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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
When a country gets a new colour analyst, the person should be first rate and Anna is certainly that. You will sense her calm intelligence from the very beginning. Within a woman of innate elegance is an analytical, flexible, and solution-oriented thinker. Anna doesn’t jump to conclusions. She remains focused on the client’s situation and goals, seeing each one as a distinct individual with their own story to tell.
With our appearance, we want our choices to speak well on our behalf. We don’t want to look extremely apart from our tribe, but by looking too much like one another, we may suppress or censor the most interesting and individual parts of ourselves, the parts that others love most. Finding the balance is part of the challenge of effective self-expression.
Most of us are able to choose one or several items that are flattering, but find it difficult to picture the impact of an image of ourselves where every piece is in energetic harmony with every other. By allowing colour analysts like Anna into our lives, we appreciate the reassurance that we are on the right path. All at once, we progress beyond the occasional successful item to consistently beautiful choices. As they say, we get better at being lucky.
Until we are ready to take the reins ourselves, the colour analyst sees, and even protects, the vision of our final outcome. There is another quote, one to the effect that the eyes can only see what the mind is prepared to understand. Anna maintains an active intention towards an open mind so that you can be whoever it is right for you to be. It is my honour to share the journey of PCA with colour analysts such as Anna, and my privilege to introduce her to you today.
In Anna’s words,
Perfect mood board
I have not become a color analyst for the love of color. I did it out of passion to help other women feel free, strong and confident.
We women so often stand in the way to our own greatness. Each of us has a dream, a vision of herself maximizing her potential and living her life to the fullest. One of the things that hold us back is lack of confidence. I have learned to break through these inner barriers one by one – starting with appearance insecurities. Over time I have noticed the difference a shirt in the right version of white makes when it comes to being recognized as an equal business partner. I know the transformational power of the perfect lipstick when looking for courage to stand up and speak in public. Now, I finally feel that I am becoming the woman I have always aspired to be. I know each one of you can do it too – and I can’t wait to help you along that journey.
I believe that with your unique colors and lines you are a perfect mood board of Nature. No need to correct, conceal or create illusions. Acceptance of who you truly are is an invitation for something amazing to happen. My own color path (which I will share with you soon in more detail on my website) has been relatively simple compared to those of many other women. However, frustrating enough to realize how liberating it is to put down one’s struggle, frustration and doubt, and replace them with confidence and security.
As a teenager and young adult my personal style had been a little gothic and rebellious up until I started working for a multinational corporation. In my new career I thought I had to adapt to the new environment and as a result, over the next 10 years, I felt that I lost a part of myself in the process. I started wearing things which I thought were in line with the dress code but didn’t feel good. I introduced more color into my closet but soon realized all these colorful pieces didn’t go well with one another. I had plenty of clothes but “nothing to wear” – sound familiar? At some point, after one of those panic moments in front of my closet before going out, I decided I needed “professional help”. I made an appointment with a popular stylist in my home town in Poland. This is how my journey with color analysis begun.
At that point I was draped as Summer – the analysis was done with full makeup on and in artificial light. A couple of years later I was again color analyzed from pictures as True Summer – with my hair color and eye color being deciding factors. Elimination of the warmest colors from my closet made a big difference, so I lived happily as Summer for a few years. I wore all my beautiful pastels, soft blues and greens, and heathered greys. I mastered monochromatic and analogous looks. But… I remember staring one day at my reflection in the mirror thinking “I’m getting old…” I looked tired and washed out, boring and pale. I thought I lost it. I lost my energy, drive, sex appeal and confidence…
Doing my research online on 12 Seasons I came across 12 Blueprints website. The more I educated myself on the topic, the more I started doubting if the results of both of my previous PCA’s were correct. At that time I was living and working in Boston, USA. I consider myself lucky to have had a 12 Blueprints analyst, Renee Cyr, living in the same state and I decided to redo my PCA with her. It resulted in a surprising conclusion – I was a True Winter! I recall driving back home from that appointment regularly glancing at that gorgeous girl in TW makeup in the mirror and thinking “Where have you been hiding for all these years?” It was like magic – I finally felt happy and at peace – things started clicking into place.
Several months afterwards I found out I would be moving back to Poland. I realized that this was my only opportunity to take this knowledge and PCA skill with me to empower women back home. I trained with Christine Scaman, the founder of 12 Blueprints, in October 2016.
