Introducing Colour Analyst Sarah McNary (Pennsylvania)

I speak of colour analysis as alignment of exterior self with interior soul because ultimately, I believe that it can be a gateway that connects those two aspects of our beings. As poetic as that may sound, we want to manifest the abstraction in the real world that we all share. Without method and measurement, the foundation may be weakened. Sarah understands colours on many levels, from simple energetic relationships to picturing them interacting in a closet or drawer. She can project a wardrobe of clothing and cosmetics for a client during the draping (how will this individual use the palette?), which is so valuable because we are all individuals within our Season.

There were many things that I loved about the week we spent together. She has social grace and consideration for the client’s comfort and security, and these are important to me. She has a heartfelt love of colour and is committed to accuracy in her results and answers to client questions. Her ability to use colour for personal expression is remarkable, which led to some rich discussions between us, often with the balanced and constructive conclusion of, “I see what you see.” If we met, you might know quite soon that I find that level of communication to be magic.

I learned from and enjoyed her imaginative ways of combining colours. She could effortlessly create exciting and innovative colour combinations that were modern, outside stereotypical patterns, and adapted to many individual tastes and preferences. (Tip: If I were her client, I would draw on this strength and have her suggest combinations for me :) ) Her flexibility with envisioning colours and combinations will support her clients in making the best use of their palettes while still recognizing themselves and feeling confident.

One more thing that I love. In preparing to write this post, Sarah wondered if her colour story was too straightforward. I replied, “Sarah, my story was simple too. The analyst identified the Season, I went home, I did it, it wasn’t that hard, and I created a closet that looks like me.” We need to share more of these stories because they are the majority. You can do this. Everyone can do this. It is a devotion to yourself and there are many wonderful analysts like Sarah who can help you get started and support you in your journey. 

 

In Sarah’s words,

I first became aware of personal color analysis all the way back in the late 1980s, when I was in eighth grade or so and my mom got the book Color Me Beautiful out of the library. I walked into the living room one day and it was sitting on the coffee table, and, well, I think I probably read it in one sitting. I remember it was like a bombshell for me—I never would have thought of it myself, but it’s so logical that certain colors would look more appealing on some skin tones than on others! I was struck by the different palettes and their distinct—and distinctive—personalities. I quickly determined that I was a Summer, and even though I still bought some clothes from other palettes, I made Summer-ness a core part of my identity.

After I graduated from college and started looking for a job, I wanted to refresh my memory of exactly what Light Lemon Yellow (Summer’s singular yellow option) looked like, so back I went to the library—where I discovered that the four seasons had become twelve! I was taken aback, yet intrigued by this development. Again, I devoured the book and determined that I was a Soft Summer, having just a drop of Autumn warmth added to Summer’s essentially cool colors.

I might have lived happily ever after from that point, except for one thing: I didn’t have a swatchbook. The color blocks in the library book had faded so much with age, all the greens looked identical! The best I could do was to write down the names of the Soft Summer colors and try to imagine what they must look like…which didn’t go so well. (Amethyst? Soft rose? Buttermilk? What?) Finally, I gave up and just started buying whatever I liked that didn’t look awful in the mirror. For one reason and another, this phase lasted several years.

It was about two years ago now that I couldn’t take it anymore—I had to know my season for sure! I needed a swatchbook! When I found 12 Blueprints, based on the Sci\ART method of color analysis, I was so excited. I had never been willing to spend money on a color analysis before because the outcome had always been subjective, and a subjective opinion is still just an opinion, even if it’s professionally given. (I was especially wary because everyday people who knew of color analysis would say to me, “Oh, you must be a Winter!” or “Your eyes say Spring to me!” No one ever said Summer.) But now there was a scientific process that would lead to a clear, rational answer. I discovered that there was a 12 Blueprints-certified analyst near me and (after the inevitable argument with myself over whether I deserved to spend good money on something as frivolous as my own self-esteem…) booked an appointment. Part of me was hoping to be right about Soft Summer, because being right would feel validating. Part of me was hoping to be anything else, because Soft Summer colors look so…gray…on the page! Dark Autumn, maybe? (I hadn’t gotten the memo that Soft colors don’t look gray on a Soft person—they just look normal!)

Well, it turns out I was right! I am a Soft Summer, just like I thought. But…remember how I said I had given up on trying to imagine what Soft Summer colors look like? I wasn’t even close! My entire wardrobe had ended up being a combination of True Summer and Dark Winter. I don’t think I kept more than a handful of items!

It took some time to get comfortable with my new colors, but the validation immediately started pouring in. People asked me what had changed. They said I glowed. They definitely noticed my lipstick, which I had never worn before, and enthusiastically assured me that the color was perfect! I subconsciously began responding to their positive reactions. My self-esteem increased, I felt more grown up, and I found myself making more daring decisions than I ever would have made otherwise. One of them, of course, was to become a personal color analyst myself, to help others who are seeking their color identity find the same level of self-confidence and—honestly—joy that I am now experiencing in my own life.

Whether your story is the same as mine, or you need to be assured that you are representing yourself and your profession with as much polish as possible, or you just want to get off the merry-go-round and stop taking the fashion industry’s word for it that you need an avocado-green blouse this fall and should definitely wear nude lipstick and absolutely must cover your incoming gray with caramel highlights to look “young” again, personal color analysis is the tool you need to orient yourself toward the palette of coordinated colors that will let you achieve your goals.

My studio, Pizzazz PCA, is located in the greater Philadelphia area, and I would be delighted to help you find the pizzazz in your own natural coloring. Find me at www.pizzazzpca.com, and let’s get in touch!

 

—–

5 thoughts on “Introducing Colour Analyst Sarah McNary (Pennsylvania)”

  1. Congratulations, Sarah. I’m sure your clients will benefit greatly from your insight and talent. And you look lovely in your Soft Summer colors.

  2. Congratulations to Sarah, and it’s great to hear that there *are* indeed people who have got their season right, pre-PCA! :) As most say no one can do that.

  3. Interesting that Sarah’s glasses, at least on my screen, appear to be Soft Summer-colored.

    I wonder whether the softer seasons might have better luck figuring out who we are because it’s easier for a color to make us look bad. A Bright season can dominate a color, whereas for a Summer or Autumn person it’s more often the other way around.

    When a Bright season tries on a very wrong color, the response might be, “Yeah, seems ok, I guess.” As a True Summer, when I try on the wrong color, the response would be more like, “Are you all right?”

  4. That’s a very interesting theory, Joan! I have myself considered nearly every season for me, & have managed to convince myself every time that yes, this season looks good, it *must* be my season… Unbelievable (and ridiculous) though it seems; after all, how can one convince themselves of so vastly differing seasons as for example DW, BSp and TA… And yet I have. (*blush*) And your theory might explain why – maybe I’m (after all) a Bright? Incidentally, I am currently set on either DW or BW. ;)

Leave a Reply

All mention of copyrighted terms and content from any book, website, or organization will be edited to include only the company name to avoid copyright violation on the part of 12 Blueprints. Thank you.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *