A Blonde True Winter Part 2

Perhaps you met Hanka, the newest member of the Sci\ART family of personal colour analysts, in the first article, A Blonde True Winter.

If you have watched an analysis performed, you could accept any result as amazing, surprising, but completely plausible. The Sci\ART process forces you to just see what is, not what you think should be, a reality check.

Your eyes only need to see this once to go through to the other side, where the Season stereotypes have evaporated. You know the feeling of being dragged to your colour frontiers, resisting all the way (because the change we resist the hardest is the one we need to make the most to reach our next level), and surrendering the preconceptions. After that, like with all change, you realize it was harder to think about than to actually do.

But enough philosophy. Hanka responded to some doubts in the Comments of the previous article. People very rightly ask for visual proof. I’m not posting the blonde photo here, I’m hoping you’ll see this one first, and let it imprint itself in your mind (and you’ll turn inwards and find an awareness of the pathways your mind immediately starts to set out on, with so little substantiation; until you’re aware of that, you can’t have a roadblock ready for next time.) Hanka has done a lot of work in voice and theater, and sent me this photo from a performance a short while ago.

I never analyze skin from photos, far too many variables going on, so I look for other things.

1. Am I looking at makeup or the woman? The woman. I see intensity of colouration, whites are sharp, colours appear highly saturated, no soft, misty feeling. No sunshine, no earthy feelings, even in the skin, from what I can see.

2. Did dark eyeliner close in the size of the eye, because it would on someone who couldn’t balance the darkness? No. In fact, the eyes seem bigger with crisper outlines and better definition from the face. Our eyes are the focal point of our body. When our appearance expresses us truthfully and most beautifully to the viewer, others are looking at our eyes and listening to our words, no tensions, no distractions from busy colour F/X elsewhere. The eye wanders around the composition with ease, very happy that all the colours belong reasonably together, no feeling of a colour battlefield.

3. Does the hair colour steal colour from the face, or clear the skin to look clean and fresh, but not yellow or gray? Seems clear and fresh, not older in any way I can see.

4. Does the hair colour dull or drain the eye colour, or intensify it? Intensifies it. The eyes can balance and corroborate that hair colour. They are able to vouch for each other and seem believable on the same head. I am not saying that Hanka should darken her hair, which I have never, ever seen improve a person. For most of us, our best hair is the colour we had around 25, when we’d settled into our Season but before we darkened with maturity, and then lightened a shade or two to soften the concentrated pigments of chemical colour. My opinion only, very open to being convinced otherwise. Like lipstick, though, wigs are an interesting means of ‘draping’ and seeing what happens. You can be surprised.

5. Do my eyes keep coming back to a too-bright lipstick, or am I looking at eyes, but having the lipstick in the same visual field and feeling good with that? The latter. Is the lip perfect, maybe not, but there are certainly some things about it that work.

6. Flip the lip colour to something nude. Does the face lose definition and freshness, or is it a relief? No relief, it would be boring and flat. I like lip intensity to approximate the intensity of hair and clothing, adjusting darkness a bit for complexion and occasion. On a lighter Season, our eyes would be stuck on these lips and keep coming back to the lips, unless we applied an effort we could actually feel to drag our gaze elsewhere.

7. Look at other things in the photo. They will have an effect, which is why PCA is done in a grey room. That wall plaque behind her may be throwing some heat into the skin. Does it feel like it belongs with her, could she wear a turtleneck that colour and would you feel good, or feel like, Uh, Hanka, have you got anything else to wear? Maybe I’m not sure. You don’t have to always know. If I can’t make a decision with certainty, I don’t make it. I keep going. It might not be her best outfit, but something about it might work…the darkness level? the rosiness? Not sure. I like it better than the yellow-brown doorframe off to the right, and I feel better all of a sudden when I block it out with my hand.

8. Is the makeup just making the hair colour work? Again, not sure, but the face is not so different from the body, except that it photographs whiter as makeup always does.

