Colour Shopping Online: Light Summer

For the technique of opening the palette to harmonize colours into Seasons, full credit goes to colour analyst and Sci\ART trainer, Terry Wildfong. The method works equally well with fabric, cosmetic, jewelry, and any other item that you want to place into the best colour environment, the one where the palette and the item will bring out the best in each other. The palette stands in for the person of the same natural colouring.

Items purchased online should be easy to return. Expectations of perfect accuracy from pictures on screens may be overreaching. If your preference or the purpose of the garment requires it to be perfectly in Season, shop in person.

The general question when I shop online is, “Does this item share enough in its colour properties to be worn extremely well by a person of this colouring, and will they allow the item to look excellent in return?”

Readers had some questions that we can talk about first.

  1. Do I use special lighting?

For harmonizing colours, I always work between 10AM and 4PM with indirect daylight (no sunlight) on the screen. I use a Macbook Pro that is about 3 years old. Some monitors add a definite colour cast that you’d want to be aware of and perhaps use a different device.

There is a full spectrum lamp on the screen. This is a 23W bulb with a 100W equivalency. It does not emit huge light. I buy mine from LifeLite in Canada. It fits into a standard fixture. The bulbs used for PCA are larger and emit more light.  Full Spectrum Solutions in the USA is a good source, or many others, I would think.

The CRI is 96. The CRT is 5800K. A CRI over 5000 and a CRI over 90 are desirable. Both numbers should be specified on the box.

Many energy saving bulbs emit an oddly coloured light. Many full spec bulbs don’t have the specifications on the box and the light is often too yellow or not balanced. Colour is light. The wavelengths of light entering the object greatly influence those that will come back out.

White is the most difficult colour to place in Seasons, IRL or online, because it reflects so many wavelengths including the lighting itself. Black is also challenging for the similar reason that it reflects so few colours and they can be quite subtle.

  1. Does photography change colours?

Undoubtedly yes. The photographic effects are unpredictable, with no average effect that could be expected from every image within the same store, or across different stores.

For the most part, I evaluate the colour on the screen without assumptions such as, “It’s probably not that warm and goes into this cooler Season.” For every item on every site, I start from the beginning using the image as it is presented. I do compare the colour to as many other things in the image as possible, which we will see later in this post.

Certain sites have a tendency to present colours that are slightly muted relative to what comes in the mail, LLBean and JCrew as possible examples, but it is variable. I have had this experience with Nordstrom and Macy’s also.

No site that presents higher saturation comes to mind but it certainly happens with certain items or textile pigments. I see it in online client images with drapes whose colours I know, or in my own videos, where human, textile, and cosmetic pigments are translated differently.

There may be variability between camera sensors and software. Some seem to average the colours in the image. If the drape is very warm in colour, the rest of the colours are cooled, or vice versa. This seems to happen more with iPhones and some digital cameras, and less (or less noticeably) in fashion photography. I am not sure how to get around it. I have played with white balances till I got tired of getting no satisfactory or predictable result.

Some sites are extremely irregular between thumbnails and larger image, or larger image and video. ASOS is an example. The video often shows an item that is less saturated than the pictures. When picture, video, and thumbnails are all different, it’s impossible to tell. I usually go by the video.

  1. How does shine affect Season or images?

The colour of the highlight is dependent on the light source, often causing the item to appear lighter and warmer.

The smoothness of the shine may contain helpful clues. The smoother the shine, the whiter the highlight, the more likely to move into Winter. If the shine is grainy or pebbled, meaning that the surface is uneven, the highlight tends to be more muted but this is not consistent. If the highlight is grayish or not very different in colour from the textile, the shine is more characteristic of Summer and Autumn- influenced colour.

  1. How do you use colour clues in the model?

Everybody everywhere understands colour by comparing it to something.

A model is helpful. I try to establish relationships and rationality. If her shoes are clearly Autumn, discordant clothing is probably not Autumn. This goes beyond my taste to what humans generally (but not always) agree on. Few people would pair whisky brown with candy pink or dusty grape.

Whether her hair is dyed or not doesn’t matter, it’s just a colour block. Same with lipstick, it’s just a colour block. Yellow hair is more likely Spring-side but many golds are redder, heavier, and actually work better with Autumn. True red lips are probably Winter-influenced. I don’t get more specific than that.

The model is also good for general assumptions. If the model has black eyes and hair, we can be fairly comfortable that she belongs to one of the 5 groups with Winter-influence. I think in terms of more than and less than relationships than her Season. If a model is medium in her colouring and her head is receding while the clothing is coming forward, it is probably brighter than she is.

Plants, furniture, shoes, brick walls, or any other comparison opportunity are useful.

If the item is pictured with nothing else in the image, I go to #5.

  1. Can I make outfits?

Some of our clients desire perfect Season accuracy for every purchase. Others are pleased when they can sidestep unflattering colour purchases, aiming for the general sense of their Season group. I fall in between, looking for colours that can form very good relationships with me and with my wardrobe, cosmetics, and hair colour. I have a thing about clothing and hair colour because so often, they are truly uncomfortable together and nobody ever seems to notice, and I wonder why not.

Holding the palette to the screen, I consider the palette as a whole first. The very moment that the palette is placed up in front of the screen, keep awareness of where your attention goes. Look for roughly equal attention between garment and palette. If you’re ignoring one, or if one feels too insistent, it might be a problem.

Be patient. It takes practice to sense where your attention is. Your subconscious mind knows. You just have to pull the information forward into your conscious awareness.

Sometimes changing what is in front of our eyes shifts the attention but the colours might work well enough. The chemistry of the retina might just feel momentarily shaken up and our decision-making ability is temporarily suspended. This is similar to putting on makeup, especially for Winters. The lipstick or eyeshadow seems like a lot at first. Instead of removing it, it is best to go do something else that does not involve mirrors. When we return, we wonder what the issue was.

As in PCA with a person, if you are not sure about a decision, then you don’t know yet. Both choices remain viable, whether it be both Seasons in an analysis or the garment on the screen with the palette. Keep going.

