The Brown-Eyed Spring

Or Never Give Up On Your Colouring

This post is special for a few reasons.

First, I get more questions asking how this colouring looks than all the other groups.

Is this the rarest Season of them all? I think it depends where you live. I have never analyzed a True Spring, but I have seen what they look like: Robert Redford, Uma Thurman. I give up a bit on female examples because they are so altered, usually for the worse, that a natural original is almost impossible to find.

Bright Spring is not really rare. It is unpredictable. This colouring always seems to look like something else. To confuse matters, the opposite is true as well, where many other Seasons can look like Bright Spring. When hair is dark, this person can resemble Dark Autumn or Dark Winter when eyes are dark. If eyes are light, the similarity to True Summer can be startling.

Secondly, this beautiful model, whom we can call Audrey, has brown eyes. Those are rare in the Spring and Summer groups, but where human genetics are concerned, nothing is impossible.

The Bright Seasons are those that combine Winter and Spring colouring. If Winter is stronger, the Season is called Bright Winter. If Spring influence is larger, the person contains the colours of the Bright Spring palette in their natural colouring. Both are Neutral Seasons in the Sci\ART 12 Tone system, meaning that this skin has some warmer and some cooler colours. This is important information for buying the right foundation.

Asian features often belong to people whose colouring is perfected by the Bright Seasons. Here is one of Audrey’s pre-PCA pictures.

Nothing wrong with that picture at all, but would you think of a Spring person? Maybe, but I didn’t. Bright crosses my mind when I see Asian features, but I couldn’t picture the bright coral pink lip colours on that skin tone. When you look at the PCA pictures, do you find that Audrey does not even look like the same woman? I was blown away by the difference. In her most beautiful colours, her skin tone is light, bright, evenly coloured, illuminated and brilliant. Bright Spring takes their Winter influence and turns it into pure sparkle.

This illustrates what worries me about doing Personal Colour Analysis from photographs, even good ones. They just give you one static shot, but colour analysis is anything except static. It is a very dynamic process, of ever-changing drapes, colours, and better-than decisions, through many sets of drapes. We compare and compare and compare again.

***Thank you to the wonderful Maytee Garza at Reveal Style Consultancy in New Jersey for this analysis. Maytee has shared photographs of PCA sessions with several clients on her Shutterfly page.***

During the draping, we see right away that black works pretty well, but seems too serious and hard at the same time. Something is off, not always easy to put your finger on what. In True Autumn brown, nothing happens. It just sits there. And the longer it sits, the worse things get, which happens with all wrong colours on everyone. Some Bright Springs look physically small, old, and weak in Autumn colours.

Then True Spring’s yellow goes on. Wow. The person turns yellowish, because that drape is too warm, but the eye goes from generic blue or brown to something amazing. The face becomes perfectly evenly coloured. If you could just erase the yellow, the face would already be wearing custom-coloured foundation and concealer. Ten years come off the face of older women. Everyone in the room stares speechless.

In the photo below, compare Audrey’s colouring to Maytee who is a Dark Winter. The clarity and lightness of Audrey’s skin compared to the much darker, muted tones in Maytee are so much more evident. Notice too that black works, but a small black block with a big light, bright block is spectacular.

Audrey’s descriptions are far better than mine could be. She said,

I love that it’s mostly about the skin tone in Sci/Art, but it really is about the eyes and hair too – not in the way that the eye/hair color is part of the final judgment call about a person’s season, but in the way that one can see changes in the hair and eye color too. When I wore the wrong colors, my eyes darkened and you couldn’t get the full effect of the topazy/hazel/interesting lightness (comparatively to other brownish eyes). When I wear my best colors, my eyes lighten to a shade I never even knew they could be, and even my hair changes – I notice the warmth in it, the interesting chestnut/red/orange undertones.

This is the best part. When the hair is covered, it is easier to believe what your eyes are telling you. In Audrey’s words,

The Bright drapes, both Bright Winter and Bright Spring, worked, but the Bright Winter drapes were a bit too blue/too cool, and they didn’t light me up as well as the Bright Spring drapes did. Interestingly enough, some of the Summer drapes worked on me but in general, the Summer palette greyed me and I REALLY could see it. So finally, it was between Warm (True Spring) or Neutral (Bright Spring).

Can you believe it – me, a dark-haired, dark-eyed gal (who actually has topaz-ish clear hazel eyes in the Sci/Art lighting which is a duplicate of natural lighting), was actually being considered for TRUE SPRING! I almost couldn’t believe it but funnily enough, it took a little while to figure out which worked better – warm or neutral. They both looked great but the Warm drapes yellowed me a bit. Also, between True Spring and Bright Spring, there was no contest – True Spring did not incorporate my natural darkness, which Bright Spring does.

One of the most interesting changes that we noticed aside from a greying of the skin or a dulling of the skin was the fact that my eyes darkened when I wore colors that weren’t bright/clear enough. This is also something that I noticed before this draping session, especially when trying different blush colors. When I’m not wearing the right colors, my eyes darken and you can’t get the full effect of how topaz/hazel-colored they are, and now I know that it wasn’t just my eyes playing tricks on me!

The more you are willing to release, the bigger the prize.



99 thoughts on “The Brown-Eyed Spring”

  1. Wow, she looks stunning. I’m still not positive that I’m a Bright Spring (could be a Light Summer?), but the uniqueness of Audrey’s coloring just tells me I need to suck it up and order some swatches.

  2. This was so instructive — and the many pictures really helped. I love Audrey in the blue.

    I am definitely a True Spring. My hair is blonde (I have never dyed or bleached it) with a little white coming in. My skin is very pale and yellow-toned, and my eyes are light blue. Light Spring colors look fine but a bit blah on me. I expect that as I get older , they may look better. I can wear some Bright Spring colors, but I don’t have enough contrast in my coloring to keep the brighter ones from washing me out. True Spring colors all suit me, making my hair glow and my eye color pop — there isn’t a single one I can’t wear. Unfortunately, it’s hard to find those colors when shopping for fall/winter clothes. I suppose it’s because most people are other types and other colors sell better..

  3. Beautiful :) I love the blue one! These colors really make Audrey sparkle, they show the same liveliness of her face, expecially of her eyes…

  4. Audrey is beautiful and there’s no hiding it in any colour IMHO.

    “Is this the rarest Season of them all? I think it depends where you live. I have never analyzed a True Spring, but I have seen what they look like: Wayne Gretzky. I give up a bit on female examples because they are so altered, usually for the worse, that a natural original is almost impossible to find.”

    Now there’s an idea for a documentary series: 12 Seasons In The Wild: Episode IV, The Elusive True Spring.

    Someone should do it.

  5. True Spring celebrities — do you think Grace Kelly and maybe Claire Danes might fit? Leonardo DiCaprio looks like a True Spring to me too — you’re right, it’s much easier to tell if a man is this season than a woman.

    I’m grateful for anything you post that applies to this season!

  6. I am very confused by this analysis result. Audrey does indeed look lovely in the high contrast blue drape and in the pink drape paired with black (also high contrast). But the blue and pink in these photos are the high-contrast *cool* colors best suited to (and most often recommended for) the Deep Winter season. The blue recommended for a Clear Spring is not so jewel-like and the pink recommended for the Clear Spring is a warm pink with a salmon tint to it. The high contrast warm yellow drape that Audrey is wearing is washes her out… that yellow is wearing her, she is not wearing the yellow; but that shade of yellow is a color that should look fabulous on a Clear Spring. I also notice that she is wearing a great shade of cool lipstick *perfect* for a Deep Winter in every photo. So if she looks so great in cool colors, why is she being classified as a warm season?

    I’m also confused about this analysis because a Clear Spring should have at least two warm features. Audrey has cool skin (evident by her porcelain color and rosy cheeks, not a “peachy” complexion), cool hair (not a bit of warmth in sight!) and stunning warm golden eyes. That makes her 2/3 cool and only 1/3 warm… that explains why the cool colors above looks so great.

    In addition, Clear Spring is among the “light” seasons. When we look at Audrey’s lovely countenance, the only light thing about her is her skin… and since she is not of an ethnicity that has a deep complexion, it is hardly a consideration in counting her as a “light” season… she is distinctly Deep. So deep, in fact, that if she were 2/3 warm and only 1/3 cool, she would be a Deep Autumn.

    Finally, any “Clear” season, whether winter or spring, should have a distinctive characteristic that Audrey just does not have: eyes that are both jewel-like in their intensity (with crisp details in the iris) and in stark color contrast to one’s hair. In other words, these are eyes that you would see across the room they are so clear/bright… three of the top/leading color companies teach this about the Clear seasons. Audrey’s lovely amber eyes do not have this distinctive quality… rather than contrast her hair, they blend with her hair, and in every photo pictured, they appear to be soft… that means that the variety of colors in her iris are smudged together, not spokes of color with crisp distinct detail

    Does this mean that all Clear Springs are blonde? Certainly not (although Hollywood would have us think so!), but they are all “Light”. This is another “unique” facet of the Clear Spring season: they are the only “light” season that can successfully wear black. Anyone who is Clear and Deep is a Clear Winter.

    Does this mean that there are no brown-eyed Clear Springs? Again, a resounding no. (I’m actually looking at an ad from Lucky magazine right now with of a Deep Autumn who has transformed herself into a brown-eyed Clear Spring by going blonde) But those brown eyes must be *both* jewel-like in high definition and in high color contrast with one’s hair.

    In conclusion, Audrey looks stunning in her new colors because 1.) they are Deep Winter Colors and 2.) she is a gorgeous example of a Deep Winter. There are over 6 billion people on this planet, hundreds of ethnicities and only 12 seasons. Audrey is a testament to the fabulous diversity of the Deep Winter Season, which is deep, cool and soft.

