Without the 12 colour harmonies created for the Seasons by Kathryn Kalisz, founder of Sci\ART, I would never have seen and felt the unique language of each Season. Would have missed it completely. I know this for sure.
Some of the colours are provocative and unexpected, but your reaction is, “For goodness sake, would you look at that? How did she know?”
Palettes in which colours are random or leave you with reactions of, “Give me a break, that would never belong here.” are not able to capture the spiritual beauty of each Season.
True Winter’s Voice
True Winter’s spirit might be especially elusive, perhaps why it defies verbal descriptions and has become the subject of so many attempts to define it. The unique radiance of True Winter speaks to me as space and solitude on the most majestic, mysterious scale. It is the silence of the ice cave, the rising of a blue white moon over a frozen lake, the jewel that resembles a planet, the yellow flower that could be the sun.
The earthly images always seem to be metaphors for another immensity, the power of a quiet that cannot be confined. The drapes feel the same way. They hold reserve and dignity, as does True Summer, but with seclusion that sets them apart from the empathic, emotional, approachable quality of Summer.
Something about their ultimate nobility makes them as private and isolated as royalty. They are so apart, so elevated from everyday life around them, dismissing the busy fun of Spring and work ethic of Autumn, that they appear concerned with a higher ideal. If there were one Season for which I am happy to see people own their Luxury Drapes, it would be True Winter, a group of colours that seems less willing to compromise what they stand for. No other Season continues to surprise me as much.
True Winter Appearance Variations
Few people guess themselves correctly to be True Winter in their natural colouring, or Season.
If eyes and hair are dark, they tend to guess Dark Winter. We have seen the photos of Sandra Bullock and Kim Kardashian. I’m not convinced about Kim. If you like to guess from photos, get past the colouring of the face where, let’s face it, you’re looking at eyes and hair, and imagine the person wearing the palette. The entire palette – lips, cheek, jewelry, hair, not just clothing. Do you think the Dark Winter lipstick might look like smeared food on Kim? I do.
I will add a Pin of Teri Hatcher to the Pinterest Makeup board today. Whatever kind of Winter she is, while true that the lip colour is way the heck better than some nude or brown colour, it seems to me a little flat and smoky relative to the eyes. Lips are not supposed to look smoky. Dark Winter lipstick might do so compared the other Winter lipsticks, but it won’t be that way on a Dark Winter face. It will be vibrant, exciting, healthy, and normal.
If eyes and hair are grey or blue, the person has been 2 or 3 Seasons. The overall appearance seems milder than the very dark eyes and hair person. One doesn’t expect it to balance the True Winter palette. Hair might be black brown or silver. Summer drifts through your mind.
If hair is blond (very rare in adults if we are talking about yellow blonde, I can think of one), light brown, or red-tinged, or if eyes look warm (think of Catherine Zeta-Jones, not saying she is a True Winter), Spring or Autumn pop up in the backstory.
Here are 3 types of human manifestations of the True Winter colour group. There are probably about 6. Doubtless, I would find many others if I lived in a more racially diverse place.
The Dark Hair, Dark Eyes True Winter
This is Elaine DeFehr, our analyst in Winnipeg, Canada.
Elaine can wear very high colour saturation. The architecture of the face loses when colour contains the wrong kind of yellow. The face flattens and the features smear.
I could have said, “The architecture of the face loses when colour contains the wrong amount of yellow” but I didn’t. Saying True Winter contains no warmth or no yellow seems wrong. Every human being contains yellow. If yellow is how we define colour warmth, then everyone is warm, that’s not right either. The right question is, Which yellow does the skin contain?
Warmth of colour is relative. We only know it depending on what is next to it. The yellow in Elaine is cooler (bluer, which gives it a greenish cast) than the neighbour Seasons’ yellow. Her skin won’t compromise about that, meaning that placing another Season’s yellow next to her face reduces her presence and beauty in various ways. This is still consistent with the definition of a True cool Season.
