We are each given a set of natural colours in perfect harmony.
Colour analysis is the key to making the absolute most of them. The fullest colour, the cleanest shine.
Women often focus on their hair, understandable since it’s the biggest colour block.
The problem is that when hair is more, as chemical dyes often are, something has to become less to maintain balance. What takes a back seat are the eyes.
That’s a mistake. We don’t communicate with our hair. Sure, it’s part of the final picture, a big part, but not at the expense of the eyes.
Nothing should drop the energy in our eyes. Eyes stay powerful and magical throughout our lives. Here is a 94 year old man’s Dark Autumn eye. So much colour, so much geometry.
In the new edition of the book (Return to Your Natural Colours), there’s a section that describes various ways that people in those Seasons can look. Those sections could be 20 pages long.
Although I say that any eye colours is possible in any Season, the truth may be a little more restricted or need a few more details, more clarity between what we think we see and what is real.
A true blue True Autumn eye may be possible, as might a brown Light Summer or True Summer eye, but I have not seen these. More often, an eye that looked blue was really just light. Or maybe we saw it next to yellow hair and assumed it was blue.
Or the foundation or blush made the eye seem bluer. We may love the idea of our eyes looking blue, but for that to happen, other aspects of appearance may pay a price. Your colour analysis will show you the sweet spot where eye colour is best and it’s all rewards for your complexion, apparel, silhouette, everything.
The eye that looked blue or blue-ish is actually turquoise or teal in warm colouring, especially in Dark Autumn, or warm green, either lighter as warm willow or darker as avocado, in True Autumn.
True Seasons may have eyes of a single colour, as dark brown in True Winter or pure blue in True Summer. This happens in about half the True Season people, and is sometimes seen in Neutral Seasons (blends of two True Seasons).
Many Autumn eyes have a gathering of rusty orange round the pupil, but this is a True Autumn in whom that feature is present without being prominent. Any Season containing Autumn may have it, including Soft Summer and Dark Winter.
The eye colours in this picture live in a True Autumn woman. Her skin is the ultimate in coppered tawny freckles.
In Neutral Seasons, colouring often has warm and cool components together. The Dark Autumn eye in the first picture is a good example. A Soft Autumn eye that looks blue may be a tapestry of warm and cool greens.
With silvery pewter hair, this woman’s skin takes on a golden shimmer. Apparent silver and gold together is visually so rich and unique that she looks the epitome of successful aging. Hair dye has nothing on this. Let it go, watch it float away, shake your hands off, and let yourself breathe.
The blue-appearing True Spring eye is often turquoise, but we won’t see the greens develop unless they wear Spring colours. Or, True Spring eyes may be light yellow-green that can range to an almost sharp golden green in some.
One is set a max high or max low. The other two settle around the medium ranges. For our colour choices to be great, we need to know.
Is this individual darker than warm?
Lighter over warmer?
Brighter over cooler?
If you know at a glance, I won’t be convinced :)
How to sort out the possible combinations?
Colour analysis. Takes an hour or two.
However warm his eyes or cool or dark his lashes might be, however bright the iris colours or warm or cool the white of the eye might look, whatever. Notice use of the word might.
Measure it and know. Brightness of pigment is what his colouring wants most.
As many men do, he started paying attention when he saw True Spring yellow-green-gold pouring out his eyes when he wore that colour, a sneak peek at what his colours would be capable of achieving. This, he did not see coming.
But True Spring couldn’t make his other features the best possible. Plus, he blended off into his clothes; you couldn’t tell where one ended and the other began. Adding a little Winter helped him be visible.
We don’t want to over-define him. The balance point is between 3 positions, not 2: not enough, just right, too much. Darkest and coolest in Bright Winter was too much at this time in his life, but that’s an extreme he may not wear till he’s 30.
For now, his most breathtaking colour is Bright Winter’s brightest, buttery yellow. It’s easy on him, a gorgeous, exciting, delicious yellow, and even he, who was perfectly accepting of the climb from his current wardrobe, was intrigued as he took it in.
This is a Winter who would wear a large block of yellow. The Bright Winter who tests near Bright Spring often does. At this age, he will shop for it with intention. In a decade, it may be a stripe in a tie, but will always be part of his most magnificent appearance.
