In any change you want to effect, three questions matter:
1. What do I want?
2. Where am I now?
3. What am I willing to do to get what I want?
What Do I Want
Very hard question. Most of us are schooled in what we don’t want. You might want to develop the full edge and potential of your appearance. If your idea of great makeup is to take what’s already there and make more of it, as mine is, Winter’s best makeup might have your redefining your position. The colours in the face are a lot and now we’re going to add a lot more. Adding just a little more doesn’t move Winter very far from the start point, or nowhere close to the max point, but maybe you just want to know a nice eyeliner and gloss and that’s all. There is no right or wrong answer.
There is nothing wrong with being a Winter without makeup. The important thing is to channel what you do towards the outcome that you want. Too often, we’ve never identified either what we want or what we do to help or hinder that. If you’re a Winter, the time has come. No face is more altered with makeup. As in life, the good and bad are equal. As in all things Winter, they are also simultaneously at both outer limits. Other types of colouring tend to look more similar with and without makeup, which is a definite good thing. But it’s the Winters who can go miles from where they started, and that’s good too.
I like a lot of colour on Winter, a lot of makeup, a lot of drama. The face is that way already. I want every woman to be all they could be. Would our 80-year-old selves excuse us for having been less than that? Would our reasons have been good enough? Hint: no excuse or decision based on fear or negativity is ever good enough.
This is good.
I know it’s hard. This is the group whose language is power, a currency that women have been un-trained to deal in by every force in their lives. Power is not second nature to us.
Where Am I Now
Even harder question. Unpacking our own luggage and seeing what’s really in there can be scary, especially if the zipper has been jammed for awhile. Lots of people can’t admit their height and weight and those are facts. As the oft-heard quote states, “Reality is an acquired taste.” And slowly acquired at that.
All those Winters from the 80s, which seem to have been in the majority, are very seldom Winters, which is fine because they’re usually wearing Summer colours. The real Winters are buried among every other type of colouring. Their road back is a longer one for the Tone you might think would be the easiest to analyze and dress. They don’t see it coming unless they are very dark of hair and eye to begin with.
Once, I’d love the Winter to walk in who is overdone in her Winterness. The young ones are, even without makeup. They’re bringing it. More eyeliner (that we remove), thigh high boots (brown, but they’re trying to be bigger and it’s good), cape flying, doing something luscious with the hair, more ME-ME-ME. In our fifties, we women have toned ourselves so far down that we can lose our discernment of what is just normal and right.
Especially in our later years, when our faces finally carry all the power that took 50 years to build, isn’t it time to stop being so careful? I get that not everyone wants to present a heavily made up, dramatic face, but it’s not even about drama in makeup. There is so much caution to shake off. Drama and glamour haven’t been added for a long time and yet, this is where they are most at home, most normal.
Personal Colour Analysis is a gateway to Here’s Who You Are.
What’s In A Winter Face: both extremes at the same time.
To be more specific:
1. Contrast. You saw this coming. It means that there is a lot of distance between everything and everything else, such as:
Features from skin. The skin is very even, smooth, and quiet. Insert into that landscape a mouth, cheeks, eyes, and eyebrows whose colours create a big and sudden jump from the background. That Shiseido banner up above.
Light – dark levels of contiguous colours. Eyeliner is dark (it contains more black than any other group). The eyeshadow next to it, the lid colour, is a fair bit lighter (lid colour is medium on the other groups). The next band, the eyeshadow contour, is quite dark by comparison (more about that later). The eyeshadow highlight is icy light, nearly white (not the case for pastel on Summers and creamy on Warms). The brow is quite dark (but not darkened more than Nature designed on anyone), very sharply defined, and dramatized extra (crisp, arched, lengthened, whatever works on that face, which is simply to see what’s there and make more of it). For sure, any particular face might need these adjusted a little, but this is the generic look.
Textures, ultra matte to ultra shine. Quiet skin. No special effects. Snow White’s face isn’t contoured (which sets up lowlights for Autumn), dewy (sets up highlights, best on Spring), or cottony (sets up fluffy, just right on a dreamy Summer). On a Winter face or a winter landscape, those look muddy, busy, and trivial, a million miles from Winter. You want foundation whose coverage is opaque enough to make a very even blanket. Powder the whole face evenly. Add lots of eyes, lots of mouth, more blush or less (both can be good). Done.
The Best Skin Finish on Winter Colouring is: Even.
2. Drama. It’s like a deficiency when drama is left out of a Winter eye design. Not wrong. There is no wrong, no answer that works across the board, even within a Season. Winters I’ve seen, they not only balance drama, they are enhanced further with it. It doesn’t look even dramatic, exciting, stimulating, theatrical, or otherwise extraordinary. It looks normal.
Would the image above make sense with a soft and gentle eye colour or shape (expression)? Winter’s is not a gradual, blended, or soft face.
When Summers buy cosmetics, look for products that have a gentle application. Remember when we applied your makeup and we divided the foundation with moisturizer, as I do on every Summer and Spring, because heavy and matte products look like a mask on your delicate skin texture and softened colouring? The same principle applies to all your cosmetics. Having said that, we also showed you that when a colour is correct, you can apply almost any amount of it and it just blends believably into the skin. That’s true, but these are two different ideas. Summer begins with a product that swatches like a watercolour. Winter is looking for oil paint.
3. Keep the number of cosmetic colours low. 1 is good. Colour is subtracted from winter landscapes. Many steely dark grays, many icy grays or icy colours (means nearly white). Very little colour activity. And suddenly, a deeply flushed cheek. A red or purple mouth. The colours in the face are shocking enough on a still and quiet energy.
Remember how on Lights, dark colour takes over? On Winters, it’s colour itself that becomes too much too quickly.
Would this be more effective if we added a buttercup, a bluejay, and a lilac? No, the red would lose its voltage. There are thousands of these photos out there because they make sense to humans by reinforcing something we already know and recognize.
4. Intensity. Don’t leave any features behind. Enhance each one to the same degree. Thou Shalt Not Be Wimpy. Apply a lot of colour to each feature and don’t blot any off till the whole face is done. Each part looks like too much on its own but it all works together when all the pieces are in place. Blend nothing till every part is done or you’ll overblend that feature back into cautious and unbalance the face.
Thou Shalt Not Be Wimpy applies equally to concealer as lipstick. The blues and purples in the skin are so saturated that a sheer concealer won’t hide them nearly as well as a product with good opacity. My favorite is Arbonne for that reason, plus it stays where it’s applied, it lasts amazingly well all day, and it dries fast so I can apply foundation over it immediately without overly diluting it or smearing it everywhere. I am very fussy about where concealer goes but I use a lot of it. For reference, I wear Arbonne Medium.
What Are You Willing To Do
Look very different to yourself? Exchanging a plaid duffel coat for a black and white herringbone is a step. Wearing bigger jewelry than all your friends? Be the only one of the girls to wear a fuchsia red mouth?
Draw a lot more attention to yourself? Stand out and apart? As many have discovered, getting noticed for being different isn’t easy, even is it’s a good different.
Wear your real true This Is Who I Am hair colour?
No right or wrong, just questions. Everything looks easy from the outside. Try it, you may find it takes some effort. What are the conditions on what you’re willing to do?
Would you wear twice as much makeup as you wear today? Most Winter women accept the eye makeup fairly easily. Lips can always be sheer. Winter’s sheer is Spring’s “Oh, dear Lord, too much, wipe it off, start again.” Winters, pick sheers with a lot of colour or save your money and buy Chapstick. Where you hear the brakes screech is with the blush. They feel like clowns for a week. What everyone else sees is a pulled-together face. Not in how much, which you can decide, but in how red. Blood on snow, right?
The Nature of Reflected Light
The Spring, Summer, and Autumn articles preceding this one are linked in their names. The idea is that our natural colours have a way of reflecting light. Beyond just the colours of the reflected light, the wavelengths have properties that reach our other senses, as texture for instance. In Chinese medicine, our fingers are entry and exit points for energy. Of course. How could they not be? They touch everything. They’re up and down-loading who we are all the time. Each of our sense organs is doing the same. Each of the 12 Tone colour collections speaks a certain language, is evocative of certain emotions, reminds of certain landscapes, and makes sense if consistent in colour and touch and sound and scent and taste. It’s all happening at once. The knee bone is connected to the neck bone.
Summer’s soft, gentle, serene, muted colours don’t make sense in leather pants. Skin with that colouring has reflective properties truer to the surface of an opal, not a mirror or an elephant’s hide. Soft Autumn skin reflects light like felt and its colours are more beautiful in that texture than done up in Mr. Freezies. Do colours bounce light in certain ways that tell us texture? Or is it that skin painted in certain colours also carries other qualities that bounce light in a way that impresses texture?
The True Winter surface is smooth and hard. Dark Winter is smoother than Dark Autumn but not 100% smooth; it’s also thick, and not quite as hard as True Winter. Bright Winter is very smooth, shinier, and semitransparent – Dr. Sheldon Cooper, as opposed to Autumn’s Magnum P. I. Though some will cringe, I’m still going with rubbery for Winter skin by comparison with the other Seasons.