Foundation has to match overtone and undertone. How cosmetic companies label and pigment their foundations vary widely. You want the colour that disappears. Elaine’s foundation looks fairly dark and might be labeled warm, to match the olive-yellow skin tones. In this photo, she wears very little foundation. Face, neck, and ears are all the same colour.
Elaine sent me samples of her favourite red lipsticks, knowing that I am searching for one for the Blueprints cosmetics line.
This type of True Winter looks better in red makeup than fuchsia. Elaine’s favourite is the second one, Ultima II Rampage. I liked the Smashbox colour a lot also. I wonder about the NYX Lip Pencil moving close to Bright Winter, as the purple gets stronger and the yellow becomes less obvious.
You’d think Bright Winter red would be yellower, but with red, the yellow of True Winter is more perceptible. This is not true of pink, purple, or fuchsia though. I often wonder why Kathryn placed the red swatches far from the fuchsia ones in her swatch books, at least in the version I own. Something about these colours behaves differently. In my palettes, the reds are on the same strip as the yellows.
You can contact Elaine by email at email@example.com
The Lower Contrast True Winter
The Is-She-A-Summer True Winter
A woman arrives to model for our recent analyst training course in Vancouver. Let’s say her name is Emma. No, it would never be Emma.
We scatter so many funny clues about our Season around us. Email fonts, names. Marion is a total Autumn name. Colleen, an Autumn name. Many Soft Summers are called Barbara.
This woman’s stature is arresting. She is about 5’10”, maybe taller. Half First Nation, half Irish/Scottish. The skin colour is Caucasian but unusual, without much colour, as if you had to describe the colour of window glass. The skin is opaque, not transparent or fragile at all. Hair is dark brown. Eyes are medium gray-green.
Though her appearance had plenty of impact in the power of the body, the colours might have slipped into the Medium column. A hair product with a wet-look finish made the hair seem darker than it was. Afterwards, the students and I asked ourselves what Seasons we considered before the colour analysis: True and Soft Summer, True and Dark Winter.
While guessing at Season by appearance is very seldom correct, the value of it is to be sure that those drapes get evaluated before the person leaves. Whatever Season they look like they are, or the facebook group or the visiting aunt will say they are, has to go across them.
Her name could be Linda or Lauren. Maybe Maureen.
Funny to me that I can’t recall if her top was purple or black. I’m not certain how much she knew of PCA, but she was sure she knew her Season. Well now, we see this person all the time. They are right 1 time in 40. There she sat, watching the whole process, perfectly undisturbed with our many Season trials, quite secure that she would be right. Dang if she was.
I doubt we could have convinced her out of True Winter, but she was right so our job was easy. She was very amenable to appearance suggestions as long as we stayed inside TW. For eg, as a probable YangNatural in image archetype (great article here at Best Dressed explains IAs), we suggested replacing the wet finish of her present hair product with a matte or natural finish product.
Hers were among the most interesting colour reactions I have seen. The most pronounced variable, meaning what changed the most, was the texture of her skin. We could not eliminate True Summer in the early stages, the appearance being ok but not shockingly great in pure black.
Isn’t ‘perfect in black’ the rule for True Winter? Nothing applies to every face. That’s why the system cross-checks results from 112 colours in about 20-30 comparisons. Besides, early in the PCA process, the analyst does not know the face well enough to make big decisions unless she is 1000% certain.
At the Red Test stage, the picture began crystallizing. She was clearly of true cool colouring. Only at this stage did her eyes begin reacting – or did I understand her face well enough to see and interpret it. Fascinating.
This True Winter can be, if not monochromatic, then not very colour-animated to look at. The skin can be beige gray with little natural blush. The eyes and hair colours would not look much different on a B&W TV.