Today, he is 13 and three degrees out of Bright Spring. Already, he is darkening so quickly that his family can barely keep up. He can. He did his entire analysis basically on his own once I explained what to look for and how to decide.
Young people often have the best comments. Readers ask, “What would a wrong combination look like?” He put into words what colour analysts see all the time. In True Autumn khaki, he said, “I look like this really passive-aggressive guy. Or my grandma with green hair.”
He is the grandson of our first and second eyes, above (who are related by the marriage of their children). For colour analysts reading this, bring your eye lens to family parties. They will be amazed and upgrade your cleverness rating, you’ll bond with your relatives, your children will be all, “Yeah, that’s my mom.”, and you can reflect on how much you love your job.
This eye appears to have a gathering of orange around the pupil, as we described for Autumn eyes. The take-home message: You can’t tell Season from eyes, pictures, stereotypes, or any other assumption. Sit yourself down in your colour analyst’s chair and find your answer the right way.
Here is his eye when he was 5 years old.
He’s learning a lifetime of productive shopping. His colour analysis showed him how his current clothing colours are almost always less than his, with a gap between him and what he wears, or unrelated to him in the first place.
Today, he knows how to fix that. He has understood how to create his appearance with equal energy and perfect transition. His life will be different. Those looking at him will see and sense an expensive watch keeping perfect time.
In the second and third videos, you will hear the introductory talk that my clients receive prior to their colour analysis.
Students receive the script and there have been requests for the audio.
For clients, though I try to keep the entire session within 4 hours for women, we have much information to share, in both directions, and many activities and demonstrations, and the session tends to go past the allotted time.
Posting the videos here for you to watch before the session may help stay within the time you had planned or give us more time for other topics.
In this post, I explain 3 ways to use your 12 Season colour palette to choose colours in eyeshadow that enhance eye colour and flatter skin tone at the same time.
In the video, I talk about why using complementary colours to intensify eye colour works best they come from your Season palette, a formula that’s pre-configured to work for all your colour choices.
Thank you to C. who sent in a great question and got me thinking about this topic:
I have blue-gray eyes and wearing the blue colors in my fan really makes my iris color pop… I wear the Ego eye shadow from your store with my beautiful blues.
However, I’ve been studying makeup theory and application this past week and all the advice out there says to use orange and terra cotta eye shadow to make the blue color of my iris stand out. Problem is — those colors aren’t in my fan and they certainly are too warm to go with my underlying skin tone, regardless of what they’re doing to my eyes.
The names Ego and After Dark are linked to their pages in the 12 Blueprints Store, or may be found in the store’s in the Soft Summer and True Autumn collections, respectively.
In her last sentence, C. brilliantly answered her own question. Taking one feature out of context of the whole is not the way to harmonious (everything looks great together) beauty.
We are not floating eyes, any more than a garden is floating flowers. Eyes need a framework to be effective and part of a whole picture. We want the canvas of the face to meet and the bone structure to support the eyes. Therefore, skin matters as much as eyes.
1. Repeat the natural colours. Ego does a beautiful job of this for the blue-greens in Soft Summer eyes. The palette knows our real colours better than we know them ourselves. Do this if the colour makes sense. Winter eyes can contain a lot of strong yellow, not an easy choice for the skin as a cosmetic, but superb as an element in a print.
2. Warm to cool contrast in your Season. This works especially well for Neutral Seasons to take advantage of the warm to cool ranges in these types of colouring. One example is once again Soft Summer’s Ego for Soft Summers with more warmth in the eye colours. Ego’s coolness results in eyes that seem even richer and warmer, an amazing contrast with cool skin and clothing, an impression that is surprising, original, and still perfectly put together.
A second example is in Bright Winter with visible yellow in their dark brown eyes. Warm or yellow-brown eyeliner would be a less-than-best choice. Purple-brown, OTOH, is fabulous, enhancing the skin and making the eyes glow. Quite fabulous next to cool skin or hair colour.
3. Complementary colours. Go to this complementary colour generator. Choose a colour in the top row to the right of the wheel, and in the second row next to Choose a Harmony, click Complementary. Play with it a bit. Watch the colour blocks beneath the wheel and then watch the strip along the left edge of it as they change real time.
