To answer the many questions about Personal Colour Analysis (PCA), I hope this page is helpful.
1. a) What do clients receive?
As part of knowing which group of natural colouring (Season, Tone) your own pigmentation falls into (and knowing why you’re not one of the 11 others), you will be improved with:
- a 2 hour draping session with highly calibrated, 12 Season-specific drapes
- a Colour Palette of 65 colour swatches, exclusive to your Season to take shopping and choose the right clothes and makeup for you
- an 18-20 page PDF Colour Guide that describes the particular radiance and energy of the Season, the clothing colours and combinations and how to recognize them, how to choose hair and makeup colours, the pitfalls to watch for, the perfect jewelry, the colour applications for men, and a segment on personality traits very common to people of this colouring
- a list of the makeup, including brand name and colour, that suits the colouring best
- a demonstration of how to shop for makeup colours and how to match foundation to your skin undertone
- knowledge of your own best hair colour – supported with pictures for your colourist
- the first step of a journey of self-discovery about who you are, and how to use clothing and makeup to tell the world about the real you. This is the “life-changing experience” people describe from Personal Colour Analysis.
If you would like to reclaim confidence and control over every colour decision pertaining to your best appearance, a correct colour analysis is the starting point. I believe that there is liberty in being the creative director of your own appearance, and there is joy in the profound connection to self that knowing your colours will bring you.
Please note that I cannot always predict which Seasons I will see when I travel or teach. Should I be out of stock for your Season palette, I will have it shipped to you at my expense at the soonest possible time.
1. b) What do draping models for the training course receive?
In addition to the complete colour analysis from which models know their Season, models receive the swatch booklet containing 65 of their best colours as a thank you for their time.
The complete analysis will take 2-3 hours. If we apply cosmetics, take photographs, and so on, it may take a little longer.
Courses are held in London, Ontario, Canada.
A student drapes 7 models over the 4-day course. If you are interested in being a draping model, please email me (email@example.com) and we can set up a time for an upcoming course or add your name to the model request file. Please send a photograph so that I can try to offer each student a variety of types of colouring.
Friends and family are welcome to join us if they will be also be models during the same training course, even if not on the same day. The more age groups and types of colouring, the better. We drape 1 person on the first day and 2 people each following day.
As much as I love babies and children, experience has taught that they can compromise the student’s learning. Children seem to require more of Mom’s attention when it is directed elsewhere. The modelling session is provided at the student’s cost and her learning is the first priority. Also, we want the model to enjoy and learn from the analysis, which is invariably disrupted by small children. I ask that they not be brought to modelling sessions.
Please note that contacting models is not done on a first-come basis. Here are some of the criteria for scheduling:
- Priority is given to men (or women who bring men for the second session of the day) because they are harder to find as models.
- Second priority is given people who are not likely to belong to the Dark, True, and Bright Winter groups. The student will see many throughout her career so several are included in each course, but they tend to volunteer more actively :)
- Persons of darker complexion may be contacted sooner, especially if the student has expressed a desire to see darker skin tones.
- Members of the same family are an opportunity for the student to be exposed to inheritance patterns and people of different ages whose colouring might be similar.
- Depending on time of year, models who live nearby will be contacted first in the months where travel is less predictable.
Full cosmetic application, makeup lists, documents pertaining to Season, and continuing access to my help and advice are not included. The course is the student’s experience rather than the model’s. Our activities with models will vary and seldom include the same topics twice within the same course. Luxury Drape viewing and time for photographs are not included in the modelling sessions. We might touch on specific questions that you have but once the student has understood the concept, the support you may need will be found in the online groups for your Season.
To offer the student practice with various aspects of client interaction, part of a regular client PCA appointment may be added to the modelling session. This might be a conversation about the model’s colour journey and experiences, a demonstration of harmonizing the swatch book to items of clothing, a discussion of hair colour concerns, or some aspect of cosmetic application such as matching foundation or choosing a lipstick. As a model, if you have a preference for one of these, please advise me when the appointment is made.
In terms of preparation, the answers to question 3, 6, and 7 below apply.
2. a) What does it cost?
As of Sept. 15/16, private PCA appointments are seen in London, Ontario, Canada. Scheduling is very flexible and can include weekends and holidays. Please contact me by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to discuss availability.