It takes Winter colours for the person to appear, let alone clean up and sparkle up. You don’t know till you try it. Nobody can think the way to a Season. Put the colour on, then compare with another colour, then decide. Humans make decisions by comparing.
Luxury drapes are very helpful to customize the Season for this person. Matte and textured fabrics were excellent. Next to shiny, smooth, slinky fabrics, even in her Season, the skin appeared more textured. B&W felt too sharp for her soft, steady character. The combination said things about her that were not true. Black-brown was striking, a moment when the Feeling folks in the room wipe away tears. She was fabulous in all purples, easily tolerating any amount of red and darkness level.
Every person in a Season is encouraged to wear all the colours. Narrowing down the palette gets a little repetitive and unnecessary. The person often narrows themselves right out of the Season, breaking up the magic. The question is where and how much of the various colours will be worn, in which shapes, textures, and prints.
The Odd True Winter
You’re Wrong, She’s an Autumn!! She’s a Spring!! True Winter
My daughter, Alexandra. You met her before in a post about PCA and Teens. I’ll introduce her once more.
Dark brown eyes, quite orange-red headed as a child, now light-medium brown with a definite red (not so much orange) cast. If I could come up with an analogy…been trying for 20 years.
Many Winters have purple tones in the hair and yellow in the eyes, mostly True and Brights. Our analyst, Rachel in Philadelphia, is an excellent example. I love these faces in a purple-black-brown eyeliner because the eyes look even yellower. The eyeliner seems very natural on the face because it is an extension of the hair colour. With the clothing and jewelry, the whole thing is just so amazing. Rachel, if you read this, would you leave a comment about the name of that MAC liner we bought? Raisin something? MAC makes a similar colour in another type of liner.
I can be surprised to see eyes that go to black and a person being placed in Seasons without something close to black in the palette. What exactly are they going to wear to give them head to toe balance, with clothing an extension of how they are coloured? I appreciate that eyes are supposed to be the focal point but we don’t get there by fading away the rest of painting. A few recent pins of Richard Gere in the Men’s Pinterest board show you what I mean.
Alexandra’s skin is very pale. She doesn’t look it. Colour is never what we think we see, remember, or predict. Doesn’t work that way. Colour is a reaction in present time. We didn’t evolve to see colour exactly. We evolved to see well enough to eat until we mate. Our visual system compares. It compares colours, contrasts, edges, movement, something, and then it decides. So put the two colours together and decide. Not 3, not 5. 2.
To give you foundation colour context, Clinique Alabaster foundation goes on dark and gets more yellow by the second on her face. MUFE’s lightest colours also turn into heavy gold streaks, giving her a yellow face on a white-gray neck. Their very white 205 blended into the neck but would have been too white as a full face. Bottle after bottle, however cool the product in the bottle, it applied yellow and went more so by the minute.
Thanks to Aislin and the great staff at the Sephora in Windsor, Ontario, we happen upon NARS Sheer Glow in Mont Blanc. Perfect, perfect, perfect. Light enough, with the correct type of yellow and no colour shifting. Face and neck in perfect unison. If we ever shop together and I say, “There is nothing about that that I don’t like.”, buy the thing. We bought this bottle. The coverage isn’t all that sheer and might need mixing to create a less pancake effect.
Here is a nice post showing you the colour with a few others.
Alexandra is best in fuchsia-purple cosmetics. They find the same tones in her hair and eyes. Red can look heavy, partly due to her age, and not as good an extension of the face. Bijou is her beautiful best gloss in the Blueprints makeup line. The eyeshadow palette creates a lovely pearly taupe grey, not as red as MAC’s pretty good Satin Taupe for True Winter.
What’s the lesson?
Season is where you start. Within a Season, the people all share more in their colour reactions and essential aspects of their colour dimensions than they differ. Having this information, when you shop, you know what to look right through, it’s not for you. Inside your Season, the person is an individual. The 12 Blueprints analyst will coach each client in using the palette and cosmetics to best effect for her.