So far, we’ve said:
Bright Spring: glass
True Spring: persimmon
Light Spring: petal
Light Summer: peach
True Summer: cotton
Soft Summer: flannel
Soft Autumn: suede
True Autumn: velvet
Dark Autumn: leather
Dark Winter: Vinyl
If we start at Dark Autumn and move along to its cooler side, we arrive next at Dark Winter. These are both Neutral Seasons. Dark Winter has more in common with the True Season parent of True Winter, but does share the most important dimension of colour, darkness, with the Neutral it’s paired with and whose descriptor it shares, that is, Dark Autumn.
We begin with Autumn’s canvas, which is strong and textured. As Winter settles in, the skin texture smooths out. Dark Autumn’s leather is transitioning.
Dark Winter skin throws light back like vinyl.
Not just record vinyl, but inflatable products, dominatrix gear, and tarps. Maybe even a car. Industrial, tough, shiny, smooth, waterproof, and useful. Good Dark Winter words. Not bad words for their jewelry and belts either. Dark Winter takes Dark Autumn’s gypsy/Rustic Opulent and shifts it to gladiator. A sweater in black or dark grey metallic looks like chain mail. Stud, armor, and heavy link effects are a natural fit here, scary elsewhere.
Dark Winter is mysterious. It’s Christmas Eve, the dark jewel-toned ornaments, the fireplace, the night, the lights in the windows. Very nice, but there’s something bigger going on. The feeling of waiting for something. Waiting for the reason behind the pretty. Deeper, even darker. Sinister.
Nude lips on Winter looks tired and old. Dead lips, a good friend calls it. My new favourite lipstick is Shiseido RD 305. It is just pink enough to not be red-lips. It is beautifully saturated with the touch of brown that Autumn adds to make your colours less cold and more natural than True Winter. That brown is essential to create the encompassing harmony that only a colour analyzed appearance can give. You are coloured with a little of that brown, where brown is dark orange, and your hair, skin, and eyes have some gold-amber-orange tones. If your skin is light to medium, this colour may be your best natural lip. It’s not dark, often the case with Dark Season lip colours. It’s fresh daytime believable natural lip colour. Not ready for it yet? Top it with clear gloss.
Bronzer can play a tiny part because Autumn has left behind the slightest texture or roughness. Contour carefully, with powder that has enough red to disappear into the skin (eleablake‘s Miss November is great). Follow the 3 shape at the sides of the face and down the sides of the nose bridge, using a small amount, more to carve more geometric drama into the face than to warm it up.
Soft Summer’s darker foundation trick to contour is too wishy-washy here. More colour is required to be noticeable and achieve the outcome. It’s not a bad option as you learn or if you want a very subtle effect, just be sure the darker powder is as cool as your foundation or you’ll look yellow. It takes a lot of colour to make any difference on the intensity of this inherent colouring. A few shades of beige this way or that will make less difference on Winter skin. Carefulness is plain pointless.
Darkness works. Smoke is natural, like the Autumn muting in the skin. Smoked eyes make sense. The lighter lid eyeshadow can equally well be fairly dark. Any Season can do smoked eyes, but it’s most at home on the Darks. Even the other two Winters are best to exercise caution in darkness so it doesn’t look heavy. They look better in clean and silvery.
True Winter: Ceramic
Even smoother and even harder.
True Winter: ceramic. Like a white sink. Impenetrable, tough, and enduring.
Clean. Picture the makeup colours from your palette painted right on that white sink. Dark eyes, red-violet cheeks, red-violet lips. No fuss, no frills. Not smoked (Dark Winter) or clear, as in translucent (Bright Winter). Can you tell this before they’re draped, by looking at them? Absolutely not. True Winter is always the draping surprise for me, even more so than Bright Spring.
For True Winter, that very quiet blanket of skin without a lot of cheek colour, or with an icy light cheek, is excellent, like the picture at the top. For Bright and Dark, colour on the cheek is better, I find. It adds to Bright’s liveliness and Dark’s intensity.
Eyeliner is dark. Eyeshadow is quite light and silvered. Under brow highlight is near white or some icy (near white) colour. Contour and back corner eyeshadow is quite dark. Darkening the outer back corner of eyes looks good as a way of adding drama. Use a dark gray/black eyeshadow. Go over the eyeliner to fill in holes. Drag the dark shadow out past the crease. Turn around and start pulling in inward above the crease, not in the crease. This enlarges the apparent size of the eye and recedes the skin above the crease that can close in. On eyes where the upper half of the lid is smaller than the lower half, the crease is shallow, or the eye prominent, you would omit this effect. Deposit some dark shadow at the outer lid corner.
Other Seasons will use a darker shadow that isn’t much darker than the lid colour or skip the effect altogether. On a Light Season, where dark colour takes off, the eyeshadow contour can just be the medium lid colour packed on a bit more heavily. On a Soft Season, the liner, lid, and contour are quite close in darkness level, as in medium, with contour only slightly darker. They distinguish their roles by being of different colours in similar darkness levels, rather than Winter’s variations on one colour (gray) in extremes of darkness levels. On a Winter, light means really light and dark means really dark. You are it already. So be it, as P. said so cleverly.
I do not know how bronzer can improve this face but I’m willing to see it if anyone has good products or ideas. You wouldn’t want to dull that spectacular opposition of The Purity and The Darkness that only this colouring incarnates.
Winter’s sheer is Spring’s almost-opaque. The best Winter gloss I can think of comes from Lora Alexander at Pretty Your World. The texture, finish, and amount of colour are excellent, with good clarity. Glama and Hot Lips lip colours and Fast Track blush are great (I own them). From this compare page of the Cool Winter selections, Diva looks super good too.
Though True Winter is very red-based and looks great in blue-based red apparel, I find their most natural fit for blush and lipstick is somewhere in the pink-fuchsia-purple spectrum. That may be because true red lips are like true black eyeliner, somehow harder and more dramatic than human faces really are. Dark Winter’s burnt rose red and Bright Winter’s strawberry or pink red alleviate the pure redness. True Winter does the same by using violet, meaning clear purpled pinks. Arbonne’s Raisin gloss is a very impressive purple. Lauder’s Raspberry Pop is good but gentler, as is Merle Norman’s Raspberry on Ice.
Bright Winter: Silicone
How about Bright Winter? That amazing special blend of innocence with a dark, brittle edge. The geisha could span the Bright Seasons. Once the delicacy feels almost too rare to conceive on this Earth, the hummingbird, a membrane-thin gold foil, we’re into Bright Spring.
Spring has a hand in Bright Winter. Therefore, we need a sugar coating, shiny, fun, and ornamental. Pink frosting on lids, cheeks, and lips, lilac highlights, more play (more colours at once), more theater (cat eye, a few false lashes, fine winged brows, bright lips, hats with veils, cloche hats with beautiful ornaments, because hats and earrings are face accessories). Below, the haircut, the dress print and line, all awesome.
Definitely a lighter palette than the other Winters.
The skin’s reflectance had me searching for an analogy. Fine china with that near-transparent edge? Thinking, thinking,…mostly Winter, therefore rubbery and even, but a little softer with a transparency in the outermost layer… oh, you’re going to love this, jellyfish! Not good? Soft boiled egg? Maybe. Yes.
But jellyfish is so good. Stay with me here.
The flamenco dancer.
Heavenly and magical.
You see where I’m going?
How do we translate this to makeup? You don’t have to do a lot, you have this smooth and rubbery (all Winters) clarity (Brights) already. Clear silicone skin. Increase it with intensely coloured products, pigments so pure, you would swear they’re transparent. Brush powders with the slightest finest shimmer effect on all exposed skin. Don’t stop at the jawline. It’s a sprinkling of fairy dust, that sugar topping, an overall crystalline effect.
Bronzer? A little icy gold uplight, sure. Baby peach, always good on Brights. Very little. We feel no bronzer per se here:
Chanel Glossimer in Jalousie is nice. Bagatelle is a light, pretty peach, Clarins Crystal Violet and Revlon Lip Butter in Raspberry Pie could be shared with True Winter. Stila Lipglaze Raspberry Crush is very good.
Recap: The skin is calm and even in colour and texture. By using strong lines, bold colours, intense pigment deposits, and big distance between light and dark, both adjacent and separate, we create very clear feature definition. There is no question about where one ends and the other begins.
For Summer, we said: The skin is soft and dry, setting up gentleness and gradual muting. The features are blended into the skin with colours that create a soft flow or diffusion instead of sharp definition. As colours flow into each other as hazy mists, it feels difficult to tell where one feature ends and the next begins.
For Autumn: The skin is contoured, setting up lowlights. The features are defined from the skin by colours that are warm and velvety and the judicious use of metallic glints.
This was Spring: The skin is dewy, setting up highlights. The features are fresh, lively, distinguished from the skin by being very colourful, moist, and vibrant.
Answer: No. Never. They can appear to conflict until your colours are correctly analyzed.
I get 3 or 4 emails each month about this. So let’s talk about it, framed around pieces of conversations with real women. It’s the practical application of my digression in the earlier post, How To Match Foundation.
