  intensely coloured products, pigments so pure, you would swear they’re transparent. Brush powders with the slightest finest shimmer effect on all exposed skin. Don’t stop at the jawline. It’s a sprinkling of fairy dust, that sugar topping, an overall crystalline effect.

Bronzer? A little icy gold uplight, sure. Baby peach, always good on Brights. Very little.  We feel no bronzer per se here:


Photo: Andreius

Photo: Andreius


Chanel Glossimer in Jalousie is nice. Bagatelle is a light, pretty peach, Clarins Crystal Violet and Revlon Lip Butter in Raspberry Pie could be shared with True Winter. Stila Lipglaze Raspberry Crush is very good.


Recap: The skin is calm and even in colour and texture. By using strong lines, bold colours, intense pigment deposits, and big distance between light and dark, both adjacent and separate, we create very clear feature definition. There is no question about where one ends and the other begins.

For Summer, we said: The skin is soft and dry, setting up gentleness and gradual muting. The features are blended into the skin with colours that create a soft flow or diffusion instead of sharp definition. As colours flow into each other as hazy mists, it feels difficult to tell where one feature ends and the next begins.

For Autumn: The skin is contoured, setting up lowlights. The features are defined from the skin by colours that are warm and velvety and the judicious use of metallic glints.

This was Spring: The skin is dewy, setting up highlights. The features are fresh, lively, distinguished from the skin by being very colourful, moist, and vibrant.


Dressing The Essence of…Claire Danes

March 10, 2012 by · 28 Comments 

Here is an actress I greatly admire. Although she was a beautiful Juliet Capulet opposite diCaprio’s Romeo, when I really took notice and have loved her since was in Stage Beauty.

I’ve also come to understand that we express more than colour. We express line, pattern, and motion.  You can’t just wear your colours, though no others on Earth could flatter you better. If the style does not respect your lines, patterns, and movements, harmony continues to elude.

That Dramatic True Summer was very worryingly difficult, so I’m trying an easier combination today, the Soft Autumn Natural. It came back to me that colour felt worryingly difficult in the beginning too. Having a real woman in mind gave me an endpoint I could envision and taught me how the Seasons’ colours work together to make a picture. With each woman whose colours I analyzed, I could write the articles and start seeing the similarities. I’ll have to learn Kibbe that way too. By holding Claire in my head, the need for length past the hip in a jacket becomes clear.

Kibbe’s book is the only personal style book that I can get to work on me and others. Indulging my love of an adjective, it is comfortably organized, ergonomically specific, and reliably stratified. And reproducible! Using his system, five people should come up with the same style answer for a given person. Kibbe’s translation of a very abstract thought system is linear and logical.

I’m a beginner. I need to start with easy pictures and lists. If we set out discussing tempering chocolate, I will never produce a chocolate cake. If the idiosyncrasies of different analysts’ tastes come into the picture too early, I’ll get confused because I won’t be able to tell them apart from the basic truths that really do apply to me.

I also think his 13 types is complete and enough. It just takes time to figure out what he means by certain terms and descriptions and to get a sense of the relative differences between the groups. Like, what exactly is a straight skirt? Of the 3 types with small rounded facial bones, whose are the most small and round?

Soft Autumn Is

In 12 Season personal colour analysis, ‘Season’ describes a type of natural colouring. In a Soft Autumn, all the colours that make up the body, skin, hair, eyes, maybe veins, teeth, inner lips and cheeks, and internal organs for all I know, are:

- muted, soft, heathery, so slightly calmed by a murmur of grey

- warmed quite a lot, as every colour appears in a late afternoon sun on a day with a little overcast

- fairly light to medium dark, no extremes like black and white

Looking at the person, you see the colours all at once like when the swatch book is fanned out. The feeling is affectionate, safe, restrained, sensitive, mellow, supple, and sympathetic. Words like strident belong somewhere else.

Kibbe’s Natural Is : “Girl Next Door Chic”, “Losbter Party hostess”.

He also has a Flamboyant Natural – who’s the modern version of Carly Simon…Miley Cyrus could be FN. With her bigger body, broader facial bones, smaller eyes, I wonder also about Andie McDowell (not a Soft Autumn).

And there’s a Soft Natural category…the Olsen twins?


- soft and round edged geometric shapes ; slight oversize/unstructured

- earthy materials, slightly chunky

- outline relaxed, straight, narrow, loose, soft tailored

- textured fabrics; glitz at night

- detail minimal, simple neckline, open neck, soft shoulder

- mostly separates, mixing pattern texture colour

- color pizzazz, break the rules mix n match, neutrals with texture


- circle, swirl, ornate, sharp, severe, fiddly

- sheer, clingy, flimsy, restrictive

- cropped, monochromatic

SA N Separates


Soft Autumn Natural Separates

Soft Autumn Natural Separates by christinems featuring a fringe skirt


SA Dresses


Soft Autumn Natural DressesSoft Autumn Natural Dresses by christinems featuring leather ballerina flats


Double check:

- relaxed straight lines? yes, pretty good

- bold and direct? I think so, enough anyway.

The hard part: keeping colour zippy and colour combinations energized. I even consulted Kobayashi’s Color, Image, Scale, best colour combinations ever, and didn’t have much luck getting pink beige into any snappy colour combinations without losing my Soft Autumn vibe.

Like: that it feels tight in style, not just colour. I don’t look at any item and think “Why in the world would that be there?” These could all live in one woman’s closet.

The Hair Style

I quite like chin length hair on Claire. If the bob were not severe, keeping to the idea of rounded edges that are a little fluffed, perhaps this?

