2 Extremes of Bright Winter

1. When you can’t be anything else

In his very famous Stanford Commencement address of 2005, Steve Jobs says that your heart and intuition always know what’s best for you. I believe that to be 150% correct. That is, if you can connect with them before judgment arrives. Once judgment settles in, it’s over. No more right or truth can happen. We’re stalled in a character that has reverted to a less mature form.

I watch this video quite often for the reminders.



I began seeing Jennifer for facials two years ago. Before too long, a pattern emerged. Before starting the car, I’d sit in her driveway for 10 minutes writing down all the things she said about how to think (and not think) towards what I want my life to be like.

I’ll experiment with any advice, from Deepak Chopra to Alan Weiss. A woman I adore suggested a Vision Board, among my present projects. Fascinating to me that I wasn’t sure how to make one effectively, so send along your good resources. Experiments tend to work or not pretty fast.

From Visit 1 with Jen, I supervised my mindset according to her guidance and my life direction began to materialize faster. Presently, I’m reading The Power of Framing by Gail Fairhurst, in which she discusses priming the pump of our subconscious so that we can have rehearsed situations for our best reaction as they happen, not a day later. To describe in left-brain language what Jennifer’s guidance does, it would be that.

She listens to me talk for about 60 seconds, evaporates all the irrelevance, and extracts the highest calling. She can link me to my greatest good and the situation to its best outcome near immediately. If her words don’t make sense at the time, I wait 48 hours. Once it took 2 weeks to get the “So that’s what you meant.” light bulb moment.

Sometimes, we begin with a card reading (not Tarot or Zodiac) to give us something to talk around. The results of the four cards I choose are always freakishly related to one another and to new directions that are opening up or something I’m worried about. They might be a confirmation. They might feel uncomfortable and I start with the excuses, but I’ve learned that sooner I stop talking and start listening, sooner things arrive. She can get me out of my own way faster than anything I’ve ever encountered.



As with colour, we sabotage ourselves in so many ways until someone who sees us clearly says,  “This is your colouring. This heat, this darkness range, this softness.” Until the physio says, “Stop hiking your right shoulder and your left hip won’t hurt.” Until an intuitive person says, “Stop right there, that’s a judgment and I hear you apply it every time you bring up that situation”.

Jen taught me how to meditate. The usual ways were boring. I can pay attention to 2.5 breaths max. She said, “Try listening for the most far away noise you can hear.” That was fantastic. You know your eyes and brain relax when you look far away? This is exactly the same. It also creates a big, empty, open space between you and the place you’re listening in.

This is not the usual psychic “you have sorrow in your life” or “money is coming to you” reading. Jen’s readings are clearly “you gotta give something to get something and here’s what you gotta give.” When I leave, I have the jobs for the month. My jobs are the ways that I will hold and transform my thoughts. If I’m willing to do it, change is willing to come.

This isn’t only in person. She’ll do readings just by hearing you talk. She’s at Cloud 313  (www.cloud313.net). Below, she describes the difference between psychic and soul readings:

Regular psychic readings are more likely to tell you what is coming to you in the near future, which will be based on the vibrational energy & thoughts you have been sending out into the universe. Soul sessions/readings are geared more towards me tuning in to your soul, retrieving and interpreting information on the level of soul. When we “hear” the truth from our higher intuition it resonates perfectly with us on every level – we can instantly FEEL a change physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. We can use this information to begin to practice new ways of being, allowing us to be easily joyful, confident and loving in all our moments as we move forth towards our soul’s true purpose. Our soul does not require us to analyze our past, present or future meaning. We do not need to focus on our darkest secrets or fears.


She looks quite amazing, not a face you see often or a presence you feel often. You probably have no idea what personality she has. Well, she’s completely down-to-earth and very direct. She enjoys colour but feels most grounded wearing black (oddly, that’s when I feel most tethered – which is the same as grounded, come to think of it). Her house contains more shades of red than any other colour. No question, she had the priestess presence of Zyla’s Soft Winter. Winter that she is, she is completely and unquestioningly internally guided. She will wear black exclusively. That’s her way to be Bright Winter. It’s a success story.



Jennifer had to be a Bright Winter. This mixture of faith and trust that normally resides naturally in children, people who have complete faith in magic because they see it all around them, takes a form in adult bodies. Material magic is in the Bright Season neck of the woods.

I expected her to feel all sorts of energy things during her PCA. No. She was a model for a colour analyst training course, probably the fastest student-directed PCA ever done. Jen flicked away all the other colours like pesky spirits trapped in a middle world to confuse humans. We all saw that every other choice was so far behind that we could barely recognize its presence. Even True Winter was, “Yeah, whatever, get that one off, put the other colour back.”


Variations on the Bright Winter Theme

I have said: “Add Spring’s wonderful humour to Winter’s formality in jewelry that sparkles, belts that are crayon-coloured and shiny, or imaginative hair accessories.”

Bright Winter colouring often reminds us of storybook characters, Snow White being the most familiar. That Katy Perry face, the child in a grown-up body, will follow that advice.

Nothing is for everyone.

Every woman expresses her colours in her own way.

She’s not always Sweet Queen. Sometimes she’s another type of queen. She might be the person that is bigger than life, big, strong, and flamboyant, a super heroine. She will wear the big, bold, bright colours in large areas easily. Pucci designs in prints. Platinum rings that look like silver lava. Shiny zippers and buckles make sense on her. They express a truth about her. They are a rational continuation of her energy. I think of Sci\ART Lauren Battistini of Color My Closet in Houston.

When the image is more mysterious, as the fortune-teller, she enjoys Winter’s ability to wear dark drama like no other colouring can. Try the dignified version in huge eyes and crystal clear-as-glass details (transparent buttons, lip gloss) to convey consummate clarity. These words, divine everlasting infinite immortal omniscient omnipotent. Wear a Zodiac medallion (eternity) on a violet (higher realms, highest Chakra) cord.

