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, and let’s get in touch!



Pantone Greenery for the 3 Springs

This is the fourth and last post in the series about Pantone’s Color of the Year 2017, Greenery.

The previous posts are linked for Summer, Autumn, and Winter.

The original Greenery swatch is included in the palette in the lower right corner of each panel below, third row, far right.

Matching and Comparing

Any Season could have four, eight, or ten accurate palettes, as technical or artistic as you please, and never repeat a single colour. Many readers have that many swatch books and more and have benefited from seeing how palette designers may view a Season. When everybody’s right, the world is a richly layered place.

As the client, I might only want one palette. My colour analyst assured me that one is plenty. She showed me ways of using it with anything I want to buy. That works for me.

I match items to the colours in my palette. I look great, and even better, I have started hearing my own voice and my closet looks more and more like me. You might have the same experience.

One day, you might see a post like this one and decide to try this new approach. As you place new items among those you already own, you notice that it’s easier to see what you like. With the help of your colour analyst, you find  two or three  Shopping Scarves that are in your Season for sure. Along with your palette, these become a new point of reference.  Your fabulous, out-of-the-box, you-and-nobody-else wardrobe is picking up speed and you still look great.

Colour is for everybody. It looks young and healthy, as if you’re standing up straighter,  like a form of good posture. Team player that it is, there plenty of ways to make it work for you and with you. We are here to help you get started.

Spring wears lime comfortably. They wear green in general easily. I actually delayed this post wondering what I would talk about. In the panels that follow, I try many interpretations of colours that seem close to the palette, just to see if anything jumps out, and find some things to talk about :)

True Spring 

This Season seems able to wear a huge variety of textiles. From matte to very shiny, the fabric and person look better together. Colouring with even slight Summer influence (such as Light Spring, further down) can get lost behind sharply white highlights.

Transparency works. The drop earrings in the top right are comfortable, but the T-shirt below them seems a little heavy. Could be that the yellow content is gold, not yellow. Could be that the textile goes darker in the shadows instead of lighter in the highlights.  Those might harmonize it with Dark Autumn. Does it matter? Not to me. I’m Canadian and in my world, everyone needs warm weather clothes and True Spring colours are not plentiful in winter fabrics. The colour shares so much more than it differs that you can still make plenty of inspired outfits.

The glasses. So cute, ay? No white or black and a  nice brown that could repeat the hair colours. Plus the turquoise that Springs wear so well , not in areas so big that the colour competes with the eyes or keeps pulling the viewer’s attention (just their admiration!) Spring’s fun wink at tortoiseshell.

The other earrings, near the centre, appeared in Dark Winter and will be in Bright Spring, just to see what happens. It’s amazing how much what’s around them matters in our perception. Seem fine to me. Again, they share more than they differ.

Of the three shoes, the middle pair appears in Bright Spring too. With a lot of skin showing through, in the green that loves Spring, and worn further from the face, the colour is less fussy. I’m undecided about the lower shoe. The idea wasn’t whether it contains yellow, but does the yellow harmonize with the yellow in the other colours. The  more I look at it, the better it’s getting, which is often a good sign.

The shirt below and to the left of the word True. You don’t really notice it. Could be that the image is small or it isn’t quite pigmented (saturated) enough. Still fine. It doesn’t stick out as awkward. True Spring is not especially bright or soft. It’s especially warm.


Greenery for True Spring



Bright Spring

In the top right are the blouse and earrings that were in the Dark Winter panel. Fine with the top with a slight preference for Dark Winter. Not so sure about the earrings, they seem to be sitting further back or down compared to the items around them. Either that or the image is small. When you photograph things to compare, including yourself, a constant distance for the camera helps.

Bits of white and black are no problem, or what looks like white and black, as shown in the bottom row. The items are bright, lively, warm, and fairly light, all things that work.

The green and blue top under and to the left of the word Bright was in Dark Winter too. I like it better here, perhaps because more of these items are casual.

No problem with the green sandals in the middle.

Also good with the fluo-green Nike pullover and purse above Pantone. Humans don’t have neon pigmentation but some can make beautiful sense of it, to their and the garment’s advantage.


Greenery for Bright Spring



Light Spring

This person in their colours. Choirs of angels.

Did you see the time-lapse video on the 12 Blueprints Facebook page with the so beautiful Light Spring model (posted about a month ago)? That was with no makeup. Lola lipstick (from the Blueprints line), a sparkly turquoise drape, with a pink coral tossed over one shoulder. My goodness.

Did you see Cate Linden’s recent Light Spring client wearing Sorbet gloss (posted on her Facebook page on August 31/17)?  It’s very sheer and when it meets Light Spring colouring, it brings out all the good.

The one shoulder top above the Pantone palette appeared in True Spring. The yellow content might be too strong. Or the pants are too dark. It seems distracting but your eye might love it. Your eye is not wrong, it’s just yours.

I like chalky textures around Summer, of which this colouring has a small amount. It shows the hazy quality, like a toothpaste feeling. Autumn has haze of a different type. You wouldn’t call it haze or fog. It’s thicker than that, like velvet and chocolate. The ring might be a little velvety.  You know what I’m going to say, right? So what. It’s pretty and so-better than all the other greens in the store that day. There are greens very close to this in many Light Spring eyes.

The green strappy shoes have been replaced here by the green cropped sweater. All good in the hood, as my darling son says.


Greenery for Light Spring




Along my path, I have been more grateful than I can say for how generously everyone has shared their way of seeing colour. How it looks through my eyes is not the final word. It’s the first word of a conversation. If you see it differently and have time to type a comment, I and many others would love to read it.



