Personal Colour Analysis

What is a Season?

Season is really just another word for group of natural coloring. The term has been around for 50 or 60 years. Many people might remember when people when folks were called Summers, Winters, Autumns, and Springs back in the 1980s.

The idea is as good today as it was back then. It says that we all have a natural colouring. We all contain some version of every colour, blue, red, green and all the others, like a personal rainbow. By choosing from the menu of our inborn colours when we add to our appearance, our clothing colours are ultimately flattering to our skin, hair, and eyes. Our makeup is perfect for our face. Our hair colour is fantastic with our skin colours, as if it happened by itself. Every accessory enhances the natural beauty that exists in every human being.

Four groups were not enough. You can’t divide all human coloring into just four categories. The other problem is that those the full on version of the four Seasons is actually quite rare in the population. Most people are a combination of two of those groups, in the so-called Neutral Seasons.

Why 12 groups of colours? Because that’s about what human eyes can tell apart. It’s quite important to have 12 groups that are all different from one another instead of 12 that flow into one another where it becomes very hard to tell what the boundaries are. 12 is a great number to divide human colouring, all ages and races. Each person is learns easily how to make preferences and adjustments in their group.

Let’s say your inborn colours combine Spring and Summer, as a Light Summer. There’s a technical meaning that defines certain properties about your colours that they all share. That’s what makes the whole group mix and match so well in a wardrobe. On 3 scales, you have a setting that decides how warm or cool your colours are, how light or dark, and how concentrated the pigment is (called saturation or chroma). Everyone of your colors in your whole body, your teeth, your tan, your freckles, your veins sticks to the three settings on those dials for your entire life once you settle into your Season, around the age of 18 to 20.

What is a Personal Colour Analysis (PCA)?

What has improved dramatically since the 1980s are the scientific measurement and classification of colour. We now understand how important the surroundings are to influencing how we see colour. We know that photographs are highly misleading, as are stereotypic ideas like “Brown eyes are Winter.” There’s no way around it, we must be analyzed in person.

A PCA is the measuring of your colours. To know what a colour is, we have to compare it to something calibrated. We use carefully selected drapes, which are coloured fabrics about the size of a bath towel. With special lights, in a gray room, the drapes are just laid across you and a trained analyst interprets the changes that happen in your skin, hair, and eyes. You’ll be able to see this happen. How strongly and unpredictably your skin will react to colour will amaze you.

The analyst will evaluate wide angle effects, such as looking younger, thinner, and healthier. She/he will also evaluate small scale effects on skin texture, eye colour intensity, and many other things.

In a PCA with me or the analysts that I have trained, it takes about 1 – 1.5  hours to complete the testing comparisons and know which of the 12 groups is yours. Next, the analyst will explain your setting on the 3 different scales, show you a book of 60 to 70 colour swatches to shop with, and explain how to use it correctly. Depending on the analyst, she will spend some time on cosmetics, and importantly, discuss with you other concerns you might have had – a more flattering hair colour, going back to your natural hair colour, an upcoming purchase, such as eyeglasses, or occasion, perhaps a wedding or investment suit, and so on.

What Can A PCA Do For Me?

Bottom line: You look better. You shop smarter. You feel better.

When every item you add to your appearance is in exact synchrony with who you already are, the result is a picture that is extremely appealing and highly compelling. Others will notice the harmony of your coordinated appearance. They will not be able to recognize why your look is so real and right, but they will be highly sensitive to seeing it nonetheless.

You will have become an educated consumer, with the knowledge and tools to make selections that are perfect for you. Rarely will you stand in a return line. You’ll use up the makeup you buy. You’ll take control of your hair colour and guide your colourist to the right choice, not the trendy choice.

A feeling of settling and calm begins to emerge. Our clothes tell the world the story of us. When our narrative is honest and genuine, we discover the peace of seeing who we were meant to be all along. The most valuable gift we can give one another is perfect acceptance. When a woman leaves feeling at peace and content with who she is, often for the first time since her teenage years, that’s the best service of all.


You will find answers to the most commonly asked questions about your PCA appointment in the article, PCA FAQs.

Information about training to become a Certified Personal Colour Analyst can be found in the article, The PCA Training Course.


15 thoughts on “Personal Colour Analysis”

  1. Well, this is nice. I like 12 bp better than natural bp. I’m happy about your studio. The problem with working at home is that no one recognizes that you are working. This applies to men, too, just ask Patrick.

  2. You’ve been through the work-at-home thing too. Sounds better than it is. It’s easier to just pay rent.

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

  3. They make me think of Springs, and with the dark eyes, perhaps a Bright Spring. Gwen is always so heavily made up that she’s a harder call.

  4. Where can i buy a Sci/Art book of colors? I’ve been searching google for ages, but with no luck. Is there a link on this website or do i have to go somewhere else? I’m searching for a Soft Autumn book. Thank-you :)

  5. Me in the middle, with red hair on first email.
    Confused, been done, a summer and a deep autumn.

  6. I am sorry, sorry, the links are reversed. The blue chair should have been the first.

  7. Did anyone catch the Tracy/Hepburn movie Desk Set on Turner Classics the other day? I’ve seen this movie many times but not in years and only caught the last part. In one scene the four actresses playing the researchers (Dina Merrill, Joan Blondell, Sue Randall and Katharine Hepburn) were framed together to highlight their unique beauty, and the first thing that popped into my head was ‘Summer, Spring, Winter, Autumn.’ Maybe all True?

    Before discovering Seasonal Color Analysis, this never crossed my mind.

    Thank you Christine for all the valuable information you have presented over the years.

    Have a merry and colorful Christmas!

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