How to Choose Eyeshadow for Your Eye Colour

In this post, I explain 3 ways to use your 12 Season colour palette to choose colours in eyeshadow that enhance eye colour and flatter skin tone at the same time.

In the video, I talk about why using complementary colours to intensify eye colour works best they come from your Season palette, a formula that’s pre-configured to work for all your colour choices.

Thank you to C. who sent in a great question and got me thinking about this topic:

I have blue-gray eyes and wearing the blue colors in my fan really makes my iris color pop… I wear the Ego eye shadow from your store with my beautiful blues.

However, I’ve been studying makeup theory and application this past week and all the advice out there says to use orange and terra cotta eye shadow to make the blue color of my iris stand out. Problem is — those colors aren’t in my fan and they certainly are too warm to go with my underlying skin tone, regardless of what they’re doing to my eyes.

The names Ego and After Dark are linked to their pages in the 12 Blueprints Store, or may be found in the store’s in the Soft Summer and True Autumn collections, respectively.

In her last sentence, C. brilliantly answered her own question. Taking one feature out of context of the whole is not the way to harmonious (everything looks great together) beauty.

We are not floating eyes, any more than a garden is floating flowers. Eyes need a framework to be effective and part of a whole picture. We want the canvas of the face to meet and the bone structure to support the eyes. Therefore, skin matters as much as eyes.

The video is also here on YouTube.

3 ways to enhance eye colour:

1. Repeat the natural colours. Ego does a beautiful job of this for the blue-greens in Soft Summer eyes. The palette knows our real colours better than we know them ourselves. Do this if the colour makes sense. Winter eyes can contain a lot of strong yellow, not an easy choice for the skin as a cosmetic, but superb as an element in a print.

2. Warm to cool contrast in your Season. This works especially well for Neutral Seasons to take advantage of the warm to cool ranges in these types of colouring. One example is once again Soft Summer’s Ego for Soft Summers with more warmth in the eye colours. Ego’s coolness results in eyes that seem even richer and warmer, an amazing contrast with cool skin and clothing, an impression that is surprising, original, and still perfectly put together.

A second example is in Bright Winter with visible yellow in their dark brown eyes. Warm or yellow-brown eyeliner would be a less-than-best choice. Purple-brown, OTOH, is fabulous, enhancing the skin and making the eyes glow. Quite fabulous next to cool skin or hair colour.

3. Complementary colours. Go to this complementary colour generator. Choose a colour in the top row to the right of the wheel, and in the second row next to Choose a Harmony, click Complementary. Play with it a bit. Watch the colour blocks beneath the wheel and then watch the strip along the left edge of it as they change real time.

Choose a colour on the wheel that seems close to your eye colour. Don’t worry about being too exact, we are all unlikely to guesstimate with perfect accuracy.

You might also try sampling the eye colours from a photograph, as I did for the first three in the chart below. We each have many eye colours and use clothing and cosmetics to enhance all of them.

Using The Complimentary Colour Chart

1.  True Spring with light yellow green eyes.

Could this beauty of a purple be a reminder of why Springs look so phenomenal when they wear colour?

Perhaps unlikely to be worn as cosmetics, but spectacular in an ensemble. Choose the colour in your Season palette that is closest and head to the stores for a scarf, earrings, or anywhere else you can find it.

2. True Summer with gray-green eyes.

And could this explain why wardrobe neutrals look so great on Summers? This colour could serve as eyeshadow any day.

3. True Autumn with rust in the eyes.

Well, would you look at that? The complementary green is close to the colour of the After Dark eyeshadow accent.

4. True Winter and a green.

For this one, I used an approximate of the green drapes that energize the eyes and entire appearance, instead of sampling from a photograph.

Voila, complement. Not an eyeshadow for most of us, but in blush or lipstick? Exciting eyes and exciting mouth.

Learn your colours

Stop searching for “Who am I?” and move on to “What are the magic tricks I already have?”

I promise you, they are amazing. Your Season palette has worked out all the secrets.

 

 

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I hope you enjoy reading Return to Your Natural Colours!

 

 

How to Look Expensive Part 3

The links

Added above instead of below, which I say in the video.

How to Look Expensive Part 1 is here.

How to Look Expensive Part 2 at Calla Studio is here.

Louise Penny is here, the book I refer to is The Murder Stone.

“Better than the You you were  yesterday.”,  by Coach Kozak at HasFit.  Me, Coach, and Claudia, every dang day. They’ve made me better at life (another Coach-ism) and I support them.

Ted Chiang

The quote I mention, thank you to Naomi of Eastman Colour Consulting in Vancouver for sharing it with me.

Think of cocaine. In its natural form, as coca leaves, it’s appealing, but not to an extent that it usually becomes a problem. But refine it, purify it, and you get a compound that hits your pleasure receptors with an unnatural intensity. That’s when it becomes addictive. Beauty has undergone a similar process, thanks to advertisers. Evolution gave us a circuit that responds to good looks—call it the pleasure receptor for our visual cortex—and in our natural environment, it was useful to have.
But take a person with one-in-a-million skin and bone structure, add professional makeup and retouching, and you’re no longer looking at beauty in its natural form. You’ve got pharmaceutical-grade beauty, the cocaine of good looks. Biologists call this “supernormal stimulus”; show a mother bird a giant plastic egg, and she’ll incubate it instead of her own real eggs. Madison Avenue has saturated our environment with this kind of stimuli, this visual drug. Our beauty receptors receive more stimulation than they were evolved to handle; we’re seeing more beauty in one day than our ancestors did in a lifetime. And the result is that beauty is slowly ruining our lives.

– Ted Chiang,  Stories of Your Life and Others

It’s personal now

Feeling good in the colours we wear has to be personal.

When there’s no point of focus, we dance around our ‘look’ and can’t get it nailed down.

A little scary to look back on some of those purchases.

Where is the advice that’s for us, about us?

Where’s the script that we could read, that role we’d be cast in, where we don’t have to learn the lines over&over that keep changing?

So we follow generic advice.

It’s like being spammed by sales pages that we want to ignore but buy anyway.

Everybody’s doing it, it must be the answer.

We want to turn away, but towards what?

Towards ourselves, that’s what.

We want to look original because we are original. We want to look like us in away that we can recognize, still within that consensual reality that we all inhabit.

Everything comes back to how colour relates to you. If it doesn’t, cut it loose and don’t look back.

Colour analysis gives you that answer. And a door opens, and it’s peaceful and strong on the other side.

The video is also here at YouTube.

 

 

  1. Have believable hair colour.

Hair colour can look phenomenal if it’s done right.

The range of colours we wear well is fairly narrow, and by wear well, I mean fine to fantastic.

Lipstick isn’t red because of haemoglobin. Only human (and animal) lips are. Hair dye isn’t brown because of melanin. Only human (and animal) hair is. They form relationships with us, which may enhance, dominate, define, conflict or do a whole range of things on a different scale than human pigments would.

Hair colour is also right next to the face, always in the viewer’s awareness and reacting as strongly with skin as makeup does, or more if the area is larger.

Choose hair colour the way you choose attire or jewelry. How does the colour look with your whole palette, not just the most similar swatch or dot?

2. Forget about how clothes look with each other. Think about how they look with you. If the viewer has to step waaaay up or waaaay down to get from you to your lipstick, hair, or clothing, no adjustment can look like money.

If the viewer can’t tell where the clothes end and the person begins, what can you do? Wear a pile of makeup. Women sense that they’re disappearing, which is when odd stuff is added to show up again. There’s a better way.

Wear what you are. Narrow the gap between you and your clothing.

Not saying, look like your clothes, blend into your clothes, disappear into your clothes, and other variations on the theme.

Saying, look more like yourself, more You, with energy under your face that is still a continuation of you (not more than you), better together.

There I was, for decades, matching clothes with clothes, never dawning on me to factor me into the equation. With PCA, I knew how. With my palette, I could see myself in front of me. Imagine if you could put your head on the counter to do your hair. Makes life easier.

If you’re not sure about your own colours, try making combinations with your attire and hair colour. Would you put the two together in a print? No point looking at your eyes, they’re too complex to use as a guide. A garment colour can be out in left field; eyes may improve and the face may lose. Eyes contain a ton of information but it has to be read in context of a face. You need a professional colour analyst to sort that out.

3. Add navy. It’s available and one of the most forgiving colours when we’re not sure of our exact shade. Navy has a voice and looks like tradition, which can be associated with money.

Black can look like empty real estate for a few reasons. Make the rest of the outfit colourful or interesting so the viewer has something to look at.

We worry that colour will look narcissistic or self-involved, and someone might think “she’s more into herself than into me’ but that’s not what happens. No Season is a circus. Don’t let yourself be hijacked by fear and extremes.

