Different PCA Systems, Different Results


Photo: briercrest
Photo: briercrest


How Can PCA Results Differ So?

Let’s talk about an issue that I’m e-mailed about over and over.

A woman has been analyzed by many systems. Could be North American or European. Could be recent or over 15 years. Could have been with a Sci\ART based analyst like me or not. In person and online.

Her colouring has been analyzed by eye, matching coloured cards and fabrics to form a colour booklet. She’s been draped in 20 minutes and in 2 hours, with fabrics pieces, large and small. One company matched her colouring to paint chips from which a computer generated a palette. Some considered skin alone, some hair and eye colour. All of this in 4 Seasons, 12, and 16.

Most of the time, drapes came out with one set of results, often fairly close (say, Light Spring, Light Summer, and Soft Summer), but not necessarily. Could be all over the map. Matching by eye and computer came out with quite different results (perhaps, Soft Autumn, Autumn/Spring blends, and a Bright Spring, or a mix of the 3), sometimes close, sometimes quite disparate.

She is confused enough that to sign up for one analysis after another and find less satisfaction and closure each time.

Before you read any further – though I haven’t studied the fundamental belief behind all these systems, it appears as if they agree that people look best when they wear the colours their bodies contain. If you disagree with that premise, you’re barking up a whole different image consultant tree that I can’t even advise about. The following applied to the folks who believe our body colours are our most flattering clothing/hair/cosmetic colours.


Photo: gul791
Photo: gul791


If You’re on The Draping Side

To follow me,

(which I say in that way NOT because I invented the system I use, I didn’t, Kathryn Kalisz did, probably modeled on previous systems in existence, but because I can’t guarantee that all Sci\ART-based analysts reading this would agree with me and I would not presume to speak for the group,)

you have to buy into some central beliefs about human colouring and its analysis.

First is that we have A hue, A value range, and A chroma setting. ONE of each H, V, and C. Every pigment governed by our personal genetic code respects these settings. They apply to every colour we contain, all the blues, greens, oranges, pinks, every one of the thousands of colours in us. They do not deviate very much from their setting. Each of the 12 HVC-based colour palettes holds to its particular settings and does not deviate very much either.

Second. I do not believe that human vision is well set up to understand colours just by looking. Certainly not static isolated colour. It’s just how we are. There’s no point arguing it, any more than disputing that we see cool, muted colour as distance and hear high notes as youth. Human eyes misjudge HVC in swatches let alone the complexity of a face.

What Lauren* said is so clever:

What you see when you look at me is not what makes me, Lauren.

Right on.

I believe that we are especially limited in our colour perception when it comes to the colours of our body.  Wore myself out over vein colours, as one of my favorite women said. Some might get it but I didn’t know jade from teal, and were the veins slightly purple?

I could get it when I laid my swatch book alongside the body part. Then, it lit right up. Was that wrong or right? No idea. Couldn’t do the finger pinch test even with the swatches. I did love his application of the colours, his individualized usage, and his artistic imagination. I loved that he disbelieves so many of the crazy myths about PCA. I agreed with so many of his words and ideas.

Maybe I have to use drapes because I’m so poor at judging human colouring or they’re just what I’m used to. I can look at someone in whatever their hair, clothes, and makeup is and I can’t find their true colours. All I can usually tell is that something’s off. I could then start adjusting them in my mind. Darken the hair, brighten the lip. Darken the hair, leave the lip, warm up the shirt. Leave the hair, cool the foundation, cool the shirt, and lighten the mascara. It could go on for days, with no answer at the end. Being impatient, I pull out the drapes. Grant me the serenity to know what I can change.

What we are extremely adapted to understand are change and comparison. In bold pink because that’s how important they are.

Cognitive scientist Dr. Mark Changizi wrote a book that is literally changing my life (I can’t thank Sarah enough for pointing me in this direction.) In The Vision Revolution: How The Latest Research Overturns Everything We Thought We Knew About Human Vision, he hypothesizes that we barely register ourselves as having a colour, a taste, or a smell. This baseline setting is vital because we are particularly tuned in to the slightest change in the baseline. Fevered skin feels very hot, yet it’s only 1-2 degrees above baseline. How fascinating that all human skin of any ethnicity is very close in its reflectance of light in wavelength. Still, we’re far better at registering change in skin colour of our own ethnicity, our zero setting – though we can certainly learn and improve our ability to see colour change in skin of different baseline than our own.

It’s as if our entire nervous system is set to zero where other humans are concerned. That way, we can be especially sensitive to deviation. He speculates that this evolution allowed us to read one another’s condition better by the slightest change in skin colour and that we’re highly sensitive to it. This adaptation in our colour vision allows us better survival as a tribal, social, cultural collective. In specific situations, for instance, survival of the young or assessing the strength of an opponent, extreme sensitivity in reading very slight change in skin colour was a successful evolutionary event.

And then, OMG, it gets better, and I’m only 40 pages into it. At veterinary school 23 years ago, in Principle of Surgery class, we were given an exam question : Explain at the cellular level the physiologic conditions which cause tissues to become white, yellow, green, blue, red, and purple. Dr. Changizi answers the question in terms of the quantity of blood under the skin and its oxygen concentration superimposed ON TOP OF A COLOUR WHEEL!!!! Could barely believe what I was seeing. Got all goose-bumpy. Heart extra-pumpy.

In the course manual for students training to become PCAs, I wrote more than I needed to (what else is new?) about the wavelength sensitivities of the cells in human retinas. It’s so fundamental though. I couldn’t leave it out. It explains the comparison basis of human vision. Why red, green, blue, and yellow have their positions around a colour wheel. Why they’re opposites in the first place. OK, listen to this: turns out that our retinal cells are stimulated by the very wavelength patterns that correspond exactly with how light is absorbed by hemoglobin under skin. Meaning our colour vision evolved exactly to see changes in blood under skin! Meaning that by knowing the stimulation patterns of retinal cells, you could determine the blood oxygen concentration of the person you’re looking at!!!!!!! On page 43, Dr. Changizi says, “That synergy turns out to be crucial to our empathic ability.” You just have to read this amazing book. The windows it will open…

I’m pretty sure the answer to undertone is in here. Bernice Kentner, a personal hero of mine, related it to blood velocity, which sounded a little iffy in the absence of numerical data, but that was 30 – 40 years ago. Maybe this is what she was getting at. Others have related undertone to differences in blood colour or hemoglobin – again, IDK. Could be I just haven’t seen the data. It’s possible. We all have different melanin.

But is it probable? Melanin has a different purpose. It doesn’t carry oxygen. We wouldn’t die if our melanin changed a little. We might die if our hemoglobin changed a little. Is Nature likely to allow all primates, and then all races within a group of primates, to have different hemoglobins? It seems as if blood colour would be more rigidly controlled than melanin, with fewer mutations tolerated, because of the life and death implications. Still, I’m open to anything. I think Changizi is on the right path. As often happens, science catches up with art.

Anyhow, sorry, undertone is still one of my BIG QUESTIONS in PCA, back on topic,

change is what we’re excellent at seeing.

And comparison. Think about this: As the zero setting ourselves, we serve as the Control group!!!! We compare our hand, which we register as zero, to the hot fevered face, only 1 degree warmer and we say, “You’re so hot! Into bed!” My heart races just writing it. Behold the miracle that is Nature.

The book is awesome. Not medical or doctor-y or science talk at all. Written like a story with huge mind-blowing ideas on every page. I owe you, Sarah.

Third, I do not believe that colour is well set up to be understood in the first place because of how much it’s influenced by whatever’s around it, which is why my drapes are a solid colour and a lot of it. Colours change one another. When energy fields come into contact, they change one another.

Even at a distance, they change one another. While a drape is swinging around the client’s head, before it has settled on their chest, the face is already being profoundly altered. A reminder that students have heard and heard and heard: DROP-THE-DRAPE. Drop it right out of eyesight when assessing a face. If your eyes can see it, your perception is altered by it. I might tattoo the words on the palm of my hand or have a really nifty sign made up.


Photo: Joanie49
Photo: Joanie49


Not All Drapings Are Equal

A person who’s been draped many times will have noticed big variation in drape sizes, colours, numbers, method of interpretation, order of use, colours within any Season or group, and particular name of the Seasons or groups.

Can draping be flawed? God, yes. Everything can.

Wouldn’t it be great if the all the above steps were standardized? God, yes. Or even within one company!

So we’re taking a hard look at it. We’re making drapes in controlled and consistent colours, set after set. We’re talking about alumnus refresher courses from Terry. Finding standardized ways of draping and teaching.

Inside our group, we’re dragging everything out under those brutal full spectrum lamps and taking a hard look at it. Truth matters to me. I don’t care how uncomfortable it is. The hardest part of fixing most problems is knowing what they are in the first place. Giving honest feedback is tough, something I recognize sincerely and feel a lot of gratitude when I receive it.

We’re getting over our fears about change, our embarrassment at having conflicting results, the projects we worked so hard on, what clients will think, and pulling it all apart. In my over-transparency, I’ll put my problems on the internet and let everyone weigh in. There are great ideas everywhere, very often outside the industry.

And everything is getting better.

Photo: neluskita
Photo: neluskita


The consumer’s role

I would like to see the clients take some responsibility here.

When they’re ill, they decide between consulting a naturopath and an M.D. Nobody expects the two to be especially similar. Disagreeing results are actually expected. We’d be surprised if they agreed. We allow them to be apples and oranges. Neither is foolproof. Does it mean that they do not improve our lives? Of course not. When it’s good, it can be transforming.

In choosing one, the client must decide what they believe. About having your colouring analyzed,

Do you believe that neutral gray surrounding matters to accurate colour measurement or do you not? Would you say that it is crucial? A deal-breaker?

That full spectrum lighting is the only way to render every wavelength (colour) evenly?

Do you believe that humans can have trouble judging colour by eye?

That computers and photographic equipment alter colours at each step of software translation?

(If you answered No, Maybe, or Sometimes to any of the above, seek analysis services from someone other than me. Before you see them, accept that the outcome will differ wildly from what I might say and that you’re going to be OK with that because you understand that eyes will think they see 5 colours if they see 1 colour in 5 different contexts.)

Ask the analyst if you’re not sure. Whether they call the groups Seasons or something else is the least of your problems. That barely matters. Before she signs up for one more PCA, the consumer needs to ask,

– what is the source of the colours you’re giving me?

– how do the groups of colours, whatever you call them, get eliminated or selected?

– what’s the basis for the groups? why are those colours part of that group?

You’re going to have to decide. I’m not here to put down anyone else. I explain the core beliefs of my practice. If other systems could do the same, I’ll link to it. I’ll post it on this site. We all have something to add.

I simply suggest that various methods can’t be dovetailed together. There is no point in wondering why they can’t find common ground. You might as well stop trying. We diverged way back at the beginning. You’re comparing the Big Bang Theory to Let There Be Light. It’s a square peg/round hole relationship. It ain’t gonna happen.

Maybe you’ll say, Well, how ‘m I supposed to know? I’m the consumer. It’s all you analysts out there who have studied colour theory. Why can’t you guys figure it out and tell us, once and for all?

Great answer. True answer.

The public has not the context, the theory, or the experience to make these decisions, though they love to hash it out online. Unless you’ve watched many drapings and followed the practitioners of the by-eye technique (which I have not), you don’t really get either one, let alone where they might come together. Sometimes different words are being used to describe the same thing, and even that is rightly confusing to the public.

Maybe an analyst who has studied all the systems could find an accurate way to merge them? After all, the systems are all looking for the original body colours. Should be simple.

I’d love to see what someone comes up with. It’s easy to learn all the theory there ever was and find every reason why no system has 100% final say. Sooner or later, to be a colour analyst, you’ll have to pick one for its strengths, learn how to compensate for its flaws, and crawl around down here with us sinners and losers who do our best to analyze human colouring every day.

A certain client, with a broad-minded approach to life, might see both naturopath and MD. She might look for what works for her in the advice of each. She might see them as an extension and expansion of the other, adding more layers of approach and interpretation that are fascinating in themselves. She would look for the strengths in each approach. The advice that didn’t jive, she just sets aside for now with a reminder in her calendar to take another look in 3 months.

Photo: hairuo
Photo: hairuo


Why draping?

Because it is based on what we’re good at seeing: change and comparison in a calibrated measuring system with no other colours present.

Draping takes a human weakness (our ability to see the colours of skin) and turns it into a strength (our ability to register the slightest changes in reactivity of skin when given comparison) by utilizing an ability that human colour vision is massively adapted to see and see well (skin colour alteration from baseline).

The purpose of draping is not to be a wrinkle eraser. It is do determine your baseline. The truth of you. 

If you’ve never watched a calibrated draping or still believe there can be no blonde or red-headed Winters, I can’t give your opinion much weight. There’s so much more to it than people realize when it’s done correctly. Ask students who have taken the training. I think many were more than a little surprised. And these were mostly people who had studied all the books and websites.

None of the big names in PCA ever warned against draping, that I recall. Bernice maintained that draping always had the final say.

Online groups talk about hair and eye colour. Why? Because it’s what they see most prominently. As humans, they’re not programmed to see the skin colours of other humans (nevermind that cameras don’t sample colours the way human eyes do and therefore arrive at different results). If asked why all the talk about hair and eyes, they’d say, Because skin doesn’t really have much colour. It’s hard to talk about it. YEAH!!! That’s the whole point. It doesn’t. But when it changes, even slightly, we have seen it over thousands of years of evolution linked to our very survival. Cameras can’t do it but human vision is all over it.

Why draping? Because it’s the best way of compensating for the tricks our brain plays all day long as it adjusts what our eyes take in. You don’t believe that all we see are adaptations of reality? That what we see is highly inaccurate? Google ‘optical illusions’. Vision isn’t designed for accuracy. As Dr. Changizi points out, evolution doesn’t care about accuracy. Evolution cares about spreading genes around.

Photo: big_foot
Photo: big_foot


Hair&Eye Colour

Hair and eye colour are relevant to PCA and human colouring determination, but not in the way folks think.

Hair is a body colour and contributes to overall harmony, no doubt. But hair is only melanin, a limited representation of our colouring that doesn’t change a whole lot with clothes. It’s made of many colours. Some analysts may be excellent at finding its true colours, but the public seldom is – either because they’ve altered it with their clothing (a Dark Winter wearing Soft colours) or don’t see it as others do (a Bright who thinks she has mousy hair because it’s medium beige brown). We’re not really good at seeing hair changes. Could be why hair is limited to so few body parts in humans.

Eyes? The lines can be informative, but they’re not tight data. Colour is somewhat useful, more its distribution patterns than the colour itself. Nobody ever talks about colour clarity. Why not? If we forgot about eye colour per se and approached it as HVC, we might get closer to the truth. Sorry, digression, anyhow, eyes are complex, multicoloured, multilayered entities full of mirrors and windows. Too much physics, optics, and reflection going on. Huge and gigantic importance if you know what to look for and are given comparisons.

Photo: cempey
Photo: cempey


A moderate approach

I have the deepest respect all the prophets and visionaries that laid the foundations for modern PCA. So often, a prophet’s words and how they got used differ widely. No seer who came back today would tolerate the labels that got put on him or her since their voice went quiet. Rules get hammered into place that the original thinker never intended so rigidly. The focus gets turned around, the dogma is over-defended and over-adhered to, while the creator would have a much more welcoming and tolerant viewpoint.

Decide to just enjoy the process. Consider that there is no person, system, colour collection, medicine, or anything else, that can utterly and finally explain us to ourselves. Enjoy the style, the artistry, the creative excellence of every approach, and the endlessly fascinating opportunity to see ourselves through the eyes of another.



293 thoughts on “Different PCA Systems, Different Results”

  1. I have now had 2 in person drapings and several online consults. I feel I have narrowed my season down to one of the winters. It seems that PCA is really just a launching pad in a lengthy process of self discovery. We as consumers have to do some of the work ourselves. This involves lots of research into the seasons, trying out different colors of cosmetics and clothing, and listening closely for the responses of others regarding what we are draped in at work, school, the gym, etc. I don’t personally ascribe to any one “PCA theory”. I prefer to absorb them all into my thought process when making decisions on which outfit, lipstick, purse, etc. to buy. We can all benefit from the observations of others because I agree with the fact that we are unable to fully perceive ourselves in any capacity. Our coloring, the sound of our voice, our body shape, all these things elude us as far as our own projections go. Sorry to ramble on here. Great article Christine.

  2. Re: ” Sooner or later, to be a colour analyst, you’ll have to pick one for its strengths, learn how to compensate for its flaws, and crawl around down here with us sinners and losers who do our best to analyze human colouring every day.”

    Just went to Amazon to buy a copy of this book you liked so much. I got it and also found a used copy of Suzanne Caygill’s book while I was there. I thought I would read them both before I choose a system to work with, already, and begin my “crawl.”

  3. As one of the people who has emailed you (very recently!) on this subject, thank you very much for your thoughts and insights, which are as always very interesting and helpful. Dr Changizi’s book has been added to my Amazon Wishlist, and I feel somewhat wiser and less frustrated after reading your words.

    Also, on reflection, I think I have at least partly figured out where my own personal confusion was coming from: I had mistakenly interpreted my results from an alternative in-person PCA system as being analogous to the Sci\Art Soft Autumn, whereas going back and thinking it through again, I have realised that the closest match is actually with True Autumn. Suddenly everything has fallen into place, the colour swatches I have make sense, and I’m much more at peace with my analysis!

  4. Mind blowing article, Christine. Sorry for my ignorance but- Drop the Drapes- what do you mean?

  5. Drop the drapes – analyst stands behind client with 2 drapes on client to be compared. Analyst swings top drape out of the way but keeps holding it up behind client. Interferes with everyone’s perception. Need to drop the drape fully out of eyesight behind client.

  6. Thank you so much for your reply. Whew! Makes absolute sense of course. Really looking forward to your re-vamped site as well.

  7. “Drop the drape” was my favourite part of the draping. Because it happens so quickly, your subconsciousness is the one that reacts. I actually flinched! But when you change the drapes in the normal way, it takes longer, you mentally prepare yourself and you start up your “thinking machine”. And then the problems begin…

    I’ve also been draped more than once. I dismissed the first (not Sci/Art), because there were discrepancies in the draping process, that I didn’t agree with.
    My second analysis was online. But the system seemed rather incomprehensible to me; the “proof/result” were four made-up versions of my picture, that she had edited with Taaz.com. The colours she chose were harsh and unfriendly. I felt very uneasy with that result.
    Whenever I look at some of her analysed people she showcases on her blog, I feel sad. It seems to be hit and miss. Some of those pictures are rather awful :(

    One of that analysts arguments to rule out Deep Winter for me was, that she “didn’t see any depth to [my] colouring”. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am very happy in Dark Autumn. But I am inclined to agree with her on this one point: I have no depth! I am dark, but not deep!
    We are now entering my current obsession: Deep vs. Dark.
    Depth always seems to require some mysterious seducing intensity.
    The stereotype of Deep/Dark Autumn seems to be some Italien actress. Valeria didn’t help much to dispel that rumour. And do you remember those Youtube videos of those tribal belly dancers? Theda Bara and her ilk are rather daunting to live up to. And not very liveable on a day-to-day basis.

    It occurred to me, that the people we label deep, are usually tanned or darker skinned. Or are seductive vamps. Or both.
    I am neither. I am pale and turn into a lobster before I get any tan, if at all. My hair is dark bitter chocolate, my eyes hazel. But so are a lot of people from other seasons. The darkness in me is just a wholegrain quality of my skin.

    By using images like those belly dancers we all collectively make one Big Fatal Mistake: We combine the colours with character traits.
    And that “we” is us, the people who pride ourselves on accuracy. Pfah!

  8. Christine I’m repeating a link to another Chingizi theory book I posted on Decoding Colour in case the thread is dead! Thanks for your patience.

  9. @Jane Both at once.

    All right, here is the longer answer: Dark Autumn is warm-neutral. So the colours are mainly warm, but not completely, say 60-90%; a little bit of cold is there. Which, if you ask me, takes some time to recognize in the wild.
    The silver or gold test remains inconclusive. Neither is great. The gold is too warm, the silver too cold. What had me rule out Autumn (before I was draped, I thought I was True Winter, bwahahaha) was, that really warm colours were way too warm. I’ve also never liked golden browns as colours per se, my favourite colours used to be pink and royal blue…

    I didn’t know, that DA was so… well… colourful. Hardly any real browns. I mean no gold, no mud, no vomit. Only chocolate. So many reds, those purples, the blues, and oh, those greens! Pistachio/Pea/Wasabi/Whatever is my new favourite colour :)

    Summary: The colours I wear are warm, but darkened and cooled with a pinch of soot.

    Why do I always write such a long ramble? Sigh!

  10. Christine,
    Phew! So glad someone else out there can’t figure out the David Zyla thing. Have the book, seen online videos of him describing his theories – they seem to make sense and he seems such a nice man – I want to make it work. Despite paint charts, pantone colours, etc, can’t get to grips with what is the right shade of red – on which he bases your season.

    I have that same problem with understanding Dark/Deep Autumn (if I’m understanding you right). I have pale ivory skin, dark brown hair and hazel eyes and been diagnosed twice as Deep Autumn as have some warmth, but every pic or description I read seems to indicate tanned, warm, exotic skin and looks, which is not really me. Winter eyes seems to be cooler than mine and pinkish cool skin/black or at least ashy hair, which is not me either. Eternally confused, but still looking, not given up yet! My friend a soft summer fits her group a treat, grey eyes, slightly pink lighttone skin, ashy fair hair – all those smokey greys and muted taupes look fantastic on her, her wardrobe looks put together as a whole and she finds shopping so easy. I’m waiting for that day, when I seem to get it worked out, but will probably be 90 before I manage it at this rate!?

  11. Glad for you that you don’t have to wear vomit. I’m not being an stirrer here, but, have you ever looked at “Jewel-toned summer”? Just asking. It’s a Caygill palette as far as I’m aware. Roseann Woolpert’s facebook page has some examples. I’m seeing Summers everywhere at the moment, no doubt largely a visual delusion. There’s also some cross-over apparently with the DW/Jewel-tone summer palette – different systems etc. I can totally see why you would’ve thought you were a true winter. Not challenging your Dark Autumness, just curious about how it all overlaps.

  12. Corinna: Yes, DA is very different than some of us imagine (myself included). I was also surprised to see the general lack of browns in the palette. Have you tried any of the Elea Blake makeup? They have some neutrals but also a ton of “fun” DA colors to play with.

    Concerning Valeria – prior to her draping, she was photo-analyzed as a Soft Summer by an analyst using the 12 season CMB system. I’m not sure I’d call her a stereotypical Dark Autumn; she’s actually pretty light-skinned, and hazel-eyed like you.

  13. Corinna: almost same name, and here I have some of the same issues as you. I *detest* the stereotypes and combining personality traits with seasons. Where I ask is the scientific evidence of it? PCA is such a small field to begin with. If you look at followers of any site/system they are so few in comparison to size of general population, so how many people have been looked at to make up any type of generalization about a season? Would it even be scientifically valid? And personally I don’t believe a lot of science either. All too often theory is passed off as fact. The native American writer Vine Deloria has written some good books on this subject, but that is slight digression.

    As for ‘Dark Autumn’ and what this means. Stupid names. It could have been called ‘slightly cooler yet more saturated than the other slightly cooler autumn’ (meaning soft). Don’t get hung up with the names. Someone made them up!

  14. @ Jane Thanks for the recommendation. It never hurts to check out the competition.

    @ Ashley I’d love to order from Elea Blake, but I do not live in the US, and ordering stuff from over the pond is usually slow and expensive (customs, arrgh).
    Regarding Valeria, I just meant, that she had a warm, golden glow about her. Even in my best colours, I never “glow golden”. Neither do the ones on the Elea Blake facebook site. And those girls are so light! So how come we are all the same season? (Not doubting it, just wishing for more knowledge.)

    @Corinne Well, the season names are historical legacy. The inventors needed four names, and the colours loosely resembled the four seasons. It sounded poetical and aesthetic. Good for marketing and pleasing to the artist. Problem solved.
    But again we have an image, that against its will is being taken too literally.
    I love images and metaphors, they can help you, but if taken too far, you run away with the image and all relevance is lost. The analyst rambles about belly dancers, vulcanos and glowing embers and you sit there, skeptically staring at the fan in your hand and thinking ‘maybe if I squint my eyes…?’

    What I would love, would be a less flowery discussion and more about the colours themselves. What are seasons really like? What are the typical colours, what are the more unexpected ones? What about Polyvores showing not just the usual suspects (like white&black and royal blue for TW; don’t they have any other colours?). What is the difference between my purples and yours? Facts, not dreams!

  15. Corrine, sorry to poke the stick, but you can’t buy into seasonal personality descriptions, having almost the same name as someone though, now THERE’S a reason you’d think alike….just kidding by the way.

  16. Corinna, in SciArt philosophy any season can have any hair and eye colour, so Dark Autumn does not need to have a golden glow. And e.g. True Winter can have a golden glow in their natural colouring. For me, this is incomprehensible and does not look harmonious to my eyes when the clothing and makeup colours obviously clash with the natural colouring; I prefer the colour analysis systems where the natural colouring, as it shows itself in visible pigments, is taken into account. For some people this philosophy is freeing in a way that they do not need to be restricted by the hair and eye colour – the aim is to just perfect the skin. So I think – one should choose a PCA system which they are able to understand and in which philosophy they believe.
    Christine’s poetic descriptions are beautiful, but it might happen that someone does not find themselves in them – and their season might be correct. In everyday life it is not possible to rely on the personality stereotypes suggested for the seasons. I think any season can wear any personal style – with some ingenuity there is always a way.

  17. I understand that the colours of particular seasons evoke certain associations, like e.g. Dark Autumn – exotic, but still everyone interprets it differently. What I don’t understand is how is it possible to use celebrities as examples of the seasons (typical colouring) and give recommendations regarding hair colour – when there is the premise that any season can have any hair (and eye) colour. Hopefully it is not the aim of the colour analysis to want a redhead dye her hair cool brown just because she was draped as True Winter.
    I don’t intent to offend anyone, there are just some things that I don’t comprehend about the SciArt system, and I realized that for my way of thinking it is better to follow a different PCA system.

