I met with Chantal* and Rita* within a month of each other.
Chantal’s hair is cut in a short, wash and wear style. The top layer is very yellow, while the hair beneath is medium-dark brown, entirely natural. She is in her late 50s and will probably still have yellow hair in 20 years. Makeup took away 15 years and showed us a very defined bone structure, with high cheekbones and a nose that tips up at the end. Her expression is focused, questioning, and very alert. A personal colour analysis (PCA) long ago said Spring, which we agreed seemed reasonable. She loves colours. Where most women arrive wearing black or no-commitment colours, she had on a lovely green blouse.
Rita expected to hear Light Summer. She does appear fair, with blue-looking eyes and medium brown hair, coloured to a red-gold colour that works surprisingly well, a bit like rose gold jewelry. Although seemingly light of skin, hair, and eye, it was something about her expression and the shape of her features that put the geisha image in my head. Young, exotic, yet apart, on a Caucasian woman in her 40s.
These women have a lot in common. They live practical lives and make practical choices. Both are sensible, serious, organized, quiet, thoughtful as in pensive, and introspective. Neither is rapid in their movements, impulsive, random, giggly, youthful (except to look at), overtly cheerful, or chatty. Nor are they blunt, direct, or sharp in the slightest. They are very polite, pleasant, and hold their cards close.
On meeting them, the impression is light and warm, except that the intensity of the eye in the face is compelling, rather than blending evenly into the face and equally with the other features. The eyes seem like ‘more’. This is not an impression I get from the brown-eyed Bright Spring, maybe because hair is usually darker and the overall look is more balanced.
In the world of 12 Season colour analysis, the natural colouring known as Bright Spring takes its pigmentation from the Spring qualities of colour (warmed by yellow, pure colours, not very dark). Winter has a little say, causing the colours to be cooler, redder, bluer, darker, and even more pure than Spring alone. Bright Spring is a colour rush.
Accepting Bright Spring, or any Season, from the draping is usually easy. It’s a done deal by the time we’re finished. 9 in 10 people can easily see their appearance change. It is what it is. The makeup is harder to accept. The conundrum of “I don’t recognize myself.” and “That woman in the mirror looks fantastic. Why is she acting like me?” takes time to sort out internally.
The book RTYNC (in the right column) and the documents I send clients (similar to the book, but they continue to evolve as I learn and widen my own experience) suggest that Bright Spring looks most consistent with their natural appearance when they dress as activated, energized, bursts and squirts, crazy zigzags, a sunny morning after a freezing rainstorm,
combined with the delicate, a chandelier, gold foil, tinsel, cinnamon heart candies,
and the young, a large or small shiny coloured purse (Bright Spring is not medium), hairbands, sheer coloured tights, and mod looks. A little sharper than Twiggy daisies.
Cirque du Soleil. The motion, physical vitality, and adrenaline of the trapeze. Coloured spotlights. Body paint.
What if you’re really a denim and khakis, Old Navy T-shirts, practical jacket, medium black purse, brown suede slip-ons kind of woman? What if you just like to look medium and not one of those qualifiers connects with you at all?
Some questions came up.
1. Can you confirm that colour 3.3 (from the True Colour Australia Colour Book) is a very dark brown? What would you call it?
Yes, but to me equally gray as brown. I think of the colour of a seal. Bright Spring’s grays and browns are uncommon, very hard to find in cosmetics, and don’t have easy associations for names. They’re just colours I memorize and look at again often. Most important, the colour is not earthy.
2. What is the difference between black and coal?
The image of coal is to illustrate the darkest black&white gray possible before flipping to solid, dense black.
3. I noticed that you show lots of gray shoes in the emails while the book suggests using hair colour to choose shoes – I would feel more comfortable with the yellows and browns of my hair colour as I’m not a big fan of gray – do you see that as a good choice for me? And is this boot close enough to my hair colour, which is darker underneath? I’m not sure I can see myself trying to find or wear light yellow boots/shoes! If this is too tan, too earthy, is there a way to work with that?
The boot Chantal asks about, above, is here at Roots Canada.
Overall, I think they’re fine. No two women will wear their colours the same way. I like that the boots are not too dark, orange (a bit orange, but lots of yellow), or lumberjack, with heavy treaded soles or cowboy feelings. Your energy isn’t really mesa or Cheyenne. These just feel natural, which is how you feel to interact with. You have no pretense or drama in what you choose to share. So in that sense, I like their authenticity and ease. The boots don’t feel like they have something to prove and neither does Bright Spring.
They are quite warm in colour, warmer than you are. They may not go perfectly with your new clothes colours, even if the clothing style is great with the boots. Wearing your hair and eye colour is one of those areas where women have to decide for themselves. I find that it can get you into problems when you interpret your hair or eye colour incorrectly, which we all do, all the time. Eyes have 20 colours in them at least. Hair is not a good indicator of Season, but it does have the same warmth setting as everything else about your colouring. This is common with True Winters who have apparently warm eyes and hair – if they wear those colours, their skin turns yellow, and there is conflict with the rest of the outfit.
For Bright Seasons, hair colour is the most difficult to understand and replicate. If the colour swatches show more gray, it’s because you are at that coolness level. Brights look poor in brown eyeshadow unless it’s the cleanest colour (no orange, no muted, no earthy). True brown can become mud on these faces. The clarity of your pigments can turn even medium browns into looking heavy and clumpy. But it’s important not to discard every item – I would wear these boots for sure, just with the warmer colours of your palette so they don’t seem like outsiders.
How about the choice above, linked here, also at Roots Canada?
4. I’m having trouble seeing myself as a high contrast person. Is this something that I take on faith as revealed by the drapes or can you help me to recognize this in myself?
No. 1: If we define contrast as distance between lightest light and darkest dark, then you’re a medium to medium-high contrast person. You don’t go to white or black. That’s value contrast. Now, your eyes are extremely intense in your face, giving a sense of a pretty wide span from light to dark, as you have, but not maximum.
Position white and black in your head. Now put a dot at a darkness level around medium. That’s the overall darkness effect you’re aiming for. You’ll achieve it using a span from yellowed-white to coal. Clearly, light and medium colours will be necessary, and the more dark you use, the more light you balance it with.
Above, medium value contrast, yellows with blues, sharp line distinctions in the foreground. Bright, sunny, warm. With every bit of black that’s inserted, the whole thing dies a little. Save it for tiny bits just to sharpen the edges and bring focus.
No. 2: There’s also colour contrast, distance apart on the colour wheel between two colours. You are colourful to look at. Your natural pigments are quite far apart (yellow hair with blue eyes, on some, we see light skin with golden brown eyes), which is why I find complementary colours so good to look at on warm Seasons. They are a logical extension of the natural appearance.
Medium value, sharp edges, a trace of black, neutrals with colours, the pants and T-shirt, the blouse and the earring.
No. 3: I like to see very sharp, clean edges between colour blocks on Brights because that’s what you look like, not all fluffy and blended and soft. That’s not contrast per se, but sharp divisions look more contrasting (is there line contrast?), it’s just a way that clear colours look good. You are moderately sharp to look at (bone structure, eye intensity, haircut is not feathery). Clean edges are a logical extension of the natural appearance. If you follow the guidelines you are made of, your clothes become yours for a reason. They seem connected with you.
This is Bright Winter – simpler, symmetric, darker, colder, with only a faint warmth. Black is half or less of the whole or the whole thing dies a little. Black sucks in light in itself and steals it from everything around it – almost shameful with the purity of the Bright Season colours, and a delicate balance even for Bright Winter because the light is faint and will lose the fight with a black wall.
You really can mix and match quite freely in your Colour Book, aiming for an overall darkness effect that’s about medium (there! a medium thing about Bright Spring). Allover light or dark isn’t so good. You are not monotone to look at. Inserting a colour somewhere is always necessary. Inserting a big colour block plus another one is even better.
Whether it’s lightest with darkest or medium with medium doesn’t matter too much. Your Colour Book duplicates your inherent lightest to darkest range exactly so you’re safe moving around in it. If I were to do the Colour Equations again, I’d lighten Bright Spring up even more, with bright blue, stone, or white pants. The only groups that make any sense to me in white pants (their white) are the Brights. True Winter, it would depend on how it was done.
In the client’s document, I changed two paragraphs to read this way:
This is Spring-like colour worn in a Winter’s way – meaning that you will wear your bright, clear, warm colors best, but using 2 or 3 different colours at once, and with moderate contrast, not as high as a real Winter would wear. Contrast defines how much distance exists between the lights and darks. High contrast implies that you wear the lightest lights and the darkest darks together. You are fine in these combinations, and equally good when combining your midtones.
With colour this bright, especially if the line between the colour elements is very crisp, they will look contrasting. They will not be like a watercolour swirl, which creates the problem of grayed colours when complements combine, quite opposite to the properties of the colours you are made of. You probably have medium-high extremes of lightness and darkness in your skin/hair/eyes, so you would repeat that in clothing and makeup to look balanced. Your palette does the thinking for you in this regard in that it comes close but not all the way to black and white.
5. You didn’t mention pearls as a choice for Bright Spring – I have a simple strand – will it work?
Anything will work. Like diamonds on a Soft Season, it’s not a natural fit but that doesn’t matter. Wear them anyhow if you love them. This is how you make your Season yours, your personal brand of dissidence that lets us know you better. It has to work for you, not the other way round. I know a Light Summer woman, the epitome of gentle grace, who wears the most beautiful, large rounded oval, slightly dangly, super sparkly, aquamarine earrings. It’s brilliant. It says to me “I love my life so much that I can’t hold it all in.”
No matter what we do, as gardeners, cooks, doctors, Seasons, we learn the discipline, we figure out the shortcuts and what we can get away with. Then, we decide how we’re going to break the rules or mould them to suit what we bring to the game. That’s just life lived with complete freedom of expression.
6. I have a sweater in yarn that combines several bright colours, alternating the colourful yarn with stripes in a dark / neutral colour. Would it be more flattering to stick to a solid colour?
Brights look great with many colours at once, just not blended together (blending colours causes either a watercolour effect, or the graying of mixing complementaries that makes the muted colours of Autumn and Summer). Side by side complementary colours or with a neutral colours, both are terrific on you. Stripes give energy.
There is a taste factor. You might like your colours blended together and that’s not wrong, just not what my eye prefers because it’s hard to maintain the high purity of each pigment. Be careful that the yarn isn’t comfy/chunky/heavy looking, especially if you’re working in neutral colours. It risks getting too homemade looking in that Autumn homespun way. Pick something young, Angora, sparkly, smooth. It should not look back-to-the-land. It should look brand new. Fun colours are always better on you, since colour is like your neutral.
A blue-eyed Bright Spring is very colourful to look at.
Your hair, eyes, and skin come together like this. You are beyond just colourful. You are coloured in complementary colours (blue eyes, yellow hair). That’s an extreme, or a type of contrast. So is light, warm hair on top, dark, cooler hair beneath, another type of contrast. The warm-cool in the colouring at once is true of all Neutral Seasons, but quite bright and alive here. To the viewer, it feels energetic and young.
On Bright Seasons, colours seem more at home than neutral grays and browns. Colours become your neutrals. Every Season has its extremes and only that type of colouring is completely at home and at ease in them. As Susan said so well, black is dressy, but only on True Winter is it casual wear. That’s what ‘at home’ means. It is that easy that it becomes your anytime, anywhere, the one thing you don’t plan around, where you can hide and relax. Having said that, nobody is at their best in head to toe black. Nobody.
Black is only thought to be dressy. Usually, it’s detracting. It can make textile look more expensive, yes. It is easier for marketers to sell us a ton of one thing than have to keep changing production lines, yes. The Dark Winter wears it well enough since it’s dark, but it begins to transform into the solid wall that it is on everyone but True Winter, so they warm it up. Walls are not entirely foreign to Dark Winter’s energy.
On Bright Winter, there are no walls, there is excitement. They are better in white than black, and a so-slightly yellowed white. Black shouldn’t be more than half the overall look. Thankfully, both Chantal and Rita knew to avoid it. As Bright Springs, a thin stripe of it here and there is fine but not more than that or it does what it always does – makes the colours dead. It sucks in all the light around it, which is an absolute shame for Bright Spring, the clearest, brightest colours that exist. The overall effect is gasping for sunshine.
7. I was very surprised to read that Spring is strongly associated with triangles and diamond shapes. I feel more drawn to squares in fabric (linen plaids, cotton madras, cotton checkerboard print) and rounded shapes in jewelry (beads, hoops, circles). Any comments?
Your preference. Those shapes are what I feel. Some see triangles as a Winter shape. Squares express more practical, natural, durable, serious, productive energy – maybe truer to how you have seen yourself for the last 20 or 40 years. Could be that the next 20 will be a little different.
Four years after my PCA, I was able to pull in the drama of Winter and could tell where the Enough line was. I couldn’t have done it 3 and 1/2 years ago. It cannot be assimilated in a week, a month, or a year. But you do continue to move closer to your center, hear your guides more clearly, and choose what is and is not the real you.
8. I’m having trouble thinking in terms of adding fun to my clothing. Suggestions of nylon, satin, trims, ruffles!! sound very girly, not a look I’ve ever worn or feel very comfortable with – any suggestions as to how I can approach this?
Bright Winter and Bright Spring read the style suggestions and see this
All I’m saying is that you’re not this. She is beautiful on someone else.
Start with the colours. Only the colours. Stay inside the lines you are comfortable with today. Pretty soon, they will loosen up and you’ll find some extra breathing space inside them. You might try yoga clothes instead of gardening clothes, as an example. The clothes at Lululemon, Athleta, Title Nine, MEC are often superb on Bright Spring and way better than rugged wear.
There is no need to ever get fancier than that. Nylon is a windbreaker. Satin might be a scarf. Forget trim and ruffles, and glitter. Not everybody does everything. The point is to get energy, as movement and saturated colour, into your look. Workout clothes give you that.