4. NVM looking young. Or Rich. Go for modern and present.

A. Modern translates to current, a form of youth. Syn.: with it, keeping up with the times. Managing the present, not the past. Clothing, cosmetics, and hair colour that are 5 years ago, or a 5 years ago version of us, read to the viewer as outdated, old-fashioned, the opposite of youth.

Women want to look current, they see it as a sign of youth (true), which reinforces impressions of health and vitality. This is the right way to look young because it rings true. Money doesn’t need anyone to believe anything.

The idea of silver hair looking old, even that’s 5 years ago in the face of too much current proof that the opposite is true. I hear about women who work with the young and feel they need hair dye, and I think, “This is in your head, not theirs. It may be your ideas that need updating.”

B. Present. And accounted for, in the room, at the table. Visible, solid, grounded, wearing effective makeup, a healthy glow that’s not a yellow cast, and hair colour that’s right for today’s skin. Colour can give you all those (or take them away).

5. Let’s find your lipstick shade. Let’s find you four or five. If they’re discontinued, big deal. You’ll know how find a few more.

After your PCA, you’ll go back into the stores and be amazed at how much you’ve changed. Meanwhile, they stayed the same. Exactly the same.

6. Eyes show up best when we put lips on our face. If we’re Winters, we show up when we put lips on our face.

That doesn’t mean fire engine lips. Your colour analyst has options to show you.

7. Hair as the supporting cast, knowing the balance between definite style and part of identity. Is there a man alive whose hair is doing anything besides being there, especially in business? Eventually, if the hair is too big a player, folks are looking at it, listening to it, and so on.

8. Shoes as the supporting cast with a definite style, that you can walk in as comfortably as the men in the office. What looks pretty in pictures or eye candy seated at a table isn’t so great when the stride is awkward. Movies, ay? Nobody I see can walk in those shoes. Money doesn’t try. It just is.

9. Black, white, and the near colourless neutrals (steel, charcoal, ice).

So much of our taste is anchored in human visual perception and the planet’s calendar.

When colours are bright, distance is harder to gauge so things look flatter: Spring, Winter.

When colours are softer, our eye has a chance to notice light to dark as near to far graduations, so we sense textures and depth: Summer, Autumn.

Winter type neutrals: The least pigmented the neutrals set the stage for the most colourful colours. Wearing Winter neutrals with soft colours shows the viewer a landscape that evolution didn’t set them up to understand. When colours are bright, without a lot of light-dark contrast, our visual system can’t figure out what it’s looking at. Black and soft at the same time stalls our brain, leaves it hanging, like “What???”

Anyone watch Suits? Filmed in Toronto, I just learned. You can tell who looks like $$ and I bet we’d all agree. There was this banker…black jacket and soft pink-brown blouse. Her outfit said, “This isn’t how the world works.” When her outfit spoke for her, as outfits do, it said, “I may be confused about how the world works.”

Summer type neutrals: When colour gets out of the way, more gray appears. Suddenly, small colour steps = meaning! This novel is rich with detail. The viewer’s reaction: “I get you.”

Somewhere in between Winter and Summer where colour and darkness balance out, we get information about how things feel. New perceptions arrive, the texture of Autumn and transparent shine of Spring, the rounded, deeper light of 3D Autumn and flatter, newer light of 2D Spring.

You don’t have to know anything about vision or design. That’s all been done for you. Wear your palette and reap the rewards. People think you look great, their biology rendering them helpless to think anything else

10. Strategic logos or none. Logos are a time and place thing. Colour and design ring true on people with similar colour and design and then the magic happens (or the opposite magic of shiny plastic). Money doesn’t try to look like money and logos do. Money speaks for itself and logos seek status and recognition. Colour analysis explains to you the colours and finishes in metals will look like money with your intrinsic colouring.

11. Wear makeup ‘expensively’. Like it came out of your face by itself and looks real. Easy on the eyelashes and keep them fairly separated. The difference is often in the brush. IT cosmetics makes great mascaras. SuperHero’s brush has wide spaces so lashes clump together more. Hello Lashes has a smaller spaced comb that makes smaller gaps with enough stiffness to comb out, a fabulous product.

12. “I work from home and can’t figure out what to wear.” Yes, you and a million others like us. I think there are ‘comfort clothes’ that have glamour, she said as the stylists cringe. I’m thinking of the city wear that lines like Lululemon make, their trouser cut pants for example . Do you have Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) outside Canada? You’ll have plenty of others. Nothing is for everyone, a lot of it is boxy camping clothes, and compromise is part of life, but some of it has a certain glamour and dresses up fine. For the painfully practical like me, these clothes have interesting colours and maintain shape and colour well. If the doorbell rings or you have to get on Skype, no need to feel panicked. If you don’t see another soul all day, you feel happy that you didn’t think about your clothes and were so productive.

Wardrobe health is like physical health, financial health, or mental health. Yes, all loaded terms. When they’re in good shape, we don’t think about them. They operate behind the scenes, having received the attention that empowers them, so we can get on with our best life.

That’s colour analysis in a nutshell. You can do this. You already are this. We just have to connect you. Give a colour analyst an afternoon.

How to Look Expensive Part 2 at Calla Studio

For Part 2 of this series, you are invited to visit the website of colour and line analyst, Florentina Mossou, of Calla Studio in The Netherlands.

The post is linked here.

I believe that the more ways we have of seeing the same thing, and sharing those experiences with one another, makes the world better.

I enjoyed reading this post, written by a woman who is younger than I, European, and has highly refined eye for body type and its essential role in choosing the most flattering attire.


How to Look Expensive Part 1

Z asks:

Christine, could you please make a video on how to use color to look “expensive”? In some industries (real estate) you need to look successful. In Vancouver, BC, it means expensive before you’re actually successful. What do you do, when you have neither desire nor resources to look like a fashion slave (a highly respectable look here by the way ;-)) BUT still want to project the mandatory image of success?

 

Fashion slave – yes, a recognized look everywhere.

Too often, attention to appearance is considered vanity. As colour analyst Naomi Eastman in Vancouver said, it’s no different from improving a home’s curb appeal before selling it. A more attractive exterior invites people to imagine being part of the image, wanting to belong, and the house sells faster for a higher price tag.

In this series of posts, I will focus on colour’s effect on appearance. Colour analyst Florentina Mossou, owner of Calla Studio in The Netherlands, will join me later to offer ideas relating to body shape and scale, a.k.a. line analysis.

I Googled ‘how to look expensive’. Tailored looks, boxy bags, white this, black that. The most surprising part was how the advice never seems to change, which might mean enduring, but in this case, I think it’s acknowledgment that there is no single way. Mainstream advice applies to a tiny fraction of readers, usually the blogger herself if the advice is specific.

Regarding the white and black, this is a traditional combination worn successfully by persons whose natural colouring comes mostly from Winter. They are called True, Bright, and Dark Winter. If we play the odds, with more Winters in the world, more advice might be delivered to the right ears.

Which kind of Winter? There are 5 and most belong to a group other than True Winter. Those in Japan and the Southern USA not the same. Where I live, there are many Winter Caucasians with wide variation of skin tone. Indian,  Arabic, which usually differs from Egyptian,  Indigenous North American, and many others. Winter appears in some part of their colour make-up but the proportions vary. For many, black and white may be a detracting choice with a better alternative.

We also have many Caucasians in Canada, with varied genetic influence. Asians in Western Canada, Scots in Eastern Canada, evolving into a less Eurocentric population than we once were. Many have darker skin tones, and yet contain no Winter at all, and are better flattered by neutrals other than black and white.

With influence from continuous human migration and the variable immigration policies of different countries, human colouring may be  more varied than in the past, with proportions that may depend on where we live.

Is mainstream advice speaking to all of these people equally?

Should you be listening equally?


The video is also here on YouTube.


Looking expensive that works

1. As the video explains, know your relationship with colour. Personal colour analysis (PCA) shows you the effect that you and colour have on one another. If you are warm in colouring and cool pastel colours make your skin look green, what’s the point? If the robin’s egg blue looks like children’s clothing when it is next to your colours, what’s the point? Save yourself a lot of time. Start with  a PCA.

2. Neutral clothing can go either way. Although not quite automatic sophistication, the less-is-more appeal is undeniable. Winters look terrific in large areas of one or two neutral colours. Summers are dreamy and lovely and elegant in entire outfits in a blend of neutral tones. Springs look so good in colours that even neutrals are colourful, as brown, green khaki, or bright navy blue. Autumns excel in depth effects, be they light to dark, texture, or layers.