The cost for the 3.5 – 4 hour session (including the palette, documents, and cosmetic application) is:
>> $440.00 CDN for women; with 13% ON HST tax, $57.20, the total is $497.20
>> $375.00 CDN for men; with 13% ON HST tax, $48.75, the total is $423.75
>> $350.00 CDN for children under 14; with tax 13% at $45.50, the total is $395.50, if no hair colour advice or cosmetic application time is needed, as the parents decide. Otherwise, the adult women’s price applies.
GIFT CERTIFICATES are available upon request. Please email me at email@example.com so that we may discuss your preferred presentation and content.
4 ways to pay:
1. Cash, USA or CDN (see note below).
2. PayPal prior to the session. At www.paypal.com, you can choose Send Money to firstname.lastname@example.org. You may prefer to complete online payments using your private wifi or data plan the day before the session.
3. Visa or MasterCard at the time of the session. These can be put through a Square on an iPad (see www.squareup.com) on your private data plan.
4. E-Transfer by email prior to the session. Much preferred within Canada, at any time before the appointment. You may prefer to complete online payments using your private wifi or data plan the day before the session.
All prices are in CANADIAN DOLLARS. NOTE: I am very glad to accept US currency. Do not make a special trip to the bank to change money. However, please be aware of the current exchange rate and bring the exact amount because I can’t make change in your currency.
Cancelation: Should the appointment be canceled, there is no fee regardless of when the cancelation occurs. The sooner you can let me know, the better. Should the appt. be rescheduled at the time of cancelation, the price at the time of cancelation and re-booking would apply for 6 months. After that time, any changes in fee would be applied to the re-booked appt.
2. b) What is the location of the appointment?
London, Ontario, about 10 minutes from the London Intl. Airport. Location can be shared closer to the session.
3. Who should NOT have, delay, or cancel the appointment? What if I pre-paid already?
If the night before was a late night or you might have the flu, let’s postpone the session. Sitting under lights for 4 hours will only make you more queasy. I am fine with short notice cancelation, send me an email as soon as you know. 4AM is fine.
If you have had a sunburn, more than a mild suntan, or used self-tanner in the last 3 weeks, we need to delay the session.
Should any other life circumstance prevent you from fully experiencing your PCA, it is perfectly fine to delay or cancel, even at short notice. Life happens to all of us.
Pre-payments are refunded. EMT are not deposited till after the session. If you simply need a postponement, it is your option to not have a refund in which case I will hold the cost of the session at the current price for one year. If you do prefer the refund, the session price may change at any time.
4. Are there group discounts? Can groups be seen over 2 or more days?
Group discounts are not applied at this time.
Since each appt takes about 3-4 hours, a 2-person per day maximum is a good idea. You fill find the process physically, emotionally, and mentally fatiguing. I do understand that clients travel and might like to fit 3 PCAs into one day, which I am happy to do if we can have an early start (7-8 AM).
5. How much time should I plan for?
3 hours for men and children over 12. For women, closer to 4 hours. I will strive to keep the total time under 4 hours.
To maximize your benefits from your PCA, one week before the appointment, women receive a pre-PCA questionnaire by email to help both of us understand your colour history and help focus your desired outcomes. We will visit again briefly before the draping begins so that you can share any other relevant concerns.
6. Should I bring anything? Anything that I should NOT wear?
Do bring your foundation. It will save time if the match is a good one. I stock several options for light to medium skin, but few for darker complexions. If the colour match isn’t so good, better we should figure that out now. I’ll show you how.
Bring your mascara too, it looks pretty if you would like to take pictures and I don’t keep this product in stock.
Bring your makeup brushes if you prefer that we use them instead of mine. It’s a great idea.
Bring your makeup stash. When we start looking at how to choose makeup colour, comparing with what you already have helps your eye learn to shift to better choices. We will not address every item in your kit, but you will understand how to filter through it on your own to correctly decide what is enhancing to you.
Do NOT wear any makeup. None. No eyebrows, no tinted sunscreen. If you do wear them, that’s what we will be analyzing instead of you.
Do not wear earrings if it can be avoided.
Do not wear coloured contacts unless you have absolutely no choice.
Feel free to bring a few items of clothing as well, 4 to 6 being a good number, if you would like to learn to harmonize colours of items that you already own.
Bring a water bottle. Coffee, tea, and snacks are fine too, recommended even.