9. My biggest challenge is with the repeated descriptions of Bright Spring as light, delicate, charming, and adorable. When I read these descriptions it starts to feel like maybe I’m not really a Bright Spring after all. Could we have made a mistake?
The most aggressive woman I know sees herself as nurturing. It shocked her beyond belief to learn that in the character assessment at work, every single person pulled out the Highly Competitive card. A very controlling Soft Autumn. Bit odd. And yet, she is absolutely nurturing.
A True Summer of very classic proportions, in fact quite straight in the hip, sees herself as extremely curvy. In her view, she is aggressive, masculine, direct, bold, a walking firecracker. Yes, well, I could go with endlessly seeking. She has no risk aversion though, which is not really a Summer thing.
We get mixed up about ourselves. More important, we are hugely complex. There are only 12 Season groups. Just playing the numbers, factor in 100 personality traits at high, medium, and low levels, parenting, environment, birth order, experience – you wouldn’t have 12 possible combinations, you’d have 12, 000, 000. Still more important, the 12 groups are not organized around character, they’re organized around colour.
Could I have made a mistake? Sure. Anyone can, anytime. But I don’t think I did. We’ll drape you again if you want. Free. Just bring someone with you. I don’t talk much the second time unless I think I got it wrong.
You have a great deal of Winter in your character. You are certainly curious, analytical, and interested. You have the youthful appearance/hairstyle/feature shape associated with childhood, so there would be great continuity if you wore that but you don’t have to. You may find some of that a year from now. You may prefer to express more distance and reserve and less party, just as you are.
Don’t struggle or try to chase it, you’ll just push it further away, like chasing money. Try not to overthink it or you’ll extinguish all your abilities to feel it. Leave it there and explore stepping around your borderlines in ways that feel good. Release any effort at trying to control it. Trust that it will happen, don’t feel that you need to know how. Your mind took it in when your eyes did – remember how that happened during our PCA session? We were learning it together just by seeing it happening. A few words at the beginning and then we could feel it.
10. If it sounds like my thoughts and feelings are whirling around – they are!
They’re supposed to. In our short time together, we had to pull apart everything you thought you knew about your colouring, right back to absolute zero, to the point where you could say, “I do not know what is going to happen next.” Then, we built it all back up again with the blocks lined up correctly. It is a lot to take in.
To learn, you have to unlearn. What we think we know pretty well is usually where we are weakest.
To learn truth, you must surrender what you believe to be truth. Ask anyone who’s had a PCA. You get enough proof to get rid of a lot of stuff fast and make space for the real and the right. It’s a shock to the system.
To gain control, we must first surrender control. Control is only an illusion. Trying to get it is what keeps us tired.
To gain power, we must surrender power.
To empower ourselves with new truths is bound to evoke resistance. We will come up against it every single day. In detaching and deciding, we become free and open thinkers.
I know that I overwhelm you with information during and after a session with me. Everyone learns differently and I don’t know what will click with you. I want you to leave a different person than the one who walked in, on every level, not just your lipstick choice. These reflections, the expansion, the open-ness, the wonder and the wondering, they will carry over into every aspect of your life.
Begin with the colours, bringing them closer to your body as nail polish or a beach towel. To the viewer, they still look like part of your energy field. In time, less serviceable items may be easier to replace with brighter combinations or prints that feel too risky today.
Keep asking me questions. I need it to know where you could use some help. Helping you in real and tangible ways is what I am here to do.
And remember the whole point of your personal renovation (Chantal’s excellent words):
Add Joy to the Journey, to every little glimmer, every success, every little deeper understanding.
Recently, Amelia at True Colour AU posted an article entitled PCA Myth Busters – ‘Perfecting the Skin’ (Part 2) and ‘Any Hair/Eye/Skin Colour Can Be Found in Any Tone’ (Part 1), a myth for which I surely take responsibility, maybe full responsibility, for perpetuating. Actually, I recognize a lot of those myths
More Myth Busting Please
I am only grateful when someone teaches me something, changes my way of thinking, or points out where my words have been misleading or confusing. As in everything she writes, Amelia is 100% correct. She is always very gracious in disarming and dismantling my various discrepancies. I feel a bit regretful that Amelia has to keep defusing the bombs but I sure do recognize and appreciate her patience and willingness to teach us all on her website. We badly need precision in this game. And to keep asking questions at the leading edge of understanding ourselves. And to be grateful to be part of a movement that respectfully improves people’s lives by guiding and supporting them towards choice and truth.
Digression: About the TMIT thing, for those wondering where it came from (I see a response at TCA to a reader question about it) – I made it up all by myself . Readers saw it in the article ”The Most Important Thing (TMIT)”. Besides precision, the other thing we could use in this game is a means of remembering and applying the fact that colour is comparative. Forcing it to be absolute is trying to outsmart the system to make it easier. That won’t work well. The Light Season woman might think “Hey, if black on my body makes those areas look bigger, would a black bikini top make my chest look bigger?” Nope. It boomerangs to accentuate the smallness.
I have said that the longer two things (colours, shapes) stay together, the more they emphasize their differences and look even more unbelonging, unbalancing, and unbecoming. They push each other even further in opposite directions. A woman in a drape colour that is not congruent with her inborn colouring looks more blemished, shadowed, and ill, the longer you look at her. Slinky fabric on a straight body just looks wilted and limp. I found a very cool page that helps illustrate how our we alter the things we look at.
Our nervous system, all five senses, work by making comparisons. Bark doesn’t feel as rough if you wear clothes made of burlap. It feels so much rougher if you live in a satin lined cocoon. A room seems warmer and bigger if you come in from a cold cave. The brain generates visual images largely by comparison too. We never see what’s really there, interesting on a whole new set of levels. A nightlight is plenty bright at midnight. To get your new foundation right, bring your old one so the cosmetician can make a comparison. And in colour analysis, we’re always comparing 3 properties of colour. I didn’t call it TOIT, The Only Important Thing, or The One Important Thing, right?
The Endpoint IS Harmony
For me to say that the endpoint of a colour analysis is evenly coloured skin was a poor choice of words because it could be evenly grayed, like a ghost, or evenly pasty, evenly red, etc. Every face needs some shadows for topography and definition. Otherwise, it’s a moon face, it’s blurry, flattish, and fattish. A pencil sketch of a face contains many shades of grey. A colour sketch of a face contains many colours. If there’s no 3D geometry because there are no shadows of any sort, the face and neck appear to occupy the same plane, like there’s no chin or a double chin. On the crosswise axis, if there are no shadows, the nose looks blurred into the face without a defined shape of its own.
I am after a clear, tight, smooth skin that has little (but not zero unless you’re under 14) use for concealer. Sharpness and contrast levels are perfect, noise reduced, great and appropriate colour intensity, and lip colour is pink without being grayed, yellowed, or blued (because when they’re subtle, those effects are easier to see in the lip than the skin, but they happen to the entire face. What happens to part of the face happens to the whole face, but certain features show certain effects better – like if edge of iris blurry, then whole face blurry.) The other extreme, too much colour activity with reds that are too red, shadows too dark, and light areas too oily and shiny, is not good either. The face looks too activated instead of calm.
I avoided use of ‘harmony’ to describe the desired effect of PCA because it has many interpretations, as many as there are analysts. It seems abstract, even though it’s not. It’s qualitative, not quantitative, at least in the beginning of seeing this – and I am remembering that Amelia said endpoint and I’m still at the beginning of an analysis, so we’re still in perfect agreement. To explain to the woman staring at her face in the mirror what to look for, I begin by defining the reasons for my choices based on measurable parameters as darker/lighter, yes/no, yellower/clearer, greyer/pinker because she can tune into these almost immediately. For readers, would you have understood better if I’d written “You see more harmony.” or “Eye colour looks more intense.”?
Harmony can be recognized once you’ve connected the seeing and the feeling of it a few times, but how do you explain it? Like nausea or passion, it is beyond the divisive nature of words. A spoken language is separating. Almost isolating. Word A means this. Word B means that. Draping decisions are necessarily exclusive – it’s this one or that one based on certain findings. For a new analyst, the distinction matters. She might see simultaneous good and bad effects when comparing two drapes or two sets of drapes – how to know which one gets precedence? Harmony is inclusive. It speaks of wholeness and unity. Colour measurement appeals to our rational mind. Because colour is visual, it also invokes the image-based mind that deals in emotion, imagination, art, and intuition. Hard stuff to find words for.
Harmony can seem obvious when two things are far apart, like these gentlemen. And not just with colour. Could Placido straighten or highlight his hair and look better? Could he do either without you knowing it? Would harmony be disrupted if Denver had been born with Domingo’s voice? When two things are closer together, it can be a harder call. (Does anyone know what that language is in the subtitles? The characters are very pretty.)
To begin by thinking your way to it and eventually feeling your way into it, maybe that’s what experience is. It surpasses conscious thought in favour of just being. Some things are not this way. You don’t think your way to sleep, you release to it, but sleep is not new to our nervous system. Not so with colour. The client is being asked to see something she’s never seen before on the most vulnerable canvas of them all, the most invested real estate on her body – her own face.
Plus, we are exploring current reality in a big way, a place most of us hold only briefly each day. A colour analysis asks us to live in the moment for 2 to 3 sustained hours. Fatigue and sensory overload, plus info overload if I’m the one doing the analysis ( once again), can set in. For one woman, by the final decisions, she’s worn out and finds the subjective easier to see. In another case, she has gained enough experience during the draping and can see and feel the best harmony in the final choices. In either case, what I’m after is exactly what Amelia says, ultimate visual harmony.
To any of our senses, harmony describes the linking between a stimulus that presents as a single, continuous whole and the agreeable feelings that arise in our minds, a flawless satisfaction. This is what others have sensed when they say we are glowing or look great. When we get concurring data from our senses, we feel good, reassured, and relaxed. The world is working right. When we don’t, that’s called motion sickness and many other forms of sensory conflict. That’s the Bright Winter woman wearing True Summer colours.
Let me see if I can do a better job of describing harmony for you – at least, what my eyes see.
Harmony means that the whole person and what they are wearing vibrate together because they emanate the same wavelength of colour between their natural colouring and what they’ve added to themselves. Energy in synchrony.
The item/colour is part of the person, not separate. If you merged the colour and the person into one image, there would be no division lines.
These bring out the best in each other. The longer you look, the more good things you see, feel, and associate, and the more pleased you feel.
The clothes, makeup, and hair colour look like extensions of the person. You can find them in each other.
Is there perfectly uninterrupted visual flow between the face and the colours it’s wearing? Can your eyes move from the face to the colour and back and never feel effort?
They look rational and logical together. If you’ve ever seen lettuce green on a Dark Autumn, it looks zany and cartoonish. Dark army green on a Light Spring looks like they’re in hospital.
Like a migration back to yourself, like a homing pigeon, you’re coming back to a place you knew and probably held somewhere, even if by a thread. Does the colour look native to your face?
Does the colour look like a natural extension of the head? In wrong colour, between the colour and the person is a disconnect, they seem disjointed. We want to keep complete integrity between who we are and what we add to enhance ourselves.
When the colours we wear are not in accord with our own, they push each other further in opposing directions. That sensation of being pulled apart cannot compare with the peace of being at one with the things you have added to the image of you. Others feel it perhaps more strongly because they can see us. That ‘not good’ feeling is disharmony.
Continuity <> Interruption = Relief <> Tension. Pleasure <> Processing. Ease <> Work. Nobody likes tension, processing, or work so they’ll feel resistance and look away. On the other hand, with a blue-eyed True Spring in her turquoise drape, it’s hard to tell where one ends and the other begins. Like a language, every element interacts with every other in a relationship. You have no sense of where each word ends and the other begins. Insert a random foreign word in a sentence and it loses its meaning, its flow, its imagery, and the logical and beautiful sound of the words together. At best, it’s a distraction that needs dealing with.
Do you wear readers with strength about 1.25? In wrong colours, you look to us the way the world looks to you before putting on those glasses. Before you put your contacts in for the day, do you feel like you’re not quite part of the world? Once you can focus, you feel more present. That’s how wearing right colour looks – the person is fully present at full power. They are fully engaged and available for us to engage with them, not like a photo where you’re so far from the lens that nobody’s even sure it’s you in the picture. In wrong colour, it’s like an out of focus photograph, like the object isn’t quite there. Once the focus is corrected, you feel as if the object has advanced to be in the room. You can appreciate it fully, where before, some aspects of it were neutralized, canceled, limited, or held back.
Is the colour so demanding that it takes effort to keep your gaze on the face, or so underwhelming as to be insignificant in your awareness, like Johnny Depp in a pale beige shirt and pants? Now we’re getting away from harmony a bit, into what I think of as colour balance, but it’s really all going into the same pocket.
To paraphrase what a child said so beautifully to a recently analyzed friend: “I really like your outfit. Everything matches you.”
Part of the reason that I love talking to my friend, Darren, is that he can be objective about the value and pitfalls of conventional wisdom. He applies his unique persona (we all have one) and his imagination to stretch the borders. Exploring the new edge is when the ride is really fun, like discovering new rooms in an already fantastic house.
… sometimes I find pleasure in discord, when things seem to clash but in a good way. Not everyone likes the offbeat but sometimes I find it awakens me and makes me see things different. Like for example the color blocking trend often clashes unlikely colors…
On a different note, but very apt, Darren also said:
I suppose no system is foolproof but I do like that your system allows the client to see themselves draped in the colors especially in comparison with other colors. What is your experience though when a client insists that even though they look good in say, Soft Summer colors, that their personality will not allow for such quiet, softness? Or the Deep Autumn who just loves, loves, loves Light Spring colors and can’t imagine ever feeling comfortable in anything Autumn?