Personal Color Analysis opened my eyes to the power of color and how it can be used to give a woman strength, confidence and joy of being truly herself. I know from my own experience how uncomfortable and fake it feels to try to adapt to fashion rules, expectations, dress code. Therefore I am committed to help you look professional and authentic.
I currently work full time for the same large international company, while pursuing my passion for empowering women through color after hours. I have the 12 Blueprints Luxury drapes and 12 Blueprints cosmetics to make your color analysis experience complete. My studio is located in the north suburbs of Lodz, Poland. Please visit my website to find out how to get in touch with me:
The second edition of the book, Return to Your Natural Colours, will be at Amazon around late November and I will announce it here when it happens. Today’s post is a preview.
The voice is more experienced, I hope. If there were a theme, it might be that we are individuals within our Season. Season is where we begin, the formula that applies to all members of the group, the springboard from which each person builds the composition of their appearance.
The format is the same as the previous book, including a blend of what makes personal colour analysis (PCA) a powerful means of looking and feeling better and how I believe it works from this time in my own trajectory. The 12 Season chapters are still there, describing how each of the 12 palettes might be used to create the synchronized and harmonious outcome that expresses who you are most effectively.
A few segments have been added or deleted. The Persona sections are still there because people ask for them, with reminders from me that they are purely entertainment. An image classification system, however artistically applied, is unable to describe the nuances of a human being. Where the many systems intersect might begin to scratch the surface, and the river beneath is far deeper.
The Season Snapshots are new. As our clients begin shopping with their palette, and this was my experience also, an instruction manual would be mighty helpful. The Season chapters are essentially that, with picture and analogies to bring the palette to life. The snapshots are stories of real people and how they applied their palette, putting the theory into practice. The stories are compilations of several clients’ experiences and examples from my imagination to illustrate the role of a point of theory in how one person might use their palette. In some cases, the clients themselves participated in writing their stories.
Judy and I happened to reconnect during the writing stages of the book (it is now being formatted, meaning that a Word doc is being made into a book file and the covers are being designed). She recognized her story and wanted to share her journey with you.
Visit Judy’s blog at fancified.ca to find more images of one woman’s vision of True Summer. You will see how creative Judy is, with blog posts of crafts, including the skirt in the featured image.
In Judy’s words and mine, very near how the segment will appear in the book,
Brimming with Renewed Fulfillment
After working and raising a family during their 46 years of marriage, Judy and her husband, both in their early 70’s, have downsized to city apartment living for the last 10 years. Experiencing ethnic restaurants, attending film festivals and exploring nearby city park nature trails are all cherished. On neighbourhood walks, funky thrift and vintage shops inspire and provide materials for developing her self-expression. Grateful for good health and energy, each day is an opportunity for meeting with like-minded creative friends, sharing casual chic on her blog fancified.ca and living a True Summer stylish life. PCA and 12 Blueprints have been major players in her ability to fully embrace the early 70’s stage of life with inspired, optimistic elegance.
Way back in the MTV 80’s as a young woman, Judy had discovered the concept of Seasons and how it applies to human colouring. She knew herself to be a Summer then but felt a never-ending frustration while dressing as a Soft Summer. Here lies the key to her disgruntled fashion journey. The concept of the Neutral Seasons, which was added later in the history of PCA, was familiar to her in name only.
Looking back before her 12 Blueprints draping, the clothes in her closet for decades seemed frumpy. Living creatively, she always wore artistic vintage up-cycled, hand made, and stylish retail pieces, but the outfits seemed dowdy. Searching for clarity, she even looked at her husband who had the same blue eyes and silver hair as she did. Sharp and confident in his Winter wardrobe, Judy wondered if she might be a Winter as well. After briefly trying to wear black, pure white and bold clear jewel tones, these choices only washed away her vitality.
She then returned to wearing only Soft Summer grayed-blue, mauve, and gray blue exclusively, but found that her true beauty continued to fade away. Furthermore, she attempted to add elements that were eye catching in design while reapplying the same tired grayed colours. Dressing was a frustration, without the joy that she so desperately wanted.
After her hair turned gray, she appreciated the beautiful silvery colour but the cosmetic preferences remained minimal in dusty pink colours that she called Standard Summer. Eye makeup irritated her eyes so she wore only blush, lipstick, and a touch of eyeliner. Even though she had confidence that she was an attractive woman, was she to accept being a washed out wall flower in a reserved grayed existence forever?