Finally, if you would like photographs, bring a phone or camera with enough storage space.
7. Do I have to wear anything special?
You don’t need special clothing but you will be wearing a gray cape, like a hair stylist’s, and a hat. The drapes are laid across your chest and moved over top of each other. Dress in layers. Do not wear clothing with hoods.
No makeup, no last-night’s-eyeliner, no I-can’t-live-without-my-eyebrows, no sunscreen. Moisturizer is fine as long as it has no colour, tint, or opacity of any sort.
If you wear glasses, please wear your contact lenses if you have the option. For one thing, glasses in the wrong metal distract the results and make it hard to see the eyes where so many of the colour effects will be happening. If you don’t have contacts, we’ll have to remove the glasses for some portions of the process. If you have several pairs of glasses, wear those that are the least colourful in the frames and have the least tinted lenses.
Your hair will be tied back with a gray scarf. We are in a private room, nobody there but you, me, and whomever you bring with you. You get to take it off the moment we identify your Season.
Do not have a facial, go skiing, use self tanner, or undergo any other procedure that might irritate or colour the skin for 2 weeks before the appt.
8. Why can’t I wear makeup?
It would be like trying to see your skin through a Halloween mask. What will happen is that we will colour analyze the mask, the makeup, instead of your real face.
As we narrow you down to you almost-best and truly-best palette, the effects are increasingly subtle. By this stage, you’re looking pretty good. We’re not after pretty good or good enough here. We’re going to identify your magnificent best.
When we are done, you will look gorgeous and you will know it, the part the analyst loves best. You will see yourself as you never have before. The magic is only found in one Season, but some people lie closer to the borders between Seasons. To correctly gauge the skin’s reactions to colours, there can be no filters to have to look through. It will mix things up unpredictably.
If you have tattooed makeup, we can work around it. That feature will have to be largely ignored. The analysis will still be accurate and the result correct.
9. Will I need to be analyzed again later in life ?
You have probably settled into your colouring by the time you are 15, certainly 20. Your colours may deepen if you are one of the darker colourings but you will probably stay in that Season.
By far the majority of people will remain in the same group their entire life. They may change how their wear their palette but do not shift Seasons.
As you enter your later years, 60s and beyond, your colouring may perhaps cool or soften enough that you will change Seasons. If you’re among the rare people who do, you will probably not change more than to the next coolest neutral. By then, you will be very tuned to how good colour can make you look and you may sense that the colours that flattered you so well in your younger years no longer have the same effect. The only way to know for sure is to have the PCA repeated then.
10. Why do I have to hide my hair in the gray scarf? Other PCA systems say hair colour does matter but you say it doesn’t.
Hair colour matters a lot to the final picture. In fact, if incorrect for the skin colours, it can be quite challenging to achieve the highest visual effect with our appearance. Besides, it will clash with the wardrobe.
However, hair colour is not a factor in the PCA process itself. The reason is that Nature always colours our skin, hair, and eyes, and every other part of us, in perfect harmony. Every person, every time, automatic.
If the hair colour is your own and doesn’t obscure the face, we can tie it back and not use the scarf. This is far more successful with gray and silver hair than hair of colour.
If natural hair colour is very intense or bright, we will tie it back for the analysis.
If the hair colour is natural, it can help develop the impression of overall harmony that we strive for, but not seeing the hair doesn’t deter from that. Once the skin is the youngest, healthiest, freshest, and most evenly coloured and the colour harmony is ultimate, I promise you that your eyes and natural hair colour will also be your best. It is automatic. Nature never gets colouring inconsistent.
There are problems with considering hair colour in the PCA on many levels. Here are a few:
1. You can have warm-looking hair and cool-looking skin. You can have cool skin, cool hair, and warm-looking eyes. You can have freckles and cool skin. Any combination is possible in any of the 12 Tones. In truth, of course, all of your colours in every feature was coloured by the same biology and has the same setting in the 3 dimensions of colours that we will measure.
Some may have an average hair colour for a Season, like ash brown hair and blue eyes for True Summers, but what about all the True Summers that don’t fit into the average? Even natural hair colour can be distracting or lead to wrong assumptions. Of skin, eye, and hair colour, hair is by far the least closely associated with Tone.
2. You might make the mistake of matching hair colour to the drapes. Big mistake but easy to do because hair is such a big colour block.