9. If you have progressed far enough in your understanding of personal colour to agree that hair colour can be variable (even if you can’t get to admitting that it should have a place in the Season decision), if I showed you this woman first…would you still say Spring? Or were you really just seeing a blue-eyed blonde and got stuck in the trap they taught us oh, so, well, way back when.

PCA is about skin and one photo tells you next to nothing about skin. Colour is understood by comparison because pigments x, y, and z in your skin, though they look like everyone else’s skin, will react totally differently to colour A than Hanka’s pigments, or your BFF’s. Skin may all look similar, but it reacts differently. It can’t be predicted, expected, or assumed. Stereotypes are assumptions.




25 thoughts on “A Blonde True Winter Part 2”

  1. Christine, I don’t mean to be argumentative here. To my eye her hair and makeup look harsh and unfriendly. Also, the skin on her neck and chest seems to have a yellowish tint. I didn’t see the draping but it’s hard to imagine her as a winter. While I don’t see it, I applaud you for printing out-of-the-ordinary results to help us all learn. Thanks!

  2. Denise,
    Sure, the hair is way too much on this woman. It would be way too much on most women, including most Winters. The point was precisely the one you saw in it, to see how differently one face can appear under the influence of different colours and how open-minded you have to be. All I wanted to illustrate is that what you think you see is not real. A Light person would disappear utterly in that wig. You would only see the hair. In Hanka’s case, it may not be the woman’s best, but the woman can still hold her own in the presence of the colour.

    If people could at least learn not to make the jump from “blue eyed blonde” to “Spring”, we would all benefit. What Season Hanka is? Who knows? That’s the whole point. Season analysis is extremely difficult by photograph, far harder than with drapes. Kathryn Kalisz herself, when people asked her to guess their Season, would say “I have no idea!” The real expert physician knows better than to assume all lower right abdominal pain is appendicitis because he’s been stung so many times. The expert colour analyst knows better than to think they know a Season from an appearance because they’ve been stung so many times.

  3. It’s an interior shot with flash, folks – they’re always hard to call.

    If nothing else, this shows us how winter can handle drama; Hanka’s getting away with a murderously difficult look, here. That wig is cold and dark, brutally so, and it’s trying ever so hard to push her around, but I’m giving the round to the wearer. And that cool lipstick is fine – this is high drama, not the back pew.

    Oh yes, she can convince me she’s Cleopatra (or Theda Bara). I’ve seen this look pulled on en masse for a theme party, and can testify to the extent to which it sorts out the likely winters and bright springs from all the rest of us. It might not be their individual best look – that’s not what’s being argued, here – but these contrasty souls still wear the theme, not the other way around. The poor old softs, on the other hand, look like low-rent cent extras … overwhelmed and completely mis-cast.

    I can understand the skepticism, though. Sometimes you’ve just got to see these things in the flesh before the pieces rotate and drop into place (I will never forget a dear friend’s shock and awe when she, a self-diagnosed autumn lifer, turned out to be the very definition of a bright winter. No way would she have bought it for a New York second if she hadn’t seen the draping process for herself. And now she’s there, it’s so *obvious*.)

    When you’ve only got a hammer, everything looks like a nail, and the old “rules” of thumb die hard. But PCA has 12 seasons, and it’s not like there’s only so many of each to go around, and there’s no gain for the analyst in placing people in one or another season over any other. From what I’ve seen, analysts are painfully aware of the transfer of trust and of how how critical it is that they get the diagnosis right (the abdominal pain analogy is a very good one, and Christine has written eloquently of her sense of responsibility in respect of this.)

    No-one really tells us our season. The colours do.

  4. A couple of years ago, I might have doubted. However, after seeing my very dark-brown haired, brown-eyed mother Sci-Art draped last year as a Light Summer, I stereotype far, far less. I had to see it to believe it.

  5. I sent this picture to Christine asking if we could use it as another piece of evidence of me being a winter. Not that I think I look my best on it but it shows that I can handle these colours and do not look washed away by them.