Alas, the much-needed help was just around the corner. At the end of her 60’s, a friend recommended colour analysis by Christine of 12 Blueprints. Judy had high hopes that the PCA would help her bring life back to her disappointing wardrobe. She was also receptive to trying a few all-purpose lipstick colours in her Season while continuing to keep her silver hair.
Judy brought several items of clothing to the appointment, which she pulled out to illustrate her present colour situation. It was immediately clear they were all exclusively Soft Summer colours, in versions that were too muted and quite dark. This is quite common, since the True Season stereotypes of previous times are often found in one of the Neutral Seasons, or a True or Soft Summer person is wearing their wardrobe neutrals as colours.
After being draped, Judy finally discovered herself as a True Summer. The analysis was straightforward, as True Season analyses can be. The Neutral Seasons of Summer were easily eliminated. Judy viewed the Luxury drapes in amazement and saw clearwater green; pinkish blue and foxglove pinks that looked bright beneath her face; soft fuchsia, from light to dark, of which one became her new lipstick. Judy was most amazed by the elegant purples and blues, which were brighter than she would have thought possible, and saw the clarity of her eye colour in every colour she wore.
Every item in her closet, she kept. Where once, these grayed items were the entire wardrobe, she now considers them as the foundation to which brighter choices are slowly being introduced. For accessories, she always carefully hand picks designs in uplifting True Summer colours using her palette.
At the end of the appointment, we discussed how to harmonize the palette with apparel, cosmetics, and jewelry, including a stepwise and systematic approach that could be applied to any item. With every inspired retail purchase and handmade project, Judy is fine-tuning her sense of the boundary between Soft and True Summer, and True Summer and True Winter.
She looks more vivacious living this authentic life and says that the best reward from the PCA is feeling that her shopping is now entirely under her control, for the first time in her life .
I speak of colour analysis as alignment of exterior self with interior soul because ultimately, I believe that it can be a gateway that connects those two aspects of our beings. As poetic as that may sound, we want to manifest the abstraction in the real world that we all share. Without method and measurement, the foundation may be weakened. Sarah understands colours on many levels, from simple energetic relationships to picturing them interacting in a closet or drawer. She can project a wardrobe of clothing and cosmetics for a client during the draping (how will this individual use the palette?), which is so valuable because we are all individuals within our Season.
There were many things that I loved about the week we spent together. She has social grace and consideration for the client’s comfort and security, and these are important to me. She has a heartfelt love of colour and is committed to accuracy in her results and answers to client questions. Her ability to use colour for personal expression is remarkable, which led to some rich discussions between us, often with the balanced and constructive conclusion of, “I see what you see.” If we met, you might know quite soon that I find that level of communication to be magic.
I learned from and enjoyed her imaginative ways of combining colours. She could effortlessly create exciting and innovative colour combinations that were modern, outside stereotypical patterns, and adapted to many individual tastes and preferences. (Tip: If I were her client, I would draw on this strength and have her suggest combinations for me :) ) Her flexibility with envisioning colours and combinations will support her clients in making the best use of their palettes while still recognizing themselves and feeling confident.
One more thing that I love. In preparing to write this post, Sarah wondered if her colour story was too straightforward. I replied, “Sarah, my story was simple too. The analyst identified the Season, I went home, I did it, it wasn’t that hard, and I created a closet that looks like me.” We need to share more of these stories because they are the majority. You can do this. Everyone can do this. It is a devotion to yourself and there are many wonderful analysts like Sarah who can help you get started and support you in your journey.
In Sarah’s words,
I first became aware of personal color analysis all the way back in the late 1980s, when I was in eighth grade or so and my mom got the book Color Me Beautiful out of the library. I walked into the living room one day and it was sitting on the coffee table, and, well, I think I probably read it in one sitting. I remember it was like a bombshell for me—I never would have thought of it myself, but it’s so logical that certain colors would look more appealing on some skin tones than on others! I was struck by the different palettes and their distinct—and distinctive—personalities. I quickly determined that I was a Summer, and even though I still bought some clothes from other palettes, I made Summer-ness a core part of my identity.
After I graduated from college and started looking for a job, I wanted to refresh my memory of exactly what Light Lemon Yellow (Summer’s singular yellow option) looked like, so back I went to the library—where I discovered that the four seasons had become twelve! I was taken aback, yet intrigued by this development. Again, I devoured the book and determined that I was a Soft Summer, having just a drop of Autumn warmth added to Summer’s essentially cool colors.