Spread the arms of the palettes far enough apart to see the garment colour between them. If you can focus on the palette, and then focus on the garment, and think, “OK, this could work. At least they are not pushing each other apart. I can see both at once and find the picture pleasing.”, next, divide the palette into sections. Trying to evaluate an entire palette at once may be like trying to evaluate all the drape colours together at the same time. For me, there is too much information to manage.

First, the neutrals. Are they staying the same? Does the white look fresh and clean? Do grays look about the same as they appeared away from the screen? Can a white shirt/gray pants outfit be easily assembled? If anything takes on a green, yellow, or red cast, so will the face. Could you image the neutral colours as eyeliner and eyeshadow with that garment?

Next, the reds. These are the native reds in cheeks and lips, and the lipstick and blush colours. Could you insert the garment colour into one of the strips and nobody would know the difference? Would you pair the colours in an outfit? Would you wear this blush under those eyes?

Green seems to have two choices in life, to be great or gross. Look at the green strip on its own. This strip may also contain some of the more unique colours to that Season. Is the effect together pleasing or at least convincing?

The yellows. Consider each colour area separately. Has the lightest colour all but disappeared? Is the darkest colour somehow unpleasant? Does one of the middle colours suddenly look as if it doesn’t belong, as if the strip has broken up somehow?

Pins

A reader had the good suggestion of using pins on Pinterest. Links to merchandise can be unpredictably here one day, gone the next. For now, I’ll put the pins in the Shopping for Your Season and Style board. If this process works and we do more, I can put the pins in their own board for ease of finding in the future.

For now, as I’m sure you’ve thought of, open the two windows side by side to follow along. If that doesn’t work well, we can do something else next time.

  1. Light aqua dress, mauve background.

>No.

Thought process:

Spring side, no recognizable Autumn.

Light or Bright Seasons possible, both have these types of colours.

The dress is very bright relative to the wall. They are not forming any great relationships or agreements. One might say that the dress is easier to see against the wall but the wall is not enhanced in any way. The wall is Summery, so the dress probably has little or no Summer.

A gain at the expense of another colour in the composition is inconsistent with my idea of harmony. For harmony to be satisfied, the whole must be agreeable. The wall, dress, and shoes from this picture, placed in the same landscape, would be a fantasy, not a solid, capable, believable world. The wall and the dress are not improving one another. It is difficult if not uncomfortable to look at both simultaneously, like a world with the wrong-coloured sky. My conclusion is that the dress and wall are different Seasons.

The shoes are Autumn or Spring or have some of both. They are not doing anything much, neither balancing the head, elongating the leg, or clashing significantly.

Next, I hold the palette to the dress with the arms of the palette spread far enough apart to see the dress through them. If I look at the dress, the Light Summer palette fades. I am almost ignoring it. I can see that certain properties are shared but not enough to feel like they making one another better. The lipsticks have little energy unless she wore only the darker choices, which is a possibility. We would have to see it but I wonder if the lipstick would look weirdly dark or weak or somehow not luscious above this dress.

The longer I look at it, the more the dress is taking on neon characteristics, and this is in dim lighting. The dress is more than most things in the image. I’m starting to think Bright. Worn by a Light Summer woman, the dress will become even brighter and she will become “the woman in that blue dress.”

At this point, I would skip on to the next item.

2. Woman with wavy blonde hair, silver medallion pendant, white distressed jeans, and aqua tunic top.

>Maybe but for sure be able to return it.

Why the top could be (or work with) Light Summer:

It is more muted than the jeans, which we can be fairly certain are Winter. Therefore the blouse is not likely Winter, or not strongly Winter. Even Dark Winter turquoise would probably balance white better, but she could probably wear it, being the muted Winter. I suspect that Bright Spring would also be too saturated but True Spring is possible.

The yellow component in the top is strong but this may be because of the lighting and time of day, or a Spring colour.  Light Summer has colours like that in the palette and she could wear it well enough but it does seem strong next to the palette colours. I would love to go to the store and find that it is more muted and less yellow than the picture.

It is cooler than the hair colour, which seems Spring like, but dyed  yellow hair can often be difficult in any palette so I don’t use it. The yellow green grass and leaves look Spring coloured, and  the blouse seems reasonable enough.

The model offers me no clues.

I don’t think the neutrals of Light Summer are ideal.

The pendant seems fine but turquoise would allow for cool and warm.

The clutch is somehow not being noticed but that could be the jeans. No conclusion.

The Autumn-like shoes do not seem to share a lot with  the top.

3.  Woman with coral dress with bow at waist and upswept hairstyle.

>Yes.

I love this colour on Light Summer. My eyes are tuned to look for it.

I do not know her Season but her eyes and eye makeup contain darkness that is causing me to lose the dress. If one thing is enhanced at the expense of the other, something is off. The dress and the woman are not making one another better but neither are they a lot worse. They are just there.

Her head has become mostly eyes, which is taking the idea of eyes as the focal point too far. The idea is not to vanish half the face, or the person’s presence, or spend money on clothing for which the best thing you could say is, “It’s just there.”

Eyes need a face to be anchored in. The building blocks in the image of a person need to stack up: hair, eyes and upper half of face, lower half of face, upper half of body, lower half of body. That is the level-upon-level of positive reinforcement that PCA offers those who have their formula (Season).

The lipstick could be lovely on Light Summer but I’m losing it with these eyes.  A face, head, and person are visually balanced when hair, eyes, and lips have similar impact. (Silver and white hair have plenty of impact). These eyes override the face and garment. The eyeliner and the eyes are competing for my attention and I have trouble moving on.

Not sure about the shoe colour but the bow seems to work. It matches, which is fine although not necessarily what we look for. You could find a similar colour in four or five palettes that looks like it matches. Colour matching is not what PCA is.

No conclusions to be drawn from the hair colour.

The fabric texture is good for Light Summer. They look super in it.