Neutrals are the most challenging colours to select but we have good tools to help. If the colour is neutral and the style is too simple, the look can be of long gray dresses and surgical scrubs. Florentina will go into this a bit more, I expect. Colour is inherently energetic, memorable, easier to select, and occupies the viewer’s attention. Neutral colours are like the support structures, like bark and ground and air. They have to belong to the image (lead and carnations are not as easy together as feathers and carnations) while at the same time, being a kind of blank or negative space.

Colour done right looks like money. – Christine Scaman

3. Neutral makeup colours. Not trying too hard is part of looking expensive. That’s because we prefer to think and do the opposite of what we’re told, asserting our freedom to decide for ourselves.  Appearance is great when it could have happened by itself, grown right out of the body that wears it, meaning the same colours and lines as yours.

Neutral makeup colours are more inherently part of the face. Brighter colours should be applied with good judgment and be in your palette. If the colour is not part of your inherent make-up, it will stay apart from the face when added as makeup.

Certain warm colouring groups wear beige or brown eye makeup beautifully; they are the 3 Autumns and True Spring. Everyone else might look mushy or undefined, while an expensively made up face is crisp and clean. A safer choice may be medium gray that doesn’t have an obvious colour component, in a darkness level adjusted to yours, so that the eye doesn’t appear smaller or dominated when circled by liner.

Whenever you read anything, the reader’s first decision (responsibility) is to decide how credible the source.  Instead of knee-jerk beauty,  ‘last seen in a magazine, young, thin, on YouTube, wearing blingy stuff’, look more carefully. How about ‘dusty pink eyeshadow next to yellow green eyes’ and ‘dusty pink top next to dyed blonde hair’. If those seem beautiful to you, carry on. To me, the people are beautiful and at the same time, their eyeshadow and eye colours are getting in each other’s way. Take care what you put next to your eyes.

As with attire, we come back to, which neutrals? The closer together colours are, the more profoundly they affect one another, with better or worse outcomes. Once on the face, the colours are in such proximity to our own that the good or less-good colour interactions are powerful.  Second, makeup has to blend with our colouring while clothing and jewelry sit on the surface.

Spring coloured people have a very different neutral blush from Autumns. Think of the distance between juicy peach and terracotta. If you could narrow your most natural blush to carnation (Summer), adobe (Autumn), coral (Spring), and red-violet (Winter), you’d be in a good place. Once you have the blush, pick a lipstick in a similar colour.

 All makeup is eye makeup. -Christine Scaman

4. Organized shopping. Wandering and not knowing is how we get talked into stuff or buy impulsively. If you shop with a friend and you know,  “Pastels are my way of wearing light colours.” and she can say, “Metallic effects flatter me.”, you know how to shop for you and advise her.

In Canada, The Bay (and I hear it’s coming to Holland) has a huge inventory online, excellent shipping and returns, and tons on sale. The striped top from the I Shop For You video of the previous post is by Guess, cost me $30.  I see this on every website.

Impulse purchases are the junk food of our closets. -Christine Scaman

5. Wear jewelry. When the right colours and shapes meet the right body, the expense level increases. Know the right shine for you. I enjoy Autumns in brushed surfaces and deep, rich metals and minerals; Winters in dense, shiny metals and jeweled stones;  Summers in brushed surfaces and opalescent to pearlescent shine; and Springs in light shiny metals with twinkle and sparkle in the stones. Choose the one where you and the piece show each other’s best qualities to keep the expense level climbing, not falling.

6. Wear makeup if over 30-35 to maintain feature separation from the canvas (the face). It looks like energy and youth and evens the playing field with younger people. Know the right shine for you. I prefer Autumns in matte to metallic finishes; Winters in cream to lacquer (expensiveness level of vinyl determined by person and place); Summers in soft shine to cream (all lips should look moist); and Springs in crème to gloss. Ultra-matte lips are never appealing to me, maybe I’m too old to get it but I really hope the trend is soon replaced. Lips that literally look like earth…the thought bubble in my mind: ?

I would love to say that nobody needs makeup, and it is each woman’s choice. As a realist and a moderate person who can always see both sides, I acknowledge that we are compared to others in our industry.  In some industries, morning show hosts perhaps, everybody’s off together but two wrongs don’t make a right; we have accommodated the work costume.

Trust that as your best you, the viewer will get it. With subtle makeup, the viewer feels refreshed. Looking other than the pack may offer us identity and leadership qualities.

7. Line analysis. Classic styling (think of flight attendants) has been the custom in many workplaces and many people choose the tradition for their work attire. If others might look at you and not find any similarity with Mrs. Partridge (of the TV show, The Partridge Family) or Princess Kate, there may be a better choice. Non-classics wearing classic styles may be unexciting compared to other possibilities. At other times, folks have such aversion to fuss and frill that they over-simplify. Florentina will speak more about this, I am simply here to endorse a form of self-knowledge that will make your shopping and presentation better.

8. Carry a purse in a great colour. Black and tan bags can be overlooked unless they’re spectacular. Functional is fine but if it stops there, it goes unnoticed. We want to be remembered for all the right reasons.

9. Have an expensive-looking pen, pocket mirror, and phone (and tablet case). These can be small expenses with a big payoff.

10. Wear red. Few do. It can be downright thrilling.

 


The header image was taken at The Secret Garden tea shop in Vancouver. Highly recommended.


 

I Shop For You

Knowing what we want is the first step to getting it.

Otherwise, we’re unfocussed. All we know is that something feels unsatisfying or unsettled. With even a vague idea about where the solution might lie, we have a way to move towards it.

Having some idea of how we define beauty allows us to attain the look we want. Otherwise, we become blown around by the winds of outside voices and outside forces.

There are no right or wrong answers. Makeup or no makeup; neither is wrong or right.

We want what we want. It doesn’t need to be justified. It needs to be clarified.

Fame and riches? Perfectly fine. They’re not bad or harmful or scarce resources.

Nobody gets to weigh in or approve that what we want is a worthy cause.

They will, of course. That’s our training ground for sticking to our guns or seeing our goals from a new perspective. This is also our training ground for learning to be clear and deliberate about the impact we allow others to have in our lives. The choice is ours, not theirs. This is an especially fun exercise with family.

Pretending that we don’t want what we want because some judgment or opinion is hanging around means it takes longer to happen, if it ever does.

We always have choices. My nomination for Best Look Award is an appearance that doesn’t look manufactured. The woman’s lip and blush colour might have happened by themselves. The hair could have grown out of that head, the jewelry out of that body. I can look calmly at her face and have a conversation with her eyes, without the feeling that my eyes are zinging around processing pieces of a few puzzles at the same time.

Here are some appearance choices that would yield entirely different results:

  1. We could wear comfort clothes.
  2. We could decide that celebs (and their stylists) are making excellent decisions and follow their lead.
  3. We could look like makeup artists on YouTube.
  4. We could look like our friends. “Nobody is doing pink lips this year.”
  5. We could be true to ourselves.

I choose #5. It took me 50 years and a person in my life with singular clarity (a business coach) to teach me this skill. Besides looking worse with any other choice, I would be failing myself.

Once you locate the road that leads you to yourself, other paths are no longer a real option.

True to me becomes your rudder when you don’t know what to do next. When the road branches, you know which way to go: this choice is more true to me than that choice. As your skills grow, the choices narrow, and your appearance slowly becomes the physical manifestation of your energy field. Now there is a woohoo moment, as much to see it as to be it.

My colour analysis clients receive a list of questions one week before the appointment. One of the questions (actually all of them, from various directions) ask what they want to achieve with their appearance choices.

A recent client amazed me by saying Integrity. When I asked what she meant by that, she replied, “I want to dress like my true self with my real purpose.” I thought I heard angels sing.

The psychology of appearance. Is that a career?

The day following her analysis, the client said, “I feel like my look is so different but also that it just feels like the look I’m supposed to have.”

If your choice is to dress true to yourself, you still need a way in.

Sometimes, you know your choice but you can’t find the entrance, any entrance, a way to get started.

If looking like your true self is your choice, colour analysis is an entrance.

Colour analysis connects the interior with the exterior, like getting the entire border of a 1000 piece puzzle placed in one afternoon. No big deal? What if it were a magic puzzle? All the pieces are the same colour until they get closer to one another. Then they start to shift in colour and shape!

I could tell you that this is the colour analyst’s world. In a way, it is. But in the (approximate) words of one of my heroines, Flavia de Luce (in Alan Bradley‘s As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust), it wouldn’t be right of me to let you think that science is magic.

The banner to subscribe to the newsletter can be found across the top of every page on this site, above the 12 Blueprints header.



If the video doesn’t display well, it is also here on YouTube.

 

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Introducing Colour Analyst Tsikinirina Ralisoa (Belgium)

Michael A. Singer’s book, The Untethered Soul, is among my top rank reading for spiritual maturity and living life without emotional fears and external controls. On page 27-28, he describes a consciousness experiment that is magic for anyone gathering truth.