I might have lived happily ever after from that point, except for one thing: I didn’t have a swatchbook. The color blocks in the library book had faded so much with age, all the greens looked identical! The best I could do was to write down the names of the Soft Summer colors and try to imagine what they must look like…which didn’t go so well. (Amethyst? Soft rose? Buttermilk? What?) Finally, I gave up and just started buying whatever I liked that didn’t look awful in the mirror. For one reason and another, this phase lasted several years.
It was about two years ago now that I couldn’t take it anymore—I had to know my season for sure! I needed a swatchbook! When I found 12 Blueprints, based on the Sci\ART method of color analysis, I was so excited. I had never been willing to spend money on a color analysis before because the outcome had always been subjective, and a subjective opinion is still just an opinion, even if it’s professionally given. (I was especially wary because everyday people who knew of color analysis would say to me, “Oh, you must be a Winter!” or “Your eyes say Spring to me!” No one ever said Summer.) But now there was a scientific process that would lead to a clear, rational answer. I discovered that there was a 12 Blueprints-certified analyst near me and (after the inevitable argument with myself over whether I deserved to spend good money on something as frivolous as my own self-esteem…) booked an appointment. Part of me was hoping to be right about Soft Summer, because being right would feel validating. Part of me was hoping to be anything else, because Soft Summer colors look so…gray…on the page! Dark Autumn, maybe? (I hadn’t gotten the memo that Soft colors don’t look gray on a Soft person—they just look normal!)
Well, it turns out I was right! I am a Soft Summer, just like I thought. But…remember how I said I had given up on trying to imagine what Soft Summer colors look like? I wasn’t even close! My entire wardrobe had ended up being a combination of True Summer and Dark Winter. I don’t think I kept more than a handful of items!
It took some time to get comfortable with my new colors, but the validation immediately started pouring in. People asked me what had changed. They said I glowed. They definitely noticed my lipstick, which I had never worn before, and enthusiastically assured me that the color was perfect! I subconsciously began responding to their positive reactions. My self-esteem increased, I felt more grown up, and I found myself making more daring decisions than I ever would have made otherwise. One of them, of course, was to become a personal color analyst myself, to help others who are seeking their color identity find the same level of self-confidence and—honestly—joy that I am now experiencing in my own life.
Whether your story is the same as mine, or you need to be assured that you are representing yourself and your profession with as much polish as possible, or you just want to get off the merry-go-round and stop taking the fashion industry’s word for it that you need an avocado-green blouse this fall and should definitely wear nude lipstick and absolutely must cover your incoming gray with caramel highlights to look “young” again, personal color analysis is the tool you need to orient yourself toward the palette of coordinated colors that will let you achieve your goals.
My studio, Pizzazz PCA, is located in the greater Philadelphia area, and I would be delighted to help you find the pizzazz in your own natural coloring. Find me at www.pizzazzpca.com, and let’s get in touch!
The original Greenery swatch is included in the palette in the lower right corner of each panel below, third row, far right.
Matching and Comparing
Any Season could have four, eight, or ten accurate palettes, as technical or artistic as you please, and never repeat a single colour. Many readers have that many swatch books and more and have benefited from seeing how palette designers may view a Season. When everybody’s right, the world is a richly layered place.
As the client, I might only want one palette. My colour analyst assured me that one is plenty. She showed me ways of using it with anything I want to buy. That works for me.
I match items to the colours in my palette. I look great, and even better, I have started hearing my own voice and my closet looks more and more like me. You might have the same experience.
One day, you might see a post like this one and decide to try this new approach. As you place new items among those you already own, you notice that it’s easier to see what you like. With the help of your colour analyst, you find two or three Shopping Scarves that are in your Season for sure. Along with your palette, these become a new point of reference. Your fabulous, out-of-the-box, you-and-nobody-else wardrobe is picking up speed and you still look great.
Colour is for everybody. It looks young and healthy, as if you’re standing up straighter, like a form of good posture. Team player that it is, there plenty of ways to make it work for you and with you. We are here to help you get started.
Spring wears lime comfortably. They wear green in general easily. I actually delayed this post wondering what I would talk about. In the panels that follow, I try many interpretations of colours that seem close to the palette, just to see if anything jumps out, and find some things to talk about :)
This Season seems able to wear a huge variety of textiles. From matte to very shiny, the fabric and person look better together. Colouring with even slight Summer influence (such as Light Spring, further down) can get lost behind sharply white highlights.