My answer: keep personality out of it if you want to look great. We don’t really know our personality and it’s probably more congruent with our appearance than we’re prepared to admit. We adjust our character in a thousand ways in every situation. We don’t know ourselves. Other issues come into it. A Dramatic Classic and a Flamboyant Gamine (from David Kibbe’s book, Metamorphosis (Atheneum, Macmillan, 1987)) will have different characters, both Dark Winters. An Autumn who sees herself as something besides some type of Natural – not saying you are or not, just that it’s very hard to self-know if you don’t have a measuring tool and you may go a long way down the path of who you imagine yourself to be. Do colour by sight.
I recently analyzed a Dark Autumn. Julia Roberts gets out of the car. Tall, angular, dramatic, full features, a face that could light a fire with its power and beauty, and still be your BFF. Could she see herself that way? Does the real Julia? We would all need a little practice to live up to her Flamboyant Natural larger-than-life magnificence. Was living life as a Romantic Soft Autumn easier? Our Julia has brilliance she cannot see. She will make the colour and style adjustments with ease. She already has. On seeing her Season, she asked “What if my character isn’t bold, striking, or dramatic?” Her appearance sure is, but she had a point. She feels graceful and feminine. Where is the connection with eggplant and turmeric?
We are all a bit of everything. We all have grace and femininity, but hers wasn’t heavenly or exquisite predominantly. What came across was splendid and strong, even in her character. Over time, she may have taught herself to soften and suppress her edges (and her edginess) in character as well as clothing. These became the new normal, the new me.
Do what Darren said:
You go home and sort it out. It’s complicated, no doubt, but growth-worthy too.
And she wrote recently to tell me that outspokenness seems to be creeping into (back into?) her conversation.
Colour analysts have the best job in the world.
When I wrote the articles about True Season children two years ago for a previous blog, there was no Autumn article because I didn’t know any Autumn kids to watch. I still don’t know many. I know many Autumn grownups these days. They’re so levelheaded, so reasonable, that it’s hard to think of those elaborate parts of their character that can be quirky or funny. To them, what is, is. Not more, not less.
They’re like everything that’s great about trees and home baking. Not fancy or fussy, I love their company so much for the WYSIWYG, sound, comfortable, real-world advice they offer. Their constancy and durability give us a feeling of people who are extremely trustworthy, reliable, and rock-steady. There’s no zigging and zagging.
gentle eyes, a soft face, perhaps some Summer; she could even be a Soft Summer but the eyes look too orange
Capable. This is the kid you want yours to be with if they go horseback riding. If yours falls off and is having wrist issues, the Autumn child can catch both horses, lead them home, find a grownup or a phone, call the parents, and get the right kind of help.
Life goes smoother if the other kids could just agree with them. There may be no physical attacks but there will be direct words spoken and order imposed. She’s doing the talking at the lemonade stand. Not bossy, not show-off, just doing the job.
Least likely to be picked on. Assertive from an early age.
dark but somehow soft (muted actually) ; the strong facial lines, smile lines
True and Soft are social, not solitary. Dark may isolate himself more and talk to dolphins while all the other kids are trying to tip the raft. Winter needs time apart.
Might be stocky or sturdy, especially the boys, and boy, can they eat. Regardless, boy or girl, these children are strong and willing to use their strength. They are powerful athletes and real survivors. Their stamina and endurance stays with them into adulthood as 50 year olds who can still outskate all the kids in pond hockey.
someone was smart when they put him in orange; notice the orange tones in the hair and a very strong face, even for a baby
When the Soft Autumn child tells a story, the emotions involved will be inflated higher than anyone else’s version because their Summer-ness felt them so deeply. The Dark Autumn child will have more worries about the events in the story and their meanings and repercussions. The Winter in him will keep him worrying about it for days. The True just tells it like it is. The most exaggerated thing about this person is that they have no exaggerations.
Need time to process surprises and really wishes you wouldn’t. His Spring sister’s idea of euphoria would be a surprise a minute.
building, digging, stacking, carrying, exotic eyes, Carol’s T3 defined points at the outer eye corners (from Dressing Your Truth)
They must have their own experience of something to change their mind. They are the original can’t-tell-them-anything kids.
strong and striking, Autumn and Winter ; not romantic or cute (Summer and Spring)
The Autumn child is straight up. He doesn’t conceal, cannot deceive. He’s not a jokester and is never devious. His Spring brother, who takes life less seriously and has a big imp streak, has figured out that when Mom’s on the phone, he can climb out a window, double back around the house to the kitchen, and sneak his fifth Popsicle of the afternoon. The Autumn child might walk very quietly into the kitchen, but if noticed and asked, would be compelled to admit “5″.
Spring fills us with the wonder of the moment. It is immediate. Summer is the cradle that keeps us safe while pushing us to meet our highest potential. Winter symbolizes mental capacity, to reason, to rationalize. Autumn is the work we do on Earth, to enrich, to build, to create, to leave something better than we found. Autumn completes our wholeness as the power of the physical body, inseparable from emotion (Summer), spirit (Spring), and logic (Winter). Without the balance between them, we cannot heal ourselves because each one is assaulted when the other feels injury. We also cannot fulfill our human potential. We cannot have been put on Earth with the abilities we have to live as cavemen. We must be here to live up to a higher ideal. The pendulum between the four powers sways but our answers are not behind us. Once we learn our center as a humanity by respecting all four energies equally, we will find a sustainable way of living and the answers to longevity.
Sensible, practical, no-nonsense, peaceful. Harrison Ford. Martin Sheen. Their steadiness makes them shoe-ins for feel-good TV presidents. The Summer contribution of do-the-right thing to Autumn’s save-the-day strength.
The Dark Autumn boy will explain, indeed expound, actually expostulate, on his topic, with no awareness that nobody has had a chance to speak for 20 minutes. The Dark Autumn man is not very different, but he speaks more slowly so he has time to formulate his thoughts. He is the professor to Dark Winter’s philosopher.
strong and capable at every age
What happens when a Summer and Autumn live together? Felix&Oscar.
Soft Autumn’s husband asks that you not tell her that a family member is in personal crisis or he’ll be sent back to the Farmer’s Market. The rest of his morning will be spent making ham sandwiches. He already delivers an asparagus quiche to the Art Gallery once a week. She combines Summer’s love and upstanding decency and Autumn’s foot on the gas to nurture the entire world.
True and Dark Autumn will be on time. Let’s get to it. Then we go on to the next job, though we tell ourselves we’re going to rest. We can chat after, but I won’t be late for my next appointment or make you late for yours.
If a client has all her children colour analyzed, she could be a True Autumn. She sees the sense and the savings, and is completely open to change. Light Spring will do the same, a mix of her Summer desire to make her family happy and her Spring enthusiasm when she spots a good thing. They will adopt their new palettes very quickly, without Winter’s tendency to contest or Summer’s to resist.
hazy eyes, hushed skin, a future Soft Autumn
If it’s a plain and honest opinion you want, go shopping with an Autumn. Summer’s deep streak of kindness will embellish with the compliment, any compliment. If you’re ok with the cold-blooded comment, a Winter can tell you that your suit is fine if you don’t mind looking like a birthday cake. And then you say to them “Now, how would you feel if someone spoke to you that way?” And they say “Fine. I wouldn’t care.” They’re telling the truth. They are thick-skinned (so they balance matte and opaque cosmetics), while Summer is thinner-skinned, as sensitivity of skin and emotion, as wearing a softer, lesser pigment deposit (so tinted moisturizers), as being more touchy of feeling internally and of texture externally, as tactile, with highly developed brain-hand connections and sense of touch. Summer skin is soft matte. Spring’s looks best dewy. Just as everyone’s busy is different, everyone’s Golden Rule comes out different but it’s still the same rule. Winters should shop with other Winters. Buy them the book Getting To Yes for Christmas. It will help them in life. The kindness of Summer and sweetness of Spring might see this Winter, meaning me and only me, as having the heart of that first cockroach that crawls out of a nuclear accident zone. On the other hand, I won’t tell you 3 months later that I really didn’t love you as a blonde but didn’t want to hurt your feelings, knowing what that hair cost you and all.
Dark Autumn brings in Winter’s flash. Whether Gamine, Classic, or Natural, words like Dramatic and Flamboyant will apply. Getting out oh the car, she will not come across as medium. Something is extraordinary and exaggerated – height, hair thickness, texture, and length, snap in her character, or embers for eyes. Julia Roberts may be Dark Autumn, Bianca Jagger, Dark Winter, perhaps both Flamboyant Naturals. The Dark Autumn will reveal or release much more of herself, while the Winter will keep larger parts of herself locked down.
The three Autumn groups look rightest in brown eyeshadow and liner because brown is dark orange and orange, gold, rust, etc. are cornerstones of Autumn. The only other great one for brown eyeshadow is True Spring. Everyone else is better in their grays.
Autumn’s face (left) speaks to us of resilience, bravery, and grit, in colours that are darker and more muted than the lighter, brighter skin on the right; Summer on the right is dreamy and swoopy – on both girls, gorgeous base hair colours for Soft/True Autumn and Light Summer
Will promote what she believes in gladly. She told every one of her True Autumn friends that some of the best makeup colours around are at Dressing Your Truth online store for Type 3. The three lip glosses just glow with rich warmth. And an Autumn pink eye shadow, you’d find that nowhere. Then there’s, the jewelry! She saved hours with the 6 pages of superb choices at the store. She thought about all her outfits and chose what would complete each. (Her Spring daughter just bought everything she liked, with no planning at all, figuring it would all work out. Imagine that.) To express her traces of Summer or Winter, a Soft and Dark Autumn resepectively might look at the Type 2 (Summer according to me, not to the folks at DYT) and Type 4 (looks Winterish) accessories. Since both SA and DA are Neutral Seasons, they can be flattered by silver and gold. A Soft Autumn looks great wearing Autumn colours in Summer’s way (analogous, flowing, floral, soft). Dark wears her palette in Winter’s way (bold, more contrast). So integrate your smaller contributing Season by wearing their style in jewelry with clothing and makeup in the colours and style of your own Season.
Soft Autumn, try out Lancome RIL 230M and 240M, your natural lipcolour is one of these or in between. Also NARS Mayflower lips, Body Shop 11 and 07 lipstick, and MUFE RAI 19 (for TA too) lipstick.
On Dark Autumn, NARS Pigalle, MUFE HD8 blush, Lauder Maple Sugar and Rich Currant lips. A good, dark,warm, barely muted blue eyeliner is Revlon Colorstay pencil in Navy. Dark Winter could wear this very well too as they have warm tones in hair and eyes.
True Autumn : MUFE HD10 blush, Givenchy Gold Brown lips (really nice, this lipstick, but sample it at Sephora first, big $$).
Pure Season children of all ages are fabulous to analyze because the optical effects of the right and wrong colors are very pronounced. The skin is very absolute in its reactions to colours, so much so that I find it difficult for these Seasons to share the use of colours with neighbour Seasons.
For instance, a Soft Autumn who is very near True Autumn will still wear her perfecting and most harmonious Soft Autumn palette, but she might bring in a bit of metallic antique gold in a small area of eyeshadow just above the iris, which will find and accentuate the same colour in her eye. She could wear saddle coloured belts and boots if her peanut butter and light terracottas couldn’t be found. If the Soft Autumn is closer to her Soft Summer neighbor, on the cooler side, she might bring in flowing and feminine effects like pearls and soft plums in silky scarves, beautiful and a bit surprising among Soft Autumn’s warmer colours.
Be careful to keep the surface area small if you’re dabbling in a neighbour’s colours. Your most flattering palette won for a reason, actually many reasons. Soft Summer can have an appearance of tanned skin even when it’s not, and even more so when too-warm colours are placed near the skin, bringing in more yellow overtone, faint enough at this level to look like yet more tan. On the way home from the foundation counter, she risks having a too-yellow product in her bag. Dark Winter can have a very similar experience.
I never feel as good about a True Summer wearing any colour from the neighbouring Soft and Light Summers because the neighbours are warmed, and even a trace of warmth in colour will cause them to look yellow. TMIT for True Summer and True Winter declares zero tolerance when it comes to any kind of heat in colour. True Seasons are also fascinating people because their character is often in line with that associated with their Season. As the True Seasons blend with one another in the Neutral Seasons, personality traits become more mixed and less predictable.
I adore children above anything. I am in awe of how much is held in waiting, ready to unfold in those small bodies, like little cocoons. When people bring them to their vet appointment, it’s all I can do to pay attention to the animal. I love the faces below.
Are gentle. They can hold a small bird in their hands.
muted colouring, no black, a dreamy peaceful face
Have a lot of tiny toys with which they play intricate games - are you familiar with Polly Pocket (about which my Dark Winter brother said “Have you ever tried to find that stuff when it rolls under the fridge? It feels like snot.”). Their homes have beautiful details in every room, right down to the toilet paper holder. The season of miniaturization. Often look better in small jewelry than large and chunky.
Take pains to get every meticulous detail of a picture right. Even a picture the size of a window. They’ll draw, tiny line by tiny line, with a patience a Winter might spend her life searching for. Can spend hours finding microscopic snails in tidal pools with great hand-eye control when they spot one.
One activity at a time is plenty. Learn a music piece note by note. Do not need to be in constant motion. As a child, ask him to mince the herbs. As an adult, this is the cook who peels squash, who cooks the chickpeas for the hummus from scratch, who undertakes all 22 of the steps in making Matzoh Ball Soup.
Get frustrated with others. Can get so frustrated with their Winter sibling’s harshness and Spring sibling’s impracticality that they need time in their room alone to calm down. Like about 2-3 hours. Five kids on a trampoline is 3 and 3/4 too many.
who’s gentle? who’s rich and warm? who’s building? who’s playing a joke? who’s cool and composed? can you find dark&cool vs dark&warm?
Stubborn as a Dachsund. Very persistent till they get it right. Perseverance ranks at the top of the chart.
Don’t force their beliefs on others but don’t accept anyone else’s ideas either. Sweet, pleasant, calm stonewalls.
Good impulse control from an early age. The first to learn to shake hands when introduced to someone new. As grownups, still have a self-control that astounds.
Ask question after question after question. If a family rule is “No more questions after supper”, there are probably True Summer children in the home.