4. Same woman as 3 with more lips and dress. 

>Close call but no.

This colour for Light Summer may be too heavy but if I were shopping, I’d try it. It may be different off the model. Something is making her skin greener than it probably is and the same may be happening to the dress.

It’s hard to make sense of it with the aquas and greens of the palette, which begin looking frivolous or childish when in truth, they are stunning and vibrant on a Light Summer. Greens are excellent for getting a sense of what could be rational together.

I added this pin to show another version of the previous woman. Although not claiming that this is perfect, and this dress might be Light Summer too, she seems to have more presence than in the previous dress. I can look at her eyes and be aware of what she is wearing. The eyes are supported in a solid face, not a blurred or fluffy-edged face. The lips are doing something. Her hair has richer pigmentation. If it takes darker colour for her to show up, maybe she is a darker Season than Light Summer.

I do not believe for a second that anybody wears only the dark colours in Light Summer, and is still a Light Summer. They might be darker-looking Light Summer compared to some imaginary average but they are the whole Season. The palettes are adjusted for that colouring’s colour ranges and we can mix and match fairly freely within ours. If Light Summer wants to wear her darker green and navy blue, go ahead. It could be great.

Kathryn Kalisz’s Sci\ART palettes are correct. Not rigid, but correct for all person of whatever race, age, or gender. If you can only wear half of one of the palettes to show up, I would be looking for another palette. Other PCA systems will beg to differ on this point and that’s perfectly OK. I welcome all new ideas and ways of seeing things.

5. Long one-shoulder shimmery dark turquoise. 

>Yes.

6. So-cute child’s dress with yellow bow at waist.

> Yes.

The colour is soft but gives no feeling of shade or smoke as Soft Summer would.

A faint peach or buttery quality appears in the bow and skirt which is great on Light Summer, in makeup also. Many in this Season wear the warmth beautifully, right up to the edge of Light Spring.

Looking through the strips of the palette, the colour works nicely. The darker choices are fine and the dress holds up to them. The lighter colours do not become weak. The palette has energy and the dress colour has energy.

Holding up the strip with the yellows, it makes great sense.

The bodice may be a bit cool but it does not have any significant brightness. Maybe it’s a bit lemony but True Summer will have difficulty with the warmth of the waistband. Light Summer will do fine with a bit of brightness.

The white is softened, not stark. The glitter is delicate.

The gray and muted silver of the model form are fine and balance well.

Light Summer could use this item to her advantage. Perhaps other Seasons could as well. The colour analyst may be required to place an item into a single Season. A Light Summer client only needs to know if an item could work in her favour or if she is better leaving it at the store.

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Please No Colours for Springs

Previous posts in the series are linked in the titles:

Please No Colours for Summers 

Please No Colours for Autumns


 


About the Colours, L to R 

They come from my memory. None is matched to any particular colour in any palette.

Light Spring: 

True Autumn-ish camel, too red, too dark.

Potting soil brown. Gorgeous on some. Light Spring needs sky colours in the early morning in some place with incredible sunrises.

Dark Autumn teal. Teal and turquoise are good are a lot of people, colours with more latitude than many others. I didn’t use black because I’d be letting myself off too easy, nothing is worse. So I chose a colour that contains black in a hue that is really not good on everybody.

The beauty colour: light periwinkle. They look like a person sitting on a cloud.

 

True Spring

Soft Summer orchid, or any of those cool muted purples. It just hangs there and does nothing. Under this face, the picture is sad as in weepy.

Summer denim type colours with a little Autumn feel. Many of these folks think they’re Summers. They see lightness and blue in the eyes. The stereotypic beach blonde True Spring might only exist with yellow hair dye and some other stuff – which they wear well.

White because it’s a ubiquitous colour that everyone owns and many see as matching anything. For warm Seasons, the choice of white is so important.

The beauty colour: warm vanilla white because I see a version in a drape and it’s heartbreakingly beautiful in its simple perfection. For me, PCA is so much about the truth being the best answer there is, about not needing to live in the overdone effects around us, that quiet is more healing than noise, a lot around that.

 

Bright Spring

Army surplus green. Most people own this. The skin and eyes cloud in and we never see what the appearance is capable of becoming.

Light Summer-y pink, because so many in this group expect to be Light Summer. Sometimes, they look that way until compared to the actual colours.

True Autumn-y orange. They may see this in their eyes or hair at times. For me, a Spring’s least attractive Season is often not Winter or Summer, it’s Autumn, which is why I buy in 100% to the Sci\ART premise that the two cool or two warm Seasons do not overlap. They might wear the odd one of each other’s colours but in testing scenarios, there is a definite Better Than for both.

The beauty colour: warm bright pink. Regardless of the natural presentation, women or men, they are amazing. You want to ask them to not talk for a few minutes so you can just look.

 

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Getting Ready To Be A Colour Analyst: Concerns

Every decision-making process involves weighing two or more sides of a possibility. In this third video,  we hear what present-day colour analysts were considering at this step in their journeys.

Part 1 in an invitation for you to think about what is possible.

Part 2 explains the early beginnings of how I and others were slowly moving from picturing ourselves in a new future to imagining how we might participate in the reality.

So far, including today’s video, none of us has committed. We are at the next in a series of lenses through which we view a possible future and make choices.

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The Blueness of True Summer and A 1-2-3 Idea

Until I accepted how blue True Summer colouring is, finding lip and blush colours was never very successful. Once I got my head around, “Oh, that much blue!!” the colours that look like rose petals next to that skin started showing up.

The True Summers already knew about it in clothing, since 7 in 10 items in their closet were blue. For cosmetics, they learned along with me, previously veering off towards choices that were too warm out of habit, ending up with mud cheeks instead of petals.