  7. Hi, everyone,

    Heidi – Grace Kelly says Summer to me. Claire Danes, no idea, but I have never found blonde hair to flatter her, though a medium darkness level is good, which makes me think of Soft Seasons. Leonardo – not as yellow as Robert Redford. Maybe a Light Season? Not even as yellow as Brad Pitt in my memory, more like Jude Law, so maybe a Light Summer.

    Jessica – right on. Trust the skin completely. It is NEVER inconsistent. Hair and eyes can be and if you weight that more heavily, you’ll go off course.

    E. – you have a completely thorough understanding of the Seasons according to the Color Me Beautiful company, if I recognize my colour company philosophies right. You are way more versed in this one than I am. What could I say
    …the drapes Audrey wears are not Dark Winter’s; perhaps because of computer monitors, or photography, or a Dark Winter and Bright Spring palette that differs in Sci\ART and CMB, those colours do not appear in the Sci\ART DW spectrum. They’re too yellow, but the only way to see it is to see them side-by-side. These can be tough calls in stores, since DW and BS are both fairly saturated and have darkness potential. I’ve bought a pure coral cardigan thinking it was DW and decided later it was BS. When women shop, if they can’t tell for sure which Season a colour is, maybe it doesn’t matter enough, and the rest of their outfit will pull it the right way. But in picking Season, the colours of the drapes has to be unbelievably specific because that’s the calibration of the instrument, right? And that calibration will determine the outcome and answers that the instrument puts out.
    … I thought she was DW when I had only seen that first photo. I don’t use the Deep, Soft, Light, Bright Dominant categories because they seem to require the analyst to step back and decide which seems most obvious, but for me, PCA is a process of stepping TOWARDS the person to look at them. In the other photos, I can’t call her Deep, not if Penelope Cruz is deep, or Keira Knightley.
    …the jewel like eyes across the room…well, topaz is a clear jewel. Do photos always communicate this stuff? Lots of True Summer navy or turquoise and Light Spring turquoise eyes seem to come across the room at you. Those types of phrases sound pretty but don’t feel like real parameters to measure anything by.
    …the high contrast between eyes and hair/ 2 warm features rules…who decided that? and why did they become rules? maybe it’s just one person’ opinion and they made a company/philosophy out of it. A different belief system with its own followers, that’s fine, that’s how many of the world’s ideas are divided up, but it doesn’t make the others wrong.

    What if I don’t buy those rules? If I say “I can’t follow that system, it does not support what I believe to be true”. What if I buy something like “there is too much variability and too many exceptions to make rigid, inflexible rules about human colouring. PCA is based on skin tone above all, and of far greater importance than hair and eye colour”.

    I completely appreciate the thought you put into your comment (and also completely respect your perspective).

    Jay – EXCELLENT point and one that I hope people really pick up on. There is NO average for ANY Season. However, common things are common, and if a person fits into that common range, then the hair colours will work because that skin is flattered by those colours because they come right out of the Colours Book that was designed to ultimately flatter skin. Hair is just a hat in one of your colours. But hair is variable too and some common sense would say that if hair falls out of the average, it can’t be subject to the same rules. A red-haired pink-cocoa Light Summer will surely not put blonde in her hair. A cool Light Spring will not put light yellow in her hair. (But the Colours Book colors would still look fantastic in a hat).

  8. I wanted to put the most important point in my answer to E.’s great comment above in a separate box.

    When I asked E. about the jewel tones/ light eyes conventions for this Season, and I said “Who says? Someone made that up.”, she/he might have answered “Well, that’s just the way it IS.”

    That’s where I get hung up. The only things that ARE are those that Nature made. The rest is man-made. For me, the all the rules about Bright Spring, and 2/3 warm and clear eyes and so on, those came from humans trying to impose an ordering system, the favorite type of thinking humans have when it comes to Nature, but one that will always have exceptions. Biodiversity is beyond what humans could force into tight groups, as E says, unless they want to have a million groups.

    Why I connect so strongly with Kalisz’s system is that it doesn’t try to invent new classification systems for light and colour. When sun hits a tree trunk, there is a side relatively shadowed, a true colour showing, and a side in light. The 3 represent the darker Neutral, True, and lighter Neutral Seasons around every True Season. They are designed around the way light strikes objects on Earth and how that makes their colours look. Color always goes from cool>>true>>warm (or the reverse) in that lit area. It never goes from cool>>cooler or warm>>warmer (hence no blends between the True Cool Seasons and the True Warm Seasons).

    Good stuff to think about.

  9. also i know for a fact that the “rosy” cheeks you are seeing is actually a blush color that only a Spring could make look “rosy” – any other season wearing MAC Fleur Power would bring out the orange tones in it too much, in my opinion (and i know Fleur Power quite intimately). the lipcolor was a very bright almost neon warm pink, but to my eyes, it just looks like a pink lip. also, i’ve seen Audrey’s full flicker album – she is wearing a bright lime green color, a salmon pink, a peach, a shocking aqua blue – and she looks great in them. the salmon pink, in my opinion, is better on her than the cooler hot pink in this blog post. her skin is totally bright and clear, no differentiation between face and neck color or strange shadows under the jawline. there’s also a difference between what you can see in person and what pictures sometimes pick up. not all pictures have the same camera angle so there may be a difference in how they turned out. at any rate, i don’t know if what people are claiming as being “cool” is actually a “cleared” skin effect as Christine has mentioned about before. i know for a fact that Audrey is wearing quite warm-toned makeup, and a lot of it too, more than you can tell just from the photos.

  10. This is a fascinating article. Great to finally see a Bright Spring draping! The red/black was especially amazing on her. I’m hoping we’ll get to see a True Spring in the future.

    Regarding the coolness of the colors, there is a comment or two (or maybe more) on the Facebook page about the relative coolness of SciArt swatches compared to other companies. I believe it is in the Soft Autumn Makeup discussion.

  11. I LOVE this series of articles. You’ve saved me with the message that hair and eyes do NOT dictate the season of a person! After years of being told that nothingy brown hair, muddy dark green eyes, warm skin = you’re autumn – soft autumn being the best guess- and reaching the point of despair having about a permanently dull beige yellow complexion and beige hair and beige everything no matter what I tried with the soft autumn colours – I found your advice to cover hair, forget its colour and concentrate on what clears the skin. I was staggered to find that this happens in light spring colours, and just as said in this article, suddenly my eyes change colour. In light spring colours they are no longer muddy, my complexion clears and brightens and the shadows go, and my face is no longer beige. I’ve never been able to find lipsticks in a colour that worked, but coral and watermelon work like magic and suddenly I can actually wear lipstick! (Sorry for the enthusiasm, but oh the joy of not being beige!)

    Odder still, when I looked at the light spring palette, which I’d never looked at before since all the information I’d found is that light spring is defined only by light eyes and light hair, I realised these are the colours of the paint and decor in my home and the ones I naturally surround myself with.

    Thank you! Wonderful articles.

  12. I was wondering, Christine…since the yellowness vs coolness of the blue drape is part of the confusion, do you think you could photograph that Bright Spring’s blue and the Winter’s blue to show? I love it when you differentiate among the season’s different variations of a color…maybe this might be a nifty opportunity to look at that family of blues. Cheers!

  13. I know that Color Me Beautiful is famous for having started the whole color revolution, but I’ve only ever read their latest book (2010) which only addresses the Four-Season system. Perhaps one day I’ll come across the 80’s version in a Used-Book Store and read it then :-) I’m a Color Analyst based out of California, although most of my color tools come from The Style & Image Company / Color International in the UK.

    But from looking at different Color Systems, they all seem to follow the same basic precepts. Even you refer to the site, and she refers to a site, both of which feature the same color guidelines I am referring to.

    And of course, Color Analysis is about creating a complete harmonious package, right? So if you’re wearing colors that compliment your skin and your handbag, shoes or scarf are in completely the wrong color and is not in harmony with the rest of your outfit, the whole look is “off.” Well, at the very least, we must consider our hair as a permanent accessory, and how can we *not* take it into consideration, especially if it has been color treated? If we don’t, it would be like sending an interior designer to redo a room, and say, “Don’t forget that I’m keeping that chair and these drapes.” If the designer didn’t take these elements into consideration when executing the new design, the whole room would be off… after all, it’s not like you can hide them under the new rug :-)

    As far as photos and computer monitors go, it’s true, the color may not be exact. But when a photo is viewed on a computer, they are all de-saturated, faded, intensified or re-saturated at the same rate, or the same scale. So the color *ratios* are all still the same… and that’s important too, or you wouldn’t have posted these images, because they wouldn’t be representative of anything at all (and compliments based on those photos would be as invalid as criticism). :-)

    And yes, her eyes are like dark topaz, and that does come across in photos quite beautifully… but there is no clarity, no brightness, no contrast… and if she is a Bright Spring, shouldn’t she, by definition, be bright?

  14. And as to rules, Color Theory and all Color Systems are based on rules… even Sci /Art has rules. For example, Sci / Art says: “The Certified 12 Tone System is a ‘natural order color system’ and accurately recognizes that this order cannot be changed. Within each of the Certified 12 Tones there are NO “cross-over” (colors that you will find in two different groups) or “flow colors” (colors that are found in both warm and cool pallets) – each of our color groups is different and distinguishable from the others.” This is a very specific rule that you may or may not subscribe to, being certified with Sci/Art, but if you do subscribe to it, that would mean that only *one* of the 12 tones/season would be able to wear black, and there would be no “blending of seasons” as you so often refer to in your blog.

    The fact is, whatever system we use, we are putting people into groups. And every group for every natural order has some parameters. You won’t find birds in the mushroom category, for example. Following a set of parameters before we drape simply helps narrow down the options so that we don’t have to drape in every single color for every single season… bringing a session from 3 hours to 1. Of course, if you are following parameters different from mainstream, those should not only be stated, but even named differently to avoid confusion.