The colour analyst is measuring the optical illusions in the face created by colour. Very early in our time together, Tsiky recognized on her own the necessary detachment, the deliberate turning off of the analyst’s own thoughts, to allow the “instantaneous snapshot of consciousness just seeing”, as Singer describes it. “When you just look without creating thoughts, your consciousness is effortlessly aware of, and fully comprehends, all that it sees.”

This switching off of the analyst’s own “me” and connecting with another person, a stranger, quickly enough to read the subjective information of feeling, symbolism, and association, can take time. They have significance because the visual story that others hear about us as a result of our appearance choices is more related to these than to technical observations. Within three clients, Tsiky surprised me consistently by connecting appearance with feeling. Of a True Summer model, she went beyond measuring, “The lip colour is more present and natural.” and could say, “I can feel more drawn to her gentleness in this colour.”

Every student brings PCA some beneficial part of their spirit and story. Every client group needs their spokesperson. Every industry can multiply their ability to respond to client needs by diversifying their membership. Tsiky’s clients will be rewarded with a colour analyst for our time, who has replaced Authority with Authenticity.

For Tsiky’s French-speaking clients, my introduction is repeated  below (with thanks to Sonja Mason for the translation). Tsiky’s own words will appear in French first and then in English.

Je vous présente l’analyste de couleurs Tsikinirina Ralisoa (Belgique)

Le livre “The Untethered Soul” de Michael A. Singer occupe la première place sur ma liste de lecture essentielle pour l’acquisition de maturité spirituelle et aussi pour ceux qui veulent mener une vie sans peur ni contrôles externes. Sur les pages 27-28, il décrit une expérience en prise de conscience qui a un effet magique sur ceux qui sont à la recherche de la vérité.

L’analyste de couleurs (ACP) évalue les illusions optiques, qui sont créées par les couleurs, sur le visage humain.  La quantification de ces illusions optiques assure l’objectivité de l’analyste en neutralisant ses préférences de couleurs personnelles, ses aversions individuelles, sa tolérance envers le risque, l’influence de ses amies, le lieu, les modes, l’âge, la race et tout autre facteur qui concerne les êtres humains et la couleur. 

Depuis le début de notre relation professionnelle, l’analyste Tsiky a démontré qu’elle a compris l’importance du détachement et de la nécessité de désactiver ses pensées personnelles pour permettre « l’aperçu instantané de la conscience qui observe », comme le décrit Singer. « Quand nous étudions quelque chose sans faire place aux pensées actives, nous sommes bien conscientes de tout ce que nous voyons et nous le comprenons sans effort. »

L’analyste doit nier le “moi” et arriver à former une connexion avec autrui assez rapidement pour interpréter l’information subjective des sentiments et du symbolisme. Cette capacité est développée avec le temps. Après avoir consulté trois clients, Tsiky m’a surprise en démontrant déjà la capacité d’établir un lien entre l’apparence et les sentiments. En évaluant un mannequin de type Vrai été (True Summer, en anglais), elle est allée plus loin que l’analyse de base, « La couleur des lèvres ressort mieux et parait plus naturelle. » Elle proposa plutôt, « Je suis attirée davantage vers sa douceur quand elle porte cette couleur. »

Chaque étudiant contribue à sa façon à l’ACP en partageant son esprit et son histoire personnelle. Chaque groupe de clients a besoin de son représentant. Chaque industrie peut augmenter son potentiel en répondant aux besoins des clients et  en diversifiant les catégories de ses membres. Ses clients auront droit à une analyste moderne, qui remplace l’Autorité avec l’Authenticité.

From Tsiky,

Cela fera bientôt deux ans (novembre 2015) que Christine m’a gentiment invitée à vous rencontrer ici sur son site.

Je ne l’ai jamais fait…disons, que le moment est venu seulement aujourd’hui ! vous comprendrez pourquoi en lisant des souvenirs de mon voyage à travers ma couleur.

Mais ce serait mieux si je me présente d’abord, non ?

Je m’appelle Tsiky (exactement comme cela s’écrit). J’ai échangé les couleurs tropicales et la mer turquoise de mon île natale pour de gaufres chaudes, du chocolat et un peu de grisailles de l’Europe mais surtout parce que c’est là que ma famille m’attendait !

Je suis maman d’un Pioupiou de 8 ans ( Chut ! Il ne faut pas lui dire que je vous ai dit son surnom, il n’aime plus trop être appelé Pioupiou car il a grandi) !

Attendez ! Je crois que je dois aussi vous présenter quelqu’un ou quelque chose ! Il n’est plus là ! J’aimerai quand même vous parler de lui car notre rencontre d’aujourd’hui est en partie grâce à lui! Cela vous intéresserait ? Je voudrai vous parler de mon Ennui.

Malgré toute la joie, toute l’occupation que le fait d’être une mère active puisse m’offrir ( subir), un nuage d’ennui est venu s’accrocher à ma vie de tous les jours.

Un ennui lourd venant de nulle part, me poursuivait, me faisait bâiller, m’empêchait d’apprécier ce que j’avais déjà ! Me volait une partie de mon bonheur.

J’ai cette impression de ne pas être là où je devais être . Pourtant, je n’avais nulle part où aller. Et toute somme faite, je pourrai être bien là où j’étais.

Ma famille a l’air joyeux et en bonne santé ; je passe de bons moments avec mes amis ; les personnes en difficulté socio-financière que je guide dans mon travail parviennent à remonter la pente et sont contents de notre collaboration.

Pourtant, j’avais cette impression qu’il manquait quelque chose. J’avais envie de partir !

Tous les matins, je me levais avec cet ennui et je m’endormais avec lui, nous étions devenus inséparables malgré notre rapport divergent et notre relation secrète.

Plus je le détestais, plus il s’accrochait à moi !

Il me poussait à errer, à faire des choses sans signification, à perdre mon temps.

Il avait transformé ma vie en routine, je faisais ce qu’il y avait à faire pendant la journée. Le soir, et le week-end mon ennui exigeait une tête-à-tête avec moi ! Il me poussait en errance, à la recherche de quelque chose , j’ignorais ce qu’il voulait. Il m’avait chuchoté quelque chose dans laquelle j’ai cru comprendre vaguement « l’apparence ».

Pour le tromper, je collectionnais les magazines de mode, je suivais toutes les nouveautés, cela avait son importance pour moi de savoir quel designer dirige artistiquement quelle grande maison de couture ; j’essayais d’être une fée du ménage, j’essayais de devenir jardinière, je mangeais des glaces, je buvais du café ,j’essayais ..de me sauver de cet ennui. J’avais tout essayé mais rien ne pouvait satisfaire l’avidité de mon ennui ! Il continuait à creuser un vide au milieu de ma vie.

Il n’arrêtait pas de me pousser vers cette « apparence » que je ne parvenais pas à très bien cerner !

Quelle apparence ? Les magazines de mode , il n’en voulait pas, mes achats des dernière tendances non plus ! je partais à la recherche de quelque chose. Quoi ? Je l’ignore

Lors de mes errances cybernetiques, je suis tombée sur des sites me parlant de l’analyse de couleur personnelle. Je n’en ai jamais entendu parler. J’étais intriguée.

Je commençais à m’y intéresser. Parmi ces sites, j’ai découvert 12 Blueprints. Ce que Christine Scaman y décrivait me parlait beaucoup ! J’ai délaissé mes tasses de café pour y boire ses paroles. J’ai annulé mes abonnements de magazines de modes pour lire tout ce qu’elle écrivait sur son site, j’ai abandonné mes coupons de shopping. J’ai laissé tomber à vouloir tout savoir sur les maisons de couture. J’ai rompu avec les pâtisseries. Je n’ai plus peur de manquer quoi que ce soit ! Tout ce dont j’ai besoin c’est d’apprendre un petit peu plus sur l’Analyse de Couleur personnelle.

Tout ceci est nouveau pour moi ! Les colorimétries pratiquées dans les émissions tv m’ont laissée très sceptique, je ne m’étais jamais intéressée à la coloration humaine ni à la mienne.

Je commençais à m’intéresser à d’autres méthodes, à comparer d’autres information avec ce que j’ai lu sur 12 Blueprints.

 

Sans m’en rendre compte, on a claqué la porte derrière moi… mon ennui m’a quittée ! J’ignore le moment exact de son départ. Je me sentais toute légère avec de nouvelles ailes. Il a laissé sa place à Ma passion.

Ma passion m’a ouvert un portail, j’ai décidé de prendre une nouvelle route. Moi qui voulait partir ailleurs, une nouvelle destination s’est ouverte devant moi. Je voudrai devenir analyste.