  18. I wanted to make a quick comment. I love the SciArt theory and even though I don’t believe it works for me, I can’t resist coming on here and reading the beautiful posts Christine makes. I do believe it can work for many people though. A part of me really wants to have a draping done just to see what it looks like. JK doesn’t really drape, he does swatch by swatch, but all of the colors he has given me work, hands down.
    If you were to look at the colors that work best for me, it wouldn’t fit in SciArt from what I can tell. I have brick red as well as cooler reds, both orange and pink (in what I see as random shades), I can use soft olives, teal, yellow greens, lemon yellow, and a huge range of beautiful purples. My limits are that I can’t go too light, too dark, too soft, or too bright. I’m a weird sort of middle ground with all colors in the spectrum from what I can tell. It seems I can wear colors from just about every SciArt season. There was one post that Christine commented on a color that didn’t seem to work for any season and I looked at it and thought, ‘well, that color works great on me’ so I am really learning that it depends on the person and from my observation, there are some of us that really do need to find which system works for them.

    I think the closest SciArt season that would ‘seem’ to fit would be Soft Summer, but I look awful in most greys and I can’t wear rose gold at all. I have ordered a ton of Elea Blake samples (those ladies are so nice and patient with me) and I have found that I can wear very little of the SS makeup and can sort of pull off LSu and LSp makeup with occasional TA and DA colors as well as some SA and random DW colors. To be perfectly honest, most of the makeup colors I like best match BSp only softened and I can’t figure out who in the world that would be in SciArt.

    I guess I’m just rambling because I want to fit in to SciArt, but I just don’t see that working for me. For what it is worth, I think this post is lovely Christine. I will be forever grateful for your advice and guidance. It has helped me see myself as a beautiful person and that is a gift you have. I love your last paragraph. Beautifully said.

  19. @ Mimi I know about the any season/any hair stuff. That is what is so awesome to me. Some people are outwardly warm, but underneath, who knows? I do not want a golden glow. And the clothes and makeup do not clash with me, either. Quite the contrary! But then DA isn’t really glowing either. I guess, I am rather dark (not deep, see my comment above), so DA would be possible for me in other systems that judge by outward looks as well (like CMB).

    The celebrity examples – I do not get them either. Some pictures it works, others, not so much. A lot of it is guesswork.
    Actually, I am convinced, that online analysis is a boatload of rubbish, because you cannot judge exactly which colours are being worn by the person in the picture. Show me a picture of you in drape No. X of Colour System Y in fairly good light and no distracting colours in your surroundings. That could work. But celebrities wear makeup and uncalibrated clothes. What is the difference between my pistachio green and BWs lime green? In a picture just by themselves, how can you tell?

  20. What she said! And then some. Thank you Melinda. I can match those colour observations verbatim (though rose gold jewellery is fine) This elusive middle ground is So key for some of us. Funny how in practice ‘a sort of soft summer -bright spring’ kinda covers it. With a good dose of dark autumn – light spring! And I’m not kidding. My ‘ignorant’ husband has always said I’m a light warm Winter. ( diagnosed summer) But Winter Snow Whites still rule in the real world even now and it feels foolish to call ourselves anything wintry. Even if I were draped such I’d have a job admitting it without any of the ID! Surely Melinda though, analysed by Kitchener, will have an overall ‘label’ amounting to a recognisable season but with personal additions. Whereas I , who used at least to ‘know’ I must be something other than Warm or Deep or Bright , now with Sciart could be literally anything but will Never Know ! And I agree with Melinda on the seductive posts to which I am addicted .

  21. And oh, Melinda- what was the colour Christine said was a problem for everyone, but you like? Dying to know!

  22. Hey Susan!

    The colour was from Christine’s post about True Spring Blue. Number 17.

    Thank you for your comment. I agree that it is hard to break the visual ‘label’ of systems that we have become use to. Kitchener’s system is different than SciArt so you again have the issue of comparing ‘Apples to Oranges’. He does use eye and hair color, as well as skin reaction, to determine colors that work for you. I was a ‘Warm Summer’ he said. Basically I use the ‘technique’ of Summer in that I blend my over all colors together like water colors, but I also have a brightness in my skin that works with Spring colors and some grounding brought in through my hair and eyes with the Autumn. I don’t have any of Winters bold, bright contrast. He told me to look up the art of J. M. William Turner to get an idea of how I use my colors. Then I take that and add in my style and it creates a whole new dimension to things.

    I have found his system works wonderfully for me, but I have heard others that haven’t had as much success. I’m starting to believe too that what ‘look’ people are going for really matters. I have to stay away from rose gold not because it looks bad on me, but because it really quiets me down and blends right in. You can barely even tell I’m wearing it. My skin is too warm for it to compliment. It is the same thing with peach colors. They blend in so well that they quiet me down and make it so I become one blob of color. On the other hand, I can do silver, gold, copper, and bronze as long as they aren’t antiqued. That weighs me down TOO much. lol

    I need color, rather than a lot of neutrals, but this might be more for my personality than for anything else. On the other hand, John didn’t know my personality when going into my appointment so for him to say that I needed color, that I had every color in the spectrum and I needed to not be limited, was a great relief to me. My biggest limit is contrast. Other than that, I have great latitude in what will still work and look nice on me. I feel I need that where as someone else might want some very specific lines to define where not to cross over.

    I hope that makes sense and that I’m not rambling. I hear you about these posts. They are addicting and so beautiful. Ah, if I could live in Christine’s world of color for a day, I’m sure I would find a sunny spot to play in!

  23. Melinda, thank you! What I really like about your Kitchener result is- I confess- the fact that you seem to have so much freedom without losing the label identity. Warm Summer is so much better than Soft to my mind- lots of colour and even clarity without morphing into unbelievable Spring or ‘you’re a what?’ Winter! I often fantasize about new categories- warm deep Summer, cool deep spring, light muted Winter- you get the gist. My favourite is one in the centre of the seasonal wheel instead of one position on the rim, that dips into all four (or twelve.) I think the Kitchener experience must be marvelous. Your post however, gives me a bit of confidence to have a go DIY without every step feeling I must be veering over some forbidden edge. By the way I love the Spring blue too – and a light Spring red is one of my best (IMO) but I can’t touch the greens!

  24. About DIY Kitchner – there’s a book by David Zyla, I’m sure you’ve heard of him/it, that tells you where to look on your body for your dramatic colours, neutrals etc. You can get the basics of it in previews on the web.

  25. Jane, I am sure most of us are aware of David Zyla’s system. For me at least. it not an useful system for those who try to find their way by themselves. The results are sometimes quite frightening,- just have a look to the Zyla- colors-sets on polyvore. Then the categories have funky names, and people tend to relate to names- being called a Dusky Summer, The Earth Mother might not be on everybody’s taste, while Mellow Autumn-Sexy Librarian might sound very appealing to a nerd student. Perhaps it works when done by an analyst, but it is definitely not to be tried by a mere mortal after reading the book or browsing web pages.

  26. Inge, best you write to David Zyla with that bit of information! I’m sure he’d feel much chided.

  27. Twenty types of beauty though, now THERE’S a system worth driving yourself. Brmm brmm!

  28. Thanks Jane and Ïnge! I have been following Zyla developments and tried out his tests. Its the old ‘ dress for your body tones or dress for contrast ‘ thing still tripping me up I’m afraid. I don’t honestly think there’s been a development in the last 30 years I haven’t pounced on and failed with including drapings! And I’m not colour blind, honest- believe it or not I did my whole family from the original 4seasons back then and they stuck to it with great success.The fairly recent 12 system added only a bit to the original in their case. I’m the hard one, and largely because they would never let me be the Summer I was supposed to be ! (ever such slight bitterness creeping in there lol)

  29. In no particular order…

    1. That blue that I said nobody could wear: As I read your comment, I thought, “Which colour was that again? There’s barely no colours that fit nowhere.” But sure enough, you were absolutely right. I changed that entry to this:

    “17. Well, gosh, Light Spring? It’s a little too red for Light Summer and for Soft Autumn. Not dark enough for True Autumn, I don’t think. In Light and True Spring, those orchid purples appear. But it’s dusty and Autumns are a definite contender. Maybe Light Summer is better. In making drapes, I’ve learned that there are very few, maybe zero, colours that nobody could wear. There are many, many colours out there that are not in the swatch books, but they don’t need to be. They only need to harmonize with the colour dimensions of that group. For a colour such as this one that I can’t place visually, I have to fan out the possible swatch books and lay them on the fabric to see which ones belong together. This probably simulates most online shopping situations. (Commentary on this colour edited Oct. 27/13)”

    We’re all learning. This winter, I’ll go through every article and bring it up to my present level of understanding. Makes me feel good that I’ve come a ways since then, but I see I have some work ahead of me. Re-doing all the videos is part of the plan too.

    2. Mimi – about celebs and hair colouring advice – I’ve tried to say, but not often enough it seems, that nobody knows what Season celebs are till they’re draped. They serve as examples of the progressions in human colouring that people can relate to. They’re living analogies. They are not necessarily clones. Regarding hair, the same thing. There are some patterns that happen frequently and can serve as a model for the group, but hair colour is advised one woman at a time. There are wide ranges of darkness levels in each group, and always those that defy the patterns, and these must be respected and adhered to for every woman.

    3. With respect, and sincere appreciation for your presence here and your comments, it doesn’t follow logically in my mind to say something doesn’t work and also that you’ve never seen or experienced it. It would be like me saying “Meditation just doesn’t work for me.” and someone saying “Yeah, but Christine, have you ever actually done it? seen it? lived it?” and my answer being “No, but I just know it wouldn’t apply to me.” You could well be right that you’re different from every other person, but you gotta see what it is first. And then with the result, understanding, as I know all you readers do, that one doesn’t wear their palette like gospel or a tattoo. One uses it as a platform that is able to measure hard-to-quantify aspects of our biology, from which we adapt and qualitatively adjust to find our best place.

    4. Corinna – I’m with you. About everything you said, celebs, photos, etc.

  30. Christine, on your answer no 3: You are right in some sense. But just imagine a situation like: ” What do you think, which of these would work for you: meditation, judo or bungie jumping? You can try only one of them” ….

  31. Bungy jump. More cardiac exercise in half a minute than a whole round of meditation.

  32. Jane- thanks for your interest. Oh bright winter! I don’t know what to say! I have never felt overpowered by any bright colour in general- for someone analysed Muted! But I do feel- scared, silly, tasteless? My husband has plumped for bright winter in every comparison and I often end up in it. The biggest thing is black- it trumps every colour every time to our amateur eyes. I could live in it if times hadn’t moved onto colour for everyone. So go figure ?

  33. You look crisp to me. Crisp eyebrows, crisp eyes. Clearly, I’m a hobbyist and just guessing at things, which I find fun, but looking at that tiny picture I could imagine neon yellow not throwing you into oblivion. Do you have yellow in your eyes? Not saying I love neon yellow or that anyone in the world should wear it, but it the cap fits, hell, I would. Just to see the look on people’s faces! Ha ha!

  34. Jane, you make me laugh- in a good way! How did you know neon yellow was my fave summer top? The more ithink of it I can’t imagine wearing summer colours in preference. But crisp-me? That gravatar misses out the pix colours; grey green eye with absolute amber yellow centre ( sunburst or Aztec star who knows?) and grey rim. Plus a fair amount of winter? spokes .My hair is fine and mousy and I’m usually treated as soft and dreamy, in another world! but I’m off to bed now to dream in crisp neon yellow!

  35. Susan, aside from judicious use of my searing deductive reasoning, it was just an incredible guess. IMHO.

  36. Well I’m going to ‘live it’ for a while – what else can we poor mortals do? Did I read somewhere else you are a Soft- ?

  37. Hi Susan, I thought I was a soft autumn, such were my powers of deduction. I “got draped” in a four season system and wound up being a summer. No sci-art in my country, would be interesting to give it a go just to see if I got the same result. Cheers.

  38. Jane, how interesting. I trust you are happy with that. I always thought if I could just know for sure I’d let all this go and interest myself in my other stuff. Haha! I now know it has me for the duration. Its nice to know there are other women across the world pondering the same strange issues. The gaga sisterhood – if that means the same your end!

  39. By the way – these times show up crazily! 8.07 am- its actually 15.10 as I write. ???

  40. Well! Better late than never. Christine, you have opened up something wonderful here, and this is why you are probably my wholistically favorite PCA pro. You are ever learning and challenging even your own system.

    Since meeting up with you online about three years ago (or more?) I’ve learned so, so much. Zyla, Caygill, Kitchener have all enlightened us about the topographical differences between persons of the same color season — yet we still need brackets around coloring types by which to compare things.

    My online Soft Summer guess is still holding, and yet I’ve been amazed that some of my Soft Summer sisters lean warm or they lean lighter or deeper. Personally, I find myself leaning slightly True Summer in some ways, slightly Autumnal in others and scarily Dark Winter in other ways. Colors do change according to the context. I have a top that I thought was Soft Summer originally, but come to think of it, when I suss out the colors, they are more Dark Winter. Individually, they would overpower me, but in combination they are spectacular.

    I remember when first being exposed to Caygill’s examples, trying to find myself in her categories. Well, they weren’t “categories” exactly as we count seasonal nomenclature. I read recently that her designations of “Golden Spring,” “Endearing Orchid,” “English Summer” and things like that were purely arbitrary. She simply named people’s palettes according to the strongest sense she had about what the palette evoked. Some of these names have continued as seasonal categories among some of the color systems out there, but if you look at your palette individually you’ll see that it evokes its *own* sense.

    I still use the 12-season fan to bracket the temperature of my clothing colors even though I can pretty well spot my own blush tones on sight. Yet, the flat colors never tell the whole story for anyone. I tried fitting into someone’s idea of first Soft Summer Light and then Soft Summer Deep after they came out with the 16 season system. No matter how many divisions someone invents it’s just not the whole story.

    Some of us have more built in contrast or blendedness, compared to the average woman of our same season. Some lean towards another season slightly. I tried the Deep version of my season, only to find that it was too dark for my hair tones. I tried the Light only to discover that most Lights have more jewel-toned eyes and less contrast. Both alone failed. I ended up with a mild split between Light and Dark Summer (interestingly I have little of John Kitchener’s “Lively Bright” compared to other Soft Summer Lights). My hair and skin do great in a standard Soft Summer palette. My dominant eye color is, theoretically, somewhere in Soft Summer but best represented by a dusty slate color (not featured anywhere in the pre-fab palette). And I have darker than average dominant blush tones (though they are extraordinarily transparent).

    These are some of the challenges faced by the individual using a pre-fab palette (though I question whether a lot of women who use a strictly personalized one really understand it as well). Matched the color temperature of garments is absolutely crucial and easiest to achieve by matching the blush tones above all else. The contrasts, saturations, etc. seem far more individualized (to me) within the palette itself. When I look at an ensemble now, I know already the temperature is right, but will the contrast still hold? I look for the whole of the garment to reflect the balance of the natural palette. When I put on makeup, I now look for a deeper-than-average blush tone and apply it with a lighter-than-average hand. Yep–in JK’s system, I’ve wound up as a Classic-HighSpirited mix (with a touch of Angelic)–meaning that even in skin, hair, and eyes, I’ve got Superblendedness and a touch of contrast going on at the same time. I can go blended, but I can also wear the most extreme mixes of SS’s lights and darks. Even the correct colors in makeup (for mine is a little deep) are the kiss of death if they are not transparent.

    Zyla’s concept of finding artworks that seem to reflect our natural combinations of light/dark, warm/cool, etc. are excellent. Best if one remembers that there are no set TYPES that we must try to fit into–just general tendencies in the population. In the end, you really are an individual as you learn to apply the 12-Tone concepts. (Which, in my opinions, still hold overall.) You are merely learning to replicate the pattern of your own coloring, whether it’s a seasonal PCA or a more individualized one. For my money, you can’t really learn this kind of individuality with a lot of flat colors on a fan or a chart. There is no context for them. You go to your face for context.

    And so….learning the complexity of one’s natural design

  41. Hello Kathryn, I’ve only read half of your post but already it has given me the great idea of naming my wardrobe. Excellent! I’ve been seasonally labeled but in reality wear about five colours. I can’t wait to give my clothes a palette name, thanks!

  42. Jane, I’m so glad if it helps. :) Someone remarked that it’s sort of like the Style Statement book. Most of these named palettes are two or three names. I’m still working on mine, in fact. The journey gets simpler, but first it’s a big headache. :)))

  43. Kathryn, such an interesting story! I’m guessing Christine might wonder though if all this artistic journeying might be hindered for us if our seasonal springboards are just plain wrong. For instance nearly all of what you said could apply to me especially in the colour exemptions to soft summer, which I have been put into twice ( not by sciart) However, I’m giving Bright winter or maybe Spring a real roadtest and how do I know that all the ‘ touches of this n that or so far but no furthers, – aren’t just pointers to a more correct 12 season? I do agree though that nothing is written in stone.

  44. I hope all this doesn’t derail anything. But for what it’s worth, the best individualized palettes I’ve seen seem to push the individual to the strongest contrast they are capable of pulling off. If you wonder about other seasons, then push the edges. Find out where yours is. It’s the only way you’ll know when and where you start falling off the edges colorwise.

    In my case, I had strong resistance to some of the 12-Tone seasonal palette. The palest colors and darkest colors ALONE make me look insipid. Strangely, if I mix them together, they do as well as the middle tones. Also, the brightest SS tones scared me to death. They would look dull on a Winter type, but they are actually bright on a SS type. And what I finally realized is how much difference the fabric makes@ On the palette, some of these colors are like chalk.

    Some of my season buddies can probably wear a lot of these palette colors in fabrics like velvet, suede, shantung. However, I need the equivalent of “mist” added and pull off some of these colors best in soft cotton, sheer linen, and organdy. It makes a huge, huge difference. You can’t tell that kind of information from any kind of palette, whether individualized or not. The best you can do is take somebody’s word for it. You also can’t see what happens when you blend your best (presumably) colors with other colors–even colors from areas outside your own palette. We tend to think in color blocks exclusively, which we really shouldn’t do.

    Experiment. Have fun. But get your skin temperature right and then you will have a better baseline for understanding the effects you’re seeing when you move into other ranges of intensity, opacity, contrast, etc.

  45. Thanks for picking through my rambles. I’m struck when you talk of pushing the boundaries. For so long I tried to pick the most iconic shades of seasons- like unless I can hack the dingiest most colourless orchid I couldn’t be soft summer.Only the deepest royal purple or blue would allow me to be Winter and so on. Your talk of mist tells me I think, that that is exactly what I can’t take. Unless it was a cobwebby Gothic touch to a black outfit. You are spot on about the fabric question too. I don’t know if I’m peculiar but I’m actually pretty sure I can pull off any colour jumper with jeans (just saying) I was amazed you found an even relatively strong colour in the SS palette- but I only have Christine’s book and even the Brights look dullish – I’m sure the swatches are perfect. Black is an oddity to me – I seem to be fine with a polo right up to my face no matter whether its in ‘my’ palette or not. I begin to accept that seasons are really a springboard and I’m being a- retentive over it !

  46. Pushing the boundaries? I wouldn’t necessarily go for the most iconic colors of each season either. But, say, if you thought you were a Deep Winter, you might try pushing one of your best colors towards the Autumn to see if you could keep going that direction with it or if you need to pull back. It might not be exactly the same with each of your best colors. You might go cooler, brighter, duller than you thought you ever could.

    I’ve not found a single boundary for myself thus far that isn’t actually Soft Summer upon closer examination (it might be different for some). I have found some “cheat room,” however. For instance, I bought a couple of sweaters recently that blend with the SS palette. Yet when I got them home and examined the controlling hues more closely, it turned out that they were probably True Sum. The heathering gentled the color so that it was misty, even though still bright. Technically, these are True Sum colors but they work with a SS palette anyway. (You can often blend wrong colors if they are in a related hue.)

    However, according to Zyla’s recommendation for finding your formal base from the eye rim color, I went to charcoal for a winter coat and that worked better in some lights than others. Because of the slate tones in my eyes, I thought perhaps that would work. Slate or Payne’s grey tones are incredibly hard to find (as are many seasonal greys) and so I thought that charcoal would be a good stand-in. Actually, it was too much darkness and taught me that there were some boundaries existing within my “own” palette itself. I would have been better off going with taupe or navy, as it turned out (no disaster, though).

    Zyla’s system is wonderful for understanding your parameters and pushing those boundaries. Yet, it’s incredibly difficult. A lot of women have tried to match exact colors in the body without success. I toyed for a long time with whether to go with my eye tones as a neutral or deneutralize them and up the blue effect. Neither effort quite worked. Then I saw where Zyla gave someone a tranquil color that wasn’t actually in the eye. (That was an “eye opener” –no pun intended.) What it did was make the eye pop. And so I started looking for colors that made natural body color work or pop. Strangely, I found a green that worked as a tranquil color and there is no actual green of that sort in the eye. There is slate and taupe working in concert to create a greenish effect when seen from a distance. But you will never actually find that color in there. So I began to look at colors more wholistically when working with the Zyla approach.

    The eyes do give me a sort of soft contrast that most SS women don’t have. Yet apparently, the strength is not sufficient for the all-over charcoal. Hence, I learned that I can go lighter and should add the darkest values in smaller amounts. And that is what I mean by individualizing things. Otherwise, someone might have put me into a SS DEEP category and neither that nor the LIGHT category would have worked. Sometimes people really do go two directions at once. Zyla had an archetype that fit me most closely and still didn’t hit the palette core dead on. He had an Antique Winter type that was softer than his Soft Winter. It was still too warm for me. I’m still searching for the words to describe my palette, and maybe Antique Summer will have to do: dark and light with a daylit mist dominating.

    So I hope it’s a little clearer what I mean by pushing one’s boundaries to find the limits of what one can do.

    Here is something else I learned. You can have two women in the same season, with approximately the same color hair and skin and they can still come out different in topography. If one of the women has a deeper blush tone and/or eyes than the other woman (albeit roughly the same temperature), she may acquire more drama of sorts in contrast levels. The other woman, if she has less difference in value between blush tone and overall skin tone plus hair tone, may register as more Natural. Or if she has really light blush tones and lighter eye tones, she may register as more delicate in coloring even though the skin itself is the same tone. I learned some surprising things about the ladies I have so much in common with. They will have different leanings, effects, and therefore color and fabric boundaries.

  47. Wow you are really training that eye of yours! I get what you mean about pushing the best even into another palette. I’ve done that when iwas a soft summer with a favourite green pushed so far into warm that it became a pleasantly saturated Autumn colour. But any further and I looked relieved to ‘snap’ back into summer. However , shopping without the ready comparisons , I was wowed by a thoroughly Autumn top that made me look calm and also glowing in Zyler style. Only it didn’t translate to a whole palette. In fact if I ‘drape’ I see summer every time . But in real (wearing) life it makes me look unhealthy , strangely untidy (flyaway hair) and overweight. Black is truly slimming on me and I know it isn’t supposed to be unless Winter. By the way your grey conundrum – have you tried Avon glimmerstick in Saturn Grey? It seems to match my slate rings exactly- not too blue and just browny teal enough. A start , I suppose!

  48. “I was wowed by a thoroughly Autumn top that made me look calm and also glowing in Zyler style. Only it didn’t translate to a whole palette.”

    If it doesn’t translate as part of an entire palette, then getting it is setting yourself up for things that don’t/can’t work together. When I see individualized palettes, there is always some kind of continuum happening with other colors. Guess I can’t comment too much since I didn’t see the top on you. But normally if something works with a palette, I’d expect to see things it can go with.

    No, i’ve not seen that in Avon. Will check it out, thanks. Just thought I’d add that the slate (slightly bluish, very slight) does work even though it’s hard to find. It’s a tricky color because it has to be mist and not heavy fog or sooty in its effect. I’ve found it in nail polish before and it was too heavy. I have it in shoes and it’s wonderful.

  49. Susan – about Nature’s palettes and Winters with red hair. Much of what I write and (think I) know about PCA, I came up with myself. So much of it seemed so random and without solid reasoning when I started out that I had to come up with a way for it to make sense to me. I knew that the method works, is accurate, and is life changing. I could see that it was an exploded diagram of a person’s inherent colours.
    It was the How?Why? part that mixed me up. As I understand it today, the colours in the swatch books are like the paint puddles on an artist’s palette board. They are the pigments that were used to paint a person. Well, there’s red and yellow in a Winter palette, primary colours in fact, or close depending on which Winter. Therefore, you can make orange. A True Winter green can look warm – and why not, its contributing yellow is Winter’s, a very strong yellow. A Light Summer can have extremely yellow hair – and why not? There’s plenty of yellow on that palette board.
    We just can’t look at the body’s colours in a body and know what pigments made it, that the Winter red hair is primary red and yellow, that the L Su yellow hair is cool-neutral. We could give an artist a palette board of paint puddles and ask her to paint 1000 totally different humans and she could do it easily. That’s what I believe happens. That’s the fascination.
    What I know for sure is that Nature is never wrong. No human being is discordant. And I also believe that we don’t produce a wild array of our basic pigments in terms of their colour dimensions, it would seem odd. Nature would conserve resources. She wouldn’t produce pigments with 4 or 5 or more very varied heat levels, she’d pick one and use it throughout. I can’t prove it, but it’s what my eyes see and what makes sense to me.

    Fil – I’m really with you on your assessment of Zyla. There is value there for sure, but it’s a system that didn’t fit me right out of the box. With some adapting and imagining, there were many great visuals. I agree too about undertone not changing (though I still couldn’t define the term) but surface colouring changing over the years.

    Kat – always so much learning in your thoughts. I’d love to sit down at a table with Zyla, JK, Kibbe, and all the other greats and build a cohesive story. We all know some things. We all get that it changes lives, all seek the truth, and all want to empower the consumer. We are more the same than different. A system that doesn’t fade in and out every 10 years will happen when we solve the problems openly, without protecting old dogmas and emotions. I’m amazed as ever by the precision of your eye and observations – and also your ability to actually find all these colour nuances to experiment with.