Palette and swatch in this post always refer to colours found within your particular group of colours in the 12 Tone system of colour analysis developed by Kathryn Kalisz. Some of the Tones or Seasons may have similar or identical names with other companies but if their origin isn’t Sci\ART, their colour collections are different. I don’t know how other organizations developed their palettes, what their colours are, or what the desired outcome of their PCA process is. It’s not my place to answer questions about them.
The eye photos in this post are just lovely pictures. They are not textbook examples of the words or the ideas.
If hair/eye colours are not in the palette
I am a Bright Spring with dark brown eyes, dark brown hair, and light skin.
Yes, Spring under Winter influence is often brown eyed, from a glowy topaz jewel yellow to black brown. Many persons of Asian and Celtic origin have this colouring of darkness in hair and eyes and lightness and brightness in skin.
Since this is predominantly Spring, not Winter, the person is sometimes not conspicuously contrasting, though they certainly can be. A brown eye with light skin or hair is fairly contrasting in itself. Sometimes, the Bright Spring eye is so light brown that it’s yellow, like a wolf. It’s quite a thing to see. Or to be, I would think.
not this, but notice the coat colours and the eye-coat harmony, animals are just like us,
The color of my veins, lips, and cheeks are all in my color swatches and flatter me. However, the brown in my eyes and my hair is not in my color swatches and does not flatter me when I wear clothes of that color. How can I wear brown as an eye and hair color but not anywhere else without looking washed out?
You’re wearing the colour you think you see, which is never what colour is. Here is one reason for why it’s harder to figure for some Tones.
There is variation in hair and eye colour in most Seasons, but nowhere more than True Winter and the Brights. I’m not sure of the answer from a genetic perspective. I don’t think anyone can answer the magic of how harmony happens in spite what our eyes think they see. Maybe the mysteries should remain mysteries.
The way I reason it is that we don’t know the exact pigments that make up our hair and eyes. If I showed you 20 brown eyes, could you pick out your own? Would you pick the same brown as your friends would choose? Would you pick the same browns, yellows, oranges, and other colours, that the drapes (consistent with the Sci\ART colour calibrations) identify within your colouring? Probably not, on any count. We do not know which colours make up our final colours until one is draped. If you knew and wore the ingredients that go into your total hair and eye colours, you’d be utterly flattered.
Bright Spring has many yellows, beer and clear cider colours. When they have dark hair, it’s usually root beer and black tea. It is never coffee, which only looks heavy and thick on a colouring that is as far from those as you can get. Lighter brown hair is herbal tea, not orangey-muted-gold, not velvety-dense-brown. It might look ash brown or medium brown but it isn’t. It is clear. While clear means high chroma, and transparency is not a quality by which we define colour (because colour can be bright or soft and still see-through), this hair is like coloured cellophane.
People with green, blue and grey eyes seem to always look great if they match their clothes to their irises.
I would not agree. Blue eyes will match blue drapes or blue clothes in any Season but the best match is only in one. It’s not even a difficult decision. Some aspects of a correct analysis are challenging for a woman to perceive on herself. Achieving the ultimate eye colour is usually easy.
The colour a woman has matched to her eyes all her life is never the best or correct one in my experience. She needs her Colour Book to direct her to her turquoise and only then will her eyes become all they could be. I see women hope they’re wearing their eye colour all the time and most cases, they’re barely in the ballpark.
Blue eyes under Spring influence (one of the 5 possible Seasons) are seldom blue. They’re turquoise, aqua, or cornflower (light blue with very little green, the cornflower being one of the few truly blue flowers, but to me, appears a little violet). It’s a beautiful thing when you find it.
Not just me but a lot of brown-eyed people can’t wear brown.
Quite right, many brown eyed people are Winters of some sort and have very little brown in their palette. And when they’re draped, darned if much of the brown in the eyes suddenly turns black and then they’re wearing their real eye colour at last.
Hair and eye colours as they appear are often not in the True Winter, Bright Winter, and Bright Spring palettes. I think the way it works is that the contributing base pigments are there but the mix isn’t.
You could say to me, “OK then, if I could take colours from my palette and mix them, are you saying that I could theoretically make my hair and eye colour from the swatches? ”
I think so but the truth is that I don’t know for sure if any and every mixture would still guarantee that the hue/value/chroma remain constant. If you mixed complements, you would mute the colour if either of the originals contained the complement of the other. You’d mute the resulting colour into a more muted Season.
To make clear green (say, Winter), you need a blue and a yellow without red, I would think. Could it be done? Winter colours contain red, but are there a blue and a yellow without red? I’m not enough of a colour mixer to know.
Thinking out loud now…To make clear orange (Spring), you’d need a red and a yellow that contain no blue. That seems possible, Spring colours are not blue-based, though some contain blue.
Clear violet – needs a blue that leans red and a red with some blue in it, neither of which contain the complement of violet, yellow. That could make a brilliantly clear violet, even a violent violet, if it’s necessary – sure it is, for Winters. How is that done for Spring where yellow appears in every colour? Haven’t figured that out yet.
Can I make amber or warm brown eyes with a True Winter palette? I think so. True Winter contains yellow, very saturated, a little blue without turning it green. It also contains the other primaries of red and blue. Three primaries make brown.
True Winter and the Bright Tones are intricate and unique types of colouring. Not inconsistent, just complex. Which is why I suggest they think twice before colouring their hair. I have never seen it be improved enough to balance the cost, time, and upkeep.
I can match clothes to the rim around my iris (which is sort of a dark periwinkle) and it is quite flattering but if I wear clothes that are the same brown as my irises I look washed out.
So it’s not the right brown that you’re wearing, it’s just the one you think you see as the amalgamation of all the many colours in your iris. Good call to notice that the rim of the iris is different and if you can match it, a superlative colour on every person.
How can brown-eyed people can be any Season, but only Autumns can look great wearing brown clothes and makeup?
There are a million versions of brown eyes. Brown eyes can be in any Season, but they won’t all be the same brown. Same with the 12 Tone palettes. Many Tones have brown choices but they’re not the same brown.
Nine in ten women only find out their real eye colour when they are draped. Those brown-eyed people you refer to in your question and the browns that you refer to looking great on Autumns… very unlikely the same brown.
Are cool hair and warm skin possible?
I was snow white blonde as a child, but am now a dark, ashy blonde. It’s a cool colour.
Dark ash blonde could be found on a cool, neutral, or warm person. Apparent hair colour isn’t tightly tied to the true heat level of your colouring, though your overall contributing colours and appearance are always 100% in harmony. Every person. The true heat level of your hair is perfectly consistent with the heat level of your skin and everything else.
We could take your dark, ash brown hair and place it next to five other dark, ashy heads. It would be interesting to see whose is cool, whose warm, and whose is neutral in between cool and warm. I would guess that your hair wouldn’t be the coolest if we compared it on a scale. It might be cool-ish, but that’s not Absolute Cool.
Because you know, Absolute Cool and Absolute Warm, they’re rare in human colouring. Kind of extreme. I haven’t seen a True Autumn or True Winter in ages. I see several Neutral Season versions of Autumn and Winter every month. The thing to wrap your head around is Neutral. What does it mean? What does it look like?
Just playing the odds, you are neither warm nor cool in skin and hair. If you’re like eight or nine people in ten, why wouldn’t you be, you’re a Neutral Season that might lean towards cool.
Whatever you are, cool, warm, or somewhere in between, the setting is the same in all your features. One genetic code governs your paintbox.
But I have medium light skin with golden undertones and no rosiness in the cheeks. All I see is yellow. Wouldn’t that be warm?
Colour analysis, which guides every colour decision you will make, isn’t about what you look like or appear to look like. Your natural colouring group, Tone, Season, is determined in the one way that can truthfully reveal it: how the colours in you react to other colours. Nobody can know their truthful colouring correctly without testing their own skin’s reactions against an organized and measured set of colours in a colour-neutral environment. If your colours react the way you expect them to, you would be that one person in 50 who knew ahead of time what was going to happen. That’s why it’s so hard to do from books and photos and impossible from verbal descriptions.
Your skin probably is light-medium. What colour your undertone is, or even whether it’s warm/cool/neutral, nobody knows till we test and measure it. Why am I so sure? Because nobody who comes to a colour analysis appointment is ever wearing their correct foundation – until we solve that question forever more and show you how to make the best choice.
If my hair is overly golden, my skin looks red. When it’s natural dark ashy color, highlighted with platinum, it looks tanned and alive. Just natural it is bland. Dark red wasn’t good. But when I went a more natural dark blonde with subtle red tones, I got many compliments. Dark golden blonde, more of a caramel, washes me out, as does all over light blonde with no contrasting darker pieces. Can someone have a seemingly warm complexion with cooler toned ash hair?
Actually it’s really common. Usual, in fact. Though there’s lots of good colour observation here, the description could occur in many of the 12 types of colouring. Sounds to me like you have cool-neutral skin with a little warmth, but placed next to wrong hair colour, it will look warmer than it really is. You may have a false yellow overtone, like many cool Neutral Seasons, and be interpreting that as your golden undertones and yellow warmth from the previous question.
Too yellow hair does make faces red, especially True and Soft Summer, I find. But then, there’s a disconnect in your comments. Dark ash with platinum sets up big distance between lightest and darkest, which I find looks right on nobody.