J’ai pris un vol direct Bruxelles- Toronto, Christine m’a acceptée comme élève.

C’est la première fois que j’étais analysée.

Quand Christine m’a fait découvrir ma coloration à travers ses étoffes : j’en avais les larmes aux yeux. Je venais de comprendre ma place dans cet Univers.

Une fois rentrée en Belgique. J’étais persuadée que je suis arrivée à bon port, que j’ai tout ce qu’il me fallait et que je peux repartir en paix. Non, je me suis trompée.

Je commençais à apprivoiser mes couleurs… j’ignorais que ma passion allait m’emmener faire un long, très long voyage ; m’occuper de l’apparence physique ne suffisait pas, à chaque fois que j’ajustais une couleur, j’étais également en train de m’ajuster intérieurement, l’harmonisation continue à se faire intérieurement et extérieurement. Cela a pris du temps et continue toujours à prendre du temps.

Vous avez compris pourquoi j’ai mis deux ans avant de vous écrire cette histoire.

J’ai traversé le chemin qui mène à l’exploration.

Il est à mon tour maintenant de tenir la lampe pour vous éclairer le portail par lequel vous allez commencer votre part de voyage !

Vous méritez d’être vu et d’être aimé exactement comme vous êtes.

Le temps d’une analyse, laissez-moi vous donner les outils pour que vous harmonisiez votre éclat extérieur avec votre beauté intérieure car « Vous pouvez, être,avoir, faire tout ce que vous désirez si vous vous habillez pour”.

Le jour où vous déciderez de venir me voir, je guetterai votre arrivée par la fenêtre, tellement j’ai hâte.

J’ai hâte de vous rencontrer, d’entendre le son de votre voix, de partager des couleurs avec vous, d’avoir des heures colorées avec vous, de vous dévoiler tout votre potentiel naturel resté caché trop longtemps.

La nature vous a transmis un secret, ensemble, nous le découvrirons à travers les étoffes et les pinceaux.

Oui, des pinceaux !!! ma passion d’analyste a ramené une petite sœur, une passion pour le maquillage. Cela fait 9 mois que je fais partie des élèves d’Annick Cayot ! Et je continue encore à apprendre avec elle.

Ne vous inquiétez pas, notre rencontre semblera trop courte, tellement nous aurons des choses à nous partager !

A propos, je ne vous ai pas précisé que vous pouvez me trouver dans la région de Mons en Belgique. A deux heures de route de Paris et à 45mn au sud de Bruxelles.

Mais en attendant ce jour de rencontre, je suis très curieuse ! J’aimerai aussi vous connaître et entendre votre histoire.

Faites-moi plaisir ! Envoyez-moi un petit coucou à info@stellagraphy.com , nous y continuerons notre discussion ou venez faire un tour sur https://www.stellagraphy.com

Merci d’être là !

Two years ( november 2015) since Christine kindly invited me to meet you on her website.

I never did so before. Let’s just say that the moment arrived only today. You will understand why as you read the memories of my colour journey.

But it would be better if I started by introducing myself first of all – don’t you think ?

My name is Tsiky pronounced exactly as it is written. I exchanged the tropical colours and the turquoise sea of my mother island for the hot waffles, chocolate and a little greyness of Europe, but, above all, because it was here that my family was waiting for me.

I am the mother of a little Pioupiou of 9-years-old. (Shush- don’t let him know that I told you about his nickname. He doesn’t like to be called Pioupiou these days as he has grown up so much !).

Wait! I think I must also introduce you to someone or something else ! This « entity » is no longer here ! I would like to talk to you about it because our meeting today is, in part, thanks to his « thing ». I would like to talk to you about my Boredom.

Despite all the joy, all the occupation that being an active mother offers me, a cloud of boredom started to hang over me daily.

A sense of heavy boredom from out of nowhere followed me, made me yawn, stopped me from appreciating all that I already had, stole part of my happiness.

I had the impression of not being where I should be. However, I had nowhere else to go. And after all, I could be okay where I was.

My family seemed happy and in good health ; I enjoyed good moments with my friends ; the people in social/financial difficulty whom I guided were able to lift themselves up and were happy with our collaboration. However, I had the impression that something was missing. I wanted to get away !

Every morning I got up with this boredom and I fell asleep with it at night ; we had become inseparable despite our diverging secret relationship.

The more I hated this boredom, the more it hung on to me !

It caused me to make mistakes, to do things without meaning, to waste my time.

It had transformed my life into a routine ; I did what was needed during the day. In the evening and at weekends my boredom demanded a face-off with me. It pushed me to wander, to look for something ; I don’t know what it wanted. It had whispered something to me and I believed vaguely that I saw the « appearance » within.

To deceive it I collected fashion magazines, I followed all the news, I could say which designer ran which fashion label artistically ; I tried to be a house-wife fairy, a gardener, I ate ice cream, I drank coffee, I tried…to save myself from this boredom.

I had tried everything but nothing could satisfy the avidity of my boredom ! It continued to dig an empty hole in the middle of my life. It wouldn’t stop pushing me towards this « appearance », which I couldn’t quite understand.

What « appearance » ? The fashion magazines ? it didn’t want them. And my latest purchases neither ! So I went looking for something else. What ? I wondered what I was looking for !

During a cyber stroll I chanced upon those websites talking about the personal colour analysis. I had never heard of this before and was intrigued.

I grew interested. Among those websites, I discovered 12 Blueprints. What Christine Scaman described spoke to me a lot ! I pushed my coffee aside to drink in her words. I cancelled my fashion magazine subscriptions in order to read what she wrote on her website. I dropped my shopping vouchers. I gave up wanting to know about fashion brands and their producers. I broke away from the cakes. I was no longer scared about missing something. All I wanted was to learn a bit more about the personal colour analysis.

This was all new to me. The practical colourmetrics in Tv programmes had left me skeptical. I had never been interested in human colouring on my own. I started taking an interest in other methods, started comparing what I learnt from 12 Blueprints.

Without realizing it, the door had slammed shut behind me and my boredom had left. I din’t know the exact moment of its leaving. I felt very light with new wings. Its void had been filled by My Passion.

My passion opened a door to me. I decided to take a new route. I had wanted to go somewhere else and now a new destination had opened itself up to me. I decided that I would like to become an analyst.

Christine accepted me as a student. I took a direct flight Brussels-Toronto.

It was the first time I had been analysed. When Christine made me discover my colouring through her drapes, I had tears in my eyes. I had just understood my place in this Universe.

Once back in Belgium, i was sure I had arrived at the right port, that I had all I needed and that I could re-leave. But no, I was wrong.

I started to tame colours. I didn’t know that my passion was going to take me on a long, a very long journey.

Just lookng after my physical appearance was not enough ; everytime i adjusted a colour, I was equally adjusting myself inside ; the harmonisation continued taking place internally and externally. It took time and still continues to take time.

You have to understand why I took 2 years to write this story. I crossed the path which leads to exploration.

It is now my turn to hold the lamp to illuminate the doorway for you through which you are going to start your part of the journey !

You deserve to be seen and to be loved exactly as you are.

With just an analysis, allow me to give you the tools so that your external self harmonises and shines with your internal beauty because « You can be, do, have anything you want : get dressed for it ! »

The day you decide to come to see me will be the day you’ll find me jumping up and down at the window like an excited child as I have been looking forward so much to this day.

I cannot wait to meet you, to share colours with you, to have coloured hours with you, to unveil to you your natural potential, which has remained hidden for too long. Nature has transmitted a secret to you ; together we will discover it through drapes and make-up brushes.

Yes brushes ! My passion as an analyst has brought with it a little sister ; a passion for make-up. I have been one of Annick Cayot’s student for one year now , I am a certified makeup artist and still learning with her.

Don’t worry if our meeting seems too short ; it will be ! because we will have so many things to share.

Speaking of that, i did not point out that you can find me in Belgium, in the region of Mons, just two hours from Paris or from Luxembourg and 45 minutes south of Brussels. You can jump in a flight from Italy, Austria or Switzerland, easy-peasy.

But, while waiting for our chance to meet, I am curious ! I would also like to get to know you and hear your story.

So make my day and send me a little hello at infoatstellagraphy.com. We will continue our discussion there, come and visit my website.

E: info@stellagraphy.com

W: https://www.stellagraphy.com

Thanks for being there.

Tsiky

 

—–

Introducing Colour Analyst Jennifer Ballard (Oregon)

Portland, OR, you have your own 12 Blueprints colour analyst!

But that’s not the best part. The story actually gets better. The analyst herself is the most special thing happening here. Patient, kind, methodical, and accurate.