The Hair Colour

Highlights, bleach, or any kind of processing that is obvious will feel forced instead of being true to the feeling of naturalness that an N emanates.

Though Hollywood advice to Soft Autumns appears to be that blonde is necessary, it is never the best choice for the skin, whether she’s an N or not. The natural colour is usually medium-dark warm-ash brown. Very medium in colour. If the texture is also without body or definition, the hair feels left behind once the woman is dressed and made up. Consider a colour that is one shade lighter and a fair bit warmer than the natural colour.

JLo Lite, like what’s at the ends of the hair. Golden Blonde before anyone would call it red.
Jennifer Lopez
Jennifer Lopez Pictures

SA N Makeup

Natural means the no-makeup look, which can still require a good bit of makeup to achieve. The movie makeup and hair artists in the poster at the top did a pretty good job.

Try these and let us know what you think:

Bronzer: Urban Decay Baked

Blush: Mercier Rose Bloom

Eyeliner: Urban Decay Stash

Eyeshadows: NARS Portobello, Key Largo, Blondie

Lipstick: Givenchy gloss Delectable Brown

Which brings up the interesting question of what a SA Dramatic would wear.

Other SA Kibbegories

C. had a lovely idea, comparisons. Katrina did just that with a SA Romantic and it’s brilliantly good.


Soft Autumn Romantic


Soft Autumn Romantic by keylarion featuring logo tote bags


Here is Jen’s Romantic Soft Autumn. We know with colour that two women of the same Season will interpret their palettes very differently in the items they choose to buy, how they colour their hair, or wear their makeup. The same applies to Kibbegories. We still retain every bit of our individuality. Our creativity is simply more focused and our visual voice is so much more beautifully coherent.

Soft Autumn Romantic Style
Soft Autumn Romantic Style by jenr8 featuring antique jewelry

If you did a Polyvore of another Kibbegory, please post links in the Comments. We’d love to see it.


Do’s and Dont’s of Matching Lipstick To 12 Season Colour Books

January 21, 2012 by · 22 Comments 


…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.

The Consistent Bright Spring Landscape

September 16, 2011 by · 29 Comments 

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.

Image Property of Disney Film Studios

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.

The Persona


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?

The Clothes

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).

Bright Spring 1Bright Spring 1 by christinems featuring leather bags


- 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.

BSp/BW by christinems featuring longs jewelry

- 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.

Bright Spring Jewelry
Bright Spring Jewelry by christinems featuring rhodium plated jewelry

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.

The Ultimate Colour Analyzed Cosmetics

March 4, 2011 by · 9 Comments 

Suzie Greif, the owner of Spectrafiles, sent me a makeup kit at Christmas. Suzie is the daughter of Kathryn Kalisz, founder of the Sci\ART Personal Colour Analysis (PCA) method. Spectrafiles is the new company that is now producing the Colours Books of swatches.  It was a lovely and thoughtful gift, but I have only been using it for a couple of weeks. Why? Because I had never loved loose powder makeup before. It always seemed to end up on the counter or some other place it wasn’t supposed to be.

I eventually opened the packages because the colours looked so impressive – and have used them every single day since. Believe me when I tell you that they are fabulous. The powder sticks to the brush for one thing. It’s the other brands of eyeshadows that I’m sweeping off my cheek. The Reveal product from eleablake is completely controllable. It diffuses perfectly onto the skin, no grabbing or jumping. The pigment deposit is noticeable but not shocking and easily adjusted.

The makeup colours that look most believable and attractive on your face are the colours that are already in your face. Personal Colour Analysis is the system whereby you learn exactly what those colours are, every red, blue, pink, green, brown, grey, your day lipstick, your truly perfect customized red, and so on. But even when you know, finding right makeup colour is not easy. Many colour analysts help you get started by sending you a list of specific products, but you’re still spending hours looking at so many products that it may feel overwhelming.

I loved the colours of the eyeshadows, blush, and glosses. In fact, they were remarkable. Once you know your Season, you become a very discriminating makeup shopper because you know exactly which colours will look most natural on you and you don’t want to put down money for second best. Sometimes knowing exactly what you want makes an item harder to find. These products colours were right on and so were the other shades on the colour layout card that came in the kit. How could they not be perfect? They began as the 12 Season colour palettes in a PCA system that is astoundingly precise in every single person. Here is a scan of my Dark Winter card(remember that the colours will lose a little ground in the scan, but they really are perfect):

For all the Seasons, especially the Darks, I love that there are light lipstick choices already thought out for you. If you like purple or blue makeup, choose the right purple or blue so it can look artistic and interesting, instead of trendy. The fact that foundation and bronzer have been matched to undertone is just so good.

Who is the woman behind this genius? Meet Darin Wright, owner of eleablake studios and the woman who designed the Reveal Cosmetic collection. For everyone who ever thought grey hair cannot look young, think again. Darin is proof that when you know your best colours, you know your best makeup. Seriously, could this woman look more fantastic? This is so much more what real beauty is than a teenager in a magazine.

I asked Darin to tell you a bit about why she undertook this huge task, and how she became the person actually who got it right:

I have been a makeup artist for over twenty years and have found it imperative to ensure that my clients received the best possible colors for their skin. I believe that all persons should have a personal color analysis performed in order to reach their power colors, or colors that help them enhance their beauty. I created the Elea Blake cosmetic line before becoming a color analyst.  The concept was and has continued to be, to custom blend every client that comes into our studio. We create a palette for our clients one on one and have endless possibilities with our color blending techniques.