Introducing Colour Analyst Florentina Mossou (The Netherlands)

Floortje is intelligent and articulate. You will meet a good explainer with great flexibility in helping you to apply your Season palette to your individual pigmentation, body type, and desired presentation. She also has great common sense (we had a joke that this was the Dutch coming out in her), the ability to prioritize those times when details matter, and an open-mind to visualize many beautiful interpretations of a Season.

Floortje’s colour story is a long one, as you might easily imagine when you see her pictures. If you were to test her colouring, you might find that the surprises continue. Perhaps least expected is how similar the colours and patterns in her eyes are to those of many members of her Season, even average or stereotypic, if such words were included in our vocabulary. You will able to read the story on Floortje’s website very soon.

We all understand experiences better when they have been our own. With many Seasons in her past, Floortje has respect for the many ways in which this might happen, and the sensitivity to know how confusing it feels. She also has a clear sense of the strategies that help resolve the questions (and emotions) and continue progressing in your own colour journey.

In Floortje’s own words,


Thank you for welcoming me into the 12Blueprints colour community. My name is Floortje Mossou, but you can call me Florentina if the spelling of my name confuses you. It is with great pleasure that I announce the opening of my business, Calla Studio for colour consulting, in the Netherlands. I am very proud to introduce the 12Blueprints method to Western Europe. Together with my colleagues Annette Henriksen (Denmark), Jorunn Hernes (Norway), Johanna Järvinen (Finland), Hana Haulišová (Czech Republic) and a soon-to-be-announced analyst in Poland, we will be able to introduce many women (and men too, hopefully) in Europe to the science and magic of the 12Blueprints/YND method.

Before I became a colour analyst, I worked in research. I have a Master’s degree in Biology, and all my life I have been fascinated by the natural world. As a scientist, I am mostly interested and the shapes and colours of plants and animals. As a colour analyst, I combine this interest in colour, with a passion for helping you understand your colours.

My colour journey
How did I become a colour analyst? Well, there’s a long story. Image me in the year 2012. I was living in a little shoebox of a student room, halfway up a tall building in the university town. It was rented for the summer months, and I was there to work on my Master’s thesis. But things weren’t going so well. I was struggling to do enough work every day. Why, you might ask?

Well, as a little girl, I was never as big or strong as the other kids. I couldn’t run as fast, or as long. I couldn’t throw a ball as hard as the others. But I moved well, with ease and grace, and I was fine.

Later, as a teenager, moving became less easy. Going to school became a strain, and sports started to get very hard. The changes were slow – and insidious, so I never knew they happened. But eventually, I noticed I was very tired. Really very tired. So tired in fact, that all the simple things I used to do had become impossible.

Maybe you know about someone who has chronic fatigue. Maybe you have had it yourself, or still do. Gosh, I hope not. But if you do, you’ll know that chronic fatigue is no joke. It reduces your life to a personal twilight zone, the past forgotten and the future meaningless. The present becomes a prison, where every second grates at your well being. Even the most mundane tasks, like going to the bathroom or checking your bank account, become insurmountable obstacles that require tremendous effort. During that time, I lost my friends, my hobbies and my plans for the future. I nearly lost my education too. However, with iron will, talent, hard work and the help of a lot of other people, I succeeded. I graduated high school.

The next step was to go to university. What could I do but try? I enrolled in Biology, and for the next four years, by a process I might call ‘creative scheduling’, all went better than I had reason to hope. Until I reached that summer where I worked on my Master’s thesis. The higher workload and added pressure meant a major setback on my delicate health. But with it came an unexpected benefit.

There I was, effectively marooned in that little student room. It had very large, south-facing windows, and the summer heat wave meant I had to keep the curtains closed during the day. The evenings were most comfortable, a quiet time I filled with rest and tea. It was during one of those evenings, that I thought to myself: “if I can’t improve my health, I can at least try to make everything else better.”

But what did that mean? Looking good made life easier, I knew. It was what I was struggling with the most. You have to realize that all the things I couldn’t do (and there were many), people would have to help me with – or forgive me my failures. But trying to ask for help, to talk, to express, to communicate – was so hard. My face felt bloated and heavy, my skin was oily and the teenage acne kept lingering on my cheeks. I had trouble lifting my eyelids enough to look smart, or even awake. I felt so small and vulnerable, it was hard to look people in the eye. My power to connect was gone.

And so, by the golden light of a setting sun, I sat down behind my desk, turned on the computer and went looking for ways to make my life just a little bit easier.

You guessed it already, haven’t you? That evening I found out about Personal Colour Analysis. It was fascinating. Here was a way to make myself look better, healthier. It actually looked doable. For every person. On every budget.

At first, I tried to DIY it. During the following months, I trawled through the house and held every coloured item I could find under my chin. I tried a myriad of makeup looks, including the ‘too-black liner and too-red lipstick’. If it didn’t look too horrible, did it mean I was a Winter?

I guess we’ve all been there. It didn’t work, of course. And so a year later I was on my way towards my colour analysis appointment.

Getting there
But real life is, ya know, real, and no storybook. It took some more years, a couple misses and a lot of frustration, before I saw myself in the right colours. Those tales we’ll save for another time (see my coming website). I sincerely hope that all your colour journeys will be more pleasant and much faster than mine. Still, for an analyst, it was a blessing in disguise. I learned more about colour, and about me, than I would have any other way.