The character might be even darker, sensuous and mysterious. Morticia Addams has been suggested. Yes, like that. She was extreme, but still stunning, like a slinky and more dangerous Jessica Rabbit, pale as the most seductive apparition. Subtle, snaky wit and fierce loyalty describes most Winters I know. Morticia radiated power – perhaps that’s the part we’re not ready for.

It was she who said,

You have enslaved him. You have placed Fester under some strange sexual spell. I respect that.


Our credo: “Sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc.” We gladly feast on those who would subdue us. Not just pretty words.

Winter is the gorgeous Goth, oxymoronic somehow. Some do it so well that their beauty is shocking, as deadly as Morticia. Friends and family may be uncomfortable because it’s just so believable, such a good extension of you, that you seem to be in costume when you’re not. They’re not sure what to think.

If you want to tone it down, wear the hair differently from Morticia, maybe in a sexy secret agent loose bun or a sporty teenager messy bun. Move the hair up, or add shorter, face-framing layers, or add bangs. Avoid black. Add sparkle here and there. Wear a very subtle complexion warming product like Givenchy Croisiere 1, Spring’s pale peach gold, adjusted to be invisible on your skin and set your makeup too. Wear peach-red gloss and blush, not blue-red.

Some folks don’t really remind of any character. And some don’t embody a story character but they certainly have some of those properties – a stunning and beautiful profile and impossibly long fingers that move like feathers, highly theatrical and romantic at once.

Jen is another expression of Bright Winter, quite beyond the naivete of Snow White. Design = Colour + Line. Fully half of a PCA session is concerned with the lines. This colouring can be painted into lines that are very adult, with a far-reaching wisdom, fully grown and ripe with experience, if you see where I’m going. Wear red. Wear velvet. Have a hairstyle that’s luscious. Where does supernatural meet sumptuous, as it does in Jennifer? Rhinestone. Black, but not industrial. Black, but not diesel black or office chair black, those are all Dark Winter.  How do we make black yummy? Beading. Shine. Swirl effects. Lace. Big hair. A darkly luscious Marilyn Monroe.

You understand that I get carried away with words, right? And the image gets bigger than life because it’s fun to see where things will go. Don’t picture a red velvet leotard and a push up bra. Just saying, there are way more kinds of great women in the world than Sweet&Sunny.

Step into your own power. You saw that happen in our mirror when we analyzed your colouring. In Sweet&Sunny or Soft&Dreamy colours, you were literally not there. We couldn’t see you. You were not in the room. Be who you came here to be.

You can convey these pictures with one tiny item. It takes barely anything for the viewer to make a connection. Mary Kay Crystalline eyeshadow highlight, pure as the driven snow, and a mouth-watering accessory, a shiny pomegranate juice wallet. Voila. Not a high wire act.


2. When you wish you were anything else

The tough love section. And please believe me when I tell you that I do love you. For every one of you who is feeling exposed, who is trying something new, who can’t find that hiding place when it was right there yesterday, I have nothing but love and respect for what you’re trying to do.

When your colouring was analyzed, your conscious and subconscious minds got a wake up call they didn’t see coming. I get it.  I was it.



I could have stayed there. Nothing bad would have happened. There is no pretty or ugly. There is no wrong or right. My face is not the same colour as my arms. You can see my Dad but my features are less focused. I know, you can see that for yourself.

Once we see a new way of thinking, we can choose to absorb it or reject it. Our call.  Walk away from it if your heart and intuition say N.O.W.A.Y.

I looked at the Winter makeup and saw a clown. I could see nothing else. And being a Winter, I’m always right. Just ask me. Others might be right but I’m more right. I got compliments the first day, but No, Sir, That Is Not Me.

On the other hand, winters are hard on themselves and they are smart. Winters are good at living at the rules they set for others. They can separate emotion from the problem or the job. So do the job. It’s a sweater. Buy it cheap. If you were the analyst back then and I had been your client, what would you have said to me? Try it for a month. I did. Took me 5 days and then it couldn’t come fast enough. 4 years later, it’s still coming and it will for you too.

You do not have to be perfect. I know, words lost on Winters.

While you’re separating things, separate colours from styles. Every body type, fashion preference, weight issue or non-issue, age, and comfort zone exists in every type of colouring.


A reader:

I was convinced I was a summer, maybe a soft summer.  I had been analyzed as a summer in the past, and advised never to wear gold jewelry.  I like foggy, misty colors.  Pretty much my entire wardrobe is muted blues, violets, & greens, plus black & gray, which I thought complemented my gray (once ash blonde) hair & blue eyes. I’m not arguing with [the] evaluation — I agreed with her that my complexion evened out and livened up with the BW drapes —  but I don’t like bright colors!  Especially red. Reds and pinks make me queasy.   Just looking at my BW color fan makes my head hurt. What to do?  How to embrace an identity of Bright Winter and supposedly present my best self, when the only thing from your BW wisdom that resonates with me is a fondness for tailored, glamorous, nearly formal clothing?


Part of this is my fault. In describing these colours as highly pure and energized so you could distinguish them on a scale of every possible colour including the other Winters, people heard NEON and felt like STROBE.

Textile colour exceeds human saturation. You’re picturing an extreme and you’ve painted it head to toe.

In What It Takes To Look Normal, we talked about how strawberry red doesn’t look bling on you, it just looks like medium red. I’m not sure how many more tips I can come up with.

The best advice really is to try it for a little while.


“Well, you have to start. Do it for a month” is that in my case I’d have to throw out and replace just about everything I own —  and everyone seems to agree that BW is hard to shop for!


That’s a Winter’s world. Be perfect or do nothing. Why is perfect necessary? Can we put it on hold for a year?

Everyone who learned their colouring replaced everything they own over about 2 years. It’s important to NOT throw anything out. Those items will be how you evaluate progress and make comparisons.

And “everyone” will only be as accurate as “everyone” ever is, which is to say barely. If you listened to “everyone” about other things in your life, you’d know what you did when you were 16 and heard the “everyone” voice for the first time. Live your own experience. Make one move. Wear one sparkling bracelet with one charm on it that has meaning to you and gives you energy. Your little intention that you will open your heart.

