Christine, could you please make a video on how to use color to look “expensive”? In some industries (real estate) you need to look successful. In Vancouver, BC, it means expensive before you’re actually successful. What do you do, when you have neither desire nor resources to look like a fashion slave (a highly respectable look here by the way ;-)) BUT still want to project the mandatory image of success?
Fashion slave – yes, a recognized look everywhere.
Too often, attention to appearance is considered vanity. As colour analyst Naomi Eastman in Vancouver said, it’s no different from improving a home’s curb appeal before selling it. A more attractive exterior invites people to imagine being part of the image, wanting to belong, and the house sells faster for a higher price tag.
In this series of posts, I will focus on colour’s effect on appearance. Colour analyst Florentina Mossou, owner of Calla Studio in The Netherlands, will join me later to offer ideas relating to body shape and scale, a.k.a. line analysis.
I Googled ‘how to look expensive’. Tailored looks, boxy bags, white this, black that. The most surprising part was how the advice never seems to change, which might mean enduring, but in this case, I think it’s acknowledgment that there is no single way. Mainstream advice applies to a tiny fraction of readers, usually the blogger herself if the advice is specific.
Regarding the white and black, this is a traditional combination worn successfully by persons whose natural colouring comes mostly from Winter. They are called True, Bright, and Dark Winter. If we play the odds, with more Winters in the world, more advice might be delivered to the right ears.
Which kind of Winter? There are 5 and most belong to a group other than True Winter. Those in Japan and the Southern USA not the same. Where I live, there are many Winter Caucasians with wide variation of skin tone. Indian, Arabic, which usually differs from Egyptian, Indigenous North American, and many others. Winter appears in some part of their colour make-up but the proportions vary. For many, black and white may be a detracting choice with a better alternative.
We also have many Caucasians in Canada, with varied genetic influence. Asians in Western Canada, Scots in Eastern Canada, evolving into a less Eurocentric population than we once were. Many have darker skin tones, and yet contain no Winter at all, and are better flattered by neutrals other than black and white.
With influence from continuous human migration and the variable immigration policies of different countries, human colouring may be more varied than in the past, with proportions that may depend on where we live.
Is mainstream advice speaking to all of these people equally?
1. As the video explains, know your relationship with colour. Personal colour analysis (PCA) shows you the effect that you and colour have on one another. If you are warm in colouring and cool pastel colours make your skin look green, what’s the point? If the robin’s egg blue looks like children’s clothing when it is next to your colours, what’s the point? Save yourself a lot of time. Start with a PCA.
2. Neutral clothing can go either way. Although not quite automatic sophistication, the less-is-more appeal is undeniable. Winters look terrific in large areas of one or two neutral colours. Summers are dreamy and lovely and elegant in entire outfits in a blend of neutral tones. Springs look so good in colours that even neutrals are colourful, as brown, green khaki, or bright navy blue. Autumns excel in depth effects, be they light to dark, texture, or layers.
Neutrals are the most challenging colours to select but we have good tools to help. If the colour is neutral and the style is too simple, the look can be of long gray dresses and surgical scrubs. Florentina will go into this a bit more, I expect. Colour is inherently energetic, memorable, easier to select, and occupies the viewer’s attention. Neutral colours are like the support structures, like bark and ground and air. They have to belong to the image (lead and carnations are not as easy together as feathers and carnations) while at the same time, being a kind of blank or negative space.
Colour done right looks like money. – Christine Scaman
3. Neutral makeup colours. Not trying too hard is part of looking expensive. That’s because we prefer to think and do the opposite of what we’re told, asserting our freedom to decide for ourselves. Appearance is great when it could have happened by itself, grown right out of the body that wears it, meaning the same colours and lines as yours.
Neutral makeup colours are more inherently part of the face. Brighter colours should be applied with good judgment and be in your palette. If the colour is not part of your inherent make-up, it will stay apart from the face when added as makeup.
Certain warm colouring groups wear beige or brown eye makeup beautifully; they are the 3 Autumns and True Spring. Everyone else might look mushy or undefined, while an expensively made up face is crisp and clean. A safer choice may be medium gray that doesn’t have an obvious colour component, in a darkness level adjusted to yours, so that the eye doesn’t appear smaller or dominated when circled by liner.
Whenever you read anything, the reader’s first decision (responsibility) is to decide how credible the source. Instead of knee-jerk beauty, ‘last seen in a magazine, young, thin, on YouTube, wearing blingy stuff’, look more carefully. How about ‘dusty pink eyeshadow next to yellow green eyes’ and ‘dusty pink top next to dyed blonde hair’. If those seem beautiful to you, carry on. To me, the people are beautiful and at the same time, their eyeshadow and eye colours are getting in each other’s way. Take care what you put next to your eyes.
As with attire, we come back to, which neutrals? The closer together colours are, the more profoundly they affect one another, with better or worse outcomes. Once on the face, the colours are in such proximity to our own that the good or less-good colour interactions are powerful. Second, makeup has to blend with our colouring while clothing and jewelry sit on the surface.
Spring coloured people have a very different neutral blush from Autumns. Think of the distance between juicy peach and terracotta. If you could narrow your most natural blush to carnation (Summer), adobe (Autumn), coral (Spring), and red-violet (Winter), you’d be in a good place. Once you have the blush, pick a lipstick in a similar colour.
All makeup is eye makeup. -Christine Scaman
4. Organized shopping. Wandering and not knowing is how we get talked into stuff or buy impulsively. If you shop with a friend and you know, “Pastels are my way of wearing light colours.” and she can say, “Metallic effects flatter me.”, you know how to shop for you and advise her.
In Canada, The Bay (and I hear it’s coming to Holland) has a huge inventory online, excellent shipping and returns, and tons on sale. The striped top from the I Shop For You video of the previous post is by Guess, cost me $30. I see this on every website.
Impulse purchases are the junk food of our closets. -Christine Scaman
5. Wear jewelry. When the right colours and shapes meet the right body, the expense level increases. Know the right shine for you. I enjoy Autumns in brushed surfaces and deep, rich metals and minerals; Winters in dense, shiny metals and jeweled stones; Summers in brushed surfaces and opalescent to pearlescent shine; and Springs in light shiny metals with twinkle and sparkle in the stones. Choose the one where you and the piece show each other’s best qualities to keep the expense level climbing, not falling.
6. Wear makeup if over 30-35 to maintain feature separation from the canvas (the face). It looks like energy and youth and evens the playing field with younger people. Know the right shine for you. I prefer Autumns in matte to metallic finishes; Winters in cream to lacquer (expensiveness level of vinyl determined by person and place); Summers in soft shine to cream (all lips should look moist); and Springs in crème to gloss. Ultra-matte lips are never appealing to me, maybe I’m too old to get it but I really hope the trend is soon replaced. Lips that literally look like earth…the thought bubble in my mind: ?
I would love to say that nobody needs makeup, and it is each woman’s choice. As a realist and a moderate person who can always see both sides, I acknowledge that we are compared to others in our industry. In some industries, morning show hosts perhaps, everybody’s off together but two wrongs don’t make a right; we have accommodated the work costume.
Trust that as your best you, the viewer will get it. With subtle makeup, the viewer feels refreshed. Looking other than the pack may offer us identity and leadership qualities.
7. Line analysis. Classic styling (think of flight attendants) has been the custom in many workplaces and many people choose the tradition for their work attire. If others might look at you and not find any similarity with Mrs. Partridge (of the TV show, The Partridge Family) or Princess Kate, there may be a better choice. Non-classics wearing classic styles may be unexciting compared to other possibilities. At other times, folks have such aversion to fuss and frill that they over-simplify. Florentina will speak more about this, I am simply here to endorse a form of self-knowledge that will make your shopping and presentation better.
8. Carry a purse in a great colour. Black and tan bags can be overlooked unless they’re spectacular. Functional is fine but if it stops there, it goes unnoticed. We want to be remembered for all the right reasons.
9. Have an expensive-looking pen, pocket mirror, and phone (and tablet case). These can be small expenses with a big payoff.