    I analyzed my mum yesterday and she ended up being Soft Autumn (the Winter in our family comes from my father’s side and my brother is Bright Winter). In the end just for fun we tried some more dramatic looks on her. All we could see were the colours and my mom’s face was completely gone. Then I tried her colours on myself and they did nothing for me. The brightness in my eyes (which I can see eg. on the presented picture) disappeared and I looked very ordinary. And sorry ladies, I do not want to look ordinary any more. :)

    And thanks to Christine for doing this and also to Nynd for her words I would not be able to express myself so well but that is how I feel about it.

  6. again I’m sorry, but you look horrible with this black wig and the dark lips – grotesque and comic like. there is nothing left of your personality. maybe you don’t see that because – as you said – you don’t want to look “ordinary” anymore. but on this picture you look strange and far from “natural”. and reading all you write makes me really doubt in your and christine’s skills… After all: sorry.

  7. Umm… it’s a theater makeup and outfit and they have purposely made her another character, not herself. There isn’t supposed to be something of her own personality. Like Christine said, this is only to show that she’s not disappearing in those colors, and I understand that and can see it. It’s all about the skin and I think the skin looks good, especially considering it’s taking with a flash!

    Maybe these doubters need to see a picture of Hanka in a beautiful winter makeup?

  8. Christine, in “Emily is a True Winter” you wrote:

    “Here is an example of Winter who might deepen her hair to match the brows, but always remaining true to the base shade. Nature will never colour you wrong. Her hair is the right colour but Emily could enhance the dark brows/milk skin effect more by deepening her own shade a touch. It will look real because the brows are dark, but more dramatic (not necessarily better, just a stronger visual effect).”

    Do you think that Hanka can succesfully go further from her natural hair color (without looking theatrical like on the picture) than naturally dark haired winters?

    I noticed that her eye brows look quite light… would it work for her to lighten her hair instead, even she’s a winter?

    I really do believe that hair color can be misleading when it comes to guessing a person’s season. I don’t think anyone has the same hair color from they’re born till they die. My mother is a good example. She is a winter (she was draped back in the days when there were only four seasons) and I don’t think anyone who met her would doubt that she is. It is impossible to tell that she as a girl actually had blonde hair, and that it has just darkened over the years to the very dark brown hair she’s got now at the age of 57 (though it has started to go gray now).

    I have not been draped myself, but I believe that I am a some sort of winter too. I had almost white hair as a child, but now (I’m 26) it is light brown and still slowly getting darker (my eye brows are darker). Who knows what color it will have in ten years?

  9. I’m really sorry to say so but I’m not convinced. To me, Hanka looks pale, unhealthy and gothic-like in this picture.

    It would be nice to see a foto of Hanka wearing winter colors but NO makeup at all (not even mascara). Maybe this would help to convince doubters like me.

  10. Firefly, Julie, and many other doubters,

    Your words are fair. Since all I was trying to do was plant the seed of doubt, I’m glad to see that it grew. As for doubting my skills, that’s fair too, and you’re not alone. I doubt and question them every day.


    I guess the first thing I’d want to see is Hanka’s natural hair colour. The older photos from the first article were taken years ago. She has likely darkened as we all do in our 30s. To me, these unexpected combinations of a lighter-than-usual TW are far more amazing than the ‘averages’. The red haired TW is quite remarkable indeed. The blonde is remarkable as well, very glamorous, as Mary Steele said. I see Dark Winters with naturally very pale brows and love the gentleness it brings to an otherwise harder look. A light TW could be a most spectacular ice princess. Why not play to the strengths you were given, especially once you know what they are?

    I don’t quite get the question in “go further…than naturally dark-haired winters?”. Do you mean, could Hanka darken her hair more than someone who is already dark?

    About the brows, I get it becomes a matter of personal taste. I like beauty that looks like it might have happened by itself. The blonde wasn’t there for me. I liked the hair colour in the trench coat (first article) better, it felt more individual and real than yet another head of processed blonde hair that didn’t distinguish or speak truthfully for the head wearing it. So, I guess she could lighten her hair some and still match the brows, but I don’t quite see why, unless she’s trying to cover grey? If she lightens the hair, she’s now committed to dealing with roots.

    Hair certainly changes over one’s life. Season (skin pigmentation) stays the same in most of us from 15 to 50, approx., regardless of what the hair does.

  11. I’m REALLY new at the color analysis game so my view point doesn’t hold a ton of weight, but I have been experimenting with makeup since I was a teenager. (Really, who doesn’t?) I have even done makeup for wedding pictures and I love it. I also enjoy reading and learning all I can about makeup and color.

    What impressed me with this picture and article is how I agree that if you step back and look at Hanka as a whole, I really do see HER. Maybe the colors aren’t the best, but still she holds her own. I don’t think her eye color would be as bold either if she were in horrible colors, but maybe there is something I don’t understand or know to look for. I do know from personal experience that when I wear a wig that shade (I did one year for Halloween) and makeup of that color all you see is the wig and the makeup. It was almost as if my face became blurred. Oh, it looked horrid on me! (I am a True Autumn)

    I can’t really judge on anything else due to lack of experience, but I thought the pictures and article were insightful. Everyone is different in what they see though.

  12. P.S. I said that it made my face look blurred. A better discription would be that it made my face almost recede into the background and made the wig look 3D or digitally imposed. Any way…..

  13. Firely, seriously? I see nothing comic-like or grotesque here. Hanka pulls off a Cleopatra wig and eyeliner better than most. It’s astonishing, considering she is naturally fair haired and pale eyebrowed. To my eyes, she is wearing the look, it’s not wearing her.

    I think some people are bent on clinging to stereotypes, but I love that the Sci/Art method sets out to find the truth, not rely on “illusions,” as you put it, Christine.

  14. maybe because hanka is clear and that’s why she does’nt look “blurred” in your eyes. but I still think she should keep it light and clear. I’m a spring and years ago I had my hair dyed black and everyone said that it suited me because of my pale skin and bright eyes – but today I’d say that I looked like corpse bride ^^. I really did’nt see that – but now I see.

    After all I’m not convinced. You could have also drape her in icy pink tones with a platinum blonde wig – maybe there would be a different effect? I really ask myself why are there NO pictures of hanka in perfect make up and drapings??? Guessing about strange pictures does absolutely nothing!


  15. Sure, we could do all kinds of draping. The photos might or might not show the difference.

    But I didn’t set out to prove that the woman is a True Winter. I’m not a proponent of online colour analysis, except as a last resort (there are people who are highly skilled, professional, and thorough at it, but I’m not one of them).

    What Hanka and I set out to do was to never again have readers see a blue-eyed blonde and make a quick ‘n easy Spring decision. Pause. Look again. Look deeper and at different things. Whatever readers think of how she looks in theater makeup or these colours, her eye colour gained in intensity. Don’t even draw a conclusion about that – how could you, as you say, you’ve been given very little to compare it to. Just let it place a question mark in everyone’s mind, that maybe the whole story hasn’t been told, and that there might be a surprise ending.

  16. Melinda,
    Sounds to me like you’ve very colour perceptive. A lot of it can be done by feeling, but that’s the hardest thing to describe and teach. In fact, it drives people nuts to hear how it feels, when it doesn’t feel any way to them. I can use all sorts of analogies to distinguish Summer colours from Winter, but some people can’t feel colour at all, so it’s very frustrating for them.
    You’re also good at the more analytical stuff, like receding faces and smudged features, both hard to photograph and teach. Some concepts, like lines around eyes, yellowness, and shadows are much easier for everyone to see, and yet, some folks don’t see even that level. Great analogy about the wig looking 3D – in right colour, the face will do just that, as you know. In wrong colour, the face is flat, 2D, doughy, chin recedes into neck, features blend back into face.
    I appreciate that you took the time to comment :)

  17. Thanks Christine, you made my day. :o)

    I love reading your blog. So beautifully descriptive and insightful!