On Summer, their light/dark range isn’t this wide, since it goes from pastel to mid-dark, not icy light to very dark (which is Winter). And so it follows that their best highlight is not that far from the base colour, or else they look striped and severe.
On Winter, they do have this big light/dark range but putting it in the hair is only disruptive, breaking up their force. The randomness looks messy when placed on a colour language that is very far from random. Of course, nothing applies to everybody and you can’t generalize about hair colour across an entire Tone. Some Lights are not flattered by highlights either.
3/4 of women would say their natural hair colour is bland. Not remotely true but media has taught us that it is so they could sell us hair colour. The hair industry, ay? Their biggest problem is that they think they’re fine. Many women would not attest to that – the same ones who bought $40 a bottle of wrong foundation colour. Women love their colourist most of the time. We feel real friendship and loyalty. But regarding our faith that we really are wearing our very best hair colour? Not so sure. Hair is a trend-driven industry – highlights, lowlights, we’ve never tried copper, let’s go lighter. We only have one skin colour. It is illogical that we could be flattered by five hair colours. Become the expert of your own appearance.
Until you are wearing your best clothes and makeup, your natural hair colour will not appear as beautiful and perfect as it is – so I advise women after a PCA to make one trip to the salon to get the heat level set right and come closer to their natural colour. Then leave the hair for a few weeks and work on the clothes and makeup. Your eyes need time to readjust to the real original you and to absorb how your better colours affect your apparent hair colour by making it look perfect and ideal. Then you can really see your hair colour and you can go back to the salon, hopefully only one more time, and finish the fine tuning.
Also, once a woman has had many hair colours, she and those who have seen all those colours can’t make a solid judgment any longer. There’s just too much history swirling around. Someone outside your box needs to touch the reset button. I nominate your friendly neighbourhood colour analyst.
I am at a loss as to what color to dye my hair.
I’m at a loss too till your colours are accurately analyzed. You are like 98% of the real people in the real world who seem conflicting. You’re not. Nobody is. Everyone’s colours make complete sense.
Once we have your Tone understood, every single aspect of your colouring and the colour decisions to follow are consistent and coherent. It’s not even hard. Once we know the truth, each one of us is very logical and connected in our colouring.
But. Even knowing your Tone, I still couldn’t give blanket hair colour advice that would cover every woman equally well. Everyone makes her own darkness adjustment within a Tone. Not everyone is necessarily improved by departure from her natural hair as it grows out of her head. And for nobody is this more true than the Bright Seasons.
Art and Science
Not being able to explain a thing doesn’t make it not true.
C. said it so beautifully here,
…the science of light, the discovery that it is both particle and wave and how it behaves erratically when observed. So nature is evasive and we can not reduce everything in the world around us to neat mathematical equations
….artists working in isolation through history have been representing through symbol what scientists have been discovering in the lab at the same(ish) time and not even known it. Think of the cubists and surrealists relating back to Einstein’s new world of curved space and the theory of relativity, or the complex inherent patterns in Jackson Pollocks’ work reflecting a new understanding of the complex, previously overlooked patterns in nature.
It seems artists, at least revolutionary ones, had/have a deep unconscious understanding of the stuff of the universe and represent it through symbol before we have the words or the science to explain.
All of these threads…point in the same direction. Colour theory, it seems, is not about finding the best lipstick. It is recognizing we are made of the stuff of the stars and finding our place in the universe.
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.
The previous article was about settling into the mood. We looked at some landscapes to help us get the human face and all the emotions it evokes out of our decision-making. The brains of women especially go into an overdrive when we see faces (which is why advertisers make a point of using a face or at least a set of eyes in ads) that make it very hard to be completely impartial about colours to include or decline from the scene. It looks good, right, and real when the woman, her natural colouring, the colours she’s wearing, her own style, and the style she’s wearing, all point in the same direction.
We also decided on the neutral colours are that will be the spine of a work wardrobe. Spring looks so good in colour that ‘neutral’ was expanded from grey/beige/brown/taupe to include navy and your darker green, which are the suits I’d choose. I’d also add blush and pale peach to the light colour choices.
First thing: You Don’t Have To Be Perfect. (Or: Don’t Let What You Can’t Do (or Find At The Stores) Stop You From What You Can Do). We could have an ID bracelet : iLearn. iAdapt.
The face, the woman
Let’s bring in faces. Who are we dressing?
Taylor Swift Pictures
Her new hairstyle (hippie looks excellent on Spring) and lighter makeup are beautiful. I always saw her as Light Spring but wonder if she might be True. This hair colour is too ash (ash being comparative, like all colour is – her hair isn’t ash brown but it is greyer and dustier than Goldie Hawn’s) and could be more brightly yellow and maybe a bit darker. That and the muting of the dress are causing her to lack bone definition. The face blends into neck. The center of the face is blurry. There’s the feeling that the whole is a bit anemic, of wanting to step in with a brush and add more colour. Then again, maybe it’s all lighting. She’s still so much better than she was.
Taylor wears a simple, young, natural style that suits her and looks like what she represents. All the signals point the same way. That feels secure to look at. We are given every reason to trust that she is who she appears to be. In a business setting, especially in sales and teaching, this matters a lot. People are much more open, both sharing and receiving, if they’re not expecting you to play a wild card.
60 Minutes is the only TV I watch so I see Leslie a lot. I find her very beautiful in her expressions. She conducts an interview with curiosity and interest, not a fact finding mission. One of Spring great assets is their charm. Because Spring can look so young, age bestows a power and confidence that the young may not feel easy to own. Below is how a True Spring looks wearing Light Spring colours: better than many other choices but somehow not enough the balance her. She is more colour than what she’s wearing. Notice the Suzanne Somers- type face proportions. True Spring was assembled to look best when they’re smiling. You see twinkling eyes, dimpled cheeks, beautiful teeth, the natural disposition is just to be happy.
Give her heat, anybody’s heat and it’s better because heat is the TMIT for True Spring. The eye colour is more faded than it needs to be but that’s just a little colour adjustment to bring them up to the level of the hair and lip intensity. I often feel that I’d be happy to know her and be in her presence. Looking at these Spring faces, who wouldn’t?
Ivana – love her lipstick, dress, and necklace. A woman who knows what looks good on her never goes out of style. Perhaps the blush is a little cooler than the lips, bah, she still looks great. True Spring needs a lot of cosmetic colour for their magic to happen. Nobody can outdo them cream skin, lagoon eyes, clear apricot cheeks, and pure coral lip colours, all swirling around. Colours aren’t too blended because they aren’t on the natural face. Ivana’s lips, cheeks, and eyes are distinct (I’d even define her brows more). I’ve said Ivanka, her daughter, may be a True Spring and she has some of her mother’s qualities, but her voice is deep and her manner blunt, more Autumnal. Who knows?
By comparing the neighbour Seasons of Light Spring (the natural colouring made up of True Spring’s base palette, then cooled and hazed by a wash from Summer’s, so 2 True Season parents = Neutral Season) and True Spring (the natural colouring defined by pure, light, warm, yellow-based pigments), you can see the size of the visual heat shift. You can see darkness and saturation shifts as well when you look from one Polyvore to the next.
For the good of the group, Spring, wear more colour than anyone else. It’s a good rule, rather like ‘always be the most sober person in the room’. For the office, keep the number of juicy colours to one big block and one little one, which could be lipstick or earrings, a watch or scarf. Try keeping the very colorful items near you but not on you if you feel too much at first. A colourful jacket or sweater you can drape or carry, a clutch or wallet, a hair accessory on the back of your head, shoes, a laptop case, it all counts if it’s seen in your vicinity. Colour signals confidence, creativity, imagination, sensitivity, and an open-mind. If I’m hiring, those and self-motivation are what I’m looking for because they’re near impossible to teach, learn, or implant.
Use grasshopper green and goldfish orange. All of us, so often, the TMIT of our Season is what we’re busiest suppressing and covering, the thing that makes us most special that we downplay. Being a toned down version of our TMIT makes us usual, average, and hidden. It seems we do it without thinking, and yet it’s the unique features that we love most about others, that define them, not the traits they share with the rest of us. If True Spring does wear mostly neutrals in clothes to work, make every accessory coloured within the limits of the boardroom. While that may look too fanciful on anyone else, on a Spring, it’s a woman who knows what suits her.
All-one-colour looks too quiet. Analogous colours are too gradual. Spring jumps around more, facial expressions changing every few moments. The person looks like a lot of colour and is better balanced when dressed that way. Of course, nobody looks like a lot of colour right out of bed. Most humans look like variations of brown. We don’t sit at the Food Court and see the yellow-based people. If you stood everyone side-by-side, you’d see the yellow ones. Dressed in their best colours instead of the colours of pavement that are favored these days, suddenly everyone looks different and more like themselves.
For the Polyvores below, if you visit the site, you can zoom in and take a better look round.
Be unexpected. A blue that has a trace of violet. A coloured shoe. Wear the coloured skirt or pant and neutral top or vice versa but wear colour. Keep the cut conservative and the size of the vivid block controlled.
Purple is so important on Spring, but like yellow and orange, can make textile or garments look less quality, so make these your most beautiful purchases.