10. Wear red. Few do. It can be downright thrilling.
The header image was taken at The Secret Garden tea shop in Vancouver. Highly recommended.
Knowing what we want is the first step to getting it.
Otherwise, we’re unfocussed. All we know is that something feels unsatisfying or unsettled. With even a vague idea about where the solution might lie, we have a way to move towards it.
Having some idea of how we define beauty allows us to attain the look we want. Otherwise, we become blown around by the winds of outside voices and outside forces.
There are no right or wrong answers. Makeup or no makeup; neither is wrong or right.
We want what we want. It doesn’t need to be justified. It needs to be clarified.
Fame and riches? Perfectly fine. They’re not bad or harmful or scarce resources.
Nobody gets to weigh in or approve that what we want is a worthy cause.
They will, of course. That’s our training ground for sticking to our guns or seeing our goals from a new perspective. This is also our training ground for learning to be clear and deliberate about the impact we allow others to have in our lives. The choice is ours, not theirs. This is an especially fun exercise with family.
Pretending that we don’t want what we want because some judgment or opinion is hanging around means it takes longer to happen, if it ever does.
We always have choices. My nomination for Best Look Award is an appearance that doesn’t look manufactured. The woman’s lip and blush colour might have happened by themselves. The hair could have grown out of that head, the jewelry out of that body. I can look calmly at her face and have a conversation with her eyes, without the feeling that my eyes are zinging around processing pieces of a few puzzles at the same time.
Here are some appearance choices that would yield entirely different results:
We could wear comfort clothes.
We could decide that celebs (and their stylists) are making excellent decisions and follow their lead.
We could look like makeup artists on YouTube.
We could look like our friends. “Nobody is doing pink lips this year.”
We could be true to ourselves.
I choose #5. It took me 50 years and a person in my life with singular clarity (a business coach) to teach me this skill. Besides looking worse with any other choice, I would be failing myself.
Once you locate the road that leads you to yourself, other paths are no longer a real option.
True to me becomes your rudder when you don’t know what to do next. When the road branches, you know which way to go: this choice is more true to me than that choice. As your skills grow, the choices narrow, and your appearance slowly becomes the physical manifestation of your energy field. Now there is a woohoo moment, as much to see it as to be it.
My colour analysis clients receive a list of questions one week before the appointment. One of the questions (actually all of them, from various directions) ask what they want to achieve with their appearance choices.
A recent client amazed me by saying Integrity. When I asked what she meant by that, she replied, “I want to dress like my true self with my real purpose.” I thought I heard angels sing.
The psychology of appearance. Is that a career?
The day following her analysis, the client said, “I feel like my look is so different but also that it just feels like the look I’m supposed to have.”
If your choice is to dress true to yourself, you still need a way in.
Sometimes, you know your choice but you can’t find the entrance, any entrance, a way to get started.
If looking like your true self is your choice, colour analysis is an entrance.
Colour analysis connects the interior with the exterior, like getting the entire border of a 1000 piece puzzle placed in one afternoon. No big deal? What if it were a magic puzzle? All the pieces are the same colour until they get closer to one another. Then they start to shift in colour and shape!
I could tell you that this is the colour analyst’s world. In a way, it is. But in the (approximate) words of one of my heroines, Flavia de Luce (in Alan Bradley‘s As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust), it wouldn’t be right of me to let you think that science is magic.
The banner to subscribe to the newsletter can be found across the top of every page on this site, above the 12 Blueprints header.
Michael A. Singer’s book, The Untethered Soul, is among my top rank reading for spiritual maturity and living life without emotional fears and external controls. On page 27-28, he describes a consciousness experiment that is magic for anyone gathering truth.
The colour analyst is measuring the optical illusions in the face created by colour. Very early in our time together, Tsiky recognized on her own the necessary detachment, the deliberate turning off of the analyst’s own thoughts, to allow the “instantaneous snapshot of consciousness just seeing”, as Singer describes it. “When you just look without creating thoughts, your consciousness is effortlessly aware of, and fully comprehends, all that it sees.”
This switching off of the analyst’s own “me” and connecting with another person, a stranger, quickly enough to read the subjective information of feeling, symbolism, and association, can take time. They have significance because the visual story that others hear about us as a result of our appearance choices is more related to these than to technical observations. Within three clients, Tsiky surprised me consistently by connecting appearance with feeling. Of a True Summer model, she went beyond measuring, “The lip colour is more present and natural.” and could say, “I can feel more drawn to her gentleness in this colour.”
Every student brings PCA some beneficial part of their spirit and story. Every client group needs their spokesperson. Every industry can multiply their ability to respond to client needs by diversifying their membership. Tsiky’s clients will be rewarded with a colour analyst for our time, who has replaced Authority with Authenticity.
For Tsiky’s French-speaking clients, my introduction is repeated below (with thanks to Sonja Mason for the translation). Tsiky’s own words will appear in French first and then in English.
Je vous présente l’analyste de couleurs Tsikinirina Ralisoa (Belgique)
Le livre “The Untethered Soul” de Michael A. Singer occupe la première place sur ma liste de lecture essentielle pour l’acquisition de maturité spirituelle et aussi pour ceux qui veulent mener une vie sans peur ni contrôles externes. Sur les pages 27-28, il décrit une expérience en prise de conscience qui a un effet magique sur ceux qui sont à la recherche de la vérité.
L’analyste de couleurs (ACP) évalue les illusions optiques, qui sont créées par les couleurs, sur le visage humain. La quantification de ces illusions optiques assure l’objectivité de l’analyste en neutralisant ses préférences de couleurs personnelles, ses aversions individuelles, sa tolérance envers le risque, l’influence de ses amies, le lieu, les modes, l’âge, la race et tout autre facteur qui concerne les êtres humains et la couleur.
Depuis le début de notre relation professionnelle, l’analyste Tsiky a démontré qu’elle a compris l’importance du détachement et de la nécessité de désactiver ses pensées personnelles pour permettre « l’aperçu instantané de la conscience qui observe », comme le décrit Singer. « Quand nous étudions quelque chose sans faire place aux pensées actives, nous sommes bien conscientes de tout ce que nous voyons et nous le comprenons sans effort. »
L’analyste doit nier le “moi” et arriver à former une connexion avec autrui assez rapidement pour interpréter l’information subjective des sentiments et du symbolisme. Cette capacité est développée avec le temps. Après avoir consulté trois clients, Tsiky m’a surprise en démontrant déjà la capacité d’établir un lien entre l’apparence et les sentiments. En évaluant un mannequin de type Vrai été (True Summer, en anglais), elle est allée plus loin que l’analyse de base, « La couleur des lèvres ressort mieux et parait plus naturelle. » Elle proposa plutôt, « Je suis attirée davantage vers sa douceur quand elle porte cette couleur. »
Chaque étudiant contribue à sa façon à l’ACP en partageant son esprit et son histoire personnelle. Chaque groupe de clients a besoin de son représentant. Chaque industrie peut augmenter son potentiel en répondant aux besoins des clients et en diversifiant les catégories de ses membres. Ses clients auront droit à une analyste moderne, qui remplace l’Autorité avec l’Authenticité.
Cela fera bientôt deux ans (novembre 2015) que Christine m’a gentiment invitée à vous rencontrer ici sur son site.
Je ne l’ai jamais fait…disons, que le moment est venu seulement aujourd’hui ! vous comprendrez pourquoi en lisant des souvenirs de mon voyage à travers ma couleur.
Mais ce serait mieux si je me présente d’abord, non ?
Je m’appelle Tsiky (exactement comme cela s’écrit). J’ai échangé les couleurs tropicales et la mer turquoise de mon île natale pour de gaufres chaudes, du chocolat et un peu de grisailles de l’Europe mais surtout parce que c’est là que ma famille m’attendait !
Je suis maman d’un Pioupiou de 8 ans ( Chut ! Il ne faut pas lui dire que je vous ai dit son surnom, il n’aime plus trop être appelé Pioupiou car il a grandi) !