Several years ago I revisited the concept of Personal Color Analysis for my clients. I was familiar with the concept from my days in the oh, so fashionable 80’s but felt that the system had yet to be refined. I was always fascinated by the concept but was not completely sold on it. I had found that some clients just did not match up with the results available at the time. I started to research several companies on the market finding most unsatisfactory until I met Kathryn Donovan, owner and creator of the Sci\Art system. I was completely and utterly impressed by her extensive knowledge and professional draping system. Kathryn’s system offered the correct tools, teaching, and support.  The clients’ results were so accurate!  People’s personas changed and brightened before your very eyes!

Reveal collection Soft Summer colours.

More from Darin:

While utilizing this system I saw how fantastic it would be to create ready-made cosmetic colors to go with the Seasonal palettes.  For example, if you are a Bright Winter you have a ready-made collection created from that palette.  At Elea Blake we have tested each color to ensure that it matches the specific 12 Tone palettes that Kathryn developed. This task was accomplished with many a long night and a frustrated sigh. I personally reviewed each color to make sure that the color would fit into the palette it was created for. The time involved in this process was lengthy and exhausting. The result is the beautiful Reveal Collection.

The most fascinating aspect about these color collections is that there are few rules and endless possibilities! These colors are designed for the creative core in all of us. They bring one back to the days spent with colorful arrays of crayons and construction paper. They are really that simple! You can use these colors alone or layer, blend, and build them. Each color in its prospective palette harmonizes with every other color, so you just can’t mess up! That is exactly the way these palettes are designed. Another extraordinary aspect about these colors, are that most of the colors can be used for a multitude of uses. Foundations can double as eyeshadows, eyeliners can be shadows, blushers can be bronzers or eyeshadows, perhaps even eyeliners.

There is also a bonus pack of colors designed for those longing for the extra spark to their makeup, with hipilicious shades that can be used as highlights, pops, or accents.  These are palette friendly optional picks. We refer to use these as eye toners, as they can be mixed or blended with all the palettes.

Reveal collection Dark Autumn colours.

Darin can be contacted through her website , by email at, or at eleablake studios in Chattanooga, TN.

Rimmel Lip Gloss for 12 Seasons

January 15, 2011 by · 28 Comments 

Some folks take exception to my swatching makeup on white paper. They say you can’t tell how the colour would look on your face. They’re going to love the way I swatch lip gloss.

I find I can see the subtleties of the colours way better on paper. On paper, you can be more detached about the colour. It’s still far enough from you to be perceived as separate from you, and only on its own merits. Once it enters your Personal Zone, all kinds of meta impressions start happening.

The hot second you try to evaluate a colour on your own face, you’ve lost objectivity. Your imagination alters your face, and everything on it. We have no idea what we look like to others. The only thing we decide when we look at a new makeup colour on our face is whether it could be consistent with how we’re used to seeing ourselves.

The Sci\ART Colours Book is outstanding for matching makeup colours, the trickiest part of working with your Season. Good thing there’s lots of help to get you started once you get your Season ID. The swatches in the Book are on white canvas. At the store, I can smear the makeup on a white page. Back home and decide, in daylight, if the colours are the same.  Any client who has done this with me during a PCA appt knows that she can look from the makeup palette we create on paper to her Colours Book, and find every swatch in her Book immediately. Her eye just goes to it, and she is right every time. This system works.

These Rimmel Stay Glossy lipglosses impressed me because of the good colour selection – or was it that I found Winter colours, usually so hard to do? So often, a line will have 3 good colours, and you stand there looking at the rest of them, thinking “I have no idea who would wear these colours.” In this line, the fairest and darkest have a choice, the most muted and clearest, and the Winter colours are actually wearable.

The gloss is supposed to last 6 hours, or 8 hours, or some big, impressive number.

Critical Thinking : the ability to discern what is probably right and what is probably wrong. A 6 hour lip gloss? You didn’t even expect that to be true. There’s no 2 hour lip gloss out there, unless you’re a mannequin, the plastic kind. Forget 6.

The product is plenty nice, and reasonably priced, whatever that means in cosmetics. Heavens, I’m being snarky today, but there is too much undeserved cosmetic raving going on out there. Every week brings a new rave. That’s how you came to have a used-it-once drawer. I’m just trying to keep the reality glasses in place so you never add one more item to that drawer. I am nice enough to say that there was nothing about the application that I didn’t like, besides the sinking ship of 6 hour expectations. This is also a nice product to apply over a lipstick, long wear or otherwise to keep it going till lunchtime without needing a mirror.

I swatch lip gloss between 2 pieces of tape to avoid having gunk all over my purse. I can spread it around and look at the nuances of the colour when I get home to daylight. I can see the colour next to other tones, because colour is all about comparison.

Once you see a colour you like on paper, and it seems to match your Book, I absolutely suggest you put it on your face. There’s more to a makeup buy decision than its colour. Also, no two women in the same Season look quite the same or will interpret their Season in the same way, or have the same comfort level with colour on the face.

I match the color analyzed swatches from the middle darkness colours, or the lighter ones for the Light Seasons. The darker swatches work fine in clothing but most light-medium complected women find them dark. The Sci\ART system is 12 Season Personal Colour Analysis, because 12 is enough without being too much, but you’ll refine your position within your Season with time.

The pictures are a bit randomly organized, and seem a bit sloppy (that’s part of the reality theme), but they cover all the colours, with some opportunity to compare. In Canada, we did not have Endless Night, Unlimited Gold, or Endless Summer, unless they are here with a different name. I haven’t adjusted any settings. Photos were taken at 11AM on an overcast day, on a sheet of white paper.