The daisy print is saved because the centers aren’t yellow. The grownup version of kids’ items looks superb – hairbands, patterned tights, beads, all very workable in neutral colours.
Not tortoiseshell, which looks odd to me on everyone but the 3 Autumns. Coloured plastic better.
Avoid fabrics that mute or dull colour. Pick fabrics with a little shine in one element of the outfit. It’s pretty because you shine a little. Also, it adds the sensation of movement just by breathing, which keeps shifting the light play.
If the outfit is neutrals, make the accessories colourful and the makeup glowing, vibrant, alive. Neutral colours don’t belong on True Spring faces and nor do shy lips, which True will turn gray. Just to simulate the natural lip colour for a no-makeup look, it takes a lot of pigment. Neutral colours do belong on Light Spring faces – grey eyeshadows, softer blush, and apricot and beige lips.
Don’t wear darkest with darkest, especially Light Spring. The overall value effect is light for the Lights and medium for the True.
Wear green. It’s excellent for those of us looking at you.
Liven up neutrals by finding them in prints. Coloured buttons are good.
Why all the solid colours in the collections? Because I don’t see prints I like. I was asked to do florals for the 12 Seasons. I’m sorry, it would take years. Wear them if you can find them. Prints are great on Spring.
Consider that neutrals are a bigger challenge for Spring than colour and for True more than Light. Look at navy, your darker turquoise colours as pant, suit, and skirt colours. Widen the meaning of neutral colour. Some analysts consider your red among your neutrals.
Coloured coats, trenches, and jackets look good on you.
Keep the overall look relaxed. The dark suit looks stiff and heavy. Spring isn’t wrapped that tight.
Play to your strengths. What is it that Spring knocks our socks off with that nobody else can do? Yellow-green. It’s uncommon, it looks like the new leaves we wait for each year.
Don’t match too much.
Wear lots of accessories. You know how children can wear a candy necklace, several bracelets, hair clips, and look fabulous. Spring has a lot of that.
Never dull down Spring in any of the 3 colour dimensions. A True Spring who compromises saturation or darkness level looks pale, floury, grey, with doughy bone structure and no angles in the face. True Spring is looking for warmth first, yes, but pure pigments and enough darkness really do matter too.
What about a print with white in it? What should come across is sun. Even a little white can look too crisp and drain you as the Bright Spring drapes did. The two turquoise tops in the upper left of the Polyvore – see how the one to its right has more warmth of a yellow type beaming out of it? The dots one on the left is cooler in the colour, and cooler still and sharper by the white, no primary sense of sunshine, looks more Bright to me.
True Spring goes darker than Light. Experiment with it. If you overshoot, it’s not a big deal. If a Light Spring overshoots, even far from the face, the whole picture is weighed down.
Beige yellow, butterball yellow, not cool yellow. The yolk in those Laura Secord Easter eggs. For zingy days, wear it with purplish blue and pretend you had no idea what purple and yellow do for each other.
I wouldn’t wear red, orange, purple pants to the office but would in a skirt with a cream or beige top. Consider more stuff at the store tomorrow than you did yesterday.
Wearing a busy coloured top? Make the bottom be one of the colours in the top rather than adding yet another colour element.
Mod looks great.
Orange can be a colour that preoccupies the eye, maybe just my eye, but it’s very at home on Spring.
The brown dress – too muted/orange/Autumn? Maybe it’s on the line. Wear it with the Spring orange cardi to pull it over to Spring.
I love blazers. Love them. You won’t wear your red lips to work, favoring nectarine, but wear your red blazer. It looks awesomely strong. Wear it on Casual Friday to stay office-worthy.
Much like True Spring but a lighter colour stamp, since the Season’s TMIT is that colours be light.
Bit more monochromatic than True Spring but still lots of colour. A pink blouse and a turquoise sweater look fine. Since the article is about neutrals, I used those more but go the colour way if you like. We will be very happy looking at you.
The cooler yellows are gorgeous as are the cooler pinks.
Build your wardrobe in the next few months, even buy your Christmas dress now. You’ll be happy in December.
Light Spring Looking Serious has a lot more information about this Season.
We still need to superimpose the Polyvore below on top of those we just looked at. That’s how much the audience has to connect. We are like a 1000 piece puzzle to look at. So amazing when all the pieces fit, so obvious when one doesn’t, somehow our eye goes right to it. Imagine a black dot floating in those collections. You would see nothing else, you’d just stare at it moving around like some kind of hypnosis, like the railroad tracks effect of black mascara.
True Spring on the left, Light Spring on the right.
In 12 Season personal or seasonal colour analysis, True Spring looks
- Yellower and warmer.The pink drop earrings for Light Spring are cooler pink and the metal less yellow. Belt buckles are yellower for True Spring.
- Brighter, which can translate to bolder.
- More pigmented or saturated (compare the green shoes – are they yellower on the Light side? Yes, but you’re always juggling heat/value/saturation at once and these are less saturated).
True Spring’s accessories can also take on more weight. That could be more solid (a heel), sturdy (fabric weight, a buckle), chunky (a belt), big (a stone), or wide (a strap). That bead on a wire effect in jewelry, it looks really excellent on Light Spring. Don’t be too literal or exclusive here, many pieces will work well in both Seasons.
From the book RTYNC pictured in the column to the right:
Colour Equations Light Spring
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 light colour
One neutral colour + two colours
Use of complementary pairs in medium sized blocks or with quieter colours.
Overall light to medium darkness effect
Colour Equations True Spring
One light, medium, or dark neutral colour + two brighter colours of similar area
One large block light to medium-dark neutral colours + one small block medium-dark to dark neutral colour + one brighter or lighter colour
One light, medium, or dark neutral colour + one bright colour + two other colours in small areas
Full use of complementary pairs
Overall light to medium-dark effect
We are dressing to look like we inhabit our natural space, looking like we were meant to look when we stepped into this world. The glow and vitality of perfect health and eternal youth are Spring’s claim to fame.
Eyeshadow is the one cosmetic product that I find can be matched to the Colour Books without smearing it out on paper or on your face. How much eyeshadow can you really apply to your eyelid in one shopping session, let alone truly know if it suits you? Impossible. This is a product worth learning to judge from the pan.
Like every other aspect of choosing your most beautiful colours, recognizing your best eye makeup depends in large part on recognizing everyone else’s too, at least in a general sense.
Tricia Bratley is a (trust me) beautiful (shockingly so and I’m going to prove it in the next post) Bright Winter. She lives on the Wirral Peninsula in the NW U.K. And she loves makeup, all makeup, not just her own Season’s, in which she is most accomplished. Tricia assembled the palettes you see below, took the photos, and so graciously sent them to me to share with you.
This series sets Summer and Winter neutral (as in grays and taupes) eyeshadows, colour eyeshadows, and blushers, adjacent. Within each palette of eyeshadows, you may find options for the three Seasons within each True Season, but Tricia focussed primarily on the True Summer and True Winter when she organized these collections.
These palettes consist of MAC colours. If you have any questions about specific pans, please post them in the Comments and Tricia will come in and answer.
These photos are so good that there is nothing I can add. Enormous thanks to Tricia for her work and her generosity
Never fear, the True warm Seasons are next.
Good question, for our week of questions. #2a: “Can someone, even in the 12 [Seasons], fit in-between a couple of Seasons, (e.g, between True and Bright Winter) or will they absolutely ONLY fit into one category?”
Answer: Only ONE. I have never met anyone who isn’t most perfected by one palette alone. One group of colours has the ability to bring out a never-before-seen version of every person that no other group of colours can do so well. Based on 100 PCAs, that is a truth. (Would other analysts concur?)
#2b: “What does it mean to be on the warm or cool side of my Season?”
During a draping, some people are No Contest better in their Season than any other. There’s no hesitation in making the choice of the best colour. I find this happens often with the True Seasons.
With other people, the call between the best Season and the 2nd runner-up is harder to decide. There might be flattering effects with both, though one will always be better. The person will fit into their Season but edge a little closer to whatever that 2nd runner-up was, cooler or warmer. I see this more often with Neutral Seasons. Why?
Seasons are a continuum of 3 colour qualities (light/dark, cool/warm, soft/clear) that continuously change as they progress along a circular road with 12 cities on it. On that road, every city’s climate is either warmer or cooler than those on either side. For those who bought my book, you’ll see that in The Season Circle diagram. Your colouring, your personal Season marker, can sit right in a city or anywhere along the road between two cities.
The Neutral Seasons are those 8 groups of natural colouring that contain some warmer and some cooler versions of their particular best colours. How much of both can vary. It’s not 50:50 or 75:25 or fixed among the members of any group.
You might have two Light Springs, persons whose colouring is found in the colours of the Spring group that is influenced by a little of what Summer does to colour.
One can be 80% Spring and 20% Summer, so they are warmer and run very close to the next Season on the warm side. They might wear some of that warmer neighbor’s colours successfully.
The other person might be 60% Spring and 40% Summer, so closer to the cool side. They’ll share cool colours better.
Both are most perfect in the Light Spring palette because that’s where the majority of their pigmentation is found. You’ll find people who are 51% of one Season and 49% of the neighbor.