Attendez ! Je crois que je dois aussi vous présenter quelqu’un ou quelque chose ! Il n’est plus là ! J’aimerai quand même vous parler de lui car notre rencontre d’aujourd’hui est en partie grâce à lui! Cela vous intéresserait ? Je voudrai vous parler de mon Ennui.
Malgré toute la joie, toute l’occupation que le fait d’être une mère active puisse m’offrir ( subir), un nuage d’ennui est venu s’accrocher à ma vie de tous les jours.
Un ennui lourd venant de nulle part, me poursuivait, me faisait bâiller, m’empêchait d’apprécier ce que j’avais déjà ! Me volait une partie de mon bonheur.
J’ai cette impression de ne pas être là où je devais être . Pourtant, je n’avais nulle part où aller. Et toute somme faite, je pourrai être bien là où j’étais.
Ma famille a l’air joyeux et en bonne santé ; je passe de bons moments avec mes amis ; les personnes en difficulté socio-financière que je guide dans mon travail parviennent à remonter la pente et sont contents de notre collaboration.
Pourtant, j’avais cette impression qu’il manquait quelque chose. J’avais envie de partir !
Tous les matins, je me levais avec cet ennui et je m’endormais avec lui, nous étions devenus inséparables malgré notre rapport divergent et notre relation secrète.
Plus je le détestais, plus il s’accrochait à moi !
Il me poussait à errer, à faire des choses sans signification, à perdre mon temps.
Il avait transformé ma vie en routine, je faisais ce qu’il y avait à faire pendant la journée. Le soir, et le week-end mon ennui exigeait une tête-à-tête avec moi ! Il me poussait en errance, à la recherche de quelque chose , j’ignorais ce qu’il voulait. Il m’avait chuchoté quelque chose dans laquelle j’ai cru comprendre vaguement « l’apparence ».
Pour le tromper, je collectionnais les magazines de mode, je suivais toutes les nouveautés, cela avait son importance pour moi de savoir quel designer dirige artistiquement quelle grande maison de couture ; j’essayais d’être une fée du ménage, j’essayais de devenir jardinière, je mangeais des glaces, je buvais du café ,j’essayais ..de me sauver de cet ennui. J’avais tout essayé mais rien ne pouvait satisfaire l’avidité de mon ennui ! Il continuait à creuser un vide au milieu de ma vie.
Il n’arrêtait pas de me pousser vers cette « apparence » que je ne parvenais pas à très bien cerner !
Quelle apparence ? Les magazines de mode , il n’en voulait pas, mes achats des dernière tendances non plus ! je partais à la recherche de quelque chose. Quoi ? Je l’ignore
Lors de mes errances cybernetiques, je suis tombée sur des sites me parlant de l’analyse de couleur personnelle. Je n’en ai jamais entendu parler. J’étais intriguée.
Je commençais à m’y intéresser. Parmi ces sites, j’ai découvert 12 Blueprints. Ce que Christine Scaman y décrivait me parlait beaucoup ! J’ai délaissé mes tasses de café pour y boire ses paroles. J’ai annulé mes abonnements de magazines de modes pour lire tout ce qu’elle écrivait sur son site, j’ai abandonné mes coupons de shopping. J’ai laissé tomber à vouloir tout savoir sur les maisons de couture. J’ai rompu avec les pâtisseries. Je n’ai plus peur de manquer quoi que ce soit ! Tout ce dont j’ai besoin c’est d’apprendre un petit peu plus sur l’Analyse de Couleur personnelle.
Tout ceci est nouveau pour moi ! Les colorimétries pratiquées dans les émissions tv m’ont laissée très sceptique, je ne m’étais jamais intéressée à la coloration humaine ni à la mienne.
Je commençais à m’intéresser à d’autres méthodes, à comparer d’autres information avec ce que j’ai lu sur 12 Blueprints.
Sans m’en rendre compte, on a claqué la porte derrière moi… mon ennui m’a quittée ! J’ignore le moment exact de son départ. Je me sentais toute légère avec de nouvelles ailes. Il a laissé sa place à Ma passion.
Ma passion m’a ouvert un portail, j’ai décidé de prendre une nouvelle route. Moi qui voulait partir ailleurs, une nouvelle destination s’est ouverte devant moi. Je voudrai devenir analyste.
J’ai pris un vol direct Bruxelles- Toronto, Christine m’a acceptée comme élève.
C’est la première fois que j’étais analysée.
Quand Christine m’a fait découvrir ma coloration à travers ses étoffes : j’en avais les larmes aux yeux. Je venais de comprendre ma place dans cet Univers.
Une fois rentrée en Belgique. J’étais persuadée que je suis arrivée à bon port, que j’ai tout ce qu’il me fallait et que je peux repartir en paix. Non, je me suis trompée.
Je commençais à apprivoiser mes couleurs… j’ignorais que ma passion allait m’emmener faire un long, très long voyage ; m’occuper de l’apparence physique ne suffisait pas, à chaque fois que j’ajustais une couleur, j’étais également en train de m’ajuster intérieurement, l’harmonisation continue à se faire intérieurement et extérieurement. Cela a pris du temps et continue toujours à prendre du temps.
Vous avez compris pourquoi j’ai mis deux ans avant de vous écrire cette histoire.
J’ai traversé le chemin qui mène à l’exploration.
Il est à mon tour maintenant de tenir la lampe pour vous éclairer le portail par lequel vous allez commencer votre part de voyage !
Vous méritez d’être vu et d’être aimé exactement comme vous êtes.
Le temps d’une analyse, laissez-moi vous donner les outils pour que vous harmonisiez votre éclat extérieur avec votre beauté intérieure car « Vous pouvez, être,avoir, faire tout ce que vous désirez si vous vous habillez pour”.
Le jour où vous déciderez de venir me voir, je guetterai votre arrivée par la fenêtre, tellement j’ai hâte.
J’ai hâte de vous rencontrer, d’entendre le son de votre voix, de partager des couleurs avec vous, d’avoir des heures colorées avec vous, de vous dévoiler tout votre potentiel naturel resté caché trop longtemps.
La nature vous a transmis un secret, ensemble, nous le découvrirons à travers les étoffes et les pinceaux.
Oui, des pinceaux !!! ma passion d’analyste a ramené une petite sœur, une passion pour le maquillage. Cela fait 9 mois que je fais partie des élèves d’Annick Cayot ! Et je continue encore à apprendre avec elle.
Ne vous inquiétez pas, notre rencontre semblera trop courte, tellement nous aurons des choses à nous partager !
A propos, je ne vous ai pas précisé que vous pouvez me trouver dans la région de Mons en Belgique. A deux heures de route de Paris et à 45mn au sud de Bruxelles.
Mais en attendant ce jour de rencontre, je suis très curieuse ! J’aimerai aussi vous connaître et entendre votre histoire.
Two years ( november 2015) since Christine kindly invited me to meet you on her website.
I never did so before. Let’s just say that the moment arrived only today. You will understand why as you read the memories of my colour journey.
But it would be better if I started by introducing myself first of all – don’t you think ?
My name is Tsiky pronounced exactly as it is written. I exchanged the tropical colours and the turquoise sea of my mother island for the hot waffles, chocolate and a little greyness of Europe, but, above all, because it was here that my family was waiting for me.
I am the mother of a little Pioupiou of 9-years-old. (Shush- don’t let him know that I told you about his nickname. He doesn’t like to be called Pioupiou these days as he has grown up so much !).
Wait! I think I must also introduce you to someone or something else ! This « entity » is no longer here ! I would like to talk to you about it because our meeting today is, in part, thanks to his « thing ». I would like to talk to you about my Boredom.
Despite all the joy, all the occupation that being an active mother offers me, a cloud of boredom started to hang over me daily.
A sense of heavy boredom from out of nowhere followed me, made me yawn, stopped me from appreciating all that I already had, stole part of my happiness.
I had the impression of not being where I should be. However, I had nowhere else to go. And after all, I could be okay where I was.
My family seemed happy and in good health ; I enjoyed good moments with my friends ; the people in social/financial difficulty whom I guided were able to lift themselves up and were happy with our collaboration. However, I had the impression that something was missing. I wanted to get away !