Transparency works. The drop earrings in the top right are comfortable, but the T-shirt below them seems a little heavy. Could be that the yellow content is gold, not yellow. Could be that the textile goes darker in the shadows instead of lighter in the highlights. Those might harmonize it with Dark Autumn. Does it matter? Not to me. I’m Canadian and in my world, everyone needs warm weather clothes and True Spring colours are not plentiful in winter fabrics. The colour shares so much more than it differs that you can still make plenty of inspired outfits.
The glasses. So cute, ay? No white or black and a nice brown that could repeat the hair colours. Plus the turquoise that Springs wear so well , not in areas so big that the colour competes with the eyes or keeps pulling the viewer’s attention (just their admiration!) Spring’s fun wink at tortoiseshell.
The other earrings, near the centre, appeared in Dark Winter and will be in Bright Spring, just to see what happens. It’s amazing how much what’s around them matters in our perception. Seem fine to me. Again, they share more than they differ.
Of the three shoes, the middle pair appears in Bright Spring too. With a lot of skin showing through, in the green that loves Spring, and worn further from the face, the colour is less fussy. I’m undecided about the lower shoe. The idea wasn’t whether it contains yellow, but does the yellow harmonize with the yellow in the other colours. The more I look at it, the better it’s getting, which is often a good sign.
The shirt below and to the left of the word True. You don’t really notice it. Could be that the image is small or it isn’t quite pigmented (saturated) enough. Still fine. It doesn’t stick out as awkward. True Spring is not especially bright or soft. It’s especially warm.
In the top right are the blouse and earrings that were in the Dark Winter panel. Fine with the top with a slight preference for Dark Winter. Not so sure about the earrings, they seem to be sitting further back or down compared to the items around them. Either that or the image is small. When you photograph things to compare, including yourself, a constant distance for the camera helps.
Bits of white and black are no problem, or what looks like white and black, as shown in the bottom row. The items are bright, lively, warm, and fairly light, all things that work.
The green and blue top under and to the left of the word Bright was in Dark Winter too. I like it better here, perhaps because more of these items are casual.
No problem with the green sandals in the middle.
Also good with the fluo-green Nike pullover and purse above Pantone. Humans don’t have neon pigmentation but some can make beautiful sense of it, to their and the garment’s advantage.
Did you see the time-lapse video on the 12 Blueprints Facebook page with the so beautiful Light Spring model (posted about a month ago)? That was with no makeup. Lola lipstick (from the Blueprints line), a sparkly turquoise drape, with a pink coral tossed over one shoulder. My goodness.
Did you see Cate Linden’s recent Light Spring client wearing Sorbet gloss (posted on her Facebook page on August 31/17)? It’s very sheer and when it meets Light Spring colouring, it brings out all the good.
The one shoulder top above the Pantone palette appeared in True Spring. The yellow content might be too strong. Or the pants are too dark. It seems distracting but your eye might love it. Your eye is not wrong, it’s just yours.
I like chalky textures around Summer, of which this colouring has a small amount. It shows the hazy quality, like a toothpaste feeling. Autumn has haze of a different type. You wouldn’t call it haze or fog. It’s thicker than that, like velvet and chocolate. The ring might be a little velvety. You know what I’m going to say, right? So what. It’s pretty and so-better than all the other greens in the store that day. There are greens very close to this in many Light Spring eyes.
The green strappy shoes have been replaced here by the green cropped sweater. All good in the hood, as my darling son says.
Along my path, I have been more grateful than I can say for how generously everyone has shared their way of seeing colour. How it looks through my eyes is not the final word. It’s the first word of a conversation. If you see it differently and have time to type a comment, I and many others would love to read it.
Floortje is intelligent and articulate. You will meet a good explainer with great flexibility in helping you to apply your Season palette to your individual pigmentation, body type, and desired presentation. She also has great common sense (we had a joke that this was the Dutch coming out in her), the ability to prioritize those times when details matter, and an open-mind to visualize many beautiful interpretations of a Season.
Floortje’s colour story is a long one, as you might easily imagine when you see her pictures. If you were to test her colouring, you might find that the surprises continue. Perhaps least expected is how similar the colours and patterns in her eyes are to those of many members of her Season, even average or stereotypic, if such words were included in our vocabulary. You will able to read the story on Floortje’s website very soon.