And in the end I did find them. My colours. Bright Winter. – happy sigh –

Next, some small but good things started to happen…

… I started to enjoy shopping. As a kid, I used to hate it with a vengeance. It got better as a teenager. But now. Now I knew exactly what worked for me, and what I could safely ignore…

… and gone was the agonizing over things-that-were-in-fashion-that-I-didn’t-like-but-might-learn-to-like-and-did-that-mean-I-would-miss-out-on-…?-…??? I walked out on those…

… and ended up spending less money with more results. The next thing I knew…

… I became more comfortable spending money on items. Plus…

… I suddenly had an excellent reason to get rid of the portion of clothes in my wardrobe that I didn’t like and didn’t wear. And so…

… getting ready in the morning suddenly got really easy. In fact, it got enjoyable. Very quickly, …

… colours became a secret weapon for the critical moments in my life, whether it were dates or job interviews…

… and I started to feel good about myself. Because of that…

… my fatigue became less of a burden. What happened next…

… I found my confidence. And best of all…

… I started to see my beauty.

Just think about that for a moment. What would it mean for a woman to see her own beauty?

It was a genuine blessing. It helped me to create a way back to myself, my confidence, my femininity and my beauty, and ultimately my health. My fatigue still exists, but it became so much easier to cope.

Where I started out to ‘fix’ my ability to communicate, I ultimately ended up healing it. You see, I think that the way you get treated is just a mirror of how you behave. If I felt not sure about myself, people would treat me dismissively. Why would they do that? Because I was dismissive towards myself. But if I treated myself as genuinely valuable, other people simply did the same.

This is why colour analysis is worth so much. It goes beyond the ‘mere’ aesthetics of our lives – which are major determinants in our relationships – and shows us who we really are. It teaches us self-love and self-acceptance. These were the things that helped me to build up my life again, and to learn to love the adventures that I came across.

I do not mean to say that colour analysis is a miracle cure-all, for the body or the mind. It is not. There were of course, many other things that helped me along the way. Colour analysis is simply a tool. But a powerful tool at that, and it gave me courage and support when I needed it most.

I want you too, to have this tool.

My studio
If you want to come for your personal colour analysis with me, we will take our time to talk about what challenges you’ve been finding with colour, and how you can solve them. It is important to me that you understand your result, and that you know what to do to move forward.

Accuracy is vital in colour analysis. To achieve the highest possible accuracy, my studio has a dedicated area where we’ll measure your colours. It is equipped with modern full-spectrum LED lamps that give the purest white light. The lamps are in softboxes, so we can comfortably look at you in the mirror without getting sore eyes. Placed around your chair, there are three background screens and a carpet in pure neutral grey. These eliminate all possible coloured reflections, including those from furniture. The only coloured items that are allowed in there, are you yourself and the drape that we’ll use to measure you!

It creates an environment that is so neutral, the colour reactions in your face suddenly appear amplified. It’s the neutral grey room taken to the next level. Some people like to call it my ‘blanket fort’. It’s an apt description, actually – it is remarkably soothing to sit in. And to be frank, it’s just a happy accident. I needed a flexible setup that I could move, and I am thrilled to find it works so well.

My studio is currently located in Leiderdorp, but please note that I will move to a different location in the Netherlands in the future. A website is in the works, but if you want to know more in the meantime, you can visit my Facebook page, CallaStudioConsulting, or contact me directly via email,

I look forward to meeting you!


Pantone Greenery for the 3 Winters

Continuing with our series showing Pantone’s Color of the Year 2017 for the 12 Seasons.

Previous posts are here for the 3 Autumns, and here for the 3 Summers.

The three panels below show Greenery in the swatch card in the lower right corner, in the third row-far right sample, along with other colours for 2017. The colour appears to be bright and warm, with some Spring influence. How will a person coloured with Winter pigments use it?

Every item shown might not fit into the Season exactly. I hope it doesn’t, actually, because that might feed a beastie that thinks everything has to be perfect to work. It totally doesn’t. Colour is for everybody and everybody can do this. What I want for you is to learn how to use fashion retail to your advantage with Every. Single. Purchase. Your colour analyst can show you tips and techniques to help make that much easier.

A personal colour analysis (PCA) palette is like a source of renewable energy. Whatever the fashion climate or era, you pull it out of your purse or pocket and it goes to work for your wardrobe. Although every swatch is the same size in a palette, it doesn’t have to be that way in your closet. In your colour territory, wear as much or as little of any colour as you like.

True Winter

In some ways, True Winter is a very yellow Season, but just because it’s yellow doesn’t mean it’s warm. All human colouring contains yellow. The important question is, which yellow?

True Winter’s is very cool and very saturated, so you can see it in many colours and neutrals. Summer yellow is softer and doesn’t register as much. As all non-native yellows can, True Winter yellow can make people with other colouring look yellow in an unhealthy way. Only True Winter looks entirely normal and present, neither over- nor under-defined, not overheated or jaundiced or sallow, just sitting there wondering what everyone is staring at and how they could possibly make use of this colour.

In the panels, you may see a strong yellow in some items and I’ve included various darkness levels to give you a better idea of how it might look. On your screen, it could look different and hopefully the comparisons give you a general idea.

Greenery out of the box contains someone else’s yellow. True Winter will be more magnificent in emerald, if they migrate over to the image of the bamboo stalks for their colours.

Blue-green has overlaps with True Summer. The handbag under and to the left of the word True could be great for them, in part because the yellow is less obvious (on my screen) than in the earrings below it.


Greenery for True Winter



Dark Winter

This Season has a jungle green that we looked at in this post, about Green and Purple for Dark Winter.

The bracelet at the lower left is more jade and could be part of an Autumn wardrobe; the one at the middle right is glassier and appears in the Bright Winter panel. For a Dark Winter woman wearing either one, I’d think, “Great!”

They share more than they differ, are small in area, and  are not right next to her face (colour proximity raises the effect of colour interactions (aka, simultaneous contrast)). Both pieces could participate in ensembles, and better if she removed or replaced the light gold medallion on the jade bracelet with something deeper and shinier.