Above, from the Blueprints cosmetics line. I’ve been loving Flash Bulb for True Summer, a sheer blue-violet as you can see. True Summer wears blue-violet like they were born for it. Indeed they were, just as True Winter was born to wear red and red-violet. Life is easier when we do what we were born to do.  Flash Bulb is divine on its own, very rose petal pink-red, not blue lips at all. It almost disappears and puts a completely comfortable and belonging mouth on the face. Centre Stage is good but a bit light for some, to my taste. It’s also a little dry which is good because it stays for hours and doesn’t move. A touch of Flash Bulb over the top and the result is SO divine in appearance and wearability. I want lipstick till noon.  Same idea with the blushes on the left. I love Watered Silk but love it more swirled with Blue Fuchsia. Angel Wings is there as another comparison, a colour any Summer could use depending on her pigmentation, what she might be mixing with, etc.    Although many lipsticks turn blue on me inside my Dark Winter home base, I always thought Revlon Crush shouldn’t. I had a brainwave that it might be better for True Summer but as you see (lower right corner) it is probably too red, clear, and dominating to a whole True Summer face. I am a Darkness-Warmth-Saturation type of Dark Winter. I still use the 100% total entire palette for clothes, plus Dark Autumn and True Winter depending on the item, and the warm or neutral parts of Dark Winter in cosmetics. Read on, I hope it will tie together :)

The next part is procedural. As a client, you don’t have to read or know one word of it. Some readers enjoy it but as a person who just wants to know how to dress your one self, this information can make your use of PCA sound much more complex than it is. Your one colouring is oh-so-easy to shop for, way easier than the whole entire mall where you shop now if you don’t know your Season.

For those who like technical detail, here we go.

In light of The Undoing Project, the latest book by admired writer Michael Lewis, I’ve been reading about the field of behavioural economics, Wiki here. It has to do with how humans make decisions in situations of risk. Heuristics and framing are a trap in PCA decisions just like financial ones.

As an example, I find stereotypic appearance almost dangerous when it comes to identifying Season. The concept is Caucasian-based and too incomplete considering the variability in human colouring. Among many, one other problem is that relying on stereotypes, like relying too much on theory, assumes that we understand all there is to know about human colouring, which I don’t believe we do. I believe that the system should have space reserved for individuality on many levels.

Where stereotypic appearance is more useful might be in judging which of the cosmetic possibilities inside a Season are likely to look best. This is especially true if you’re a Neutral Season. An Autumn-looking Soft Summer generally does better in the warmer choices, and a Summer-looking one in the cooler cosmetic colours.

It applies for True Seasons too. Blue-eyed True Winters tend to look lovely in fuchsia cosmetic choices. Those with black-brown eyes and hair do well in reds, but this is variable depending in part on how olive or alabaster the skin colours are. With a blonde haired blue-eyed True Summer, I would try cool corals and lighter pastels from her palette first, before handing her True Summer’s darker options. Those darker options would be next to go on though because you can’t predict how makeup will work till you put it on the face and look. Any cosmetic could work in several Seasons, especially if it is sheer, or neutral coloured in the case of eyeshadows.

This selection process is for cosmetics only. They are painted right on the face. The proximity to native pigments in the skin makes colour reactions more apparent. They will be seen against a background of various complexions, next to various eye and hair colours. People get too plugged into the cooler and warmer side of their Season in attire, which is not to their advantage. My advice is to wear every colour in clothing but adjust how you wear it based on your draping reactions, personal taste, image archetype, and the garment or item itself.

The idea of leaning warm or cool in one’s Season might be an impression from the PCA. The number of drapes you see yourself in at the analysis is too limited to arrive at these blanket statements. Even if the analyst has the beautiful Luxury drapes, she will only have a few drapes to represent any given colour. As a technical impression, it may hold some truth. As a practical guide, it is too restricting for clothing but holds some truth for makeup. My advice is to stay very open-minded about incorporating all palette colours into wardrobe, and try all sorts of makeup in your Season and some other Seasons too before accepting or rejecting anything.

The top is Lavender gloss from the Blueprints line. I love this colour for its blueness,  its orchid colour that works nicely on Winters too who want to tone down certain lipsticks, and that it has this toothpaste quality that is so good on True Summer. Chalky colour really suits them. On its own, it is more pale and muted (grey) than my idea of a healthy mouth and face but you will (and should) have your own ideas. The gloss with Centre Stage is superb and stunning and magnificent  The blue eyeshadow is the accent colour for this Season, an excellent blue that is not too dark, equally (barely) greenish and reddish, and never competes with the natural blue of the eye. Let your eyes feast on the pink and blue next to each other. Feels good, ay?

Coming back to the importance of individuality within Season, and hoping not to confuse readers, personal expression can swing too far. Boundaries can be helpful to keep us from tipping off the edge. The Season palette is a starting point that is true. From there, you can make as many paintings as an artist could if handed that selection of paints.

I fully appreciate that in our strengths lies our weakness. That’s just how the world works though I seriously wish it weren’t so. Some might say that Seasons, or 12 Seasons, are too simplified given all the possible translations. Sure, they are. But in simplicity lies truth. In complexity, truth can be lost in detail. Given the choices of systems, I pick the one with the true starting place from which to create. I will use that as a trusted baseline for the decorations I will add. The question then becomes how to play safely in the everyday traffic of getting dressed well.

Although a person is only one Season in their colouring, we can still wear colours from other palettes, often two or three of them that are not necessarily neighbours. Various analysts have blogged about this so I won’t here, except to say that we could ‘lean’ into two or three Seasons, at which point this language has become counter-productive because the Season borders get blurred. We might lean into certain colours but not entire Seasons. We seem to need a new way of thinking about it.

I tipped the paper to give a different view. I was trying to show this sweetest pink-violet reflectivity in the navy, very lovely with the undertone of a similar colour in this woman’s natural colouring. You’re not missing anything, the camera is  not picking it up. Oh, photography.