  50. Great to have the site back however briefly ! I know you come up with what you write yourself, Christine- it wouldn’t be so poetic otherwise.Or artistic. I do understand about the red hair issue. I’m reading your book again and notice that when you mention actual colouring you usually adhere to the ‘formula’ in this sort of way; paraphrasing- a dark haired summer maybe able to balance black , or a light haired pushing toward spring if only in feel. I wonder why a light haired might not balance black( since light hair could even be a winter in fact. ) Of course I get you are looking for body colours to repeat – but there can’t be much black in a blonde Winter? To answer my own question, perhaps you are just illustrating a point with archetypal evidence.

  51. I’ve been following the coversation and I really appreciate the comments from everyone. It is helping me understand a little bit more of what I believe is meant by different seasonal systems. Because of what you said Kathryn, I went back and really looked at my JK colors all spread out in front of me to try and understand my palette more and see the patterns within my palette. It really is fascinating! My colors are mostly blended, but lighter. I don’t go very deep or even very light (as in icy, or white), although I have an occasional ‘brighter’ shade and occasionally more saturated shades. The overall ‘feel’ though is neutral warm, soft, and light to medium. Then, looking at the colors individually they come out completely different to me. Some seem a little dusted, but dusted more with soft brown, green, or purple, not grey. Others seem to be of purer pigments with hardly any dusting at all. My lightest, brightest yellow is one of those as well as a really lovely raspberry shade. Perhaps I need to keep looking and seeing and I will discover more as I go. It may be that I lack comparison with other colors and other palettes or that I don’t have as trained an eye as many here do.
    The palettes I have to compare to are two of my sisters, who had JK do their colors. They both share a ton of colors with me, but the over all feel of their pallettes are SO different. One sisters palette is cooler and more saturated than mine. She has jewel tones, and I have none of those, yet many of the swatches are exactly the same. Still her palette does all blend together, just in different ways than mine. Another sister also shares many of the same colors as I have, but has much deeper tones. She has brighter colors and warmer browns than I do and she can wear a soft black head to toe, but I can’t. I have orange, but niether of them do. I can wear bronze and copper but they can’t. All of us can wear gold and silver, but they can do rose gold and it isn’t a good option for me to wear unless combined with gold or silver.

    This is what I get hung up on I guess. If we share the same colors, but one sister leans cool, one leans darker and I lean warm and light how would we fit in SciArt when according to all I have read, the SciArt seasons never share colors or different boundaries? (Meaning how can I be soft and light, one sister be dark and bright, and one sister have higher contrast and jewel tones while sharing colors) To me, that says I am a SciArt Soft Summer or Soft Autumn, my older sister may be a Dark Autumn or Dark Winter and my younger sister a Bright Winter or Bright Spring. (Just random guesses, nothing solid there) Does SciArt have a season that can wear all metals but no rose gold and no antique looks? If I look terrible in most grey and have all neutral browns except one really warm – almost orange brown, how do I fit in the soft seasons? Who has a soft bubble gum pink and rust orange? I can’t help but roll the thoughts around in my head.

    I appreciate any comments to this dilemma. Since it is a different system perhaps there is no answers, but that is why I am having a hard time believing SciArt could give me a specific group to be in. What you said Christine about ‘how do you know it doesn’t work if you haven’t tried it’ made sense so I wanted to look at it from a different angle and this is what I came up with. I guess I never will know unless I am draped.

    I still don’t know exactly how JK categorizes his seasons, but to me they are very different from SciArt and they just make more sense in how I see them working for myself. I know that each color works for me and that compared to the few fans I have, through my untrained eye there are colors in multiple SciArt seasons that work for me.

    Thanks for letting me blab! As always brilliant article, brilliant comments, and I enjoy trying to understand this process and appreciate the guidance.

  52. I should add that my sister with the ‘Darker’ colors does wear some Elea Blake SS and SA makeup colors successfully.

    For all I know, we are all SS women and just sit in different places on the scale thus the reason for shared colors. Still, does SS have jewel tones?

    See there I go again. Sorry!

  53. Christine– “I’d love to sit down at a table with Zyla, JK, Kibbe, and all the other greats and build a cohesive story.”

    For sure! I don’t know the half of it yet…

  54. @ Melinda `

    Thanks for sharing your own observations. I wish I had a simple answer for your last question. I don’t. All I can say is that there are (sort of) boundaries in “seasonal colors” as represented on a palette. Humans seem to lean into particular quadrants of the Munsell color sphere, but human coloring runs on a continuum, unlike a flat palette. So we may say that the edges are blurred in real life. I’m with Christine that nature does not give us inharmonious coloring within our own bodies. Maybe in the same way that some people have “vestigial” warm coloring in their hair in an otherwise cool palette (or vice versa), other have “vestigial” tendencies towards contrast or saturation. I don’t know. Those vestigial traits do seem to give us different ranges ever so similar but also so different, don’t they? Keep experimenting.

  55. Melinda and Kathryn- I think we are all a bit like people of a faith yet studying comparative religion! The faith is not going away but we have to hold simultaneously to the idea that it isn’t the whole truth except for us. For me, there could now be only one draping- sciart- because I’ve absorbed its mysterious but logical premises ( though I wouldn’t turn JK away if he was offering!) But I realise I am never going to get that draping and can only ‘keep experimenting!’ There must be some great purpose for that 12 palette continuum- the procession of qualities is iconic! The way the original 4 seasonal qualities (dark dark cool clear clear warm light light etc etc) dovetail has to be truly a blueprint surely? I have trouble ignoring that to be honest. But maybe we should be – well I think we are- looking for a way to see this working for all of us , and not lose this amazing wheel whilst somehow benefitting from JK’s (et al) expertise. That round table idea of Christine’s is a good one- what a summit that would be!

  56. From Susan: “There must be some great purpose for that 12 palette continuum- the procession of qualities is iconic! The way the original 4 seasonal qualities (dark dark cool clear clear warm light light etc etc) dovetail has to be truly a blueprint surely?”

    I agree with this, in particular with regards to, say, a 16-season system. What I see is that one could also see continuums within each of the 12 seasons (within a narrower range of variability), and I think this is what the 16-season systems begin to hint at, but in my opinion they fail to take it to a logical consequence. Instead, I think they correctly identify some of these within-season off-shoots (for DW, SSu, SA, there is a 4th additional one I am forgetting now), but they stop at this, having added four “sub-types”. I should think there should be at least four within each of the 12 seasons! In any case, to my mind, the 12-season (even the 4-season) is still the blueprint — even Nature says so — though the begining of March can be quite different from the end of March, and closer to the end of February, if you see what I mean. I am particularly grateful to SciArt and Christine as I see the recognition of a unique undertone for each of the 12 seasons (with some small range variation within each season) as something truly essential.

    Trully, I no longer think the seasons overlap. It is like once a rubicon has been crossed, it has been crossed : ) Sure, we can make it work, with some artistry of color combinations and a little bit of makeup, but the uniqueness of each season I think will always be best. I wonder whether JK, for example, with his exquisite eye and sensitivity for color, makes these distinctions instinctively/intuitively. For example, at this point in my life, would he give me swatches that “appear” to be TSp or DA or TA, but that on close inspection against a SciART fan are actually BSp — in the sense that my friend who is an Autumn may look at my JK colors and say they look so similar to hers? In other words, I suspect someone like myself, who is a BSp, may be given colors that resemble Autumn colors, but that would always match the BSp tone, not any of the Autumns’. This is what I am observing these days — a love of certain warmer colors, still, they remain firmly BSp. Funny, it did happen the other day!! I went to concert with my neighbour and friend, and she put our two scarves together and said “We are wearing the same colors!” — they were not, however ; )

  57. I’ll just add this — there is something in JK’s method that I believe expresses something else that is going on with color typing, in addition to the uniqueness of undertone. His method reminds me of the never-ending patterns of fractals. If we look at the mass of humanity we can see that there is quite some variation. Say we are able to immediately distingusih your SSus from your TAs, from your BSps, etc. The minute you remove a person (a part), say a DW, from the whole, you start seeing the whole back again in that person. Like looking at the sea and seeing that parts of it look clear, some look greenish, some look bluish. We sample a drop that looks green, the next thing we know we see the clear, the green, the blue back again. Like the part always wants to be reminded it is part of the whole.

  58. Wow yes Fil- and isn’t there something about every fragment of a hologram containing the retrievable whole? I do know that in astrology if you are on the cusp with sunsign or any other planets and houses the general consensus is that you are not a blend of the two signs, far from it. There are astrologers who disagree of course but in my research it seems there is a marked burst of energy at the beginning of the sign that makes you even more strongly that sign (season?)

  59. By the way I hope I’m not extending this thread past its natural life or protocol- perhaps someone could give me a headsup?

  60. Love the comments. I am still stuck on the idea that although my palette and my sisters over all palettes have completely different blends, they share many colors. They aren’t just ‘similar’ colors, they are the exact same fabric swatches cut from the same fabric. There is no mistake that they may ‘seem’ similar and I got that part wrong.

    I can see how the colors intertwine to come to a different blend and conclusion. Yes, each palettes colors naturally blend all together, even if the blends create a completely different feel. That part is consistent with many other color theories – that the over all palette blends within itself. The colors all have things in common, the biggest difference is that the hue, the value, or the chroma may shift in different directions for each palette. Can this not be possible? My eye says yes, and that is how I feel right now.

    Artists can use the same base colors to blend and create different chromas, why can’t that exist in us?

    Thanks all, yes, I will keep thinking and keep experimenting and I hope we all will. Learning is essential to discovering!

  61. Something I’m unsure about is the existence of a neutral undertone. Isn’t it just warm or cool, with different levels of contrast affecting the look of saturation or clarity? For example, a soft autumn has a low level of contrast but still has a warm undertone, not a neutral undertone. The reason that it looks “neutral” is that the person is less obviously warm because the skin/features etc are less contrasting? And/or, the colouring is lighter, or darker in the case of DA. The undertone is still either warm or cool, but the contrast or dark/lightness of the person’s colouring becomes a more prominent feature? I’m not bagging Sci/art here, I know a lot of the systems work with the neutral undertone concept, probably including the greats.

  62. Susan, thanks for that explanation of the signs, it makes a lot of sense to me, and as a blueprint for life.

    I’ll share one more thing that’s been on my mind that may also relate to Melinda’s quest: I came to a point in life where hair is a bit warmer than it used to be and suddenly I can see my eye color in my hair. Mind you, hair is still dark (a dark BSp brown that Christine calls seal brown), and my eyes are lighter — a BSp orange-yellow ochre, but I see this color and others in its hue family (from golden tan to cooper to bittersweet chocolate) reflected in my hair. Decades ago when my hair was black with a bluish tinge I couldn’t see it, but I seem to remember that if I was in a very sunny enviroment and looked at my hair it looked different even back then, more bittersweet chocolate and less black. Clearly, there is more than this pigment in my hair, but now I’m thinking this one plays a central role.

    Anyway, this long story is to say that I am now wondering whether this eye color pigment (s?) (or its complement, perhaps, for some people) plays a major role in other aspects of our coloring, just like undertone does. As if there were two axis, two sources of life-energy, that which comes hemoglobin, nourishment and oxygen to the cells, and that which comes from our eyes, our ability to see/to know in the broadest of senses.

    That perhaps there is more than one path to color nirvana, perhaps two that cross each other. Perhaps you share with your sisters something of this kind, which then allows you to share certain colors and diverge elsewhere as per your undertone/season.

  63. The last three posts brought up really salient points I want to try and meditate on- I hope they don’t get lost as I think they are important. Melinda- I hadn’t realised thgough I should have, that JK’s swatches will appear in different blends! That’s mind boggling- yet fits with what I have often noticed; a colour with a specific quality, say Bright or Deep or even Warm or Cool, can sit happily in diverse schemes. There have been times when I have seen orange with a really cool blend and not as a pop either. Personally I have discovered that so long as I keep my makeup cool I can actually wear almost anything without upsetting my balance, whereas warm makeup disappears me no matter what I wear.( I’m aware this is without the benefits of draping where no doubt I’d see the error of my ways!) Jane- absolutely what you asked- neutral undertone, it must have been nagging at the back of my mind. Surely it’s cool or warm as you say- I always assumed without question if someone described themself as neutral it was because they lacked the requisite cool or warm eyes and hair, or their overtone was so sallow or ruddy it hid the undertone! But as you point out that is using their apparent colouring in diagnosis- ? Fil- the esoteric energies pursuit is where this is at I’m sure. To continue the astro analogy, there could be two energy sources or even more- the systems might all be windows on the action.And if the sunsign is the basic season, it would follow because the sunsign shows where you get your energy and lifeforce from.

  64. I am jumping up and down *blubber blubber*! “Comparative religions”? Fractals? Same colors in differing blends??? WOWWWWW!!!! Such thinking ladies…! Christine will be proud when she reads all this.

    BTW, Melinda–I’m still trying to decide on one or two names to call my palette, a la Caygill. Zyla’s “Antique Winter” jump off point wasn’t quite “it”, though it’s close. His “Antique Winter” contained the soft orange of weathered maps… And here is where there are these types and pieces of fractals containing the whole. We see “something” of an order in the universe. One Caygill-trained lady even found three men who all wore the exact same shade of green and they were all birdwatchers! And when Zyla had his “Antique Winter” type….well, yeah…I was kind of *there* and kind of something else added. So I think it’s kind of true even if we can’t pinpoint all this ordering of things.

    Anyway, FWIW, I revisited different things trying to come up with better words than “Antique Summer” since there’s still something I’m unsure of. Zyla’s rec to find a painterly style that has our unique blend was spot on for me. I just went through words like “misty” (but aren’t ALL SS’s “misty”?), “Turkish bath,” “watermark,” “moire” — all to no avail. Even “watercolor” didn’t quite get it–watercolors are mostly too strong for me (imagine!). Can you do watercolor palettes, Melinda? I just keep coming back to American Impressionist Childe Hassam and sometimes Frank W. Benson as having the closest matches to my personal topography. “American Impressionist Summer”? (French Impressionism is a little too strong, very into “Watercolor”.) “Childe Hassam Summer”? But you see the fun…What do I do now? Carry a couple of indecipherable words around while shopping or do I carry a miniature Childe Hassam painting? haha

    You ladies are amazing. If ever any of you become color pros, then you are sure to push the boundaries of knowledge to some interesting places.

  65. From Susan:
    “there could be two energy sources or even more- the systems might all be windows on the action”

    The minute I saw this I thought of chakras and how they are codified using the spectral hues, from red for the root chakra to violet for the crown chakra.

    Kathryn, so nice to “talk” to you : )

    On Jane’s comment, I tend to say neutral/cool or neutral/warm for that reason.

  66. This might be relevant- each sunsign has three divisions or decanates, according to the dates of about 30 degrees. The central one is the ‘True’ one if you like. Take Winter- it starts in the Sagittarius section with Dark, True is Capricorn and Bright is Pisces . Then within each sign or season there are three decans- so each of the 12 seasons has another 3 types of energy. Making 36 definable types before you even start to personalise the chart! Do we want this? Do we need it? Lol

  67. Here is something that popped into my head as an analogy to what we are all trying to do with colors, style and image.

    My husband has been called in to consult with an architectural/interior renovation project for a very traditional Catholic cathedral. The interior is inherently traditional but it contains a few modernistic elements that just don’t go. It’s because of one clergyman who is determined to rid the building of anything non-modern, and he even wants to get rid of the stained glass windows! Thankfully, everyone else disagrees with this person because his ideas simply don’t go with the building.

    And as one architect put it, the only way you can renovate successfully is to respect the architecture of the building. It doesn’t mean you have to go back to exactly the way it was or that you can’t change the colors or decoration. You simply have to respect the architecture as a “given” that drives the selection and appropriateness of everything else.

    And so it is with human beings. If you are going to be successful in making changes to your own colors, style, and image, you have to respect the architecture of the human person, or it’s going to look incoherent.

  68. Love, love, LOVE the chatter and ideas. Man it gets my thought processes going!

    Fil – you said ‘That perhaps there is more than one path to color nirvana, perhaps two that cross each other. Perhaps you share with your sisters something of this kind, which then allows you to share certain colors and diverge elsewhere as per your undertone/season.’

    I almost wonder if this could be a color 4th dimension. Just crazy thoughts here, but when you understand 3 dimensional vrs 4 dimensional and use that in terms of color, it makes me wonder if there may be a layer of ‘color measurements’ that perhaps can’t be tested using the same draping techniques that some systems use. It could be a way to explain JK’s ability to match color with small swatches or however Zyla does his. (Not sure on this point honestly) JK doesn’t isolate the colors and measure them in the same way, yet he is very successful and Zyla is as well – using isolated colors within our own bodies. Is it just because of the natural abilities and talents within them? Probably that is part of it, but perhaps they are measureing something else. JK was quoting, I believe Susan Cagill, when he said to me that ‘if a color works, it works’
    What if pushing beyond the typical boundaries is like pushing outside a three dimensional box into the fourth dimension? Technically it doesn’t break through the boundaries, but simply glides or connects using the 4th dimension. A great site that explains this is this one: http://pitt.edu/~jdnorton/teaching/HPS_0410/chapters/four_dimensions/index.html

    Again, perhaps this isn’t true theory, but that is all science really is isn’t it? Theory that continues to be tested and sometimes proved wrong through new discoveries. Any way, like I said this has taken my thoughts into the abstract.

    Susan – JK gives you swatches without specifically limiting you to a season, so many people can share colors/swatches. He uses percentages. Mine are 55% Subtle Blended(Summer), 25% Earthy Rich(Autumn), 20% Lively Bright(Spring) and no Striking Contrast(Winter). The Summer and Autumn cause my need for blending in my colors – Autumn giving me anchor to my color, while the Spring allows for some contrast in the combining of different colors and brighter shades. My sisters both have higher percentages of Summer in them than I do actually, but one sister has all four seasons while another sister has a higher amount of Striking Contrast. It really is fascinating to see because when I hold up their swatch pages that don’t contain any of my colors the effect is just blank, where as if I hold up my pages to my face, you can see the effect the colors have on me. Really cool!

    Jane – I see neutral as having both warm and cool tendencies, which I believe most people have, but that there are exceptions and some people really are truly warm or cool.

    Kathryn – Fascinating thoughts! I haven’t thought of naming my palette beyond what John gave me. He called it a ‘Warm Turneresque Summer’ (Turner referencing the art work of JMW Turner) and tossed in a couple of other words as he worked, which I can’t remember off of the top of my head. Thank goodness I recorded the session with my voice recorder!

    I like Turner’s art particularly the lighter colored stuff such as Modern Rome – Campo Vacino, but my personality is drawn to other things. I can do Watercolors per John, but I only have one skirt that is watercolor. I do like it a lot though and I think it looks really nice. I can’t find much I like when it comes to that. Part of it is my style. I really need to pull out my sewing machine and make some stuff I like. My style stuff JK gave me is so complex in that I have everything except drama. No dominant style type either. My Natural and Classic are equal at 30%. Add to that my playful personality and inner clashes are rampant! I really liked Frank W Bensons ‘The Sisters’ That is a pretty good idea of how I see my colors at times.

    Might be something I will have to look into and see if I can find an artist that expresses how I see my color combined with my style. Umm….. that might take a while. lol

  69. Really a wonderful subject, love the pushing of the boundaries. Susan, that example sounds just like what might be the case with human coloring. I think sometimes what we need above all is an awareness of the process, it can indeed become too much, and something might even be lost in the process. However, awareness means that we the foundation or blueprint, we can then develop the ability to make adjustments and individualize, as Kathryn was saying — to make it true to the individual.

    Melinda, I think you are so right here. It is so interesting we seem to all spend quite some time pondering similar issues : ) Very, very insightful this idea of the 4th color dimmension, which may explain the difficulty in pinning it down exactly, sometimes briefly perceived but often elusive. Or some aspects of it amenable to aprehension, some not. I think JK has the ability to perceive things holistically, more so than analytically, so he gets the essence of the whole that is the person.

    Christine, would love to see you and JK work together on the same group of people using both systems, exchange insights, compare and try to tease out how the two systems complement each other, and perhaps come to define that element of difference, at least in some measure.

  70. LOVE listening in to you ladies–all of you!

    Know what I find interesting? Caygill mixed colors for her clients. Her descendant systems seem mostly to use ready-made swatches–much faster. Now consider that all you would have to do with a swatch is have a really good eye for color temp, nuances of color, and be able to match particulars of a client that stand out. The result would likely be something similar to a draped analysis, though it would contain more of the natural depths and heights of individual coloring.

    Even so, the fact that there are literally millions of colors and that analysts typically work with 4000-6000 colors (or whatever the claim), they really are still working with a RANGE, albeit narrowed down significantly. So if one system is “off” a teensy from another, it’s probably not a huge deal. Don’t you think that we often see when a color hits the “sweet spot” of effect without being able to duplicate that exact color again? Once we see it enough times, we can sort of tell when it’s happening again with another hue. So THERE IS HOPE FOR US ALL (even if we think our opportunities to get exact matches are limited).

  71. So true, Kathryn. I think we often go from having a blind spot to that “sweet spot” to finally seeing it, but I have no doubt we get there eventually. That illuminating of one’s face and eyes that happens with certain colors but not others is priceless.

    It is often said that chakras sometimes open in pairs, the 7th (crown–violet) and the 4th (heart–green); the 6th (brow/sight–indigo/purple) and the 3rd (solar plexus–yellow); and presumably the 5th (throat–blue/turquoise) and the 2nd (sacral–orange). That leaves out the 1st (root–red). What I noticed is that these pairings are visual complements of each other (blue-green would be the visual complement of red). Another kind of 4 dimmensions one could dream up for human coloring would have Red as a first and very strong determinant (the undertone?), followed by (just speculating here…) the orange/blue (turquoise) axis, then the yellow/indigo axis, and finally the green/violet axis, the (independent??) effects of all of these giving the closest representation of a person’s coloring.

  72. So true ,Kathryn- and working without swatches as I am begins to feel freeing, especially with the differences in products. Though if you have faith in the Sciart books you will never deviate from them even by a hair in some instances as Christine says. This 4th dimension of Melinda’s has opened something up though. Not just texture, that’s 3d- perhaps a Kibbe component (what happened to his new book?) along with emotion.For instance my mother is a winter- she really is- and has always looked great in black and still does. But black coats – really grim though she won’t believe me! With me it’s jumpers- they just suit me. I play a game when I’m really trying to stay on the wagon with a season- I imagine I’ve found a sale of perfect jumpers in mostly off season colours- would I select one or two and leave the wronguns? The answer is usually no- not because I have no self control but because they don’t look bad enough. In fact some wrong colours are the best! One up to JK I suppose. Yet I still continue to believe I am a season- especially now that youthful skin has begun to take precedence over slimness! I wonder
    , Kathryn if watercolours are bright to you because they tend to be Spring in energy and also thin , so they’d be both cheerful and insubstantial to your eye? If I were to look for ‘my’ artist it would be the designer of Will’s office in Will and Grace! Or anyone who paints pictures of light coming through window blinds- wonder what that’s about? Fil, yes I started to work on 36 types just in my head! It amounts to 3 each season so 3 different types of Bright Spring for instance. But they’d all be neutral-warm so I’m wondering if it’s worth it- one label for BS would let them figure themselves out and not stop at three. (Must get that Zyla book!)

  73. Just saw yours, Fil- great chakra info. I didn’t know that about opening in pairs. Think all mine are closed anyway-lol. But it makes a lot of sense- red first. And do you think the green- violet could show the degree of sallowness or coolness?

  74. Ladies, one more thought, must write it down before it gets muddled. I was thinking that the undertone, perhaps the strongest influence, gives us most of our colors, then followed by the influence of one’s tone with regards to the axes orange/blue-turquoise, yellow/indigo and green/violet, which successively give us additional colors, but fewer than given by the undertone, with their order of influence varying from person to person. So in addition to the colors given by my undertone, I may have a few more given by the orange/blue axis (not necessarily just oranges and blues), than perhaps colors given by my tone with regards to the yellow/indigo axis (fewer still), and then perhaps just a few given by my tone with regards to the green/violet axis.

    I am also wondering what kinds of interactions take place between all these that create the undertone in the first place, out of some kind or archetypal red.

    So, Melinda, I was thinking that it is with regards to one of these axes that you share colors with your sisters, perhaps something strongly determined genetically. And also that the set of colors thus created for each person could hide in itself that 4th dimmension you mentioned, difficult to express in words, but that nonetheless translates itself in the harmony of the whole.

  75. Susan, that was probably what even Caygill was hinting at, as she had a larger number of subtypes, so if one imagines still 12 tones in there, there must have been a few subtypes for each tone. I myself feel I have moved within the BSp tone/space, from the “near BW” area, to the “near DA” area, I now I could be in the “near TSp” area, this over 50 plus years.

    Interesting your comment on sallowness/coolness re: green/violet. I seem to remember Christine, perhaps a couple of years ago, was very interested in the colors green and violet, their properties or something like that — would love to revisit your thoughts on that, Christine. What is usually said about green and violet is that they are neutral, as far as the fully saturated, spectral hues are concerned, with red, orange, yellow being warm, and blue, indigo, purple being cool (or something very similar to this!).

  76. You know what I would like to do? I’d like to examine some of these “overlap” colors that people claim have been given to those of differing seasons. I mean, I wish I could look ever so closely and see if their eyes are really calibrated to notice any differences. Reason being is that colors can masquerade as belonging to other seasons if you don’t have something else to compare them with.

    Example: Melinda (and others) made me consider my Childe Hassam color topography. Have looked at other SS’s, many of them have a touch of Lively Bright in the mix. Second guessing here, but I wonder whether I have mistaken Lively Bright for Striking Contrast because I expected it to show in the eyes… Most SS’s I’ve seen with Lively Bright seem to show it in the eyes. But what if I’m really seeing a touch of that in my skin instead? (My skin appears more delicate than many more Natural SS’s.)

    And when you think of it, a lot of SS brights are said to resemble Light Summer brights. Sometimes you can see certain qualities when you place one hue next to another that isn’t obvious when they stand alone or in a palette with hues of similar controlling qualities. Even though SS brights seem to converge with LSum brights, I wonder if they really do. What would they really look like side by side? (Thinking out loud here, but don’t know the answer.) And can some individuals really literally span seasons? Don’t know.