Every morning I got up with this boredom and I fell asleep with it at night ; we had become inseparable despite our diverging secret relationship.
The more I hated this boredom, the more it hung on to me !
It caused me to make mistakes, to do things without meaning, to waste my time.
It had transformed my life into a routine ; I did what was needed during the day. In the evening and at weekends my boredom demanded a face-off with me. It pushed me to wander, to look for something ; I don’t know what it wanted. It had whispered something to me and I believed vaguely that I saw the « appearance » within.
To deceive it I collected fashion magazines, I followed all the news, I could say which designer ran which fashion label artistically ; I tried to be a house-wife fairy, a gardener, I ate ice cream, I drank coffee, I tried…to save myself from this boredom.
I had tried everything but nothing could satisfy the avidity of my boredom ! It continued to dig an empty hole in the middle of my life. It wouldn’t stop pushing me towards this « appearance », which I couldn’t quite understand.
What « appearance » ? The fashion magazines ? it didn’t want them. And my latest purchases neither ! So I went looking for something else. What ? I wondered what I was looking for !
During a cyber stroll I chanced upon those websites talking about the personal colour analysis. I had never heard of this before and was intrigued.
I grew interested. Among those websites, I discovered 12 Blueprints. What Christine Scaman described spoke to me a lot ! I pushed my coffee aside to drink in her words. I cancelled my fashion magazine subscriptions in order to read what she wrote on her website. I dropped my shopping vouchers. I gave up wanting to know about fashion brands and their producers. I broke away from the cakes. I was no longer scared about missing something. All I wanted was to learn a bit more about the personal colour analysis.
This was all new to me. The practical colourmetrics in Tv programmes had left me skeptical. I had never been interested in human colouring on my own. I started taking an interest in other methods, started comparing what I learnt from 12 Blueprints.
Without realizing it, the door had slammed shut behind me and my boredom had left. I din’t know the exact moment of its leaving. I felt very light with new wings. Its void had been filled by My Passion.
My passion opened a door to me. I decided to take a new route. I had wanted to go somewhere else and now a new destination had opened itself up to me. I decided that I would like to become an analyst.
Christine accepted me as a student. I took a direct flight Brussels-Toronto.
It was the first time I had been analysed. When Christine made me discover my colouring through her drapes, I had tears in my eyes. I had just understood my place in this Universe.
Once back in Belgium, i was sure I had arrived at the right port, that I had all I needed and that I could re-leave. But no, I was wrong.
I started to tame colours. I didn’t know that my passion was going to take me on a long, a very long journey.
Just lookng after my physical appearance was not enough ; everytime i adjusted a colour, I was equally adjusting myself inside ; the harmonisation continued taking place internally and externally. It took time and still continues to take time.
You have to understand why I took 2 years to write this story. I crossed the path which leads to exploration.
It is now my turn to hold the lamp to illuminate the doorway for you through which you are going to start your part of the journey !
You deserve to be seen and to be loved exactly as you are.
With just an analysis, allow me to give you the tools so that your external self harmonises and shines with your internal beauty because « You can be, do, have anything you want : get dressed for it ! »
The day you decide to come to see me will be the day you’ll find me jumping up and down at the window like an excited child as I have been looking forward so much to this day.
I cannot wait to meet you, to share colours with you, to have coloured hours with you, to unveil to you your natural potential, which has remained hidden for too long. Nature has transmitted a secret to you ; together we will discover it through drapes and make-up brushes.
Yes brushes ! My passion as an analyst has brought with it a little sister ; a passion for make-up. I have been one of Annick Cayot’s student for one year now , I am a certified makeup artist and still learning with her.
Don’t worry if our meeting seems too short ; it will be ! because we will have so many things to share.
Speaking of that, i did not point out that you can find me in Belgium, in the region of Mons, just two hours from Paris or from Luxembourg and 45 minutes south of Brussels. You can jump in a flight from Italy, Austria or Switzerland, easy-peasy.
But, while waiting for our chance to meet, I am curious ! I would also like to get to know you and hear your story.
So make my day and send me a little hello at infoatstellagraphy.com. We will continue our discussion there, come and visit my website.
Happy, healthy, and prosperous 2018 to you and your families!
The next image could be a picture of me standing next to my car. Freezing cold and relentless snow here in Ontario.
The header image is but a distant dream.
About the title question:
The short answer is that you don’t know. Neither do I.
Benjamin Hardy, the top writer for medium.com, said something to the effect that all we get to see is what’s in the beam of headlights. Not the final destination.
If you’re trying to decide whether to embark on the PCA path,
(One woman said, “Always looking for a new career!”)
Normal colour vision is fine.
Being a fashion insider or outsider makes no difference.
Logic and spreadsheets might get you to one good answer.
Something else that I’ve seen work really well is when a person says:”I don’t know how successful I will be and I don’t need to know. What I do know is that I can’t really picture my life without this in it.”
Now you’ve got my attention.
In this video, a few more thoughts about what might smooth the way.
Portland, OR, you have your own 12 Blueprints colour analyst!
But that’s not the best part. The story actually gets better. The analyst herself is the most special thing happening here. Patient, kind, methodical, and accurate.
During the training, we met a wide variety of men and women who expressed their wardrobe and appearance challenges, frustrations, needs, and desires. Jennifer has the great and rare quality of listening quietly and also of hearing. Her ability to sense the deeper story, ground the PCA process, and give each person the attention and feedback they need to improve their appearance, impressed client after client. To this day, draping models still ask about her progress and extend their best wishes.
Jennifer is deeply reflective. She is respectful of all people and their freedom of expression. I believe that the clients who gain the most from our services are seeking truth, not comfort. They want to know, not be validated in their present choices. A part of the colour analyst’s job is to bridge their desire to express unique creativity as individuals with the truth of their physical appearance. In her ability to see the highest truth of a person as well as genuinely respect their starting point, Jennifer has great balance and gentleness.
Jen is a shining example of her belief in peace, joy, and the simplicity, indeed tranquility, with which we can live our lives. She also happens to be seriously good at reading and interpreting the optical effects that we know as personal colour analysis.
In Jen’s words,
My interest in personal color analysis coincided with a desire to simplify my life, including eliminating excess possessions. I started to read about people creating “capsule wardrobes”, which are curated collections of clothing/ footwear/ accessories. While exploring capsule wardrobes I happened to stumble upon a blogger who advocated creating capsule wardrobes in each individuals most flattering collection of colors or “season”.
I, like many people who lived through the eighties, had a vague understanding of Personal Color Analysis and the four seasons via Carole Jackson’s book Color Me Beautiful, which placed me as a Winter. In real life I found some of the colors too harsh, so I sort of abandoned the concept. I then embraced the practice of dressing for the season i.e. in the winter I wore winter colors… in the spring, spring colors and so on…
I then stumbled upon Christine’s website and started to read about modern 12 tone personal color analysis…I was completely enthralled…Christine has a remarkable gift of capturing the essence of the 12 tones/seasons and describing what color harmony is.
At this point I decided that I would need to have an in person 12 tone color analysis… the only problem was there was not a trained Analyst in my State. Imagine my excitement when a Color Analyst announced that she would be traveling to my metro area! I immediately proceeded to book an appointment.
So this should be the part of the story where I tell you that I had my analysis and was put in the correct season and lived happily ever after…well not so fast. I arrived for my appointment with excitement and anticipation …it went by in a blur…I was declared a “True Summer” and sent on my way. I immediately went home and found online makeup color recommendations for my newly discovered season… suffice it to say that I knew something was not quite right with the colors…they looked too pale/gray/dusty.
I just shrugged and chalked it up to me needing time to adapt. Before my analysis as part my my journey to simplify my life I had already culled my wardrobe. When it came time to purchase new items in my True Summer colors, something was holding me back. When I did purchase True Summer items I looked bland/undefined/puffy. I started to “cheat” with colors like fuchsia and dark cobalt blue, which I now know are my proper colors!