3. If you colour your hair and your colour is not perfect for your skin, it detracts from your skin and interfere with what the drapes are telling us. Aim to understand the skin first, the eyes a close second. They will tell us what the tones the hair should be.
So, does that mean you shouldn’t need or use hair dye, even if you don’t have gray?
That’s the same as asking, “If you can make my skin as perfect as possible, why do I need makeup?” The answer is that makeup and hair colour in the correct colours can enhance our beauty by enriching those colours that look natural and magical on us. We decorate ourselves from the neck down. To balance and polish the big picture, we decorate ourselves from the neck up too, by using the colours that flatter us most. It is also extremely true that once clothing and cosmetic colours are corrected, hair takes on far more colour, sparkle, and unity with the entire person than most dyes can achieve.
11. What about eye colour? Doesn’t that matter either? It can’t be concealed during the PCA.
I want to be very clear about this point because it’s so important. It matters to the PCA process, and to the final appearance. We can alter our hair and cosmetic colours all we want, but it doesn’t change the fact that we always wear the colour of our eyes, including the whites. Eye colour must harmonize with wardrobe palette.
Your eye colour in no way determines which Tone you fit into. You are the same Season whether your eyes are open or closed, right? Any Tone can have any eye colour. Now, an Autumn and Summer and Spring and Winter blue may not be identical, but every one of them could have a version of blue eyes, or any other colour, once we consider all ethnicities.
Colour Analysis aims to know the precise shade of each colour that looks best on you because it already exists in your natural colouring. The harmony is achieved once all the colours you are and those you add have the same energy. The same biology is colouring your eyes, skin, and hair. The exact shade of red or green in your skin will not be obvious, but it will be in your eyes too. In their mysterious but powerful way, the drapes will find those colours. Your skin will be perfected and the strength of your eye colour will be doubly intensified. In that sense, the colour of the eye does matter because the drapes are looking to recognize it, whatever it is. As it turns out, eye colour can be more related to Tone than hair colour and eye colour very much reacts to the drapes. At the end, we will have found perfect accord between skin, hair, and eyes.
12. Can you tell me exactly what my best hair color is?
Yes or very close. Your PCA result will tell us what colour your hair should be to most flatter your skin. To some extent, hair colour, and certainly darkness adjustments, are made one woman at a time, but we can most definitely suggest the hair colours that will flatter your skin, wardrobe, and makeup best.
This is not the same as saying everyone in a certain Tone was born with, or must have, the same hair color. ANY Tone can have ANY natural hair and basic eye color. There are huge variations within a Tone, especially True Summer and True Winter, the pure Cool colouring groups. But because the colours of people within a Tone share certain properties, they will be flattered by certain properties in hair color, just as it is with clothing and cosmetic colours.
For women who have coloured their hair for many years, they have often forgotten their true, natural hair colour, especially their real darkness level. Their eyes have adjusted their belief about normal, real, and effective to a different shade than is the truth. Let as much of the roots grow out as possible to give us a more correct appreciation of the hair colour Nature designed for you – and of the multiple hair colours, since natural hair contains a myriad of tones and nuances.
Since I’m not a hair colourist, I can’t help with the technical process or colour formulas to adjust your colour. Your colourist will probably be able to do so from the photos, or to help you come so close that nobody will know the difference. Celebrities have their hair color adjusted every 2-3 weeks. IRL, nobody has that time or money, and it’s not necessary.
13. Why do some members of the fashion and makeup industry doubt the value of PCA?
For several reasons.
- Lack of knowledge. Most of the doubt about PCA comes from those who are not current with the existence of the Sci\ART process and palettes. It is hard to believe in what you do not understand and have never seen, and more so in a world where most people are wearing less-than-best choices. Even if you did know about Seasons in the 1980s, the precision and information the Sci\ART system provides now is beyond comparing. If your idea of computers were confined to what they were in the 80s, you wouldn’t see the point of owning one today. This is scientific and objective … but without education, science can look like magic and myth, and require too much faith. You will see your skin change. The differences are big. Once you have seen the power of colour to enhance or detract from your face, with your own eyes, you will not have any doubts.
- Because they can not sell you as much stuff if you already know what you want. You can no longer be convinced that this lip colour suits all skin tones or turquoise eye liner is IT this summer. A confused consumer is wonderfully gullible. You won’t be.