    But, putting all “rules” aside: If we close our eyes for a few seconds, and then open them to Audrey’s portrait in the yellow drape, we will find that our eyes are immediately drawn to the yellow drape, and not to her eyes. This is what Color Certification Trainers call “Training The Eye.” This is also what we mean when we say that someone has “an eye for color.” It means we have been trained to notice where the eye is unconsciously drawn. And if it is not drawn immediately to the subject’s eye, the shade of color is not quite right. It also means when we wear the wrong colors, others may unconsciously perceive us as shady or untruthful, because they have trouble looking us in the eye and they don’t know why. One more reason to wear the right colors, which should have a beautifying effect… both up close, and at a distance!

    Of course, professionals like us could debate until the cows come home, so I won’t disrupt the vibe of your site with further comment… but this was a topic I just couldn’t be silent on. Thanks so much for giving me the opportunity to post!


  15. I wonder how representative photos can be, when it comes to skin and hair and all that?

    When I was taking shots for an online PCA I included one featuring a scarf which, in reality, is a warm (orange) red. Onscreen, and in the print version, it looks distinctly cooler/pinker, and the digital camera seems to have bent the whole spectrum around it – EVERYTHING in that photo looks a little cooler and otherwise off from reality. Digital technology can pick out faces and eliminate the red-eye effect, but sometimes it might alsot be making its own decisions about what we see.

    There was considerable disquiet among die-hard Harry Potter fans when a key character’s Big Dress Moment was switched from blue to pink in the filmed version – and then someone who’d worked in the film industry pointed out that some colours are notoriously difficult to photograph. Think, too, of the blue screen effect., and Google some famous dresses from the technicolour era and see how closely the textile reality matches what you saw in the cinema – putting colour onscreen can be a difficult and idiosyncratic thing.

    Truth be told, I picked up on the sort of dissonance E did (hence my non-commital comment upthread), but having just gone through a draping myself, I wonder if it is probably just a case of digital whimsy, and you “had to be there”.

    Lora of PYW was dead-on with my photo analysis, but she clearly has an exceptional eye: the pitfalls are obvious.

  16. Back to add: the longer I look at that last shot, the more vividly I see Audrey – no question that she’s wearing the yellow, not the other way around, though I can’t recapture my initial impression at this point. I’m sure a different monitor can change what we see – when shopping online, how often have you read the user reviews to the the effect that “X looks darker/lighter/richer/more like than it does online”?

  17. the longer i look at th last shot , the more i feel a lack of “substantiality” (i don´t know how to express better). the color appears to me sort of too light. not really wrong, but a more “strong” and “solid” color would give me the feeling of a more complete and “bodily” appearance. can´t sense her body, which i always do, whe the shade of color is perfect. don´t know if this make sense.

  18. I agree with some of the comments. As pretty as she looks in the blue and red, that shade of yellow looks really off to me. I think that the draping needs to be fine tuned.
    Perhaps shades of red and blue are more flexible and forgiving on people even if they are a little off. Yellow may be more unflattering if it is not perfectly right.

  19. The reliability of otherwise of photographic evidence aside, I ‘m increasingly thinking that the worth of PCA isn’t so much in the prescription at the end, no matter that this is the primary selling point, and without disputing how incredibly helpful as that is for some many of us.

    The best thing about it is the rapid visual education that occurs within the session. The verdict is useful even if you ARE struggling with it, even if it leaves you unsettled, because you have watched the process, debated what you see within yourself and in the court of disinterested opinion, and at some level this is transformative (and we all know how uncomfortable change can be). Similarly, your swatchbook is useful whether you run with it or not, because ot demonstrates a new way of thinking about colour – not as a simple hue, but as something with other qualifications.

    I’m not comfortable with 100% of my new palette (and I do think there are degrees within seasons, and that some colourings lend themselves to wider adventures or greater ease of dressing; soft summer is apparently not one of them ), but that’s ok – the real trick is that I’m looking with new eyes. I see things I didn’t. I better understand why I like what I do, and why don’t like what I don’t. It’s a structure and a key on which to organise your thinking, and the lessons can be generalised..

    PCA, then, was nothing so much as a tutorial, a chance to watch a complex system repackaged for lay people without specific chromatic training and to watch it individually applied – and nothing succeeds like personal relevance. The notes and the swatches are take-home literature and expanded reference material, but the real changes happen on the fly and in your head.

  20. you are so right. and for me your example is the most thrilling i ever saw in the net. it has a lot to do with the question of my own colour choices. i am also very often mistaken for a sort of deep colour type (brown eyes, yellowish skin …) but experienced for example how my eyes light up and get sparkling with bright colours and that bright colours also express more of my personality …
    so i´m still debating with myself about what i learned here and recognise, although it is not a direct experience …

  21. See, I think that a controversial reading is worthwhile – maybe even more worthwhile, because it gets you thinking, looking more carefully, examining assumptions. No-one is arguing about folks who fit dead centre in a season, the ones who naturally gravitate to their best colours (or who have been placed there by a canny stylist), the ones even us rank amateurs can have a crack at with a little dangerous knowledge and a bit of practice (grinning, here),

    It’s the harder calls that fascinate me, the people who get variously placed. There might well be a theme to it, two flow seasons involved, and that’s even more interesting – different things apparently happening on different days, as Christine has said somewhere. Some people are just harder to place, and they may well also find their best colours harder to find in reality – I don’t know.

    I think virtual analysis has a place, in the hands of those who understand its limits and who can coax a good colour history and a set of reasonable photos from a punter like me (and I had fixed ideas going in, and my own diagnostic agenda) – like everything else, we’re as good as the materials we’re given to work with.

    It’s a bit like medicine – a face-to-face consultation is ideal and indeed we’re routinely reminded of the hazards of over-the-phone or online diagnosis, but if you’re stuck on sheep station 400km from the nearest centre, well, the flying doctor service is going to have to do its best to triage you over the phone, and there’s a very good chance they’re going to put you in an appropriate category, and often the exact diagnosis.

  22. Alas, can’t go back and edit comments, but adding this:

    It can take a few goes to get hair colour right, so why not this? Take the conclusions and test ’em in the field …

    Online PCA made me understand what was up for grabs, and led me to find the only Sci-Art analyst in my city – and I wouldn’t have found her without the almost-eerie prescience and provocation of the virtual result, nor understood her thinking as well. Her life was easier because someone else had been there first. Sometimes you see more than one practioner in pursuit of the diagnosis, and each builds on what has gone before, if not in their minds, then in the subject’s.

    Hope Audrey is having fun with her new take on it all, however she rolls with it!

  23. This is such an interesting discussion!
    First of all, Christine, let me say that I really like your comment “The only things that ARE are those that Nature made. The rest is man-made.” I find that to be very true. We as humans tend to NEED to categorize things, maybe in order to find life more graspable, I don’t know. But it’s important to remember that there are very few fixed truths.
    When I look at “Audrey” I too see a Winter. Most likely a Bright Winter, but either way a Winter. I love the blue and the pink with black on her, but I feel unsure about the yellow. That was my immediate reaction, even before reading the comments.
    The problem with these kinds of articles is that we only see the “After”, almost never the “Before”. We have nothing to compare the end results to. We just have to take the word of the analyst and the person who’s been analyzed for it, and that’s entirely fine with me, but it leaves out the lightbulb moment for us as spectators. I can see why the results become subject to questioning.
    What strikes me most of all reading through the article though is that if Audrey had gone to “E” (the analyst above), she would have been a Dark Winter. Now she went to Maytee instead and she’s a Bright Spring. The two analysts represent two different systems, and neither of which can scientifically measure the results of a person’s coloring to get the scientifically correct result, at least not to this day. Meaning, in the end, that the results will always be subjective.
    So where does that leave us? Is Audrey a Bright Spring because Maytee says so, or is she a Dark Winter? Who’s right and who’s wrong? Audrey can surely not be both. The scary part is that Audrey, or someone like her, will identify with a label that somebody has put on her, which somebody else in a matter of minutes can shatter. No wonder we hear comments all the time like “I always thought my coloring was x, and now somebody tells me I’m actually xx instead”. I guess what I’d love to see is a uniform system that leaves subjectivity out of the picture. Until that happens I will continue to enjoy the analysis process – which I truly do – yet hoping that everybody takes their own mind, their own personality and their own truths into account when paying for a label.

  24. I am no specialist at all, but this analysis looks really fine. For instance many Japanese women look very fine in the bright slightly yellow colours of their kimonos, and not so good in white, like Bright Springs do. And they do not have “jewel” eyes, but have jewel skin.

  25. I’m mixed up. I need to read that article again. Who was “E”? The Dark Winter part was just my impression from a photo. Which is right? The person holding the drapes, especially if they are colored in the Sci\ART system. Why do I say that? Because I agree that every system’s drapes should put the same person in close-as-possible equivalent Seasons, and yet they don’t. How can it be? The difference may be in the analyst, or in the drapes themselves. The Sci\ART drapes and the order in which they’re used have a few unique aspects. If I had analyzed Audrey, could I have come out with a different Season than Maytee did? Sure, it’s possible. Analysts wonder about this too, I would think. But I doubt we’d have been more than one Season off, so Audrey still looks 90% better than she did before she knew what 90% of the colours in stores to ignore.
    Your other point is good too. We are not here to rigorously hand down rules and rigid structure. The more of herself that the client blends into the analysis result, the more at home she will feel and look. Whether it’s anti-aging, personal growth, diet, too many people abandon themselves in a philosophy. It works for you better if you keep a foot in.

  26. I don’t think anyone’s mentioned this yet, but regarding the comments about the yellow drape not being Audrey’s best: on my monitor, that yellow drape reads as distinctly cool, *not* warm. Perhaps this is how it shows on others’ screens? If it’s not the best drape, I think this may be an explanation.