We all understand experiences better when they have been our own. With many Seasons in her past, Floortje has respect for the many ways in which this might happen, and the sensitivity to know how confusing it feels. She also has a clear sense of the strategies that help resolve the questions (and emotions) and continue progressing in your own colour journey.
In Floortje’s own words,
Thank you for welcoming me into the 12Blueprints colour community. My name is Floortje Mossou, but you can call me Florentina if the spelling of my name confuses you. It is with great pleasure that I announce the opening of my business, Calla Studio for colour consulting, in the Netherlands. I am very proud to introduce the 12Blueprints method to Western Europe. Together with my colleagues Annette Henriksen (Denmark), Jorunn Hernes (Norway), Johanna Järvinen (Finland), Hana Haulišová (Czech Republic) and a soon-to-be-announced analyst in Poland, we will be able to introduce many women (and men too, hopefully) in Europe to the science and magic of the 12Blueprints/YND method.
Before I became a colour analyst, I worked in research. I have a Master’s degree in Biology, and all my life I have been fascinated by the natural world. As a scientist, I am mostly interested and the shapes and colours of plants and animals. As a colour analyst, I combine this interest in colour, with a passion for helping you understand your colours.
My colour journey How did I become a colour analyst? Well, there’s a long story. Image me in the year 2012. I was living in a little shoebox of a student room, halfway up a tall building in the university town. It was rented for the summer months, and I was there to work on my Master’s thesis. But things weren’t going so well. I was struggling to do enough work every day. Why, you might ask?
Well, as a little girl, I was never as big or strong as the other kids. I couldn’t run as fast, or as long. I couldn’t throw a ball as hard as the others. But I moved well, with ease and grace, and I was fine.
Later, as a teenager, moving became less easy. Going to school became a strain, and sports started to get very hard. The changes were slow – and insidious, so I never knew they happened. But eventually, I noticed I was very tired. Really very tired. So tired in fact, that all the simple things I used to do had become impossible.
Maybe you know about someone who has chronic fatigue. Maybe you have had it yourself, or still do. Gosh, I hope not. But if you do, you’ll know that chronic fatigue is no joke. It reduces your life to a personal twilight zone, the past forgotten and the future meaningless. The present becomes a prison, where every second grates at your well being. Even the most mundane tasks, like going to the bathroom or checking your bank account, become insurmountable obstacles that require tremendous effort. During that time, I lost my friends, my hobbies and my plans for the future. I nearly lost my education too. However, with iron will, talent, hard work and the help of a lot of other people, I succeeded. I graduated high school.
The next step was to go to university. What could I do but try? I enrolled in Biology, and for the next four years, by a process I might call ‘creative scheduling’, all went better than I had reason to hope. Until I reached that summer where I worked on my Master’s thesis. The higher workload and added pressure meant a major setback on my delicate health. But with it came an unexpected benefit.
There I was, effectively marooned in that little student room. It had very large, south-facing windows, and the summer heat wave meant I had to keep the curtains closed during the day. The evenings were most comfortable, a quiet time I filled with rest and tea. It was during one of those evenings, that I thought to myself: “if I can’t improve my health, I can at least try to make everything else better.”
But what did that mean? Looking good made life easier, I knew. It was what I was struggling with the most. You have to realize that all the things I couldn’t do (and there were many), people would have to help me with – or forgive me my failures. But trying to ask for help, to talk, to express, to communicate – was so hard. My face felt bloated and heavy, my skin was oily and the teenage acne kept lingering on my cheeks. I had trouble lifting my eyelids enough to look smart, or even awake. I felt so small and vulnerable, it was hard to look people in the eye. My power to connect was gone.
And so, by the golden light of a setting sun, I sat down behind my desk, turned on the computer and went looking for ways to make my life just a little bit easier.
You guessed it already, haven’t you? That evening I found out about Personal Colour Analysis. It was fascinating. Here was a way to make myself look better, healthier. It actually looked doable. For every person. On every budget.
At first, I tried to DIY it. During the following months, I trawled through the house and held every coloured item I could find under my chin. I tried a myriad of makeup looks, including the ‘too-black liner and too-red lipstick’. If it didn’t look too horrible, did it mean I was a Winter?
I guess we’ve all been there. It didn’t work, of course. And so a year later I was on my way towards my colour analysis appointment.