  77. Ladies, we seem to differ in our quests from the happy souls whose pursuit is to find great fashion or lipsticks for the seasons- don’t mean that patronisingly in the least- but enviously! That’s because our position on the Wheel is less obvious to us at least and maybe people like us push the research further on. So- undertone, yes. You know how when you are wearing a print and people suggest picking out one of the colours but you know it’s wrong because the background or perhaps the total blend has a certain undertone? You probably knew that before pca with your eye! But now those clashes that would have looked cheap long ago are now ‘pops’. It makes our quest for integrity harder- or easier? Finding your artist muse is hard too- how do you use the Hassam colours without drifting round in Laura Ashley frocks? Partly kidding! I love that, but also in my personal makeup is a Steampunk vibe, and then there’s the Doris Day aura too. Its all in my astro chart so its not going away. I confess to being confused about SS brights- have you seen Christine’s book? When I try to be SS -logical progression from my age old Summer results- I can’t find a single colour to brighten my day! Is it that any colour colour stands out if you live life in neutrals (as perhaps I should if I had any taste!)

  78. Well, here I go throwing another wrench of thought into the equation. I was reading over the comments and I wanted to clarify that the colors I share with my sisters aren’t all the same between the three of us. JK called my older sister a ‘Classic Soft Summer’, me a ‘Warm Turneresque Summer’ with a sultry, playful edge, and my youngest sister an ‘Iridescent, Jeweltone Summer’. Those are some good ways of defining our differences. I share some beautiful lavendar and periwinkle colors with my youngest sister, but those colors look truly AWFUL on my older sister. I share some shades with my older sister, that my younger sister doesn’t have. My older sister in turn shares colors with my younger sister such as brighter turquoise that I don’t have. There are some colors that all three of us share such as a coral and a sort of purple rose type color. I’m sure that there are even more similarities and differences that I didn’t notice the first time I compared all three books, but I can only compare mine and my younger sisters books right now. My older sister lives in another state here in the US so I can’t compare colors again until she comes out for the holidays.

    Another thing that is interesting is that JK does colors by emotion (ex. Romantic, Dramatic, Calm, Playful, etc.) and some colors, such as those lovely lavender and periwinkle, are in my Sophisticated, but show up in my younger sisters Playful. We do share some Playful colors as well. My yellow and her yellow are both in the Playful category.

    My thought to this is that perhaps all three of us share something in common, but it is so complex (such as the 4th dimension idea) that it is hard to identify. If I were to try and explain it, it would be that all three of us share a strong ‘Summer’ influence. Interconnecting with each other in certain color levels and planes, but then we branch out on our own, sort of like redirected light. Sometimes one of us intersects with the other in places that could be ‘Spring’ or ‘Autumn’ for me, and ‘Striking Contrast’ or ‘Spring for my younger sister, and in all seasons for my older sister. We have most of our colors still in ‘Summer’, but our own ‘light’ bounces around to other areas (seasons) before coming back to our central ‘Summer’ area. Almost like a ball of light bouncing within an inner self map of boundaries. This light travels in a connected path so we each have connections to the colors we collide with. A start point and an end point to our personal boundaries, but still the ability to go beyond a perceived boundary because it doesn’t truly ‘break’ laws of color. It’s just that we can’t see the open space between the boundary walls we are familiar with.

    Oh dear, I tell you this makes sense in my head, but trying to explain it is another story.

    I wish I could show all of you my colors, how they look on me, and why I feel the way I do about them. It would be just amazing to get feedback from different people and see myself through their eyes and their experiences while still holding true to how I see myself. I suppose many of us enjoy celebrating the searching with each other. We all desire to discover within ourselves the comfort of feeling you are expressing who you truly are. There is joy that comes from being seen and accepted exactly as who you see yourself as being, and being loved for the distinctness that makes us all beautiful as individuals. I am thinking I really need to start spending some time really studying my own palette as Kathryn so beautifully does with hers.

    Thanks ladies for such beautiful comments and thoughts. Keep up your amazing spirit! I am off to study my colors and how I see them within myself. :oD

  79. We can’t seem to stop discussing, can we? This might be the most ponderous thread that Christine has ever launched. And I, for one, love this version of a “happy bunch”. Possibly we have to be more thoughtful precisely because a number of us are Summers (the most complex color grouping) or we are just different from the norms of our other seasons.

    I know I keep addressing Melinda (but I really am reading the rest of you too!)….and this morning I woke up after pondering somewhere in the back of my head all night the word “metaphor.” Melinda, you say that JK has colors for emotions–or shall we say energies? or something. Whatever. It’s “metaphor.”

    Metaphor exists on some synaesthetic level for the populace at large. Medium blue is to “smooth” what vermillion is to “rich” — and things like that. When is the last time you saw a plush velvet texture dyed shell pink? It can happen and maybe it works on some people….but most likely you’ll see it dyed deep red, possibly with a hint of brown. I think these classic aesthetics are instinctual.

    Likely, JK’s choices are mapped out according to some philosophy, but back of all those is also instinct. Our ways correspond to colors, do they not? And also our textures, natural coloring, and innate tastes on some level.

    Well, it looks like I’m going to have to “shut up” for a while. I think I’ve developed carpal tunnel from all the years of computer, but I’ll be reading along. Thanks for so much input. :) I’m off to some books now!

  80. Oh, darn… I *still* have to add something… (shut up, me!) I just purchased (cheap) a CQ nail polish in “Plum Baby,” which has *got* to be some kind of SS bright. It looks like a proper bright “pop” on me–not garish. So above I mentioned whether SS women and LSum women can really wear *exactly* the same colors sometimes.

    Well, a SS bright is supposed to be more greyed than a LSum bright of the same hue. So, strictly speaking, the seasons don’t overlap even if the hue is the same lightness, brightness, etc. They should still have differing amounts of mist. A truly LSum version of my nail polish color would likely look too separate from my skin.

    Now whether the *people* themselves can sometimes overlap seasonal tendencies is another question. JK often assigns individual SS women a percentage of “Lively Bright,” “Earthy Rich” and (rarely) “Striking Contrast.” I always assumed this was something *extra* to their dominant seasonal tones. But what if these percentages are not “extras” but actually typical to the Soft Summer season? (Sorry to use only SS comparisons, but that’s the one I know best now.) That’s why we have richer, softer, brighter, more delicate Soft Summer colors built into the pre-fab fans already. If you think about it, you can already tell which of those colors seems more “Lively Bright”, “Earthy Rich,” etc. JK hasn’t changed the seasons of women, but he seems to have adjusted the color balance for each.

  81. Kathryn, no, don’t “shut up”, love to hear you talk, and Melinda, yes, it does make lots of sense :) I see what you mean about the three of you sharing different things together. So interesting that you have those points of contact being different types of Summer, like you said you share not only genetics but also Summerness, and there could well be all kinds of “–nesses” out there!

    And Susan, yes, I have lost interest in makeup a long time ago, but was also lucky to have found just a few things that really work, from Christine’s recommendations and a few lucky finds, not much, but it does the job fully :))

    Now color, that’s another story, I have tried to “give it up”, but it always comes back. More recently, I got interested in color as therapy as I became aware I need to do some grounding work.

    Kathryn, the question of extra vs. part of the season is interesting. It seems to be both for JK, **if** people of different seasons are sharing exact same colors. But I see what you mean, it looks as if the seasons try to push certain boundaries as it is (talking 12 tone SciART here), and that creates interest within the seasons and avoids a feeling of flatness.

  82. Oh, it’s all good ladies. I’m just excited to turn all this theory into practical application. Now it’s time to apply myself. So exciting!

  83. Just found this really simplified article on colour mixing. It’s worth reading if you’re not familiar with these basic principles. Interesting after reading it to wonder where my colours sit on the triangle of movement between the three primaries.

  84. OK….with aching wrists…I post a link to JK’s “Lively Bright”.

    When I first heard of it, I thought that any such persons in that category had to be Spring-like in some way. However, imagine that such persons might actually be any season who wear a preponderance of that season’s most lively colors as opposed to being more “warm” necessarily. It’s a “pop”: of color effect that these people do well.

  85. Thanks for the website info from Jane and Kathryn. I wonder if this is news to designers whereas PCA has used it forever! Interesting about our identification with primaries – I know Christine has Winter’s signature undertone as purple – not a primary, for the most primary of seasons! And Lively Bright not being exclusively Spring- makes me re-visit being SS incase I might rescue it from the doldrums. I’m wondering about those representations of the palettes over the years in varied printings- some dull some beautiful. I used to think a season should hack them all equally , now perhaps one version of SS might be LivelyBright and therefore very different from the mistiest greyest of another SS. If Drew Barrymore is one, and she’s assumed to be SA! Melinda- presumably Warm Turneresque Summer is Softish- would Classic Soft be Soft too or True since she also has the brighter turquoise? And is Iridescent Jeweltone a Light or True? Or since you all get a coral perhaps neither of them are cool enough to be True- unless JK doesn’t follow that. Fil, incidentally we have an ultra modern but purpose built Catholic cathedral in Liverpool in the UK. It has a traditional C of E cathedral in the same town! Can’t imagine them swapping buildings. I’m not sure anything can truly be outside its own nature. Like when they do versions of Little Women every few decades- they are all set in the same period yet you can also date them as 30s, or 60s or 90s. And I like that- it means there’s always time for another!

  86. I’ve been scrolling down the 80odd posts! And re-reading them I must apologise, Melinda – you gave a very clear description of your palette so I shouldn’t have needed to ask about the colours! I’m working on a phone so the lists get a bit overwhelming! Wonder what Christine makes of it- lol.

  87. Christine can’t say anything — it is partly her fault we are so in love with color : ))
    A good weekend to all.

  88. Ladies, thank you all so much for the collective information. I’ve been struggling with an unusual yin and yang combination and how to apply that to my palette choices. This has helped a lot and, thanks to Melinda, I am checking out Laura Ashley fabrics. Some of the typical LA designs themselves are too small, realistic and flowery but the colors are about right. Also I found a few of her prints that are very good shapes, after all. Not at all like the baby doll/dollhouse/Little House on the Prairie that belongs on someone with more Youthful influence.

    After comparing some of my recent brighter purchases to the softer, delicate ones, I prefer the soft, delicate colors overall. They just go better with my skin. Apparently my yin side has a huger influence on fabrics and hues than I realized. When I look at other people’s colors, mine seem drab by comparison–they are often fairly ethereal. Yet they really look right on me and come to life with a deeper (not DARKER) contrast. When I think of Melinda’s Turneresque look–it’s so beautiful and so delightfully warmish — I can see the Natural in her coloring that has influenced this a bit.

    I think we are now starting to see how EFFECTS are not limited only to certain palettes (and yet they have a higher likelihood within certain palettes).

  89. No worries Susan! I wonder if JK also senses an over all ‘feel’ to the colors we express and that is how he combines them. Me and my sisters ‘feel’ like our palettes. It is really kind of cool. All of us have a soft blended quality, but then something else. My soft earthy yet bright glow, my older sisters classic Renaissance quality, my younger sisters stunning brightness. I tell ya, I just love it and that is why I get excited about it.

    Fil, I agree that the boundaries get pushed and you are right, how else would we know what the boundaries are without walking to that color edge right? lol (I can’t resist the color draw either)

    Kathryn, the Laura Ashley fabrics are very pretty and I can almost feel what you say in how they look, if that makes sense. I’m still trying to find some way of finding an artist or picture that could express my color and style along with my inner personality. I still need to do more color discovery. My personality is very much happy and playful most of the time, so I love crazy odd things. I also really love blended, earthy, creative vibes. Vintage clothing, DIY crafts, drawing, sewing, running and skiing, are some crazy angles to my personality. I really fit what JK gave me as far as my style percentages go although I would love to get away with more high spirited. Whenever I try to do it though, the classic in me swats me across the forehead. lol I am less Yin than Yang in the style department, but I have no Drama. I thought that was a bit rude. Fits though. (If you get what I mean, he he he)

    My colors are fitting as well, so it goes to show you that God really does know what he is doing. I don’t have as much of the ethereal touches and feel that you do, but I do have a lot of blend to my colors. I have 15% angelic in me, and it is my third highest in style so it comes out in the lightness and my love of vintage things. I’m sort of a color and style ‘mutt’ if you will. It’s kind of awesome.

    I like what you said about the JK stuff. It is true that his ‘Spring’ is almost like Light Spring/Light Summer/True Spring – the lighter brighter and pastel colors. The ‘Winter’ really does seem to be what the actual name is, which is ‘Striking Contrast’ – true colors straight from the tube if you will. It kind of goes with his Summer being greyed and blended – having no brown and almost no yellow, and his Autumn being VERY ‘Earthy Rich’. There are tosses of color across the seasons of JK’s world if you were to pull them out of the SciArt world. Thus the comparing ‘Apples to Oranges’ analogy.

    Lovely ideas ladies. I’m going to keep searching for the illusive artist, or just paint something myself and post it some time. Now THAT would be awesome.

  90. Surely this is one of the most edifying blogs on the internet. Summer, summer, summer. What a beautiful season. I like its….something or other. It’s not working for me. Such a restful spot to put your feet up for a while and feel resolved to it all. But, helas, as the old poetic dudes once said, I don’t, it isn’t, there’s something, etc. Having been analysed in a four season system, I feel a bit like I’m getting to experience the frustration that “the elders” speak of enduring in the eighties with CMB. I recently read that summer is the coolest of all the seasons. Don’t know if that is the case or not, clearly the internet is a mixed bag of information. But it feels too blue-green for me. I don’t traditionally do blue, other than navy. Oddly enough, I’m not bothered by this turn of events. I’m convinced that the basic analysis of cool undertone – though, how cool? – is correct, and I couldn’t figure that out for myself. I think I’d pay as much again just to find that out. I’ve basically gone back to the core colours of my wardrobe, with the addition of a few nice pinks, which I had no idea I could wear. Green I’m going to have to do some serious experimenting with. (Hanging participle). This intense aqua stuff is not doing it for me. On it goes! Slightly more informed, enjoying the journey. :-)

  91. Jane, if a draping isn’t possible, try “meditating” on your Zyla colors. Not always easy to get it figured out, but might give you some clues. Then based on what those colors are, try them near the face in different tonalities at stores when you have a chance — for example, if your dramatic color is a purple, try different purples, bluer or redder, softer or more intense, darker or lighter, see what all of this is doing in terms of “brightening up” your face, your eyes. Try also their complements. You might at least figure out a few stunning colors, and they may well end up telling you your color story.

  92. I hear that frustration, Jane. Isn’t it amazing that the basic cool or warm could trip us up? Its because of the modern neutrals I’m afraid. I well remember ‘photoshopping’ my face onto the palettes in that original cmb book – physically by the tricky use of mirrors! That’s how I ‘knew’ I was a summer- well not the other three anyway. And two drapings confirmed it even in the days when they struggled with my autumn eyes. Wearing the colours though made me dislike them to this day. But the only other option then was winter because I knew I was cool. But- I have no drama or Jewels in my natural colouring. However- the original system had a general Feeling style to each of the four but it neednt apply to you. I was actually not too averse to most of the clean looking printed colours but the swirly impressionistic prints- no way- it would have put me right off. And even then there were the instructions to grey things down , find a home in grey blues or orchids. I mean, do you ladies really love your palettes for decorating? Do you find your eye drawn to a car in your shades , do any magazine pix get flicked straight past to get to one that gives your solar plexus a kick? Or does your eye get changed by your searches?

  93. Susan, I actually do get a visceral and instantaneous reaction when I spot BSp colors. Love the way you put it “…gives your solar plexus a kick?” That’s another way I know, I haven’t notice this same reaction from other colors.

  94. I’d be really interested to know if the rest of you feel like Fil about your colours. I have this reaction to light Autumn (soft or possibly True) alone. Not to say I don’t like or appreciate any others- just not the same attraction. The ones I tend to screen out are Summer- certainly the muteds and that’s what I am supposed to be! I used to get cross with my hubby because he is happy with any of the seasons on me except Summer! He can’t seem to see that that is in itself a kind of selection of a summer season. I do appreciate however, that in photographs, a cool light has a true daylight quality which warm light doesn’t usually. And I’m looking visually for a daytime quality. Yet warm Things, and decor do it for me . Leatrice Eiseman’s colortime clock is very useful to me because it can easily work in the absence of draping and isn’t restricted to seasons. But I still chase the elusive skin perfecting! Do you think that these visceral reactions to colours are real indicators of truth?

  95. I love Leatrice Eiseman’s colortime clock. I’ve heard that time of day is a more accurate barometer of summery coloring than the seasonal/monthly one. Have yet to study it in depth, though.

    Yes, like Fil I also feel at home in the right colors. And to tell the truth, I don’t feel that way in all of my pre-fab palette colors as they are represented (flat). There is one nail polish I got recently that blends with the whole of one of the legs of my pre-fab fan and seems uber-perfect. It turns out that it is an exact match to the color that matches my deepest blush — EXCEPT that it has been lightened and brightened even though it still carries the characteristic softness of SS.

    It’s tricky to compare oneself in a multitude of photographs. What throws me is that face-on, sometimes I appear more opaque than is really the case. It means I can carry off more solid colors in that frame. From another angle, one sees the translucence and everything changes. Translucence is my color truth, and I have been fooled too many times. Whistler was the painter of choice at first, but his colors (not his application) had too much soot or something. Most Soft Summer colors work splendidly if they have some translucence in color or in fabric. Then they can go a little lively, a little contrasty, a earthy. And, really, that is what I feel most myself in. Delicate and soft….sounds like a Light Spring, which is what I stumbled into first. Temp was off, though. The Lights are too bright and light for me, though.

  96. From Susan: “Do you think that these visceral reactions to colours are real indicators of truth?”

    I actually do. Almost like feeling a color’s luminosity, saturation, the particular kind of BSp’s warmth, all of it together almost as a texture or a synchronization of energies between myself and the particular color. Before I place the color near my face, I have already felt the illumination that it will effect. Other times I may dismiss a color I am attracted to thinking it is not BSp, only to find out later it was. There are all kinds of colors I find beautiful, but don’t feel this way about.

    Kathryn, funny you should say, I was going to ask if you ever tried giving Light Summer a try? Softness of Summer, plus clarity and brightness of Spring… I think it is your “Avatar”, I was wondering whether it says SSu or LSu.

  97. Fil–my avatar is the original inspiration I got for my blog at theseapearl.com. It guides my life endeavors. I’m currently working on a souvenir book that grew out of this timeless sensibility.

    Susan, I’m so glad you reminded me to look at Leatrice Eiseman’s clock. I learned about her a lot of years ago when she was focusing on interior decor. Apparently, unlike my more sunsetty SS friends, I fall more into Eiseman’s Sunrise. I can see how her clock could affect one’s place in any seasonal palette.

    I was thinking about this money plant arrangement we have in our living room. Normally, I would think of it in terms of Winter decor and style. But the translucence and feel of the thing is perfect for me. It’s kind of the sense my skin gives, even though I can’t place that it’s actually lighter than some of my more sunsetty Autumnal-leaning SS sisters. I’m really starting to think the words “Fairy Tale Summer” would fit my palette. It has its lights and depths, but they are so delicate at their best effect. Even though there so much Gamine and Classic in my body overall, my face exudes a lot of Angelic, which apparently drives my palette more than I realized. It’s more like the coloring and feel of an sometimes impish fairy sprite….and I feel finally at home and correct in that. A good conclusion to a problematic style category.

  98. This really is the unending thread! I’m actually pretty happy with what I’ve got left over after sorting through and discarding various things I’d picked up in the op-shops (three cheers for op-shops around the world!) during the last couple of, again colour-experimental, months. I would say they’re “Zyla conforming” as far as I’m going to be able to interpret his system. Brown is so utterly fundamental to my colouring – now I know it’s cool brown, which is handy as the golden overcast on my skin does seem to flare up near warm colours – hair, eyes, freckles, all different shades of brown or hazel, I love brown, I need brown, etc etc. Brown, crimson/burgundy type shades, some cool pinks, navy, grey/taupe/dark charcoal, red-violet because I like it, dark purple because it’s so flaming beautiful. That’s it. It works. Now I desire some knowledge of my greens, then I feel I’ll be quite sorted!
    It’s funny, I’ve gone from having a great thirst for colour, to being content with mostly neutrals. I wonder if I just needed to wear all of those colours for a while for some reason. It is hugely educational. Going from buying a warm-pink lipstick because you don’t know your warm from your arctic and then seeing that it’s wrong on you but not knowing why, to knowing even just that, steer clear of warm, that in itself can save you so much time, money, hassle, anguish.
    There are no blues in my wardrobe other than navy and denim, and, thinking about it last night, I realised that blue is my “kryptonite colour”. I don’t like blue clothes, I never look at them in stores, I don’t wear it. Don’t like it. Don’t suit it.
    I would say that the axis of my wardrobe is brown/crimson. If I had to live in combinations/variations of those two colours, I could. Frankly, getting to this (basic) point of understanding has been a rollercoaster ride, and sometimes quite humiliating. So much swatching in shops. Looking half-mad, confused, desperate to figure out what the hell worked. The parameters of available colour are so, so wide.
    Love reading this blog, comments, articles, it’s a real experience. Colour nerds!

  99. Hey Susan,

    Just wanted to pipe in my answer on the colors. Mine is a ‘Yes and No’. I find that I am drawn to lighter colors in my JK palette, but I do have colors in that palette that I don’t like. Perhaps if I wore them more I would see how they look and start to like them more. At first glance though, not so much.

    The Light Spring and Light Summer Palettes are my favorite of all the SciArt pallettes. I just love peach! I wish I could wear it. Every time I see it, it just connects with me. I can wear a slightly more coral version of it and that makes me happy at least. And oh my pinks I just love! One color that looks really good on me though and I am REALLY not fond of is a soft olive. I really don’t like that color and it looks great. So, I just don’t wear it. Great or not, if I don’t like it, I’m not wearing it. I have a hard time with darker neutrals as well. I really don’t love wearing them. I like brights, fun prints, light flowy vintage things on myself.

    When I am looking at blogs, cars, etc. as you mentioned, I am drawn to visions of light bursting through a window covered with a softness that echoes that light breaking into shadow. Sort of like a soft field of wild flowers slightly hidden by glistening trees. Not too soft because brightness is there, but a blending and warmth that permeates everything. I guess my colors show that in many ways, only most of them go a little less bright. I found good examples of two religious painters that I really connect with. Simon Dewey and Greg Olson. Those are colors and expressions I am drawn to when decorating.

    Hope that answers your question!

    I will have to try and pay attention the next time I’m out shopping.

  100. Kathryn: “Fairy-tale Summer” sounds lovely and fiftting (I still remember your pics : ) . Is LSu truly too light? It “almost” appears to have saturated/bright colors.

    Jane: just throwing something out there: Dark Autumn (and Dark Winter for comparison)? If I might, I would also suggest looking up Rachel’s site at Truth-Is-Beauty.

  101. Fil ~ Yes, LSum is truly too something. It may be too clear (but maybe not unworkable). If you go to the lightest SS colors, they don’t literally turn into LSums. At least, they aren’t supposed to. “Soft and delicate” does not necessarily equal “light.” My darker colors can be quite soft and delicate if they aren’t too flat, too saturated, or in a heavy fabric or texture.

    Example: I just came back from the thrift store with a top that will go with everyday things and it’s a RED! In fact, I took an index card with nail polish, lipstick, and blush tones to choose it. Even though it’s not a “fairy tale” look exactly, the top is oh-so-indistinctly heathered, i.e., one would not look at it and think, “Oh, I can see that this top is heathered.” It has the effect of subtle diffusion and appears vaguely “old” (antique) in a nice way, I mean. I might have dismissed it as being “faded” or “worn” but it looks perfect against my skin and no longer looks like a rag! Imagine.

    One of the things I’m learning about my pre-fab palette is to stick to certain colors that totally resonate with my taste and my face. Other colors in there are best as “second thoughts” — for instance, the yellowest green and citrine yellows don’t connect with anything in my face, even though they are correct, temperature-wise.

    My DH found a lovely dress based on mostly a sort of SS citrine yellow with some Wintry-looking colors added in. I said rather doubtedfully, “We’ll see…” and then added, “But what color are we going to lift out in all this to make it work?” I told him that you can save money up front by getting things cheap, but if you have to compensate to make an outfit work, it can cost you more than you saved.

    I made the right choice even if it was only a dum-dum go-everywhere jersey top. It has that “fairy tale” coloring (which is probably the more refined side of “faded” and “worn out”), even though the fabric itself is not sheer. Even darker colors and brights can have that gentled legendary/fairy tale/antiqued effect that turns them “soft and delicate” without going “light.”

  102. gorgeous colors, and I see what you mean. Story book illustrations! Not primary colors, not too light, babiish, colors, more like magical colors that can weave a story. Can you imagine finding a print with the same colors as in the link?

  103. That’s a beautiful illustration.
    Fil – I feel I can wear some colours that look dark winter and some colours that look dark autumn, but I don’t think either of them are “my palette”. Too cool for DA and too soft for DW. It’s interesting to hear both Melinda and Kathryn talk about how they work their colours. I thought a personalised palette was the holy grail! Looking at Roseanne Woolpert’s summer palettes, some of them are very brown/crimson orientated. Whether or not I can wear dark colours objectively, I do live in them. I like them. The analysis I had was definately helpful, but not very specific. She did give me some directional nudges that point to a more sunset or twilight or dusky kind of summer palette, such as “go deep” and “don’t head for the pastels”. I have a fan of 13 generic summer colours, many of which are in the “you don’t have that particular kind of colouring” category, so, it’s a bit like flying in the dark while reading a map by torchlight. Perhaps I wouldn’t want to know exactly what to look for anyway! I do have a list of colours without examples, and they include “blood red and cherry” and “brownish burgundy, burgundy, maroon”, so, like the article says, different systems….I think I just need to avoid the blues, spend more time investigating some web examples of blood red and cherry etc, and see if perhaps it’s about tailoring it and getting the emphasis right. Blues, sweetpeas and aquas are another summer’s colours!