True Winter : Yours Forever

Dark Winter : All Night Long

Bright Winter : Timeless Allure, Fuchsia Fever

Finding a clean red-violet that has that purple pivot that True Winter hovers around is challenging, especially in a cheaper product. I like this one.

For many darker Season women, they don’t always want a dark lip. I’ll never (or not soon) be convinced that Sandra Bullock (probably Dark Winter), Liza Minelli (True?), or Audrey Hepburn (Bright W?) look their best in browned, flesh toned lips. Dark W wears a browned deep rose as a disappearing lip (NARS Dolce Vita), but it has little impact. A very good option to nude lips for Winters, which the intensity of the person’s coloring can still dominate too easily, is a sheer lip.

I hope you can see that Dark Winter’s colour is browner. Bright W’s is lighter and clear.

As a Dark Winter,  I tried All Night Long. It’s quite similar to the Dark Winter always-in-your-purse anchor of Merle Norman Stolen Kisses.

Light Summer : All Day Seduction, Stay My Rose, Dare To Say, Eternal Flirt

True Summer : Captivate Me, Dare To Say

Soft Summer :  My Eternity, Stay My Rose, Captivate Me

With the sheerness of a gloss, several of these colours will work across categories. Your own lip colour will come through and help adapt the shade to your face.

All Day Seduction has a gold glimmer in it, it felt best for Light Summer. Soft Summer can do gold shimmer sometimes, as in MAC Plumfoolery blush, but the base colour is deeper in that blush than this light pink gloss. Soft Summers are much cooler than they are warm and not especially light.

Light Spring : Non Stop Glamour, Always Lovely,  All Day Seduction

True Spring: Here To Say? , Non Stop Glamour

Bright Spring: Fuchsia Fever, Timeless Allure, All Day Seduction

True Spring gave me some trouble. Here To Say may be one those colours that is too browned for a Spring and not browned enough for an Autumn. It is orange and yellow enough that it may work well, with just enough brown to make it more nude/flesh coloured. I try to picture it on Wayne Gretzky…not sure. I was hoping it might look like this.( I think Uma may be a Light Spring because pale lips look so good on her. True Spring does better with a shot of real color).

The beauty of a gloss is that it tempers brightness (as in Fuchsia Fever) and darkness (as Timeless Allure), allowing Bright Spring to wear both. They could also do All Day Seduction, because it’s a clean pink with a gold shimmer. Light Summer  had this colour too, because there are similarities between it and Bright Spring (both can do well in medium-darkness colours, both have a trace of Spring yellow).

So Fabulous is a slightly yellow caramel beige. It is not orange, nor is it as heavy as butterscotch sundae sauce. It is a Spring colour, perhaps a good flesh-toned lip for Light Spring, a Season that is exemplary in the various beiges of nuts and their shells.

Soft Autumn: Here To Say?

True Autumn: Immortal Charm

Dark Autumn : Everlasting Crush, Still Gorgeous

A Soft Autumn will probably find Here To Say too orange. I’m usually looking for a color like the pink in a flowerpot, and this is not it, but they do have a warm side, especially when the hair has an apricot highlight, and they do look great in nude/flesh lips, a la J.Lo. This is a line where the Autumn colours are less plentiful, while the pinks are over-represented.

Still Gorgeous could be lovely on Dark Autumn, and very natural on women of deeper complexion.

Black Diva, well, y’know. Oh, I forgot that one.

How Springs Intensify Eye Colour

June 29, 2010 by · 37 Comments 

The whole premise of color analysis is that by wearing the colors already in you, same value, warmth, and saturation, you get the youngest, healthiest, most perfected skin. You also look least artificially made-up in color analyzed cosmetic colours.

When Spring eyes are light in color, they are usually quite light. If they get surrounded by dark eyeliner, hoping to bring attention to them by creating a deliberate light/dark contrast, the problem is that the dark color doesn’t appear anywhere in this person’s natural coloring, so it looks false. And because this person can’t balance such darkness, the effect is to do what a dark line around a light shape always does, to close it in and make it appear smaller.

Don’t make yourself insane looking for red-browns and green-browns and purple-grays and yellow-grays to complement the eye color itself. What you perceive the eye color to be may not be correct, and the effect backfires. What colors enhance the skin enhances the eyes, it’s the automatic guarantee of PCA. They are in your personal colour palette or swatches.

Sorry for all the links, but these images are copyrighted. May take some patience. They should open in a new window.

For all 3 Springs,

1. Makeup cannot be earthy or pastel. A lot of makeup can’t decide if it’s clear or not clear. If you don’t know for sure, don’t buy it. The disaster of earthy makeup on a Spring can be seen here (please excuse the title of the article, but you see the painful effect of orange-brown eyeshadow?) Now add the frost to a color that doesn’t make sense this frosty, and it takes it to overkill. One of those “On whom does this look good??” colors.

Same concept on the model below. For me, the eyeshadow and blush are too orange-brown. It looks unnatural and heavy. We see lines under the eyes, like she’s getting tired from competing with these colors.

Uploaded with

When makeup is too cool, the effect is anemic, here again on Ms. Theron. There’s something ghostly about the skin, rather than healthy and glowing with vitality.

And when it’s good, here, same model. Only the Light Season can do this spun gossamer, sugar fairy look so beautifully. Spring adds yellow light, Summer does not. (The eyeliner is still sucking color out of the eye.)