    Her lip and cheek colors are discernibly warm and look perfect, IMHO. The black top and burgundy lip at the start of the post are just sad.

  27. The yellow is less contrasting than the other two colors as well. Maybe it’d look better with that square of black?

  28. I think it could be the lightness of the yellow drape. Maybe it would look better with some contrast?

  29. A good point, Ashley. These are contrasting people, very much so. And the premise of the whole deal is to repeat what you already are. So a big light block on a person that seems darkish will not work as well as the combination with a darker colour. Not necessarily black, because the person is not as dark as they seem, but a small black element, or navy, or charcoal, might all make the yellow better. Funny so many didn’t like the yellow, I didnt’ get any bad vibes from it.

    Thanks, Rachel. I think if I were pressured to bleat these things out, I’d freeze. : )

  30. I’m not about rules and all-or-nones, June, especially when it comes to hair colour. I’m the one with the red-haired True Winter husband and daughter so I learn that lesson every day. Every person is their own colour story. Having never even seen you, I can’t even say if blond is “believable”. : ) How about your natural hair colour? What is that?

  31. Let me start off by saying I’ve looked at the album Audrey posted in the comments earlier and I think the yellow or at least, the photo of it, is the weakest of them all so maybe not a great example.

    But I don’t think she looks washed out as E said. That would mean her face looks drained of color and it doesn’t. I think it looks just a little too red. Looking at her album, I think her best color is the first, the bright light blueish green or greenish blue. She looks good in the pink above but there are lighter and brighter and warmer pinks (corals really) that I think look even better on her in the album. And the coolest pink she’s draped with? It’s not bad, but it’s the worst pink of the bunch. Of course, that’s all really hard to pick up from photos which is why we could debate this all day long.

    I would instead like to debate the “parameters” of Sci Art and the issue of eye and hair color. E, you write about eye and hair color of being equal importance to skin without, I suspect, knowing why Sci Art and Christine use the parameters they do. The FACT is that when you put two colors next to each other, they affect how you perceive them. Knowing this, the most simple thing in the world to know about color, how could anyone ever think the color of eyes and hair were half as important as skin color?

    If I wore an orangey-red, my greyish, greenish blue eyes would look bluer. If I wore the same blue as the photo above, my eyes would look greener or teal. When I had light blonde hair, black made it pop for your attention. But the orangey-red makes my skin look yellow. That super bright vibrant blue draws the eye away from my face every time. And black drains all color from my face.

    The color of my hair and eyes will look different with whatever color I wear but they will never look “bad” with any color. No, that’s not the word. Unhealthy. Ill. Sick. Tired. The subjective color of my irises will never make me look sick or ill because of the “wrong” color. People won’t ask me if I’m tired because my top doesn’t “match” my hair. Skin is the MOST important, the ONLY important item to match to because it affects the appearance of your health. Sure, your eye color and hair could clash. And you certainly want the whites of your eyes and teeth to look their whitest and not too yellow or blue or dull. But that’s it.

    Your skin is the MOST important factor, not 1/3, not 1/2, but 90something percent. A “wrong” color could mean your skin has a yellow cast or the circles under your eyes are more prominent or the blemishes look very red in comparison to the rest of your face or your face just has no color to speak of, you look close to dead. If your eyes get bluer, greener, browner, softer, or brighter and your hair gets shinier, redder, grayer, blonder, or softer, that’s OK. That’s your personal preference, sure, but it essentially has no effect on the appearance of your health. And that’s what this is ALL about it. If my skin looks bluer, I look tired. If my skin looks yellower or greener, I look sick.

    That’s why Sci Art doesn’t factor in the hair or eye color during an analysis. Even if the majority of women’s hair wasn’t DYED, it still doesn’t matter. I want my colors to match my SKIN so I can look the most radiant, healthy, and young I possibly can.

    It could be nature (as Christine likes to say ^_^) or pure luck and coincendence that my naturally dark blonde/light brown hair and growing-tealer eyes look absolutely fantastic with the colors that were chosen for my skin. That is certainly debatable.

  32. Lest we forget : the skin is the largest organ, and the most visible.

    So well said, Tora – should this be highlighted over on the Facebook page?

  33. @Tora: I agree with everything you said. And I know this is slightly off topic but I was just wondering: what color season are you?

  34. @Nynd I think we forget that all too often. Or perhaps, it’s because it’s so big and varied that it’s hard to see as one color. There’s a comment on the Truth is Beauty blog about matching skin color and why women need someone else to tell them what matches that I need to reply to. Long before I found PCA, I figured out exactly the eye and hair examples earlier. I knew which colors made my eyes look a certain color. And I tended to match things to my easily discernible color block on my head, my hair. But the color of my forehead is different from my cheeks. The color of my stomach which gets no sun is different from my neck. My arms are the darkest of all. It’s not one big block of color like my hair or the dot of color like my eyes. You have to get really close to the hair and eyes to distinguish all myriad of colors.

    I’m not on the Facebook group but I’ll probably get to it one of these days. Feel free to highlight if you like! If Christine is ok with that :)

    @Shannon: I look terrible in black, a color I used to wear often since “black is so slimming” and “everyone needs a little black dress” and it’s soooo easy to find. If there’s not a color you like of something there is ALWAYS a black version. Not always a white version though… but I no longer wear black because I’m a Light Summer. I’m the “typical” too. Blondie as a kid/teen, dark blonde/light brown hair now, greenish-gray blue eyes. I suspect the blended color of my eyes is actually teal as that’s the only time they are the same color as my top… Which is the Light Summer color! Blue with a touch of yellow! =D

  35. I understand what you mean about black. :) I have worn black, red and white for years because they are colors you can find in almost any store. And, like you, I think I always assumed that black was a universal “safe color” and that it was very neutral too for some reason. Because almost every store seems to offer black in case you don’t like any of their actual colors it sends a strong message that black is great color for every person to wear. It was only after I started doing a lot of research on color analysis that I slowly began to realize that black, red, white and blue are not really universally flattering at all, and that only certain “seasons” can actually wear those colors in their purest forms (particularly True Winter.) It took me a long time to fully learn (and especially to accept) what color season I actually am, which is True Autumn. I’m sort of a dark haired and darker eyed True Autumn, which is part of the reason why it was not the easiest thing for me to fully realize my season. :) I can kind of relate to what you’re talking about though. :)

  36. Finally, an analysis of an Asian person that looks at her actual skin color and NOT get distracted by her dark hair and eyes! I think a lot of us Asians and half Asians are automatically grouped into Winter because of our dark hair/light skin coloring. Skin color and overall lightness and brightnes need to be looked at in RELATION to the rest of the people of that ethnicity. (We just usually have dark hair and eyes and that seems to throw everything off!)

    I think you really nailed it with the comment that “Asian features often belong to people whose colouring is perfected by the Bright Seasons” The bright spring colors compliment her skin perfectly……the hair and eyes sem to just “fall into place” when she wears the correct colors.

    As for myself, I’m half Asian and still can’t figure out what the heck season I belong to. Maybe I’m a Spring too, lol!

  37. It’s great to see a dark haired example of a Bright Spring. She’s beautiful in her colors.

    I’d love to know what makeup she’s wearing, especially lipstick?


  38. Christine, Karen raised some questions about Bright spring and the level of contrast – i.e can there be too much contrast/ too little? It was posted under Light spring looking serious, but I hope we can move the debate here to the benefit of other Bright Springs.

    I too would highly appreciate if you would elaborate on the subject. Personally I do not like blue and red stribes. Now that is contrast, but I think it communicates clown – to use Karens expression. On the other hand I wouldn’t wear the same colour head to toe.
    I like to combine any of the colours from the fan with black or one of the neutrals. That feels fine. I also like to add another colour in a scarf or in jewellery.
    Karen also asked if you would comment on the personality traits. I am curious too :-) I read somewhere on your site (the theme was handbags) that this season is more reserved than one should think. In the case mentioned you showed a bag with logos and added that none of the Bright springs you knew would probably buy it.

    Those were the questions. Below I add my own story. Christine, if you find it too long or out of place, just cut it. The reason I add it, is partly because I am happy and want to share, partly because I found it very helpful to read the stories of other women. Maybe my story can now benefit someone else.

    A while back (last year perhaps) on your Greener tea site I was trying to self diagnose – which turned out to be near impossible. I promised to come back when I had found my season. Here I am: a bright spring (which you suggested as a possibility yet wise enough to say I needed a proper test) My face is in the link below. I thought back then I was a deep autumn, yet that didn’t quite work either.

    I live in northern Europe and Sci/art is scarce here. I had an analysis done on line by Linda Tarantino who said Bright spring. A week later I left a comment on another on line analyst’s page to comment on the season. The analyst questioned the result and felt I was a summer, perhaps soft. It threw me. It shouldn’t have, but it did. I spent the next many months trying summers and soft autumn. I should have stuck with the bright spring, though it scared me a little.

    Recently I flew to Prague and had a very thorough analysis by Hanka (the blonde true winter). It took 3 hours. I see now that we went through a process very similar to what you have described above. True winters black was quite good, yet somehow not quite there. Silver was not bad either, but not perfect. Spring was way to warm. But it certainly made me glow. Autumn was the worst. The longer it sat there, the worse it got. I grew a full beard in sickly green wearing that brown.
    We went through the red drapes, sometimes liking a warm, sometimes a cold, mostly neutrals. We went through all the 8 neutral seasons. I had travelled so far, and Hanka wanted to be really certain. Soft greyed me. Dark was too dark. Autumn was solid and overtook me completely. I am by now truly impressed with autumns – those solid, massive colours just sat on me and ate me. I felt unwell in them. Autumns must have a remarkable skin to balance those massive colours.
    We kept coming back to Bright spring. We didn’t really want to believe it. But then it was so obvious. The light purple was incredible. Hanka compared with a very similar light purple (perhaps light summer?), but it was too pink and grey, and it was obvious that the clearer bright spring drape was better. With some of the really difficult colours Hanka said: “This is not supposed to happen. I have seen others in this drape and they can’t wear it.” But I could. We were both surprised.