During the training, we met a wide variety of men and women who expressed their wardrobe and appearance challenges, frustrations, needs, and desires. Jennifer has the great and rare quality of listening quietly and also of hearing. Her ability to sense the deeper story, ground the PCA process, and give each person the attention and feedback they need to improve their appearance, impressed client after client. To this day, draping models still ask about her progress and extend their best wishes.

Jennifer is deeply reflective. She is respectful of all people and their freedom of expression. I believe that the clients who gain the most from our services are seeking truth, not comfort. They want to know, not be validated in their present choices. A part of the colour analyst’s job is to bridge their desire to express unique creativity as individuals with the truth of their physical appearance. In her ability to see the highest truth of a person as well as genuinely respect their starting point, Jennifer has great balance and gentleness.

Jen is a shining example of her belief in peace, joy, and the simplicity, indeed tranquility, with which we can live our lives. She also happens to be seriously good at reading and interpreting the optical effects that we know as personal colour analysis.

In Jen’s words,

My interest in personal color analysis coincided with a desire to simplify my life, including eliminating excess possessions. I started to read about people creating “capsule wardrobes”, which are curated collections of clothing/ footwear/ accessories. While exploring capsule wardrobes I happened to stumble upon a blogger who advocated creating capsule wardrobes in each individuals most flattering collection of colors or “season”.

I, like many people who lived through the eighties, had a vague understanding of Personal Color Analysis and the four seasons via Carole Jackson’s book Color Me Beautiful, which placed me as a Winter. In real life I found some of the colors too harsh, so I sort of abandoned the concept. I then embraced the practice of dressing for the season i.e. in the winter I wore winter colors… in the spring, spring colors and so on…

 

I then stumbled upon Christine’s website and started to read about modern 12 tone personal color analysis…I was completely enthralled…Christine has a remarkable gift of capturing the essence of the 12 tones/seasons and describing what color harmony is.

At this point I decided that I would need to have an in person 12 tone color analysis… the only problem was there was not a trained Analyst in my State. Imagine my excitement when a Color Analyst announced that she would be traveling to my metro area! I immediately proceeded to book an appointment.

So this should be the part of the story where I tell you that I had my analysis and was put in the correct season and lived happily ever after…well not so fast. I arrived for my appointment with excitement and anticipation …it went by in a blur…I was declared a “True Summer” and sent on my way. I immediately went home and found online makeup color recommendations for my newly discovered season… suffice it to say that I knew something was not quite right with the colors…they looked too pale/gray/dusty.

 

I just shrugged and chalked it up to me needing time to adapt. Before my analysis as part my my journey to simplify my life I had already culled my wardrobe. When it came time to purchase new items in my True Summer colors, something was holding me back. When I did purchase True Summer items I looked bland/undefined/puffy. I started to “cheat” with colors like fuchsia and dark cobalt blue, which I now know are my proper colors!

I had already started exploring training with Christine to become a Color Analyst and I knew that as part of the training I would be analyzed by her, so I held off on investing any more into “True Summer” until my season was confirmed. When I arrived for my training, lo and behold, I discovered I was actually a “Bright Winter”! I am now patiently and methodically creating a well curated capsule wardrobe that is flattering and suits my lifestyle. I know not only my home season, but also which seasons to avoid, and which seasons I can borrow from occasionally when compromises need to be made IRL.

 

The 12 Blueprints method of color analysis has expanded upon and refined the Sci/Art method created by Kathryn Kalisz. The 12 Blueprints color calibrated drapes are the diagnostic tools that we use to gather data. Christine masterfully taught me how to interpret the information that the brain processes during a color analysis… not only the logical/ordered left side…but the equally important artistic/holistic right side.

After I went home from the training course, as part of the certification process, I was required to complete 20 case studies that were evaluated by Christine—this was invaluable and helped me to further hone my skills. I have been fortunate to have seen members of almost every season…I hope to one day analyze a real live Light Spring and True Winter…to date the only 2 seasons I have yet to analyze!

My sincere desire is that each of my clients will come away from their analysis understanding how wearing their colors truly unlocks and enhances their own unique brand of beauty!

I am thrilled to be offering Personal Color Analysis in my home studio, located in Portland, Oregon. I am available to see clients by appointment Thursday/Friday/Saturday/Sunday. For more information and to set up an appointment, please contact me at:

jen@personalcolornorthwest.com

I look forward to hearing from you!

 

—–

Soft Autumn with Silver Hair Part 2

The second video is also here on YouTube.

The correct quote, from Dr. Wayne Dyer:

When you change the way you see things, you things you see change.

And from one of my favourite personal growth writers, Benjamin Hardy:

When you change the way you see yourself, you change.


Appearance Goals and Alignment

I wanted to show you how I looked back in that video of the first edition of the book but couldn’t find it. Here is a  photo from the same era, around 2012. This woman has coloured hair. The one in the video above has her own hair colour, which (in my perception) is not as red or pigmented as it appears.

An occasion to reflect on my appearance goals arose this week. We all know what we don’t want, but coming up with what we want asks more of us.

Pretty and sexy are in the eyes of every beholder. In my younger years, I’m sure that I wanted those things. Today, I find every woman equally pretty, and I see two kinds of beauty.

The first: closer to what media tells us pretty and sexy mean in the swamp of cultural rating with which women have always been afflicted.

The idea of pretty and sexy feels OK but I resist surrender (and even the language of surrender) to someone else’s satisfaction with how I look or don’t look. The whole idea of spending money to feel unsure, allowing decisions to be made externally so that someone else can decide when I’ve arrived, feels like an outdated fashion system in which women were told what to do, and going backwards in my own life to a time before PCA.

The second: in alignment with her true and highest self.

At almost 60 years old, I and women of my age have a lot of self-knowledge. We have much that  we still want to be, but little that we have to prove to become that.

I do want to present the version of myself in which the exterior projects the most Hi Def picture of the interior. As we mature, the interior becomes fuller, stronger, layered, contextual, secure, and settled. The inner and the outer are both fluid and I want them to keep pace.

Of the woman in the video and the one in the picture, which one is getting bigger things done today? Who walks into a room and appears to have her beep together?

Now, some might feel the woman in the video is overdone and that her clothing and makeup are wearing her.  The woman in the second video is wearing more lipstick than in the Part 1 video. Same woman. Same Season.

They may find that she was going for energetic and vibrant but ended up at inexpensive or bling. We perceive from the space we’re in, personally, culturally, and in many other ways.

In my late 40s, my pre-PCA goals were:

  1. To wear clothes that looked young or imaginative (but not too imaginative) and nice together.

Today in my appearance, I want to find the balance between appearing as I feel myself to be, and the vision that is at least 80% aligned with the average of what everyone else sees.

When the vision of what we want or how we would like to be seen is in the West, and the reality or the average of what everyone else sees is in the East, it’s hard to “manifest” the thing we wanted, meaning the way we wanted to be perceived.

Today, I want to look competent, effective, and healthy. Although I had not given it thought, in my pre-PCA 40s, I did look juvenile, inexpensive, and eccentric. Not only did I not achieve the desired outcome in the moment, but life didn’t seem to click in my favour.

For anything we desire, as clear as we may be about what that is, when the vision is over here and the outcome is over there, our energy is serving two masters. In being so divergent, no outcome is met. We remain where we are, spinning away. Alignment is one of the keys to progress, rather than my previous world of oscillation.

I want the inside to match the outside. Sounds so simple.

When the vision and the perception overlap by 80%, Christine no longer looks like a dialled down version of herself.

Even if I wanted to be the same at 60 as 40, which I don’t, life wouldn’t let me. It’s my job to find the lessons in the changes. Season does not change. Other things about us do, and so does the world around us, the personal appearance landscape, and many more lenses in our lives.

Captured in the quote by Adam Grant,

Be true to yourself, but not so much that your true self never evolves.

We are an individual who has many forms of personal self-expression. However, we cannot do everything by ourselves and need the balance of the mirror of others’ eyes and a structured system to find our place within an open ocean of possibilities. PCA is an instrument for bringing our vision and reality closer together in an afternoon.

Thank you to Floortje Mossou, our analyst in The Netherlands, for her advice on improving my eyeliner. I love it when someone tells me what isn’t working for me because it gives me a point of focus, and then they proceed to tell me what to try instead, which is like PCA (everyting is like PCA). Floortje is brilliant with makeup in a most tasteful yet modern way. She doesn’t know this yet but one day, when she comes to America again, maybe for an analyst meeting, I’m going to request a makeup tutorial with a willing subject, in which I’m the student. After, I’ll buy her any lunch she wants.

Now that I’ve gotten the deep musings out of my system, let’s go back to Evangeline’s questions.