2. Eyebrows matter. PCA brings attention to your eyes like never before. They’re the focal point of your entire being. The brows are the frame for the eye. Keep them neat and shaped. Especially important for Light Seasons who don’t wear dark makeup well.

3. The waterline of the eye is the inner rim of the lower lid. In your best colors, it will be the same color as the rest of the skin, which is calm and pale yellow-beige. That looks healthy, cleans up the white of the eye, and sharpens the iris. You could put a line of cream eyeliner there.

4. Don’t underestimate the power of jewelry. It is near the face. Violet eyeliner doesn’t look entirely grownup in makeup, but violet in jewelry can be remarkable. As Spring infuses everything it touches with happiness and movement, so can it wear a lot of bright, clear color. Even costume jewelry and plastic beads work very well. They express the exuberance, the enthusiasm for life that is felt even at the outer reaches of the Season.

If you’re young and want to wear violet eyeliner, be sure it comes from your Personal Colour Palette. Don’t buy a purpley grey or brown. It’s the color of the string on the necklace linked above.

5. Mascara is cool brown to black brown, depending on how dark you are. Black looks like spider eyelashes. Some of the dark-haired Bright Springs can wear black. Hard Candy makes a cool brown mascara. Smear a few out and look at them.

6. Wear your eye color and wear its complement color in clothing.

7. Wear a yellow-cream or yellow-peach eyeshadow hilite. It brings out yellow in the eye.

8. Think about accessories. The inside of eyeglass frames can have another color bonded to it. It looks cool, and I find it imaginative. Spring is a bit exaggerated and they can manage this effect nicely. (image linked to source)

Light Spring

These people are usually very fair. Some have ash hair and look like Summers. Some have yellow-green or brown in the eye and believe they’re Autumns.

The woman who gets my vote as most consistently ruined by makeup and clothing. At least, her hair is usually good. True of the Light Seasons, the less they put on her, the better, younger, real-er she looks. Here not too bad, but I searched.

This is a Light Spring eye. Notice that there there is yellow in it. It may be a green yellow, but it is certainly not an orange yellow. The eye belongs to Louise in the article Louise and Stevan Are Light Springs. Notice how cool and ash her hair looks and that she is not particularly light, though Stevan is. Notice too that the lashes are not very dark.

Repeat effects using makeup if eyes are blue or green will be the cream eyeshadow hilite or the cream waterline pencil, but go easy with this waterline thing. It can look bizarre quickly. If you love a pale aqua eyeliner, you’re under 25, and you are not in a professional situation, have at ‘er.

With Summer’s cooling effect, Light Spring still has more greys in their palette than browns.  You want an eyeliner that defines without overtaking. Rimmel Stormy Grey is good. Summer may have left an unexpected charcoal rim to the iris and this repeats it nicely. Don’t ignore your grey clothes, for the same reason.

Keep makeup light in color. Don’t be talked into pops of color that just compete with what you are. Even contour eyeshadows should be light. Louise does not wear dark makeup.

If there’s green in the eye, wear your clear light red lips, even as a sheer. Red and green are complements.

Go easy on the frost. The Summer Spring blends have a deceivingly fragile complexion. Makeup effects can take over and fast. Do a thin shimmer in 1 place at a time, maybe inner corner of eye. Or maybe do a lipgloss over lisptick in a light peach-gold like MAC Instant Gold Lustregloss.

True Spring

These are the fair-skinned, light-eyed, yellow blondes. Uma Thurman, Charlize Theron, Cameron Diaz are the stereotypes.

Same repeat effects as Light Spring if eyes are blue or green.

Brown eyeliner is good. Warm yellowed gray also works. As ever for Spring, it is not an orange brown. Can Spring still wear orange? Absolutely, a clear orange. It’s just that the browns are not oranged.

Balance the eye with lively lip colors. Flat and safe looks like Nicole Kidman in pale hair and lips. Spiritless in a Season based on the very opposite concept. The whole face, the entire presence is drained and diluted. True Spring can balance a lot of the right colors and look fantastic in them.

Brown eyeshadow is fine. Light and clear. Picture those women in beer and honey eyeshadow, it works. In flowerpot or antique deep gold, too heavy, doesn’t work.

Wear bronzer that’s not too yellow or brown. It should be a sheer, pale, yellow-golden-beige. This is Stila 01 at Sephora. Sweep it up onto the forehead, around the eye.

Add a touch of cheek highlighter in a light yellow gold if you’re young. This is the face of the glowing outdoors.

As ever, wear your eye colors from your Colours Book somehow every day. A scarf, a pin, an earring, a purse, a hairband.

Bright Spring

The very fascinating Bright Spring never fails to surprise everyone, the analyst included. If the eyes are light, you’re wondering why they look so bad in Summer pastels, which is where you thought you were headed. If the eyes are darker, you’re wondering why Autumn drapes look tragic, while all the lines are eased away by the Spring drapes.

These women can use the light/dark contrast of dark brown or grey eyeliner with light eyes, because the darkness of the hair can balance it. The grey must be clean and crisp, and less dark than Winter. Merle Norman Galaxy and Annabelle Mercury are good.

They never wear brown in eye makeup very well, unless it’s a light taupe like Dior’s Earth Reflections. Notice (linked below) how there is no orange in the colors and they never get extremely dark.

They are deceptively light, though they don’t look it. The same rules of Spring apply, meaning not going overly dark or bold. This remains delicate skin.

Heather Karuza, who writes the very worthwhile makeup/nail blog at…a Bright Spring could look like this. That could well be that Autumn-looking eye of this Season. The dark hair-light skin contrast makes one think of Winter, but this girl is not really all that dark. The skin on the throat is light and yellow.