    I am on the cool side of the palette. Bright winter is a bit too dark. I don’t really feel I have a runner up season. If anything I am on the cooler, lighter scale. The thing that struck me the most, is that my skin has a translucent quality too it, that I didn’t even know of. Transparency and shine are two key factors now when I go shopping.

    The emotional effect on me was astounding. I felt like I had a fountain of happiness on the inside. I could not stop laughing and smiling. I really do love the colours. They make me happy – and I am otherwise known as a rather serious person.
    I spent a day in Prague. It was nice to have some time on my own to absorb the whole thing. The whole experience was more overwhelming than I would have thought. I bought a bright blue blouse and have since bought a few other things and received many compliments. There have been very few of these during my many months in soft colours – and I thought I was just getting old :-)
    I feel the true colours have a positive effect on my level of happiness.

    Somehow I also feel I have come home. How could this season be such a surprise to me? When I look at the paintings I have done from when I was 15 till now they fit the fan. So I would choose paints that are inherently bright spring, but I didn’t dare wear them. Except for some impulse buys when I decided not to care if I were summer, autumn or winter (of course I couldn’t be spring with my dark hair). My favourite scarf turned out to be spot on as well as a few other things – including my parachute :-)
    How could the surprising bright spring be a surprise to a woman, who is a complete surprise to everybody else. I spent 10 years in the army including more than a year in Afghanistan as a soldier working with Afghan women. I have worked and travelled in 30 different countries and then became a novelist. LOL

    Having spent quite some time on TV I’ll be the first to say that some of these colours can not be worn on TV and they are very hard to photograph. The reason is that cameras make certain colours “jump” (sorry, I can’t find a better word.) Everybody must have seen the effect of pepita(?) pattern on TV (the black and white small chess pattern where the corners of each square are dragged and pointed into the neighbour square). This particular pattern creates a very vibrant effect on TV. It is a disaster – it doesn’t stand still. The same thing happens with bright white. And I am fairly certain it will happen with the true red in Bright Spring. So I am not the least bit worried about the above comments on “Audrey” in yellow. She looks marvellous when you compare with the photo in the black t shirt. Photos are illustrations, yet they distort to a certain extend. Those who were present at the draping have seen the effects. We see just a fraction.

    One of the pictures that I have of Bright spring in my mind is of a landscape with frost and the first yellow and purple spring flowers peeping through the snow, the sound of water running under the clear ice, the crisp clear wind, the feeling that it may all freeze over again, but also the knowing that eventually it will be spring. Life will prevail.

  39. Karen,
    I placed your comment with the Light Summer article, as it should be, and added a few thoughts. Sorry for the mixup.

    Your story is wonderful, your observations especially good. “the longer it sat, the worse it got” is absolutely right of a Spring in Autumn colours, and something few would see of themselves. Considering how beautiful you are in wrong colour in your photo, you must be breathtaking in right colour. And FWIW, you look exactly like a Bright Spring. The landscape you relate with is very evocative. I see a hotter, lusher version of the palette, but how fascinating that yours is cooler and that you are on the cool side. In both, I agree with you, water still freezes sometimes. And with Spring, life comes first. Thank you for this, you’ve given me (us) much to think about and feel uplifted.
    Your position nearer BW than T Sp will add even more reserve to your comfortable presentation, and feeling clownish can happen easily – and more so if you’ve been dressing as a Summer, as Karen said. True of all Winters is that colour is so bold that smaller blocks feel truer to the quietness of the person. Some BW feel their Spring energy hugely and feel wonderful (or learn to with time) in a lot of colour, almost riotous colour. Some dress very sparingly with colour, and they look great too.
    B Sp can wear yet more colours together, but will emanate less darkness. I once did a comparison of BW and B Sp, here

    B&W are present, but in smaller pieces. More Winter, more black works, which could be you, but black can be a safety valve, a back door that’s used much too often. It’s important to be true to yourself. If such striking colour feels better when balanced with more neutrals, then wear that. Neutrals are underused, IMO. They should be the workhorses and anchors of our wardrobes.

    I hope I’ve helped. I’m glad to work on something for B Sp. I’ll include personality. If you have more questions, please ask. Articles come together faster when I’m thinking in specifics.

  40. Anne-Cathrine and Christine (hello there, long time!),

    It’s been wonderful living in color again for the past year. Once I found my correct tone (Bright Spring), I was still a bit lost, and grappled with the same issues you mention. More to the point, I was puzzled by the fact that certain high-contrast combinations were a bit overpowering, though I had expected them to work for a Bright.

    What I have learned so far:
    ** It is important to figure out the best clarity and the best contrast levels and color combinations for one’s tone/seasonal type: There is a book I find quite helpful in figuring this out — Color 1, published in the 80’s (it is also a 12-type PCA system, not sure whether still in use). In it, the 4 main “seasons” are categorized as Light-Bright, Gentle, Muted and Contrast. The book gives detailed information on contrast levels and combinations that are appropriate for each of the 12 types. To give you an idea: The dramatic combination of intense, vivid red and black is one that better suits Bright Winters. Bright Springs, though they have black and vivid red in their palette, can be overwhelmed by this combination. However, vivid red and ivory (or a light grey) can work very well, and look fresher and brighter, as opposed to dramatic and dark. Or try black with a bright but less saturated red, such as a clear salmon.

    ** It is helpful and useful to take the time to figure out one’s best colors: It became clear to me that some colors in my Sci/ART palette worked better than others, although with Sci/ART all the colors are tonally correct, which is good. I kept coming back to the idea of having a main cast of characters (color-wise). Both the Zyla method and the method described in the Seven Connections site were very useful for this. The colors that didn’t make it into “main cast” are still used on occasion as “supporting cast”. I would say my best colors are a combination of the colors that best repeat, intensify or enhance my own “body colors”, plus colors that I add to these to give me my best combinations.

    ** It is important to respect one’s own value and color contrasts: Imogen Lamport’s website (InsideOut Style) has a few postings that discuss these concepts:
    Just to give you an example, I think this explains why I have always liked analogous color combinations (of bright, clear colors), more so than complementary color combinations (although colors that are complements of my own “body colors” work great, but I prefer to pair them with neutrals – see Imogen’s article on adding color to black or other neutrals).

    ** Brights have neutrals too: I continue to use neutrals in combination with colors. Again, Imogen and others have good articles on this. We are used to thinking about the Bright tones in such a way that it conjures up images of color blocks and big swathes of color. For me, what Imogen calls “column dressing” and the author of Color 1 calls “wearing a base” is very important, as I do not wish to make my body appear shorter and rounder with color blocking. So the base or column is often a neutral, and color comes in as a cardigan or a scarf (or the other way around…).

    ** There is more to it than color, though color is the icing on the cake (for me at least): Personal style and taste, body shape and proportion, lifestyle, etc. A useful, little strategy I read about recently is to put together an outfit list, as described by a number of bloggers. Take a lazy morning or weekend, start with your foundation pieces, say pants and skirts, and actually think up and try out complete outfits based on that foundation piece, and do take notes, so you can refer to your list in a pinch!

    Thank you also for sharing your story.

  41. Christine, thank you very much. Your comments on contrast level and the comparative Bright Winter/Bright Spring polyvore are very helpful for me. I get the point that BW has most contrast and is darker compared to B Sp which is lighter and sunnier and has quite a lot of contrast compared to other seasons, but yes, this is still spring. One of my pitfalls is that BW clothes seem easier to find.
    I will get back with some questions – I just haven’t quite “distillated” my own confusion in to clear questions yet ;-)

  42. Fil, I loved your story and that book (Color 1) sounds fascinating. Who is the author? I have started to realize I am collecting books on color and style and I just love the older ones so an 80s PCA book would be heaven. (What can I say — I also adore 70s decorating books.)

  43. Hi Isabella,

    The author of Color 1 is Joanna Nicholson. Another good one is The Triumph of Individual Style by Carla Mathis (90’s, I think).

    I was thinking some more about the whole issue of complementary combinations, and what I really feel about them. Conclusion: I love them in prints, but I tend to wear prints in accessories only, not in clothing (I think this is the Winter influence on Bright Spring). Also, I can do complementary contrast higher up (like a contrasting scarf around the neck), but not in a way that cuts the body in half. OK, I fell better now :). And there are all kinds of quasi-complementary combinations that seem to work well (say, dark indigo and yellow). Interestingly enough, I have a little light/bright yellow-green in my eyes that seems to be the perfect complement for my best red/undertone. Hmm…

    A little tip: gray and white accessories (or clothing) work great to dial down a combination that is too intense/wintery.

  44. Fil – thank you so much for your comments. They are very very helpful and make great sense. You saved me much trouble and money right there :-) I have spent hours on Imogens page today – thank you. I also now see that my level of contrast changes during the year. My hair is darker at winter and the skin is paler. I tan easily and during summer I end up with medium brown hair and fairly dark skin. Great tips on the white and grey. If you come up with more I’ll be here to learn from you.
    Thank you so much for sharing your valuable experience and helping this new Bright spring sister to an easier journey.

  45. Anne-Cathrine, you are very welcome. I’ll be sure to share any good info I come across, makeup finds, etc. I also thought at one point I was a Deep Autumn or Winter, and then toyed with the idea of Bright Winter, as Spring wasn’t even on my radar. I have clear brown eyes (in the yellow-orange hue family), with the green lines I mentioned above on the outer iris, very dark hair (in the orange hue family) and medium brown skin (in the red-orange hue family), which I believe is what landed me on the Deep categories in past PCA’s. Now that I am a bit more aware, I can see how my skin has that thinner Spring quality, and quite some red and apricot in it. Undertone is a clear neutral red that has just the slightest touch of Winter’s violet, so I would say I’m closer to BW than TSp. A lighter version of it is a clear salmon red. Bright warm pink also seems to “link” well with my undertone.