I’m a big believer in everyone in a Season wearing the entire palette, though how much they wear of each colour and where they use it can have as many interpretations as there are people in the Season. Some have cool-looking skin and warm-looking eyes. Some (like me, depending on who you ask) are the opposite. Whether that is due to undertone or it just is, I don’t know. They all react to colour in the same way.

Cosmetics are applied right on the face, in immediate contact and the closest proximity with natural pigments, so they have to be individualized a bit more. They also interact with skin chemistry. Once you know your Season, this part is easy. You know what not to bother with. You try a few colours with your colour analyst and narrow down to a good place.

The drop earrings and one-shoulder top above it will appear in the post for Springs, which will complete this series. If we asked ourselves about the earrings, “Are they based in yellow or gold?”, they may look more yellow, though somehow they don’t seem candy enough for Spring and have enough of a deep opacity to do interesting things next to yellow green in eyes, which Dark Winters often have.

The top might be also be based in yellow. You might see gold. It’s a little candy and a little jungle. I might see the top better with Dark Winter lipstick, you might love it with Bright Spring neutrals. There are many ways of being right, and when it comes to personal taste, they all count. The other colours in the outfit will find all that they have in common and make sense of them.


Greenery for Dark Winter



Bright Winter

With the Bright Seasons, Greenery is becoming recognizable in its native state. The warm and cool greens in the curled leaf image look about right.

As ever with Winter yellow, it has a sharp quality that makes it hard to call it warm. There is nothing cozy or buttery about it, though in Bright Winter, it is getting slightly sweeter. In the items below, the type of yellow looks more clear and daffodil (Spring, for Bright Winter whose colouring is blend of Winter and Spring) than velvety and gold (an Autumn ingredient, for Dark Winter above, who is coloured with a lot of Winter and a little Autumn).

Neon is neon on everybody. Humans are not made of these kinds of pigments, but the Brights can balance them so that the person and their clothing still appear united. The colour might be used more for accents and accessories than coats and pants. Bright Winter emerald is beautiful on this colouring so I included a few items down the left side. The  multi strand bracelet near the centre has both yellow-green and emerald. I love warm and cool colours together on colouring that has influence from both. The person looks intuitive or tuned-in to themselves in a very cool way.



Greenery for Bright Winter




The green, blue, and white tunic is interesting. It might be Dark Winter but I didn’t care for it with the lipsticks. It might be Bright Spring but those colours faded a bit, though they could certainly use it since the white areas are small. I’ll add it to the Bright Spring panel and we can see what happens.

And it might be Bright Winter; I like it with the white pants.  I always wonder how many of these they sell and to whom. More items might have moved more out the door if the white and periwinkle had been the largest areas, but high five for getting out the box and looking great. PCA is all about that and looking like the original work of art that you are.



Pantone Greenery for the 3 Summers

In this series of posts, we’re looking at how the 12 Seasons of natural colouring apply Pantone’s Color of the Year 2017, Greenery.

If you would like to see the previous post, Greenery for the 3 Autumns, you can find it here.

You can see the original colour  here at Pantone. In each panel below, you can  also see the colour in the lower right corner of the panel, on the right side of the third row, along with other colours for 2017.

Trends are supposed to work for us, but sometimes, the reverse happens. Our mothers had it right when they said that not everyone can be invited to every party. When trends are adapted to the existing space and place, the result can be beautiful. Have a look at this post.The home décor (from Scandinavian Home Staging) is so inspired and I looked at each image for so long that I had to read the post in 3 sessions.

If your colours have been analyzed and you know that you are a Summer, the panels below may give you some ideas. I don’t recommend wearing the original version of Greenery near your own colours. For some reason, Summers are attracted to the colour, Softs especially. Maybe it has a funky-natural quality that appeals to their Autumn side. If anyone knows, please share in the comment and solve this mystery.

True Summer


Greenery for True Summer



Every item might not be exactly in True Summer. Being a little outside the box is a place that I like and find unexpected opportunities. The extremes feel like a disguise, as you may guess to look at me. In these panels, instead of aiming for textbook colours, I include items that find reasons to be in the same Season because they have so much in common, and will make sense (to my eye) in the same closet.

I call that effective shopping, productive spending, having a life outside the mall, and looking a whole lot better as you enjoy that life.

Soft Summer


Greenery for Soft Summer



In the panel above, everything could work depending on your preferences. Across the bottom, with the x and arrow, we may be stretching the limits a bit (they may look warmer depending on your monitor) but I still like them and don’t find them so distracting that they would take over a Soft Summer composition.

The heel of the sandal is black but I don’t find them disrupting. The good outweighs the only less-good, which is the black. Soft Summer is the darker Summer and knows how to manage small areas of black away from the face. The success of the shoe, and of many items, depends on the woman and the rest of the outfit.

I have not yet met a Soft Summer who would wear a smile face so you could remove it from the bracelet if you prefer.

Light Summer


Greenery for Light Summer



Shopping with a reference piece helps. For instance, choosing white in stores is much easier when you shop with a piece of pure white (True Winter) fabric. Above, I use the tank top under the last letters of the word Summer.

Some shoe and purse colours are strong, for example, the purse under the word Light. They are not worn in a place to detract from the face, and the woman could create many outfits without these items suppressing the rest of the ensemble.

The striped tank top on the right side may be too saturated, but I like it, maybe because I enjoy gradient colour effects so much on Summers. Light Summer is the saturated Summer and has some latitude with brightness, again and always depending on the individual and the rest of the outfit.

In the x and arrow column, the items in order seem too sharply white, warm, warm, and bright. They seem to pull my eye. I considered the purse with the gradient, but discounted it because I did not love it with the nail polish colours of Light Summer.