- Because makeup artists are creative people who can bring out the best in women they have met for a very short time, using the same products on a wide variety of individuals. That is not the same as you with 10 minutes to get out the door each morning, or a limited makeup budget with no extra to waste.
- The sales assistants at the stores and makeup counters sincerely want you to make your best choice. They want you to be pleased and return to buy more. But empowered consumers are a little intimidating. Besides, they see women every day who are sure they know what they want and the salesperson can see that it’s a bad choice. Many of these women probably claim to be a certain Season and make wrong choices. Salespeople have seen this a lot over the years. In their mind, this is just more of the same.
- It would be great if clothing and makeup were colored with enough variety and accuracy to cover all 12 Tones, but it’s not. Close enough will sometimes have to be good enough. My integrity as a colour analyst understands that you saw in the mirror how even your second best Tone was a big step backwards from your best, so you want to match the swatch perfectly. There will be times when you won’t be sure of a color, or a color will be very close. Salespeople see that you look great but you’re hesitant because it’s not a perfect match to the swatches. This will drive you and them bananas. If it doesn’t feel right, then don’t buy it, but in most cases, the difference between 90% and 100% will not be important in the real world. The rest of your outfit and makeup will pull it all together.
- Perhaps it’s also a little difficult to give up some of the authority that they’ve worked hard to achieve. Your colourist, cosmetician, clothing retailer, me… We’re all on your team. There is room for all of us. We can learn from each other and have a happier client who buys more and returns less. Having our beliefs questioned is a good thing if we really want to get to the truth of our profession. Open minds make a difference. Give me any salesperson, clothing or makeup, give me Bobbi Brown herself, and when they see the power of colour to beautify or age them, I guarantee that they will buy their clothes and makeup in a new way.
Feelings of doubt are normal and often well-founded. As a colour analyst, I am only concerned with pleasing the one person I serve: my client.
As a woman, you will find that the education of an in-person colour analysis will enable you to recognize well-meaning but wrong advice. And the most important of all: you will become the expert of your own appearance.
14. What if I hate the colours the analyst says are my best shades?
Great question. It is very important to go into this with an open mind. Be ready for things to change because they will. Probably everyone encounters a degree of resistance to their right colours, to an extent that might surprise even you. Not only does it imply we have been our second-best all along, but a change of colour on the outside seems to demand a change of colour on the inside that nobody is impervious to. It is a little destabilizing at first. You may look in the mirror in your new makeup shades and your most gorgeous drape colours and see a clown looking back at you. I did.
You may feel that you already know some colours that look great on you. You’re probably right about some of them. But can you attain your own perfection day after day, outfit after outfit, purchase after purchase? Do you understand exactly how to never get it wrong again?
Trust the objectivity of others. You are too used to your own rut and to looking the same as you did yesterday and the day before, instead of the best. Few people can really see their best. Too many years of wrong hair colour, wrong clothes, off makeup, habit, safety, and advice from others who don’t really want you to change, have gone under the bridge.
You are paying us to take our advice, not your advice. It will take time for you to grow into your colours, learn to choose better makeup colours, and adjust your hair colour. Depending on your starting position, it may take a few weeks, maybe even months. Give it a chance. Allow that change can happen from the outside in. Sometimes different can’t look good to you just because it’s different, but that’s not a good enough reason to say it’s wrong.
Most of the time, I see two reactions when a person sees their best colour palette for the first time. One is recognition, calm, familiarity, and relief. The other is hesitation, trouble with the idea that the colors you like or gravitate to might not be the most flattering to your skin, or a feeling that the colors don’t express who you are. You have to give it a week. Change things slowly. Start with nail polish, then clothes and makeup very gradually, and leave hair to the last. It is by far the hardest to get right and get used to.
15. Can the analyst put me in the wrong Tone/Season?
It must happen because there are women out there who have been pronounced to be 3 different Seasons. I can only speak for the Sci\ART system since it is the one I use. As we go through the analysis, you will see how the process self-checks. If we are going down the wrong path, it will become more and more obvious. You will see what is happening to your skin just as I can. An analyst needs enough sets of drapes that are accurate and exclusive for one Tone only. We have plenty to work with.
I encourage you to bring an honest friend or wives to accompany husbands. Mothers and daughters are wonderful for sharing this experience. Other opinions help and make the whole experience more fun. You can talk about it after.