    All the best with your color pursuits!

  46. Thanks, Fil! I have ordered a copy! And thanks also for your thoughtful post. Your links re: contrast were very helpful. Imogen Lamport’s picture of high, medium and low contrast looks with jeans suddenly clarified this whole issue much better for me.

    With regard to making outfits, Brenda Kinsel’s “Brenda’s Wardrobe Companion” has a chart you can photocopy and fill out with combinations of pieces that work. You start with a bottom (trousers, skirt, etc) and then make various outfits for it with different tops, accessories, shoes, etc. As she points out it is really important to write down the outfits that work — you WILL forget them otherwise, and after you’ve spent the time and energy doing it that would be pointless. I haven’t actually done it in a while but then I am still in the middle of my huge post-draping wardrobe purge!

  47. Isabella, it is true, it is so easy to forget! It happened to me and I had to start all over again! But very worth it and quite amazing the number of things that work well together that you never knew!

  48. Thank you Christine. Now I really get the differense between bright spring and bright winter.

    Fil >> Does Imogen mean that the level of contrast that is right for you doesn’t depend on which season you are, but your skin-hair-eye-combination (meaning that two people in the same season might need very different levels)? Or is the point just that not everyone within a season can handle the exact same amount of contrast?

    I’m confused because I thought that the level of contrast suitable for you was all about your season (based on your skin). Is this a misunderstanding?

    AC>> I’m with you on the BW pittfall. I’m also finding more bright winter clothes than bright spring. These days, though, I seem to be looking for a needle in a haystack of autunm colors. Just not our time of year, perhaps.

  49. Karen, I think it is both: firstly, it is important to understand the parameters of each of the tones, and these usually allow for a little bit of wiggle room. Only then does one figure out one’s best fit within the range/parameters of the relevant tone. In my case, Bright Spring allows for medium to high contrast (but not a dark/dramatic combination, which is another issue). I think I suit medium, medium-high best. I can do high contrast, but in strategic ways. I don’t think the Bright Spring tone allows for low contrast, though, or monotone looks (except those involving medium bright/vivid colors worn as a single color).

  50. Thanks Fil for recommending my blog.

    Karen – to answer your question about contrast – it’s unrelated to your season (or colour direction) but related to your colouring. So you can have two people of the same colour direction but they will have different contrast levels (both colour and value). For example You could have someone with blue eyes, dark brown hair and fair skin – who will have a high value contrast and a medium to high colour contrast. You could have a brown hair, medium skin, brown eyes person who fits into the same colour direction as our first example (eg. winter or cool deep depending on system) but they will have a medium value contrast and a low colour contrast so will wear clothes quite differently.

    Your contrast levels can change when you change your hair colour – so if you go lighter in summer and have fair skin which tans you will lose value contrast, whilst in winter you may find that your hair is darker and skin paler which makes you a higher colour contrast.

    This Thursday I’ve got two videos on my blog about contrast levels that may help explain a little more.

  51. from my comment above: a single vivid/bright color worn all over, but shoes to match hair color! Also, a necklace to match hair color or a scarf in a print that includes hair color looks great.


    Back to the subject of high contrast: Suzanne Caygill (in Color: The Essence of You) talks about Special Types that pretty much apply across all seasons (this has more to do with body type/personal style). These types are in reference to petite women (not my case…) but I identify with one of the types described, the Hummingbird:

    “… Usually her colors should be neutral with the emphasis of bright reds, pale yellow, or bright blues, worn at the top of the body, such as the hummingbird’s head is colored. …”

    So if you are a Bright Spring and still a bit afraid of high contrast/bright colors, it could be that, like me, this strategic way of doing high contrast is more suited to you, but an element of high contrast, big or small is important to Bright Springs.

    AC–being on the BW side of BS, have you tried the Smashbox blush in Radiance? This is perfection, applies warmer than it looks, great for reds, pinks, blue-greens, greens, yellows.

  52. Imogen, I so enjoy browsing your website, you touch on a number of important topics that are sometimes left out. I look forward to the new videos this week! This issue of contrast levels is one that almost had me miss out on my true seasonal type. I’m also sitting tight as Christine promised to write some more about Bright Springs :)

  53. Thanks alot Fil and Imogen. Your information and advise has given me a new perspective on things and a lot to think about.

    That hummingbird-theory sounds very interesting. I’m perhaps not the typical bright spring, I don’t know. I’ve got blonde hair (used to be platinum but now it has darkened) and when I’m not tanned i’m quite pale too. My eyes are light turquise-greenish. Doesn’t seem very contrasting.

  54. Karen,

    I’ve been thinking about Imogen’s comment. It has given me renewed confidence that greater harmony is achieved when the person’s level of value contrast and color contrast is taken into account.

    I have also realized the contrasts I had in mind in the hummingbird comment are actually medium, medium-high contrasts (which I tend to favor), not high contrasts (eg., gray and bright blue; black and coral), which leads me to believe a person like me probably does not need to worry about high contrasts, or at least should do them superimposed on medium contrasts to avoid a jarring effect. What remains true, though, I believe, is the need for any color combination to maintain the high chroma (clarity) that defines the BSp tone.

    I would love for us to have a common point of reference to define what low, medium, and high contrast is (as I sit here, I’m looking at two different sources with slightly different definitions). A question I have: is a complementary combination always a high contrast combination? And should a combination strive to achieve an overall medium value effect (which also seems to be a characteristic of the BSp tone, according to the SciART manual)?

    A little tip to follow up on what I said before about white and gray to dial down a combination that is too intense/dark: if the lighter BSp colors look too LSp when combined, add a bright or dark accessory (or item of clothing) to balance it out and dial up the level of contrast a bit.

    Thank you for your reply. This interaction is helping clarify things for me also.

  55. Thinking about how easy it is to get concepts muddled, like assuming high contrast when thinking about high chroma, mixing up value contrast and color contrast, etc. It does not have to be very complicated (I’m telling myself…). It is the high chroma (no mutedness), overall mediumness of value, and warm neutrality of Bright Spring that have to be maintained. Any thing else should be possible, right? Even low value contrast (note to self: Imogen’s chart gives a very good guide–no need to angst too much about it). Would love to see an example of a low contrast BSp (Karen may also be one).

  56. Fil – looked up the smashbox on the internet, and it does look right and scaringly bright ;-) Haven’t tried it and am currently waiting for my Elea Blake products to arrive. I have never seen make up that fit me as well as that did after the analysis. I rarely wear anything but a brown liner and a dark brown or black mascara. I had never seen a good foundation on me until i tried Elea Blake “Breathtaking” – that fit the name in my case.

    Karen, Imogen, Christine and others – I am learning a lot here, still chewing on all the info.

  57. Christine – I have some questions that I hope you can help me with.

    When I look at the B Spr fan there are aprox. 17 pinks/corals (ok, take out the corals and there are still 12 pinks), 10 greens, 5 turqouise, 6 blues, 5 yellows, 9 greys and 3 purples. No need to get nitty gritty about the numbers, my question is: is there bigger room for error /wiggle room in the pink colours than in say the purple ones?
    To a certain degree I guess your personal features influence this. Having green eyes with grey and yellow I might be able to pull of a wider range of greens than say a person with blue eyes would – or?
    Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of colours in the fan to choose from, but the reality in stores has to be dealt with.

    I guess the pink range in B Spr could be connected with the famous undertone of skin. Do the other seasons also have a color that dominates the palette? I remember my DA fan having only one red, but a sea of greens and browns and blues.

    I could really use some practical advise on how to shop with the fan. I am still seaching for that particular B spr pale purple. I wonder how close I should nail it? There is only that one in the fan – does this mean less wiggle room than for some of the other colours?

    Also I really liked what you said above about the neutrals. “Neutrals are underused, IMO. They should be the workhorses and anchors of our wardrobes.” I read your article on the greys. It is very useful to know that the greys will to a certain extend adjust to the other colours you are wearing. I hope you will do more on the neutrals some day. I guess for most of us, this is where we spend the bigger money – a suit, a good skirt etc.

    Thank you!

  58. AC,

    Before the above, I’ll second Radiance as a nice blush. Mixing MAC Dollymix with Fleur Power is great too for BSp.

    There is not more wiggle room for one colour than another in a given Season. There is room to move on 2 dimensions of colour, but not on the third. For B Sp, saturation/purity/clarity should be max. No heather, dusty, creamy, hazy whatsoever. It’s quite crisp, almost overwhelmingly so. You can wiggle on the warmth since Neutral Seasons by definition have warm and cool versions of each colour, but stay within the palette and keep the warmth coming from clear yellow. You also have latitude on the darkness level or value, it’s not so stringent.

    Do some Seasons have an almost over-representation of some hues? Yes, probably some do. Blue and Summer. Purple and Winter. It depends a bit on the parent Seasons and the strength of their contribution, where Winter’s blue and red are so strong in mixtures that they can have a louder voice.


    I don’t recall if you’re on fb but for everyone’s reading – a woman asked about distinguishing Dark Winter from B Sp, seems impossible but very valid. Some swatches are quite similar. I said:

    In person, though, DW and BSp are both very saturated by Winter (B Sp more so, but that can be hard to see apart at the mall) and neither is purely cool. Though more a Sp, even the small Winter presence in B Sp gets bossy and has a bigger effect than you might expect. If you mix paint, even a drop of black takes over the whole thing, a typical Winter observation.
    Some of the corals and turquoises are especially hard to discern. In clothes, B Sp should give a feeling of being able to sense sunlight. Might be faint sun, but it does radiate some yellow light. It feels up.It feels snappy, energized, brisk.
    DW gives more a feeling of being a bit dulled down. There is no perception of lift. It’s heavy. Light wouldn’t shine through it the pigments are so dense. You need to step back and look at the whole blouse. The dime-size swatches only get you so far. Picture it on someone else. Would you like it better on Sandra Bullock or …who? what celeb is B Sp and not dyed blonde?