#2c: If I’m close to my warm neighbour Season, can I wear their colours fairly well?
Sometimes yes. If you know you’re on the warm side, when you have to make colour compromises from your perfect Season in a store, opt to trend towards the side your colouring moves towards, that is a trace warmer.
How much warmer? Not a lot. There is a definite heat shift between any 2 neighbour Seasons but if you overstep it, you’ll turn your skin, eyes, and teeth yellow.
I talk a lot about The Most Important Thing (TMIT). It really helps me make good judgment calls. Some people fit into the Lights, Brights, Darks, or Softs, and tend towards the other neighbor in that same group. That means both Seasons share the same TMIT so they can borrow some of those other colours that comply with TMIT. For example:
A Light person does well in light colours, they’re very forgiving. Lightness is TMIT for both Light Summer and Light Spring. So a Light Summer might wear some of the other Light’s (Light Spring) lighter, cooler colours. Even better if she tends on the warmer side of the Light Summer anyhow.
A True Summer’s TMIT is coolness. If she’s fairly dark or contrasting looking, she can wear sometimes wear some of True Winter’s light to medium colours because they’re cool too. Many True Summers will be lost in the saturation of Winter, whether the icy lights or bold darks, but some can pull it off in a small surface area. The coolness shared by the two palettes will help create some unity with the rest of her True Summer clothes.
The draping will tell you how well she’s likely to work this. True Summer and True Winter are quite a ways apart, further in my mind that the Softs, Lights, Brights, and Darks are from each other. I think that’s one reason why Kalisz arranged them not to share or be neighbors (the other reason being “What for? Kalisz made 12 UNIQUE palettes which a shared Season between True Winter and True Summer would revoke. It would be a null Season.) The other attributes of Light, Bright, Dark, and Soft seem more reasonable as neighbours that could share some colours.
Short answer, IMO, the Softs, Lights, Brights, and Darks who are very close to the neighbour of that same type can borrow some colours, the warm ones if you’re on the warm side, the cool ones if you’re on the cool side. Lights will do better borrowing light colours, and Darks, the darker colours. It won’t always work. You need to be way over there, very near the neighbour you hope to borrow from. The last contest with that runner-up Season should have taken some careful observation. Don’t expect to be as beautiful as in your own palette because you’re borrowing from your second best Season. The heat difference alone may create more disharmony with the rest of the appearance than the item is really worth.
To fill out the Dress For Your Landscape: True Summer, we had a request for a Polyvore. You know I can never just show a picture. There has to be words. And then too many words keep happening.
True Summer is particular. There are no scratches or smudges on her glasses. She keeps special cloths and fluids at home and office and purse and car. And watch her clean them or take off her nail polish. Like she’s in her own private hell. If Winter wants control, True Summer wants precision.
She’s helpful and tailored but not excessive, like a flight attendant. At all times, gun to her head, she is well behaved and ready to negotiate. In one word, and I know I’ll take some heat, the word I hold in my head when I search is ladylike. There it is, the word we all love to hate. 50% of readers would swear I just said prissy.
Not prissy, prude, prim, proper, whatever. OK, maybe a little bit proper. Therefore she has personal restraint enough for all for us. Etiquette does make the world a better place and if everyone had more of it, oh, how good that would be. For this woman, a tub of Haagen-Daz really does have 4 servings.
This is a challenging clothing style to find in our Lady Gaga world. Ballet flats are too sweet. This woman isn’t that. She takes life pretty seriously, not as competition but as a force for good. She won’t have the bag in the shape of a frog and probably not a pink or yellow one either.
True Summer is least harmonized by menswear influences. This is a rounded body with many curved lines that glides when it walks. Boxiness, straight lines, rigid designs, they are not nearly as good as swirls. I think this is where the constant searching and feeling of unrest stems from that women have about shopping. The clothing industry has all these gaps it could fill instead of making more of the same. Women know what’s out there isn’t right and can’t quite put their finger on why.
I tried to think in terms of outfits so there are groups within groups here.
Colours are a little muted. White white jeans will positively glisten next to the rest of the colours. They appear aggressive on a part of our body where that can send the wrong message unless that’s what you’re trying to do. Jeans in the very colour and texture of chalk would be perfect. No heat, no shine. Part of what holds the whole picture together is that little bit of greyness that hovers over it. No greyness and the item won’t fit under the umbrella so it sticks out there, getting wet, which looks neither strong or attractive. Pretend you can’t see the orange purse.
Some darkness is necessary. This person is usually quite medium in darkness, but some seem quite dark. The odd one has white blond hair, quite an effect next to the navy blue eyes, but there the eyes hold the dark.
Green is underdone because it’s hard to find. There are several. The prototype is clover, blued and a very smidgen dusted. Still a lot of colour. You know that background feeling of a grey fluff round the outer edges of a clover leaf? That’s very much the essence of True Summer, that gentle blurring of the overall effect. The moon is like that, a very effective grey- white glow on this Season.
I won’t say too much. Ask if you wonder what I was thinking.
Imagine leaving the house at 6 am and walking along a street where you live on a freezing cold morning. What kind of things might you notice?
1. Tightness. Your skin, the ground beneath your feet, your emotional range, and every texture around you is compacted. As that happens, things becomes smoother, shinier, stiffer, harder. Fabric is smooth, not rough. It can go from uniformly smooth for True Winter to so slick it looks wet for Bright Winter, like patent leather, shimmer, a wet seal. Dark Winter was crocodile (textured danger) and its best black was matte. True Winter is shark (monotone danger) and its best black, its best everything, is featureless, constant, and even. Seals are the least dangerous, the most cute, and the most quirky. Makes sense, Spring is on its way.
In 12 Tone seasonal colour analysis, True Winter represents the natural colouring of people whose inborn pigments are
- maximally cool, without the slightest heat from yellow, gold, orange, beige
- quite dark to black
- icy light to white
- highly saturated pure colour, not foggy or dusty, not even a speck
The colours that pre-exist in Bright Winter‘s skin are similar to True Winter and influenced by the mixing in of a small amount of Spring’s yellower, lighter pigments. They are
- not max cool; the earliest sunbeams of weak pale yellow shine on them, so it’s a Neutral Season, with a warm and a cool version of most colours
- quite dark to black, but that sun lightens them a bit
- icy light to white
- highEST saturated pure colour, powerfully pure pigment
2. Darkness. When you started your walk, light was absent. For the most part, you couldn’t see colour at all so the shape of things became really important, like the shack on the frozen lake. This is True Winter. Form matters. This person looks good in solid blocks of single powerful colour set off by neutrals, especially black and white.
To see a colour, it had to be brilliantly strong. Often, it appeared alone, like the last leaf on a tree, the single red berry on the shrub, the blue deck chair left out after the snow fell. Use one colour whose importance is amplified by its aloneness and empty surrounding. This colour doesn’t go ping, it’s not a series of taps, it’s one solid punch to the gut. The wind is knocked out of you. You’re pushed back hard, you have to react strongly, the colour’s violence gives you no other choice.
3. The night is the constant in a world that keeps changing. Regardless of species or century, we are forced to pause and submit to life’s right to balance light by letting darkness pour through and around it. Like state and ceremony, True Winter is timeless which is why trend looks so odd on True Winter, even the young ones. These are old soul types, for whom mermaid hair, beach hair, and mapped hair were not intended because they are defined by a specific moment in time. True Winter doesn’t heed time or any other man-made thing. Mind, the shape of the haircut is very important.
4. Dark colours recede. They seem out of reach. You behold but you don’t come close, like the Ave Maria. True Winter is the single star, glory only known from afar. Like Cher, she was probably a grownup even as a kid. I could never see Elizabeth Taylor as a Bright, one, because I could never see any heat, but secondly because she was so classic, so untouchable, old world glamour, not at all cute.
Bright Winter is the star shower, or maybe the shooting star, still Winter’s oblivious indifference, still unto itself alone, but a friendlier feeling. More approachable, maybe it cares about you just a little. The carefreedom of sprinkles is still far, far away in the Spring group, but there’s a distinct lightness of being coming in. Let sweetness creep into clothing but with a lot of control. That’s what Winter likes best, even over power.
Mod can be more of a Peace&Love Spring esthetic, but Winter can fake it really well if their character takes them there because colourblocking looks so good. It reminds of the glamour of old James Bond movie stars. Bright Winter can be incredibly cool, the white tuxedo jacket, the black pant with the sequin stripe down the seam, the choker with the red rose pinned to it. These are people who hold a lot of red and a little of Spring’s magic and movement. Below, the BW undertone (as I see it) and why the palest golden gloss in lipstick looks so good.
5. The sun is rising as you make your way home. Your lashes are still frozen together and every attribute of coldness still applies but you feel less guarded, more expectant. Stop reading and think about what the faintest sunrise feels like compared to the complete darkness of night. Have you ever watched the sun come over the horizon or anticipated seeing it as the horizon began to lighten? Every living thing turns towards that light and feels the surge of hope down to their bones. Energy skyrockets to fuel the day. The colours around you take on that faint yellowness. The styles you wear express that optimism. This is Bright Winter.