Pantone Greenery for the 3 Autumns

The Pantone Color Institute has announced a Color of the Year since 2000. The colour is intended to capture current trends in popular thought and beliefs, and trends in the social climate.  You can read Pantone’s story and see the colours chosen from 2000 to 2017 on this Wikipedia page.

Greenery is the Color of the Year for 2017. Though it is challenging to know a colour’s dimensions just by looking at it, greenery appears to be a medium-high saturation yellow-green that reminds us of the outdoors. It appears to belong best with one of the Spring palettes.


Pantone Greenery



Colour-analyzed people have a personalized  formula for customizing trends to their advantage, which is the palette of their own colours. Like the fashion advisor that we really want, it always works in our best interest. As beautiful as a colour may be, and as interesting from a social perspective, the colour and its marketing influences may have nothing to do with how we are coloured. We want to be our best version of fashion.

For Autumn-coloured people, the colour shown above risks wearing the person, who will literally appear to be behind their clothing.  The colour looks candy next to the individual, whose appearance is losing  ground in a variety of ways, as is their ability to be taken seriously in their clothing.

Alternatives that  are so attractive are shown in the panels below, along with the Pantone Color Forecast 2017 palette in the lower right corner, which may offer colour choices that are equally current and more flattering. The most attractive and effective appearance decisions will be made by a person who understands themselves within their colour environment. One without the other doesn’t end up in the best possible place, at least not in personal presentation.

Some of the items might colour outside the lines of the Season. That’s fine. Each colouring group will still find a lot of continuity with these items. Make it work for you (instead of the reverse, which might be the engine that fashion feeds from).


Greenery for Soft Autumn



From the Color Forecast card in the panel, Soft Autumn shares more with Niagara (top left), Primrose Yellow (2nd row, left), and Kale (4th row, middle).  By taking the long way around the trend colour, they come out looking like the person.

Greenery for True Autumn



That handbag just left of the Color Forecast panel? When True Autumn  wear that colour next to the face, the skin becomes the incarnation of the word rejuvenated. You can hardly believe that it’s the same person you saw yesterday when they were wearing something that looked tired, and they looked tired, and the whole picture felt tiring to look at. Today, the skin is smooth, plump, and alive with healthy colour.

Greenery for Dark Autumn



Oh, Dark Autumn. Is there any look that they can’t do?  Tailored or not. Quirky or straight-laced. A little warmer, a little cooler. Greenery might be too bright and will not look as expensive as the person and their attire so easily can. but with the warmth and saturation, this Season is getting very close.

I have this belief that textile and cosmetic pigments can reach all sorts of heights that human pigments don’t. For instance, the green coat beneath and to the left of the title, which seems very saturated but too heavy for a Spring person or wardrobe. Dark Winter? Bright Spring? Maybe. I’m having trouble picturing it. We’d just have to try it and then stand back and look.

Many Dark Autumns, especially those of dark complexion and very dark eyes and hair, might be shockingly good in that coat. For others, say, the 65 year old woman who tests very near True Autumn, the jacket/anorak beneath the coat may be plenty and gorgeous.

An excerpt from the second edition of Return to Your Natural Colours, still scheduled with high hopes for October-ish:

Within any Season live millions of people with varied hair and eye colour, body shape and scale, personal taste in presentation, and so on. What they share is their reaction to colour. Each member of a Season adapts the palette to best express his or her individuality. It is always recommended that you wear the entire palette, with guidance that you receive from the colour analyst in managing certain colours and trying out new ones.

In the almost 10 years that I have watched colour analysis grow, and been humbled by its ability to help people become someone that they can recognize and love,  I have also realized how essential the colour analyst is. She (or one day, I hope, he) is the bridge between a rainbow, a person,  a store, and the better clothes and makeup that you wanted in the first place.

Introducing Colour Analyst Hope Turner (Massachusetts)

When I introduce a colour analyst and a person as first class as Hope, I know that I must be on the right path.

Every student teaches me colour analysis through a new set of eyes, which I value tremendously. I like to learn and Hope modeled to me what an exceptional learner looks like. Colour analysis is like following a mind map. There are many ways of arriving at the right answer and many ways of getting off the track. Hope could pause and calmly ask, Why did I think that? She smoothly changed course and moved forward. Teaching a great student is a privilege. The amount of knowledge that they absorb and process during a very intensive 4-day course is astounding. For colour analysts, systems are essential but there’s more. The system has to be applied to a human being.

In the same way that 5-star chefs and the creators of the world’s most beautiful and well-made garments have a process, PCA also needs a process. Today, in many industries, the amount of information floating around exceeds the platforms of structure and method that support it. This can be wonderful for expanding everyone’s perspective, as long as options and decisions can be substantiated. From the beginning, Hope was gifted in the language of the process, with all its details and technicalities, and equally skillful in applying it to real people walking their various roads.

I loved Hope’s gentle ability to draw information from the client’s past that could improve their PCA outcome, welcoming whatever they wish to share, thereby creating a supportive and constructive experience for a client. We had some great talks about how to enrich the client’s (and the colour analyst’s) experience by helping people contemplate and move through change.

Hope Turner



I believe everyone is beautiful. Naturally. As they are. Every single person.

The poem “Saint Francis and the Sow” by Galway Kinnell expresses this beautifully:

“The bud 

stands for all things, 

even for those things that don’t flower, 

for everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing;   

though sometimes it is necessary 

to reteach a thing its loveliness, 

to put a hand on its brow 

of the flower 

and retell it in words and in touch 

it is lovely 

until it flowers again from within, of self-blessing…”


Have I always believed this? No. But I have been fortunate that various life circumstances, including personal color analysis, have conspired to reteach me my own loveliness and the loveliness of others.