There is definitely a bright winter stereotype of vaudeville costumes. I’ve had a role in perpetuating that, probably a big role. The irony is that this is the only coloring that doesn’t look like a silver bullet in these colors.

We’re saying to choose pure pigmentation, nothing more.  Dressing as The Flash isn’t the plan.

The colours looked brighter under the PCA lights. Those are seriously honest lights. They need to be. Same with O.R. lighting. The surgeon has to see the earliest signs of changes in colour of tissues. Some professions have brutal lighting but you wouldn’t want it any other way.

Regular lighting is indirect and bounces off all sorts of objects, which is why close enough is often good enough in foundation. Our brain adjusts a lot, like all the white we think we see that a painter would not paint white. We don’t need accuracy to survive so we didn’t evolve to see it on our own. To survive and reproduce, all evolution really cares about, we need to draw accurate information from our surroundings, which we do by being less absolute. We make correct approximations. Not good enough for a colour analyst.

If you love heathery colours, wear them. My teenagers get along splendidly well wearing what they like. If this is a good plan for you, PCA can save you money even here by suggesting you not buy anything too costly. The clearness of Bright Winter colouring will drain other colours, reducing them into a tired old item that’s been washed a lot. There is no way I know to make those colours interesting on you, if they get noticed at all. Put your cash someplace else.

Biggest part of helping someone is teaching them to help themselves.

Biggest part of helping yourself is answering this: What are you willing to do?

Let’s break it into steps. You decide if you’re willing.


Action Plans

1. Do nothing for a month. Not one thing. Let the whole PCA sit on the highest shelf in the pantry. Leave it there. If your Season grows legs and moves in the night or starts making chirping sounds and bugs you enough, doing something will become the path of least resistance. For now, your best decision is to stay where you are.

Action step: Give this (and your analyst) a chance. Change will be unsettling. The iChing said

“Before the beginning of great brilliance, there must be chaos.”

Deepak said something similar in the 7 Spiritual Laws of Success. I read one daily. Today, try #2 in the Law of Detachment.


2. Choices. You can choose to look for every reason why it won’t work. Dog trainers experience this day in, day out. My dog is different and not one of your 40 ideas will work. At the end of the day, the trainer’s hands are tied. Keep the dog you have. You made it be the way it is so part of you is already OK with that. Dogs and owners train each other, the dogs doing the massive majority of it.

Action step: Start small. Buy a wallet or nail polish. We still see it as part of you. Wear a sparkly something. I favour these at Macy’s. Simple, symmetrical, repeating, balanced, all good Winter words.



3. Don’t wear the makeup. Or any makeup. Half of women don’t and wouldn’t and don’t care.

Many women wouldn’t have a PCA at all simply because makeup is uncomfortable. Many wouldn’t be trained as analysts only because they’re uncertain about applying makeup on themselves, let alone others.  Sell who you are. Women will think, “Someone like me. I’ll be comfortable with her.”

Many who would bring so much to this career hold back. They worry that they don’t wear makeup and won’t fit into an image industry. Think there’s no market sector that doesn’t wear makeup and still wants to look great? Lord.

Action step: Do it as a group. If I’m writing an article, I’ve gathered from the many emails that the audience must be wide. Here’s another market sector to open up. The New Bright Winter Support Group. Many reading this have figured out this colouring. They could offer the most valuable kind of help. What did you do? How did you think about it? How long did it take to get comfortable? What’s still hard and how are you managing it? Of the advice out there, what do you just ignore? Do you have a vision you’re moving towards in your choices?


4. Two sessions. If you live near the analyst and you know makeup is a problem, ask ahead if you can split the visit in two parts. PCA first, makeup in 2 months. Every analyst should be offering some kind of progress visit after a few months. If you’re hitting the brakes as we get to the end of the analysis, the makeup will go in one ear and out the other. You’ll be processing a thousand things and wanting to get out of there. If you want to sit in your car and weep, you should be free to go do that.

But don’t turn yourself into a victim, ay? In your life, you’ve gotten lots of advice you didn’t take. This can be the same. Here’s a Bright Winter thing: emotional vulnerability on a giant scale. Spring’s emotion and sweet optimism mixed with Winter where everything happens on a grand scale, and drama soon becomes melodrama. The emotional vulnerability is laid out over and over only to have it shot down.  Hopelessness sets in. Rein all that back in. Get out of your life. Look down at yourself from a balcony.

Action step: Winter excels at big perspectives. Go there. “Instead of finding everything about my appearance that I don’t like, I guess I better find the things about me that I do like and notice those for a while. Have I being systematically brainwashing myself over the years? OK, so I can’t unlearn everything as fast as my PCA experience did, but I can take it slow and re-examine a lot of things.”

Energy flows along behind attention. Get conscious about where you’re putting yours because you are literally telling yourself the story of your life. From the balcony, what is the story of your life? “She is going to…”


5. Let’s try out some voices. See if you can recognize yours. There is no wrong or right.

 Christine was right when she said that it’s easy to see the changes. I understand her writing better now but I like my clothes and I’m going to keep them. Interesting experience but I probably won’t do much with it.

 I might try those colors but the people in my life won’t like me wearing them. When I told Christine that, she looked at me funny and said, “Who gives a shit?” but that’s just Christine and she’s kind of hard. She must have felt really strongly about this topic because it was the only time she swore.  She said, “Stop abdicating your power and decide for yourself how you wear your hair and what clothes you choose. Let someone else control the little things, and while you were distracted, poof!, they’re controlling your big things.” Whatever. Might work for her but I care what my husband thinks and I want to look good for him. Good thing her husband is a True Winter, they probably deserve each other, imagine living in that house.

Okie dokie, something is going to have to change. I could see that in Summer colors, I looked like I was being prepped for surgery. In Autumn colors, my skin and eyes reflected light like a farm pickup truck that hasn’t seen rain in a month. I had pea soup skin. The lighter Springs weren’t so bad, but I looked like a horse that has its winter coat. Puffed. No sleek planes and angles. Wider and duller. Am I really going to spend the next 40 years of my life in clothes that tell other people that I’m not really here because I’m nervous about the color of a sweater? My 90 year-old self would kick my butt around the block.