I had already started exploring training with Christine to become a Color Analyst and I knew that as part of the training I would be analyzed by her, so I held off on investing any more into “True Summer” until my season was confirmed. When I arrived for my training, lo and behold, I discovered I was actually a “Bright Winter”! I am now patiently and methodically creating a well curated capsule wardrobe that is flattering and suits my lifestyle. I know not only my home season, but also which seasons to avoid, and which seasons I can borrow from occasionally when compromises need to be made IRL.
The 12 Blueprints method of color analysis has expanded upon and refined the Sci/Art method created by Kathryn Kalisz. The 12 Blueprints color calibrated drapes are the diagnostic tools that we use to gather data. Christine masterfully taught me how to interpret the information that the brain processes during a color analysis… not only the logical/ordered left side…but the equally important artistic/holistic right side.
After I went home from the training course, as part of the certification process, I was required to complete 20 case studies that were evaluated by Christine—this was invaluable and helped me to further hone my skills. I have been fortunate to have seen members of almost every season…I hope to one day analyze a real live Light Spring and True Winter…to date the only 2 seasons I have yet to analyze!
My sincere desire is that each of my clients will come away from their analysis understanding how wearing their colors truly unlocks and enhances their own unique brand of beauty!
I am thrilled to be offering Personal Color Analysis in my home studio, located in Portland, Oregon. I am available to see clients by appointment Thursday/Friday/Saturday/Sunday. For more information and to set up an appointment, please contact me at:
When you change the way you see yourself, you change.
Appearance Goals and Alignment
I wanted to show you how I looked back in that video of the first edition of the book but couldn’t find it. Here is a photo from the same era, around 2012. This woman has coloured hair. The one in the video above has her own hair colour, which (in my perception) is not as red or pigmented as it appears.
An occasion to reflect on my appearance goals arose this week. We all know what we don’t want, but coming up with what we want asks more of us.
Pretty and sexy are in the eyes of every beholder. In my younger years, I’m sure that I wanted those things. Today, I find every woman equally pretty, and I see two kinds of beauty.
The first: closer to what media tells us pretty and sexy mean in the swamp of cultural rating with which women have always been afflicted.
The idea of pretty and sexy feels OK but I resist surrender (and even the language of surrender) to someone else’s satisfaction with how I look or don’t look. The whole idea of spending money to feel unsure, allowing decisions to be made externally so that someone else can decide when I’ve arrived, feels like an outdated fashion system in which women were told what to do, and going backwards in my own life to a time before PCA.
The second: in alignment with her true and highest self.
At almost 60 years old, I and women of my age have a lot of self-knowledge. We have much that we still want to be, but little that we have to prove to become that.
I do want to present the version of myself in which the exterior projects the most Hi Def picture of the interior. As we mature, the interior becomes fuller, stronger, layered, contextual, secure, and settled. The inner and the outer are both fluid and I want them to keep pace.
Of the woman in the video and the one in the picture, which one is getting bigger things done today? Who walks into a room and appears to have her beep together?
Now, some might feel the woman in the video is overdone and that her clothing and makeup are wearing her. The woman in the second video is wearing more lipstick than in the Part 1 video. Same woman. Same Season.
They may find that she was going for energetic and vibrant but ended up at inexpensive or bling. We perceive from the space we’re in, personally, culturally, and in many other ways.
In my late 40s, my pre-PCA goals were:
To wear clothes that looked young or imaginative (but not too imaginative) and nice together.
Today in my appearance, I want to find the balance between appearing as I feel myself to be, and the vision that is at least 80% aligned with the average of what everyone else sees.
When the vision of what we want or how we would like to be seen is in the West, and the reality or the average of what everyone else sees is in the East, it’s hard to “manifest” the thing we wanted, meaning the way we wanted to be perceived.
Today, I want to look competent, effective, and healthy. Although I had not given it thought, in my pre-PCA 40s, I did look juvenile, inexpensive, and eccentric. Not only did I not achieve the desired outcome in the moment, but life didn’t seem to click in my favour.
For anything we desire, as clear as we may be about what that is, when the vision is over here and the outcome is over there, our energy is serving two masters. In being so divergent, no outcome is met. We remain where we are, spinning away. Alignment is one of the keys to progress, rather than my previous world of oscillation.
I want the inside to match the outside. Sounds so simple.
When the vision and the perception overlap by 80%, Christine no longer looks like a dialled down version of herself.
Even if I wanted to be the same at 60 as 40, which I don’t, life wouldn’t let me. It’s my job to find the lessons in the changes. Season does not change. Other things about us do, and so does the world around us, the personal appearance landscape, and many more lenses in our lives.
Captured in the quote by Adam Grant,
Be true to yourself, but not so much that your true self never evolves.
We are an individual who has many forms of personal self-expression. However, we cannot do everything by ourselves and need the balance of the mirror of others’ eyes and a structured system to find our place within an open ocean of possibilities. PCA is an instrument for bringing our vision and reality closer together in an afternoon.
Thank you to Floortje Mossou, our analyst in The Netherlands, for her advice on improving my eyeliner. I love it when someone tells me what isn’t working for me because it gives me a point of focus, and then they proceed to tell me what to try instead, which is like PCA (everyting is like PCA). Floortje is brilliant with makeup in a most tasteful yet modern way. She doesn’t know this yet but one day, when she comes to America again, maybe for an analyst meeting, I’m going to request a makeup tutorial with a willing subject, in which I’m the student. After, I’ll buy her any lunch she wants.
Now that I’ve gotten the deep musings out of my system, let’s go back to Evangeline’s questions.
Silver or gold are both fine for Neutral Seasons (the Softs, Darks, Lights, and Brights) and will continue to be with silver hair, whatever your Season.
Regardless of age and depending on the woman, my eyes may be distracted by high shine or frost in metals and makeup with Soft colouring. If this applies to you, keep those items further from the face or choose muted surfaces.
The elephant pendant group may be Soft Summer. Evangeline has blue-green eyes. She will look striking. We want to make decisions that work in our favour in the real world of getting dressed and presenting well.
The leather jacket may be too dark. The coral blouse may be True Autumn, it reads quite warm, an example of warmer than it is soft perhaps. Still, these are close to home. I could see them with a slightly deeper lipstick (thinking of Rum ‘n Raisin in the Blueprints line) on a woman with brown eyes.
The group in the lower L may feel disruptive to some while others appreciate the spontaneity. I might switch the hat to something less red and pigmented. Hats are like hair and jewelry near the face. They have more impact on our face because they are closer to it. The earrings have a nice colour and texture. Use the yellows and grays in your palette to match jewelry.
We left the last post mentioning darkness, often a catch point for the Soft Seasons and maybe for all of us. The Soft Seasons and the three Autumns (Soft, True, and Dark) include darkness as a important component of their colouring without great pigment intensity. Even Dark Autumn’s darker colours are not intensely pigmented in the inky way we find in Winter.
Darkness isn’t the same as pigment. Soft and dark are different but it’s easy to mix them up. We see colour poorly in the dark and to compound the limitations of our vision, there is less colour to work with when more wavelengths are absorbed and fewer are reflected back out.
Widen your awareness beyond the darkness and ask yourself,
How much colour can I actually see? Softness is like replacing some pigment with gray. If I began with a pot of paint in this level of darkness, how much pigment would be added to create this colour?
At whatever darkness level the colour is, is there more gray or more colour? If you feel it’s more gray, you may be in the Soft Seasons.
What is the ratio of pigment to gray?
Is the runway flat? Brighter colours pop forward. Light or dark shouldn’t matter. When you fan the palette out, if the light colours de-energize, the arms of the strip look shorter or as if you’re going downhill or they’re sinking into the fabric. Ideally, your attention is divided equally so the runway is flat.
The purple pants on the far R have visible gray. They seem fine with the warmth in the top.
The red purse and brown pants have less visible gray. They may be another Season, but they work within the composition.
Soft Summers often wear lime before learning their Season and I’m never certain why. I think it may be related to the tendency of many groups, and that one especially, to guesstimate themselves to be warmer than they are. Soft Autumn could have a lime type colour that might look like the cardigan above or a little softer.