A measure of a PCA’s system success is how well its clients use the information to empower better shopping and wardrobe decisions. I have been wondering if a better way to describe individuality within Season is with a 1-2-3 concept. When I think of Seasons, I actually am thinking of colour dimensions (hue, value, chroma) primarily. Our analysts are taught how to think in those terms as well. Ideas like this one come from conversations among our whole community. Everyone brings their own genius to the table. Good things happen. I am grateful for it. I am also grateful for all the other PCA companies whose way of seeing things instructs us. Others have recognized very similar effects to this 1-2-3 concept. Our differences might just be in how the information is framed and implemented by the analysts and the clients. As Amanda Roberts, our analyst in California, summed it up:

The concept is really about very slight differences in how people might use the palette. Maybe just, this lipstick a shade lighter than this one is a bit better for this woman with lighter hair than this one with darker hair in the same season. But who knows, it could be the opposite, and we don’t really even know until we try.

Inside a given Season, let’s say Bright Spring, everyone has clarity of colour (high saturation) as the colour dimension that is set way high on the dial, the dimension that really wants to be satisfied for them to look best. The other two dimensions (light/dark or value, and warm/cool or hue) are nearer the medium setting and more tolerant of fluctuation. Of those two medium dimensions, one can be more important in some members of the Season and the other with other members.

Let me break that down some more. First, as we know, Bright Springs need clarity. Clarity of colour defines and unites their colour harmony more than any other aspect of colour. That group of people stands up.

Of those standing, one person might have value (as lightness, because Spring is light, bright, and warm) as a bigger deal than hue (as warm or cool) in their use of the palette. They are still Bright Spring. The more colour chroma they wear, the better they look. Their workshop is the same palette as any other Bright Spring. On the workbench (inside the palette), they have more tolerance when colour is light. They might bear resemblance to Light Summers or True Springs. The warm to cool span of the palette is not an issue, no detracting optical effects of any sort occur, as long as colour is #1: high saturation, and #2: light in value. Her dimension order might go Sat-Value-Hue as her personal 1-2-3. She can wear the lighter warm corals and cool light blue-greens equally well. Once colour gets to the darker end, she might do better in warm or cool. She might be fine in dark warm green-blue but dark cool true blue might be severe. She will have both in her closet but only one as a turtleneck.

Another of the standing up people is a Bright Spring who might go sat-hue-value. As long as colour is warm, he has wide flexibility in lightness or darkness. He can wear yellow green and the darker orange and warm green just fine. Once colour is cool, he may do better in light or dark, always inside the Bright Spring palette. M&Ms blue might be great but the darker cooler blue may be better as pants than a winter coat.

Our analysts are clear on how to assess this level of detail, although we discuss it as customizing palettes for individual clients. We want to avoid losing folks in technicality that doesn’t serve them or watching our clients narrow down their palettes based on too little data and reject colours they should totally be wearing.

An example from another Season:

One Soft Summers’s parameters are Sat-Value-Hue. Summer is generally soft, light, and cool, and the 1-2-3 draw from those. I can’t think of a Soft Summer (or a Bright Spring from the previous example) who has wider latitude in darks than lights, but they probably exist.

Low colour saturation is the foremost thing that establishes a relationship between her colours, allowing them to interact in ensembles. The second thing for this woman is to be lighter side in the Season. Colour can go as warm or cool as it likes in this second building block as long as it is not from the darkest swatches of her palette. Once colour hovers near the dark extreme, she might do the dark burgundy but not the dark blue-purple.

Other Soft Summers are Sat-Hue-Value. First thing needed for their colours to communicate with one another and to the world is to be soft. The next block narrows down all the Soft Summer colours to recognize that as long as they are from the warm to neutral swatches of this cool-neutral palette, they can wear any lightness to darkness level with no issue. Once they get distinctly cooler in the cool-neutral palette, they might not want to buy a turtleneck or lipstick in some of the darker or lighter colours, depending on their unique colour reactivity, but they for sure ought to seek out those colours in prints and accessories. Everything talks to everything else without having to be equal sized or in the same location.

Do some people have a 1-2-2 reading? Yes, where 2 is either relaxed in both dimensions or more rigid in both dimensions.

I’d like to repeat what Amanda said about slight differences. The jumps are not big between these variations of a Season, not even in cosmetics.

I hope that I haven’t confused everybody. These are just my impressions. It’s ok to disagree. Different perspectives enrich us, much preferred to a monoculture of the mind as someone said so eloquently (and whom I would gladly credit but have forgotten where I heard it). There is plenty of room for many definitions of beauty. We love hearing how the world looks through your eyes.

Picture break from my daughter in New Zealand, a country that appears to have nothing wrong with it except that cherries are $32 a pound.

Skip this next part if you’re not into the technical stuff. To confuse things with jargon a little bit more, I’d like to separate the idea of contrast from the 1-2-3. To keep these ideas together on this site, I will put that section here. From the new edition of the analyst training manual:

You may hear or read about people being dominant in value contrast or colour contrast. The sentence can be divided in two parts. In the first part, I am not a follower of the dominant and secondary terminology in PCA because it implies that we can know the order of importance of a person’s 3 colour dimensions by looking at them. Humans are not visually or mentally set up to get the right answer often enough, my own opinion. We are not good at predicting inherent and most harmonious value and colour contrast by looking at someone.

In the second part, the ideas of value and colour contrast do apply. Value contrast means light-dark separation. Winters have higher value contrast. Colour contrast means how far apart are colours around the colour wheel, and from there, how close to complementary do colour pairs become in attire.

IMO, warmer Seasons look better in higher colour contrast. It expresses visual energy. They are more colourful to look at. Springs have higher apparent colour contrast and/or wear it better. Autumns can wear both value and colour contrast at a higher level, meaning colours are further apart on the value scale and around the colour wheel. Summers have both or neither at a lower level, meaning closer together on the value scale and in more adjacent locations around the colour wheel (analogous) instead of opposite (complementary).

If these were rules, people would look the same every day. Within any Season, repeating how we appear is a good idea but may be overplayed by clients to the point that they extinguish too much individuality and interest from their appearance. They do better when they use their entire palette in various ways. My point is that we cannot know which type of contrast is dominant by looking at someone. Know their Season first, and then play with value and colour contrast. These are real enough but they come after knowing the Season by testing.