Here, in clearer colors, showing also the Dior 5-shadow Earth Reflections.

Here in more Dark Autumn makeup.

You see why they’re so intriguing, ay?

(PS- Heather, if you read this, the e-mails from the site didn’t get to you. Hope it’s ok for me to post these links. If you prefer not, I’ll take them down. C.)

Emily is a True Winter

December 11, 2009 by · 21 Comments 

Emily has passed the milestones of her first 20 years. The next 20 years will involve marriage, career, and family, often all at once. It’s in these years that women have the least amount of time to spend on themselves, both inside and out. The demands can be overwhelming and once we emerge on the other side, many of us still look like the students we were when we last bought age-appropriate makeup.

Emily 1.

Like so many women, in every age group, Emily doesn’t wear makeup. It’s easy to understand. Very few women can accurately choose what cosmetic colours suit them best. Many have tried but the result didn’t speak for them, so they felt like impersonators; or the sales pressure was too intense, and the upsells too mind-boggling, to honestly express uncertainty. We’ve all seen, or been, the woman at the makeup counter looking completely overdone. You can FEEL her thinking “Get me home before someone sees me.”

Emily would like to know what clothes look best and some help choosing makeup that doesn’t make her feel painted.  She has the sense and good taste to want to be noticed for the right reasons.

When the colour is wrong, you can never achieve the magic, no matter how lightly or heavily you apply it. When you start hearing “Just apply a thin layer and blot it to a stain”, forget it. If you need all those shenanigans, the colour is wrong and besides, it won’t last 10 minutes. We all know what makeup- sitting-on-top-of-skin looks like. When the colour melds with the skin, you can apply quite a bit before it starts looking fake.

Emily 2.

Put a light, wishy-washy colour on a True Winter and unattractive things happen. Their eyes are dull, almost empty. The person so dominates the colour with their inherent colour intensity, that all you see is a face that appears ill. The skin is dull and shadowed. What happens to the skin happens to the whites of the eyes. As they yellow or grey, the crispness of the eye colour is terribly diluted. It makes you FEEL sad to look at that face.

Emily’s colouring is so strong that she wore many of the Bright Winter drapes well, the most brilliant shock colour there is. Bright Winter requires a little heat in the skin, which Em doesn’t have. As a result, the Bright Winter drapes drained the colour from her face and turned her skin grayish, like the walls of the room.

Though I’ve often said eye colour isn’t relevant to Season, I want to clarify that. Any Season can have any eye colour and that remains a fact. But just as the drapes are looking to make a connection with the skin, so are they searching for the like colours in the eyes. They are astonishingly and precisely coloured to  A. force a reaction in the skin, and B. to detect an exact colour match in the person’s skin. When the association is made, it’s electrifying. Em has navy blue in her eye. Watch it come out when like colours find one another.

Emily 3.


1. If you’re not used to lipstick, use sheer colours but stay true to your swatches. The blue-eyed winter with a soft feeling about her may do better in soft fuchsia than red, but too much colour would be outside Em’s comfort zone. We used Cover Girl Amazemint in 615 (Cozy Plum) and it’s lovely.

2. Even young people should use shimmer makeup very  carefully, if at all. Even on a young True Winter, it makes Emily’s upper eyelid too prominent. Frost is attention-getting.  It says “Lookit me! Lookit me!”. Classy makeup doesn’t do that. It’s your supporting player but it is not YOU. Let your makeup be a diffusion of your own colours floating over your face, but let people look at your eyes because they are the shine in your face.

3. Here is an example of Winter who might deepen her hair to match the brows, but always remaining true to the base shade. Nature will never colour you wrong. Her hair is the right colour but Emily could enhance the dark brows/milk skin effect more by deepening her own shade a touch. It will look real because the brows are dark, but more dramatic (not necessarily better, just a stronger visual effect).

Emily 4.

4. This is also a place to think about how bad it looks if a Winter were to lighten her hair. The dark brows become more prominent, and look severe. Severe=aging.

For any Season, even if you don’t do much with your brows, there will be more attention on your eyes than ever before. Finding a stylist who can remove stray hairs without altering the shape to look like Pamela Anderson is good.

5. As a Dark Winter, my eyeliner is browner and lighter (MAC Grey Utility). Em will wear a crisper darker grey (Graphiti).  I don’t believe anyone of lighter complexion than Frieda Pinto can wear black eyeliner, certainly not in the daytime. True Winter’s grey consists of black and white. It’s a pure, true grey.

6. You all know I think blue/green/purple on a face that can be seen as a color is a cartoon, right? Don’t ever wear it to a job interview, and only to work if you are an artist of some sort. Estee Lauder Black Plum and Merle Norman Sapphire are examples of colour that doesn’t look like colour. They are less hard than black and the viewer doesn’t strongly perceive purple or blue.

When she saw her pictures, she didn’t recognize herself.

Emily 5.

It takes a certain courage to step up to a personal colour analysis. Like having your fortune told, as empowering as it is, you may hear some things you’re not ready for. I’ve been told that I read palms. What I really read is potential.   To see yourself as you never have, both inside and out, takes endurance. It also brings the responsibility of answering the question “What are you going to do with it?”

Em will travel her own colour journey. It won’t look like mine or yours or anyone else’s. Some of it may not gel for years. Doesn’t matter. She’s got a lifetime to refine it. She’ll feel confident and beautiful wearing makeup and know that people see the real Emily. It takes more time to convince yourself of all that it can be, and how powerful the final effect is, when every element meshes.