Kathryn Kalisz, the founder of Sci\ART and designer of the colour palettes upon which our system is based, possessed an intimate understanding of colour chemistry and human psychology and vision, from which created harmonious palettes.
Every colour is not identical in its colour dimensions within a Season, since it begins with different chemical properties, but she could make it look as if that’s what happening (or so it seems to me today as I stand like an island in the sea of fabric that decorates my home). Under a global set of dimensions for each Season, the colours change their properties, keeping pace with one another, to arrive at unanimous agreement (harmony, synchrony) from apparently divergent parts.
For Kathryn Kalisz, genius is too small a word, and from me, respect, gratitude, and indebtedness are too words too small to convey my feelings for what she accomplished. Like a colour-analyzed appearance, it’s not magic. There is no magic, but rather application of profound knowledge. Your colour analyst can hand it to you in a booklet, but we should never forget what came before.
Evangeline enjoys dark colours for feeling present and supportive. Autumns often do and so they should. Soft Autumn especially can sometimes dress in an overall colour scheme that is on the light to medium side. Part of her job is to become familiar with the darker colours. We should all wear our entire palette, as Kathryn pre-configured it to be in harmony. Not only that, it is in synergy, meaning that the parts become more and better together than apart.
Do you find the combinations too much or not enough, or you wouldn’t put those colours together? No wrong answers.
The purse beneath the title is that orange-gray that Autumns wear well. They have pinker grays too, Neutral Seasons often drift between greener and redder (cooler/warmer). Which bracelet do you prefer? My eyes like the top one. The other one, I can look at the bracelet or the outfit but not both at once.
Are the earrings in the top R jumping ahead because they’re very shiny, too red, too green, or the scale is too large? Depending on the colour, red and green can feel warm and combined with shine, the item could take over. Other folks’ opinions are valuable when asked the right question. “Are you looking at me or my earrings?” works quite well.
The gray purse with the sunglasses lineup is calling me slightly, in a not-so-good way. It seems too red. Do I just really notice red? I really notice orange. The same purse above in Darkness Variations felt better. We wear different items on different days.
The jeans are kind of pink. Soft Autumn is a little more green. But I’m fine with them, maybe because they barely fade to white. Super-faded, beyond gray to white, on Autumns, can look like part of the fabric or leg is missing. Autumn needs darkness. I like the jeans with the scarf pinks and periwinkles, they’re finding something in one another that looks creative.
Is the coral top with the jeans too bright? Too warm? IDK till I compare it with something. But Autumns wear coral and yellow well, I can see some gray in that colour, and the blouse was on a great sale.
Could I be a Dark Autumn?
Enjoying one’s appearance in dark colour, as Evangeline was finding, is almost more confirmation of Autumn, compared to Spring or Summer.
Winter colours certainly have darkness but it is so intense that on a Soft Season, it looks like a black hole. I pinned pictures of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge wearing a black hat to the Soft Summer board to show you what I mean. It’s like a light sink, an area of nothingness or empty space. Next door, she wears a blue hat that I find lovely. The style of the hat may be odd but she and the colour are not distorting one another. They look normal.
Dark Autumn would wear burnt orange, black purple, and chartreuse green, together at once, and look entirely normal. I didn’t predict that for Evangeline and she couldn’t imagine it for herself. We would see those colours before we see the woman.
Feeling well in some Dark Autumn colours makes great sense. Both are Autumn with similar warmth. In the light and medium colours, some of the blues, muted greens, and neutrals could be just fine. Items that feel expressive, exciting, and evocative could participate beautifully in the Soft wardrobe.
If the item seems dark in excess of the Soft Autumn collection or too spicy, it may be best left at the store. If the colour is too red or green, the temperature will feel disruptive in the Soft Autumn composition. We feel warmth from red and gold, which is why Dark Autumn seems so spicy. Dark Autumn is the simultaneous presence of gold and rust.
The trio of sunglasses, purse, and woman in the top L are too strong in some way for Soft Autumn. The blue in the purse and sunglasses is quite near one of their navy blues if it were faded back a bit. The leather jacket to the right of the blue handbag might be darker on a gray scale, and it also appears softer or dustier, with more visible gray. Disconnecting darkness from saturation is a good exercise.
The camel coat that is so great on Autumns could look like the one above. Soft Autumn has 10, 000 beiges, all of which are fairly quiet. For a light colour, camel can really take over (see Refs and Runways below, turtleneck top row centre, but I really notice orange).
To become a Dark Autumn, Evangeline would have had to darken and saturate, which people don’t do over time. She mentioned that she was receiving positive comments in Dark Autumn. Of the photos I saw, the colours she considered Dark Autumn were actually darker colour within Soft Autumn. The comments of others are a double-edged sword but in this case, I think they had it right.
Reference Pieces and Runways
If you shopped with the boots and purse on the L, you might find the items in the centre top row too red, while the R top row is a bit bright but manageable.
If the suit at the L is a reasonable reference point (I would have preferred redder but the suit didn’t present itself), the runway after that might be a bit bumpy. Items 3 and 5 seem pretty good, and the others advance and recede.
Depending on what they were combined with and the woman’s individual pigmentation, preferences, age, hair colour, or wearing or cosmetics, they could all be workable. The great thing about colour is that it doesn’t need to be perfect to be great. If you and what you wear are close enough, the similarities can find one another.
Hair changes our self-perception for certain. A block that was previously coloured in our composition has become a neutral. Still in perfect harmony, but creating a different sort of impact.
To Evangeline’s credit, she is raising the intensity of garments and cosmetics to keep the result exciting and vibrant, but as many women do, she may be looking too far from home for the answers. Stay within your Season as much as you did before silver hair.
In Evangeline’s perception, the silver hair seems very cool. Compared to the previous dye, which her self-image learned over years if not decades, it may be. To me, it looks like expensive gray suede.
Like all women, until a few inches of silver appear and the dye is removed, it’s hard to see that we could look quite different and that different is actually better. I have never ever seen the woman for whom the dye is more attractive than what I see the silver will be.
The silver hair looks wow next to the skin, and for Evangeline, it looks soft in the overall composition, understanding that hair colour is the least reliable indicator of Season. You could see pure white hair on True Summers and softer silver on Dark Winter. I wouldn’t worry the shade of gray and would fully trust that it is still perfectly in harmony with the skin and eyes.
Once hair becomes a neutral, cosmetics and attire may need to come up a notch inside the Season.
Match the hair, like the suit on the L side under the title. It looks connected and self-aware. The viewer is free to focus on gorgeous makeup and even more gorgeous eyes.
On other days, wear neutrals that don’t match the hair, like the blazer with the soft red blouse.
Wear red. In all its forms, red is exciting on everyone.
Whatever your style type, wear natural materials. A total Autumn thing, though many other style and image types wear it well too.
Wear prints, as the dress in the lower L. The woman’s pigmentation is very different from the dress, and we have to separate that from the garment. Bits of muted black are fine; it’s the blue pitch kind that you want to avoid.
Today, Evangeline is concerned. She has chosen to release hair colour from her life and is faced with unexpected decisions. To overcome the feeling of a fading appearance, she wears dark colours and more makeup and wonders if she is doing one to balance the other.
Experiments with darker colours led to the concern that she has been a Dark Autumn all along. Where is the balance? Are darker clothes and makeup both helping or not, since so many people have commented in a positive way?
When she had her PCA, she thought that she had been given the Forever key. That was it, colour was settled. Check. We love those moments: I found my winter coat, electrician, workout schedule, smoothie recipe. JOB DONE.
She didn’t expect to feel back at the beginning with her appearance ever again. She asked, “Do other women go through these continuous transition stages? Why do I feel so lost again?”
But we change. Not our Season. Us and the world around us.
Today, I’ll show you some pictures that I could imagine for several women of Soft Autumn colouring. They are journeying through various life stages, have many tastes, budgets, and aspirations in terms of appearance and everything else, just like in the real world. With the education of their Season, they’re making choices inside of a year that they couldn’t have made in 10 years before, when they were on their own.
Green for green eyes
Evangeline is not lost at all. She is only in need of a small repositioning, both in seeing herself in a new way and revisiting how she will wear her Season. From the picture she sent, Soft Autumn looked perfectly right.
My favourite thing about silvering hair, besides looking like the height of sophistication, is how the face becomes all about the eyes. They take on intensity and meaning when there are no distractions, and they sing, like beautiful jewelry in a beautiful face.
To make the eyes-as-jewelry effect even better, wear gray green a lot. Even the gray is quite green and it makes a fantastic neutral.
Wear warm greens if your eyes have avocado green. For Evangeline, wear blue green near your eyes.
There’s a warm to cool shift from left to right in the panel below. Some items might be a bit warm or cool, but attention is divided pretty evenly.
The suede jacket seems a bit heavy, and it may be too warm or simply the influence of textile on colour. On a woman with natural texture, darkness, or fairly high warmth, it could be great.
Every Season progresses into the next, including the True Seasons. We know this from the natural world, where springtime slides into Summer. The vocabulary of leaning into Seasons, which may have begun with me, may place attention in the wrong place, but as the ship sails from one group to the next, it picks up certain characteristics. My message these days is, “Wear your Season. Your entire Season. Rely on your colour analyst to help with fine-tuning.”
We are all a story inside of our Seasons. Our colours hear and respect it, and provide whatever kind of frame we need, today and through our tomorrows.
The woman who would wear the fur coat (No Real Fur in my posts or my life) will not fuss overly much. Maybe the purse is darkish, but more about it works than doesn’t. It was from before her PCA and she loves it and the colour analyst said, “Don’t discard the things you love. Le’ts find ways for them to work.” She wears her Grandma’s wedding ring, never takes it off, but that’s it. She won’t even wear sunscreen. To pull out mascara and eyeliner, the occasion has to be big, and yes, she is wearing the black dress. It’s comfortable and the colour analyst thinks, “At least it isn’t white. Black in a muting fabric, I can work with.” The colour analyst mentioned that the purse is a bit too dark, at which point the client gave her a look of gentle pity and, nodding reassuringly, said, “You know Hogwart’s isn’t real, right?”, which is how she feels about shopping malls. She used to be fed up to the back teeth with shopping in general and preferred discovering new bistros, but once she gained control over her shopping and she chose the boundaries, she felt better about the experience. And surprising even herself, felt better about her appearance as well.
The woman in the green dress might have tried on 20 dresses and this one worked best with her palette. She loves the decision-making process and practicing the technique the colour analyst demonstrated, and allows small deviations if they feel good. She has an anniversary dinner with her husband who took her palette and came back with these earrings. She loves them and will wear them on all their dates to express her gratitude that he is in her life. She wanted to design an outfit around them. She knows the clutch may be a bit too red but she feels that it works, though she wouldn’t choose this colour in a blouse or scarf and keeps the metal of jewelry within the yellows of the palette. She knows metallics look great on Autumn colouring and loves bling as long as the style is simple.
The woman in the chevron print dress has X amount of time. Yes, she is wearing those shoes, and the image analyst thinks, “At least they’re not sneakers.”
The woman in the off white turtleneck is running the kids around. This beats the black yoga outfit she used to wear to the moon and back.
The woman in the animal print skirt and black boots is more receptive to her friend’s advice than her colour analyst’s, and for sure more than her mother’s. Looking like her friends matters to her as a form of mutual support. When she was young, sparkly pink was her favourite colour, but her Mom is a Soft Autumn too and this young woman is reality-based. She knows that sparkly candy pink is not Mom’s power look so he chose this blouse. The colour analyst left a Like when she saw the photo on Instagram.
Your Season palette is a formula that always works and it can be applied in many ways. To find yours, you try some things, just as we have we everything else in life. We know the tastes and scents we love because the experience of those that we didn’t love as much provided us with the necessary contrast to make a choice.
The women below didn’t love today’s outfit so much. Doesn’t matter because they knew what to ignore in their experimenting and they now know how to improve tomorrow’s combinations.
The first woman, on the left, is being driven bananas by that bracelet. She much prefers the blouse and clutch, they have the same calm energy that she does. Someone in the morning coffee lineup said how much they love the spontaneity of the look so she’ll wear it for the day. Then, it’s back to the cuff bracelet.
The second woman loved the way the neckline of the yellow blouse looked under that jacket and how the fabric is flowy in a Summer way. She read that Autumns look terrific when they mix textures but this didn’t quite manage the day. She switched the top for a crewneck sweater in the same colour, and congratulated herself on the jacket and glasses.
Woman 3 feels pretty good. She loves how the jacket looks like an adult’s jean jacket. Nobody except her might know that the dots in the top are the same colour but it gives her a lift when the meeting babbles on. She is happy to have gotten red, darkness, and gradual colour transitions into one outfit. No way she could have come close to this pre-PCA.
The fourth woman is feeling really good. Some of the colours in the bag might be bright but she sees how much of it works. The top might be a bit cool but the strength of the reds in the bag tip the balance to a warmer overall impression and the top didn’t lose energy next to it. She sees the bracelets as grounding and just right for today’s schedule of flea market > farmer’s market > beach.
Autumn needs darkness to appear. For the face to have a frame and a shape, some level of darkness matters, possibly even more across-the-board than it does for Winters as a group. It makes sense that Evangeline is experimenting with darkness. Next time, we’ll add some items that might be more belonging to Dark Autumn and see what happens. We will also address a few more of her questions and solutions
Colour analysis is here to make your present day better. Once the future arrives and becomes reality, our answers are still nearby in our Season home.
My sincere thank you to Susan for sharing her beautiful photographs with us, including the fall leaves after the rain image that frames the title.
When a country gets a new colour analyst, the person should be first rate and Anna is certainly that. You will sense her calm intelligence from the very beginning. Within a woman of innate elegance is an analytical, flexible, and solution-oriented thinker. Anna doesn’t jump to conclusions. She remains focused on the client’s situation and goals, seeing each one as a distinct individual with their own story to tell.
With our appearance, we want our choices to speak well on our behalf. We don’t want to look extremely apart from our tribe, but by looking too much like one another, we may suppress or censor the most interesting and individual parts of ourselves, the parts that others love most. Finding the balance is part of the challenge of effective self-expression.
Most of us are able to choose one or several items that are flattering, but find it difficult to picture the impact of an image of ourselves where every piece is in energetic harmony with every other. By allowing colour analysts like Anna into our lives, we appreciate the reassurance that we are on the right path. All at once, we progress beyond the occasional successful item to consistently beautiful choices. As they say, we get better at being lucky.
Until we are ready to take the reins ourselves, the colour analyst sees, and even protects, the vision of our final outcome. There is another quote, one to the effect that the eyes can only see what the mind is prepared to understand. Anna maintains an active intention towards an open mind so that you can be whoever it is right for you to be. It is my honour to share the journey of PCA with colour analysts such as Anna, and my privilege to introduce her to you today.
In Anna’s words,
Perfect mood board
I have not become a color analyst for the love of color. I did it out of passion to help other women feel free, strong and confident.
We women so often stand in the way to our own greatness. Each of us has a dream, a vision of herself maximizing her potential and living her life to the fullest. One of the things that hold us back is lack of confidence. I have learned to break through these inner barriers one by one – starting with appearance insecurities. Over time I have noticed the difference a shirt in the right version of white makes when it comes to being recognized as an equal business partner. I know the transformational power of the perfect lipstick when looking for courage to stand up and speak in public. Now, I finally feel that I am becoming the woman I have always aspired to be. I know each one of you can do it too – and I can’t wait to help you along that journey.
I believe that with your unique colors and lines you are a perfect mood board of Nature. No need to correct, conceal or create illusions. Acceptance of who you truly are is an invitation for something amazing to happen. My own color path (which I will share with you soon in more detail on my website) has been relatively simple compared to those of many other women. However, frustrating enough to realize how liberating it is to put down one’s struggle, frustration and doubt, and replace them with confidence and security.
As a teenager and young adult my personal style had been a little gothic and rebellious up until I started working for a multinational corporation. In my new career I thought I had to adapt to the new environment and as a result, over the next 10 years, I felt that I lost a part of myself in the process. I started wearing things which I thought were in line with the dress code but didn’t feel good. I introduced more color into my closet but soon realized all these colorful pieces didn’t go well with one another. I had plenty of clothes but “nothing to wear” – sound familiar? At some point, after one of those panic moments in front of my closet before going out, I decided I needed “professional help”. I made an appointment with a popular stylist in my home town in Poland. This is how my journey with color analysis begun.
At that point I was draped as Summer – the analysis was done with full makeup on and in artificial light. A couple of years later I was again color analyzed from pictures as True Summer – with my hair color and eye color being deciding factors. Elimination of the warmest colors from my closet made a big difference, so I lived happily as Summer for a few years. I wore all my beautiful pastels, soft blues and greens, and heathered greys. I mastered monochromatic and analogous looks. But… I remember staring one day at my reflection in the mirror thinking “I’m getting old…” I looked tired and washed out, boring and pale. I thought I lost it. I lost my energy, drive, sex appeal and confidence…
Doing my research online on 12 Seasons I came across 12 Blueprints website. The more I educated myself on the topic, the more I started doubting if the results of both of my previous PCA’s were correct. At that time I was living and working in Boston, USA. I consider myself lucky to have had a 12 Blueprints analyst, Renee Cyr, living in the same state and I decided to redo my PCA with her. It resulted in a surprising conclusion – I was a True Winter! I recall driving back home from that appointment regularly glancing at that gorgeous girl in TW makeup in the mirror and thinking “Where have you been hiding for all these years?” It was like magic – I finally felt happy and at peace – things started clicking into place.
Several months afterwards I found out I would be moving back to Poland. I realized that this was my only opportunity to take this knowledge and PCA skill with me to empower women back home. I trained with Christine Scaman, the founder of 12 Blueprints, in October 2016.
Personal Color Analysis opened my eyes to the power of color and how it can be used to give a woman strength, confidence and joy of being truly herself. I know from my own experience how uncomfortable and fake it feels to try to adapt to fashion rules, expectations, dress code. Therefore I am committed to help you look professional and authentic.
I currently work full time for the same large international company, while pursuing my passion for empowering women through color after hours. I have the 12 Blueprints Luxury drapes and 12 Blueprints cosmetics to make your color analysis experience complete. My studio is located in the north suburbs of Lodz, Poland. Please visit my website to find out how to get in touch with me:
The second edition of the book, Return to Your Natural Colours, will be at Amazon around late November and I will announce it here when it happens. Today’s post is a preview.
The voice is more experienced, I hope. If there were a theme, it might be that we are individuals within our Season. Season is where we begin, the formula that applies to all members of the group, the springboard from which each person builds the composition of their appearance.
The format is the same as the previous book, including a blend of what makes personal colour analysis (PCA) a powerful means of looking and feeling better and how I believe it works from this time in my own trajectory. The 12 Season chapters are still there, describing how each of the 12 palettes might be used to create the synchronized and harmonious outcome that expresses who you are most effectively.
A few segments have been added or deleted. The Persona sections are still there because people ask for them, with reminders from me that they are purely entertainment. An image classification system, however artistically applied, is unable to describe the nuances of a human being. Where the many systems intersect might begin to scratch the surface, and the river beneath is far deeper.
The Season Snapshots are new. As our clients begin shopping with their palette, and this was my experience also, an instruction manual would be mighty helpful. The Season chapters are essentially that, with picture and analogies to bring the palette to life. The snapshots are stories of real people and how they applied their palette, putting the theory into practice. The stories are compilations of several clients’ experiences and examples from my imagination to illustrate the role of a point of theory in how one person might use their palette. In some cases, the clients themselves participated in writing their stories.
Judy and I happened to reconnect during the writing stages of the book (it is now being formatted, meaning that a Word doc is being made into a book file and the covers are being designed). She recognized her story and wanted to share her journey with you.
Visit Judy’s blog at fancified.ca to find more images of one woman’s vision of True Summer. You will see how creative Judy is, with blog posts of crafts, including the skirt in the featured image.
In Judy’s words and mine, very near how the segment will appear in the book,
Brimming with Renewed Fulfillment
After working and raising a family during their 46 years of marriage, Judy and her husband, both in their early 70’s, have downsized to city apartment living for the last 10 years. Experiencing ethnic restaurants, attending film festivals and exploring nearby city park nature trails are all cherished. On neighbourhood walks, funky thrift and vintage shops inspire and provide materials for developing her self-expression. Grateful for good health and energy, each day is an opportunity for meeting with like-minded creative friends, sharing casual chic on her blog fancified.ca and living a True Summer stylish life. PCA and 12 Blueprints have been major players in her ability to fully embrace the early 70’s stage of life with inspired, optimistic elegance.
Way back in the MTV 80’s as a young woman, Judy had discovered the concept of Seasons and how it applies to human colouring. She knew herself to be a Summer then but felt a never-ending frustration while dressing as a Soft Summer. Here lies the key to her disgruntled fashion journey. The concept of the Neutral Seasons, which was added later in the history of PCA, was familiar to her in name only.
Looking back before her 12 Blueprints draping, the clothes in her closet for decades seemed frumpy. Living creatively, she always wore artistic vintage up-cycled, hand made, and stylish retail pieces, but the outfits seemed dowdy. Searching for clarity, she even looked at her husband who had the same blue eyes and silver hair as she did. Sharp and confident in his Winter wardrobe, Judy wondered if she might be a Winter as well. After briefly trying to wear black, pure white and bold clear jewel tones, these choices only washed away her vitality.
She then returned to wearing only Soft Summer grayed-blue, mauve, and gray blue exclusively, but found that her true beauty continued to fade away. Furthermore, she attempted to add elements that were eye catching in design while reapplying the same tired grayed colours. Dressing was a frustration, without the joy that she so desperately wanted.
After her hair turned gray, she appreciated the beautiful silvery colour but the cosmetic preferences remained minimal in dusty pink colours that she called Standard Summer. Eye makeup irritated her eyes so she wore only blush, lipstick, and a touch of eyeliner. Even though she had confidence that she was an attractive woman, was she to accept being a washed out wall flower in a reserved grayed existence forever?
Alas, the much-needed help was just around the corner. At the end of her 60’s, a friend recommended colour analysis by Christine of 12 Blueprints. Judy had high hopes that the PCA would help her bring life back to her disappointing wardrobe. She was also receptive to trying a few all-purpose lipstick colours in her Season while continuing to keep her silver hair.
Judy brought several items of clothing to the appointment, which she pulled out to illustrate her present colour situation. It was immediately clear they were all exclusively Soft Summer colours, in versions that were too muted and quite dark. This is quite common, since the True Season stereotypes of previous times are often found in one of the Neutral Seasons, or a True or Soft Summer person is wearing their wardrobe neutrals as colours.
After being draped, Judy finally discovered herself as a True Summer. The analysis was straightforward, as True Season analyses can be. The Neutral Seasons of Summer were easily eliminated. Judy viewed the Luxury drapes in amazement and saw clearwater green; pinkish blue and foxglove pinks that looked bright beneath her face; soft fuchsia, from light to dark, of which one became her new lipstick. Judy was most amazed by the elegant purples and blues, which were brighter than she would have thought possible, and saw the clarity of her eye colour in every colour she wore.
Every item in her closet, she kept. Where once, these grayed items were the entire wardrobe, she now considers them as the foundation to which brighter choices are slowly being introduced. For accessories, she always carefully hand picks designs in uplifting True Summer colours using her palette.
At the end of the appointment, we discussed how to harmonize the palette with apparel, cosmetics, and jewelry, including a stepwise and systematic approach that could be applied to any item. With every inspired retail purchase and handmade project, Judy is fine-tuning her sense of the boundary between Soft and True Summer, and True Summer and True Winter.
She looks more vivacious living this authentic life and says that the best reward from the PCA is feeling that her shopping is now entirely under her control, for the first time in her life .