Getting there But real life is, ya know, real, and no storybook. It took some more years, a couple misses and a lot of frustration, before I saw myself in the right colours. Those tales we’ll save for another time (see my coming website). I sincerely hope that all your colour journeys will be more pleasant and much faster than mine. Still, for an analyst, it was a blessing in disguise. I learned more about colour, and about me, than I would have any other way.
And in the end I did find them. My colours. Bright Winter. – happy sigh –
Next, some small but good things started to happen…
… I started to enjoy shopping. As a kid, I used to hate it with a vengeance. It got better as a teenager. But now. Now I knew exactly what worked for me, and what I could safely ignore…
… and gone was the agonizing over things-that-were-in-fashion-that-I-didn’t-like-but-might-learn-to-like-and-did-that-mean-I-would-miss-out-on-…?-…??? I walked out on those…
… and ended up spending less money with more results. The next thing I knew…
… I became more comfortable spending money on items. Plus…
… I suddenly had an excellent reason to get rid of the portion of clothes in my wardrobe that I didn’t like and didn’t wear. And so…
… getting ready in the morning suddenly got really easy. In fact, it got enjoyable. Very quickly, …
… colours became a secret weapon for the critical moments in my life, whether it were dates or job interviews…
… and I started to feel good about myself. Because of that…
… my fatigue became less of a burden. What happened next…
… I found my confidence. And best of all…
… I started to see my beauty.
Just think about that for a moment. What would it mean for a woman to see her own beauty?
It was a genuine blessing. It helped me to create a way back to myself, my confidence, my femininity and my beauty, and ultimately my health. My fatigue still exists, but it became so much easier to cope.
Where I started out to ‘fix’ my ability to communicate, I ultimately ended up healing it. You see, I think that the way you get treated is just a mirror of how you behave. If I felt not sure about myself, people would treat me dismissively. Why would they do that? Because I was dismissive towards myself. But if I treated myself as genuinely valuable, other people simply did the same.
This is why colour analysis is worth so much. It goes beyond the ‘mere’ aesthetics of our lives – which are major determinants in our relationships – and shows us who we really are. It teaches us self-love and self-acceptance. These were the things that helped me to build up my life again, and to learn to love the adventures that I came across.
I do not mean to say that colour analysis is a miracle cure-all, for the body or the mind. It is not. There were of course, many other things that helped me along the way. Colour analysis is simply a tool. But a powerful tool at that, and it gave me courage and support when I needed it most.
I want you too, to have this tool.
If you want to come for your personal colour analysis with me, we will take our time to talk about what challenges you’ve been finding with colour, and how you can solve them. It is important to me that you understand your result, and that you know what to do to move forward.
Accuracy is vital in colour analysis. To achieve the highest possible accuracy, my studio has a dedicated area where we’ll measure your colours. It is equipped with modern full-spectrum LED lamps that give the purest white light. The lamps are in softboxes, so we can comfortably look at you in the mirror without getting sore eyes. Placed around your chair, there are three background screens and a carpet in pure neutral grey. These eliminate all possible coloured reflections, including those from furniture. The only coloured items that are allowed in there, are you yourself and the drape that we’ll use to measure you!
It creates an environment that is so neutral, the colour reactions in your face suddenly appear amplified. It’s the neutral grey room taken to the next level. Some people like to call it my ‘blanket fort’. It’s an apt description, actually – it is remarkably soothing to sit in. And to be frank, it’s just a happy accident. I needed a flexible setup that I could move, and I am thrilled to find it works so well.
My studio is currently located in Leiderdorp, but please note that I will move to a different location in the Netherlands in the future. A website is in the works, but if you want to know more in the meantime, you can visit my Facebook page, CallaStudioConsulting, or contact me directly via email, email@example.com.
Previous posts are here for the 3 Autumns, and here for the 3 Summers.
The three panels below show Greenery in the swatch card in the lower right corner, in the third row-far right sample, along with other colours for 2017. The colour appears to be bright and warm, with some Spring influence. How will a person coloured with Winter pigments use it?
Every item shown might not fit into the Season exactly. I hope it doesn’t, actually, because that might feed a beastie that thinks everything has to be perfect to work. It totally doesn’t. Colour is for everybody and everybody can do this. What I want for you is to learn how to use fashion retail to your advantage with Every. Single. Purchase. Your colour analyst can show you tips and techniques to help make that much easier.
A personal colour analysis (PCA) palette is like a source of renewable energy. Whatever the fashion climate or era, you pull it out of your purse or pocket and it goes to work for your wardrobe. Although every swatch is the same size in a palette, it doesn’t have to be that way in your closet. In your colour territory, wear as much or as little of any colour as you like.