Once you get to the makeup counter and are told that you don’t really need to follow your personal colour swatches, you really have to dig deep and find some fortitude. Why would you NOT use them? Why would the sales assistant NOT use them? If they’ve never had a PCA and watched the process, they don’t understand why you’re holding the book you have, or what the other Books look like. They’re tremendously good at what they do, but colour analyzed skin tone perfection is a key that can only be turned one way.

You have become empowered to know things about your skin and colouring that they simply can’t know. But YOU know. YOU saw it. This is one situation where close enough is NOT good enough.



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.



Pam Is a Dark Winter

November 4, 2009 by · 7 Comments 

Pam is a real woman who lives in the real world. Like the majority of women, she’s gorgeous and doesn’t know it. She doesn’t have time to dwell on it anyhow. She has a family and a job. She hasn’t been in school for 7 years but it’s been hard to find time and money to spend fussing about her looks since then. Pam has become a confident, interesting woman. She doesn’t want to look like a student anymore.

Pam 1.

True and Neutral Seasons

A PCA (personal colour analysis) session devotes a fair bit of effort to sorting out whether the person is one of the 4 True Seasons (True Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter). We knew right from the start that Spring was going to be the worst of the 4, and that probably included any of Spring’s blends. There were heavy brown shadows under her eyes and her skin was yellow, with too much redness in the nose.

Summer was manageable but Winter was better. Autumn and Winter were about the same. The intensity of her eye colour was dramatically enhanced in the Autumn drapes but her skin was unevenly yellow.

The Red Drapes determined that Pam is neither a purely cool season (Winter), or purely warm (Autumn). In the neutral drapes, we began to see how remarkable Pam could look. I LOVE this part, because one of these red drapes is going to so click that I’ll take one look and think “oh, boy, this is going to be amazing”.

When we like the skin effects of one season but the eye effects of another, the skin wins. This endeavor is always about creating the most perfectly illuminated skin, cleared of yellow, ash, ruddiness, shadows, or blemishes. Pam is very clearly a Dark Winter.

The photographs show calm, evenly coloured skin. Yes, Pam has skin to be envied. But Pam’s also a Mom with 2 young kids. She doesn’t sleep well every night. Still, in her perfect colours, you can see the luminous, flawless, poreless, Snow White skin, the white teeth, and the crisp whiteness of the white of the eye.

Pam 2.

Pam’s colour memo to the world

You know that I’m all about how colour FEELS. We react to it because of how looking at it makes us FEEL.

Look at the expression in her eyes. She FEELS comfortable. These are the colours that she recognizes BECAUSE they live inside her already. Pam is experiencing what it’s like when colour speaks for you. It’s telling the world who she really is and it feels familiar, like a truth you’ve always known but have never heard spoken before.

She is easing into her Winterness. Winter is not an informal, casual, or scruffy season. The individual’s energy is tailored, simple, and elegant. She will completely dominate overly relaxed clothes. To the viewer, that would FEEL like “hard on the eyes” because of the continuous conflict with Pam’s own energy. This season is not frilly or fussy; if anything, it borrows a little of Autumn’s masculinity and adds a faint menswear touch.

In Winter’s appearance,  there is no movement, playfulness, or softness. You can see why these colouring schemes were named after the seasons. Outfits in a single dark colour convey the dark and serious look. Details are minimal or absent. When present, they are simple and expensive. Dark-light contrast should be extreme. One colour garments that repeat the hair colour are truly majestic. Nobody can compete with the power of this look on Dark Winter’s energy.

These colours allow her to look as she is. Pam is calm, a little remote, a little shy, but now, she is aware of her beauty. She is a little formal. You won’t know everything about Pam in the first hour. This is very typical of the Winter character. Add a little Spring to Winter, and you up the emotion. Add a little Autumn, and you increase the determination. Pam does not back down.

Pam 3.

She looks a little detached. She looks aristocratic. Pam won’t carry off a beach blonde look. She’ll look odd in exotic prints and fabrics. She isn’t made for lavender and lace. That would look almost crazy, like putting a True Summer (say, Bo Derek) in a man’s suit and plaid shirt. So, instead of jeans and hoodies, Pam is empowered to know what colours will intensify what is special and distinctive about being Pam.

Dark Winter makeup and hair

Pam usually wears no makeup. It feels too fake, too dark, too conspicuous. That is not who Pam is and it feels clownish. In these pictures, she has a dab of concealer blended with moisturizer under her eye. She is wearing a fair bit of blush to add some life and shape to the face. Eyeshadow  (medium-dark cool gray-brown)and eyeliner (black-brown) are minimal. The final touch is a plum-brown lipstick, covered with a Caramel gloss to tone it down so she won’t feel too obviously made-up. This is beyond movie star skin but it looks natural. It took 5 minutes, 5 products, and it looks effortless and real and natural.

Pam’s hair is a dark ash brown. What would highlights do? The same thing they do to any Winter. They look terrible. The whole dark force is disrupted with light stripes. The same thing happens when Winter wears light, frosted lipstick. They look flat, chalky, weakened.

Does Dark Winter have a lighter side? Oh, yes. It’s just a little contained.

Pam 4.

Your colour feeling

The trick is to find what you CAN do, what is consistent with who you are inside. Why is that so hard to know? I wish I knew. Why is it so hard to know your deepest obstacles, those you put in your own way, since that’s where most of them come from anyway? I don’t know that either.