Choose a colour on the wheel that seems close to your eye colour. Don’t worry about being too exact, we are all unlikely to guesstimate with perfect accuracy.
You might also try sampling the eye colours from a photograph, as I did for the first three in the chart below. We each have many eye colours and use clothing and cosmetics to enhance all of them.
Using The Complimentary Colour Chart
1. True Spring with light yellow green eyes.
Could this beauty of a purple be a reminder of why Springs look so phenomenal when they wear colour?
Perhaps unlikely to be worn as cosmetics, but spectacular in an ensemble. Choose the colour in your Season palette that is closest and head to the stores for a scarf, earrings, or anywhere else you can find it.
2. True Summer with gray-green eyes.
And could this explain why wardrobe neutrals look so great on Summers? This colour could serve as eyeshadow any day.
3. True Autumn with rust in the eyes.
Well, would you look at that? The complementary green is close to the colour of the After Dark eyeshadow accent.
4. True Winter and a green.
For this one, I used an approximate of the green drapes that energize the eyes and entire appearance, instead of sampling from a photograph.
Voila, complement. Not an eyeshadow for most of us, but in blush or lipstick? Exciting eyes and exciting mouth.
Learn your colours
Stop searching for “Who am I?” and move on to “What are the magic tricks I already have?”
I promise you, they are amazing. Your Season palette has worked out all the secrets.
As the video below says, a new look for this website will appear in 2 to 3 months.
To make it easier to find topics, several older articles will be deleted. Many articles will remain, and some may have a banner stating “This post is outdated.” so you know that this is more current information available elsewhere.
The ‘more current information’ may be found in the second edition of RTYNC, or RTYNC2, the book with the most recent information about my vision and application of colour analysis and the 12 Seasons. It is here or at the top of the left column of this page.
I am asked the difference between editions 1 and 2. Tina answers your question in her review:
If you have the first edition, you are in for a treat, because this book is so much more detailed and in depth. Christine has clearly amassed a wealth of information since the writing of the first edition and graciously opens up that treasure trove to us. Certainly, some elements of the original book remain, but this is a brand new publication. What I love about this is, her descriptive writing forces you to engage your imagination. Even if you have read a particular chapter several times, you will learn something new each instance you review it. The tale of colors in nature has really been told, from the darkness of midnight to the heights of noontime. If you are a color and image enthusiast, I consider this publication a must have.
During the changeover, the 12 Blueprints Store will remain open to purchase cosmetics and Neutrals Sets customized for your natural colouring.
Energy from the neck down! Balance the entire picture before deciding about the parts. Know when to stop for the look you want. Effective, exciting appearance has an endpoint, or it’s overdone. Energy goes up, the facial bones frame the eyes, the book talks about this on page 69.
That post ended with me asking you to notice without deciding. The first woman and this one. One woman, Two versions.
First, be a colour analyst. When students are trained, and as my clients recognize, this is our plan with the first set of drapes. We get together to notice, not judge. We are a team, paying attention to all that is happening in the mirror, without any bias. Whatever happens, it just gets noticed.
Hold up, this isn’t apples to apples, because both outfits might be in my palette, or not in it.
Wearing makeup is every woman’s choice. No better, no worse.
Our look has to work in the real world, meaning the approximate average of everyone else’s opinion. If we’re the only one who gets the intention, and everyone else sees something else, it might be time for a new outfit, makeup, and hair. As you see from the header image, I’m strongly attracted to the concept of renewal (Photo Credit: Sonja Mason).
Be the public, as the book asks us to do. Be the person hiring, the person looking at images on websites and LinkedIn, the salesperson who sees these two women enter a store, the person sitting across from them at the 9AM meeting. Would you react to them in the same way?
Now be the woman. Imagine that she’s seeking a new partner or position where competition is stiff. How do these women feel about themselves?
Speculate, wonder, be curious, but don’t decide. Quite challenging, would you agree?
Whatever your feelings about the amount of makeup or colours, most would agree that this woman and the one in the foundation video look different. They may evoke different feelings from you.
This isn’t an argument for or against makeup. Either one is absolutely fine. It’s just a statement of what is. Look at these women like any stranger sees us, non-emotionally, non-invested in our story.