In some ways, True Winter is a very yellow Season, but just because it’s yellow doesn’t mean it’s warm. All human colouring contains yellow. The important question is, which yellow?
True Winter’s is very cool and very saturated, so you can see it in many colours and neutrals. Summer yellow is softer and doesn’t register as much. As all non-native yellows can, True Winter yellow can make people with other colouring look yellow in an unhealthy way. Only True Winter looks entirely normal and present, neither over- nor under-defined, not overheated or jaundiced or sallow, just sitting there wondering what everyone is staring at and how they could possibly make use of this colour.
In the panels, you may see a strong yellow in some items and I’ve included various darkness levels to give you a better idea of how it might look. On your screen, it could look different and hopefully the comparisons give you a general idea.
Greenery out of the box contains someone else’s yellow. True Winter will be more magnificent in emerald, if they migrate over to the image of the bamboo stalks for their colours.
Blue-green has overlaps with True Summer. The handbag under and to the left of the word True could be great for them, in part because the yellow is less obvious (on my screen) than in the earrings below it.
This Season has a jungle green that we looked at in this post, about Green and Purple for Dark Winter.
The bracelet at the lower left is more jade and could be part of an Autumn wardrobe; the one at the middle right is glassier and appears in the Bright Winter panel. For a Dark Winter woman wearing either one, I’d think, “Great!”
They share more than they differ, are small in area, and are not right next to her face (colour proximity raises the effect of colour interactions (aka, simultaneous contrast)). Both pieces could participate in ensembles, and better if she removed or replaced the light gold medallion on the jade bracelet with something deeper and shinier.
I’m a big believer in everyone in a Season wearing the entire palette, though how much they wear of each colour and where they use it can have as many interpretations as there are people in the Season. Some have cool-looking skin and warm-looking eyes. Some (like me, depending on who you ask) are the opposite. Whether that is due to undertone or it just is, I don’t know. They all react to colour in the same way.
Cosmetics are applied right on the face, in immediate contact and the closest proximity with natural pigments, so they have to be individualized a bit more. They also interact with skin chemistry. Once you know your Season, this part is easy. You know what not to bother with. You try a few colours with your colour analyst and narrow down to a good place.
The drop earrings and one-shoulder top above it will appear in the post for Springs, which will complete this series. If we asked ourselves about the earrings, “Are they based in yellow or gold?”, they may look more yellow, though somehow they don’t seem candy enough for Spring and have enough of a deep opacity to do interesting things next to yellow green in eyes, which Dark Winters often have.
The top might be also be based in yellow. You might see gold. It’s a little candy and a little jungle. I might see the top better with Dark Winter lipstick, you might love it with Bright Spring neutrals. There are many ways of being right, and when it comes to personal taste, they all count. The other colours in the outfit will find all that they have in common and make sense of them.
With the Bright Seasons, Greenery is becoming recognizable in its native state. The warm and cool greens in the curled leaf image look about right.
As ever with Winter yellow, it has a sharp quality that makes it hard to call it warm. There is nothing cozy or buttery about it, though in Bright Winter, it is getting slightly sweeter. In the items below, the type of yellow looks more clear and daffodil (Spring, for Bright Winter whose colouring is blend of Winter and Spring) than velvety and gold (an Autumn ingredient, for Dark Winter above, who is coloured with a lot of Winter and a little Autumn).
Neon is neon on everybody. Humans are not made of these kinds of pigments, but the Brights can balance them so that the person and their clothing still appear united. The colour might be used more for accents and accessories than coats and pants. Bright Winter emerald is beautiful on this colouring so I included a few items down the left side. The multi strand bracelet near the centre has both yellow-green and emerald. I love warm and cool colours together on colouring that has influence from both. The person looks intuitive or tuned-in to themselves in a very cool way.
The green, blue, and white tunic is interesting. It might be Dark Winter but I didn’t care for it with the lipsticks. It might be Bright Spring but those colours faded a bit, though they could certainly use it since the white areas are small. I’ll add it to the Bright Spring panel and we can see what happens.
And it might be Bright Winter; I like it with the white pants. I always wonder how many of these they sell and to whom. More items might have moved more out the door if the white and periwinkle had been the largest areas, but high five for getting out the box and looking great. PCA is all about that and looking like the original work of art that you are.