The most likely to keep your secret. Very discrete as adults.
soft, subtle (not dramatic and bold), rounded, gentle features and blended eye/skin/hair/brow colours; notice that all the colours are darkened to the same degree, keeping the contrast level between skin/hair/eyes/brows/lips low
Can be fusspots for cleanliness. Will not be thrilled to eat the birthday cake upon which five children blew out the candles, or even one other child. The mother may have brought a separate cake. Having a bottle of hand sanitizer clipped to your backpack should be a school rule.
If anyone will stay up till 3 AM cleaning the basement, it will be Light Summer. With Spring’s energy and Summer’s deep dislike for disorganized clutter, the crawlspace doesn’t stand a chance. Summer will not expect the world to share her needs and she won’t be miffed if you go to bed and leave her to it. She can’t sleep while the kitchen’s a mess.
the pure loveliness of Summer, a feeling of softened curves, moderate colour saturation in a sweet-tempered face
Light Summer likes to talk almost as much as a Spring, but she’ll tell the entire story, and (this part’s important) (really important), in order. Thorough is the word here. She will be easily hurt and irritated if her Autumn sister hijacks the topic to tell her side and interrupts the orderly sequence of her thoughts. For Light and True Summer, it has to go 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, not 1, 2, 3, 4, 4, 5, 7, 6. Autumn and Winter have more 1,2, 9, 10 tendencies. True Summer will explore every conjugation of a verb, could have, might have, and every option and outcome.
the little guy on the ground, very typical hair colour too, the whole squishy energy bundle sings of True Summer; there is more fine motor skill in that single little pudgy finger than many grownups can know
Drawn to quality in clothing. Will notice stitching and buttons. Prefer comfort clothes inside their comfort zone. A True Summer friend who has allowed herself to over-indulge in her diet wears her ‘punishment pants’ for a day or two to get herself back in line. All they are is structured, stiff, and straight.
Ask a Summer “How do you feel about..?” Ask a Winter “What do you think about…?” Ask an Autumn “What’s the most efficient way to get this done?” And Spring, “What’s the fastest way to get this done so we can have a visit?”
Summer doesn’t like to live alone. Their sense of community, civic responsibility, and desire for domestic intimacy is strong. Winter fantasizes about living alone and takes more convincing to leave their computer.
already looks Soft Summer; beautiful tone-on-tone soft taupes in the hair
If True Summer’s indecisive, it’s because they want to do the rightest thing. If True Spring is, it’s because she wants every choice. Autumn decides fast to get it done. Winter didn’t see that there were more than two choices to begin with.
True Summers are wonderful teenagers. Their very high sense of personal integrity doesn’t let them fall into, or even be attracted by, that which doesn’t agree with their moral code. They can easily exclude peer pressure when they want to.
Don’t love changes in their routine. As a child, might have been very unhappy when forced to wear new clothes. Might even have been screeching “NOOOOOO” so loud after being put in a new snowsuit as a 2 year old that they got left in a snowbank by their Dark Winter mother when she went down the driveway to get the mail. Not that that would happen in my house, but you could hear the child loud and clear down a 1000 foot driveway. As a grownup, might be very happy married to a Spring who can get them to do things they wouldn’t normally do, especially on short notice, a sticking point for Summer.
In many a Soft Summer, this is what we see when we look in your eyes, or variations on this theme; click on the photo for info (or Google “Iris Apfel at yoox”) and make it your signature piece
As adults, they may still have high expectations of what others should tolerate or how they should behave. A tub of Ben&Jerry’s ice cream really does have 4 to 6 servings and it is not necessary to snarf down more than one’s share. Are willing to devote time and effort to getting others to meet their highest self, knowing that nobody feels good when they behave beneath themselves. Winter might not be quite so into your Karma because to them, it feels like an ambush intended to control that they won’t exert on you and don’t want you to exercise on them. If old people want to go ocean swimming alone, it’s their business.
Bring the natural gift of just knowing what it’s like to be the other guy, and caring enough to adjust their behaviour, what the world needs more of than anything. Every character trait is a double edged sword and empathy is no different. Winter keeps themselves apart and outside of situations. If no offense was intended by spoken words, they’re not likely to hear it. It’s not that Winter is cold/distant/remote, their feelings are just less accessible. Summer is so deeply disturbed by rudeness and so strongly empathic that they can substitute the intention of the spoken words as their own, as they would have felt had they spoken the same words, that is, very offended.
watch the greys and watch them change, many Summer colours here. John has great base hair colour for Summer. Think John’s a Winter? Look at him and Yoko. See the Winter? Fascinating features John has, the Meryl Streep type Summers face of which we see many.
Soft Summers, look at Body Shop 14 eye pencil, a mauve with lots of grey that will blend into your eye shadow, not look separate from it. If ever there was a type of natural colouring that could dispense with eyeliner and just use eyeshadow darkness levels to define the eyes, this is it. They create a more diffused effect than any lining product, a swirling watercolour of deep plums, pinks, and greys. Your saturation isn’t nil, it’s just less than the others. Lancome Purple Quartz is an excellent eyeliner, and their lipstick The New Pink may be very near your natural lip colour. Body Shop 49 lipstick is worth your time too at a nicer price.
Light Summer – Body Shop 148 and 55 are your warmer and cooler pinks in lipsticks. And MUFE HD4 blush will disappear into your face and allow the misty rainbow colours already there to take center stage. Lancome Rouge in Love 353M lipstick may be your lip colour or close, while 163M has beautiful presence without taking over your face. Lancome Optic eyeshadow is a lightly pinked light grey.
True Summer can look at Lauder Black Plum eyeliner, a great mid mauved grey till you tilt the page and see a lovely plum. Lancome Purple Darling is another lovely purple eyeliner that’s not too greyed, a mistake often made with True Summer cosmetic colours. I love Lancome Berry Rose 312 lipstick and Pink In The Limo (probably your lip colour or close).
A reminder that I will not be shipping the book, Return to Your Natural Colours, in the month of July. If you’re in the US, Kerry at Indigo Tones may have some copies. Otherwise, best to wait till August.
Pure season children can be the epitomes of their Season’s personality. They haven’t yet learned to temper some of their strong characteristics. They are not diluted by the blending with another Season that makes for a thousand unpredictable mixtures. True Spring is sometimes very random, laughter that bursts out, changes in subject you can’t keep up with. Others are optimistic. They will see the bright side but can be very quiet and reserved.
Bright Spring usually is very true to that type, snappy, quick, and friendly, though sometimes have softened their clothes to such a degree that their behaviour seems quieted too. Can clothes do that? I think so. A haircut can change how we act. Heck, just move the part in your hair to the other side of your head to shift your center of gravity.
Light Spring has Summer’s self-discipline and Spring’s moxie and audacity, which can leave you wondering if you’re seeing Autumn’s determination instead. Both can appear spunky, where Spring is often more spirited and Soft Autumn more low key.
The party children. Playful, silly, unpredictable. Would shoot Grandma with a water cannon and say they were only aiming for her walker. As 2 year olds, it takes a lot of extended family to keep them alive.
spilling happiness ; the heart shaped face of the cuteness on the right, clear yellow skin, butter yellow hair like the center of a Laura Secord Easter egg, like the boots below, all True Spring
Favorite topic is themself, whose isn’t, but they’ll talk about anything. Go to the bathroom and get a drink before this child gets going because they don’t turn off easily. Grownups that can talk for a long time often have a Spring+Summer mix, because Summer might start out quiet, but they have a lot they’d like to share. If the story comes out in a timeline, they got a bigger sprinkle of Summer’s fairy dust. If there are many twinkly smiles and jokes, not taking anything too seriously, and really rather be moving than talking, more likely True Spring.
Don’t get hung up on every little emotional upheaval.
Will play any game at any time with anybody. No rules? No problem. Who needs them? Staying on task to complete a chore? Now, that may be a problem.
Will stand in a spotlight with a bucket on their head if it gets laughs. Laughs and applause is even better.
these boots will find a puddle that will pour in over the top before they get home ; notice the butteriness of the yellow colour, these are True Spring’s yellows
Will get caught behind the couch at Christmas eating candies with the cousins he talked into joining him. He’ll squeal and take off to commence the next antic, like eating his brother’s pet fish. Who can get angry with such a happy kid?
Has trouble choosing. Don’t ask which of 4 kinds of juice she wants unless you plan to be there awhile or don’t mind giving her some of each.
Walk in a pouring rainstorm? Sure! Might meet a bear? Great!! Pirates? Better!! They will be friendly bears and pirates in this optimistic and imaginative mind.
Don’t need every kid to agree. Whatever floats your boat. Would prefer not to be told what to do in return. Can dig in their heels with the best of them.
these children both appear to contain Spring; Sophia Grace – Winter influence ; Rosie – Summer influence
Spring finds reasons to get along. If things get tense, they’ll make a joke. Summer will soothe and facilitate. Others might put up their dukes.
Spring windmills on an Autumn background – and why Spring + Autumn Season blends make no sense to me. How do you shop for “upbeat functional”? how ‘not harmony’ feels
If a True or Light Spring is late for her appointment, when she arrives, she’ll sashay on up the walk, apologizing, floating along in Spring and Summer’s unhurry. If anyone will break down the stereotypes, it will be True Spring. Her iris pattern won’t always follow the rules, in that it contains only blue and grey (no yellow) and much Winter line geometry. Her character may be very gentle and quiet, yet still brimming delight. Her hair might be blonde but it’s usually medium brown. Her eyebrows can be darker than you expect. There is often a pinkish brown somewhere, like the outer part of dry ginger root, and it makes a good eyeshadow that flows really well with the hair colour.
May have learned to blanket her natural sunshine to match all the seriousness around her. She may have forgotten that we need her easy laugh over the smallest things, to brighten the room, the meeting, the world we live in. Serious has nothing to do with smart or kind, just as kindness has no connections to brains or power. And neither does bubbly. Buy her a Flower Power purse at any age .
With optimism are bundled hope and faith. She is not a skeptic, a cynic, a pessimist, or a logician. The world would feel better to her as a simple place where faith sustains and guides, traits for her to honour and express openly. Buying into the myth that grownup=dark can make her feel restricted all the time, like a wearing a bandage that’s too tight when she’s already healed. When she lets herself be herself, it feels really good to be around her. When she’s trying to fit into all the dark seriousness around, I get this crazy feeling of wanting to cry. She holds the most beautiful attributes of the Forrest Gump character, to me a movie that was not about handicaps of any sort. It was about never giving in to bitterness. Forrest knew in his heart that honesty, unwaivering intention, and compassion to a pure, near childlike degree, can simplify life. He knew that IQ, success, and kindness are not prerequisites of one another.
Bright Spring is the Valentine’s Day box of chocolates. More glitz, bigger show, great flash, still delicious, lots of sweet centers. It crinkles and pops right back into shape. Too delicate to survive a year in storage, just won’t come out the same, very in the moment.
Bright Spring incarnate, as if she couldn’t be real, from a make-believe place
Not sure other analysts would agree, but in the presence of incongruent colour, Spring faces appear to become very asymmetric, almost taking on a Picasso quality. On all of us, the lines on one side of our face are straighter and more curved on the other. On Springs, it can seem as if one side of the face is set an inch lower than the other or the straight/curved comparison magnified. Sometimes, one side of the face or a single feature appears collapsed or even receded backwards relative to the other side. It is one amazing sight to behold with your senses and know at the same time that you’re in the grip of a powerful illusion.
Light Spring hasn’t had a theme song yet. Here is a suggestion.
a beautiful face, very expressive eyes, and the anthem of hope and happiness that Spring extends
Everything about life is nothing short of miraculous. Perhaps most awesome is the body’s and our planet’s capacity for healing and renewal. Spring embodies this most extra-ordinary and wondrous gift, the reminder she offers us just by being here.
that’s a nice True Spring grey, you can see the yellow sun
Smiles easily and with genuine pleasure at greeting or interacting with people, even as adults. This is a trait often seen in Spring men. You see their teeth much more often than men from other Seasons.
If straight hair is your natural texture, then wear it that way. If it’s curly or wavy, try doing what you keep reading about …let it be itself. Forcing straightness on Summers (where hair looks so much better with swoopy curls on the ends or wavy ripples like the surface of water), on Springs (where energy and spontaneity look so good and true in the language of hair), on Gamines (whose punchy natural style should not be constrained, whether a suit or straightened hair), on Romantics (where the stiff hair is not consistent with the softly rounded features)….for those of us looking at you, it’s the difference between tension and relief.
True Spring could find beautiful makeup in Lauder Apricot Sun lipstick, MUFE HD 6 blush, and MUFE 19L eyeliner. Lancome Rouge in Love 322M could be the lipstick that’s the natural colour of your lips.
Bright Spring might try Tarte Lust lipstain, Mercier eyeshadow in Pewter, and Dior Devilish Pink lips. Sheer and dewy (not frosty, which is hard-looking and works better on the 5 Winter Seasons) cosmetics allow Spring’s youth, glow, and health to shine better than matte and dry do. Lipsticks MUFE RAI 37 is matte and N45 is more sheer and glossy, might look better on the girl above. On mature women who want lipstick to last more than 15 minutes, use a product that doesn’t go darker, like Lancome Rouge in Love 377N on the cool side and 170N on the warmer side. A favorite of mine on Bright Spring is baby peach, a fabulous eyeshadow highlighter in Lancome Meet Me in Paris.
Light Spring’s face looks perfect in any combination of the words pink/peach/beige/miky, even as an adult. Dior Beige Casual lips, Body Shop 54 and 04 lipsticks, MUFE N35 lip and HD5 blush could be great.
A reminder that I will not be shipping the book, Return to Your Natural Colours, in the month of July. If you’re in the US, Kerry at Indigo Tones may have some copies. Otherwise, best to wait till August.
Three years ago, I posted a series of articles on my then-blog, A Greener Tea. These descriptions of behaviour patterns in True Season children are funny to read now. They should be part of the body of 12B (just strikes me that one could read 12B as “One to be.”), with some added observations about the adults they become.