Your colour analyst can offer you either look or anywhere in between once your own colours are known. Both women could have chosen far less appealing hair colour and clothing, and we can colour-consult you away from those too.
These women may be a demo of how different some faces, especially Winter-coloured faces, can look with or without makeup. These can be fairly colourless appearances till you see what the appearance needs to look normal.
Begin with a neutral face add clothes in neutral colours, as we did in the first video. What does the appearance communicate? No right or wrong. Pick the one you want.
Too much colour in video 2? Too much contrast? Maybe but before deciding, keep in mind:
a) You’re not in the room; does anybody or anything ever look identical to pictures? The lights are powerful, my eyes may not be this glassy.
b) You have not seen the other choices of colours or cosmetics on these women, the ones that were disqualified.
c) this is a max look, often the one shown in online draping images, with the brightest and most opaque lipstick at the end of a sequence of lip colours.
Maybe your preference is halfway between the two women; fine and easy to achieve.
Too much colour or contrast on the second woman? Maybe. Keep in mind confirmation bias. Our eye often picks the first thing it sees and decides, “There, that’s good, what I decided about it is right, and everything else will be compared to it.” Well, yes and no, read the excellent post at Psychology Today on confirmation bias, “the tendency to see new things in light of previous things that we have already assumed are true”.
The influence of our desires, emotions, and illusions on what we believe is fine unless no other person can corroborate our decisions (even though most people tell us they do). If I’d shown the videos in opposite order, we might make another decision.
Too much colour or contrast on the second woman? Maybe. Keep in mind narrative bias, looking for patterns and reasons when it’s too early (in the analysis) for there to be any. I enjoy having many women MDs among my clients, who understand how our stories influence our decisions.
I doubt that any woman would tell you that foundation is easy to find. For the benefits, we’re willing to put up with it.
Any tips that make it easier are welcome. It might take a couple or three shopping expeditions for samples. Be patient. The payoff can be big.
Do a little research first. All shopping success begins with knowing what you’re looking for and what you will not be talked into, meaning know your colours.
For foundation, Season is less helpful. Know the formulation you want instead. I begin at Beautypedia and the product below and in the video is here on that awesome resource. In Canada, I bought it at Sephora.
Set out your sample tubs. Line up some cotton swabs and make stripes on your lower cheek and jaw. Look for the closest 2 or 3, ideally warmer and cooler, without trying for perfect yet.
Try mixing two together, either on a clean spoon or the side of the face. Take your best guess. If makeup makes you nervous, pretend you’re adjusting wall paint a few degrees either way.
I’m not one iota more artistic than you are, probably less. I just don’t accept that the colours in the foundation industry are the most real-skin they could be, regardless of the price or fame of the line.
It’s not us. It’s never us. We’re fine and normal. It’s them. Granted, they have a big task. Skin colour is a huge topic, too big to cover every person in 10 or 20 groups.
We start with the many choices available, narrow them down, and adapt them to work for us. Just like we do with Season, fitness, diet, and everything else. Jump in.
From L to R, Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue in Vanilla, Wheat, and Natural, spaced to give you a sense of the colours independently.
I end up with Vanilla and Wheat. Natural is the dark one that I remove.
I don’t mention this in the video but common sense tells us that more product must be applied to be an effective sunscreen. This product is sheer enough to be nicely buildable.
At some point, all makeup stops looking like skin. I prefer to apply sunscreen first and use less makeup, this one being my favourite under makeup for its fluid texture and matte finish.
A search under Sun Protection at Paula’s Choice offers many choices. Try samples of several (on the product page where you select quantity) to find your favourite. I alternate 3 or 4 of them and try every new one.
2. Canada East/West and USA (shipping CN18.41) = CN58.66.
3. EU (shipping CN40.99) = CN79.09.
4. All other global destinations (shipping CN48.37) = CN86.47.
The entire book and each of the 12 Season chapters will become available in this format.
E-books may exclude the colour layouts. Purchasers of single chapters will have the more accurate palette from their colour analyst.
When? In the near future.
Where? Probably this website.
At what price? CN$8.99 or similar.
Locations? Early research suggests North America only. The reason: with digital products, the EU requires that VAT be registered/recorded/remitted by the seller. This is an ambitious request for businesses such as mine. A financial threshold is expected in 2019 and the situation may change.