I grew up living in different countries – Pakistan, Cote d’Ivoire, and Venezuela – and traveling extensively with my family. My parents worked as international school teachers. I have immense gratitude for their career choice, as it allowed me to see so many parts of this remarkable world. I have always been drawn to connecting openly with people one-on-one or in small groups.

I decided to get a Master’s in Social Work, and I currently work in a community mental health clinic in the Boston area. I find that social work and color analysis have more similarities than might be expected – both provide opportunities for genuine connection and for affirming the unique loveliness of each one of us.

Knowing my colors has given me the confidence to be more playful, try new things, and take myself less seriously. I also feel freer to express myself authentically, not only in the way I dress, but also in the way I move, speak, and act. I know that I look my best when I wear the colors that harmonize with my natural coloring, and I feel less affected by what others think or what the media tells me I should look like. In short, knowing my colors has helped me feel genuinely happy with the way I look and confident to express myself the way I want without worrying about what others think.

Some of you may be familiar with personal color analysis and the 12 Season color palettes. Maybe you think (or hope) you know which one you are. For those who are worried you will find out your color palette is different than what you think it is or what you want it to be, I hear you. And I encourage you to take the plunge and discover the truth of your beauty.

My journey to discovering my Bright Winter colors was a circuitous one. Finding our true colors isn’t obvious and requires a compassionate, helping hand. It was a gift to find this in Christine, who taught me to see loveliness in new ways and guided me from where I thought I should be to where I truly belonged.

I live in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

My website is, and you can reach me at

I offer services in English and Spanish. If you live in or travel through the Boston area, I hope you will get in touch and let me help you discover and celebrate your natural beauty.

One of my clients recently said to me, “I feel like I so much better understand myself and the way I want to present myself to the world.”

What will happen when you see yourself in color?




Seasons in Families

We are often asked whether Seasons have inheritance patterns in families. The answer is yes, of course, but they can be unpredictable.

It may be that every child except one is similar to the parents. The children that are the same in Season as the parents may have very different natural colouring. For example, Dad may be Bright Winter with medium brown hair and dark yellow-brown eyes. Child is Bright Winter with very dark brown hair and green-brown eyes.

In a 60-40 or maybe 70-30 ratio, spouses are often very close in Season. In my early days, this used to worry me quite a bit. It doesn’t any more. They might not look alike, and yet they turn out to be a Dark Autumn and a Dark Winter. Or they are a Bright Winter and Bright Spring that look similar and as the story unfolds,  it turns out that they met by being cast as brother and sister in a play.

Family stories are one of my favourite things about being a colour analyst. I love clients in family groups, which I’ve said once or twice. By once or twice, I mean a couple hundred times, to quote Justin Bieber and probably someone else before that. As privileged as I feel to be a colour analysts, sharing the love, history, and support in the room with families is always special.

From various charts I found through Google, brown eyes and dark hair are dominant. Red hair and straight hair are recessive. Freckles are dominant, so is a streak of white hair. As with so much about human pigmentation, there is more to be known. Many genes are involved in the colours of each pigment, different genes becoming more active under certain circumstances. Eight genes are known to participate in the colour of melanin alone, though the total number may be greater than eight.

To organize some of the information and see if patterns emerged, our colour analyst group took a poll of Seasons within our families.

Sarah Frazier is in Bellevue, NE.

Visit Sarah at her website,  Color With A Purpose


Sarah is a Dark Winter.

Father: Bright Winter

Mother: Dark Autumn

Both sisters: Bright Winter

My dad is a BW, my mom DA, I’m DW, and my two sisters are BW’s.

Nadine Laniado is in Oakhurst, NJ.

Meet Nadine through Facebook on the ColorHue Design page.

Nadine and her husband are True Winters.

Her mother: True Winter.

Husband’s mother: Dark Winter

Daughter: Dark Winter

Daughter: Bright Spring

Son: True or Bright Winter (probable, not yet draped)

Sister: Dark Autumn

Nadine and her husband  both have brown hair and eyes with olive skin. Two of the children have blond hair and blue eyes.

Shahna McNally is in Edmonton, Alberta.

Visit Shahna at U in Colour

Shahna: Dark Autumn

Mother: Dark Winter

Father : probable Dark Winter

Husband: Light Summer.

Child: Soft Autumn

Child: Dark Winter

Child: Dark Autumn (unconfirmed)

Cate Linden is located in Louisville, KY, and travels widely in the US to meet people who want to know their colouring.

Meet Cate on her website at Cate Linden Chromatics.

Cate: Dark Autumn

Mother: Dark Winter

Husband (former): True Winter

Daughter: Bright Winter

Son: Bright Winter (unconfirmed)

Cate’s sister: possible Dark Winter

My mom is DW, I’m DA, my ex husband is TW, our daughter is BW. I suspect my son is also a BW. Sister DW probable.

Johanna Jarvinen is our analyst near Helsinki (Espoo), Finland.

Johanna’s website is Flow With Nature.

Johanna: Bright Spring

Mother: Bright Spring

Mother’s sister, brother, and his children: Bright Spring very possible, all bright blondes.

Amanda Brown has a PCA studio in Onalaska, WI.

Meet Amanda on FB at Color Therapy PCA

Amanda: Soft Summer

Mother: Dark Winter

Sister: True Summer

Ksenia Zvyagina is our analyst in Moscow, Russia.

Ksenia’s website can be found at Beauty In Bloom.

Ksenia: Bright Spring

Father: Dark Winter

Mother: Light Spring

Sister: True or Bright Winter (probable)

Dad’s brother and his daughter: Dark Winter

Husband: True Winter

Rachel Nachmias is located in Philadelphia, PA.

Visit Rachel’s website at Best Dressed.