  104. With you Jane on the ‘op shops’ (I’m guessing charity shop- bargain basement?) I can change my wardrobe weekly that way! You must be a little robin in your browns and reds. About blue though- perhaps you are unhappy in the relatively cool aura ? In therapy it would be to do with communication, speaking your truth etc (Hmmmm!) But its made me think about the paint mixing; we always think of added blue cooling a colour- but which blue? What about adding a really warmed blue to a colour? I expect I’ve got the science all wrong! Kathryn I laughed at the Princess and the Pea picture- that’s my nickname because I feel everything! Always cutting out my labels, and filing that awful plastic thread they use on everything. The vibe seems to be just you – Faerie-Gothic…Renaissance Fair? That red sounds medieval. Translucence- have you checked out The Triumph of Individual Style? They really deal with skin pattern and texture there. I fell into Sunrise too in AWC- but my answers were all Sunlight but it’s too warm. Fil – feeling colour! My blind music teacher’s hobby was art galleries where his companion would talk him round. He was always changing the art on his walls so something was going on there. Melinda, you seem to be the only one whose favourite colours aren’t ‘yours’ but maybe you have a therapeutic need of them, or could they be incorporated? I’ve been experimenting with a dusty orchid that fits SS more than the other too but I’ve only just seen how warm it can look and how well it goes with a certain peachy shade! Who knew! (you ladies I expect! Haha)

  105. Sorry – other too should read ‘other two’ . Does anyone know why I have to submit comments twice or even three times? Perhaps the site vets them for unsuitable material?

  106. Not sure on the site mechanics, but have just noticed how much data posting large comments chews through. Might look up that colour-therapy stuff, Susan. Sounds interesting.

  107. Susan, thanks for mentioning RAW’s site. Christine or someone else had posted the link before and I totally forgot I wanted to browse.
    Kathryn, you mentioned gamine and classic, do you know I finally found my “kibbe” on the 20 types of beauty site, they have a gamine classic — at last, my reverse gamine, ie, classic (minimal) with flair!
    Jane, something tells me you have beautiful and very unique coloring, I’m “feeling” Susan’s renaissance fair/medieval vibe.

  108. @ Fil … actually I can’t tell now if those colors are really SS or SA, but close enough to the effect. I can actually go all the way to gossamer/fairy tale princess, too, but I like to MOVE and that’s not always practical in floaty dresses. You should see this picture the DH posed me in a couple of years ago. The fabrics are gossamer, wispy, with one shade orchid near the skin tone and the other deeper. It is so perfect and looks rather like a cross between fairyland and Pre-Raphaelite. He keeps trying to buy me long floaty dresses. Wonder if he really knows something I don’t know?

  109. @ Susan — “Princess and the Pea”? Oh, that’s funny. You have a low pain threshold, maybe?

  110. I’m constantly posting in a hurry these days and keep missing things…. Too much to do!

    @ Susan – Yes, I own the Triumph book.

    @ Fil — Yes, I’ve seen 20 Types and Classic Gamine doesn’t quite cut it there. I came out more of a PT, if memory serves.

    And…off again!

  111. Your DH sounds like mine ,Kathryn- aren’t they sweet! Frustrated Burne Joneses? I found such an inspiring view of Sunset Summer on the RAW page- saying that this summer wears so many (I guess Soft) Autumn colours-‘ yellow greens ,amber, burnt oranges’ -the pre conditioned mind boggles! But she explains why this person is not an Autumn, and also has I assume, cool shades, is because their body and face design needs the flowing quiet summer feel. This sounds like Melinda? Her Jewel Summer has sharper Wintry versions but again needs Summer patterning and style. Wow! Much to ponder.

  112. Susan~ Yes, frustrated Burne-Joneses! :) I keep thinking of this “Sunset Summer” that people talk about. Rose Ann Woopert has a picture of a beautiful Sunset Summer and she is quite dark/deep. Then again, some purported Sunset Summers don’t seem so dark, but they seem to lean warmer. And let’s face it–these names we give to palettes can evoke different things to different minds. I was just thinking that I could probably wear a pink-orange flame quite well after seeing a rosey sunset….and there is a sort of cool caramel I can do, plus a pinkish clay….yet I think I am nowhere near a Sunset type….so perhaps our ability to wear certain colors really is kind of selective.

    If you look in the Triumph of Individual Color book, you won’t find a pre-fab palette, though you will find that they use the matching approach. And I have read that it’s best to select three colors upon which to base a wardrobe. More cohesion…don’t know. But I was thinking that there are certain colors that are more EXACTLY our “truth” within the seasonal palettes. These are the colors that literally pop/evoke the color of our skin, hair, eyes…. These are more limited than our full seasonal palette, which contains compatible colors that don’t actually connect with anything in our faces.

    We can use these extra colors as lowlights of our wardrobe rather than highlights–just like we can with other seasonal colors. And they will always work.

  113. Fil (et al) I thought I had “no colouring” (read “mouse”) until I stumbled on this site. So much food for thought here.

  114. I know, Jane, me too- the only colour – colour is my eyes and I wasn’t allowed to wear them, lol! But now you never know, I just might. Katherine that cool caramel is in Laura Alexander’s book for SS – it was one of my favourites, but Laura’s online diagnosis for me was SA. Maybe they aren’t so mutually exclusive after all.

  115. Yes, I know, whoever invented the soft category was a genius. I just thought I’d missed out on something.

  116. Just got back from a day out. I meant to say “more coherence” back there. Not “more cohesion”~ haha

  117. Hey Susan, yes I can wear all the colors in my palette as accents or mixed in prints and it doesn’t bother me. I just don’t like entire blocks of color in my least favorite ones. To be fair, there really aren’t too many colors that I don’t like at least a little. Florescents are some of my least favorites. Perhaps I don’t like olives because it reminds me of baby poo, pardon the expression. I use to work at a daycare and that might be me associating the color with something negative.

    Sunset Summer could be possible. I didn’t get a chance to read too much about it, but I dont think my personality is anything like that. Might fit my style though.

    I’m trying to look at my pallette from a different light now. Really looking at the colors and seeing the beauty in them. I have been so selfish to want more really. I have about 20 more than my sisters and I want them too. Yep, totally selfish and useless too when I haven’t even truly absorbed mine.

  118. Jane, loved the comment on the personal pallette holy grail. I have to tell you that even JK said there may be other colors that look good on me that aren’t in my pallette and to not just ignore them because of it. Again, if a color works, it works.

  119. Gosh Melinda,did he really? It seems we have come a long way from desperation and despair (well not in your case) to hopeful flexibility- I’m reminded of The holy grail goalposts shifting! I want now to look at RAW’s SA to check that Sunset Summer really is different.wonder if her seasons are identical to Caygill’s.There is a complete breakdown of those on the Yuku site. Jane, how did you come by your RAW swatches? Incidentally, before this little band flies the fold as it surely soon must, without getting personal, which countries are we all in (Uk me) Just curious about all our thoughts winging across timelines!

  120. I’m so glad for this wonderful discussion. It is helping me so much. Ladies, thank you, thank you!!!

    I’m in the Western US, Utah. :D

  121. Oh, and yes Susan, he really did. I loved my experience and I would do it over again hands down! He was so much fun and I am still amazed at his work and how he does it. I’m sure many ladies here feel that way about their analysis as well. Such an exciting journey!

  122. Melinda, what do you mean, you don’t like fluorescent colors?? Neon is the best : )
    You know, there were BSp colors I didn’t care to wear until I found out how great they looked in triadic and split-complementary combinations (I seem to have better luck with visual complements than the traditional color wheel).
    Susan, I am not sure if I am recalling this correctly, but I am under the impression JK said he was going to europe?/UK? this or next year. Send him an email : )

  123. Haha, I’ll tell you the time where I am, and then the time my comment shows up, and you can figure out where I am from that! It’s 07:44hrs here.

  124. Susan, I don’t have any RAW swatches, just looking on the internet. One day I’m going to California. Melinda, yes, if a colour works…can you “see the thread” in your palette, with it’s differing categories?

  125. Susan, I don’t have any RAW swatches, just looking on the internet. One day I’m going to California! Melinda, yes, if a colour works…can you “see the thread” in your palette, with it’s differing categories?

  126. Ah Fil, lol, my niece would shake her head at me too. She LOVES fluorescents. They are just too bright for me, that is for sure! I do have my limits. ;) I do love mixing my colors in different ways too. Too much blend of colors sort of wears as boring on me unless the style of the clothing is really playful or clever. I will have to keep looking into the color combos.

    Jane – Yep, I can see the thread. You are too right there. I have only found one article that works beautifully for me that isn’t in my colors. If you combined two of my colors, a sophisticated mauve with one of my soft browns, that would be it though. Kind of a weird color really, but it works well. The progression of my colors are very much like stepping stones even with my yellows blending into greens, greens into blues, blues into purples, purples into reds and so on. Even a bright lemon yellow that can blend with a deeper dark green because of some similar yellow quality to it.

    I never noticed as much until this thread. Thanks! I’m just so excited that I’m bursting with crazy happiness!!!

  127. That crazy happiness sounds almost fluorescent, Melinda!(kidding) Jane in Hawaii- I have been searching through RAW’s online palettes ,desperately saving all her generous pix. And it seems they are all individual palettes with customised but transferable names. My initial excitement over Sunset Summer was tempered when I found it to be rather warm and dark (DA ish) but I discovered some wonderful Summers- Dusk, Dusty Rose, English Rose , Smooth, Iridescent- and then Smooth-Iridescent at which point I began to get the gist! Most of them had tantalising blacks amongst them, even the lighter ones and some lighter Springs. All the palettes blend beautifully and incorporate a strong style component. I notice Christine strongly approves of this lady as well as JK. Fil, I’m onto looking into his UK visit! But I’m intrigued by RAW and wonder if they are affiliated. Someone was bemoaning that they couldn’t train with her without an art degree! Figures. Caygill and Jk being artists. Oh and I follow thecolorofpeaches and her new beauty site too. I also like Renata’s blog- she’s so sweet!

  128. Susan, US — DC. Was reading the link above more thoroughly, JK’s palette also includes TW, TSp, perhaps also DA and LSu. I know I sometimes entretain strange notions, but was thinking perhaps there is something to that notion of different color axes, based on chakra energies or something, each potentially originating colors in different tonalities, with the undetone being the main determinant, but not the only one. I’ve been obessing over this a little too much since noticing my eye color reflected in my hair …

  129. Hawaii, I wish! I’m in the southern hemisphere. It’s Thursday morning. I’m also aware of the colour of peaches blog, first place that clued me into this differing categories for same colouring thing. The writer is much darker than I am, but really interesting to read her colour comparisons. Melinda your colours sound really like a bowl of fruit! (In a good way) – have you checked out Zyla’s Maverick category?

  130. Fil ~ A Bright Spring, loves neons! Figures! :)

    @ Susan – those “stepping stone” colors you mentioned… Well, it works exactly the same way in Sci\Art, too. I think a lot of women who do the JK/Caygill approach don’t get that. They seem to think they have all these free-floating, unrelated colors. I’m proud of you for seeing that progression.

    Can’t think why I started to mention this the other day, but it ties in with the “stepping stone”/progression thing. One day I accidentally found what is possibly the closest to my core blush tone online. It is called “Tuscan Red.” Well, funny, but there are a LOT of things called Tuscan Red and some of them are darker than others and some look a bit more purply than red. Well, guess what? My deepest vein color (Dramatic color) is the purply form of Tuscan Red! Which tells me there is a progression in the body… I mean blush or deep veins–it’s all the same blood showing through the skin, but nuanced a bit differently. All connected and progressional. I tried progressing the colors lighter and darker to see what happened. It’s very close to the progressions on the SS fan.

    @ Susan — yeah, that bit about requiring an art degree to study with these people. mmm… Colors are only a fraction of what constitutes an art degree and can be learned (and maybe are BETTER learned) outside the college classroom. My DH has an art degree and he sure didn’t become one of the best colorists from his college classes–no, but from dredging up long lost techniques of paint and varnish making in obscure libraries and material culture throughout Europe.

  131. Hey Jane, K girl, you nailed my personality. lol Yes, that is the closest one to my personality that Zyla has. I thought my colors were a little softer than that, but looking at it again, maybe not. I keep trying to find myself in his Summer world and can never quite fit. I do have to say though that John did mention Rousseau as an almost artist for me then gave me Turner instead. Also, I have never looked up yarrow and many of my colors are in those colors. Only catch is, I have to be very careful of texture. I can do a little though, so maybe… maybe…

    Humady, humady, food for thought. Wouldn’t it be wild if that turned up fitting me? Thanks for the suggestion!

  132. Melinda, I find myself between Tawny Spring and Vivid Winter (a cross between the two?) but also can’t do texture so well, or so I thought. But one of these days I recalled a pair of shoes in embossed leather from some 20 years ago, not really my thing (or maybe it is?) that I absolutely loved. And a favorite scarf looks like that popcorn tweed thing. Hmm…

  133. Alas Kathryn, the stepping stones are Melinda’s visionary moment, not mine. Nice though aren’t they? Talking of mysteries- ages ago in this thread, Christine came on to answer Fil, and I’ve searched but failed to find what she was answering, Fil! You seemed to appear afterwards. Spooky……

  134. The chakra thing though- we highlight different ones at different times so maybe the areas of our palettes too- or lean toward different borders? What about the blocked ones ? Maybe the colours we just can’t approach though they ‘look’ good! Total agreement about college ‘larnin’- my degree was music , and though I’m grateful for the alphabet it gave me, its certainly not where I got my eventual understanding. Sounds a bit like PCA? Zyla Zyla- must get that book! Can’t find anything but green veins, and a sort of salmony pinched finger- find myself wondering where Winters find their colours in the body! I expect I’m just Zyler ignorant. Have to do something about that!

  135. Susan, she was answering something I posted on “Silver Hair and a Powerful Presence”. : )
    I now really want to figure out my “other colors” — where are they, what are they? This is what I’m thinking, seasons (undertones) don’t share colors but people have more than one season whithin them (fractals…). Otherwise I can’t explain JK’s analyses. Seems like we have a predominant undertone, but also dabble on a few other tonalities/undertones — and something within us determines what they are and therefore our “full” range of colors. Fascinating — everytime I think I’m done with color…

  136. Thanks Fil- mystery solved. Seasons not sharing colours- what exactly then are these seasons if not people? Will they turn out to be just classification? Or actual light and pigment of the month in question? I once emailed Sandy Dumont – don’t know if you’re aware she maintains that something like 90% of people are cool! She calls body colour matching ‘false harmony’ (which would go with Sciart except for everyone being cool!) But she still talks about the (4) seasons and describes them accurately only to classify the colours- can’t get her to explain why, if she isn’t using them at all. If however we have stepping stones to other seasons for our ‘other colours’. , are we saying they cross the wheel? Doesn’t that mean we would be sharing colours- but the seasons of nature retain their integrity ?

  137. I’m sorry Kathryn that I didn’t reply about the stepping stone comment. Quite the compliment! You have inspired me to look at my pallette to find the connections and then look to see the connections within myself. It is helping to open myself up to so many new things. Thank you! I will have to try and see what other connections run through my colors. This is so fun!

    Fil – JK told me I could do texture away from the face, but only soft fine texture such as a soft small cordoroy. I went through Zyla’s book last night and there isn’t any one personality that could even blend with the Tawny Spring for me that I can tell. There is a snippet of something in a couple of different ones though. I totally see what you mean about the cross between the two for you as also being a SciArt BSp. That is so cool!

    I love the Colour of Peaches article too. Very insightful!

  138. Susan, to my mind, it all relates to how many different factors we have determining our “colors”. And given the complexity, I don’t think any single system/factor can in itself encapsulate/explain the whole of it, though I have seen value in almost all systems I ever came across. Someone with a great eye and sensitivity can, JK, Christine, and all the wonderful people who see and “feel” color in a special way, if they are not restricting themselves to a system.

    So, as systems go, few can beat SciART, I think. That tells me that “undertone” (here I am using it to mean our blush/pinched finger/romantic color, or alternatively, a color that mixed with some archetypal red gives the blush color(s) for each of the main 12 tones/seasons, and therefore determines the rest of that tone’s palette), on which it is based, is a very important factor, perhaps the most important. But I don’t think it can be the only one. So a possibility is that aspects of our coloring that remain to be explained from the undertone analysis can be explained, for example, by other tones/seasons, and in this way you can have people with a different primary season (undertone) who are able to share colors — for example, as a BSp, I may also have a few Winter colors, say, and as a Summer, you may have also a few Winter colors, and if they happen to be the same Winter colors/same tone, then we share colors, because there is some aspect of both our colorings that happens to be shared and is outside of our primary undertone. Fractals…

    I suspect eye color and other pigmentation that we are less aware of have a lot to do with it.

  139. Melinda, I missed an opportunity before to see JK, but I am definitely taking the next one : )

  140. “Doesn’t that mean we would be sharing colours- but the seasons of nature retain their integrity ?”
    I think so. Perhaps seasons can be seen as systems and people as months — like seeing both Autumn and Winter in November? Occasionally even the brightness of a Spring day, or a touch of Summer… So the month (the person) gets the mix, and the season retains its integrity.

  141. You know what, Fil- I have a confession to make. I see things differently at different times. Just like I can always see every argument which makes it hard to take sides or come to decisions(Libra moon) So although I’m able to say ‘yuk’ at me in summer colours and’whew’ in winter and spring, along with my husband, nonetheless when I drape myself( using Irene Ritter’s ingenious bib swatches) I always come down on Summer just like my old diagnoses. I really see it and I know I’m a Summer. But I also see how neon lemon doesn’t wash me out at all which is some feat. Its to do with how we wear things I think. People say black is muted on me- and I know they don’t mean because I’m so strong or bright- they mean because I am muted. I seem to draw everything into my world! It makes me wonder- what would you ladies do with a totally wrong colour- say bright fuchsia or greyed green, that you had to incorporate as an excersise ? I have a feeling it wouldn’t be that hard- I think your true patterns would maintain. I know it wouldn’t be very helpful to have in your wardrobes, but it could serve to make you think about how you really project yourselves anyway without thinking of things not working.

  142. Black and most shades of gray close to my face make me look tired or sick. While wearing it I received a ton of questions as to if I wasn’t feeling well (when feeling great), which was what directed me to look into seasonal color analysis systems in the beginning.

    White makes me look pale and a bit drained. JK told me about a color that was ‘neither here nor there’ for me, which I took to mean – it didn’t make me look bad but it wasn’t connecting with me either. There was one that he said would walk into the room before I did because it was too bright, one that made me look ‘too quiet’, and some that were really awful on me. Sadly he was going so fast I didn’t get to really see which ones those were. lol

    I did see the ‘ho hum’ effect when I was trying on a blouse that was my older sisters and in her palette. At first I thought it was a color we both shared; however, when she put it on it looked great and when I put it on, it just sort of ‘sat’ on me. I could notice the effect because I had tried on two other shirts of hers that made me look great and were colors we did share. At first I thought it was the style of the shirt, but then when I went to double check the color, it wasn’t in my palette. I don’t remember what the color was because it was only the day after I had my palette (my sister had hers done several weeks before me so she had already made some purchases) and I wasn’t looking for the nuances that I look for now. It was very suprising to see that effect.

    I also see it whenever I try to wear a lighter shade of cream than I have. It isn’t bad, but makes me just a tiny bit pale.

    That has been my experience with the colors in my palette vrs ones that aren’t in it.

  143. Melinda, I think “maverick” is one of the only – the only? – Zyla style category that is even vaguely realistically put together. The rest are very movie set-ish to me, but it still does seem like one that would reflect something of you. Where’s the jeans and jerseys category?? Now I’ve looked up Sandy Dumont and she seems to be coming from another angle entirely! Emma Stone in black with red lipstick getting the thumbs up? But, she’s like a light summer or something, isn’t she? “False harmony” – another huge idea to get your head around…

  144. Ladies, you *might* find this of interest. I told my DH about my experiments that yielded up “Tuscan Red” as a core blush color and how it morphed into different shades. He told me that it reminded him of the effects of glazing and scumbling.

    I don’t know anything about scumbling, but he told me that you can take a light glaze and cover another color with it. The same glaze can make a dark color look warmer or a light color look cooler (hope I said that right)… and things like that. He said it had to do with refraction and scattering of particles similar to the sky, which is really black like outer space but has a light at a certain angle. Well, something like that, anyway…. Also, he mentioned how the light color changes for sunrise/sunset because of the angle of the light. When seen through smoke, the color changes yet more.

    So….I’ve wondered if the related color legs of our fans are derived from these kinds of effects. Represented as flat colors in their own right, they maybe lack that certain quality that a true refraction of the original color would give. (?) Perhaps that’s why certain fan legs work in matching (for me) more consistently than others (?).

  145. Yes, have you ever looked at one of your eyes in the mirror and turned so that you are looking with both eyes at one of your eyes? Can’t describe it if you’ve never done it but what happens is first you see your eye colour straight on and then you’re looking as if at someone else’s eye from the side. The colours change completely as the light shines through them. (don’t try this without a supervising adult!)t

  146. Susan, YES! You have it. Probably because you also have hard-to-pin down eye colors, you have done this a lot just as I have, trying to ferret out those Zyla base colors and the like. As a very medium-toned person, my eyes are more likely to look nearly opaque and neutral from a front view, but they brighten or turn translucent (one or the other or both) with a side light.

    Just wanted to say one more thing about this progression of “Tuscan Red” — every time I find a real go-to color in a reddish tone, it turns out to be a progression of this base. Some of the varieties I’ve found appear almost orange while others are closer to a reddish burgundy. When you put them side by side, you can tell they are different, but when you put them next to the same swatch color, they all match! The discrepancies may partly be due to fabric and partly to dye imperfections.

    I also noticed while taking this base color darker and lighter that there is a very logical progression that parallels many of the pre-fab fan colors. The slightly cooler-appearing versions of reddish-pink are harder for me to derive by this means, though. So, again, I am a little puzzled at that. Perhaps there is deemed to be some general leeway, warm to cool, off the base tone. I don’t know.

  147. I’m just beginning to get into this blush thing, and to recognise it’s actually been a problem I have been ignoring. I wonder if it is key. I sort of know the general blushes I need and those to avoid (really warm rusts or hot pinks or pale anythings) But I have been accepting almost any medium roses whilst noticing they all clash with my flat greenish forehead colour. I put up with it because I look tired or ill with no or too subtle blush. I never thought there might be a solution to this. I can’t experiment with lip colours because I can’t do anything of depth or colour even if it really suited owing to my mean little mouth! About eyes- I used to have a book that stated as truth that season depended on eye pattern- inside the iris, not so much the colour as the fibre construction. A friend took some great pix which we put on the tv- better by far than a mirror. My fibres were Spring- but all ours were so that was odd. Unless Angela Wright is correct and most UK people are Springs! I could weep at the colour books I’ve let go thinking they were dated- my library would have been something- sob! I used to have one by a textile artist patronised by the Royals. He had a PCA method using eye colours and corresponding body colours, and I’m wondering if he was connected to JK. He was like Zyla too, but much earlier. Just sent for the Zyla (54p +p p!)

  148. Kathryn, I have thought about it in those terms, funny enough, have wondered whether the eye color pigment is a kind of glaze, or what else could be and what the full range of effects is. Thanks for the info, I will now look it up to help me make sense (if only!) of all this.
    Susan, this is what I’ve found so helpful about SciART — finally some MU colors that work!

  149. Melinda, I hope you got in my comment that the “jeans and jerseys” comment was in reference to my own flash style, not yours. No offense meant! I’ve got a lot out of this thread too. Feels like the culmination of a good year long style/identity crisis. I’ve got my clothes really well organised now, no if but or maybe items, I don’t like having things I don’t use. Much clearer on what works. Great few days hashing it all out with everyone, seemed like there was a real connection going on! Pretty weird!

  150. No worries Jane, I wasn’t offended. :D I thought you were talking of how you wished for that category so it is all good. Even if you hadn’t, I wouldn’t be offended. Takes a lot to make me angry. lol

    I got busy at work and had meetings all night so no time to post my thoughts. You are all amazing. Enjoying the read. Now heading to bed. It is past my bedtime!

  151. lol Totally tempted. I would love to find out what I am in SciArt for the fun of comparing different systems and I confess I would love to see what season some of my swatches would be exact matches for or if I’m just up in the night. Money is something holding me back though. I don’t know if I could fit it in my budget…

    Kathryn, love the ideas about glazing and scumbling. I looked up scumbling on google and I do have colors in my palette that use that technique. Quite fascinating! I have a tinted lip balm, Burt’s Bees Hibiscus, that if I put it over any LSu lip color I have, it immediately works for me. Glazing perhaps or would that be scumbling? I compared it to all of my Romantic reds, pinks, and corals and it had some tonal property in it that connects with all of them. Interesting thoughts…

  152. Hey Ladies,

    I’ve loved the discussion, but stuff is picking up and I won’t have time to come back on here for a while. Thanks again for the fabulous ideas and thoughts. You are all amazing!


  153. Fil ~ my DH says you are right about the glazing in an eyeball. He also says I am right on about the effects of scumbling and glazing. This has implications, because it means a more subtle palette is going to be far more affected than a clearer one.

    I have matched a couple of things to my SS palette that were spot on, but when I got them home, they were too bright and clear. So, I recommend that a Subtle woman with a pre-fab palette match her item to both the palette and ALSO to her face just to check. The closer a color is to my literal blush, the easier a time I have… I never have to check those. Also, the closer a color is to my literal vein colors, both bluish and purply, the less I have to recheck those. But when we get into subtleties, more care is needed.

    I have half a mind to get my DH to do a small video to show the effects of glazing and scumbling. He likes teaching. He’s going to do a small demo for me. This is right up his alley. And now we have all learned something we didn’t get before: pay attention to fabric finishes, dye subtleties, any color-on-color effect, etc., things effecting 3-D type changes. These can alter the accuracy of anyone’s “match.”

  154. Not just their match but their makeup too, Kathryn. I suspect my powder foundation would be better either scumbled or glazed, judging by your example pix. I think it might make colour that isn’t really working more effective in a translucent finish. I’m going to experiment when I get up in the morning!

  155. Guess what? I’ve finally put together a sample color palette of examples on Pinterest that I really, really, really feel relaxed and totally right about. One of my main colors, dusty slate, isn’t even on my pre-fab palette. It’s between legs or something. Some of my others can go ridiculously light for SS. And there are a couple of richer colors that are actually lighter and softer than their closest counterparts on the palette. They’re well within SS, yet I can see where it needed to change. I’ll still be using the pre-fab palette, but with adjustments. What do you think now? I finally feel I am “home” in my own skin. :))) http://www.pinterest.com/kalulub/fairy-tale-summer/.

  156. Wow, ladies, interesting discussion. English is not my mother tongue, but hopefully I’ll manage to explain what came to my mind. Your discussion inspired me to an experiment. I was draped (not in Sci/Art, actually I have no idea what my Sci/Art tone is) as a brighter version of Light Summer. In my experiment I’m trying to create my own customized palette using my body colors and colors harmonizing with them – slightly lighter, darker, cooler, warmer. I realized I have a certain range of colors that are still good – e.g. my blush color – there is not just one color. I use Sci/Art palettes as they are available on the Internet and the program Paint. I copy and paste the chosen colors into a separate file. I am very surprised at what colors I need to use – mostly DA, then DW, some TA, some Softs. Not Light Summer. Even the whites of my eyes are not in LSum white. Perhaps with a serious mixing of colors I would be able to achieve my body colors, but the colors as they are in LSum palette are not usable.

    I think the custom palettes comprising body colors and colors closely harmonizing with them are generally softer, browner, yellower than Sci/Art palettes. Let’s say someone is a brown eyed True Winter. Probably you could achieve that brown by mixing TW yellow, red and black. If that person had their palette done using their body colors, the brown would be there.

    I think analysts using body colors for creating palettes use these colors in a more direct way. And Sci/Art somehow draws colors emanating from beyond the skin – from the undertone. It is possible that in some people these two approaches meet, others just must decide which approach they prefer.

  157. Mimi- glad to see you again! Your comments about not quite LS made me see in my mind’s eye the original 4season Summer but tailored to fit. Because if LS didn’t have enough depth you couldn’t go True because it’s too cool( for- body colours?) And you couldn’t go Soft because LS needs more clarity. I found this myself. I admit your selection of some DA and TA seems on the face of it odd , I too went with dark browns and several clear Autumn greens and so on (but I admit I still don’t know!) As Kathryn points out though, surely in Sciart like other systems, the colours by sheer volume must fall between the legs of the swatches? I like your wisdom about the two approaches. I wish sincerely I could make a choice and hope that when I come as close to you people in knowing my basic direction I might stand that chance! Kathryn- your Pinterest showed me I now you from somewhere where I followed your ‘paintshop’ SS imageboard! Wonder where it was! First day of the makeup trial- no foundation cos I haven’t any!

  158. Thanks Susan! I understand my LSum palette as a palette based purely on my imaginary undertone. I was never able to find my eye, hair and natural blush colors there. I thought it was normal.
    I’d love to fit somewhere neatly, but I’m still confused about my colors. I’m enjoying reading your discussion :) I agree there are much more colors than showed in the color fans.

    I’m still working on my experiment – I chose some DA and DW corals and warmer pinks as my romantic colors, because LSum corals are too clear and pastelly when compared to my natural blush, TS too cool, and in the pics Soft seasons are really very soft. I would look pale in such a lipstick. Springs, BW and TW are too bright, so I’m moving to the other side from LSum. I’m working only with the pictures of colors, perhaps if I had real color fans available my choices would be different – maybe they’re more saturated and I wouldn’t need to go into Dark seasons.
    I realize it’s not perfect choosing colors this way, but hopefully I don’t go completely far off either. I can see my blush is warm pink to coral, not cool pink. And in my skin it appears slightly browner than in the LSum palette. It would be best if I were able to choose colors from just one Sci/Art palette, but I’m not. It might by due to the limitation of working with just the pictures, limitations of my vision and interpretation of colors, or it happens with custom palettes that they can go through several Sci/Art tones. Having influences of several seasons in one person could explain it.
    I’m having fun with creating my palette – it gives me more options for comparing and experimenting.

  159. Mimi, I believe it is true what you said, being open to different approaches may be more rewarding in the end.
    Susan, you may have a lot of fun doing a blush project, since it is a MU article that you like and use — you could probably find a number of great recommendations for all the seasons here and at Rache’s site.
    Kathryn, what a beautiful board you created : )

  160. Mimi, your ideas are exquisite. To those thoughts I add another thought that shouldn’t be too surprising if we consider it. Just because we fall coloring-wise into a “season” doesn’t mean we should automatically wear every color of that season equally. After all, in the real world every tree and every flower does not display all of the colors of that natural season either. They stand as a single item in the middle of a vast landscape of many colors. Some seasonal colors are just left better in the distance or in the background.

    Susan, you probably saw my experiments on a FB group one time.

  161. Fil, thanks. Being open to different approaches you can consider different options and then decide which approach is closer to you.

    Kathryn, thank you. Yes, some colors of a particular season simply relate better to a person’s coloring. It’s a beautiful comparison you used.

  162. Kathryn, I think your pinterest board is really beautiful. Have come across your comments on Yuku here and there, always something to ponder.

  163. It’s been a few days now and I want to tell you all (if you’re still reading) something interesting I discovered. (And maybe this will snap something into place for Christine, too, if ever she runs into a client with similar color effects.)

    I was wrong (and right) up thread in something I said before. I revisited David Zyla’s color system. My eye color is the one bit of confusion regarding my SS color palette…. I said it wasn’t on the fan. Well, in a way it sort of is. If anyone has a 12-Tone SS fan, my dominant iris color and iris rim are at approximately the 5.9 and 5.10 positions, respectively. You would never know it, though, because the eye colors are sooooo greyed down that they don’t appear to match at ALL. You may say they are in the same palette but in a different REGISTER–like a minor note in the middle of a major key melody.

    I was pondering how to wear these colors with the SS palette. I happened to be wearing a pair of shoes that are exactly in my dominant eye color while I was out shopping. They are the shoes on one of my Pinterest boards here: http://www.pinterest.com/kalulub/the-color-of-slate/

    While I was out, I found a picture frame that exactly matched my shoes except that it was much, much deeper like my iris rim. So *that* was my formal base!

    When I pulled out the SS fan later, I considered how to wear those two slate colors (mine has a hnt of blue with a dash of warmth) with anything in the SS palette. (Jennifer Butler would likely use my eye colors as straight out neutrals.) What I discovered is that if you fade down the colors of the SS palette a bit more , VOILA! you have a palette where the brights become much more workable with the dominant slate tone. I believe the deeper slate would also work with the deeper colors of the fan.

    Anyway, I’m now looking at my fan in a new light. Apparently, I needed to change the “register” just a bit so that the brights still keep their sparkle but become subdued into “gently enlivened” colors. Photos don’t always tells us the full story… Flat-on, I look like I can take more saturation than I really can. Fil remarked upstream about the curvature of the eye ball and we talked about glazes and things like that. Same principle. In 3-D, my coloring comes off as very subtle, yet still gently enlivened.

  164. Kathryn, you’re back! Coincidentally the Zyla book came this morning and I haven’t read it all yet but I was pleased to notice that one’s True colors and so on can be our versions of the basics which might diverge- eggplant or olive for browm and so on, also that you may or may not wear the brightest versions of your vein colours. I take this to be according to your 12 tone season. As for the archetypes , I’m having fun trying to fit, as I expect you all will have, two artistic types into each of the 12. I can just do it but they are not in the wheel’s order. I confess to some confusion about your problem-solution with your fan. I only have Christine’s book to go on, but I imagined the SS to have a little leeway between the colours so long as they didn’t become SA? Looking at your Pinterests though I was excited to see my all time favourite blue (I call it Midsummer night’s Blue after a poster I had as a child of Oberon and Titania) If this is the blue you mean, or the lighter one anyway, I expect you were concerned it is too warm? And your solution is to grey it down? Do you own SA swatches to compare yours?

  165. @ Susan — I appreciate your comment on the Zyla book. I borrowed the book once and didn’t pick up on the thought about one’s true colors being versions of certain basics or about not wearing the brightest versions of our vein colors. That totally escaped me. That makes so much sense now!

    At one time I owned a cheap version of the SA fan. I, too, thought primarily in terms of cool-to-warm concerning SS-to-SA. Things fall off the edge very quickly for me when colors verge into SA (thought I love SA).. Same was true trying to go TSum. The slate edged me that direction, but blue-grey goes too cool in a hurry if there isn’t a hint of warmth there. As to leeway… Christine and I have talked about the saturation of the pre-fab SS fan, and it is at the highest levels that any SS woman can take–is it because a too-soft fan would scare some women away? Several SS women and I have tested around an average of 19% saturation in our coloring (in photos), whereas the SS fan is at 45%. My personal averages have ranged from 7-19%. Forty-five percent is a huge increase, when you think about it. (Likewise, some BW fans are said to be at 98%, which is far higher than most BW women can possibly possess in personal coloring. That’s why I’m starting to think the fans should be viewed keeping in mind personal tolerance ranges rather than exact ranges.)

    About the Midsummer night’s blue– well, it’s definitely related. Yes, yes. Some of its related shades are brighter than others. I have a dress with a bright shade of something like it in the print (SS shade, actually–for me “bright”). The background color is an icy shade of an SS green that mitigates the extra strength of it. So it’s not overpowering for me in that setting. That’s another way to increase one’s leeway–having a background that changes the dynamics a bit. The “midnight blue” Crayola crayon is a close color, too, but would be too severe on me full-strength.

    Whether the Midsummer night’s blue you are thinking of would be too warm for me, I don’t know. In any case, greying would help a lot, most likely, though I suspect the SS version is still likely to be better.

    About Zyla’s archetype wheel– Some of us asked him about it once and he said it doesn’t have to correspond exactly with one’s season. His chats provided me with some evidence that, like Caygill, he simply made up the types to go with what he typically runs across. But it’s just a guideline. You can have practically any archetype in any season (thought how the Mermaid type could ever be True Autumn escapes me just now). Bottom line is that you can create an archetype for yourself if it seems to address the spirit of your palette’s expression. I put the palette together first, found paintings to refine that. My exact archetype is still in a little flux, and I didn’t name the color palette until finding the most static effects of it.

  166. Yes I noticed Zyla thanking Caygill in his book- it makes sense. I too fell for the mermaid archetype- especially as it can be a faerie or sprite. Noting your Little Mermaid avatar too! As for it being unlikely in Autumn, interestingly in the UK shamanic wheel, Water is attributed to the western season of Autumn. And I’m thinking of the Mermaid’s undersea garden of sea greens with that almost rusty dull blood red seaweed- the whole picture could go SA or SS with a twitch of temperature and saturation. I saved an interesting SA palette on your page from Robin—? The right side colours look so Summer it reminds me of Barbara Jacques’ Muted Light rather than the seemingly rather warm SA in Christine’s book. But I think I’m getting that your TMIT is saturation. Your boards seem( IMO) to be exclusively cool albeit very low saturation. Would you say this means you consider your actual body tones to be the arbiter of your season or is it merely coincidence?

  167. Oh, yeah, I think everyone’s body tones are the actual arbiter of any palette, seasonal or otherwise. I like that you can imagine an Autumnal mermaid. I can, too, if I really consider it. My first mermaid avatar was SA autumnal, come to think of it. She’s beautiful just the way she is.

    I pulled out my 12-Tone palette again. Since nailing my colors down, I started a fitness routine again. My favorite exercise mat is a soft and creamy, dreamy green. It matches my 12-Tone palette perfectly. Yet if you stand back a bit you realize it’s just a hair softer. Mainly my palette is too clear/sharp in places, but I can wear most of the colors if we step them back a bit. It may be that I really needed an extra leg of neutrals–slate tones. It seems to be a needed a segue between neutrals and color-colors to complete the package for me.

    My goal is to be able to shop without thinking too hard about it anymore. For me, it’s about wholeness in life. I started my exercise routine after neglecting that part of life, beauty and focus and am so happy to let go of the scarier part of figuring out how to dress without wasting money. I hope everyone finds a track that makes them feel whole and carefree.

  168. Kathryn, I so need to do some indoor toning! Now it’s Winter maybe? Not so much of the dressing dolls as seasons eh? Lol . I confess you still confuse me – about your shopping being so difficult till your palette matches your body saturation so exactly. Does anyone’s?( I don’t know of course) I’m curious- does your artist husband agree with SS?

  169. hmmm…didn’t quite understand why I confused you. Good question about people’s palettes. Well, presumably, if you individualize your palette, then your palette should reflect your overall “feel” in addition to your general quadrant of the Munsell color sphere. Yes, you could just do a shopping trip with a mass-produced fan and come out generally okay–better than guessing. It’s similar to requiring shoes in a 7AAA and someone says, “Isn’t the 7 going to work? After all, it’s still a 7.” But only you know that your feet slide around in this “almost” fit. But it’s the standard and everyone wears a 7B, even if they would be better in a C or D. It’s still better than a 6 or an 8 for them.

    True, color matching is not required to wearing clothing to cover the body’s nakedness. It depends on how together you want to be and whether you want your clothing to go together so that it can be interchangeable.

    Does my artst husband agree with the seasonal approach? Well, he tprobably thinks more like Caybill, if I had to compare. Plus he hasn’t applied his knowledge so much to human coloring, so he hits and misses sometimes. But when he first dressed me for a sitting, he matched my coloring spot on. So, he sees things when he really thinks about it.

    Does that answer the questions a little better?

  170. Susan, wish I’d thought to mention this above. Pre-fab fans are similar to ready-to-wear clothing and makeup because they attempt to hit that bell curve of typical traits possessed by most of the population. Many individuals have some trait or other outside of the bell curve and it will be an extreme of something that most persons don’t possess. It may be that most people have a mix of traits falling within the bell curve and some outside of it. Hence, the need to have clothing altered and things like that.

    But this may serve as an example: I got a perfect blush tone at a makeup counter. It is absolutely perfect according to the palette. When I got home and applied it myself, I thought there had been some mistake. It was too bright and heavy. I checked, double checked. I went back to have a different clerk check the findings of the first clerk (they use a similar color system). The second clerk confirmed the first clerk’s opinion. Hoever, she expressed surprise that we had to tone the blush down so much. Probably the coloring was within the bell curve, but my skin falls outside the typical limits of saturation tolerance. Now I apply the blush to an absolute minimum and then smooth it out further. It is still the best match I’ve ever had.

  171. Thanks Kathryn- I think I get that you want to be standardising so you can purchase a coat say, then separately a bag, from your swatches. I guess I had just taken for granted how hard that is anyway. I think what I’m missing is – I thought the Sciart swatches were as near as dammit perfect, and though limited of course by number, would stand for all the inbetweens from lightest to darkest in a given colour.I think I thought that the 12 tones WERE customising the original 4- or else we’re getting onto the 16, which Christine sees no need for. Can I assume your pre-fabs to be Sciart ones?

  172. My fan is 12-Tone, which is based on Sci/Art. They are as near perfect for the broad populace as possible. It’s not actually any harder shopping with a totally individualized palette, though. Either way you are looking for ranges, but they are shifted slightly when you individualize it according to the triad of hair, skin and eyes. That triad is what grounds you in a unique “look,” even though you (your skin, at least) can wear most of the seasonal colors without clashing. The 12-Tone (as well as Sci/Art) omits an entire range of neutrals for me since it omits an important piece of that triad for me, which is neutral rather than a color-color as it’s represented on the fan. It doesn’t mean the system isn’t great. It is the best start for do-it-yourself refining if you choose to take it to that level. My guess is that most women of a seasonal category can jump straight into the middle of their palette and look wonderful.

  173. That is So interesting. I’m going to have to re-examine all the seasons- pardon my ignorance ! I really thought Sciart was IT with some way out additions from Zyla or Kitchener. The ‘neutral leg’ you are missing- do you mean greys browns beiges neutrals, or are you lacking neutrals that are colours but neutral in that they are less cool or less warm? What did you do before 12 tones( if you’re old enough to remember)? I know you had a SA fan- was it for comparison only? Did you go through the 4 season struggle? I realise that SS is your base and needs softening sometimes. If SS was mine, could it need clearing in general or is that only for LS do you imagine? 12 tones was difficult for me because it focuses on one quality none of which I seem to exhibit and excludes the others which helped mitigate things. Summer has now to be all muted, all light or all cool. The decision is harder not easier.

  174. Oh my giddy aunt! You have really made me revisit the palettes. Althought Christine’s book is not the swatches I have been flicking through the colours like a Victorian magic lantern game. That way I have picked up on the idea of hers of the tree seen from 3 sides of sunshine to shade. So I get the brightness of LS with its touch of almost warmth created by clarity. And I’m remembering Carole Jackson saying Summer (and Autumn) have both clear and muted colours- because in those days they did. Even then I would have been happy with my palette had I felt justified in missing out all the muteds. Later with the 12, not having the body tones for all light or cool I seemed forced into Soft. But my hair is only dishwater and the warmth in my eyes seems Spring! I Could be a light- as Jane says and I have now registered, it is full of bright colours- in fact None of them are what I call muted. Also today I had the amazing experience of seeing how my mother has morphed from a winter- either BW or TW Snow White anyway- into a TS! Black is no longer any good and blue greys win the day. It has suddenly happened – before that she was one of those forever Winters, and she’s 79 this week. I haven’t yet tried LS but I have high hopes- and it squares the circle .

  175. Susan, I think it’s hard to guess your Sci-Art season. I tried and failed and it seems that most of the people posting here who have tried to guess then had a draping have been wrong. I haven’t been “Sci-Arted” – the glorious excuse of having to cross land and sea to get to an analyst seems fairly reasonable to me. I also have “fear of SSu” and wouldn’t want to be draped into that palette with certainty, whether it suited me or not, I find it too low chroma across the board, for me. Can you get a sci-art draping in England? Lol, your husband preferring you in black – at least he knows what he likes in a lassy! ;-)

  176. That’s a nice site isn’t it? Reminds me how I love all colours. It would be expensive for me to travel to London and also pay for draping- to say nothing of explaining why I have to take a break at the time when the analyst could see me , to my unsympathetic family! All they see is my many colour books and remember all my past attempts. But the main reason is as you say- fear. I know from these blogs that even Sciart have differences of opinion, and I fear I should attract that! Then I really love the palette rendition in Lora Alexander’s book, but can’t forget she analysed me as SA which in truth I would love to be , but fear I’m not. Then again there isn’t a single cool colour in my eyes so i’ts understandable. I’m reading a book on Feng Shui chic- that pays no attention at all to PCA! I admit that what keeps me pursuing all this is not vanity (well not completely!) but a sort of conviction that aligning with your correct colours will somehow make you flow through life with more ease and luck. You’d think I’d never been to school-lol. What I’m wondering tho is this; have you ever seen people or celebs in one great palette for them, and then a totally different one, just as great, or the same one but not so good? I know there’ll be official explanations of this- but what if sometimes we exhibit traits of one, and other times another? Or maybe people who really embrace their palette start to become it- like dog owners sometimes resemble their pets!

  177. Susan, ovulation. Too much information perhaps, but it is scientific fact (!) that when the female ovulates her skin brightens. I feel like I look in the mirror sometimes and see bright skin and want to wear bright colours. Also my skin has changed in the last three or so years since I entered the late 30s. Somewhat ruddy and sun damaged, which cannot be avoided in NZ unless you stay indoors your whole life. Plus some kind of hormonal fluctuation in the last few years – could it be aging? – has changed the landscape of my complexion. I never used to have the dreaded “goldy overcast”. Cool colours do help to diminish it. I don’t know, I think it’s complex and the celeb photos are so adulterated, who the hell would know. I can imagine it costs a lot to get down to London. So get the fear thing. Would avoid online analysis myself because, although a way to save money, it would never convince me and also, I think the flesh needs to be present to react to the drapes. But surely it’s still risky – you’ve got to have a competent analyst. Sci-art makes, or appears to make, very fine discriminations. Perhaps it’s more obvious and less intensely detailed in action.

  178. Always the voice of reason, Jane! I’ve got one of those in my head somewhere- if I could first find it, then listen to it. NZ? You are So lucky- if I lived there I’d go hang out in a hobbit hole and never bother about PCA- lol.

  179. Sorry if you hate hobbitses! But we fell for NZ when we realised all the good stuff was coming from there- Xena, Hercules, LOTR- then ridiculously late I found Crowded House and Bic Runga! Presently filling the gap left by Orphan Black(from Christine’s parts) with The Almighty Johnsons- so far so good? I don’t travel I goggle- and Google. But you are right, we can’t guess Sciart- although C. credits folk with sometimes figuring themselves out. I seem to hold some ‘truths’ ; I am sort of a summer. Often I can wear black. To some extent it’s all bs. Haha! Believe it or not I kinda make that work most of the time. I have some priorities tho- I do not want to look ill ( not slim enough for Goth or grunge) Actually that’s about it! On Zyla- I know people get blurred about his pinched finger stuff and essential colours etc but actually he lists the possibilities according to the 4 seasons so you could select your skintones backwards by knowing your season. You couldn’t really get your 12 tone one from it though.

  180. Haha, I’m a bad kiwi, I haven’t seen LOTR, can’t stand local tele, spend all my spare cash on my BBC costume drama collection! Actually I’ve only got the Gaskell collection and Bleak House circa 2006ish. Haven’t got Zyla’s book, not sure if it’s worth it?

  181. As an aside, I don’t think there’s anything “wrong” with your way of thinking about colour – I wouldn’t want to sound like I’m rushing in to flatten everything out. Confusion and creativity are, in my experience, absolutely following on the heels of one another. Although usually it just feels like confusion until the penny drops, after hope is lost and the project has been abandoned, of course. I wouldn’t want to interfere with anyone’s creative process!

  182. Boy you’ve got some catchup to do film TV wise- treats all round! I include the Beeb stuff! Zyla- jury’s out but it cost 54p on Amazon!

  183. Susan, I’m scanning hurriedly due to lack of time. In reference to what I did before Sci/Art, I tried the four season approach first and then wound up in the wrong season for a bunch of years. The missing fan leg is an aqua-to-bluish-toned neutral grey.. It’s mainly a set of shades that falls between the cracks and is hard to suss out unless you already know where to find it.

    The color-colors of blue-green are related to these and would have connected with my skin anyway. These neutrals and color-colors do not segue easily into one another as the legs of color-colors do. I simply needed a set of greyed taupes to go with my hair and a set of blue-greened taupes to go with my eyes. This is probably not an extremely different process than a brown-eyed SSum finding the dominant neutrals in her eyes. Triumph of Individual Style shows I am split between neutral and analogous coloring. My more jewel-eyed SS sisters usually can generally pick up their eyes more readily in the color-colors than I can. It is easier for many of them to get that hair, skin and eyes triad out of the fan–and this is probably the norm.

    I agree with Christine that we don’t need much more than 12 seasons. You could divide the color sphere into 60 types if you really wanted and there would still be women falling outside of some boundary. It’s easier just to find your general range in the color system and then refine it down to saturation and brightness tolerance, and then also to the most dominant colors of your hair, skin, and eyes triad.

    Well, I feel like I’ve finally conquered my color palette and that’s a relief. . BTW, I mentioned toning up. You ought to check out Callanetics if you are interested. The founder of that system died last March, but it is the best life-practice exercise I have ever found. And HARD when you start, but strengthening as you go. It is a no-impact type of exercise that will stand you in good stead, even when you become old and decrepit. :) It gives you the body of a ballet dancer.

  184. That’s great Kathryn- love the image of bluegreened taupes- I’ve seen it in the shabby chic palettes of a couple of years ago. I have a fine checked trench I can never quite get rid of ai think it’s that range exactly. Going straight back to my Triumph book to see what I might have missed. As for Callanetics- I seem to remember it as being a bit like the basics I still do from Lottie Berk – where you streamline the body and don’t develop muscles. Oh for the shape of my ballet days! Will look at that, thanks.

  185. Just read up on Callan Pinckney- wow what a life! And she studied with Lotte Berk ( to correct my original spelling) who knew? Anyway I’ve sent for the Callanetics for the Back one! Always my first consideration as I can’t do many programmes including yoga. Chi Gung is great but for toning Lotte Berk and hopefully , Callanetics.

  186. Wonderful, Susan! Do you know I didn’t even realize that Callanetics had ever been a craze? I knew no one else who did them when I first tried them in the 80s! I can already see a difference coming in since starting the exercises again.

    Now for an update– I’m so giddy!!! My work skirt tore the other day from “sea to shining sea” in an accident. So today my DH and I went for an excursion to find something cheap to replace it. I knew he’d be trying to dress me, so I pulled up my Pinterest board and said, “See! This is what I want to shoot for.” Naturally, you cannot go on a single trip and literally achieve an exact palette or anything.

    So we got there to the thrift store and I had to confront the limitations before us. I found a pair of khakis that leaned taupe (!) like a nail polish that works on me. Since moving north, I’m painfully aware that my Texas wardrobe doesn’t quite work. I had admired the bright color-colors of the ladies who walk in the park across the street from my house. I ended up with a beautiful purply color coat that is my Zyla Dramatic color (it’s in the SS palette). The compromise is that it’s a bit more saturated than the fan–maybe on the border with DW? But I don’t care…it’s cheap and it’s a FUN thing, so it will work.

    Also, I found a deep SS-ish red skirt (also more saturated than I wanted, but will still work fine) in a print. Since trying to figure out what prints go with a Classic/Angelic/High Spirited (a la JK) mix, I finally recognized it! It FELT perfect. It has a nearly Asian feel. There are quick brush-stroke-like flowers that are kind of circular in shape, but with blurred edges. They give a feeling of floating, happy energy and yet are so dreamlike. “So *that’s* what a print should look like,” I thought.

    Then I found a cotton pima top in a dusty bluish slate. It blended with the sample color I bought. Got it home and wondered what it would look like near my slate shoes, which are vaguely greener (but only a drop). It doesn’t matter! They are perfect together.

    All of which to say that I am so, so, so glad to have begun with Sci/Art and then added the hair and eyes to form a triad. Perhaps if someone wants, I can share how I got the right tones for hair and eyes without messing up the Sci/Art-inspired palette. I am not an expert, but there are some things I learned about sussing out the right shades that might help someone else. And then maybe they will find some more tips to share.

    Christine should be proud that even those of us she does not get to meet in person benefit so much from her openness to inquiries. When I got the last refinement of my palette, I said, “This is it!” And I just knew, you know….? DH confirmed what I thought.

  187. I for one want to know about they eye- hair tones! You might not remember I’m testing out LS and trying to put it together with Zyla, which is fine. Except my darkest eye colour , rim excepted accordingly, is a really amber yellow! I know elsewhere he advises your own version of colours, but I’m not sure there is a quite dark or strong version of lemon to use as my amber. I really wish I could find a complete Sciart printout of the seasons too or even a list of the colours- I certainly can’t afford to buy all 12 spectrafiles (even if I narrowed it down it would be 8 possibilities!)

  188. Still going strong : )
    Susan, have you clicked on the Dress Spot link on the right-hand side? Not sure how accurate the palettes are, but they look ok at first brush.

  189. The eye color thing, this is what I meant by glaze, that perhaps this pigment glazes the hair, the skin (overtone). Sometimes people belonging to one season/undertone are said to have eye color that belongs to another season, could this perhaps be the reason for the “out-of-season” colors many, if not most, seem to have?

  190. Thanks, Fil. That’s worth thinking about because in fact the amber around my pupil is of course not flat and dense- looking through sideways it breaks up into thinner colour, maybe made up of bits of ‘lemon chiffon’ if I really stretch it! I’ll have a good look for that dress spot when I get to my computer. It doesn’t seem to appear on my phone.

  191. Also – it might explain whether the amber is sunburst or Aztec star- if it was a spring sunburst , that would or could point to my Secondary being spring (light) rather than autumn(soft) All adding up!

  192. Fil, I’ve had similar thoughts about the superficial melanin that covers us. If I look at my face straight-on in some photos, there is the presence of a sort of “halo” of warmer melanin (autumnal) surrounding it. However, I’ve yet to meet anyone who has tried matching this sort of thing with any success.

    The undertone seems always to be much stronger in people than the overtone by its effects if not by its visibility. Undertone is notoriously difficult to “see”. I believe the skin layer is much like the eyeball. Straight-on, you will see some things showing up that aren’t the whole overarching truth of the skin. But consider that 75% of people are said to fall into neutral seasons. Could that be the reason we are neutrals in the first place? That we really have a cooler or warmer undertone and the overlay turns us neutral? It would seem to create Soft Summers out of Summers and Dark Winters out of Autumns. Does overtone also turn warmer people neutral — say maybe you, Fill, are a Spring with a cooler overtone making you Bright Spring? IDK.

    Some women have gotten their exact eye and hair colors matched and those colors fell outside of their dominant season. One was excited when she was given a more autumnal green from her eyes and then still hated it when she tried it on. It turned her skin weird. In fact, another lady was given a color outside her generic season and told to wear it in a velvet because that would make it look cooler. ????? Why, I wondered, wasn’t she just given a cooler color in the first place? Oh, I suppose it helps to know that light hitting soft texture makes it look cooler just in case you ever want to know… but…???

    Another piece of advice given to someone was to shift her (supposedly) non-seasonal eye color to a cooler shade to match her season. Someone else suggested that the (presumably) non-seasonal colors in our eyes often look to us like they belong to another season, but that in reality they are warmer/cooler than we really think. For me, this turned out to be true, but I could not tell it with the naked eye –not even with swatches at first — until I learned a certain technique.

    Now I have not tried this technique on anyone else, so I don’t know if it always holds true. I did find out that my eyes were not quite the colors I had believed them to be for most of my life. There are optical illusions involved and it took a helluva lot of time to figure out what was causing them. My two dominant colors give what I call a “reversible raincoat” effect where they sometimes reverse which one dominates.. They each make each other look warmer and cooler than they really are, plus they sometimes create a third color by optical illusion that isn’t really there. Also, if you hold swatches up to an eye, any border surrounding them is going to have a bigger effect on your comparison than you’d ever believe. Add to that light changes, plus pupil dilation and…oh my….

    I think I have learned a technique to bypass most of that confusion. It’s a lot simpler than we think. I don’t know how perfectly my observations corresponde to the terms used by Jennifer Butler or David Zyla (“lights of the eye” and “calm color”), but they seem to work so far.

  193. Kathryn, those anecdotes about people are very revealing, I’m so glad to hear them. To their credit, my early analysts must have been working with undertone because my warm eyes were ther for all to see yet didn’t influence either of them. I recall now, one told me to play down the yellow in my eye as it would ‘ kill the colour’ (green) The other agreeing that ‘Summer’ blush was too pink, admitted spring’s and Autumns wouldn’t do and that she had nothing for me! This begs the question- if we find our exact pinched finger colour and it’s out of our season AND doesn’t suit us, I’m guessing we are not seeing the real colour, just as you suggest with eyes. What you suggest also about under-overtones sounds majorly important. My ‘DH’ says I shoulda woulda been Summer but the yella salla overtone needs stronger colours to combat it. This goes against PCA wisdom where your colours correct everything. Wondering therefore if the overtone balance is a) TMIT and b) changes ever. Don’t leave us hanging about you eye technique though!

  194. @ Susan — Sorry, I got so caught up in Fill’s comment that I overlooked yours about wanting to know what’s up with the eye tones.

    I’m going to be honest here. The easiest way to a do-it-yourself sussing-out of eyecolor is to start out knowing your season. The blush tone is THE controlling factor because its the most reliable barometer of your overall color temperature. Seasonal systems add an automatic array of colors to go with the blush tone. I wonder sometimes if they accomplish that in the generic fans through a mathematical procedure where they take so many degrees of warm/cool and saturation deviation from a pre-determined clear, true-red (for the blush temperature) and then match that deviation to all the other true colors. You can see that there is a temperature and saturation arrangement built into the palette, which is why they work for so many people.

    I use the palette as a tool by which to check my own ability to “see” colors. I look first for the hue, and then to see if something is cooler, warmer, deeper, brighter than whatever’s in the palette. When you look at your eyes face-on in the mirror, you will see things that aren’t visible from across the room. Rarely will anyone else see you this close up. When I look at my eyes, I see a wash of brown in the outer rim as if an overlap of color has sloshed slightly over the edge. And this is more interesting because my eyes aren’t brown. When I take photos of the eyeball in any direction, this color does not show up.

    Melanin is said to be really brown, even when eyes are blue. Also, we have pigmentation on the inside and underside of the cornea in differing strengths, so that it appears as different colors in people, owing to light refraction, saturation, and placement of melanin. If melanin is really brown and I can see it only at the curvature of the eyeball looking face-on, is it any wonder that no one but me can see it? I had to eliminate that color from consideration after finding that out through photos and commentaries from others. This shows how tricky the eyes can be. The conundrum is seeing our own eyes as others can see them.

    So I recommend you get a good mirror plus a good camera. The camera never tells the full truth, but it will help you see that what you *think* you see may not really show up to anyone else.

    The Technique:

    Go outside about 10:00 a.m. on a regular sunny day–preferably in the warmer months if you live in a very northern latitude. The light is too blue most of the winter. You want a well-lit spot in indirect sun. Take your fan palette and anything else you think might relate. .

    Forget what color(s) you *think* your eyes are. You are not looking at eyes here–only light waves coming from them. Pick a spot in the outer iris that you think most represents that part of the eye.. If you have two or more stand-alone colors in that one spot, you’ll look at those separately. But you are looking for a dominant hue. It may have tints and shades and that’s okay. You just want the most overall hue. Take your swatches and see what comes closest to that. If you find an overall match to the color temperature and hue, then narrow it down again.

    Make sure that the color on the swatch is directly next to the eye. A border around it will throw off the comparison. You have to have COLOR against COLOR. Now see if you can distinguish a difference between swatch color and eye color. Is the swatch greyer, clearer, dustier, etc.? And this is what you want to ask every step of the way. You narrow and narrow and narrow. Use magazine clippings if you need to add more possibilities.

    You can do this for the color(s) of the inner iris, too, and also for the rim. Find as many colors as you can, but remember that the colors have to bear an impression across a room if they really figure so importantly in your coloring. You’ll want to check at a distance later if you think you have matches.

    Okay…so you get your most exact matches. Take photos of these matches directly next to the eye color you think they are like. Take them face-on and take them sideways. Take them in a 3/4 shot. See if eye section and swatch still match in a camera shot. If not, you are still “off.” Also, see if eye section and swatch match are still the same when you shift lighting situations. If they turn different colors in light shifts, they are still not the same.

    If you have a true MATCH when you’ve gone through all this, then take your matching swatches and check them out in a regular mirror. Does the matching swatch also look good against your skin? Does your face glow? Does it provide a pleasing accent to the WHOLE of you? Does/Can it work with the whole of your palette? If it fails against your skin or your palette, it’s still “off.” You’ll want to reconsider whether you’ve guessed your eye color too warm, cool, etc. (Or, if you’re sure it’s exact, then let us know and maybe we need to see it as a color that can be blended vestigially into the whole of a garment. My own eye colors do not belong to another palette, but some claim that theirs do.)

    Also consider whether you need to lighten or deepen your match for best results. What’s your range? Can this color work as a darkened, greyed or browned down neutral? Does it work best as a heightened color-color? Some color experts take it both directions. You may find that the inner eye color is what Zyla calls a “calm color”. You may also find that another color isn’t even in there anywhere, but it seems to pop the whole of your eye (possibly because of color interactions in your eye). It may be an eye enhancer.

    Sometimes you can find a color that seems to wash/pop over the whole of your eyes when you wear it even if it isn’t literally in the eye. There are a couple of colors that do that to mine. One of them is a light SS green that plays into the optical illusion of where my inner and outer iris colors meet. Put that swatch up to that spot where they intersect and that color is simply not there. But a quick glance at my face while I’m in that color will convince you for a moment that you see it there. Look for effects like this. And remember that if you see an effect only one time in one thousand glances, it’s probably not important enough to mess with. No one else will be able to see it.

    Hope that helps, Susan. These steps also work for hair. The most important coloration in the hair is the darkest part next to the scalp. Second is overall hair color. The part lightened by the sun is vestigial and maybe can be blended into the background of a garment if it’s different than your season.

  195. Whew. And whew. I am Going to do this. I might need a holiday but I am going to ! Thanks! Oh and maybe another camera for Christmas! Incidentally, I did get that dress spot link down and wow the palettes are so helpful Fil. They’re all so great to be getting on with. Did anyone notice there seem to be no greens at all in SA- is it just our monitor?

  196. Sorry for the previous length. It’s hard, hard, hard but you can probably do it. Much easier if you have someone who can look at this from the outside in. Good luck to you, Susan. I hope you’ll let us all know how you fare. It’s detailed because I know the pitfalls and the sense of wanting to beat your head on a wall. Trying to spare you that part. :) LOL

  197. No apology needed- looking forward to the book (seriously) perhaps co-written with Fil for colour psychology ,Melinda artistic layout and Jane for pithy headings! Incidentally Christine has looked at my eye and at last I know it’s not an Aztec star! Waiting to see if it’s a sunburst or donut- confusing when you have everything going in such a small space (plus myopia and astigmatism!)

  198. Susan, you’re the best — I can see the title of the chapter already: “The multi-dimensional psycho-spiritual dimensions of color — a physics approach” : )) (we need “dimension” in there twice, one for me, and one for Melinda…)

    Kathryn, thank you for explaining your technique. I tried it yesterday, hardly the best day as it rained here all day, but was able to discover a couple of surprising things:
    – firstly, my main eye color is a burnished yellow/orangey-yellow color, and I also have some light-bright yellowish-green lines around the outer iris (not the rim that is the first base neutral). I have concluded that neither of these does all that much for me, except in a print. The joint effect of these two colors is a light-bright greenish-yellow (I’ve seen it at JCrew a few times as “Neon Kiwi”) that I used to think was my Tranquil color — I now think this is actually my Energy color and I do indeed love it. In fact, full-on neon/saturation in general is very good. Its visual complement, a vivid/fully saturated violet-blue (a medium-dark color — “Ultramarine”) is also a good eye color enhancer.
    – I think you are right in saying that eye colors can act as a good neutral in their darkened and/or neutralized versions. Perhaps this is why I’ve always loved a charcoaled darkish forest green. I feel so relaxed in this color, I’m coming to the conclusion it must be my Tranquil color!!
    – so there you have it, a light version of my combined eye colors seems to be my energy color and a darkened and neutralized version of this seems to be my tranquil color.

  199. Eyes certainly do look different when you’re up stupendously close. I’ve got line-free donuts! A sign of summer!

  200. I sort of had a go too but I’ve yet to find a lot of paint chips and fabrics in place of swatches- plus not knowing my season etc. But…. I have a really good photo, front on, which I also have on my phone. You can see the base, the creamy crackled overlay and the amber sunburst or donut? Complete with many black spokes – yes right to the edge. This time though I upped the zoom to the point where every colour pixilated into little oblongs so I was able to view each section as pure colour. This was amazing, if it can be relied on. I could see how the rim becomes the base and although looks grey, pixilates into a bluey purple! Where the pale cream yellow covers it,it turns greyed jade as a mix I guess. But the pixi colours become brightish yellow green and blue green, all much brighter than in ‘life’ . The amber pixied into some bright lemons, but included a light mustard( which is the whole centre in reality.) As a footnote I saw in the mirror that the grey (purple?) rim seems to cast a shadow of blue onto the surrounding white- never saw that before- wonder what it means. What do you all think about pixilating the colours? Also, today I had to go shopping for winter jumpers- Very unwillingly as you can imagine! I fell back on two inexpensive ones , a light burgundy and a medium clear-ish blue green – summer colours I have been fairly safe with.Couldn’t resist a shortish pleated satin skirt in Summer’s soft fuchsia to wear at Christmas- well I intend to cover most of it if I can later find a fine Fairisle (saw this look in a mag but with a fabulous rose gold sequin skirt- they had the same in the shop but I hadn’t the courage!) Then a cardi I fell in love with in a charity shop, mint, strawberry, sand and charcoal cheerful flower print. Haven’t a clue but I don’t look ill or silly in it!So- the usual collection of safe generic Summer colours without fixing on any particular one.I think I actually need Summer, but as bright as it can be. I used to think that was True. I imagine it’s Light. It’s a fact I can’t go dusty . Sorry to ramble on so! I’m afraid the dream of radiating one perfect vibe is still far off!

  201. Susan, don’t give up. As to pixilated colors, they are kind of a random and sometimes match part way, but usually not all the way.

    Personally, although Sci/Art does not have Summer/Winter crossovers (which I understand the reasons for), there do seem to be True Summer women who seem clearer than others (to me, at least). Wonder if you are at that intersection between clear/dusty? Wonder how you’d do in the clearest brights of TSum?

    Also, that kind of Aztec thing you have in the eyes… Here’s something tricky about yellowy parts of the eye… When I wear certain blues, the inner eye color starts to pop out and it seems a little golden. I tried SS’s citrine yellow against it and it’s not a match. There is a taupe that is near perfect, though. It’s not very yellowish nor even golden. It just looks that way under certain circumstances…so that’s why I say to look at naked color with the actual swatch color against it in good light and see if your eyes are telling you the truth. See if those colors could just about be an extension of each other.

    Beware of the Law of Attraction wherein some colors take on the appearance of an adjacent color. Also, look out for reflections that bounce from somewhere else. This will take everything you’ve got in you to figure it out.

  202. That’s an interesting suggestion ‘intersection between clear and dusty’. If it took place WiTHIN TS it wouldn’t be a crossover as you say. The season itself would just zoom and expand and the dustier shades would nudge over to SS. Hmmmm. Reminds me of Carole Jackson’s ‘Summer who just missed being Winter’ – I used to discount it because of my warm eyes (but we know better now don’t we!) They really are amber though, no taupe is going to match I’m afraid. Calista Flockart appears to have the same eyes and she’s said to be a SA though I would see some sort of Summer. Thanks for getting how much of yourself this takes.

  203. Had a thought while you’re probably all in bed! What if the seasonal wheel is a sphere? The eyeball as model somewhat. So that like Christine’s tree in 3 stages of sunshine , there are even more dimensions to a season. I think I once did a diagram years ago but I’ve forgotten- wish I kept all my crazy notes! An even madder possibility; in some form all the weird PCA systems could hold, from different windows of a sphere. Just say Sandy Dumont’s idea that humans need cool clear colours did apply at a certain basic level. Then you peel a layer of the onion and find a colour wheel or something. The further you uncover your truth the more you refine your season? Circles and spheres are occupying me just now- I even found a circular Australian oracle deck yesterday when I was supposed to be clothes shopping! By the way, Sir Isaac Newton professed at the end of his life that he wished he hadn’t wasted it on colour( dire warning lol)

  204. Susan, the Munsell color system that ALL of these PCA systems rely on IS a sphere! :) To reach the masses, they have to be based on a general bell curve of the most likely things found in human coloration–hence, the “wheel” fan instead of a sphere fan. (Boy, that would be hard, too!!!)

    I kind of understand why there is no TW and TSum crossover in some systems. If you take the John Kitchener approach that we are all mixes of things rather than just one thing, it starts to make a little sense. Also, I wonder whether the clearest TSum would look as clear standing next to a TW. If you stood a TSum next to a dusty SS, she might look pretty doggone wintry until you stood a TW on the other side of her.

    Also, does this not once again hearken back to the notion of the EFFECTS of our coloration as opposed to the colors themselves? Some of us maybe lean more towards our clearer (relatively speaking) colors, other to contrast, and another towards Lively Bright effects. And some may be a sort of general mix.

  205. Gee- Munsell sphere , who knew? I’d like a look at that. Kitchener, doesn’t he use colours from both Summer- Winter and Autumn- Spring across the wheel, or not? I just assumed. I wonder too about simultaneous contrast . For instance,why is the effect of say, teal blue and its opposite reddish orange, or cool blue and yellower orange not applicable to skin undertone? Red orange should clarify the blue undertone of summer and winter and cool blue enhance Autumn and Spring golden skin. This isn’t so but why? I digress! Looking at the Çolor Clock , the (neutral) Sunlight palette is a mix of light- soft Summer and Light Spring, but the most muted dusty shades are shuffled along to Sunset. I could I think exist there, in Sunlight, without the clear TS /BS-W colours at all, because of her judicial use of black and crossover true red (not I think Winter bright red, just clear neutral red. Like Spring used to have ) Wonder what happened to all the different season’s reds? They made it hard for me to find season, because I never met a red that didn’t seem to improve me. But now they don’t seem to be there even for comparison. We need reds at Christmas!

  206. You’ve probably looked up the Munsell color sphere already, but if not, here’s a link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Munsell_color_system

    At the right side is a picture of a sphere and they decided it can’t be a never ending sphere after all. I guess it builds out like a sphere and then maybe some parts of it keep going.

    “Munsell’s color sphere, 1900. Later, Munsell discovered that if hue, value, and chroma were to be kept perceptually uniform, achievable surface colors could not be forced into a regular shape.”

  207. From Susan: “The further you uncover your truth the more you refine your season?” truer words haven’t been spoken, I think.

    “Red orange should clarify the blue undertone of summer and winter and cool blue enhance Autumn and Spring golden skin.” Some PCA systems describe the overtone of True Summer and Winter as being orange-y. And the overtone of True Autumn as blue-ish. Not sure about TSp. This seems to provide a built-in balance between undertone and overtone. I have noticed this on some TSu and TAu, not sure it holds true for all, or whether it is a matter of perception, one way or another, that can only be decided by comparison.

  208. You ladies are mines of information. Can’t wait to check out those Munsell ideas. And you know Fil, that makes sense – I’ve seen that myself! In fact my husband has the bluest white Celtic skin and he’s a Spring, though blonde rather than redhead. His auburn sister had the same skin.

  209. My mind works overtime. If it (tends to be?) the Trues who exhibit the opposite overtone i.e. TA blue- what if the neutrals actually have more of the undertone showing through the opposite overtone and therefore look more neutral, or are more easily missed? I think one of you talked about neutrals this way earlier- but I’m wondering if this opposite undertone effect could point to season. Of course it could be what Sciartists (and other good analysts) do anyway, with or without realising. So- if a Winter looked moe obviously bluetoned, they could be more likely Bright or Dark than True, as we might have imagined. Bit of an odd idea but that’s me!

  210. It’s interesting you say that about overtones and the cool seasons, over at TIB site you can see that the true summers have been “oranged” in their make-up and clothing at different times. I was referred to as an “autumn” at a make-up counter tonight. Was glad I knew different.

  211. I know. I was done on Prescriptives as a blue-red. Cheekily went to the same counter months later and was orange -red! Christine’s new article is very interesting indeed. It shows how you are not to expect perfection from all your drapes even Sciart- they tell you what you are and which of the eleven you aren’t, and that other season colours will not always be less good enough to decide you yourself without draping. I guess it’s not rocket science then- but might just be magic!

  212. Still thinking about undertones… Irene Ritter’s method begins with hair (largely) this indicates skin temperature , then eyes point to secondary season, ergo chroma. It’s wierd but her seasonal and bodyline knowledge is excellent, just not Sciart. So warm hair to her points to cool skin- I always took it to mean warm since she then used warm season colours. But with simultaneous contrast, what if she didn’t? Of course the opposite (cool hair ‘warm’ skin cool clothing) would mean ‘warm’ undertone ) would apply then. But I’m wondering – what IS undertone? What if we Only have overtone. underneath it all isn’t our blood and sinew the same? Take a blue skinned Warm – the overtone could be pinkish, making that almost violet shade some redheads exhibit. Not enough yellow to combat the blue. Would that lilacy skin make them Cool in Sciart? IDK. But Irene R.says not anyway. Conversely, the Cools , perhaps sallow or orangey in overtone , need much coolness to provide definition. What I’m trying to say is – perhaps it’s about all of us being the same blue and red below the skin, with varied overtone demanding contrast, match, or definition. Am I saying anything? ! Think what I’m saying is perhaps what we do with the match-contrast thing is where Sciart comes in . But maybe the scientific talk about undertone could be modified.

  213. Susan, this is cutting edge! Could well be — it begs the question, is the blood running in our arteries and veins that different from person to person (I’ve seen plenty of it in my professional life, and it doesn’t seem to be…), or is it a case of smoke and mirrors caused by differences in skin overtone — here, we do know there is plenty of variation from person to person. So an important aspect of PCA (as in SciART) would be to synthonize to the “blood/blush” color(s) as they show (or are able to show) through the skin/overtone, in order to magnify this factor (the undertone) and balance the person. As if the SciART drapes were a device for detecting an optimal wave length with which to balance the skin (the perfecting the skin thing). It appears to me there could be other aspects of coloring not so closely related to “undertone”, which perhaps causes some people to have “outside-season” colors.

    Yes, I think IR means warm undertone when she says warm hair/cool skin/warm season, or cool undertone when she says cool hair/warm skin/cool season. Then there is the issue of the “neutral” seasons, it could well be that it is their overtone that has this neutrality, which causes the perceived undertone not to be too extreme on the cool-warm scale. Just speculating, but lots of interesting stuff to think about.

  214. Still on eyes, I’ve just noticed how much grey there is in my iris. You really do have to clear your mind of preconceptions. They’re very mixed. Not much help seasonally, but interesting nonetheless.

  215. Still just speculating too , but if the Trues exhibit more overtone : warms=pink over blue=lilac; cools=orange yellow over blue=green sallow – and thus need purer temperature to combat\define skin, then the outer neutral seasons’ overtones should exhibit less overtone in the cools, looking then more blue and so needing less cool ‘reparation’. Whereas the outside neutral warms should exhibit more warm overtone thus again needing more coolish ‘reparation’. It’s the same effect but quite mathematically represented.

  216. Susan, could you explain the last bit again–just to make sure I understood correctly. I think you’re on to something important here.

  217. “Cutting edge” — Thank you ladies, for an amazing new perspective! We are learning something important here…

  218. A self-absorbed intrusion on an important conversation – ladies! I’ve found it! I found my colouring! I found it in the current issue of the Colour me Bewdiful book, which I purchased this afternoon. I’m a deep. It’s all there, I know it’s the right fit. Wearing two dark colours at once – when do I not do this? I can wear black I’ve recently discovered as long as I match it with something else dark like speckled dark charcoal or black/brown, and a good lipstick. I know it’s right. Perhaps it is true that different people find their fit in different systems. Wanted to share my good fortune! I’ve learned so much on this site, there’s no way I could have picked it a year ago.

  219. Jane, that’s exciting! Personally I think Deep is not as alarming as it can be painted even when you don’t look dark- there’s just something about it . The DW for instance looks really friendly IMO. Great good luck with it! I know about trying to get my head round the last bit and not sure myself but here goes and remember I’m presenting this as fact for ease , when it may not be! So – all human undertone is surface vein coloured , blue . Overtones are yellow orange pink brown skin coloured. True seasons exhibit more of their Opposite Temperature , calling for stronger-purer mother season colour. In the case of TA , more blue undertone revealed means more orangey colours needed to clear , balance or define the skin. ( it doesn’t need blue because it has ‘enough’ ) Moving onto SA , more warm overtone covers the blue in varying degrees, so less warmth and more cool clears or defines the skin. All the opposites should apply to Cool seasons. I’m really only putting together the seemingly odd ideas of hair temperature having its opposite skin yet wearing same colours, with the odd idea that all or most humans have cool undertones. ?

  220. To throw a spanner in the works- Jane’s revelation may have something important to this subject too. Perhaps some colouring is so diverse or even CHANGABLE- think capillary activity- that contrast, almost regardless of temperature, is the best thing to clear it!

  221. Which CMB book was it- ? I thought I’d read them all. I wonder if Christine will write that hinted new one!

  222. Susan, Susan, I think you have it. Makes sense logically and intuitivelly. The blue undertone as a staring point — might it be the foundation or undertone for the **overtone** — the place where color building for the skin/overtone begins — so we start with the blueish appearance of the superfical veins/capillary beds in the dermis (even though they are not truly blue, as hemoglobin is the main factor determining blood color, even that with less oxygen), then on this foundation we add carotene in the dermis and melanin in the epidermis. So we all vary in the amount of carotene and melanin in the skin, but we all pretty much have a similar circulatory system, so this foundation is truly a foundation we all share.

    This was an interesting read: http://scienceblogs.com/scientificactivist/2008/04/17/why-are-veins-blue/

    What we call the **blush undertone**, perhaps more of a function of greater or lesser blood flow through the capillaries (the capillary activity you mentioned), plus greater or lesser ability of the superficial veins and capillaries to dissipate heat, plus the thickness of the skin ( might even be that Brights for example, have greater heat dissipation and thinner skin), plus how this all looks through a person’s overtone. So blush undertone would be a matter of perception/an illusion?, stemming from skin morphology and physiological activity of superficial blood vessels, and this gets picked up by SciART drapes, for example, because somehow certain skin characteristics and certain physiological patterns differ from season to season.

    Another interesting one: http://www.crutchfielddermatology.com/treatments/ethnicskin/doesskincarevarywithskincolorandtype.asp

  223. To refine my last point, and as Susan also indicated in her last comment, what in SciART is called the undertone would be the exact hue, in the exact degree of saturation, and in the exact value (light–dark scale) and temperature, so as to balance the overtone.
    And this may be why SciART/Christine has assigned blue as the undertone for TSu, for example, likewise, orange for TAu. This same calibration can then be used all around the color wheel to find the best colors in each of the hue families for each of the different seasons. The **blush undertone** will then correspond to colors resulting from this calibration process in the orange to red-violet range, I would say, since no one blushes yellow, green or blue : )
    And of course, there is a match between this blush color derived from calibration with regards to the overtone, and the blush that is perceived coming through the skin — perhaps also some complementary colors dynamic taking place.

    OK, enough speculation for today, “y’all”!!

  224. oops, just realized a previous comment is awaiting moderation, so the last one may not make much sense.

    Jane, happy for you, I thought the Deeps/Darks might be it for you, from your own description some time ago : ) Now, there is so much that you can do and explore to confirm this. Wish you color bliss!

  225. Thank you! Still in excited mode. It’s the 2010 edition of CMB. The woman in the deep/cool section sealed it, she’s no darker than I am, no more contrasting, no more spectacular. Deep I get, Dark, I do not get. I couldn’t put myself in that category. Who knows, it’s a self-diagnosis and I could be wrong, perhaps I’m a soft, but I can’t wear it with any amount of joy, so why go there. Pictures of Deep/Dark celebs are always really dark eyed/haired people, the contrast thing is talked about so much etc etc. And I probably am cool-neutral colour wise. Definitely erring cool, but I need richness. CMB deep is a bit different in its description. You don’t have to contrast the crap out of things. Also says two light things or one med, one light is your death knell, and I just look like a space-cadet in those combos, really, really unanchored. I feel like I’ve got cotton-balls for ankles if I dress light. Plus, aarrgh! I don’t think I’ve had a very good handle on how comparatively med-dark my colouring is. I had two very dark parents, I’m light light light compared to them. Someone foundation matched me yesterday Warm sand beige? What? Didn’t buy it, but interesting how other people see you. Thanks for listening, for sharing, the under/overtone thing sounds pretty heavy! I agree Sandy Dumont has some interesting stuff to say about the predominance of cool. I wonder.

  226. Think I got it, Fil! Yes , I figured Sciart had it sussed really- and I think you’re right as to why. Undertone is a misnomer I suppose, though we get hung up on it. I suppose it’s used as a catch all to explain why we are not going with the visible overtone. To me though, it sets me on a whole different path because I’m fascinated by the seasonal personality , perhaps because I come from astrology. Therefore if I imagine an undertone to be the opposite of what we previously thought, or even uniform, if we go with the cool theory- then the whole introversion-extraversion paradigm is affected(see Angela Wright. Introversion -extraversion being nothing to do with shyness or flamboyance of course, but merely whether the subject is outwardly or inwardly referring. I’m sure you know that!) If those still held then they would have to refer to the overtone.Otherwise reverse entirely! But this is theory- can’t compare with the joy of finding your colours, whichever system leads the way. Eh, Jane?

  227. Congratulations, Jane! An idea about the Warm Sand Beige (was it a Bobbi Brown color? Someone put me in it by mistake one time). I have it on hearsay that David Kibbe has commented on a certain person who convinced the makeup companies to put yellow in the foundations to correct blemishes/redness. The result, as he is said to put it, is that women can scarcely find a foundation that matches anymore. We don’t all need correction over the whole of our skin surface. So, I wonder if that’s why the too-warm foundation some ladies are finding. And I’ve heard some say that if you have neutral skin tone, you need to choose a cool foundation, if it’s warm you should go neutral, and if it’s cool you’re out of luck.

    Sandy Dumont does have some interesting ideas, yet I’m still not impressed with her overall methods–if we are talking about dressing with authenticity that is. Her goal is psychological (product packaging –power dressing rather than finding ‘authenticity’) and so she tends to dress everyone in “executive Classic” clothing. Sometimes I’ve agreed with her examples of color on skin and sometimes not–depends. Have you seen her in the black? She looks ghostly, the makeup is more ‘there’ than she is. So….. ??? Maybe depends on what you want to achieve.

  228. That’s true, Sandy does have a style – blazer with flower? – and everyone gets plonked into it. Could be her business angle – newly corporate and wondering what the hell “business wear” means. Have you read her blog? Her obsession with Katie Couric is quite humorous. Possibly borders on harrassment. You can hear her yelling at the television. This is a woman who built a small empire out of a piped blazer with floral brooch, and a story about a red dress. I would say she’s a brand.

  229. She reminds me of Joan Rivers. Part broad, part god-given willpower, part vulnerable wallflower vows never to be that small and weak again. A roaring mouse.

  230. I’ve just completed a chart! It explains to me anyway, how mistakes in season might happen. Picture the wheel, all 12 seasons round it , following on in the usual way. Applying the concept that hair points to mother season, eyes to secondary means e.g DW is Winter-autumn. Hair must be W and eyes A. For this purpose only, TW is Winter-summer (W hair, S eyes) This produces the image of people who may at first glance look like other seasons- eg a DW with dark hair and really A eyes which for this purpose they Must have- could look pretty much like an A. Now, if you examine the circle and note each season opposite ( Cools, Warms, Soft-Brights, Light-Darks) you get clues as to which seasons might be under consideration and which you must or should at least be. For instance, I have trouble between SS BW, my hair being S eyes A- or so I thought. Turns out my eyes aren’t A, but maybe Sp – and my hair isn’t W so I’m moving onto the S hair Sp eye axis. Its opposite is DW which as a palette I have worn and do like. But here, my eyes would have to be A and hair W- which it isn’t. So I’m looking at LS- which coincidentally, I am doing! This is all conjecture , and I hope not too confused. How does it work with our new DW – Jane; do you have hair within W’s borders, and importantly, could your eyes be A? I’m not trying to test your results, but rather my theories!

  231. I figured the reason the system quaranteened my earlier comment is because I included two links. Here it is again without the links, it was just before the comment that starts “To refine my last point…”

    Susan, Susan, I think you have it. Makes sense logically and intuitivelly. The blue undertone as a staring point — might it be the foundation or undertone for the **overtone** — the place where color building for the skin/overtone begins — so we start with the blueish appearance of the superfical veins/capillary beds in the dermis (even though they are not truly blue, as hemoglobin is the main factor determining blood color, even that with less oxygen), then on this foundation we add carotene in the dermis and melanin in the epidermis. So we all vary in the amount of carotene and melanin in the skin, but we all pretty much have a similar circulatory system, so this foundation is truly a foundation we all share.

    What we call the **blush undertone**, perhaps more of a function of greater or lesser blood flow through the capillaries (the capillary activity you mentioned), plus greater or lesser ability of the superficial veins and capillaries to dissipate heat, plus the thickness of the skin ( might even be that Brights for example, have greater heat dissipation and thinner skin), plus how this all looks through a person’s overtone. So blush undertone would be a matter of perception/an illusion?, stemming from skin morphology and physiological activity of superficial blood vessels, and this gets picked up by SciART drapes, for example, because somehow certain skin characteristics and certain physiological patterns differ from season to season.

  232. Susan, another brilliant construct. You know, a lot of what you said here seems to point to Lsu — you talk about Summer colors a lot, and also the need for brightness and clarity. So…

  233. Hmm, not sure the CMB deep palette reflects the DW, but, potato potato. The hair and eyes question – I have to say I’m not sure, to be honest, and I wish I had a clearer perception about these things, but I don’t. Autumnish eyes? I would think so.

  234. Reading my last post gives me a headache so I pity the rest of you- unless you have more sense than I do and skip it! It’s just I spent a bit of time charting I R-s system alonga Sciart’s. I made it fit but- so what! The palettes are nigh on perfect as they are, and the more knots I tie myself up in, the more it looks nutty on paper. Ticking boxes and squeezing into charts is probably a recognisable symptom of something dire! Hope I don’t pass it on .

  235. Fil I haven’t looked at those links yet cos it’s bedtime but I surely will tomorrow. You know a lot about blood! The carotene I get would be orange-yellow. Would it cover sallowness or is that something else? Thanks anyway for humouring my’ obsessive ordering’ It does seem we are getting somewhere though, maybe our contribution to the Sci of Sciart? Blush- interesting. Someone (who?) once said no one should wear apricot blush as nobody’s blood is apricot! Not sure that strictly applies but I often think even warms look better in a ‘natural’ coolish pink (IDK) Eyeshadow though- notoriously hard to get right between popping and shading and defining. So close to the skin – that should be a task for the dedicated seasonal colourist!

  236. Susan, do you enjoy playing with Roget’s Thesaurus? Or putting books back where they should have been anyway when you’re at the library? Speaking of astrology, what’re your details?
    Fil, thank you for posting those articles. Loved the skin-types breakdown and the stuff about blood pressure force and artery walls. High cholesterol making a lot of sense all of the sudden.

  237. Jane, correct me but isn’t the CMB Deep still divided into Deep cool and Deep warm? Autumn eyes- tick, and if your hair is wintry it spookily confirms my evil plan! (don’t encourage me)

  238. And the melanin actually, we’re heading into summer so I think my melanin will be cranking up, hence Warm sand beige?

  239. Just got yours Jane. Going to bed but can’t resist- yes I’m an obsessive! Yes to the books. Astro: Capricorn sun Libra moon Pisces rising. Equals strong work ethic, sense of justice, all hidden by nebulous indecision and swimming in all directions at once! Oh and bug eyed too (that’s the fish) Night…….

  240. Susan, yes those are the divisions. My hair MIGHT be wintry. Might. I think I’m just skimming into the category of Deep, in general. So…you might have to broaden your test group before world domination. The thing I like about CMB’s deep is that it doesn’t poke you into winter. The picture of the real life deep cool lady could be just that, just some kind of deep cool, some category destroying deep cool. Summer/Winter etc is never mentioned. Just warm, cool, deep, light, soft, warm, light, cool, deep, the tonal or flow thing.

  241. Aha! I understand about not just being another version of winter. So much of this is what we want too. I think Pisces resists typing, but Capricorn wants it like crazy and Libra justs needs it settled- yesterday! What is your first house then if Nep is in it- and your sun and moon? Feel free to just give rank and serial number.

  242. Lol, a bit of an astrology fan, so…Sun Aquarius, moon gemini, ascendant scorpio, the neptune is in Sag, Ascendant’s at 25 degrees so plenty of room left in the first house. My venus and mercury are in Capricorn. Fourth house sun, seventh house moon, mars also in gemini in the 7th. Ninth house Saturn wide conjunction with the MC, sitting at the top of the chart glowering over everything.

  243. I have that saturn MC conjunction too – tell me about it. It’s my chart ruler so it gets personal! Ascendent 16 degrees so I’m half in as well. Also have Mars and mercury in Sag conjunct MC- so there’s quite a bit for Saturn to glower over. Perhaps I should be grateful for that Pisces ascendant or everyone might be put off me! As for style and colour Venus in Aquarius would have me all nice and streamlined- if it weren’t for that pesky Uranus opposition from Leo that injects Vivienne Westwood style eccentric tiaras. Partly kidding, although…..!

  244. Loved the vein article! I can wow my hubby now who thinks he knows everything. Seems it is all about surface skin after all.

  245. Susan, I wouldn’t think Venus in Aquarius would be so conventional, if that’s what you mean by streamlined, or do you mean streamlined as in weird space-age technology body suit?

  246. I think I meant clean and uncluttered in a sort of above it all way. Kind of distant and aloof- but then Uranus in Leo suddenly decides to get noticed and not always in a good way. I used to get laughed at for wearing ‘Susan colours’ for instance!

  247. Fil, thanks for all the info on blood. I was just wondering about all the thicknesses of blood vessel walls, etc., etc. I think Susan is onto something about this starting with blue. Now I wonder–do we really all have the same color blood? We shall have to do some finger pricks with a bunch of people… This is gonna get pretty weird.

  248. Love that, Kathryn — I’ll volunteer to do the pricking ; ) Yes, blue seems to be the first layer of color…

  249. Maybe not as far as the ‘pricking of my thumbs’ ! But vein colour a la Zyla might bear examination. Blue, green, purple- must say something about the skin covering it. Do we need to know more about biology or science (help!) For instance they are calling veins blue consistently so if that’s a given, purple or green veins have to be further affected by, I assume , skintone. But again it could be level of thickness or….? Maybe Fil has something about thin skinned Brights. Our skin has such variation- I was able to observe a sales girl the other day with skin so tight and thin? Thick?it could really be what they call porcelain. She had to be a Bright at first glance. So if our first level is blue , can the sort of blue (cool, teal blue, purple, green?) indicate accurately which direction the skin is taking?

  250. Susan, I think you are so right about this. It has to be the effects of the skin covering the veins. To begin with, inside the veins it is probably redder than bluer (and pretty similar in all of us), then the first level of perception let’s say, at a standard set of skin characteristics, is blue (to do with light reflection/absorption, etc as the link above explains). Then depending on how skin characteristics (thickness, heat release from blood vessels, relative amount of different pigments, etc…) vary from person to person (and summarized nicely in the 12-season system, even if only implicitly…), there would be variation from that standard perception.

    I cannot see any other explanation for people’s veins to appear green, turquoise, teal, purple, blue, etc., etc. That simply does not reflect what goes on inside the veins — for that to be possible, we would first have to become a different species, with significant changes in how cell oxygenation is done. What goes on inside the circulatory system is pretty much a controlled environment, and what we are able to perceive is the beauty of human phenotypical variation.

    I agree that vein color (hue, temp, value, chroma) says something about dominant season, and holds some kind of relationship with “undertone” or “blush undertone”, that is perhaps different depending on the seasons (for eg., a complementary relationship in the Brights, a less contrasting one in the Softs??).

  251. Susan, I think you are so right about this. It has to be the effects of the skin covering the veins. To begin with, inside the veins it is probably redder than bluer (and pretty similar in all of us), then the first level of perception let’s say, at a standard set of skin characteristics, is blue (to do with light reflection/absorption, etc as the link above explains). Then depending on how skin characteristics (thickness, heat release from blood vessels, relative amount of different pigments, etc…) vary from person to person (and summarized nicely in the 12-season system, even if only implicitly…), there would be variation from that standard perception.

    I cannot see any other explanation for people’s veins to appear green, turquoise, teal, purple, blue, etc., etc. That simply does not reflect what goes on inside the veins — for that to be possible, we would first have to become a different species, with significant changes in how cell oxygenation is done. What goes on inside the circulatory system is pretty much a controlled environment (though there are quantitative changes causing anemia, etc., but heme still contains iron), and what we are able to perceive is the beauty of human phenotypical variation.

    I agree that vein color (hue, temp, value, chroma) says something about dominant season, and holds some kind of relationship with “undertone” or “blush undertone”, that is perhaps different depending on the seasons (for eg., a complementary relationship in the Brights, a less contrasting one in the Softs??).

  252. Absolutely, Fil. I think we’re pretty sure now about undertone mythology being a way of explaining skin season. Whereas before, we assumed consistency of season (with some argument as to whether we could change season or not with age) because of the persisting reality of undertone as an underlying truth- now I wonder. Although our skin colouration tends to hold, probably more than not, still I wonder if it might change – not just as an evolving thing but fluctuating. Certainly in some people? Jane – yes, HOC was my first draping. I thought from the CMB book I was a ‘Summer’ and so I draped. My hair was coloured dark at the time so she had every opportunity to get me Winter but she didn’t. She also confirmed my belief that my husband is Spring, with a freebie draping since he was there! I have never changed opinion about him, though now he is LSp in 12 tone I guess. But none of us were happy with mine! I went and got ash blonde streaks that made me look grey at 23- so I returned and saw the American head of HOC who said my streaks looked smashing! They didnt- but I now realise from Sciart that hair colouring is tricky. Finally I saw a newly trained HOC lady who was convinced I was Autumn- nowadays the swatches would be considered TA- a long way from TS as their first one ammounted to! But I still think the first analyst knew her stuff- just the swatches were limited. Funny how my hubby got on with all the Sp colours though – except that as a man( and with me shopping for him) many of the brightest sweetest colours were avoided. HOC are still going- wonder how they’ve evolved?

  253. I’m sure you’ve all checked out Christine’s new article- Questions and Answers… it’s a good one, with a couple of interesting revelations. I had to chip in of course! Most telling was when she says Winter is an extension of Summer and vv- whereas A and Sp not so, the warm seasons have a completely different energy! Wow . Given that her draping experience is second to none , this has to be a truth worth examining seriously. At the back of my mind I’m recalling the Sunrise Colorclock made up of W, Su and BS and I wonder if this has bearing. Sunset- mostly all the Autumns and selected SS – certainly is miles away from the Sunrise BS and I guess far enough from the central Sunlight Sp colours ( the S ones in Slight are what remain when T and LS shifted back to Sunrise) The systems don’t directly compare, but it’s interesting to see Christine’s findings reflected there. What does this mean for our blood topic? Spanner, works, or additional data? Lol

  254. Susan, I browsed with interest but want to read again. Will definitely comment later!

  255. Susan, Christine has one thing that we don’t have–access to a lot of real-life clients of many colorings. I can totally respect her real-life findings. She’s a highly intelligent woman with an open mind.

    Must admit, Susan–you scare me a bit. When I first read your theories, I suddenly saw myself and how I affect others. I never mention this, but years ago I discovered that I also had Libra moon and Pisces rising…And though I pay no attention to such things presently, I have noticed a clockwork cause-and-effect in the universe at large. It really hit home when someone noted that three men who all color matched to the exact shade of green were birdwatchers. It’s sort of like saying that where there is oxygen, there must be plants to produce it–yet one cannot say for sure that one has caused the other, but merely that both may be caused by something else and yet they are always in proximity.

    Eye opening. Mind boggling.

  256. Yay Kathryn! Word has it there aren’t as many Pisces risers- apparently they often don’t survive birth, so we did ok eh? Take that with a pinch of salt- although my birth took 3 days with gin baths and lots of induction drugs for my poor mum. The heavy presence of Neptune reflected all the meds and intervention. I so didn’t want to be a whole month early! It led me down a road of trying to discover if your chart is the one from your birth moment however unnatural, or the one you ‘ intended’ for yourself. Haven’t found an astrologer yet to take that seriously – they all go with the birth moment. Hey ho. I find with Pisces Asc. that folk tend to treat me as if I’m meandering and vague when I’m actually straight to the point and impatient! Do you? You’ve made me realise how much time I’ve spent on these quests- PCA included! You have a point about synchronous energies- nature abhorrs a vacuum. And Satan finds work for idle hands!

  257. Well, I will tell you (with some humor) that if you don’t like your birth chart, you can always just opt to start from a different place. LOL I mean, it’s like when you wake up on the wrong side of bed some mornings and it starts to wreck your whole day. Maybe you can just go back to bed for a minute, pretend you’re asleep, and then wake-up a few minutes later to a better start.

    I’ve considered all this time spent on all this self-testing–Myers-Briggs plus other personality/temperament/aptitude tests that are all the rage these days. What are we doing to ourselves? Are we looking for permission to be someone we wish we were? Or maybe permission to be who we actually are? And if we are just ourselves, why do we need a permission slip to like poetry instead of fishing, or to know that we are not suited for medicine but rather carpentry, and things like that?

    The PCA discussions have been an eye-opener. It took me three years of private experimentation to “see” myself from the outside in. If I can’t even see the truth about myself objectively in a mirror, how do I even know who I am inside? If I can’t find my way without Myers-Briggs, then what truth am I living in the first place? Now I am back to just being a “be” rather than a “gonna be.” You just have to let go and trust.

  258. P.S. Mine was actually my mother’s easiest birth. However, I’ve always found something poetic and romantic about having been born in the middle of a sandstorm in the desert under a full moon.

  259. Susan, I have had a chance to re-read. To answer your question, I don’t think it conflicts with our little attempt to understand exactly what the undertone is/is supposed to be. Thank you all for all the back and forth, in my mind, at least for now ; ), I think I got it. I still see the undertone as central to PCA, but now I see it as something perceived rather than real — and effect, not a pigment. Just the same, its speaks to that which underlies its perception, and serves to provide a way to systematize human coloring (and get great make up!). This also opens possibilities — for example, all these other aspects of coloring (the “real” ones, such as skin and eye and hair pigments, contrast levels, etc.), what else do they do? How is color analysis as practiced by JK, for example, affected by the analyst’s sensitivity to all these different factors? What kind of harmony is derived from that type of analysis? Is there a way to systematize it in any way or is that just beyond systematizing? It kind of reminds me of the discussions about typing in psychology: systems-in-people versus people-as-types.
    A comment by Christine caught my attention:
    “To match the exact coolness level of every Bright Winter, the analyst would need approximately 4 blue drapes. And then 4 reds, 4 greens. And then repeat that for all the possible tolerances to hue, value, and chroma of every person in all 12 Seasons. Not reasonable.”
    This to me speaks to the variation that exists within each season, and the importance of making season our own — and makes me curious: can different characteristics in our coloring help us understand what kind of variant we are? Oh well, there is always trial and error…
    I’ll be signing out for now — much color bliss to all and thanks for such fascinating discussion. To hear someone else’s honest perspective is to me the greatest honor.

  260. Kathryn – were you in a teepee? What is your Myers-Briggs, by the way, if you’re still interested in divulging such information! I’m an INFP, I thought you might be one too. Also, the foundation warming question, it wasn’t rumoured to be Bobbi Brown’s influence, was it?

  261. Great talking to you again, Fil! I, too, shall have to leave and do other things.

    Jane–ha! no, I wasn’t in a teepee. :) MBTI is INFP–and I have been tested “professionally”–whatever that means. As to the foundation warming–no, it wasn’t BB’s influence, I don’t think. Seems like someone mentioned a man who convinced all the cosmetics companies to warm things up a bit. I really liked the overall effect of BB makeup–except that I, too, thought the foundation a bit orange. I ended up going back to — ahem — Mary Kay! Their foundation matched me better. Still a little warm–with yellow, not orange.

  262. Yes, Bye everyone! What a thread! It’s taking me a good two minutes to scroll now on my BlackBerry- never did solve the double posting thing either- it applies to other 12 BP threads. My husband is with you Kathryn on the MB tests- he has to use them for work- I couldn’t answer the Qs properly because I consciously use horses for courses and they are not ‘me’. He also became a self taught astrologer and actually prefers it! (hates PCA lol) I’m still agog to find out about Christine’s W S versus A Sp connection so see you all around, hopefully on a smaller thread!

  263. Susan, saw your comment on the other thread, wanted to clarify things, for myself mainly: I think blue (as in perceived color of superficial veins) as foundation for the overtone, so for example when carotene is relatively low, skin has a blue cast? Need to go read on what melanin does… Perceived undertone perhaps more a function of superficial capillaries (blood flow plus ability to dissipate heat) and how this is perceived through thicker or thinner skin, and through the color of the overtone.
    It’s been a pleasure “talking” to you all : ))

  264. I have found this blog post after an exhaustive, way-too-time-consuming obsession I’ve had for the last 3 years. On the one hand, I willingly consume every bit of information out there and on the other, I’m sick to death of thinking about it anymore. I have tried out every season on myself, driven those who are the closest to me absolutely crazy with my chronic self analysis. I don’t live anywhere near an actual professional analyst so I have taken, at this point, dozens of pictures of myself outside my house in different natural light settings draping myself with fabrics and snapping selfies. My neighbors probably think I’m a complete a nut-job. Which I would agree that I am, at least when it comes to PCA. The irony of it all is that I have made a complete 360 back to where I first started. I initially thought that I am a Soft Summer. However, after discovering all the different PCA methods and systems out there, I began to negatively judge myself and doubt my ability to see my own coloring. After all, it’s not rocket science. I super-complicated this whole process to death by an overload of information. So why am I leaving my opinions on this page? This site is one of the first ones that I stumbled upon. The richness of the language describing colors and how they relate to one’s own personal coloring is what drew me in and captured my attention. It is what made me stop and think about the psychology of color and how we judge others upon first meeting someone new and ultimately how we judge ourselves. So for me, this subject opened up a plethora of thoughts and ideologies that I had never considered before. It quickly became more than just a study of color. This information was the springboard for a much needed process of introspection. My life had been stagnant for far too long. I began to slowly transform myself into the beautifully and wonderfully made creation that I am and already was. I would never put the words beautiful and “me” in the same sentence even just as little as 3 years ago. Thank you Christine for all your information.

  265. Oh how I relate to your post, Christine. Over the last 25 or so years, I’ve had PCAs done in various systems with the results being Autumn, Spring, Summer, and Winter and just about all of their subseasons. Do I feel confused as a client – you bet! One systems says I’m fabulous in pinks while another says never wear them. One analysis says your cool, which is the opposite of a previous one confirming you are warm. I’ve kept searching because within the palettes I received, there were generally about 1/4 of the colors that always seemed off; the kind that cause others to ask if you are feeling well or if you’re tired. I believe that somewhere there is a correct palette for me.

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