I know that to get anywhere in life, you have to know where you start. PCA gave me that. I got handed my Owner’s Manual, or a chapter of it. I get to decide where and how to drive the car.

Now I need to picture where I’m going. A start place and a going towards place. Two points define a line. I now understand the space from here to there. It know it will get clearer once I start because that’s how life always works.

Action step: Celebrate that you can wear black quite well. Do you know what others would give? I mightn’t advise that you wear a turtleneck of it. Black is a little rough on Bright Winter, even though you’re a Winter. A colour that’s too cold and dark will need adjusting and it’s hard to make sunlit black.

A colour that’s too cold, even if the saturation and darkness levels are Bright Winter, will cause blue shadows and need adjusting, even though you’re a Winter. Some of my drapes might do that if you’re a little warmer than they are, though both you and they reside under the Bright Winter umbrella. That’s a common happening in Bright Winter colouring, male and female. Every human can’t hope to be equally represented in every way when there are only 12 categories.

Let’s be real. Every Winter will have black pants while they’re trying to figure stuff out (if they didn’t before) and so they should. Their colours go well with black.


6. Start with colours you already like. Periwinkle and turquoise are usually easy.

Move towards purer pigmentation. That’s all it is. Go top to bottom.


Soft to Clear Purple


7. You like soft colours. You already like gray. Wear more. Rely heavily on neutral colours.

Action step: Little adjustments the next time you buy pants or decide which pants to keep.

The Winter lineup on the bottom.

Winter gray is made of black and white. Might look a touch blue or red.

Pink and purple gray are not so good. A red gray like the cords on the right side is better.

Blue gray is ok too if it’s close to white. Rainclouds and pigeon medium-blue-gray won’t be the best choice you can  make.

Winter white pants are good.

Trade soft blue for more blue, 3rd from left.

The top center pants are not bad at all. They’re just very dark. I like dark clean gray better than black but it’s very dependent on the person. Some Bright Winters have beige hair and wear black exceptionally well, no problems of any sort even in a turtleneck.


Soft and Clear Gray Pants


8. Forget about contrast. Revisit it in a few months.

Action step: I’m going to build me an outfit on the internet.

Learn Polyvore. Learning your Season is much like learning software. You Google and YouTube about it. In the end, you figure it out by messing with it, getting some stuff wrong, remembering what worked, setting up new maps in your head till they are easy and automatic.

On the internet, it’s free. As many times as I need.

My pants are going to be gray. Already own those. I’m going to wear a light peach colored sweater. Peach is hardly ballistic. The wool will soften the look and the colours. I might go for mint too. Today, I give myself permission to buy anything I want. The only deal is, I can’t pick anything I would normally buy.

I’m going to wear a white blouse under it. Easy and pretty. I’m not even going to think about shiny fabric for a year.

Maybe it’s Christmas. I’m going to pin one sweet little Jingle Bell to my cardigan as a brooch. Maybe a sparkly angel. No other jewelry. Actually that doesn’t sound very hard.

Christine asked me to do her one favour. I can hear her voice. “Please, don’t buy a brown or black purse. Please. Anything else. Pick crystal gray. Doesn’t have to be fuchsia sequins. Just not functional.”

I hid the big colour inside a purse.  That allover purple purse, we’ll just put it up there in the corner, top shelf of the pantry.

Saw some jewelry I had to have.

If I saw this on another woman, I can admit that I wouldn’t brace myself.


Easing into Bright Winter



At first, I got many Soft Summer clients. I know what the lesson was. Learn from them to be a nicer version of yourself.

Lately, it’s Bright Winter. I still cannot figure out the lesson so we’ll be here for awhile.



55 thoughts on “2 Extremes of Bright Winter”

  1. Off-topic but couldn’t see where else to post it… the dress spot site you show on the side of your webpage is amazing. Really bridges the gap between personal color analysis and retail.

  2. I’m adjusting to Bright Winter myself. I didn’t think I’d have too much of an issue – I’ve always chosen as much color as I could get, sparkle and drama and a little bit of cute. But I’ve been surprised; I’ve seen this woman in the mirror before, once in awhile for performances when black satin, diamond earrings and red lipstick were the expectation and I happened to wear it well, but not every day. I have three kids under five and I wear messy buns and jeans every day – I can’t try to look crisp and clean-edged and slightly formal when I have thirty pounds of baby weight to lose and I haven’t quite gotten a shower today. It took me two weeks of wearing lipstick to see the “normal.” My mother hates the medium value full-sat colors; “you look better in the softer colors [she means lighter]; get the heathered one, brown isn’t bad, what’s wrong with brown?” But there are places of solace – an icy gray sweater with a bit of angora was a revelation, incredibly gorgeous but still gentle-looking. Swap the black for charcoal, lovely. I’ve been looking for Revlon Blacked Sapphire eyeliner and Elea Blake Quixotic (BW taupe, very nearly gray) eyeshadow approximately my whole life, they blend easily into my face and call no attention, it takes so little makeup to look good even though I could, theoretically, wear red lips every day. Baby steps. Don’t have to go to the gala every day. The palette’s gonna have to work with me. But I’m slowly accepting that that woman with bright eyes and lips who came out for the stage isn’t the costume, she’s me.

  3. Ally, you’re a star. I hope others will chime in with exactly this sort of advice and experience.

    KB – you’re so right. A Romantic body all the way. Tiny hands and feet. She really is a dark Marilyn. But with a big, strong character. From her facebook page, I’ll paraphrase, The greatest love you can give another person is unconditional acceptance and love when they are truly themselves.
    While that person is feeling very exposed, the rest of us have a job – to recognize that truest person in the first place.
    And then to recognize ourselves imposing own feelings (that have to do only with us, not with them) on them. And so we all run and hide again, in our neighbour Season, some softer colours, wherever.
    Amazingly complicated thing to just see another person without judgment of any kind. We really just go around thinking about ourselves all day, looking for ourselves in every person, every relationship, visual field. There I am, there I am, oh look, there I am again.