Rachel: Bright Winter

Mother: Dark Autumn

Father: Bright Winter

Brother: Dark winter

Maternal grandmother: Soft Summer (her father and sister possible Dark Autumn)

Courtenay St. John Gibson sees clients  in Massachusetts and Connecticut.

Visit Courtenay at her website, Studio St. John

Courtenay: Light Spring

Husband: Light Spring

Mother and Aunt: Bright Winter

Husband’s mother: Light Spring

Husband’s sister: True Spring

Daughter: Bright Winter (with three possibly Bright Winter children)

Christine Scaman is in London, Ontario, Canada.

This is her website.

Christine: Dark Winter

Father: Dark Autumn

Mother: Light Summer

Sister: Light Summer

Brother: Dark Winter

Husband (former): True Winter

Child: Dark Winter

Child: True  Winter

Child: True Summer

Many thanks to Susan for sharing yet another lovely featured image for this post.


Getting Ready To Be A Colour Analyst: Gifts

This is Part 7 of 7.

Previous videos in this series:

Getting Ready to Be A Colour Analyst: Invitation

Getting Ready: Possibility

Getting Ready: Concerns

Getting Ready: Creation

Getting Ready: Decision

Getting Ready: Commitment



Many thanks to Susan for the beautiful and inspiring featured image.




Green and Purple for Dark Winter

Thank you to my dear friends Linda for the topic and Susan for the beautiful tulips that look like the Canadian maple leaf.


In the sequence of the 12 Seasons, Dark Winter is the colouring group that is mostly Winter with a smaller influence from Autumn.

With Winter, the Season shares:

– a white white, that most people would call white without qualifiers,

– a black black, and many other very dark colours

– pure colour in jewel tones, that gives certain colours a candy or plastic/synthetic quality

– extremes of lightness in icy light colours, meaning colour that is almost white with a drop of pure pigment

With Autumn, Dark Winter shares:

– muted colour, which gives some colours a feeling of weight, like velvet

– optical agreement when colours meet a certain darkness level

– a log cabin quality so that certain colours may feel a bit rustic or military, especially in matte textiles

Matching and Harmonizing

When looking for any colour in any Season, begin by looking for colours in the palette. That’s a fine place to start, and to stay if it feels right to you. Many colours could fit into various palettes very well. The other colours in the outfit will find what they have in common and allow you and the colour to shine.

For those who enjoy more detail or precision as they apply their Season to their shopping choices, the fact that many colours interact with various palettes feels unsatisfying. They ask, “Can’t every colour fit best into one single Season?”

The answer is, “Yes, it can.” To choose that best palette, the colour agreement between all the colours in the palette is evaluated, in addition to the best apparent match. After all, every colour in you will be wearing your clothing. We don’t see only your greens when you wear a green blouse. We see all your colours.

With the palette spread out, a lot of information is coming your way. If the overall looks pleasing but you are not sure about the decision, look at one colour family, such as blue, or one strip, at a time.

For Dark Winter, the garment colour should work well with the rustic and the candy sides of the Season. The strip with white should look about how it does on a neutral gray background, not divided or distorted. The entire strip from lightest to darkest should be equally energized.

If the lightest colours disappear or look muted, this will happen to the facial colours too. People share with me the most inspired analogies. A recent student whom I loved welcoming into our community recently described this as the arms of the palette suddenly looking shorter.

Five Tableaux

  1. Warm Greens


Warm Greens for Dark Winter



In the row across the top:

1 is too muted and warm. It loses ground next to the candy colours of the palette.

2 is getting there but I would prefer something more jungle or palm green, like the darker colours that Bright Spring might wear. I would hope it is at least this saturated IRL, or a bit more.

3 looks right, on the high side depending on how much your monitor saturates colour.

4 may be too pigmented because the palette colours lose energy next to it, and may be better for Bright Spring.

If you expand 5, the yellow reflection is strong, and maybe a little wrong, making little sense with the purples. Not the worst choice, since Dark Winter contains Winter yellow, which is quite pigmented. I might buy it if I loved the top otherwise.

6: Between two Seasons, a game to help you decide is, “Which is worse?” It hinges on the concept that they will be separated by their differences. If I place or imagine it next to the warm mustards of Dark Autumn or the icy colours of Dark Winter, I prefer it with Dark Autumn. But the colour is dark and appears to be of neutral warmth, which Dark Winter can work with. Wear it with the warmer colours of the Season. If these colours exist in the eyes or in a print worn in the same outfit, even better. I would buy this if I love the item and the price.

The notes for 9 are similar to those for 6, though I find it more Autumn. If the person is very saturated or Winter-like (near black hair and eyes) in natural colouring, it might appear too muted. What’s good is that next to the palette colours, the attention remains about even between them, the energy remains good in each, and neither is changing the other.

10 is a colour that appears, or seems to appear, in many palettes. Another technique for deciding is to hide the strip that has the apparently matching colour. How well does the garment work now? It doesn’t. Nothing in the palette, ie: person, improves next to this colour.

11 appears to contain the same colour as 10 but is different enough to flatter the person better. I like this item.

12 is like 5 but more so. The yellow reflection is too bright. The colour is just too happy to stay calm under a Dark Winter face. The appearance doesn’t settle. The eye keeps going back to the dress. Wouldn’t buy it.


  1. Cool Greens


Cool Greens for Dark Winter



1 is fine.

2 may be too saturated, meaning that it is greener than the palette greens are green or blues are blue. Combine that with the sense of a strong yellow component and we may be getting into True or Bright Winter. The same could apply to 5.

3 is a little cool and soft but Dark Winter shines in these dark blue-greens. At this saturation (or pigment concentration), I would have to love the item to buy it. A little more feeling of ink would be good.  It could work for True Summer as well. The quality of the yellow or the reflection seems too light compared to the Dark Winter palette. The garment and the warmer neutral tone strip of the Dark Winter palette seem to be pushing each other apart. OTOH, they are not changing one another, which is always a good sign.