  18. When CMB first came out in the 80’s I was in high school. According to that book, since I had light brown hair, I was considered a Summer, but those colors just made me look tired. I didn’t find out I was a Winter until almost ten years later, but I had worn Winter colors subjectively before that time. I can totally relate to how Hanka felt about not being able to find herself color-wise, because the 4-season pallete leaves so many women completely out. I find this is particularly true if you are a redhead. Not all redheads are Autumns or Springs!!!

  19. What I find most interesting about PCA is that it’s not at all about putting people in the same mold and press the button. It’s all about looking like you’re really there, present here and now. Not about looking cool or trendy or wearing a particular style that will only look good on some and so-so on most.

    Every set of colours has a particular “personality”, but no one uses all of them at once and most of us probably use some colours more than others, so in that way we change the “personality” of the colours by combination. However, if we were to do a variation on what Nynd described and take one representative for each of the twelve tones in the same outfit and mu Hanka wears in the picture, she’d most likely be among the most natural looking. I’ve seen a platinum blonde TW irl, even though I didn’t know it at the time, and all I could think about was how utterly elegant she seemed in her dark grey dress, white shirt and black frames. It just didn’t matter that the dress she wore could be found on sale at H&M at the time – she looked like one in a million anyway. Just like that. I’ve tried the look, but the effect was never anywhere near the same, no matter how good quality stuff I’d buy. But then I did turn out to be a True Spring, with blue eyes and blonde hair, yes. Funny thing is, everyone thought I’d turn out as some kind of summer. No one knew I wasn’t mousy looking until they’d seen me in poppy red – and I was one of them.

    Back to the point though: I’ve noticed in several photos that if someone wears their right colours – that’s the person I’ll notice. My eyes want to stop at that person for a while. When someone puts up family photos on fb and the whole family has been pca’d, that’s really awesome to look at. Not because they’ll wear the grooviest outfits or the best done mu, no, they usually wear ordinary clothes. But because I look at their faces; no matter were my eyes turn, they end up looking into someones eyes. Looking in one of those fashion catalogues that you can order from can be very informative when you know that the models are skinny as hell and one or two still look over weight in a couple of pictures. Or when the chest takes precedence over head (making the head looking proportionally smaller than it is). Or when one and the same model looks really trashy in one photo and very uptown in another. Sometimes it’s even hard to determine if it really IS the same model. The thing is: we did see Hanka as a Light and it was silly looking, I much prefer stage make up to that. Although I’d love to see some “best photos” just for the fun of it… But not in an icy colour, I’m under the impression that icy colours on their own work a lot better on Dark Winters, and that TW’s need to combine their icy colours with something dark. That would probably be especially true for Hanka with her blonde hair and light skin, I know I’ve had that problem, darker colours on their own provide sufficient contrast – lighter colours do not. It’s probably the other way around for someone with really dark skin if s/he needs contrast.

  20. Oh, and Christine: Where’s the article on Spring contrast levels??? Hmmm?! Seriously, I was really beginning to think there were something wrong with me until I figured that one out. On my own, “all by myseeeeelf”… LOL There really isn’t any info on the subject – that this infoholic has been able to find.

  21. You’re joking, right? No, I still do not see a Winter in Hanka. I see a girl forcing something or an image which makes no connection to any feature within her physical traits. It’s a bad photo. The lighting is bad which does not help her plea. The makeup and wig appear harsh and unforgiving. I just do not see or believe it, in Hanka. A real Winter, blonde or not, can carry black. Please forgive my ignorance. I do not intentionally mean to be rude or opinionated. I realize this thread is several years old and realize there are two Julie’s in these threads (only one, is I). I just do not agree and I am not convinced that she is a Winter. Okay, I’ll go sit in the corner now. LOL ;)

  22. @Julie

    It’s down to your computer screen. On mine, it is almost obvious that Hanka is a Winter.
    The photo seems to be made by herself, and it is not professional, but she is looking good.

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