    Jasmine – isn’t it brilliant? One day, retailers will catch on that this is the best thing that could happen to their business.

    To everyone, three additional things I’ll say briefly:

    1. Forget the clear eyes thing. Yes, it can be seen under the right conditions. Sometimes, it’s always obvious, like Katy Perry, but usually not, especially in everyday lighting, and when you’re not sure what clear eyes look like in every colour. Who could pick out a black-brown clear eye from a less clear one? A green-gold one? It’s not wrong, just might lead you off course if you put too much emphasis on it.

    2. Contrast matters in Winter. But this group is lighter. Therefore, contrast is perfectly enough done as winter white to charcoal. This group is gentler to look at so contrasts can be gentler and less stark. This group is brighter, so dark+bright is as good as dark+light. Don’t get locked down in rules. The contrast that works best is highly dependent on the individual. There are NO stereotypes in the Bright Seasons.

    3. Do all of you know that there is a Bright Winter group on facebook? Ask here if you can’t find it. You’ll find tremendous support and resources there.
    When I mentioned a support group in the post, I was thinking about a Bright Winter colour analyst who becomes the expert for this type of colouring. I encourage students to define their special gift and passion and then to help everyone by creating a marketable item. Maybe this is yours. Give others what you want and need – and nobody knows what that is better than the person who’s lived it.

  4. I loved this article! The polyvores were really useful illustrations of clear vs soft. Interesting to read the various BW analogies too. Christine, do you think that givenchy palette could work for bsp too?

  5. Christine, this is one of the most fascinating articles and typical of your generosity in sharing your challenges! I confess to going from depression( the Snow White- Carmen archetype pix) to curiosity ( ‘beige hair’ me me me!) It’s so often this way. Then come the pictures of actual clothes- soooo un-terrifying to me- I’d wear them for housework without a qualm. And I’m supposed to be a SS and online SA (that misleading greengold eye ?) I respect that you Really can’t diagnose without draping and I’m not fishing for that. But I wonder if you agree that to plump for being visible and risk the tasteless trumps risking the frumpiness and invisibility of muteds? Makeup isn’t an issue – my mouth is too small for any winter lips anyway.

  6. Oh and since you’re on the manifesting road, have you looked at the Flowdreaming site- I think you’d love it?

  7. Susan, have you looked at the BWs on the Elea Blake cosmetics facebook page? Takes a bit of scrolling to find them, but there’s a link there and some of the women photographed look quite “crystalline” in their colouring.

  8. I’m going to chime in with my bright winter discoveries – bit nervous to do so but the other part of me is dying to share! I am a real bright winter paradox – serious, great strength, stubborn, perfectionist, some narcissistic tendencies there, but also many childlike qualities, and great empathy. I have a wonderful room in my home that I instinctively poured my soul into decorating. It has an Asian influence with some gypsy eclecticism. A misty black and gold framed print of the reclining Venus peering into a mirror sits behind an outdoor weathered meditating Buddha’s head on top of a bright red ancient chineese repro cabinet. 3 walls are wall papered in a dark and soft cabbage rose print and my treasured find of a finely carved Victorian ladies lounge which I covered in the brightest chinese red brocade sits in great compliment in front of it . Trying to convey a picture but the muted paper and the bright floral brocade compliment each other to perfection – similar patterns and hues but in very, very contrasting TONES. The huge contrast in tone only serves to make each opposite more beautiful in my opinion and each would lose something in isolation. I’ve learned to apply this to my bright winter theatrical romantic dressing. As long as there is something near my face like the chineese brocade setee, and there are black or dark touches in the outfit, I can add less saturated touches that I love too. I can make the contrasts in tone look wonderful together like in a gypsy’s caravan or an ancient chinese empress’ layers but THERE MUST BE A BRIGHT WINTER overall effect. It’s a wonderful discovery for me because I CAN wear those softer things I love if I combine them carefully. I fully agree with your descriptions Christine, that bright winter is wonderful in a bright/dark or light/dark contrast and I think I can do soft/bright as another sub if that makes sense. It adds to the expression of the great paradoxes in me.

  9. One of the reasons I’m finding your description intriguing is that it seems to have elements of antique winter and bright winter. I couldn’t really see how those things sat together in Christine’s post, but it seems that your room also contains them both, maybe?

  10. Is it something like a reflection of the importance of the greys to the palette?

  11. Hi Jane – I don’t know anything about “antique winter” but you could be spot on in saying my room could be a reflection of the importance of our greys. The more I think about it, the more I can see that the soft pieces in the room are closely related to the feeling of grey. I love sparkle, lace, femininity and drama and it’s tricky sometimes to balance the femininity with the drama. I really love my colours and will never compromise them in makeup nor would I wear less saturation right next to my face, but sometimes I’ll add interest to my look with prints of differing saturations, or with touches of sheer fabric that make the colours look much less saturated. I’ve learnt too that if I own something pretty, sparkly etc but just not correct saturation wise, I can find a way of incorporating it -eg a pretty sparkly bangle in soft moss green worn with other shiny black bangles and say a red chinese brocade shawl. It seems to work for me to sometimes mix my colours with softer tones and relate it all together with some black. BUT if I didn’t include something from my tone next to my face the magic would just not happen. Yes Jane, it’s the feeling of grey that I look to mix in, your are spot on. I don’t tend to look to mix my colours with warmer or lighter tones, just softer and darker. Thankyou!

  12. Thanks for the suggestions and beautiful visuals. I will check out all the sites- not sure if I qualify for BM support! But I wonder, Heather – your gorgeous room and outfits suggest to me anyway, ways of staying visible as some kind of Soft-ened season. Whereas I’m struggling with which is safest, soft at all or the cleaned up fresh vibe of bright. Put that way it sounds obvious- clean! But when I see the archetypes I lose courage again. I sort of feel I’d have to keep it secret – whereas I want to trumpet PCA to the world – lol.