Stereotypes are patterns that got noticed. There is no doubt for me that our colour genetics, body geometry genetics, and personality genetics are often transcribed together.
There might be some things you recognize. Don’t take anything personally. Remember that we are beings in perfect balance. Our negatives are simply the other extreme of our positives.
still, not manic, hard to take your eyes off the face with its ability to dominate all other colours in the photo
The drama and the trauma. Will not be controlled by parents, siblings, or anyone else. Cannot be approached with judgment. If that Spider Sense even twitches, in their either/or world, they’ll react like they’ve been attacked. There are no in-betweens here. Criticism isn’t taken well. Advice is best given in a very generic way, referring to someone out there who could possibly try to do the thing differently but of course, it would be up to them.
The power and the glory. Emotionally brutal. Can be single-mindedly intense adults once an idea takes hold.
Don’t care if they ride on the Children’s Camp float in the Old Home Week parade. But if they do, will ask why they can’t have a float of their own. Don’t need to be on stage but are compelling to watch once they’re there.
a beautiful face whose colouring would overpower anything dusty
May appear cool and detached, but often beset with worry. Simultaneous inferiority and superiority complexes.
The opposite of nurturing. It’s all about them. Ask her how her hair turned out today and she’ll tell you for half an hour. Might notice if you have hair for 2 seconds but wouldn’t have much to say about it.
Physically interesting to watch. Will choose furs, sparkles, satin, diamonds, you get the idea. Stock up on glitter. Boys look very good in dark suits and have the body carriage to pull off the look. Strike statue poses just buttering toast.
If she’s suffering, you’ll know about it. She’s in control (while Summer is in order) and she’s taking you down with her. The True Winter husband is much the same.
Have high expectations of what others should take from them (as opposed to Summer’s high expectations of what others should expect of themselves).
a lot of colour in a face that looks more determined than gentle – a present or future Dark Winter?
Intensely creative. So perfectionist that they get in their own way.
True Winter is all about the opposite extremes. The recluse and the performer at once. Either they’re running a marathon or sitting on the couch eating pizza by the box, watching every season of The Biggest Loser. She somehow manages to be still as a statue and create drama all around her.
True Winter will sit immobile in the vet’s waiting room with their small dog, waiting to be called. She’s like a tuning fork, creating powerful vibration from slightest motion. Bright Winter will fidget a bit more, and when someone new arrives, her eyes dart to the door. The Dark is reading or typing, focused as a drill, her Autumn infusion putting time to use, feeling no remorse about ignoring everyone on behalf of productivity.
The wonderful Bernice Kentner of CMAS said, “If you want a job done fast, ask an Autumn. If you want a job done well, ask a Summer.” Bernice is so smart. And, we could add, “If you want a Winter to do a job at all, there better be something in it for them.”
focused and detached
A True Winter will arrive on time. There will be drama. She will have found some way to wear makeup to her colour appointment. There will be high heeled knee high boots, big belts and rings, a personality too big for the body, and dissection at every step of the process. Winter has to see her PCA with her own eyes or she will never be convinced. But once she sees it, she is not likely to question it again…though Autumn is even less likely to dwell.
A Dark Winter’s husband, like many husbands, might discover more right brain in his forties. His attempt to talk about, gulp, feelings, meets with “Yeah, whatever, I was trying to talk to you about emotions ten years ago. Pass me that calculator, would you? Nevermind your fuzzy feelings here.” from his ever-loving wife.
silent drama…would Carol call him Type 2? Outer eye corners swoop down, corners of mouth lift up making an S curve along lips, S curves from brow to nostril…there is softness in a dark and contained face. Perhaps a Dressing Your Truth Type 4/2?
Dark Seasons are the analytical processors more so than the emotional ones. They don’t tear easily, seldom cry. Faced with what seems to be excess emotion, they wait it out and only wade in if they have to.
Winter has no trouble getting rid of great Grandma’s plate collection that Mom passed on to her. She’s doing well to visit Mom or phone Grandma. Makes her connections so deeply that she can appear not to have any.
any Season can have blue eyes, light in the Lights, hazy in the Softs, greenish (teal or turquoise) in the True Warms, and intensely coloured in the Winters
Wakes up in the morning thinking “Nobody’s going to tell me what I can and can’t do.” Consider the Summer’s morning greeting of “If I’m kind to others, they’ll be kind to me.”
Can learn to soften their edges by impersonating a Summer when they feel the tension climbing…and be surprised at how much better the interaction went.
Bright Winter is amazing. As a child, the other girls were doing rond-de-jambe at the ballet barre while she was hanging upside-down by her knees. Today, she’s driving halfway across the country dragging a U-Haul, meeting a plane full of houseguests. She’s building an agility course for her dog and adding a new wing to start a home business. She moves from big thing to big thing, changing direction, keeping her foot on the gas. Her internal GPS recalculates fast. She believes the book entitled “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff – And It’s All Small Stuff.” In her Winter take it or leave it world, she doesn’t carry a lot of mind clutter. Maybe that’s why she looks better without a lot of clothing clutter.
Looks so good when she wears makeup to separate the features from the face – eyebrows, eyes, cheeks, lips, contour lines. Forget about traditional nudes and flesh tones, they’re as exciting as a dial tone compared to fuchsias, cherries, and pomegranates, especially if you’re over 25. Sheer products are a place to start. They’re not a place to stay. This colouring is extreme and can’t be turned down. Indeed, it will turn the makeup down. All Winter can control, balance, even suppress colour causing heathered makeup to look yet greyer and disappeared in 2.2 minutes. Soft/dusty/blended = meek/lacking/vague on a colouring whose perfection hinges on very opposite concepts.
All Winter may have trouble finding saturated blush colours.
True Winter should look at MUFE HD2 and Clarins lipstick in Mystic Plum. Lancome Rouge In Love 379N is also great as a purple but those are easier to find; 185N is a great blue-based berry pink.
Bright Winter on the cool side would like the same MUFE HD2 blush. Lancome Clock Strikes 12 is a mid-grey eyeshadow that could work on all 3 Winters.
Dark Winter could look at lipsticks 22, 21, and 14 at the Body Shop. 21 is my favorite of the moment, not too dark, on the warm side, a great match with eleablake‘s Driven blush, these are the barely golden saturated coral reds that look so incredibly good on this colouring, among their best summertime colours.
A reminder that I will not be shipping the book, Return to Your Natural Colours, in the month of July. If you’re in the US, Kerry at Indigo Tones may have some copies. Otherwise, best to wait till August.
Nirmala left a comment after the last article on 12B that really sums it up. Kind of paraphrasing here, but as she says, we can’t see ourselves, that’s Problem 1. Though we search for our truths, there’s no easy road. They are quite cleverly concealed, maybe as protection from us, for if any way were revealed too soon, we would probably misuse them like any information we get when we’re not ready.
A clothing system won’t be the as-the-crow-flies route to inner truth. The most it could do would be to open a window. The opinions of others, even professionals, are subjective, variable, relating taste and opinion more than anything else. Compliments are of no value to me, they just drag me off center for a week or two. Though the 12 Seasons of personal colour analysis may not have every answer, it is at least measurable as long as the compass is calibrated right.
The Sci\ART drapes are calibrated into measured increments. That’s what a Sci\ART colour analysis gets you that is so incredibly special. The line between one group and the next is clearly divided in coherent, defined, steady intervals. Connect the dots is way easier when the dots are numbered. Sci\ART has human colouring classified right. Doesn’t mean that analysts who do colour by eye are wrong. I’m a huge believer in humans as little electrical towers and perhaps some people can feel our emissions of light energy as our colours. I’d lose faith if two such analysts came up with really different answers though.
Dark Winter Type 1
Maybe Sally Field looking (not so sure she’s DW). Or Mario Tuttle, though with that nose shape, he’s more likely a Bright.
For Type 1, I went with light, young, fun, random, playful, upward, hearts and triangles, freedom of movement, sprays, fountains. Detail and eye catchers are placed high on the body, so no black outfits with yellow shoes. Some bold is ok, this is Winter, but nothing serious, sharp, or rigidly repeating. Got to get light, bright, warm, fun, and alive into this. And fairly contrasting.
Tunics could be great here. And prints.
Lots of jewelry that doesn’t necessarily match. “Life of its own”, not floppy and not stiff, Perkily crisp.
I like the zigzag of the sleeves on the two tops at the top.
Clothes can feel light without being light coloured. Taylore Sinclair’s totality of radiance actually comes in here, where fabric, design, and texture all contribute to a person’s movement.
Chose heavy heart lockets that wouldn’t get lost in the contrast and weight of the colour. Torn between the 2 lockets.
Black can’t be chunky or serious or this girl will grind to a halt and look glued to the ground.
Shoes are light. Even a wedge is too blocky.
Dressing Your Truth: What I Liked
About the Dressing Your Truth course, my friend asked “What do you like about it?”
- I like Carol. Makes no difference to me how she promotes herself, whether she’s licensed, whether women can or can’t find their Type, or how many websites she owns.
- I recognized my drive for standardization (of colour analysis systems), my obsession with being able to duplicate results (between colour analysts or it’s all useless to the client), and my need to promote it – all as Type 4 traits.
- I learned about the most dominant types of lines in my face. I follow them to apply eyeliner and blush. Our movement path could be drawn on paper as we negotiate tasks big and small, through problems towards solutions. The lines tend to be consistent with other lines, like those in our face. Fascinated me. I really like the part about how we move forward and how we get stuck. I’ve watched people who seem unable to end one interaction or activity and move on to the next. The nearer you get to an ending, the more they’re compelled to drag it out in a thousand ways. Since I almost erase the past as I’m living it, watching this deliberate delaying left me saying “Just make a move. Don’t worry if it’s wrong or right!” Now I get why that was not helpful for them.
It was fun to actually draw makeup with those same lines. I see that if you draw a line across my eyes from outer corner> inner corner> inner corner other eye> outer corner other eye, the line is straight. So now I extend eyeliner out straight a little ways. My kids have not said I look nuts, which they are well trained to do given even a smidgen of provocation.
- The psychology that goes with the lines structures is great. I see now why True and Soft Summer have more issues with their palettes than everyone else put together…because it’s her (Type 2, Summer, whatever) nature to examine every single option over and over, like she can never have enough evidence to make a choice. And why I shoot off like a rocket and ignore all the fine print.
And why my Light Summer sister can get so deeply hurt over words or actions that I wouldn’t even notice. Her weakness isn’t her huge sensitivity; it is her strength because it’s her truth and because the world needs so much of what she has to offer. Telling her “Stop letting every little thing get to you!” is disrespectful and confusing to her. Now, I will hold her in higher esteem for it. Learning to honour others better has been the greatest reward of DYT. So much has fallen into place -why I’ve stood at makeup counters with Summers watching they energy test eyeliners.
Figured out why I have been sent so many more True and Soft Summer clients than any other. We relive the same experience over and over till we learn its lessons. I finally see that I need that character to balance me, to model certain behaviours I will need in my own future. I am grateful they came to see me.
- Picked up a few good clues on clothing to add to my Season and Kibbe, but this was far from the main selling point. As a matter of taste, Carol and I don’t share a belief of what looks good, let alone true. As a matter of statistics, it’s unlikely there are only 4 style Types in the world, even if you could prove that there are 4 main movement types. The diversity of genetics makes the probability too low unless the types are so broad that few can tell where they fit, especially if they contain some of each, which means most of us. And it’s been proven across populations that 4 main colour types won’t work. This energy system won’t be any different. Still, would I take the course again? I would in a heartbeat.
- Learned a lot more that I can apply as a better spouse/parent/workplace than as any kind of fashion star. But then, I came into it exposed to a lot of info about Winters, Dramatic dressing, etc. A newcomer might pick up some great advice or a good intro to thinking about how clothes are cut. I did buy some jewelry and I like it. For all 4 Types, the jewelry is nice for the price at the Store. Mine is about 2-4 times larger than it looks on the site.
IDK the DYT rules for the 4 Types. I’m just extrapolating the energy of the person, like I did with how the colours felt to me in RTYNC (the blue book over in the right column). Doesn’t mean it’s the only way, just my way. DYT is a natural expression we feel as movement. Same with seeing those lines anywhere, a book plot, a mechanical device, a wind pattern. What Carol has tuned into and translated is four different movement types and how their energy feels interpreted with clothing to create a visual image. For instance, when we see parallel lines, they look like a mirror. With that, we associate reflectivity and stillness. Reminding of the 4 True Seasons? Absolutely, but a new spin in many ways.
There’s no reason you can’t be true to your colouring and your movement type even if they don’t coincide. Neither takes precedence because they’re describing different things. Your Sci\ART Season knows your colours. Your Type offers an opinion about your shape as expressed by your style of movement. The whole silver gold thing for Types, I pretend I never heard it.
True Spring Type 2
Type 2 is the Summer “stereotype”, awful word but it serves. So, connections – tops with bottoms, repeating colours, interlocking shapes. Gentle flow and drape. Less delicious and vivacious than the “stereotype” True Spring, more of a Summer analogous colour scheme. Wavy lines.
I know two of these women. They’re certainly True Spring, they look like T1, but they lead in movement with T2, at least when I met with them.
Beauty Sixth Sense
Do I agree that women have a “Sixth Sense” about their own beauty, as Carol claims in the Dressing Your Truth course? Not for a second. I know for sure they don’t. I had to be in my 50s to come close to recognizing me. Others can’t always tell either. I have a True Winter daughter whose Kibbe or Type I cannot figure out. I wish women wouldn’t feel so devastated and to blame when they can’t find their answers. I wish they weren’t so willing, eager even, to believe every word of it all. I read it all like a novel rather than non-fiction, let it come at me like one person’s story, like one person’s travel diary. Your journal to the same place would read different. I read it like a recipe book. I find one I might try out, and 20 that I would never use but I don’t burn the book. Why give someone’s opinion more importance than that?