4 and 9 are close enough colours.  The quality of the yellow is not continuous with the palette colours but they still share a lot. Dark Winter would not wear a colour much lighter, except in the icy colours. The reflectivity of 4 seems a little light in weight.

6 is the marker in this group to which I compare the others. It’s too cool and probably too clear (bright) for Dark Winter. If the woman tests very near True Winter, and with the item being dark, and this colour being one that Dark Winter adapts the way Summer adapts blue, it will work fine for some Dark Winters. As we try things in our Season, we learn ourselves better and better until we are very fine tuned in our understanding of our own colouring.

8 is great.

10 seems fine.


  1. Prints with Green


Prints with Dark Winter Green



The lime green in 1 is challenging to find on its own, and because the colour is bright, it can be more noticed when the colour is not quite right. Here, the other greens make sense of the lime, and it won’t matter if it is slightly out of Season. Love that blouse.

The cool, dark olive for this Season is important. Cooler than dark tobacco, it is excellent with the eye colours. 2 and 3 are examples of how it might look.

4 has a lot of warmth. Depending on the palette and interpretation, and the pigmentation of the woman, the black, the ability of the textile to saturate, and its shine all help Dark Winter.

5 may be technically a Dark Autumn blouse.  The pale pinks in the flowers, the corals in the flowers, the cool-associated colours of green and blue, and the darkness improve its potential for Dark Winter.

The white in 6 is warm for Dark Winter but it looks good with the lipsticks and the other colours. Love this sweater.

The white in 7 has a pinkish quality that I associate with Dark Autumn white. With the whites away from the face and a green this good, if the dress were a great fit and price, I would still buy it.

The metallic quality of 8 is great. An industrial look that looks terrific next this colouring.

9 may be too bright and candy but it’s a nice accessory.

10 is bright but it’s an emerald green that Winters can work with. Jewel tones make sense. The mesh-mosaic texture, animal print, beiges, and darkness level are all great.


  1. Blue Purple


Blue Purples for Dark Winter



1 is one of those peculiar colours that I am still learning. Although this one has enough muscle for Winter and a dullness one might associate with Autumn influence, it also contains a lot of red. I considered it for True Winter but I think it’s too heavy and smoky for True Winter’s lighter, clearer look.

2 is great. I seriously love this on Dark Winter.

3 is a more wearable version of 1. Colour is entirely what you do with it. We have all seen a colour we might overlook in a palette become the most breathtaking garment.

4 is good.

5 is in the ballpark but it hard to read in the image. If the blouse were whiter and the model’s hair less clashing with the sweater, it might be quite workable.

6 is on the candy side but I like candy accessories sometimes. It will still work with the wardrobe without requiring any change in the outfit or cosmetics.

7 is kind of fascinating. One gets a sense of lilac and softly curved lines but the associations between those and Summer are in the past, or in my past.  It is as light as Dark Winter would get in a head to toe colour.

8, 9, and 10 are quite ok.

11 may be True Winter, but shoes, like purses, are some distance from the face. These will still cooperate with Dark Winter because they share so much.


5. Medium Purple


Medium Purples for Dark Winter



It doesn’t take much before red-purple lands you in True Winter. 1 may be too red but it is not dulling the palette colours. 4 does seem to drain energy from the palette colours. The other suggestion that these are not right is that it’s hard to find a great lipstick. The warm lip colours in the palette go from great red rusts to absolute spaghetti sauce…and sadly, that is exactly what they will do on the face if they are worn next to this dress. With a cooler lipstick, might work fine but honestly, I’m doubtful.

Love 2. True and Dark Winter would be fine. They make sense of dark purple.

3 is fine.

The stones in the straps of 5 are a little lightweight for the gravitas of Dark Winter, but they are small in size, the chain is good, and they convey a jewel tone to some degree. Shells would be less than ideal.

6 may be cool and saturated but it would look great on many Dark Winter, particularly the dark of hair, eye, or skin, and those who enjoy cosmetics.

7 is a fun accessory colour. Winters look good in purple, adapt it easily, and should wear a lot of it. The handle and belt are fine. Nobody’s Season changes in the summer months, tanned or not, but many of us enjoy brighter and lighter colour choices during the warm, sunny months, and perhaps more whimsical choices than we might otherwise wear. With a white top and dark jeans or casual lower half of ensemble, very nice.


  1. Red Purple


Red Purples for Dark Winter



What happens, as shown in 4, is that the red gets high, the candy level increases, and tips the item into True Winter.  The T-shirt fabric helps mute the colour. It’s not nearly as bright as it would be if the fabric were smooth and shiny. Dark Winters should try this on and then decide. With white or iron grey hair, or a cool bandanna, or great earrings, absolutely.

7 is similar in that the suede helps but the colour is probably too red and better for True Winter. However, on the feet, with a black dress, I would gladly stare at them all evening.

1, 2, 5, and 8 are a little browner, more plum and less grape. Excellent colours. For a larger area near the face, or on a woman who looks Autumn, or a woman who prefers natural or less saturated looks, this colour will be better. For the Dark Winter who tests so close to True Winter that it took 15 minutes to decide on the Season, and whose eyes are crisp and black-brown (rather than full of lovely warm rusty browns and mossy greens), any of these colours will be fine and so much more amazing than what she might have bought pre-PCA.

3 is an example of a cooler white compared to item 6 in tableau 3. The texture gives it a little dullness but anyone would call it white. True Winter would wear this just as well (if not better) because the white looks almost blue.



Science, beauty, truth. Transformational results.