The 1-2-3 idea applies in any Season. The most important dimension is whatever the Season is and takes the #1 position. Of the other two dimensions that are set nearer the middle, one might matter more to any given individual. You could have Winters, Autumns, Summers, and Springs all of whom share value in the 2 position (except the Lights and Darks where it’s #1), but who would not wear value or colour contrast the same way.

London, Ontario just got about 8 inches of snow. As I contemplate how much I care about living in Canada, I leave you with another picture of New Zealand, a most incredible country.

 

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Please No Colours for Autumns

Having your colouring analyzed is easy. You sit in a chair and I pass fabrics in different colours under your face. I’ll explain how to decide what is really working. We’ll decide together. We will follow a map, we’ll have a plan, and in about 2 hours, we will have the answer. The person you will have found at the end is you.

You won’t believe all the different ways you can look, and probably do look. You will leave knowing what to never buy again. You will know why not. For your next shopping trip, you go in armed with a list of Better Than choices. Who cares if this yellow blouse or that purple jacket is showing the world a less-than-best you? I’ll give you 20 better options to look for.

The first post in this series was Please No Colours for Summers. The comments to that post were excellent. There and here too, the colours in the diagram are those that I see often where I live. They’re not intended to be the worst possible or second best or follow any ranking system. For instance, the yellow in the True Autumn row below. Autumns tend to be comfortable in yellow but not being sure what to buy, they figure yellow is yellow and end up with something that looks wimpy instead of their Santa Fe sunset look.

First, because you know I have to talk about colour if I see an opening, some thoughts about compliments, one of my favourite reverse psychologies where, “I love your shirt.” means, “I think your shirt would look great on me.”

And photographs, which is a question I am asked often. Funny , my accountant keeps asking the same question, “Are you quite sure you can’t do this from pictures???”

One reader asked if I see any browns as worse for True Autumn than black. That’s kind of a challenge, like telling a massage therapist nothing hurts today :) Spring has some light beiges that are flat on True Autumn. The pink browns of the Summers do nothing that helps this person in any way. Black isn’t so impossible on True Autumn because it’s dark. They can manage it in a leopard spot or a piping.

Black is a lot tougher on Soft Autumn, in fact it could have gone into the grid below. The person is shorter, heavier, and boxier. That’s just the way it is. But nobody is ever stuck. If a place or occasion demands black, a warmed soft black is not that hard to find. Nobody will know the difference, though you might be asked if you got taller.

 

 


The Colours

Soft Autumn

  1. Royal blue or sapphire:  Dominant to the point that the wearer could be a mannequin.
  2. True or Light Summer pink, powder pink, icy pink, pastel pink: None of them look like the woman’s own clothing. The sense is of attire borrowed from a teenager.
  3. Winter fuchsia: Too much red for a softy yellow and green person. Just picture it with the light brick lipstick that actually does look gorgeous.

Beauty colour: Soft medium-dark turquoise. Stunning. Stunning. Repeats the colours in those who have similar blue-greens in the eyes to Soft Summer.

 

True Autumn

  1. True Spring daffodil yellow: Warm Seasons should wear yellow, among their best appearance. But not this yellow.
  2. True Summer muted cool blue: Add 15 years presto. It’s a crazy thing to see but it never fails to happen.
  3. Spring lime: The viewer has no idea where to look. We sometimes see ourselves as very medium and figure that wearing something bright will brighten up the whole picture but the item only brightens itself. We can only become more bland by comparison to a colour much brighter than our own.

Beauty colour: Spicy brown with a shimmer. A screen that you never want to change.

 

Dark Autumn

  1. White: Add age, subtract health. There in no way to wear this, just as there is no way to adapt black for Light Spring.
  2. Bright Season fuchsia: I don’t know why. Better than on Soft Autumn, but looks like candy.
  3. Summer pastels: the complexion goes grey and flat. The lightest of the Dark Autumn colours might resemble pastels but nobody would put them together in an outfit.

Beauty colour: That rich amazing red. Many have dark red in the eyes, which is amazing. For others, this colour complements the green. Own the lipstick or the tie. You may not know how great you look but the rest of us do.

 

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Getting Ready To Be A Colour Analyst: Possibility

Part 2 in this series talks some more about picturing new possibility in your life, whatever it may be.

I share with you how others organized their thoughts to move from wanting something new to taking part in the change. For some, the answer is that the time isn’t right. That’s a good answer. Whatever answer is true for your life is the right one.

At this point in their stories, those of us who speak through the video are still in the earliest stages of imagining a new skill, a new contribution to our community, and what it might be like to join a new community of people who are creating their own lives.

Here is the link to Part 1, Getting Ready To Be A Colour Analyst: Invitation.

 

 

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Appearance for Video: The Face of the Business

 What you need to know:

The most modern and essential book for women about appearing for video, or getting dressed for anything, was released today. It is a free download here at Amazon to any device today, December 15, 2016.

How to Really Dress Your Body Type

I believe that Rachel Nachmias’s approach to how women feel about appearance is 1000% the truth. Her solutions for most effective presentation for every body type, to create an appearance that is more beautiful than any other a woman could choose, they work, plain and simple.

Seems like a big statement. After all, I live in Ontario, not Milan. What’s going on in Milan wasn’t helping me know what clothing to buy to look my best. If anything, it was making things worse. Within a day of meeting Rachel and learning where I fit her system, my appearance began changing dramatically for the better.

I know for certain that Rachel’s technique will get any woman looking better than she would have thought possible, and more important, feeling much more satisfied in her own skin and wardrobe.

Rachel’s brand new book speaks to women who want to represent their business on video, hence the title, The Face of The Business. It also teaches you a whole lot about how you can use this system yourself to improve your appearance and regain control of your shopping.

Launch

Rachel’s book was released today. This is the Amazon link.

The link for the book to Amazon is also at www.thefaceofthebusiness.com. It will work on launch day, December 15, 2016.

You can download the book and read it free on Launch Day no matter what kind of device you own, including PC.

 

 

You’re invited!

Everyone is invited to the Launch Event. On December 15 at 1:00PM EST/ 10:00 AM PST, The Author Incubator is live streaming a free online launch party featuring Rachel along with some other amazing authors. It’s called Live From The Author Castle.

The Author Castle be giving away links to download all its books to everyone who attends, as well as $000s of free personal development and self-help resources!

Time zones can be confusing and everyone is busy so don’t worry if you can’t be there live. Register anyway and you’ll get a recording.

If you can be there, submit questions for Rachel to answer in chat. Angela Lauria, The Author Incubator, will ask them!

Again, all you need to do to be a part of the Virtual Book Launch Party is register right here: www.livefromtheauthorcastle.com

Business Means Video

The second sentence caught my attention: “By 2017, 74% of all Internet traffic will be video.” After reading the other stats about video on landing pages, my welcome video now appears on the home page of this site. (I’m working on a shorter one.) The numbers are undeniable.

To me, the book is about being seen. Seen, literally, if we step out our front door. Seen figuratively, in the sense of being appreciated by others and by ourselves for who we truly are, the ultimate sign of confidence. Seen in both senses when we present ourselves and represent our business on video.

With useful images and key phrases, of which you will find many in the book, your shopping can jump back on the track on which it was always meant to be. This happened to me and to many, many other women whose transformations I have witnessed, both external and internal.

I believe that I speak for all of Rachel’s clients in saying that part of her talent that we feel deeply are genuine love and respect for every woman she dresses. I’m not sure if the tears in my eyes are from that or looking at my closet and seeing my accurate mirror image instead of the funhouse distortion it used to be.

When I’ve been fortunate enough to shop with her, she has said, “When I shop, I take all my clients with me.” That is not an exaggeration. In the book, she shares stories of the journeys that she and others have travelled in finding and allowing themselves through appearance. They, we, live a different life today.

Till we are prepared to engage with reality, we live in a dream world that nobody shares. To be a participating part of the real world where everybody else is hanging out, we have to get OK with what is. With the honest voice and gentle kindness of someone who’s been there, and goes back there with client after client, Rachel puts a welcome face on reality that feels like pulling into your own driveway at last.

Meet the 10 Archetypal Women. Which one are you?

You’ll be guided through the steps that begin with your desired appearance and a link in the toolkit on the website to help determine your own image archetype.

From there you’ll be introduced to 10 archetypal women with descriptions of their superpower (what they do without trying), their power backfire, and eras from which they might dress. The illustrations are simply breathtaking.

What each archetypal woman (they have lovely and evocative names) wears best is described in:

    • Shape
    • Silhouette
    • Coordination Style
    • Fit and Fabric
    • Colors
    • Motifs
    • Tops
    • Skirts
    • Pants
    • Dresses
    • Jackets
    • Cardigans
    • Outerwear
    • Jewelry&Accessories
    • Shoes
    • Bags
    • Hair
    • Makeup
    • Keywords

That’s a long list. Imagine that tomorrow, you are going to the mall with a friend. You wake up in the morning having all those answers about yourself. Your friend will only know what she knows today about how to dress. You will have very different shopping experiences.

Imagine further, if you will, that your friend reads The Face of the Business on your advice and finds these answers about herself. You both now have a context to become true lenses for one another. Shopping trips mean so much more than a day out. Each of you brings home purchases that matter. Everyone at the store within earshot of your decision-making wonders how you know what you do. Every word you say is obviously so true.

From the back flap:

If you want to grow your business with video, you’re going to need to look the part. You know that crafting amazing video requires more than just great content. You want to make the right visual impression to attract viewers that are ready and willing to listen to your message, but you’re not sure how. To get maximum impact from your videos, you need the confidence and skills to master your image and truly become the face of YOUR business.

Based on her experience transforming hundreds of clients from fashion rookies into camera-ready women of style, Rachel Nachmias offers a step-by-step process to becoming your most beautiful and confident self and creating videos that grow your following and turn viewers into clients willing to pay top dollar for your expertise.

If you dream of creating a personal style that is an asset in your business and not a liability, The Face of the Business is for you.

Part Two is about assembling all the information into your own signature style manifesto. You now have a map. Rachel will talk you through seeming discrepancies (what if my colours are at odds with my desires?) You’ll find a video on this in the toolkit as well.

The client examples are useful here. At this stage, you can really start seeing your appearance becoming a rational and beautiful physical reality. Next, you go through your wardrobe and create shopping lists that will make a difference. One more black jacket or Clinique compact when you own 15 is not going to help you. What is of value is asking why these patterns are still alive, maybe even confronting ourselves with the question. The moment you have the answer, you are free from the loop.

Going shopping with Rachel and Helen is enlightening. The section on appearance specific to video format is full of practical tips and appreciated.

What I said:

 Rachel’s approach lets women master shopping, find peace, and love themselves all over again. Whether appearing on film or simply getting dressed every day, your appearance will be more beautifully you than ever before. The Face of the Business is filled with strategies to help you do this for yourself. Along with the most relevant insights on the meaning of presentation for today’s woman, you’ll find page after page of practical, do-able advice. Today can be the day to believe that you’re ready to play the lead role in your videos and your life.

 Drawn from conversations with hundreds of women about what they dream of and desire from appearance to examples of the inner turmoil and obstacles that getting dressed entails, you may recognize yourself in this book. I think all women will, whether they lives in Milan or anywhere else. Rachel and the women in the book are walking the same road that you are. They might be a little further along but not so far that they can’t hold out their hands and help you find your way.

Look like the expert you are. Step into your real clothes, charge your real fee, be assured of your true expertise, and feel no fear of a camera.

Become a friend to yourself. Buy one beautiful journal, write your name on the first page, and start.