  13. Susan, I was originally draped a Soft season over 20 years ago (in the 12 tone system but not Sci-art). It didn’t sit well with me, but I modified things with bright touches, especially makeup to try to feel more at home. I returned to the image consultant a few months later to have my body type analysed and she became very apologetic and embarrassed when she saw me again and wanted to redrape me, saying a was certainly not a soft season. I redraped as a bright spring. Many years later, and after other incorrect analyses (True Autumn, being the worst, my bleached hair a big factor in that one I think), I discovered sci-art and my draping finally revealed a bright winter. I found my colour home and haven’t looked back. Just saying all of this, because from what I’ve read, BW’s can appear softer. It would be so good for you to be Sci-Art analysed.

  14. Tell me about it ,Heather! I’ve found a lot of inspiration on the EB site, many of the women looking jewel-like but not all. Re-reading Christine’s about the beige haired woman wearing black turtleneck- black is almost the only colour I can wear in that neck(IMO and also friends and family) Today I really tried to do SS again- got a lovely and trendy and well fitting top in swirly SS flowers with a casual chic dusty mauve cardi and amazing necklace picking out every one of the colours – to entertain my Mum to lunch. Asked hubby if it looked good, ‘No’ he says, with a sympathetic peck on the cheek. Changed to an ancient but still bright turquoise casual shirt (bit springy) and got thumbs up. What can you do!

  15. From one dark winter to another I’d like to guess at the lesson. Disregard if it doesn’t fit!

    “Learn from them to be a more playful/fun version of yourself.” At least, that would be the lesson for me.

  16. An essay to rival Christine’s on my personal experience with BW….

    I was draped as BW in July by Christine. Fantastic experience – will treasure the memory forever. However, I must admit it came as a shock. I had been interested in Sci Art Analysis for about 7 months prior and basically self/ group diagnosed myself as a Soft Autumn. I loved the softer colors, beiges, khaki’s, greens and I felt it coincided well with myself… a gray haired 54 year old woman. Accepting my gray hair, was somehow coming to terms with my age, and the all that accompanies it. The SA colors fitted into that… the were cozy, soft, accepting… PERFECT ! I have pale yellow green eyes, medium skin and blondish hair – so SA fitted perfectly on paper. There were warning signs however, that I should have recognized as a problem. Most of the SA makeup that seemed to look OK on me -were the colors for the ebony ladies. I also found myself having to apply it copiously in order to be seen. Also the fact that I had not seen my real hair color in years which turned out to be an ash brown – not blond, but now silver streaked, added to the confusion. After haircolor and foils for years,I had genuinely thought I was a blonde ! I am not even close to it.
    I was not unfamiliar with the BW palette and had felt sorry for anyone that might have to wear those colors. They were just too much. Neon and fuchsia – poor them! I had emptied my closet of anything even half bright, or black months before. When draped and I saw myself I knew she was right-it was truly unfortunate. The decision to do something, not ignore it and not fight it took me a few weeks. I did make it into a couple of stores as my closet was void of anything that might work. I only shopped at Frenchy’s and Thrift stores- no new clothing items… used my fan and purchased a couple of tops. Later I bought a couple of lipsticks from Christine’s recommended list, switched from brown to black mascara, bought a gray eyeliner to replace the khaki. The feedback was startling.
    Amazingly, People started “seeing” me. Strangers on the street, in the grocery store, Salespeople, random people at events-on a daily basis- it was surreal . Salepeople would look at something I was purchasing and say “That will look so great with your hair !”. A lady in a store came up to me after trying on a bright fuchsia coat… and said “You HAVE to buy that coat !”. I bought a bright blue spring coat for $6 and someone tells me how much they like it whenever I wear it. I have had comments from men and women at work and four different ladies ask to borrow Christine’s book. I am not sure it is within my comfort zone to be “noticed” as much as I am now. My husband is getting used to it. He is a shy man and we are approached as a couple more. Sometimes I catch a glance of myself walking by and I am dumbfounded. I am not younger for sure, but I remind myself more of the younger “me”. I am still in there. Maybe more confidence? Self-Realization ? Maybe.
    I am slowing learning from the BW experts on what works for me and some of what does not. I have been letting go of pieces from my SA wardrobe-not all. I am replacing my beautiful dusy colors with bright greens, pinks, darker bright blue as formal wear, jeans replaced with yoga pants. Someone from work brought in a gorgeous bright pink button up shirt and said “When I saw this in my closet , I thought of you !”. I work in a male dominated workplace and I don’t want to stand out anymore than I have to. But I am making the change, I will dress work and age appropriately but in my new BW colors.
    This is where I am now- 5 months later. I have made a couple blunders… one such one wearing a pale dress from my palette to a formal event where everyone and their dog were in black.
    I am still experimenting with the makeup- it is new for me. The lipsticks are scary looking but actually look fantastic on- some do take some getting used to. With makeup, I was afraid of looking like an old lady trying to look young… but it is OK, workable… I’m not young, but I can exude a hint of glamour, someone a bit more put together with an interesting face and a good smile.
    I am not the stereotypical “Snow White” BW – on paper it might be SA. But Bright Winter it is ! and I am so glad I found out before I turned 90. Truly a gift !

  17. I suspect that some of the issues with people being draped as different seasons have to do with the idea that unfocused features are attractive (like soft focus in a movie).

  18. Could have been a factor with me the first time, Denise. I must say though, that it was in the very, very early days of the idea of 12 seasons (not Sci-art) and although I was draped, the colour of my eyes and hair (med brown) were big factors in the first analysts decision. When I returned to see her for my body type analysis, she had shifted locations and was shocked to see in a naturally lit room that my eyes were not brown as she had first thought. They are the colour of the BW deepest teal swatch and people will often comment that they can’t identify what colour my eyes are because they can appear so dark (highly saturated I know now). Re-draping me as a bright spring was to this ladies credit with the tools she had. The BW and BS fans at the time shared all the swatches except for one card of 6 swatches which was substituted with either very cool winter swatches for BW( which I think were probably TW) or warmer ones for BS( which were probably TSp). I am on the warmer side of BW and so looking back, she did the most accurate job she could do the second time around. I was never 100% happy though (only wore half the fan) and subsequent drapings with other (non sci-art ) analysts were thrown off by my blonde steaked hair which yellowed me enough to once be declared a TA! My final analysis (sci-art) was a wonderful liberating experience that has given me so much on many levels.