Anyone’s an expert if they say they are. One quick look at logic trees with 4 only branches (4 Seasons, 4 Types) can tell you they will only apply to each person superficially at best. If you saw a 4-branch tree to cover all disease in the world, how much attention would you give it to find your own aches? Not more than a glance.
Kibbe used the Yin Yang metaphor to describe variations of shape of bone and flesh. He also brings in the very important issue of scale, not just what it is but how certain bodies make it look (the Yang-er you are, the taller you appear and the smaller you make jewelry look). If you can find yourself in his book, he’s the guy who got human body geometry sorted most ergonomically. He makes a point of keeping the colour talk very general. It surprises me how dogmatic DYT gets on this point given that it’s not their emphasis. They could do the whole thing as well, indeed far better, if they just left colour out of it, but fine marketer that Carol is, she realizes that if she’s not 100% convinced, nobody else will be either.
Bright Winter Type 3
boxy practical functional big textured simple natural regular strong corners
a very Yang person, pants have a fly and a worn with a belt
not so straightforward to express work instead of fun with these colours
heavily accessorized…now that works with BW and T3, glad I found someplace these 2 come together,
though come to think of it, a BW usually has some big Yang elements of character and colour
every one of these Seasons/Kibbes/Types have their intersections; it’s when you find them that the fun starts.
the slightest whiff of Spring and turquoise and purple should appear (Autumn? teal and burgundy)
not too confined at the neck so she can move towards you, as it is her movement to do
I deleted several comments to this website aimed at exposing Ms. Tuttle and her sources. Find them on Amazon if you like. Truly, I just don’t care. Anybody can pick up the similarities in wording and philosophies between various colour systems. So what? Ballet, yoga, and Pilates have similarities that stem back to their common origins. However similar the language, DYT seems to have applied the knowledge in a different way so that’s fair.
Why does DYT create such intense emotion when it doesn’t work for a person? In any discipline, there will be those who can deliver and those who can’t. The consumer decides for themselves, just like which vet to take their pet to. We’re not saving lives here. It’s clothes. So Tuttle’s explanation doesn’t work for you. Another one will. Where does our perspective go? The words of others only have as much power on our path as we choose to give them. These days, I’m picking up the pieces and moving on about everything.
In an email, I was advised to examine my own reactions carefully as to why I removed those accusatory comments and blame-filled reviews that were deemed “heart-wrenching”. My contemplation came up with this: I didn’t find it heart-wrenching at all that some clothing system didn’t work for one person. Probably did for many and didn’t for many. The expectation was unrealistic to begin with. Call me a heartless Type 4 but I couldn’t get bogged down in something so full of holes and hope to see me come into focus somewhere out of the haze. That’s looking for love in all the wrong places and we’re back to the Kingdom of Heaven being within, but it takes a heck of a lot more self-work to get to it.
Everyone finds their true self, the deepest soul that their body incarnates, in different ways. Colour has been a metaphor for many revelations but it doesn’t bring me to my knees. Where I go to get myself right, where I finally understood what it means to say “Love is free”, learned the true purpose of prayer, figured out what the Chakras/sacraments really represent (abundance, health, humility, love, truth, wisdom, and grace in that order, my opinion only), and met my best and worst selves in a way I could work on them, was in Carolyn Myss’s book Entering the Castle. It’s the Bible that I read and practice each day.
Although your colours hold true as part of your energy spectrum at every level of your being, they’re also part of the physical world and part of the five senses. The special and specific grace that you came here to share comes from deeper than that, or any tip-of-the-iceberg colour, image, or clothing system. Your truths are far more encompassing and more connected to the energy of Divinity. We’re a long way from understanding that but we can approach it and we can feel it.
Soft Autumn Type 4
All the usual True Winter adjectives – bold, simple, symmetric, long straight lines.
Structured for sure. I keep my jewelry in fishing tackle boxes. $4.46 at Walmart now that you ask.
The lower R corner outfit would be secondary T2, with S straps on shoes and teardrops or earrings.
This one was by far the most difficult. In my mind, I can see these colours looking fine for this person (though not how I see their best), but finding the clothes is another thing.
Long ago in our lives, shopping began as an exercise in acquisition. It suddenly made a lot more sense when you learned your right colours and shapes, becoming something you could fully control. Then a few more levels of refinement opened up. Now, it’s a game of hide and seek.
When Tina first learned she was a True Summer, she encountered the same roadblock that can stump most, probably all, newly identified True Summers. How do I know this colour is Summer, not Winter?
Today will be about the True Seasons, but most of it could apply to any of the related Summer – Winter groups, so Light Summer with Bright Winter and Soft Summer with Dark Winter. If you’re thinking “How are those related?”
>>Light Summer and Bright Winter both start from a pure cool colour palette, Summer and Winter, respectively. Then they move over one position in the same direction, towards Spring. To look at the colours, the same amount of the same kind of heat gets added to each one.
>>Soft Summer and Dark Winter move from their pure cool True Seasons by adding the same amount of the same kind of heat, that is, Autumn’s.
The blue book in the right sidebar, RTYNC, explains this in more detail. It also includes the map below. Like on a colour wheel, relationships exist beside and across.
For the True Summer and Winter, we’re working with colours where you cannot see one bit of heat. Not vanilla, watery sun, pale dust, white gold, certainly no beige, no tan, no orange, and yellow under certain conditions (coolness). True Summer’s is skim milk white. Its light colours seem more colorful than Winter’s because Winter’s lights have so little pigment, to create the ‘icy’ look. Summer’s lights are pastels, by definition meaning they contain more colour pigment and are softened by being grayed. There is no such thing as an icy pastel that I know.
True Summer has a pretty big range of darkness. It would not reach to black or white but can get quite close in ghost and dark grey.
Tina’s Sportswear for True Summer
Tina has a fine understanding of True Summer. My favorite feeling about this Season is its freshness. If I start getting a sensation of weight or thickness, my own interpretation of the Season doesn’t jive. I love the green and pink hoodies bottom right, the blue bag and sleeveless top, the pink shorts, the long dress. All really good.
The turquoise racerback tank might be a little bright (saturated) and a good example of what adding just a little Spring yellow does – so, I’d put that guy in Light Summer. But does it bother my eye in this collection? Not at all.
When you think about adding water to colour, you appreciate that it can become diluted and less saturated without losing its clean feeling? True Summer is like that. There isn’t so much gray that it looks like it got put in the dark wash. It does have some bluish-greying, but not enough to take the colour down very far. So for me, the pink hoodie top L, the Nike logo Tshirt and sweatshirt, the grey-mauve shirt and jeans all feel heavy – could that be fabric, pattern, texture, and shape? Sure, they all influence how we perceive colour. If your opinion is different from mine, that doesn’t mean it’s wrong.
Tina broke down her early trouble spots into four great questions. She also took the bigger and better learning step of making her own Polyvores that we can talk about. I want her know how much we appreciate her willingness to just listen to any comment, agree or disagree. Easy to say, not easy to do.
1) In a previous color system, I was analyzed a Winter (this happened to me!) How will I know if a color is just too much for me to handle?
Others will see the colour before they see you. And their eye will keep being dragged back to the colour. At first, you or your shopping friends may not be able to know they’re seeing this. In the mirror, consider if your head really matches your body. Is one darker, thicker, heavier, blockier than the other or does there seem to be an easy rapport between them, like they belong together? When we look at outfits we often stare at the fit of the clothes and totally ignore the head attached to the top. Many hairstylists are masterful at this. They stand back and look at the hair creation and have blurred out the face in the center.
You may feel overpowered, as if you look smaller or weaker. You may feel tired. If you’re used to going about in Winter colours, you’ve accommodated this and learned to compensate. It won’t be something you can feel immediately on the road back.
Look for repeats of the colours of the item in your face, eyes, lips, or hair. This is hard to do and can be very ambiguous, but there are women who can sense this. Makes no difference in the world if you can’t.
True Summer’s natural colouring, features, and expression tend to have a gentleness. When they greet someone, they put them at ease. Winter colours won’t give you the feeling of relaxing.
True Summer can look ok in Winter’s light colours. Why not? They’re light and cool, that’s two things Summer does well with. But the iciness of Winter will positively glare on the Summer, while her face seems grayer (and her teeth too – whatever happens to the skin happens to the teeth and whites of the eyes), like her head is 2 feet back behind her body.
Your face will seem pale or tired, perhaps even bruised under the eyes, what you’d see if you suddenly put on a way too dark wig.
The shadows along the sides of the nose look darker in Winter colour, especially the dark colours. That shadow extends up to the inner corner of the eye. Darkness, as you know, recedes, making the inner corner of the eye seem collapsed backward. I believe that our eyes are the focal point of our entire being. Nothing should ever interfere with the other person’s ability to reach them.
When you shop, bring or wear a colour that you know works, a scarf maybe. If there’s a colour you’re not sure of, float your hand over the good colour about an inch. Relax your eyes and just let them take in the youth of the hand, the texture of the skin, the prominence of veins, the redness or wrinkles over knuckles. Hold the gaze for 10 or 15 seconds. Now switch your hand over the fabric you’re testing. Don’t over-analyze. Just ask yourself “step forward or step back?”. Which is the younger, fresher, cleaner, plumper, prettier shaped hand?
Black is a comparison thing just like other colours are, but when you’re seeing true black you know it, as “OK, now this is definitely black.” If you’re sure, it’s Winter. If you’re not sure, it could be Summer’s darkest gray. Summer doesn’t go quite that dark really, but if you need to buy pants, a little too dark but not black would get you through the day.
In Nature, even the darkest shadow doesn’t go to black in the daytime. (For those who have RTYNC, Summer is like noontime light, right?) It’s because of the amount of light, for one thing. True Summer landscapes are always backlit a bit from the sky overhead, despite the sun being hidden behind clouds, or from light filtering in from around or behind the image itself.
Also, maybe shadows don’t go to black because so many colours go into making a shadow. If you held a card painted with a pitch black X inside a True Summer grey shadow, you could still make out the X.
By fanning out your True Summer swatches and moving a pure black shape over it, your eye will pick out why black doesn’t fit. Eyes seem very good at picking out even close saturation differences, which is why black mascara never quite belongs on any Summer face. The viewer sees the eyelashes and then the face, perhaps the goal for believers in magazine ads.
Tina’s Evening Wear for True Summer
This is beautiful. There are light, medium, and dark options. In the purse top R, I usually look for a pink, blue, or mauve tone in True Summer grey, but this one would work fine. The delicate crafstmanship and attention to detail is Summer all over. The long purple in the center is good too, not over-saturated when you enlarge it (because it has a trace of heather, Winter would have none). The white dress on the model lower R, I’m not sure. Polyvore often loses colour and detail on light items. As it is, I think of Winter white because the background is True Summer and see how the dress glares? Couldn’t find a better example of what Winter white does on a True Summer face. The green feathery dress in the center gives me Soft Summer feelings of over-grayness, but again, it’s a fabric issue too.
2) What is the difference between too saturated and not saturated enough?
I’ll let Tina’s Polyvore below show you that. Colour is all about comparison and this is so well done. Winter colours look like straight pigment. You couldn’t talk yourself into dustiness if you tried. Ask yourself “Do I feel like a sheet of this colour could stop me from moving through it or even push me backwards?”
“Not saturated enough” is a really good point. Where do you tip into Soft Summer? I can’t explain the saturation cut-off verbally. You need your Colour Book swatches. More useful for me is that colour gets warmer in Soft Summer, not just softer. You can see the slightest overlay of taupe over all the colours, even the blues and greens. True Summer may look coolly grayed but you don’t sense heat. That heat feels heavy, like chocolate milk compared to skim.
Remember that it’s not just a saturation question between True Summer and True Winter. Winter contains a lot more red.
Tina’s True Summer vs. True Winter
3) Even when I was diagnosed a Winter before, I loved the colors, but whenever I saw a whole garment those shades, I always shied away from it and picked something “quieter”. Am I right to always trust that instinct?
The vet in me finds the word ‘diagnosed’ very original in this context, like something you wouldn’t want to have. Is this the subconscious at work?
About trusting the instinct: Yes! Understanding that True Summer is too often thought of as lavender and Wedgewood blue and not much else. True Summer is never in your face, even its darker versions.
Putting more than two Winter colours together could look like colour shock. Putting True Summer colours together looks lovely, like a place you’d want to stay awhile.
And understanding that too much quieter could take you into Soft Summer’s cooler palette, if you see greyness as quiet. I do, and I also see it as thicker. True Summer isn’t syrupy. It’s Jello. It’s silky cool, like perfume evaporating on your skin, like walking into air conditioning when it’s hot out, like feeling cool lemonade slip down your throat after an hour of gardening. It’s comfortable coolness.
Winter is much more serious. It’s more likely to interrupt. Summer colours will listen to you and offer caring advice. Winter may have learned the patience for that, key word, learned, but they still sidestep the emotion. A heart-to-heart on the porch swing don’t fit into its colour scene.
If you’re wearing your Summer items to shop and you try on something Winter, the rest of your outfit will seem drab and dishwater, when it looked elegant and perfect before. When two things don’t belong together, they drive each other further apart. Which is why I can’t see why we’re told to wear eyeglasses that oppose our face shape to “balance” us. Reese in John Lennon glasses? IDK. What was so bad about our face shape to start with that we need to cancel it out?
4) Some of the makeup selections for True Summer feel and look “dull” to me. What is the best way to overcome this?
Perception – easily among my top favorite topics! I feel the floodgates letting go.
As with all things colour, everything is comparative. Dull next to what? Next to the parrot colours at the counter? Next to Winter colours? Well, you know, so does a True Summer person look softer (no way I’m saying dull, no human being ever looks dull, every colour story is equally spellbinding – do you find Winter people more interesting beings? NO. Nor are their looks.) On a Winter colouring, that makeup would look uninspired. But ON THE SUMMER FACE, they look as balanced and natural and healthy and vital and vibrant as the Winter woman’s do on her. Trust me. I never lie, whatever the cost.