 

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Introducing Colour Analyst Andrea Martincic (Arizona)

Time with Andrea is like being with your best friend doing something you both love. You relax into a steady stream of shared curiosity, questions to explore together, experiences to draw from, and leaps of growth and understanding into this world of how human beings are coloured that has colour analysts and our clients spellbound.

Andrea is calm and inspiring. As her client, you meet a perfect example of a person who has learned to embody her own brand of glamour and femininity, with the insights to journey that path with her clients. The best students let themselves learn, as Andrea does, which means she learns fast. She is always very much herself which welcomes us to be ourselves also, however vulnerable that might feel in the moment, and always allowing and supporting where a person is in at moment.

In the time since her training, her trust in the PCA process has grown, as have her natural wisdom, excellent instincts, and beautiful taste. Image consultants with rigid advice or who tell us what we want to hear are not useful or right for our time. Andrea’s honesty with herself and others is considerate and genuine. She has the faith in every person’s natural beauty to help them surface  and be seen.

Andrea’s story,

I am a wild woman living in the Wild West, I like to conjure up images of Calamity Jane or Annie Oakley in my mind. I’m blessed to live in Arizona surrounded by the dramatic desert and the contrasting vivid blue sky above. It is a land and state of extremes, in so many ways, which I have come to love. I share my love of Arizona, not necessarily my love of the dramatic, with my husband. We have a poodle named Jasper who we affectionately refer to as the international dog of mystery, since he accompanied us on many adventures while living abroad.

As a political science major, I am fascinated by the subtle and not so subtle ways that color can affect people’s reaction to you and your message. 80% of human experience is filtered through eyes; color or the lack thereof, becomes critical.

My obsession with color analysis really began when I was in high school. I bought all of the color books and personal style books over the years-trying to diagnose my correct season. I tried countless lip colors holding various colored tops, staring intently into the mirror. I changed my hair often- color and cuts- and I was mostly trying to match my hair to my makeup and clothes. Talk about an endless cycle reminiscent of a hamster wheel. This continued well into my 40’s.

France beat it out of me…well, I should say the French made me come to realize the error of my ways. I found myself living in the south of France and I was so sick of being told by hairstylists that I shouldn’t bleach my hair out to platinum. They never got it bleached to the right level, or used the right toner. So when a new stylist actually flat out refused to color my hair, I left very angry and began to think about my options…

I was going to be in France for a while because my husband had taken an assignment overseas. So, I could keep being frustrated by their inability to get the color right, or I could just make it brown again. I thought the latter would be easier and save more of my time and money, which could be better spent exploring! So, I went back to the stylist who refused to bleach my hair and told her in my best “caveman French” that I wanted to take my hair back to its natural color. I left with it brown.

I have not colored my hair since my original 12Blueprints color analysis which was in Spring 2015. I can’t say that I’m not tempted-shiny black and pure white are especially appealing to me, but I am at peace with my natural coloring and I feel more balanced and centered.

I actually went to have my color analysis done in Norway by Jorunn Hernes, before taking my color analysis training with Christine in Ontario. I wanted to see what it was all about and decide for myself if I wanted to turn my obsession into a possible career. Taking the leap to do the training and purchase the drapes is a big investment. I decided on my ferry ride back to the airport that this had been life changing for me. Somehow, a light bulb went off- I was so tired of spending money on clothes and makeup and hair color trying to be something that was NOT authentic to ME. There had to be others out there too who could benefit from this.

 

Training with Christine was incredibly challenging and rewarding, sometimes at the same time! It was color baptism by fire, you will get out of it what you put into it. For me it was exhausting but in a good way, how you feel after climbing for hours and then you reach the summit. Much of the learning during training takes place after the models have gone and you begin processing the subtleties and nuances of what you saw in your mind.

Perhaps the most difficult model of all for me during training was my mother. Difficult because I had to try and look at her not as my mother but as a potential client. Christine says the hardest people to analyze are those who we are closest to-so true. I guess it makes sense because we have ideas about how this person should look and how we see the person in our lives. We end up projecting our thoughts onto the process unless we take a step back.

Turns out my Mom was a Soft Autumn, when all along I had been telling her she was most likely a winter; based on the old notion that she had dark hair in her youth and brown eyes and fair skin. How horrible I felt as the drapes began to reveal autumn! The visible difference was huge between even the test drapes. I cried when I saw her in her soft autumn colors and her proper lip stick color- she was how she was meant to be! Gone were the dark heavy bricks of black and too cool shades of hot pink, replaced by a chocolate brown and soft pink-peach. We went out that afternoon in Ontario during my lunch break and bought some t-shirts and lipstick in her best colors. A year and a half later she has stopped dying her hair dark brown- and she looks so much softer and happier! You really can’t tell someone’s season without draping!

I believe you accompany each client on their color journey. You can’t help but feel their frustrations when a drape makes them look tired, or even sad. You share in their joy when they see the right colors properly define and accentuate their face right before their very eyes. It is very rewarding!

I just recently had the privilege to attend the color analyst meeting in Toronto where I was able to meet fellow 12Blueprints analysts. What a great group of ladies, all unique in their style and manifestations of their seasons!

My business name is Couleur Comme Ça. My friends in France tell me the name means “So What…Color”, or “Color, Whatever.” They didn’t understand why I would name my business that. I said because color matters, that’s why! It really does matter. Visit me at www.ccc-pca.com

 

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Getting Ready to Be A Colour Analyst: Invitation

So many people have a passion for personal colour analysis (PCA) and even dream that one day, they could become a colour analyst.

Maybe you never thought it could be for you but the idea won’t go away. You might want to do something for yourself. Perhaps you see yourself working hard in some unsatisfying part of your life, you feel doubts and concerns, but are not sure what to do about it. How do we align our thoughts to decide on effective action?

This is the opening for a series of videos reflecting on helping you know when the time is right. Our colour analysts join me to share with you how they walked through the decision process.  I am thankful to them for allowing our conversations to be repeated to help you move towards a solution.

 

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Science, beauty, truth. Transformational results.