Jewelry

Silver or gold are both fine for Neutral Seasons (the Softs, Darks, Lights, and Brights) and will continue to be with silver hair, whatever your Season.

Regardless of age and depending on the woman, my eyes may be distracted by high shine or frost in metals and makeup with Soft colouring. If this applies to you, keep those items further from the face or choose muted surfaces.

The elephant pendant group may be Soft Summer. Evangeline has blue-green eyes. She will look striking. We want to make decisions that work in our favour in the real world of getting dressed and presenting well.

The leather jacket may be too dark. The coral blouse may be True Autumn, it reads quite warm, an example of warmer than it is soft perhaps. Still, these are close to home. I could see them with a slightly deeper lipstick (thinking of Rum ‘n Raisin in the Blueprints line) on a woman with brown eyes.

The group in the lower L may feel disruptive to some while others appreciate the spontaneity. I might switch the hat to something less red and pigmented. Hats are like hair and jewelry near the face. They have more impact on our face because they are closer to it. The earrings have a nice colour and texture. Use the yellows and grays in your palette to match jewelry.

 

Soft Autumn: Silver or gold.

 

 

Darkness

We left the last post mentioning darkness, often a catch point for the Soft Seasons and maybe for all of us. The Soft Seasons and the three Autumns (Soft, True, and Dark) include darkness as a important component of their colouring without great pigment intensity. Even Dark Autumn’s darker colours are not intensely pigmented in the inky way we find in Winter.

Darkness isn’t the same as pigment. Soft and dark are different but it’s easy to mix them up. We see colour poorly in the dark and to compound the limitations of our vision, there is less colour to work with when more wavelengths are absorbed and fewer are reflected back out.

Widen your awareness beyond the darkness and ask yourself,

How much colour can I actually see? Softness is like replacing some pigment with gray. If I began with a pot of paint in this level of darkness, how much pigment would be added to create this colour?

At whatever darkness level the colour is, is there more gray or more colour? If you feel it’s more gray, you may be in the Soft Seasons.

What is the ratio of pigment to gray?

Is the runway flat? Brighter colours pop forward. Light or dark shouldn’t matter. When you fan the palette out, if the light colours de-energize, the arms of the strip look shorter or as if you’re going downhill or they’re sinking into the fabric. Ideally, your attention is divided equally so the runway is flat.

 

Soft Autumn: Darkness variations.

 

 

The purple pants on the far R have visible gray. They seem fine with the warmth in the top.

The red purse and brown pants have less visible gray. They may be another Season, but they work within the composition.

Soft Summers often wear lime before learning their Season and I’m never certain why. I think it may be related to the tendency of many groups, and that one especially, to guesstimate themselves to be warmer than they are. Soft Autumn could have a lime type colour that might look like the cardigan above or a little softer.

Kathryn Kalisz, the founder of Sci\ART and designer of the colour palettes upon which our system is based, possessed an intimate understanding of colour chemistry and human psychology and vision, from which created harmonious palettes.

Every colour is not identical in its colour dimensions within a Season, since it begins with different chemical properties, but she could make it look as if that’s what happening (or so it seems to me today as I stand like an island in the sea of fabric that decorates my home). Under a global set of dimensions for each Season, the colours change their properties, keeping pace with one another, to arrive at unanimous agreement (harmony, synchrony) from apparently divergent parts.

For Kathryn Kalisz, genius is too small a word, and from me, respect, gratitude, and indebtedness are too words too small to convey my feelings for what she accomplished. Like a colour-analyzed appearance, it’s not magic. There is no magic, but rather application of profound knowledge. Your colour analyst can hand it to you in a booklet, but we should never forget what came before.

Evangeline enjoys dark colours for feeling present and supportive. Autumns often do and so they should. Soft Autumn especially can sometimes dress in an overall colour scheme that is on the light to medium side. Part of her job is to become familiar with the darker colours. We should all wear our entire palette, as Kathryn pre-configured it to be in harmony. Not only that, it is in synergy, meaning that the parts become more and better together than apart.

Season Your Way

 

Soft Autumn: Outside the lines.

 

 

Do you find the combinations too much or not enough, or you wouldn’t put those colours together? No wrong answers.

The purse beneath the title is that orange-gray that Autumns wear well. They have pinker grays too, Neutral Seasons often drift between greener and redder (cooler/warmer). Which bracelet do you prefer? My eyes like the top one. The other one, I can look at the bracelet or the outfit but not both at once.

Are the earrings in the top R jumping ahead because they’re very shiny, too red, too green, or the scale is too large? Depending on the colour, red and green can feel warm and combined with shine, the item could take over. Other folks’ opinions are valuable when asked the right question. “Are you looking at me or my earrings?” works quite well.

The gray purse with the sunglasses lineup is calling me slightly, in a not-so-good way. It seems too red. Do I just really notice red? I really notice orange. The same purse above in Darkness Variations felt better. We wear different items on different days.

The jeans are kind of pink. Soft Autumn is a little more green. But I’m fine with them, maybe because they barely fade to white. Super-faded, beyond gray to white, on Autumns, can look like part of the fabric or leg is missing. Autumn needs darkness. I like the jeans with the scarf pinks and periwinkles, they’re finding something in one another that looks creative.

Is the coral top with the jeans too bright? Too warm? IDK till I compare it with something. But Autumns wear coral and yellow well, I can see some gray in that colour, and the blouse was on a great sale.

Could I be a Dark Autumn?

Enjoying one’s appearance in dark colour, as Evangeline was finding, is almost more confirmation of Autumn, compared to Spring or Summer.

Winter colours certainly have darkness but it is so intense that on a Soft Season, it looks like a black hole. I pinned pictures of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge wearing a black hat to the Soft Summer board to show you what I mean. It’s like a light sink, an area of nothingness or empty space. Next door, she wears a blue hat that I find lovely. The style of the hat may be odd but she and the colour are not distorting one another. They look normal.

Dark Autumn would wear burnt orange, black purple, and chartreuse green, together at once, and look entirely normal. I didn’t predict that for Evangeline and she couldn’t imagine it for herself. We would see those colours before we see the woman.

Feeling well in some Dark Autumn colours makes great sense. Both are Autumn with similar warmth. In the light and medium colours, some of the blues, muted greens, and neutrals could be just fine. Items that feel expressive, exciting, and evocative could participate beautifully in the Soft wardrobe.

If the item seems dark in excess of the Soft Autumn collection or too spicy, it may be best left at the store. If the colour is too red or green, the temperature will feel disruptive in the Soft Autumn composition. We feel warmth from red and gold, which is why Dark Autumn seems so spicy. Dark Autumn is the simultaneous presence of gold and rust.

 

Soft Autumn: Playing with colour.

 

 

The trio of sunglasses, purse, and woman in the top L are too strong in some way for Soft Autumn. The blue in the purse and sunglasses is quite near one of their navy blues if it were faded back a bit.  The leather jacket to the right of the blue handbag might be darker on a gray scale, and it also appears softer or dustier, with more visible gray.  Disconnecting darkness from saturation is a good exercise.

The camel coat that is so great on Autumns could look like the one above. Soft Autumn has 10, 000 beiges, all of which are fairly quiet. For a light colour, camel can really take over (see Refs and Runways below, turtleneck top row centre, but I really notice orange).

To become a Dark Autumn, Evangeline would have had to darken and saturate, which people don’t do over time. She mentioned that she was receiving positive comments in Dark Autumn. Of the photos I saw, the colours she considered Dark Autumn were actually darker colour within Soft Autumn. The comments of others are a double-edged sword but in this case, I think they had it right.

Reference Pieces and Runways

If you shopped with the boots and purse on the L, you might find the items in the centre top row too red, while the R top row is a bit bright but manageable.

If the suit at the L is a reasonable reference point (I would have preferred redder but the suit didn’t present itself),  the runway after that might be a bit bumpy. Items 3 and 5 seem pretty good, and the others advance and recede.

Depending on what they were combined with and the woman’s individual pigmentation, preferences, age, hair colour, or wearing or cosmetics, they could all be workable. The great thing about colour is that it doesn’t need to be perfect to be great. If you and what you wear are close enough, the similarities can find one another.

 

Soft Autumn: References and runways.

 


 

Hair Colour and Texture Variations

Hair changes our self-perception for certain.  A block that was previously coloured in our composition has become a neutral. Still in perfect harmony, but creating a different sort of impact.

To Evangeline’s credit, she is raising the intensity of garments and cosmetics to keep the result exciting and vibrant, but as many women do, she may be looking too far from home for the answers. Stay within your Season as much as you did before silver hair.

In Evangeline’s perception, the silver hair seems very cool. Compared to the previous dye, which her self-image learned over years if not decades, it may be. To me, it looks like expensive gray suede.