Think of cocaine. In its natural form, as coca leaves, it’s appealing, but not to an extent that it usually becomes a problem. But refine it, purify it, and you get a compound that hits your pleasure receptors with an unnatural intensity. That’s when it becomes addictive. Beauty has undergone a similar process, thanks to advertisers. Evolution gave us a circuit that responds to good looks—call it the pleasure receptor for our visual cortex—and in our natural environment, it was useful to have.
But take a person with one-in-a-million skin and bone structure, add professional makeup and retouching, and you’re no longer looking at beauty in its natural form. You’ve got pharmaceutical-grade beauty, the cocaine of good looks. Biologists call this “supernormal stimulus”; show a mother bird a giant plastic egg, and she’ll incubate it instead of her own real eggs. Madison Avenue has saturated our environment with this kind of stimuli, this visual drug. Our beauty receptors receive more stimulation than they were evolved to handle; we’re seeing more beauty in one day than our ancestors did in a lifetime. And the result is that beauty is slowly ruining our lives.
Hair colour can look phenomenal if it’s done right.
The range of colours we wear well is fairly narrow, and by wear well, I mean fine to fantastic.
Lipstick isn’t red because of haemoglobin. Only human (and animal) lips are. Hair dye isn’t brown because of melanin. Only human (and animal) hair is. They form relationships with us, which may enhance, dominate, define, conflict or do a whole range of things on a different scale than human pigments would.
Hair colour is also right next to the face, always in the viewer’s awareness and reacting as strongly with skin as makeup does, or more if the area is larger.
Choose hair colour the way you choose attire or jewelry. How does the colour look with your whole palette, not just the most similar swatch or dot?
2.Forget about how clothes look with each other. Think about how they look with you. If the viewer has to step waaaay up or waaaay down to get from you to your lipstick, hair, or clothing, no adjustment can look like money.
If the viewer can’t tell where the clothes end and the person begins, what can you do? Wear a pile of makeup. Women sense that they’re disappearing, which is when odd stuff is added to show up again. There’s a better way.
Wear what you are. Narrow the gap between you and your clothing.
Not saying, look like your clothes, blend into your clothes, disappear into your clothes, and other variations on the theme.
Saying, look more like yourself, more You, with energy under your face that is still a continuation of you (not more than you), better together.
There I was, for decades, matching clothes with clothes, never dawning on me to factor me into the equation. With PCA, I knew how. With my palette, I could see myself in front of me. Imagine if you could put your head on the counter to do your hair. Makes life easier.
If you’re not sure about your own colours, try making combinations with your attire and hair colour. Would you put the two together in a print? No point looking at your eyes, they’re too complex to use as a guide. A garment colour can be out in left field; eyes may improve and the face may lose. Eyes contain a ton of information but it has to be read in context of a face. You need a professional colour analyst to sort that out.
3. Add navy. It’s available and one of the most forgiving colours when we’re not sure of our exact shade. Navy has a voice and looks like tradition, which can be associated with money.
Black can look like empty real estate for a few reasons. Make the rest of the outfit colourful or interesting so the viewer has something to look at.
We worry that colour will look narcissistic or self-involved, and someone might think “she’s more into herself than into me’ but that’s not what happens. No Season is a circus. Don’t let yourself be hijacked by fear and extremes.
4. NVM looking young. Or Rich. Go for modern and present.
A. Modern translates to current, a form of youth. Syn.: with it, keeping up with the times. Managing the present, not the past. Clothing, cosmetics, and hair colour that are 5 years ago, or a 5 years ago version of us, read to the viewer as outdated, old-fashioned, the opposite of youth.
Women want to look current, they see it as a sign of youth (true), which reinforces impressions of health and vitality. This is the right way to look young because it rings true. Money doesn’t need anyone to believe anything.
The idea of silver hair looking old, even that’s 5 years ago in the face of too much current proof that the opposite is true. I hear about women who work with the young and feel they need hair dye, and I think, “This is in your head, not theirs. It may be your ideas that need updating.”
B. Present. And accounted for, in the room, at the table. Visible, solid, grounded, wearing effective makeup, a healthy glow that’s not a yellow cast, and hair colour that’s right for today’s skin. Colour can give you all those (or take them away).