There are too many negative colour associations in the world. Black is slimmer. Dark is stronger. Bold is more passionate. Vibrant is healthier. We even believe some of this. Well, they’re not. Colour doesn’t judge bold or indecisive. It just is. Clouds are not less beautiful than sunsets. They’re just clouds and sunsets and that’s how we appreciate them. We don’t walk in a forest saying “This tree is more beautiful than that tree. We don’t say “A tree in summer is more beautiful because the swaying of the leaves look so inviting compared to the simple shape of the wintertime tree.” They’re all special for the way they grew, the way they are, just because they’re there. People too. Colours too.
Consider it from the opposite side. True Winter’s makeup will look inflated, even bigger and even darker and even redder, on a Summer face. Parrot feathers on a dove does not look good. It’s not ugly. There is no ugly. What it looks like is forever separate. They can’t mesh. By putting them together, both the dove and the feathers are reduced. They can’t penetrate each other and become one and the same, that sensation women experience so deeply when they see themselves in their most beautiful colours, as if releasing the drape at that moment would lose contact with some long-lost part of themselves they’ve only just found.
By adding to yourself more of what you already are, it’s like using you to support you even more. That’s where real strength comes from, right? It is not out there somewhere. Only you elevate and strengthen the very uniqueness and specialness of you.
Tina’s Personal Picks for True Summer
I have nothing to say that could add to this. All I mean by “a place you’d want to stay awhile”.
Colours, Kibbes, and Types
Many of us have been exposed to various colour and style paradigms by now, Kibbe, Carol Tuttle, Jennifer Butler, and so many other artists and thinkers. We look for one colour or image system to have all the answers, but not one of them is all right or all wrong. Each one lets us gather a few new clues our identity. Types, Seasons, Essences, unless the system has 7 billion of them, not every word in any of them will fit any one person. Lines, colours, conscience, thoughts, shapes all feed into our final what? Voltage? Altitude? Energy is a good word but overuse had blunted its meaning. We are energetic beings, each a unique force field emitting one synchronous wavelength, like walking radio towers, receivers and transmitters. And resistors and capacitors, come to think of it. We are beginning to understand what this means and we’re drawn to it like bugs to light.
The Types come from Carol’s Dressing Your Truth system. I love this woman, what she stands for, her face and energy profiling. I’m still waiting to find the video called “What if My Facial Design and Energy Type Don’t Match” – not that I’ve seen that IRL (unless a person is confusing their primary and secondary type), but then I’m a believer that our lines, colours, and personality/character/movement are related, a lot more than I’d say in most company. If I taught colour analysis, I wouldn’t even bring it up. Carol’s DYT has 4 Types.
I may be severing any friendship we might ever have by saying that they correlate fairly well with the broad 4 Season associations that Suzanne Caygill saw, so Types 1, 2, 3, and 4 would remind you a lot of Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter. The difference is that any colouring can exist within any of the energy Types. Do I agree? No. We moved past 4 palettes because they didn’t represent most people’s colouring faithfully enough. Besides, a Dark Autumn with blonde highlights is not dressing her truth, no matter her Type. Nor is a Type 4 True Spring in wide horizontal B&W stripes. Whatever (probably a keyword for my Type 4). I can get over it for the bigger payoff.
Kate Middleton is a Soft Summer Type 4. Seems paradoxical. Does that mean that either her Season or her Dressing Your Truth Type is wrong? Not at all. It means we don’t yet have all the answers about colour, line, and character in humans. Kate still can find new ways of refining herself and adjusting how she wears her palette. As a Type 4, perhaps within her Soft Summer colours, she is relatively high contrast and would wear straighter lines because they are found in her body and face, the lines into which her colours were painted. We can be too literal in our interpretations of all these systems when none of them excludes any of the others. They all build on some part of our wholeness.
Gwyneth Paltrow is a Type 4 Light or True Summer (probably). Regal, statuesque, still. Blunt sharp haircuts suit her, especially that chin length razor bob she had awhile back. Her solid wall of yellow hair is probably better on her than the randomness of highlights. Very straightened hair works on her because of the sleek, smooth, stylized Type 4 energy. Straight hair could feel forced and stiff on the True Summer Type 2 whose energy is much more sliding, like drifting in a rowboat trailing one hand in the water. All our answers won’t be together in one place. Each has pieces for the puzzle. We feel our way into whether they fit.
The best thing about what I do is the privilege of being taught by people the world over who share their questions and answers with me. I am truly and deeply humbled by that honesty and generosity. I love talking to my friend, Darren. He’s so sensible and smart, and he has experienced most systems you can name. He can pull together the details and the big picture into real world advice. He said,
What I see is different artists’ take on the same subject and from different angles. Everyone has their spin. Personally, I don’t have the time or the money to try to include every color in every palette that I have so for the moment I’m sticking with Jennifer Butler’s, if not just for the sake of self discipline and to see how creative and far I can stretch myself within those parameters. In the end my goal is that everything will eventually fall away and I will learn to trust my own eyes and my own inner guidance completely. I mean think about it. We both [all] artists in our own right with our own way of seeing the world. [Butler, Kitchener, Taylore Sinclair, Suzanne Caygill, Bernice Kentner, Irenee Riter, ]and on and on… they are just people like anyone else.
So I guess what I’m saying is that these people are great at pointing the way but they can’t take the journey for us. We all have to do that ourselves. In the end we have to do what it takes to make ourselves into who we would like to see, lose our own weight, and accept our own limitations, and be OK with it. At some point we have to accept that we know enough to relax and just be. Who wants to spend all their time trying to figure out what to wear so they can go shopping.
I wrote RTYNC, the book pictured on the right side. I get told “I doubt my PCA because my personality is off from what you wrote.” Don’t do that!!
I get told “Wearing my colours as exotic or tribal feels all wrong on me. Does that mean I’m not Dark Autumn?” NO!!! Trust the analysis. I painted word pictures that feel right to me but they cannot possibly apply to every Dark Autumn, all 7 billion divided by 12 of them.
I see women asking ” How can I have dark hair and be Light Summer?” But it’s relative. Your hair isn’t dark compared to 95% of Winters, it’s just darker than many Light Summers. We know our hair colours aren’t necessarily in our swatch book. Doesn’t mean it’s suddenly inconsistent or that your analysis was wrong.
In our truths lie our strengths. What is true about you is what is strong about you. That’s why it feels so important to look for it. In our untruths lie our weaknesses. Which is why looking unnatural, like you could never have happened that way without really interfering with Nature’s plan, communicates to me as scattered energy. Real and right looks grounded and therefore strong. If it ‘s true that allowing ourselves to behave with false words and actions makes us weak, and it is, how does it not follow about our appearance?
So, do dark Summers look good in black? Not to me because black communicates absolutely nothing that is true about them. Not unattractive. You are never ever that. Besides, it will make the rest of your clothes in the colours that actually look beautiful on you suddenly appear old, tired, and sort of defeated, as will the skin tone. And will your dearest friends or salespeople tell you this? No, my sister, they won’t. The purpose of a compliment is to make you feel better, not to share truth. Wait 6 months and show them a photo of you in black and you in bluewater grey, they won’t pick the black.
Below, a YouTube DYT video on how the 4 Types wear red lipstick. It’s a beautiful comparison of these two women, mother and daughter, both embracing their individuality, with a “I’d have you no other way than as you are.” connection that you wouldn’t find among many adult mothers and daughters – and I bet these two wouldn’t have found, had Carol not developed her energy profiling. I believe 100% that every mother should read Discover Your Beauty Profile and It’s Just My Nature so her children can live acceptance in their home and know how to live it out in the world. How we should all live, all the time, not just with family.
Also, if you’re a Summer, watch more videos with Anne. She dresses beautifully for a Summer, mostly True. See the flower, the crystal in the necklace, the great great base hair colour (this is lighter than many a True Summer, Anne may be a Light, but it has the essential ash tone needed for the skin to bloom and look young). She talks about how Type 2 does dramatic lipstick right. The background would actually be a good lip on True/Soft Summer. See how Anne feels part of it while Carol looks Cut&Pasted in?
Unlearning is harder than learning. There was a time when we didn’t hold ourselves up to any standard but our own. And then the fight went out of us, media got too big in our minds, but we can remember the simplicity of those days. We see it in our children. It’s time to go back there.
My Summer friends tell me they want more ooomph, they feel so blended. Tina brought up a great point about yellow in hair. Unless you came by it on your own, not only is it too yellow against your skin, it’s too light. The dewy deep pink blush goes out of your cheeks and you live in a NoRightColourLand between True and Light Summer. Once the hair is back to its natural darkness, the makeup intensity can go up to balance that, right to where it should be. Your colours have all the ooomph they should have on your face. In a hairstyle that looks loose and released, you bring your lovely grace to a room with no soldier overtones to mix us up. Fundamental to Carol’s teaching is “I can love me enough to be me, and I can love you when you give yourself the same permission.”
I’m not always a very good friend. Not good at making calls, making time. Not even a very good wife. My husband and I both married the strong, silent type. True Summers number the highest among my best friends and trusted counselors. There is something in that character that I need, that we all need. The higher tuning of their heart brings balance to the higher tuning of my head. They’re like the bed of roses I can fall into, finally exhale, and feel safe. Please don’t disguise yourselves. We’ll still see you but won’t understand why you’re retracting your gift. You are everything that the word Grace means on Earth, one of the most powerful words in any language.
We communicate so much more by our appearance than our words. What others sense is how synchronous our cumulative energy is. Call that energy whatever term pleases you, it represents everything about a lifeforce that is more than just a body. We all agree that we can feel something bigger in ourselves and others than the space we take up. We are the size of the space that we have presence and influence in, the meaning of expanded consciousness. The Sci\ART colour analysis is an accurate measuring tool that taps into one of that realms. Your perfect lipstick is only the beginning. Who could feel the door to their best self open and not be speechlessly drawn forward?
Colour analysis is interior decoration of the soul. If we could extract our soul from our body and stand it beside us, would the two be the same? How beautiful is it when the things we wear are like a window that lets others see to our ocean floor from high up on their own mountain road.
So Bright Spring. Here we go. This Season…this ode to the magnificence of colour so beautiful, a heart aches.
The knockout that is Bright Spring, this woman often looks formal and dark. Once she recognizes you, her smile lights her face and she exudes warmth and charm. She looks much more complicated than she is. You expect her to stand on ceremony and convention but not at all. Her personality is quite informal. The simpler things in life make her truly happy and she knows how to pause and recognize them.
In 12 Season personal colour analysis, the Bright Spring is the person whose natural colouring is based in Spring’s spunky, sunny colours. Winter added a bit of its blue and red, but her inborn colours are not nearly as dark and detached as you guessed.
Like the fox, the seahorse, and the swallow, she’s busy when she’s standing still. She is sharp, delicate, and quite sweet, like spearmint. The yellows, oranges, and browns in her eyes (and Bright Winter’s) are the glowing, pure, peachy red-browns of the animal below, which we’ll see later in dark carrot pants and clear topaz stones. There is no sense of weight, darkness, or toughness. Quite the opposite, she reminds us that the most generously coloured life forms and ecosystems are the most fragile.
Thanks to Heidi for helping set the stage for us. It looks like Winter but it so is not. It’s young, modern, energized, over the top, waiting to dance, exaggerated, and it never stops moving.
If you live in the US, access this version.
Bright Spring Colour Equations
In the book Return to Your Natural Colours that you can see pictured in the right column above Recent Posts, a chapter is devoted to each Season’s persona, natural setting, relationship with the other Seasons, best styles, textiles, cosmetics, hair colour, and jewelry. There is also a section called Colour Equations (CE), a conceptual bridge between the Colour Book of swatches that you take to the store and how to translate into colour combinations. The CEs are helped by some illustrating.
Cheat Black In
No point pretending it won’t happen. And why not, but go easy. This isn’t a green light…and don’t accelerate for the yellow, it’s about to turn red.
Use the smallest real estate possible for the black and not right under the chin. Open necks are better. Just let black bring the picture into focus.
Break it up with a lively print.
Add animation as shine, details, and accessories.
Give the eye distractions. Use pure, juicy, colour so delicious that it can’t get bogged down in the black and keeps moving along.
If there’s black in the top, consider not wearing it in the bottom too – as the triangles top with the light pants. At its best, this look isn’t overall dark. Still, black and beige just can’t pick up any speed and on this woman. Compared to her, the clothes seem to be moving in reverse. The look is not creamy or gradual, because the woman never is.
Few Bright Springs probably guessed their Season right. They’ve lived as Winters for years, or some kind of Summer. Darker outfits (blue purse outfit on R) can look quite fine but serious and Wintery, where light is being pulled in. Take the same top and add light in everything else, white pants, yellow shoes, transparency in earrings instead of density – I think it’s better. Spring emits light.
The two models lower L – the blonde girl (perhaps a Light Spring) shows a dull way to wear black. It’s trying to own her. We lose interest in the girl and seem consumed with negotiating the black block. The woman to the R, very possibly a Bright Spring, wears similar colours in clothes with less weight and more movement. Bright Spring is not a heavy look, it’s like aluminum foil.
Like her Dark Autumn look-alike, Bright Spring is much better in black and cream (DA’s being a far darker browner cream) than in B&W.
If you wear black, choose warmth in your other colours and accessories. Silver looks more Winter and a little dry.
Green dress/yellow purse in the center – this print is quite random for a Winter person. This could feel unbalanced or zingy on some Bright Winters, and just perfect for the show biz energy of others.
Darks with darks can look too dark. Build an office look with greys. Add interest and entertainment, like the pink purse at the top.
Even Grey Should Be Fun
Light and energy must come out of it. Vivacity is always present in the face, the eyes, and the movements. They are quick and neat.