16. I’ve been analyzed in the 4 Season system and felt uncomfortable with all 4 choices. Are some people too complicated to analyze? Should there be more than 12 Seasons?
Absolutely not. Though the 4 Season system was the foundation for today’s techniques, having 12 groups allows for variations within the main groups. The large majority of the population does not fit into one of the 4 True Seasons. Most people are a blend of Seasons. It doesn’t mean the system is weak or that PCA is ineffective for some people.
The Sci\ART 12 Tone technique works for every single person. The drapes have been scientifically and precisely coloured by a Master Colorist to create a reaction in the eye of the viewer. The order of use of the drapes will find your Tone with extreme accuracy.
In my opinion, 12 Seasons is the right number. There are only so many colours that human eyes can tell apart, for one thing. Also, inserting more Seasons between the 12 does not generate any new colours. It borrows from existing Tones which blurs the very unique language, energy, and radiance that each of the 12 holds so uniquely as their own.
17. What if I think Christine put me in the wrong Tone?
Absolutely valid. This is every analyst’s biggest fear. We know what kind of money you’re going to spend on our advice. We want you to be so satisfied that with this experience that you can’t imagine how you got along without it. We chose the Sci\ART system to be our set of tools because we recognized the scientific accuracy of drapes that are calibrated to be very precise in their colour. As human beings, there is always some subjective aspect that comes into the decision.
If ever you think your Tone is not right, I drape you again, no charge, simple as that. Since most people travel to see me, I go to extremes to be very certain of why we choose the Tone we do the first time round.
Do not be afraid to express this concern. It would disturb me a whole lot more to think I gave you wrong information than to do the drapes again. I learn from the process, whether I was right or not. To give you some context, I’ve been asked twice in more than 500 clients to repeat the draping (and we stuck with the first results with a conversation about how to resolve the concern).
18. I was analyzed in the 4 Season system (Summer/Winter/Spring/Autumn) years ago. Is this something different?
For many reasons, those older systems did not work on 80% of people. Today’s PCA is light years ahead of what it was back then. So is the power with which it can transform your appearance and your shopping.
1. As we said above, the majority of people are not a True Tone. They are a blend of two, so one of the eight Neutral Tones. I see 2 True Seasons of any type for every 8 Neutral Seasons. This type of natural colouring is rare and very absolute in its colour tolerances. True Seasons certainly exist, just not as often.
2. It’ s awfully hard to do from photographs, and that’s if you know what you’re looking for. In the real world, nobody looks like the perfect average for the Season that the books showed. One person in ten who was analyzed back then, or from a book, has their Season right.
3. It’s not about what you look like. It is about the reaction that colour causes in your skin – or to be exact, the optical illusion that occurs when two colours are placed side by side. Your skin doesn’t get older or yellower, but wearing the wrong colours, it sure looks that way to the viewer.
4. Hair and eye colour can be anything for any of the 12 Tones, especially the True Winter and the Bright Seasons. Taking those into account to identify your colouring’s dimensions will lead you down the wrong path every time. Among the many ways that the Sci\ART revolutionized colour analysis was to break down the stereotypes that only caused confusion. You can have blue-eyed Autumns, blonde Winters, and brown-eyed Summers.
5. Yes, we’re trying to find the clothing and makeup colours you should buy. But most fundamentally, we’re trying to discover the colours that are in perfect harmony with your own colouring. Cannot be done without a proper draping. Anyone can take their best guess, even an analyst, but they’ll be wrong some of the time, and you don’t want that one to be you. Colour analysis is a process of deductive reasoning with highly calibrated drape colours.
6. What else is different? The phenomenal Colour Books. They look like fabric but are made of durable cotton canvas. The colour technology is outstanding.
19. Do I have to buy my Colour Book of swatches? What if you don’t have any in stock?
There are no worries here. If you don’t want to buy the Book for whatever reason, I’ll take $50 off the total cost.
If I’m out of stock, which may happen because we can’t predict our clients, I’ll mail your Book to you at my cost.
20. What if I strongly dislike makeup and never plan to wear it? Do I have to have a makeup application?
Of course not. Be aware of why you don’t wear it. If someone gave you a list of the exact products that would look really natural and sophisticated on you, that might be nice to know, even if for special occasions.