5. Let’s find your lipstick shade. Let’s find you four or five. If they’re discontinued, big deal. You’ll know how find a few more.
After your PCA, you’ll go back into the stores and be amazed at how much you’ve changed. Meanwhile, they stayed the same. Exactly the same.
6. Eyes show up best when we put lips on our face. If we’re Winters, we show up when we put lips on our face.
That doesn’t mean fire engine lips. Your colour analyst has options to show you.
7. Hair as the supporting cast, knowing the balance between definite style and part of identity. Is there a man alive whose hair is doing anything besides being there, especially in business? Eventually, if the hair is too big a player, folks are looking at it, listening to it, and so on.
8. Shoes as the supporting cast with a definite style, that you can walk in as comfortably as the men in the office. What looks pretty in pictures or eye candy seated at a table isn’t so great when the stride is awkward. Movies, ay? Nobody I see can walk in those shoes. Money doesn’t try. It just is.
9. Black, white, and the near colourless neutrals (steel, charcoal, ice).
So much of our taste is anchored in human visual perception and the planet’s calendar.
When colours are bright, distance is harder to gauge so things look flatter: Spring, Winter.
When colours are softer, our eye has a chance to notice light to dark as near to far graduations, so we sense textures and depth: Summer, Autumn.
Winter type neutrals: The least pigmented the neutrals set the stage for the most colourful colours. Wearing Winter neutrals with soft colours shows the viewer a landscape that evolution didn’t set them up to understand. When colours are bright, without a lot of light-dark contrast, our visual system can’t figure out what it’s looking at. Black and soft at the same time stalls our brain, leaves it hanging, like “What???”
Anyone watch Suits? Filmed in Toronto, I just learned. You can tell who looks like $$ and I bet we’d all agree. There was this banker…black jacket and soft pink-brown blouse. Her outfit said, “This isn’t how the world works.” When her outfit spoke for her, as outfits do, it said, “I may be confused about how the world works.”
Summer type neutrals: When colour gets out of the way, more gray appears. Suddenly, small colour steps = meaning! This novel is rich with detail. The viewer’s reaction: “I get you.”
Somewhere in between Winter and Summer where colour and darkness balance out, we get information about how things feel. New perceptions arrive, the texture of Autumn and transparent shine of Spring, the rounded, deeper light of 3D Autumn and flatter, newer light of 2D Spring.
You don’t have to know anything about vision or design. That’s all been done for you. Wear your palette and reap the rewards. People think you look great, their biology rendering them helpless to think anything else
10. Strategic logos or none. Logos are a time and place thing. Colour and design ring true on people with similar colour and design and then the magic happens (or the opposite magic of shiny plastic). Money doesn’t try to look like money and logos do. Money speaks for itself and logos seek status and recognition. Colour analysis explains to you the colours and finishes in metals will look like money with your intrinsic colouring.
11. Wear makeup ‘expensively’. Like it came out of your face by itself and looks real. Easy on the eyelashes and keep them fairly separated. The difference is often in the brush. IT cosmetics makes great mascaras. SuperHero’s brush has wide spaces so lashes clump together more. Hello Lashes has a smaller spaced comb that makes smaller gaps with enough stiffness to comb out, a fabulous product.
12. “I work from home and can’t figure out what to wear.” Yes, you and a million others like us. I think there are ‘comfort clothes’ that have glamour, she said as the stylists cringe. I’m thinking of the city wear that lines like Lululemon make, their trouser cut pants for example . Do you have Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) outside Canada? You’ll have plenty of others. Nothing is for everyone, a lot of it is boxy camping clothes, and compromise is part of life, but some of it has a certain glamour and dresses up fine. For the painfully practical like me, these clothes have interesting colours and maintain shape and colour well. If the doorbell rings or you have to get on Skype, no need to feel panicked. If you don’t see another soul all day, you feel happy that you didn’t think about your clothes and were so productive.
Wardrobe health is like physical health, financial health, or mental health. Yes, all loaded terms. When they’re in good shape, we don’t think about them. They operate behind the scenes, having received the attention that empowers them, so we can get on with our best life.
That’s colour analysis in a nutshell. You can do this. You already are this. We just have to connect you. Give a colour analyst an afternoon.