Textures and edges are smooth and shiny because the person is. The control of their Winter side won’t let them appear shaggy, haphazard, or erratic. They do look unpredictable and spontaneous. The song “Shiny Happy People” was inspired by Bright Spring. The cardi at top L is Lurex and you can still add colour and fun with the beads.
Every woman works out her best use of contrast on her own, it seems. A general rule for this group is to keep it high and clean. Outfits in various versions of the same colour don’t usually make sense (unless contrast is very high and/or edges very sharp), meaning distance between colour types and darkness levels is quite high. If she is older, the coolest looking lady at church with her white hair, dark brows, and turquoise eyes, she’ll bring these closer together to repeat what she looks like.
There is no true red. Here, we have clearest orange, many pure lipstick pinks, fuchsia pinks, and purple pinks. Red only appears in the Winters but you can cheat that in too. That red pants outfit, lower L – cover the silver watch and look at it. Then cover the gold watch. Isn’t that intriguing, that shift in what the eye notices?
Notice that the beiges are very very pale light, barely yellowed, not earthy browned. Rather like ‘icy beiges’.
A full grey dress (middle top) needs to be jazzed up with more colour. Sunglasses like those are small but they’ll get noticed and will hold the viewer’s gaze and attention.
Gold is good. Not too hot (yellow), very shiny.
If you look inside your eyes, many will see those dark carrot pants. So will many Bright Winters.
At the center of the lower band, see the girl in the grey blazer, two-tone shoe? Let your eye travel from the earrings to her face and across to the tank top. See all the repeats?
Watermelon and moon slices, outfit R side : On a person who looks polished and streamlined (your weight has nothing to do with it), pick jeans that are the same. Next to you, faded can look like a rag. Too dark is better than dusty, wrinkled, or patchy. Keep them ultra smooth and classy. And if you want to wear leopard stilettos (or flats), please don’t let me get in your way. It looks better than most other things.
Detail + Innovation + Restraint = Originality (Sp) + Discipline (W)
As you overview the collection, can you feel Winter’s presence? It causes Bright Spring to have a much tighter way of moving the body than the relaxed and unconfined True Spring.
Mixing silver, gold, and other shiny metals is fine.
If you wear black, taupe, and beige, make the print electrified and the cut, cough, distracting, as the dress in the top R.
Black and white have tipped over to Bright Winter, perhaps more so in the colorblock print at lower R, regardless of how hot the other colours are. Try to avoid pure black and white together. If you wear one, don’t wear the other. B&W only really looks good on True and Bright Winter. Even the Dark Winter could think twice unless she is very cool in her colouring.
Pure stark white pants are one of those items most of us must think about carefully. To me, they look right on the True Winter, Bright Winter, Bright Spring, and that’s about it. Take pictures of yourself and look at them yourself. You can see oh, so right and oh, so wrong within seconds. Light shoes are pretty good despite having dark hair if contrasting with the clothes. Not white pants and white shoes.
Don’t get too matchy. You can be as Classic-symmetric or Gamine-irregular as you body’s lines dictate, but keep the humour good, free-spirited, and lighthearted. Even at a meeting, as outfit L side, keep shine and design interest in a grey jacket, wear a pink but simple watch, add dangle and sparkle in the earring.
Bright Spring = Lighting the Darkness
The icy blues and greens dress at top R – yes, it could be sunnier. Maybe this is cheating white. Wear pale gold earrings so as not to cool it further with silver. It could be more contrasting but that bit of black looks more at home on Bright Spring than anyone else. The print could be less watercoloured. Whatever. The dress is beautiful. Imagine seeing that woman on the dance floor. This is heart-stopping beauty that no other natural colouring could wear so well. Don’t take my suggestions too literally. They can’t apply equally to thousands of women. Make it work for you. The dress is also an example of high saturation light colours (Spring), without being so close to white as to be icy (Winter). We often hear “high saturation” and our imagination shoots right up to dark sapphire. High sat means not softened with gray.
Our red is a wardrobe neutral too, more out there than taupe but equally versatile. For the three Springs, traditional neutrals (grey, beige, taupe) can be too monotonous, like a dial tone voiced over a wind chime or a water cascade. No match found. Wear your colours a lot.
Consider making the clothing coloured and the accessories grey/beige/taupe.
Details are good. Orange starfish (with diamonds), not orange balls. A shiny cap on a toe. A star shower, not a single star.
Could Miu Miu be the designer? Something about this colouring is so very young that anything remotely kiddish accentuates a feature that already comes across very strong and you might not want at the office. I’d leave ribbons, little animals, peace signs, and hearts for after work or to the Seasons who could use some de-formalizing, especially if they work with the public. On any Bright Sring, the Winter aspect lends a seriousness and maturity that may not suit very young additions perfectly, but they wouldn’t be as out of place as on Dark Winter.
Springs have known all along that life really is this much fun.
Keep in your mind who we’re putting these colours on. Next to a cross-section of the population, this person is pale. But let’s call it light, since pallor implies ill health. Sharon Stone, Meryl Streep, they will be overall lighter than most people you put beside them. Their darkest colour never gets very dark.
The Light Summer person is light to look at standing in front of a black wall. But not always. In their natural beige brown hair and eyebrow colour, they look more medium till you start putting colour next to or on their skin. Then you notice that the lightest blusher that would be invisible on most women has a huge effect. To balance and not overtake, their closet is light. Light needn’t mean a bowl of dinner mints. How does a rainbow dress to look interesting and impacting? First, see yourself through others’ eyes.
Nobody complains about looking at rainbows. They feel fresh, hopeful, soothing, and happy. Let yourself be who you are and get media perceptions about power out of your way. The clothing, weight loss, anti-aging, personal growth, and cosmetic industries can get you to buy more stuff if they can convince you there’s something wrong with you. It’s cheaper for them to make clone colours. Please believe me, there is nothing wrong with you. In your light colours, you are breathtaking. The sun shines out through the sky and water of your eye colour. That is such a special magic and few are capable of it.
I had a very beautiful, natural, easy Light Summer client. She arrived quite certain that she was a Winter and was going though the motions of a PCA just to confirm it (and come to find out, she had recently bought light blue and peach Capris just because.) Part of her Winter conviction came from seeing her facial structure as strong or intense, which it was, more in keeping with her ideas about Winter. When I think of Spring Summer blends, fragile doesn’t describe their bone structure – or anybody’s bone structure, for that matter. Meryl Streep (whom she greatly resembled), Sharon Stone, Joni Mitchell, Carmindy, Ivanka Trump (perhaps a stronger Spring), these faces express far more than daintiness. You’ll see many fine-boned faces among all Seasons. Media’s convenient typecast of power as dark, intense, and masculine is very far indeed from what power really is. It’s important to distinguish power from intimidation, the cheapest form of power. And like all things cheap, it is neither sustainable or enduring.
Light Summer is a Summer above all. She likes precision and dislikes clutter. Like True Summer, her personality is considerate, and to a lesser degree, can work the details all day and all night, and be uncompromising about getting them right. She is not really stubborn, just striving towards an idyllic vision that’s almost romantic, as in Utopian.
We often think of ‘feminine’ for True Summer, all lace and flounce, but that’s not quite the right adjective. Womanly is better. Moon goddess. Fertile (her version of earthy), giving, patient, complete (hence the circle symbol). She can be very sentimental though the first interaction may be quite formal. Relationships, wisdom, and intuition are nearer her heart than raw intellect, which on its own strikes her as unkind, one-dimensional, and too boringly linear, logical, and external.
Spring’s arrival brings the potential for a little more giddiness. She’s more cooperative, happy in the middle ground, and so easy to get along with. She loves a laugh and takes life less seriously. The sun is coming out. She has humour, self-directed humour, the single best entry ticket to self-knowledge. She doesn’t get all the way to the stronger Springs’ “If life’s not fun, what’s the point?” but she does think “Why can’t everyone just lighten up and get along? Why did God even make Dark Winters? They’re missing all the good stuff.”
She embodies the simplicity of just being pretty. A little cute but mostly pretty. A face like a doll. Christina Applegate. Light Summer is not tough or rugged, it’s tender. Not stern, it’s lenient. Not funky, but still informal. Life can get so complicated, but not here. This is the afternoon off, the nowhere-to-be day, the tell-your-troubles-to person.
Light Spring is creamy, Soft Summer is foggy, True Summer is cool and misty, Light Summer is sunny and barely misty (or do I mean myst?), like a Once Upon A Time land. The rainbow when the sun comes out. Flower petal showers. Trees always in leaf. The lightest dusting of sugar sprinkled all over, a Cotton Candyland (Light Spring is the Jellybean Candyland).
She wears the light taupe shoe well because her hair is light taupe. On this woman, it actually does elongate the leg.
She may carry a green purse and she’d probably even go about in green pants. Light, fresh, and fun.
Warmth? Cashmere. It comes in so many colours. Likewise, fleece. It floats.
Wash those white pants with your darks to soften the white a bit.
A serious colour? Add a girlie colour.
A lot of light? Add a darker colour in a small area. Sunglasses count. Cool frame, cool lens, light hardware.
The light colours aren’t that light. Winter’s are even lighter because they’re not pastels. Make big use of your medium range of colours to move away from the pale feeling.
Squint to blur the details and you see dappled light, the perfect light on Light Summer.
Could drift away like a thistle on a breeze.
The dress on the left, too dark? Maybe so slightly. Reminded me of bunches of grapes. Good colour flow. Wear a light shrug or Pashmina and a fun shoe. Carry a light purse. Impact without consequences.
Turquoise ruffled blouse too saturated? Maybe. Don’t care. Love the colour on this person and I see it on them just fine (rather than not seeing them in a too-much colour).
Those blue capris, that’s darker and more saturated than your navy. The pants will be what people see so the area will get bigger by proportion. The V-neck top to the right of the yellow dress is better. But, they work well enough. If you look at the whole picture, they don’t jump out.
The fun juicy accessory. Why not? So people see your Miu Miu pink coral clutch first (in the outfit along the R side.) So what. Wear your matching lipstick and carpe diem. Light Summer has that Spring fun element. True Spring is the Hawaiian luau. The luscious scent of the lei, the side to side sway of the hula dance, all about relaxed mood, hips, deliciousness, and fun. Light Summer might not get that unfastened but she’s Spring enough for the hair to come down.
I love when Neutral Seasons (those groups of natural colouring whose inborn pigments are neither 100% cool or 100% warm, but have in-between colouring on the heat scale) demonstrate both Seasons they’re composed of. Wearing cooler and warmer versions of their colours together, as a cool pink lipstick and a light gold lip gloss, is an example. It gives them dimensionality. I also love when they wear both esthetics together. A Soft Summer looks superb in lace (Summer grace) and denim (Autumn strength). A Soft Autumn is beautiful in a flowing scarf (Summer water/flow) and cowboy boots (Autumn leather/desert).
Light Summer’s elements are Summer (graceful, water, feminine) and Spring (sun, movement, sport, play). I love ballet effects (grace and sport) as wrap tops and skirts, ballet flats, scoop necks like leotards, or body-fitting fabric in pretty colours. I love prints a lot, that can show the dewdrops feeling and depict motion with the body’s movements. Outdoor combinations that repeat water and sun, as any kind of sun hat, floppy to baseball to gardening, are great. Small sparkly stones near or on another colour are beautiful, raindrops on roses, as beading on a cardi, better in a wave, or a necklace against a blouse, or an earring near a rose lip.
I was asked how a True Spring expresses two energetic states at once. I haven’t come up with anything because there is only the one energy. That seeming rivalry isn’t there. But there are many ways of depicting the sun and on a True Spring, there is almost no such thing as clutter. A yellow or turquoise Swatch, several beaded bracelets, a necklace of turquoise beads and another of different length with a cluster of small gold charms, all three at once, it just looks better and better. Keep sunshine and colour near the eyes at all times.
In the each Season chapter of the book, there’s section called Colour Equations. To help you see what was in my head when I put those together, and I appreciate that illustrating them is needed, I’ve pasted that section below:
One light, medium, or dark neutral colour + one light colour or one medium colour
One light to medium-dark neutral colour + one light colour + one medium colour
Two light to medium neutral colours + one other colour as a smaller block
More restrained use of complements as gentler colours or smaller areas
Use of analogous colour combinations, moving towards True Summer’s monochromatic designs
Overall light to medium darkness effect
I was seeing this:
Is it pale? Well, compared to what? Dusk? Yes. All the black in the stores? Sure. The person we’re putting it on? No.
Does it still feel too light? Add a darker block and keep it smaller. People will see it.
There’s a fair bit of colour variation but still continuity between colours, because that’s what this person looks like. Mixing up the colours even more than what’s shown looks really good. Keep a balance. The more colourful the look, the gentler the colours should be. This isn’t something to worry about if you have a Colour Book of swatches, the gentleness levels are built in.
My thanks to Natalie who pointed me to Alima Pure’s line of cosmetics. The eyeshadow and foundation selections are beautiful, with many choices for Neutral Seasons. Under Products, choose your category and when the page opens, click View Swatches. You’ll see the whole panel open up for comparisons with colour accuracy that appears very good. I can’t recommend particular colours, having never tested them, but if you have experience with this line, please do leave a comment.
If we’re dressing to repeat how we already look (and we are because it feels good to the viewer), the overall effect shouldn’t get darker than medium on a white to black scale. Big light blocks can look bridal or sterile, not right on a fun-in-a-quiet way, optimistic, and cheerful person. Getting too saturated or busy with colour means her clothes compete with her and win. If colours get too dark, her skin will be drained and grey (and it will follow, who needs grayer teeth?) Remember too that viewers have a lot more colours to process besides your clothes – there’s hair, makeup, eyes, and that big block of skin – that aren’t in the graphic above. They will thank you if everything matches.
How could I forget the music? From classical ballet origins in True Summer and then loosened up when Spring appeared. Spring brings magic and mysticism, freedom and imagination.
Proving that anybody can make fire:
Too hot for Light Summer? Maybe that’s Light Spring’s and we need something dreamier? A reader felt a connection with this very beautiful harp music.