The time spent on makeup application is not aimed at creating a flawless complexion or perfect contouring. That is what makeup artists do. I do not want you leaving here ready for a meeting or a date. I want you to develop an eye for what your colours look like in makeup. It is fairly easy to find your swatch colours in clothing once you get a little practice. It is much more difficult with makeup and there is less to choose from. You can waste big time and money. I want you to begin seeing what it means to have makeup colour that is very natural on your skin because the colours have been there since the day you were made. We’ll have you looking beautiful, with a beauty that might have happened by itself, so people see your beautiful face, not your makeup.
Whether you wear makeup or not, it might be worth spending the time on the makeup colour. It refines your understanding and skill at selecting your colours. If you accepted your best clothing colours easily, you might be surprised at the doors you will open in your head (by climbing the very big wall you put up) in dealing with what right makeup colour can do. I did not hit the resistance wall in my own PCA till I got to this part and I went into it quite used to makeup.
I want you to see how very little makeup you need to look fabulous. Many women understandably avoid makeup because they have never seen how fast, simple, natural, and real they can look when the colour is right. Either that, or they are wearing far too much product, trying to hide problems that are just the optical illusion of wearing bad colours.
I would like you to experience the reality that when colour is in harmony with your own, it is amazing how much cosmetic product can be applied and still look completely at ease and at home on your face. Part of your analysis includes understanding how to use your undertone to buy correct foundations or tinted moisturizers and how to adjust the colour deposit to be natural and enhancing on your skin, neither invisibly sheer or a heavy mask. One day, you’ll have an interview, wear a gown, be married…allow yourself the education and save it for a day when you may be glad to have it.
Go home and wash it off it you prefer. I promise you that I will never make you look like a clown. I do want to open some windows of possibility in your imagination. Growth cannot happen without questions and new thoughts. Don’t go into your PCA time with the brakes on. Take everything from it that it can give it.
21. Will you analyze children?
Sure. In some ways, children are the most important group to colour analyze because they have a powerful innate sense of colour but are at the mercy of other people’s tastes. Kids get colour and they get it well.
Did I dress my kids in hand-me-downs? My dear, you have no idea. But children are discovering themselves each day and trying to express their character, with the limited vocabulary of children. Colour is a way of doing so that they firmly understand and should be encouraged. They are happier and calmer when their clothing and sanctuary space reflects the inner person they know themselves to be.
Expect their colouring and Tone to deepen and change in their teens. Why not? Everything else is changing, their inner selves, their bodies, their personal vision. If the PCA is done before the person is 18, the Season may change later on and the PCA may need to be repeated. Some people are settled in their Season from 1 year old. Others change, usually in early adolescence.
As a parent, knowing your children’s colours gives great insights to their character (and to why it is different from yours) and which guidance messages resonate most strongly with their colour group.
In addition to women over 40, teens reap the most benefit from PCA across all age groups. It helps them find their identity and explain their behavior and choices to family members that might not understand, in everything from room paint to choice of friends. Teens derive great self-esteem from being understood, belonging to a group of like individuals who sympathize with their feelings, and from knowing that they look great in their clothes. Knowing your own colours is a form of finding yourself, which is the underlying mission of teenage life. They will have the power to resist trends. It is also an empowering and unusual gift that will surprise them.
22. Is it a bit effeminate for men to be colour analyzed?
No, it is evolved. And practical. Also grown-up and modern. Men do not need to look 10 lbs fatter and 10 years older any more than women do. They spend as much on clothes, often more. They are often less willing to experiment with colour. Most men are poster children for the safe grey-blue-beige-burgundy selection because if they venture too far, they might look feminine or foolish. Safe on a man is nowhere when clothing can give their appearance so much impact.
They earn respect by looking sharp, expensive, confident, and fit. Men want to give a first impression of control and authority. They can use colour to send a signal of youth which speaks to vitality. With a PCA, men can look modern and select their own clothing with assurance. They can send the message that they are risk-takers, imaginative, and successful when they experiment. If you are trying to brand yourself, if you’re involved in any type of visual marketing (including marketing yourself), you can look like you’re already there by sending out colour signals that energize. Or you can appear to be at a standstill. Men also become more attractive to women – one pink stripe in a man’s tie and every woman in the room caught it.
23. Can I bring a friend?
I encourage it. It is more fun, more interactive. If you have any feelings of uncertainty whatsoever about the PCA, then I strongly encourage it.