  19. Denise has hit me with a sledgehammer on both occaisions! On the ‘ perceived soft focus’ question especially. I just read something of Christines- can’t recall where- she said in passing about younger women whose feature definition is still good , therefore it can be something we lose. Still battling between soft and clear- Denise made me examine the fact that my features do soften in SS especially, in fact I love to take off my makeup at night and see what I think of as the friendly face I know.But is the S one prettier- and should I care at my age? I also addressed my persistence with the Summer season and it is owing to loyalty to the original analysts who I believe knew their job. But they were of course working with drapes that would now be a mix of TS and LS with little in the way of SS and in one case added A flow . When I do the living with it tests I never consider features because makeup changes the whole face, but bodyline seemed more important? To someone who battled with weight soft focus is Not desirable on the body- lol.

  20. And now Sheila’s post seems to have slipped in or did I miss it! Spot on Sheila- so encouraging to hear about the wrong draping having so much visible logic to it and also being liveable with. Colour analysts and students take note- the wrong drapings don’t always look obvious and often I suspect, people live the lie as it were, and even take on that signature. It’s great to hear Sheila’s tale because the stereotypes are So insidious.

  21. Just another thought- not too controversial I hope! So often we read of people suddenly becoming ‘visible’ and it seems to be after trying Winters or DA or BS. Wonder if anyone has anecdotes about being newly noticed in Softs? I know Softs aren’t usually set up to desire attention apparently- though how that would work for the Soft filmstar I dunno!

  22. Sorry to split this up- my mind is racing! It’s about confidence and Christine, it’s what I meant on an earlier thread about ‘looking for the bad’. Picture going about as a bright (or Dark for that matter) with your natural blonde ( red, mousey) hair and your amber ( hazel) eyes. Quite a few of the folk you pass or meet will have a basic knowledge of seasons now. They’ll be thinking (and seeing) you looking totally wrong- and you know they will. Once I was trying on two coats, black or lilac. A passing lady ‘helpfully’ said “lilac not the black!” She can’t really have had a clue can she? But I could be wearing the right one later and she’d still see it as wrong- and she could be interviewing me! See what I mean? Is it hopeless? Were the days when we used to look like our wrong seasons better?

  23. Light summer has some very bright colours. What system draped you as a soft summer?

  24. Jane hi! I was draped summer by HOC and redraped Autumn by a new analyst with them. Then SummerAutumn by CMB when the flow system came in. If I’d stuck with Autumn and dropped Summer my husband and most others would have left it alone! It would be my favourite too but in those days there were no Soft drapes. I don’t feel light enough for LS- I only ever liked the lemon. In fact I only liked lemon in the Winters too. Lemon and neutrals in all the seasons. Green generically is my favourite but I’ve been awfully disappointed in the brightest summer greens.

  25. Sheila, what a lovely story! Thank you for sharing. So funny that you felt sorry for people who have to wear BW colors. I always envied them, so when I turned out last May to be a BW, I was on cloud nine. Still am. Totally loving it.

  26. Thank you, thank you, thank you a million times for showing a BW that *doesn’t* have those bright blue Katy Perry eyes. I’ve been doing a DA / BW dance for almost two years because I have exactly the eyes you mentioned – green-gold. DA doesn’t look terrible, but it doesn’t *do* anything – just lays there. The makeup makes my skin look darker and muddled, but it makes my eyes look pretty. I get into the trap of thinking that this is really what my skin ought to look like. With BW, my skin looks smooth and calmed down, but I get led into thinking that it’s “washed out” just because it looks clear. What finally helped was letting a professional pick a foundation for me. It ended up being the palest neutral-cool she had – definitely NOT DA!!!!

  27. Hi Susan, I’m not trying to stir the pot here, HONEST, but, do you think this is all bullshit?

  28. Jane you’re hilarious and would get on so well with my husband! A large part of me wants to agree with you- sometimes a very large part. Especially when people seem to be tying themselves in knots. I think I talk more BS than most! But we keep coming back don’t we? Sometimes I think we need to stop reading all the alternatives and get on with wearing some stuff and living. Thanks for the wake up.( still dying to know what Christine thinks of my eye pic tho! Lol)

  29. I think that wearing all colors, including makeup, from one palette – even if it’s wrong – puts you more coordinated than most people; also, that we’ve seen that certain colors will connect with a feature (purple on green-eyed women, for example, or green on redheads) almost regardless of chroma or value. I’m a blue-eyed, medium-brown-haired Bright and if I wear a SSu blue and gray it’s going to be reasonably good, even though the palette as a whole is pretty darn off – I’ll get compliments, I’ve done it. Gray is hard to screw up badly and blue picks up with my eyes. If I wore SSu’s caramel-pink and cocoa-dust brown, not so much, because those colors don’t have any sort of a foothold. Even if I thought I was a SSu, I wouldn’t wear those much, I’d pick the ones that more obviously go with me, and unless you saw a comparison between me in that SSu outfit and one in my proper clear colors, you’d probably never think anything was off. And the ice blue in my eyes would muddy down to gray in those colors and it would be very matchy.

    Thing is, people don’t see a comparison between you in okay colors and you in your best colors. If a color connects with your eyes or hair (such a hazard with dye!) people will notice that and probably like it and maybe comment. Such is the danger of trusting random compliments.