    If you’re not sure, it’s probably going to be fine. If you’re not sure, hold it against the rest of the swatches, or an item that you know to be right. Sometimes that allows the sun/bright/lively thing to come out more, or the heavy/dull/serious side, and gives you a sense of which of the 2 colour collections the item feels like it belongs in, rather than sticks out of.

    In makeup, DW is darker and browner. The lipstick is notably browned, like a mulberry is. Autumn’s earthy influence is beginning to be felt.
    B Sp is not flattered by brown in cheek and lip colour at all at all. It should be candy, crayon, poster, neon, way way up there in clarity. Flame may well match some reds in the DW book but the feeling of it isn’t toned down in any way. It belongs in the it-doesn’t-get-more-colourful section.
    Everyone reading this has reached a pretty high level of colour sophistication and knows how to let colour talk to them. Match the swatch, fine, but smear the colour out on paper, maybe with 3 or 4 other random colours alongside it, and listen. If it’s saying WAHOOOO and no colour on offer is so energized, it’s B SP. If it’s saying glamorous-but-composed, it’s DW.

    Keep asking. Your Q helps all of us, me especially :)

  59. Christine, yes, I am convinced that (the right) color speaks to us — a kind of across the room attraction, really. More often than not these days, if a color catches my eye, I compare it to the BSp fan and it is a match!

    AC — it does, doesn’t it? But a very lovely application, with a light hand…
    On practical advice, if I may chim in: perhaps you could begin by narrowing down the colors you are going to consider initially — find your three best neutrals, your best red(s), your best blue(s), your eye color enhancers and intensifiers (likely to include a few good greens in your case), your best lighter colors for contrast effects. You may also want to do some planning on paper before going shoping, think up some outfits you would like, include pieces you already own, and give yourself the challenge to see if you can find the pieces needed to complete the oufits. You are right in saying BW is easier to find, but BSp is out there (somewhere…). Perhaps we could begin sharing good color matches we find at the stores :)

  60. Dark-haired BSp celebrity — Rosie O’Donnell?!? I’ve been watching the promos for her new show on OWN. Rosie is looking better than ever, wearing colors I would consider to be BSp, and looking great in them (I wonder did she have a PCA??).

    Low value contrast/analogous to complementary color contrast — Suze Orman?? Watching her every week on CNBC, I’m starting to believe she is a BSp. Don’t know her real hair color though.

    Re: value and color contrast — what must be less likely is a BSp who is both low value contrast and monochromatic color contrast, although I can easily picture a Soft with those characteristics.

  61. Yes, Suze Orman!! Brilliant. Much like Jenny McCarthy in face shape and eye brilliance and probably clarity. I can’t do the contrast level thing as well as you, it positively makes the gears of my brain lock, but I believe you are right just by the feeling of how she looks and acts.
    Rosie…not sure. She’s one of those easy DA/BSp types who could go either way, but I sure do see what you mean. Really good. Be sure to post here if you have any more revelations.

  62. Gooood question, Ashley. I move that one around a fair bit. It was the one I started with for B Sp because it has decent sat and didn’t scare the client off. But it’s probably too brown, which is just not great in Bright Season lip and blush colour – though only a bit brown, so it goes ok. I often start with on Bright women, till they themselves see that they could do more.
    I thought about T Su, but again, it’s too brown. Clinique Extreme Pink is better, with less brown and more muted.
    Revlon Colorburst Raspberry is also less brown. It might actually be worth trying on B Sp, that Season needs non-shocking options, especially for women not used to big colour on the face and who want a lipstick, not a gloss.
    So it’s got pretty hi sat and brown >> Dark Winter. I’m wearing it around now. Not sure what I think. It feels a bit light, but I’m just used to something richer. I could ask my ruthless kids, but others can get used to how we look too and resist change.
    AllHeart is a ongoing question mark.

  63. Rosie, to my mind, would also be a DA. What got my attention in addition to the above is that she seems to be wearing Spring-like makeup, as opposed to Autumn-like (as you so well put it, putting makeup on a porcelain doll vs. on a rag doll). This is something I observed with myself also after 2 decades of thinking I was a DA, never, ever a compliment :(. But the minute I changed that to just a clear salmon pink/red blush (good with MAC VG-VI lustre lipstick) or the Radiance one, and clear lip balm and eye liner, people started telling me I was glowing. I kind of liked that…

    Darin was kind enough to send me some EB MU samples — very impressed by the quality and color accuracy. I may try it one day when I’ve put a dent on my current stash. I am currently doing very well with some of your eyeshadow recommendations from AGT: MAC Copperplate and Mystery (this one is like my hair color, maybe just a bit lighter — i.e., a very dark brown made neutral-cool by a touch of blue, I think), and Bobbi Brown Steel (great with clear neutral-warm red lip and blush). The Clinique eye liner in Chocolate is the perfect color, but a bit difficult to apply, I found. But it is the same color as Lancome’s Le Crayon Kohl in Black-Brown (brun noir) that I’ve used for years and years without knowing why I liked it so much. Helas, can only find it online these days. This is not the same as the Black-Coffee color which is probably a Deep/Dark color.

    (Both my salmon pink/red and my neutral-warm red blushes are now discontinued — Rimmel in Berry 31 (not the new one), and Plum 32, but perhaps still available online…)

  64. Christine,

    As a Light Spring with dark hair and med/med-dark eyes I usually need med-toned lippies. All Heart suits me fine and I wonder if your Louise has tried it.

  65. Some BSp combinations — goal is to get a clear, bright, fresh and strong look, avoiding the darker and more dramatic BW look. The opportunities to utilize your very best colors (for example, eye-color intensifiers and enhancers; hair color) are many:

    — The darkest colors in the palette (Black, Dark navy, Black-brown) combined with the lightest and icy tints: this will create a high value contrast, and depending on the pairings, it can create a monochromatic, analogous, or complementary color contrast (it helps to have a color wheel at hand):

    Dark navy and light/icy Blue: monochromatic
    Dark navy and light/icy Aqua: analogous
    Black-brown and light/icy Violet: 2/3 triadic (“quasi-complementary”)
    Black-brown and light/icy Blue: complementary
    Black-brown and light/icy Aqua: 2/3 split-complementary (“quasi-complementary”)
    Black-brown and Mint: 2/3 triadic
    Black and Silver or Light Gray: monochromatic

    In my experience, these dark colors paired with the more vivid colors could work with the addition of white/gray accessories/clothing.

    — Neutrals (from Charcoal to Ivory) combined with the truest reds, blues, greens and yellows: this, I believe, will create a medium to medium-high value contrast in most cases.

    — All other colors, the light-bright, the bright, the darker but clear colors, can all be paired or mixed together to create beautiful effects. To maintain the temperature of the BSp tone, warmer colors can be paired with cooler ones, which provides balance and neutrality. One can think up all kinds of combinations with different contrast levels:

    Warm pink or Hot pink or Deep rose or Fuchsia combined with Forest green: a medium value contrast and complementary or 2/3 split-complementary color contrast.
    Warm pink and Coral: a low value contrast and analogous color contrast.
    Chinese blue and Forest green: medium-low value contrast and 2/3 triadic color contrast.
    Red-orange and light-bright Purple: medium to medium-low value contrast and analogous to complementary color contrast.
    Red-orange and Yellow-green: medium to medium-low value contrast and 2/3 triadic color contrast.

    And so many more with all the corals, yellows, golds, yellow-greens, spring greens, turquoises, blues, periwinkles, purples, and violets available. Sometimes, a small darker accent can provide a bit of relief or added contrast.

    Do you have a great color combination that includes one of your best colors?

  66. A few more thoughts:

    “”– Neutrals (from Charcoal to Ivory) combined with the truest reds, blues, greens and yellows: this, I believe, will create a medium to medium-high value contrast in most cases.””

    Actually, low value contrast is also possible (say, taupe and bright yellow). Neutrals are also great to add as a third color to the “crazy” BSp combos of brights, light-brights and darker-clear colors. And it should be possible to pair neutrals if it gives the desired level of contrast (otherwise, add a bright or dark accent).

    Re black/dark colors combined with vivids and brights: an alternative to dialing down the intensity with white or gray items, is to use lighter (but still clear) versions of these vivid colors: apple green, light aqua, coral, salmon. This should give medium-high or high value contrast. A light-bright yellow can be great to add some spark to a dark and cool look.

    I am thinking (again…) whether there is “always” an element of high contrast (value or color) in BSp’s (or BW’s for that matter), even in those not obviously high contrast, that allows them to do high contrast to some degree, or in some form or another. Like lush, dark lashes against whites of the eyes that are particularly bright; or like a touch of color in the eyes that is the complement of their undertone. I think so…

  67. Two “suspected” Bright Springs (and they are not blond):

    Norah O’Donnell of CBS (formerly MSNBC).

    Gwen Ifill of PBS’ Newshour and Washington Week: she does not seem to be a Summer or Autumn, and she often does Winter looks that I find too heavy/overwhelming on her, like on yesterday’s Washington Week (you may be able to watch it at LSp and TSp seem unlikely. But — she sometimes does BSp colors/combinations and looks radiant in them.