Like all women, until a few inches of silver appear and the dye is removed, it’s hard to see that we could look quite different and that different is actually better. I have never ever seen the woman for whom the dye is more attractive than what I see the silver will be.

The silver hair looks wow next to the skin, and for Evangeline, it looks soft in the overall composition, understanding that hair colour is the least reliable indicator of Season. You could see pure white hair on True Summers and softer silver on Dark Winter. I wouldn’t worry the shade of gray and would fully trust that it is still perfectly in harmony with the skin and eyes.

Once hair becomes a neutral, cosmetics and attire may need to come up a notch inside the Season.

 

Soft Autumn: Texture variations.

 

 

Match the hair, like the suit on the L side under the title. It looks connected and self-aware. The viewer is free to focus on gorgeous makeup and even more gorgeous eyes.

On other days, wear neutrals that don’t match the hair, like the blazer with the soft red blouse.

Wear red. In all its forms, red is exciting on everyone.

Whatever your style type, wear natural materials. A total Autumn thing, though many other style and image types wear it well too.

Wear prints, as the dress in the lower L. The woman’s pigmentation is very different from the dress, and we have to separate that from the garment. Bits of muted black are fine; it’s the blue pitch kind that you want to avoid.

Wear texture. Sheer, leather, faux fur, denim, quilting. Autumns look good.

Light jeans are an option, as the lower R, in this lighter Autumn.

Wear shoes and boots in the hair colour. I find it gives a bracketed, stable, reassuring, luxurious look.

Wings Out

You can do this your way. Don’t let anybody suggest that you can’t, including you. Colour belongs to all of us and is a gift of our world that we may accept.


With thanks to Susan for sharing the title image.

 

Soft Autumn with Silver Hair Part 1

 

 

Today, Evangeline is concerned. She has chosen to release hair colour from her life and is faced with unexpected decisions. To overcome the feeling of a fading appearance, she wears dark colours and more makeup and wonders if she is doing one to balance the other.

Experiments with darker colours led to the concern that she has been a Dark Autumn all along. Where is the balance? Are darker clothes and makeup both helping or not, since so many people have commented in a positive way?

When she had her PCA, she thought that she had been given the Forever key. That was it, colour was settled. Check. We love those moments: I found my winter coat, electrician, workout schedule, smoothie recipe. JOB DONE.

She didn’t expect to feel back at the beginning with her appearance ever again. She asked, “Do other women go through these continuous transition stages? Why do I feel so lost again?”

But we change. Not our Season. Us and the world around us.

Today, I’ll show you some pictures that I could imagine for several women of Soft Autumn colouring. They are journeying through various life stages, have many tastes, budgets, and aspirations in terms of appearance and everything else, just like in the real world.  With the education of their Season, they’re making choices inside of a year that they couldn’t have made in 10 years before, when they were on their own.

Green for green eyes

Evangeline is not lost at all. She is only in need of a small repositioning, both in seeing herself in a new way and revisiting how she will wear her Season. From the picture she sent, Soft Autumn looked perfectly right.

My favourite thing about silvering hair, besides looking like the height of sophistication, is how the face becomes all about the eyes. They take on intensity and meaning when there are no distractions, and they sing, like beautiful jewelry in a beautiful face.

To make the eyes-as-jewelry effect even better, wear gray green a lot. Even the gray is quite green and it makes a fantastic neutral.

Wear warm greens if your eyes have avocado green. For Evangeline, wear blue green near your eyes.

There’s a warm to cool shift from left to right in the panel below. Some items might be a bit warm or cool, but attention is divided pretty evenly.

The suede jacket seems a bit heavy, and it may be too warm or simply the influence of textile on colour. On a woman with natural texture, darkness, or fairly high warmth, it could be great.

Every Season progresses into the next, including the True Seasons. We know this from the natural world, where springtime slides into Summer. The vocabulary of leaning into Seasons, which may have begun with me, may place attention in the wrong place, but as the ship sails from one group to the next, it picks up certain characteristics.  My message these days is, “Wear your Season. Your entire Season. Rely on your colour analyst to help with fine-tuning.”

 

Soft Autumn. Warmer and cooler greens.

 

 

Stories

We are all a story inside of our Seasons. Our colours hear and respect it, and provide whatever kind of frame we need, today and through our tomorrows.

The woman who would wear the fur coat (No Real Fur in my posts or my life) will not fuss overly much. Maybe the purse is darkish, but more about it works than doesn’t. It was from before her PCA and she loves it and the colour analyst said, “Don’t discard the things you love. Le’ts find ways for them to work.” She wears her Grandma’s wedding ring, never takes it off, but that’s it. She won’t even wear sunscreen. To pull out mascara and eyeliner, the occasion has to be big, and yes, she is wearing the black dress. It’s comfortable and the colour analyst thinks, “At least it isn’t white. Black in a muting fabric, I can work with.” The colour analyst mentioned that the purse is a bit too dark, at which point the client gave her a look of gentle pity and, nodding reassuringly, said, “You know Hogwart’s isn’t real, right?”, which is how she feels about shopping  malls. She used to be fed up to the back teeth with shopping in general and preferred discovering new bistros, but once she gained control over her shopping and she chose the boundaries, she felt better about the experience. And surprising even herself, felt better about her appearance as well.

The woman in the green dress might have tried on 20 dresses and this one worked best with her palette. She loves the decision-making process and practicing the technique the colour analyst demonstrated, and allows small deviations if they feel good. She has an anniversary dinner with her husband who took her palette and came back with these earrings. She loves them and will wear them on all their dates to express her gratitude that he is in her life. She wanted to design an outfit around them. She knows the clutch may be a bit too red but she feels that it works, though she wouldn’t choose this colour in a blouse or scarf and keeps the metal of jewelry within the yellows of the palette. She knows metallics look great on Autumn colouring and loves bling as long as the style is simple.

The woman in the chevron print dress has X amount of time. Yes, she is wearing those shoes, and the image analyst thinks, “At least they’re not sneakers.”

The woman in the off white turtleneck is running the kids around.  This beats the black yoga outfit she used to wear to the  moon and back.

The woman in the animal print skirt and black boots is more receptive to her friend’s advice than her colour analyst’s, and for sure more than her mother’s. Looking like her friends matters to her as a form of mutual support. When she was young, sparkly pink was her favourite colour, but her Mom is a Soft Autumn too and this young woman is reality-based. She knows that sparkly candy pink is not Mom’s power look so he chose this blouse. The colour analyst left a Like when she saw the photo on Instagram.

 

Soft Autumn. Sets and stories.

 

 

Improv

Your Season palette is a formula that always works and it can be applied in many ways. To find yours, you try some things, just as we have we everything else in life. We know the tastes and scents we love because the experience of those that we didn’t love as much provided us with the necessary contrast to make a choice.

The women below didn’t love today’s outfit so much. Doesn’t  matter because they knew what to ignore in their experimenting and they now know how to improve tomorrow’s combinations.

The first woman, on the left, is being driven bananas by that bracelet. She much prefers the blouse and clutch, they have the same calm energy that she does. Someone in the morning coffee lineup said how much they love the spontaneity of the look so she’ll wear it for the day. Then, it’s back to the cuff bracelet.

The second woman loved the way the neckline of the yellow blouse looked under that jacket and how the fabric is flowy in a Summer way. She read that Autumns look terrific when they mix textures but this didn’t quite manage the day. She switched the top for a crewneck sweater in the same colour, and congratulated herself on the jacket and glasses.

Woman 3 feels pretty good. She loves how the jacket looks like an adult’s jean jacket. Nobody except her might know that the dots in the top are the same colour but it gives her a lift when the meeting babbles on.  She is happy to have gotten red, darkness, and gradual colour transitions into one outfit. No way she could have come close to this pre-PCA.

The fourth woman is feeling really good. Some of the colours in the bag might be bright but she sees how much of it works. The top might be a bit cool but the strength of the reds in the bag tip the balance to a warmer overall impression and the top didn’t lose energy next to it. She sees the bracelets as grounding and just right for today’s schedule of flea market > farmer’s market > beach.

 

 

Soft Autumn. Improv stories.

 

 

In Part 2

Autumn needs darkness to appear. For the face to have a frame and a shape, some level of darkness matters, possibly even more across-the-board than it does for Winters as a group. It  makes sense that Evangeline is experimenting with darkness.  Next time, we’ll add some items that might be more belonging to Dark Autumn and see what happens. We will also address a few more of her questions and solutions

Colour analysis is here to make your present day better. Once the future arrives and becomes reality, our answers are still nearby in our Season home.

My sincere thank you to Susan for sharing her beautiful photographs with us, including the fall leaves after the rain image that frames the title.

 

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Science, beauty, truth. Transformational results.