After a lifetime of playing it safe, you have to ease into saying so much about yourself. As Marianne Williamson said “It is not our darkness we are afraid of. It is our light.” Many people are wearing someone else’s clothes and spending a lot of time and money to send out signals that detract from who they really are. Many others are trying to send out no message and render themselves invisible, so they live in comfort clothes, but that’s an equally detracting memo about who you could be. In the eye of the beholder, both say “doesn’t feel good, look away”.

Colour is deeply imprinted on human beings. With an understanding of your personal palette, you develop an understanding of how it feels FEELS to be you.



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.



Colour Analyzed Cosmetics

September 7, 2009 by · 2 Comments 

The best makeup is invisible. It should enhance your features without needing to be noticed. This is often called Neutral Makeup, heavily weighted with beiges and browns. Fine, but what if there are not many browns in your natural colouring?

We should clarify some terminology. Neutral Makeup can mean a generic, flesh-tone, beige and brown group of shades, like many of the neutral collections makeup companies come out with. Any of these colours probably looks good on someone, but none of them will look perfect on everyone. Any given colour is still only right on certain people, neutral colour or not. Wrong colours will sit on the top of the skin and look like an island of obvious colour. These collections sell well because they feel safer when we’re not sure what better colour to wear. The problem is that it looks flat and lifeless on those it’s not meant for.

The other definition of Neutral Makeup has to do with finding YOUR neutrals. That means colours like brown and gray for eyes, and pink/peach/purple/red for lips and cheeks. This is the makeup that just becomes part of your face and that others don’t notice before they notice you.

The best makeup  for any face will make use of Natural Colour. These colours enhance, rejuvenate, brighten, and define, but never look artificial. When the makeup colour is right, it will disappear into your skin. It will fuse with your face believably because the colour is already there. That’s the magic of Colour Analysis. We can identify the precise shades that are present in your natural skin coloring and give them to you in your Colours Book. Match those shades when you buy makeup and you will never look “made up”.

What if you knew exactly what cosmetic colours would look custom-made for you? No more hit-and-miss or believing wrong advice. No more having 5 tubes of the same shade of lipstick at the bottom of your purse. No more drawer full of makeup you’ll never wear. What if you owned 3 eyeshadows, 2 blush colours, 2 lipsticks, and a gloss, and they looked so perfect that you never stopped at the makeup counter again?  With PCA, this is so easy.

Eyeliner and eyeshadow are any shade of brown or grey. That’s it. Now, that still gives you access to about 50,000 different colours, and includes blends with white, yellow, peach, mauve, orange, and black. How do you know which shades of brown and grey are yours? Don’t worry, the answers are in your Colours Book.

You will never get blue, green, or purple makeup from me. You might get navy or eggplant, but in a shade that will not be obviously blue or purple to the viewer.

Why not? Isn’t green more interesting than grey? Maybe, but interesting in the wrong way. People look at the green line, which demands the spotlight because it doesn’t belong on a face. It competes with what they should be looking at, which is the colour of your eyes. If you’re dying to put turquoise around your eyes, the right shade will be in your Colours Book.

You will never get frosted makeup from me, with the possible exception of a softly shimmering gloss or eyeshadow highlight for Winters, Springs, and their blends.

Why? Isn’t shimmer makeup pretty? Shimmer looks appealing in the package or tested on your hand. By comparison, the matte colour seems terribly dull. On a face, it’s the opposite. It’s the matte colour that enhances without drawing attention to itself. Shimmer can take over. On Summers, it looks hard because the complexion is too delicate to compete. Unless your skin is as tight as a 15 year old’s, and mine certainly is not, painting shimmer over it is a good way of making sure people see every crease and crinkle.

Lipstick should have more colour than “nude”. If you’re 25 or less, with the great lip definition of youth, you can wear flesh-toned lip colours. Even then, the only women who can wear lip colour that is lighter than the skin are on the pages of magazines. If you’re mature, you lose lip colour and lip definition, and a brighter shade looks more youthful.

The trick is getting the brighter shade that is so right that is matches your skin, eyes, and hair perfectly – and you’ll find it, all laid out in the gorgeous choices of your Colours Book. Armed with the knowledge of your perfect lip and blush colours, who wouldn’t choose those? It looks sophisticated, fresh, and younger.

Are there makeup colours that everyone can wear? NO!  Your natural coloring  dictates your perfect makeup and there are 12 different types. If you wear the wrong shades, it’s like wearing someone else’s size or style of clothes. The effect is disorganized, which translates as weak. It does nothing.

Are there makeup colours that are shared between Seasons? Not in a perfect world. Unfortunately, the cosmetics industry offering is mostly disorganized. Even when you know what’s right on you, it can be hard to find.

Why don’t they teach it? The fact is that it cannot be taught. For each woman, it must begin with a PCA. Nobody can tell your undertones, overtones, or true colours without it. Nobody. There are too many variables and too many confusing distractions.

Once you know your precise inborn tones, you’re no longer going out on a colour limb when you buy makeup or choose a hair colour. You’re making educated choices empowered by self-knowledge.

So, do you sell makeup collections for the Seasons? No. I’d have to deal with too many different companies. I do give you a list of specific products and colours to test. I may go makeup shopping for you, but since the Reveal line by Darin Wright came out (see below), I get fewer requests for that.

I very strongly encourage you to visit Sci\ART analyst Darin Wright at Darin is THE source for correctly-coloured cosmetics for the 12 Seasons. The quality is outstanding (in fact, this product changed my mind about loose powder makeup). The colours are precisely matched to your Season, whether you are looking for light, dark, gray, or coloured products. I am happy to see that the job of right-coloured cosmetics and easy shopping for women has been done right.