  30. Glad that didn’t go down like a ton of s. I don’t think it’s bs. I do think restricting yourself too much is frustrating and possibly even depressing. It doesn’t work for me. But then, once you’ve hopped on board the train, the analyst and those drapes have a lot of authority. Suddenly its, can I wear bright primary red, when I’ve been analysed a summer? What about electric blue? The answer for me has to be, fluff it. Because I don’t like the colours I’ve been given enough to restrict myself to them. But, can’t say it’s all BS because I wouldn’t touch warm colours now with a barge pole. Colour clearly has all kinds of properties and effects, lots of industries use it to their purposes. One thing I like is how different people inject their own aesthetic into “their palettes”. Link to mind-bending use of colour by industry peoples http://www.bluesky-web.com/color.htm

  31. Liked the article on colour psychology- might answer why hubby always gets me in black! And why I love yellow rooms( and reptiles!) it’s Brrrrr here. But Ally and Jane- I thought the point of Sciart was to colour your little world perfection, not straying more than a hair away from your optimum. Even to ‘ not touch warm colours with a bargepole’ seems to be highlighting that Cool is your most important thing. My reaction to Ally as a bright in SSu greyed blue surprised me-because of the idea of touching muteds when you have ‘permission’ to be a Bright! I look so awful in grey blue facewise, except when I’m trying to conform to Ssu – when my eye shifts and I see it as right! However as a test I often try colours inthe mirror without makeup and pose the question- ‘ do I really have to put on some base to answer the door and not look like walking dead?’ In summer colours the answer is ‘yes and fast.’ Whereas I’d really have to fight for a sick note in Brights – mostly warmish’ also black. To me black seems to be lighter and friendlier than navy and other Darks. I suppose the clues are there. But I don’t feel I could hold my head up in company and say ‘ I am a Bright Winter or Spring,’ and not hear the laughs. Apart from my dish water colouring, my reputation is childish enough!

  32. Jane, I’ve just posted on Different Systems… Kathryn clarified some new (to me ) info about swatches that set me off again.( Heyho)

  33. Oh Susan, I didn’t mean that I like wearing SSu colors now – no, I’m sticking to my palette. I want to learn the rules before I consider breaking them! No, I meant before I knew my season I’d wear those colors and get a positive reaction. Doesn’t mean they’re anywhere near as good. (Though it isn’t much of a shift to wear BW pure grays and icy blue!)

  34. You’re right, Ally- some similarities in the grey ambience and easy to brighten or soften with a nudge without incriminating yourself. In fact I love grey for that reason. I think ‘when’ (!) I get my season I shall follow it with the religious fervour we are warned about lol! I am now on LS- wish me luck…….

  35. The more I read this article the better I think it is. The tips and ways to move into a season in the second half are very helpful. Thank you.

  36. I could see any of the 3 Winter blends. I guess I’d have to add BSp and DA as well, though lower.

  37. Actually, this is pretty smart, Ally. At least all the clothes don’t cancel each other out. Something is connecting together.

  38. Don’t know if anyone still checks in here- but I’ve had no luck googling BW support group on FB ?

  39. It’s amazing.

    “We’re stalled in a character that has reverted to a less mature form. ”

    Another reader fascinated by you, Winter lady. My most deep and sincere respect and sympathy to you.

  40. Thank you! I have never been offered sympathy before, but you know, I get it :) and I appreciate it!

  41. Trying to access the BW facebook group, and I get a “Content currently available” error page – could anyone tell me the name of an admin to message, to be added to the group? I can’t see any of the admins’ names right now. Thanks!

  42. Maybe I can help, Nikki. IDK the various fb groups – what’s the name of the one you would like to join?

  43. Hi! Thanks for the reply. I’m not sure of the name – was just trying for the BW support group mentioned upthread. (Also, thank you for all of the amazing resources on here! I have learned so much here in the week since my draping!)

  44. Thank you for the great article. These are the colors and vibe I have gravitated to my whole life, with increasing precision and clarity as I know myself. My best friend said, and it’s totally true, that I looked best dressed and made up like a “high-end courtesan.” Not trashy in any way, but fully present, luscious, feminine, luminous, and seductive. The seductive part obviously is a sliding scale with different facets of my life, and for me BW is a sort of joyful regality in how I express myself.

    I noticed when I worked in women’s wear that a lot of women shy away from bold pattern and bright color as gauche or too in-your-face. It seems a shame to unilaterally dismiss a whole class of potential friends that way. They may not be right for everyone, but nothing really is. I like your emphasis on personal power, Christine. Ownership of what is most authentically you and your clear presentation of it to the world. There’s a seamlessness and poetry and joie de vivre that comes with that.

    On a tangential note, have you read any of the Abraham-Hicks materials? I think you’d really enjoy them.

  45. Oh, something else I’ve found interesting in your work — the correlation between season and personality traits. I am a very high-contrast person in other areas of my life as well. Not so much extreme as when I like something, I want it sort of pushed to maximum what-is-ness in terms of saturation. Strong flavors, deep love, clear focus.

  46. I do know A-H, Mary. They were my intro into how consciousness and cooperative universes work. Esther remains among the most beautiful and clear interpreters of this power. You sound as if you know yourself well. Life changes once we see who we really are. That’s when the curtain opens on who we can be, and most importantly, when we start believing in our own ability to actually become that.

  47. Yes, authenticity is definitely a passion of mine. Self-awareness and taking pleasure and delight in my own evolution. I’m most attracted to and fascinated by people who are fully themselves, whatever form that might take. I was certified as an Angel Therapy Practitioner® with Doreen Virtue years ago and the message I received very clearly during my training was that I wanted to help people to open their hearts and see/experience their innate loveliness and power. I feel you are doing something very similar and I am so happy the universe brought me to your work! I feel I’d really enjoy being a color analyst so I’ll leave that in Source’s hands to arrange down the road. Thank you for your clarity, precision, and mellifluity in expressing these concepts for all of us.

  48. This post answered a lot of questions for me–I’m a Bright Winter and revel in it. I’ve always worn black with pops of colors that contain pure pigment–nothing muddy looking. I gravitate towards metallic details and sparkly accessories. The BW makeup palette has been my mainstay for most of my life. A typical outfit for some errands and lunch at a pub in town consists of black skinny jeans, black ankle boots with brass buckles, a v-necked shirt made of a sheer black material with brass grommet detailing around the neckline (you can’t see through it), an Aussie style bush hat in beige, and a plain black minimalist purse. I think grandmothers can keep wearing leggings and skinny jeans as long as they want if they continue hiking 6-7 miles a day, if you know what I mean.

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