6. With more light, you see more detail. Much of this world is based on frozen water and we become aware of the delicacy of ice. Frost looks like lace. The sun glinting off the snow blanket looks like glitter on fabric. Bright Winter is that, but the hardness is still here because we feel that words like shatter are appropriate.
True Winter’s ice is a solid block, very little detail. No taste, no smell, no motion, forbidding, uncomfortable, uncompromising. Minimally interactive, unforgiving, it just is, always has been, always will be.
5. You don’t go to the gala every day, or at least I don’t. But both these groups should dress like they might be. Adding a shot of luxe only looks better. It’s hard to find this apparel on a budget, hard to find stuff you can throw into the washing machine, hard to find non-slouchy clothes in these powerful colours. So much is made to blend with the crowd, using textiles that don’t hold a dye. And then to find a shoe with some reason for being besides shredding sheets, explaining the delay for this post.
The Bright Spring and True Winter are the only Seasons where I will agree that shopping is a challenge, both makeup and clothes, unless you have significant disposable income and time, or you go to the opera every day of your life, or are willing to wear horizontal stripes till friends ask you to stop. What they have to suffer through to come up with one outfit… no wonder they all wear black or revert to Summer and Autumn. Dark and saturated clothes are made so flamboyant, like the designer couldn’t get stopped with the details and the stuff, the ruching on every seam, the bells and whistles, like life is a Christmas party, glitter required. This obsession interrupts True Winter’s unbroken, inviolate quiet.
6. Learn your purples and wear them. The Winter Season is based on red and darkened with a lot of blue, a lot. The result is a huge purple group. True is bluer because it’s darker, so more royal purple, blue purple, red purple, pink purple, and cold fuchsia. BW is a lighter Season with there’s less blue to darken it, so less blue purples, but much more red, red purple, and pink purple, sugarplums and candy canes. True Winter left, Bright Winter right.
7. Tailoring. Cozy on Autumn looks like schlumpy on Winter. It’s fitted and it’s perfect, period. Winter doesn’t compromise. This is for whom all those black, tuxedo, and dark pinstripe suits were made. The transformation of Anne Hathaway’s character in the movie The Devil Wears Prada is perfect illustration of True Winter’s potential and how I see that woman at her absolute best. This trailer shows the before. She’s everywoman. She is wearing jewelry, lipstick, clothing, but she might as well not be. The woman at the end is a unique entity who has heard the beat of her own drum.
Always with the high contrast, the shirt is white or icy. One can never overdo contrast on Winters. Big, big, big distance between the lightness of the light block and the darkness of the dark block. Not every colour is at the dark or light extreme, of course. That’s not the most important thing. For True Winter, the crucial thing is to not see one degree of heat.
8. The superlative True Winter look remains black and white in a quiet, symmetric layout. Add one colour and consider that the lipstick is enough. Know when to stop.
9. More makes these two Seasons the same than makes them different. All Winter is very formal, but True the most. Leave raw edges to Autumn who does that better. There is no boppy feeling, no schoolboy/girl effects, no Peter Pan stuff, goodness mercy, Wonderland is Spring’s eternal youth playground. True Winter is very grownup, no tiny pockets sewn here and there, no cutesy stuff, these bodies don’t move that way, nothing loose and falling off. What would the Ruler Of The Kingdom would show up for work in, even with the ruby silk-lined cape? Do I even dare say the word Dracula?
10. True Winter faces don’t move much when they talk, no big eyes and big expressions. Jewelry and hair should be that way too. Keep your hair still, or at least don’t touch it all the time. It may look graceful and ladylike but that’s not your deal. It detracts from your power. True Winter is unspoiled, almost sacrosanct. Surfaces on the jewelry are smoother, though the facet of a precious stone isn’t out of place, like the face of the iceberg. The scale is unbelievably big. Much of the jewelry could go to both Seasons, but for True, I looked for glacial coldness and hardness first. Or do I have it backwards? Is this fire so hot it burns white? True Winter left, Bright Winter right.
11. Hold on to the most important thing for your colouring to look its best. Bright Winter’s is purity of colour, colour taken its most extreme possible level, blinding colour. The blues are bluer than even True Winter’s. Pure white pants are too blingy for anyone but the Bright Winter, and every other item should be dark.
12. Bright Winter also has Spring’s youth and irregularity. Patterns are more random, colour shots are added more spontaneously, though in small areas because Winter’s muscle is still strong. One line of purple eyeliner is plenty.
Spring is younger than Winter. Where Winter was never a child, Spring is always a child, the magnificent paradox of the Bright Winter. Youth brings in the modern. True Winter is classic glamour, Bright is modern glamour and textile but still formal and way more serious than frolic. Bright Winter’s jewelry is not crystalline or bead, it’s still sharp enough to hurt you, we draw points on stars for a reason. That bejeweled snake only looks pretty.
13. Spring brings in more fun. The dazzle, the glitz, the ruffle. True Winter is the crowning ceremony, Bright is the party after. Bows and bells can work and should be all-out fabulous, not prim, sweet, small, fussy, or anything else Winter isn’t. The Stars and Stripes is the magnitude we’re after.
14. If Dark Winter is the Russian empress, then Bright is the Manchurian empress. Asian effects look good on many, especially with those with that eye shape and colour. Chinese Dragon colours.
Those with transparent bottle green and turquoise eyes will work other effects. In a discussion on facebook about how Winter faces look good when all the features are very distinct on the face to respect the enhancing power of contrast on this colouring, we thought that bold lips with lighter eyes is another way to introduce that contrast. Bold lips could mean dark, to work the light-dark contrast. It could also just mean vivid and bright, the Bright Seasons being the natural home of the colour pop.
Note that we visit here because we all agree that it is more beautiful and more relaxed for everybody if your work with yourself rather than against. If you have pale brows, be grateful for the gentleness and flexibility this gives your overall look. If you feel crazy in scarlet lips, get to know Dior Addict or the many other sheerer lines of lip colour. Karla Sugar comes through with one of the most accurate photographic representations of Addict lipsticks, or any makeup, that I know, here. You might try Perfecto and Fashion for True, New Look and Rose Shocking for Bright. Wish there were more violet purples, please do share any with us that you love.t
For those new here and hoping for more on seasonal cosmetic colours, you may be interested in the recent post How Winters Intensify Eye Colour.
15. Mechanical stuff looks good on all Winters, silver better. Zippers, snaps, jewelry. Really, nobody does this as well. It’s too hard and cold for the Lights, Softs, Warms. Consider that the Darks and Trues wear orderly items better, like zippers. Bright has more hip, more flash, they’ll wear aviator glasses, heavy silver wire, grey to black lenses, an extra wire across the bridge for weight, and a black bar.
16. Last words : all black outfits = shooting blanks.
I warmly thank Maytee Garza of Reveal Style Consultancy in New Jersey for performing the PCAs for both of the women you will meet in these articles. Maytee’s work upholds the highest standard of colour accuracy, from which we all benefit. Also a thank you to both Emmas for permission to use the photos.
The picture of another person won’t help you find your Season. The variability in human colouring is too wide and the common key, hidden. But pictures are wonderful to help you visualize the Season’s special radiance and right colour’s ability to transport a face to a new, other place.
After two years of waiting to see this Season, my last two clients were True Springs. One was a 12 year old girl, choosing her colours nearly perfectly with the well-tuned colour pitch that children have, the second a 50 year old woman of Icelandic descent. Though I still learn from every PCA, True Spring skin was quite special.
Here is our first Emma. (Her eye close-up is the True Spring eye 3 in the Our Eye Album: Spring article.)
The first drapes we compare, of the 10 to 20 sets we will go through, are a set of 4, representing each of the True Seasons. I spend a fair time at the beginning of a client’s session deciding which True Season(s) I’m looking at, and which I can forget about. I’m also teaching our eyes what this particular face does in the presence of wrong colour, because they’re all different.
Usually, True Season skin is different from the outset, in that only one True Season drape of the four seems to flatter, instead of two, or maybe three, with the Neutral Seasons. The skin tone’s perfection demands absolute colour heat or coolness and it does not compromise, even at the earliest stage of the draping.
Describing my Icelandic lady’s draping: Weirdly, both Spring and Autumn seemed ok. I even had trouble deciding between them, which happens very rarely. Spring’s drape made the skin brighter and more evenly coloured for sure, nearer to the face that’s already wearing perfect foundation and concealer, the result we’re striving towards. The difference just wasn’t as obvious as it usually is. On all the Spring blends of my previous experience, Autumn’s drape was very wrong. Not so here.
Spring was better, but why the difficulty deciding that? Because I’d forgotten the What’s Most Important rule. For True Spring and True Autumn, heat is most important in colour. Saturation, not so much. Lightness/darkness, a little more, a little less, fairly forgiving. When heat in colour is at the max, good things happen, whichever kind of heat it is. By that, I mean that Spring and Autumn have very different heat. Hold in your mind a buttercup (Spring) and a rusty nail (Autumn). Very different look, feel, aura, everything. Spring’s yellow, Autumn’s gold (darker, richer, greyer) both seemed far better than the pure cool choices.