24. Can I videotape the draping session?
No audio or video recordings are allowed at any time. The drape colours are proprietary. As I do the analysis, a certain amount of teaching occurs.
I understand that the majority of people who reassure me that the recording will be for their private use only will keep their word. The problem is that my experience has been otherwise, especially as the power and penetration of social media grows.
25. Can I bring my own clothes and makeup?
I prefer if you do. Your newer, better colours will be so much easier for you to grasp if you have something to compare them to. Your present clothes and makeup are the perfect items to compare because you’re already familiar with them and can see more clearly the adjustments to be made. The more you compare, the better you understand wrong colour, and the easier it is to shop for right colour. A few items of clothing and makeup are a great idea. If we’re going to look at 20 items of each, we’ll have to cut something else short, usually the makeup application.
26. Why don’t you analyze colouring from photographs?
I can speak only for myself here. I appreciate that there are online PCA services and my comments do not apply to them. Only they know their accuracy rate once women are finally draped in person. In my experience, it’s about 50:50. I’m aiming for 100%, with a minimum of 90. Photo PCA doesn’t come close enough for my comfort.
In my opinion, photography is a dangerous thing in colour analysis. I get sent photos every day from women who live far from analysts. In the past, I could not refuse to help. But when I did, the truth is that I was not doing women a service at all. It was my responsibility to know that and act accordingly. I know better today.
Show me the same woman in a photo taken at different times of day and I’m looking at three different colourings. Even pictures taken in sequence all look different. How can I know which is real? How can I know what Season the clothes she wears in the pictures really belong to, because I guarantee that she will have judged them incorrectly? When have you ever met anyone and found they look precisely as you thought from pics? Or even a lipstick colour, let alone a whole face?
Colour analysis must be performed in real time by human eyes connected to a human brain. For me, this is a non-negotiable.
27. Why do you insist on a gray room and special lights? Are they really that important?
I do insist and they are that important. Anyone who classifies colour, in a paint factory or as a colour analyst, can tell you that until you surround the colour in question with neutral gray, you have little or no hope of knowing the truth about that colour. Human eyes evolved to allow us to eat and breed, not look pretty. They do not care if we see exact shades of colours.
Human eyes see by comparing. Human minds make decisions by comparing. That is how it is and how a PCA system must work to achieve a result that is truthful and effective in the eyes of the humans who will see you afterwards.
Colours have immediate and profound effects on one another. This includes your hair, your clothes and jewelry, the room paint, the overhead lights, the list goes on and on. The instant that colours come into contact, they alter each other in human perception, creating powerful optical illusions. If I’m in an environment I can’t control, like a hotel room, I look for a light neutral beige or white that won’t interfere with the analysis and I bring a grey backdrop.
We don’t see colour in the dark. Light has to shine on an object to see its colour, much less know the truth of the colour. Colour is reflected light. If the light is too yellow going into the object, as incandescent, the apparent colour coming out will be too yellow. Daylight changes continuously. The Impressionist artists changed their canvas every hour to try to capture how it affected colour. We use lamps that render every wavelength of light accurately and evenly. Overcast lighting around 9-11 am is actually quite good, the clouds often acting as a good neutral gray filter, but where can you standardize that or rely on it all day long?
28. Should anyone not have their colours analyzed?
Folks with a big disposable income and a lot of time to spend shopping could skip it. They can afford to wear something once and never again because they do not feel good in it. They can continue trying to buy a perfect nude lipstick and have 40 of them because they don’t know which colour is right. They can afford to make the same mistake over and over again.
Seriously, there are some people who might postpone the process. Anyone with an illness or on medication that changes the skin, making it paler or yellower or more shadowed, should wait till they are back in good health.
If you have smoked for 10 years or more, you may be complicated to sort out because of the graying effect on the skin. It should still be possible to find your best colours but nothing will make you as gorgeous and glowing as you might be hoping.
If you are sunburned or have a deep tan, wait. A very light tan would not interfere too much depending on the person. If you use self-tanner, you will need to stop 4 weeks before your appointment.
I have analyzed people in every one of these situations. We were still able to find the correct Season, but it is undoubtedly more challenging and time consuming.
Do it once. Do it right. Let it change your life as much as it can. Because it will change your life. That, you can count on.