True Winter and True Summer, I was very sure about…hopeless, ghostly, tired. Like Bright Spring, True Spring looks a bit dead in True Summer pastels. It’s dramatic. Why? Because now two colour dimensions are off. True Summer is max cool and pretty muted. True Spring is max warm and pretty clear. Many Springs are wearing Summer colours because they feel safer and buying pure colour is not easy to do, especially pure and light and yellow colour. In Summer colour, they age themselves tremendously.
Once the drape colours became more specific, it was easy to choose between Spring and Autumn. For me, the next revelation came when I realized that this was the first time I was seeing a person not becoming yellow in True Spring’s drapes. You can see that Emma doesn’t look yellow, and believe me, in True Spring’s test drapes, everyone else does. I’d seen the easing of lines and luminous eye that a Spring blend will have, but I had to ignore the yellowing of the skin, teeth, and white of eye. In True Spring drapes, the skin colour is suffused with vitality and life, while it is bland and pale in the Spring Neutral Season drapes. In right colour, especially the bright clear orange-red, you can watch a bloom rush up into the cheeks and the shadows go away.
This skin takes a lot of colour, and noticeably yellow colour, to come fully alive. Cosmetic colour cannot be wishy-washy, not dusty (looks dead), not earthy (looks like a rug), and not creamy (cream-of-wheat face). This colouring is strong. It will fade Light Spring’s beige-pink lipsticks to make them paler, even greyish (because remember, Light Spring’s colours are a touch greyish from their Summer bit).
The misty sunbeams of Light Spring are not here. This is tropical colour. The lagoon, the Bird of Paradise, fruit punch, Kool-Aid colours, full on yellowed heat. True Spring’s pure, golded, ripe, fresh colour will be hard to come by in the earthy, flesh-toned world of the cosmetics counter. Not impossible, but it will take an empowered woman with a mind released from marketing chatter to make these choices. And like everything in life, it will take a few overshoots and undershoots to perfect. Nobody got anything right the first time. Your best makeup and hair colour are on the other side of your mistakes, not on this side.
We’re putting makeup on Cameron Diaz and Robert Redford here. Could be Amanda Seyfried and Wayne Gretzky, they’re pretty yellow, but not as yellow. They’re probably Light Springs. As you see from the photos, not every True Spring looks obviously yellow. The majority don’t. But the colours that work on Ms. Diaz have a good chance of looking glorious on all True Springs.
PCA is not about what you look like, it’s about how your skin reacts to colour, right? Ms. Diaz is the stereotype for the Season, our prototype to try and transfer data from. None of us can really picture anything on ourselves. It works better to visualize on someone whose skin acts like ours, someone in our Season. If you’re not sure about a colour, think of who you’d put it on – Diaz or Lindsay Lohan.
Most of the time, a Season’s makeup colour will be believable and attractive on every face of that natural colouring because the colours are chosen to be the same as those already in the face. That’s the whole point of 12 Season personal colour analysis. These are the colours that could have just happened by themselves. Every woman makes her darkness adjustment depending on intensity of hair and eye colour, rest of the makeup, comfort level, age, occasion, and complexion, but the colours always come from that Season’s palette.
- MAC Duck and Uniform (a green)
- Clinique Roast Coffee (darker) and Brown Sugar
- ELauder Bronze
- Grey is brilliant in makeup but can be hard to understand and to find the one you want. If we ignore the dark, sharp, and blue greys and look for medium colours (since sunny grey will take some searching), ELauder Graphite may be good. Many eyebrow pencils are greyed and Lancome Sable is a nice, soft one.
- True Spring can carry a lot of colour without looking parrotty, and navy eyeliner may work well. Clinique Navy is great, a bright, true navy. No dark colour should ever be so dark that it appears to hold black. Light is supposed to come out of the Spring palettes, not be absorbed into it. The more saturated, darker Deep Cobalt is for Bright Spring.
- looking mostly for yellows, peaches, the colours of Rice Krispies and parchment. Colours for Charlize Theron, not JLopez. Not red or orange browns, but yellow and peachy, all the way to dark peach.
- ELauder Sandbar Beige, Riviera Rose, Wild Sable, and Cafe Au Lait, Ivory Lace, and Buttercream Double Wear. The Stay Bronze pot could be a good liner, but this stuff dries almost instantly and doesn’t move without more eyelid pulling than I want.
- MAC Cork.
- EArden Vanilla, Teak, and Wheat.
- Lancome Positive and Chic.
- Grey? nothing I loved. Grey is inherently cool, and I see it as liner better than shadow. MAC Omega was decent but I don’t think I’d buy it.
- clear, candy, lollipop, warmer than Barbie pink. No greyness (smear it on paper towel and wait 30 min. to check). Gladiola, not sweet potato.
- Shiseido RD 103, PK 304 (very nice).
- MAC Fleur Power.
- Lancome Rose Mystique is a lovely red in lisptick and gloss, may go on too blue for some. Revlon Love That Pink is good too.
- Lancome Jeweled Pink.
- Maybelline Color Sensational Hi Shine Coral Luster.
- L’Oreal Always Apricot and Charismatic Coral.
- Tarte Lipsheer Thursday
- Merle Norman Popsicle, Persimmon, SunKissed
- MAC Crosswires and Sheen Supreme Made To Order; See Sheer is a possible, similar but toned down from the discontinued Viva Glam Cyndi (and from the opinions of True Springs, too muted and brown – try MAC Ravishing instead)
- Clinique Rose Toffee (sheer), Ambrosia (more golden orange), Sugared Grapefruit (light)
- medium to dark brown.
Important Heads Up
I haven’t applied the makeup above to any True Spring faces. I just went shopping with the swatch book. Don’t buy anything without trying it.
If you want colours from an artist who has test-driven the colours, be aware of Darin Wright’s fantastic products, custom-coloured for all twelve Seasons at eleablake.com. For tough to find Seasons like True Spring, this is one-stop successful makeup. The eyeshadows for True Spring look shockingly beautiful from the website.
In Part 2, the hair, the person, the look, and and our second Emma.
Use of Images
The images contained in this article are of private individuals, not celebrities. I consider the permission for me to use them as a privilege. It is my intention to protect these women’s privacy and generosity. If you use any of the photos without permission, I will seek legal counsel. I do not want to have to reduce the beauty and detail of the photographs with watermarks.
This is a learning site. Please do use my words with credit back to the web page you copied and pasted them from. If you mix up my meaning and get the message wrong, feel free to omit any reference back to me.
First thing I ask myself when I’m trying to put a grey into a personal colour analysis Season is: “Does it contain any colour other than B&W?”
If I can only see black and white, it’s Winter. Winter’s greys can be the lightest light, colours known as icy, or the darkest near-blacks. If your eye doesn’t pick up anything other than some rendition of black, this is a Winter colour.
Grey is a most underused colour and the most important neutral colour. Grey can be your lights, mediums, darks, and neutrals. It is more imaginative than black, what isn’t, and makes an outfit look much more interesting. It’s elegant and sophisticated and far more slimming on most people. Grey is also wildly underused in eye makeup and suits more types of skin than brown. The drawbacks may be that there are so many versions, but there’s only one good ol’ black. The worst thing about black is that it’s so easy.
Grey can take on a suggestion of the colours around it, so it looks purplish as eyeshadow if lipstick or clothing is red or violet. For this reason, getting too particular about placing greys to a specific Season within the 12 is not something to worry about. As long as you can place it among the 4 True Seasons, it will adapt nicely with the rest of the outfit. The Neutral Seasons stick quite close to the parent True Season’s greys.
Winter’s greys are usually pretty easy. The might-as-well-be-wearing-nothing effect that does Winter no favors happens when the grey (or any color) is gentled. You know that generic soft heathered grey used in men’s T-shirts? A Winter will dominate that colour entirely, and the shirt will have no character at all, like a big blank space. It looks like underwear or pyjama wear. Along with being made of B&W, there should be a definite sense of sharpness, like a knife edge, or darkness, like a charcoal. Winter’s taupe, at the bottom of the graphic above, has that Winter redness that comes out of it, giving it a sharpness, making it unlikely to strike you as soft.
Summer’s grey is easy to pick out. There will be a wash of blue, pink, or mauve. Even the taupes, which go from grayer oyster to Portobello mushroom are pinkish.
If it’s brown or green, it’s Autumn’s grey. Autumn has more colour in their greys and taupes. The greys are more obviously greened, like camo, or oranged, which makes them look heavy, like a velvet couch. They may also seem browned (because brown is just dark orange), or greened in the various shades of dry tobacco. The taupes look more brown.
In a Spring grey, you can see sunshine yellow coming out of it. Grey is inherently cool and Spring is not. Grey is quieter while Spring sings of colour. Therefore, Spring has few real greys and many more browns, peachy ones and greenish ones. Their greys are yellowish, which I could never pick up unless I held up several grey items in the store together. The greys are actually so yellow, they can seem a little green. Spring is often that way, like dandelion yellow is almost green, like the unripe banana is greenish-yellow, like the hair of some True Spring children is so yellow, it can seem greenish in pictures.
Does darkness or lightness guide the grey to a Season? Doesn’t help. Every Season has several levels of light/darkness in most colours, including grey.