  68. Fil – I am still reading your helpful notes. Digesting it all takes a while. But I feel I am doing well.
    First let me say that I have used Lancome’s Le Crayon Kohl 02 (brun) for probably 15 years. I think it was previously called brun-noir, but I am not sure. We could be talking about the same dark brown that fit us both – that might make an official recommendation to Christine ;-)
    I have absolutely fallen in love with the colour ivory, which adds needed light to darker colours. I already own way too much black. I have bought a few new tops in brighter colours. Basically I moved all my Soft summer/ soft autumn and endless army greens to one side (the army green connects well with the eyes, but I now see that there is a bit of a muddy effect on the skin). My closet is a beautiful old thing with not much space. On the inside of one door are my belts on nails. On the other door is a nail hammered through paper in pocket size and a pencil on a string. Every time I miss “that cardigan” or “those trousers” I make a note ;-)
    I have also conducted a little fun experiment. I held the fan next to my face and in my eye I discovered 3 of the yellows and 2 of the darkest greys. The greens seems to be of a different nature, or rather there are so many different colours blended together in there. Aqua is close. However most of all I just want to say, that I am happily surprised about many colours. I have never worn blue – but it looks beautiful on my skin.

    I asked my hairdresser to add dark stripes to my hair, which had become lighter because of sunlight and beginning greys. It worked wonderful. They do organic stuff only and the stripes blended in so well, that neither my husband nor my best friend noticed anything other than the haircut. It also took my contrast level a bit higher.

    Christine – the two things that have helped me understand my season most were your comment that there should be a sense of sunlight and the comparison of BW/Br S clothes. I still look at it sometimes. When the season comes I would love to get your picture of this seasons landscape.
    Out of curiosity – if a Br S cools and softens as she get older, what would she then become? She could of course also remain a Br S now with beautiful white hair.
    Thank you – to all of you.

  69. AC,
    Lovely to see you off, running, and becoming more confident by the day. Thanks for the Lancome pencil suggestion, I’m going to look at it. In general, black-brown is very good on darker Bright Springs but I do search for a clean brown that’s not too black. As you know, your browns exist but are hard to find. Some Seasons have nowhere to cool and soften to. Your immediate cool neighbour is Bright Winter, much darker. True Spring is warmer. To cool and soften, you’d have to move down to what? Light Summer? True Summer? I can’t see it. I once analyzed a 60 year old woman, white hair, turquoise eyes. At a guess, you’d have said Light or True Summer and that’s how she dressed herself. Greyed her skin something awful. Knowing what you look like, I expect you’ll stay where you are. You may look less Winterish and wear more of your lighter colours and greys.

  70. AC — what a coincidence! I think the brun 02 is a slightly lighter version of the brun-noir, but same type of brown, ie, no golden or red undertones. I will compare them next time I have a chance.

    Thanks for sharing your latest. Color discoveries are always fun and reassuring. Yes, Ivory is a lovely color, it makes everything right… I am not surprised you look good in the blues also. Blue seems to be a Hair Color Intensifier for you. (Imogen calls hair and eye color repeats Enhancers, and their complementary or triadic colors Intensifiers. Some people call a more intense/darker version of the eye color(s) the Power Color(s). The hair color repeat is usually a great neutral.)

    Stay well and I look forward to the next chapter!

  71. Fil – I think I am finally beginning to get my head around some of all the very good info you have unleashed here.Your lists of possible colour combinations was really helpful – because you thought up combinations that would not have come to my mind. It took a while to figure out the whole analogue/ complementary /split etc. This quest is multi dimensional. It is colours, light/dark balance, your own body colours and its compliments etc. etc. etc. Intriguing and funny.

    I can’t say I have come very far with the shopping yet, but I have come some way at least. Much like Karen I find that the B Sp colours are really hard to find this time of year. Autumn colours and softness is everywhere. I am saving my money for spring time which better bring about some colours ;-) I am still searching for the icy colours – for me they are great with a pair of black jeans. I have no problem with party clothes – the challenge seems to be every day wear. I have problems figuring out the greys but find the dark brown really easy to recognize – perhaps because I have had it for years and it is similar to my hair colour. It is just very dark clear neutral brown – like dark chocolate.
    I have discovered that even BW colours are a massive improvement on me compared to the softs I used to wear. The trick is to lighten it up a bit. The light/dark balance is really important I find.

    Christine – could you perhaps help me out with some lipstick suggestions? I don’t really like clear red lips – and my teeth have a tendency to look a bit yellow. I don’t smoke and don’t drink a lot of coffee – it is just the way my teeth are.
    The brands I can easily get over here are Revlon, MaxFactor, Lancome, Estee Lauder, Clinique and such.

  72. Clinique Watermelon, Glazed Berry, Ginger Flower? Also some Lauder suggestions in The Consistent Bright Spring Landscape. Do you own your Colour Book? Glosses are a lip product that can be matched to the swatches without trying in many cases, because the transparency is a bit forgiving and you can usually judge the high clarity just by comparing to the other choices in the display.

  73. Christine – thank you very much. I was about to write yesterday that I have glosses that look beautiful because the transparency really works … but (and here comes the part to laugh about) my wonderful husband doesn’t really like kissing glossy lips – hence my question to lipsticks ;-) I hope you’ll forgive the confession if a bit inappropriate. If the lipstick is applied sparingly the effect of colour is still there and the kisses still come :-)
    … I just read your wonderful article on the Bright Spring landscape. Beatiful. Will write a comment on it too :-)

  74. AC — “This quest is multi dimensional. It is colours, light/dark balance, your own body colours and its compliments etc. etc. etc.” — I totally agree. It is a happy day when we find the right intersection of all these variables!

    Recently, I did the David Kibbe test (the man has great powers of observation!), and in my type I found additional insight/confirmation for the ways in which color/makeup seems to work best for me:

    I am keeping my eyes peeled for a great icy purple/lilac, but in the meantime, check out the colors Deep Lilac and Sunset Purple at Not as light, but they look true to tone to me. I have the Stitch Detail scaf in Deep Lilac and it is very nice. Also, they have a cashmere ruffle scarf in Moroccan Blue that looks like our best dark teal. And Soft Aqua is looking good also…

    For a great true red, check out the Wool Crinckle scarf on the landsend canvas site in Wild Cherry (and in many other items). The Deep Amethyst color looks very much like our darkest purple (at least, when comparing to items on their catalogue).

    Good grays I have found:
    At JCrew: Dark Pewter (has just the right amount of warmth, but not in a Autumn-like way), and also Dark Charcoal. Both these colors are solid dark grays that are not heathered/softened, which is great.

    At Jjill: Flagstone — beautiful, perfect medium/dark gray, also solid, not heathered).

    At Pure Collection UK: Carbon and also Mink (also solid — but they are from last year’s collection — check the sales link, though).

    Lipstick-wise, I have finally accepted the fact that I am a lip balm girl, but I think it looks very nice with the darker eyeshadows. For my best red, I layer two MAC lustres (sheers): Back to Del Rio (was LE awhile back) on top pf Viva Glam VI (not the special edition one). The VG VI works well with my salmon pink/red blush.

    Look forward now to Christine’s latest post :) Talk to you soon — Fil.

  75. I am a seemingly unusual Bright Spring: “bronde” hair (golden brown with warm blonde highlights to replicate my youth), amber/topaz eyes, and what looks like light olive skin.

    Like many, I have misdiagnosed myself and been misdiagnosed by analysts. I spent a few miserable years looking like death as a Dark Autumn (camel and tan are my very worst colors), another year, somewhat better as a Bright Winter, until I decided I was a Bright Spring, and a color analyst tentatively concurred. But it’s still tentative. Sigh. So I went hunting for celebrities with my coloring (and in the case below, face and feature shape).

    I’ve think found a celebrity I am almost positive fits the elusive “celebrities with brownish-blondish hair, brown-ish eyes, and warm skin who are NOT Autumns but are Bright Springs”: Melissa Theuriau.

    If you look at an image search,, I *think* it’s clear she: 1) wears a lot of Bright Spring colors and 2) looks great in them. Her hair goes from golden brown to dark warm blonde and she looks great.

    She also has true amber/topaz eyes:

    And talk about looking great in my favorite yellow!:

    So – another brown-eyed, brown-ish haired Bright Spring, do you think?

  76. Not sure, Erin. She reminds me Nicole Ritchie – soft expression, muted first impression, but apparently a lot of yellow in the eye. She doesn’t jump out as a Spring. The lipstick she’s wearing seems more comfortable than juicy red-orange. But TSp is a very complicated Season (the most complicated colouring to me, perhaps because I see so few) and you’d just have to try her in the Season’s extremes.

  77. Mmm – agreed now that you point it out. She does remind me of Nicole Richie (whose coloring is similar to mine except she lightens her hair much more).

    So maybe Ms. Theuriau is a True Spring, as you noted in a post about Richie (whom I’ve seen often on sites categorized as a Soft Autumn): “A most astute True Spring reader sent me this photo of Nicole Richie… I have no idea what Season the woman is, though the stereotype pushes you to drawing Soft Autumn assumptions… I’m just saying that you have to stay very open to the possibilities.” From

    That last sentence seems to capture one of your most admirable qualties, one that I believe helps your audience avoid dogmatism. I adore your generous open mindedness, and will continue to follow and recommend your site. Thank you for responding! I will go back through my materials to find analysis on that which, ultimately, distinguishes True from Bright Spring. Thanks again.

  78. I think I might be a brown-eyed Bright Spring. I have fair neutral skin, look terrible in mustard, have dark bright brown eyes, and medium brown hair that looks good with either blond or red highlights. My skin is not nearly dark enough to think I’m an autumn, and I’m not dark/intense enough to be a Winter, unless I’m a Bright WInter.

    I’m so puzzled.

    As for Bright Springs, what about Savannah Guthrie (news reporter)?

  79. Hi!
    We can see only a few photos of Audrey with nothing to compare with, so how anyone can argue that the colors are wrong? Base on what? On belief that spring can’t have brown eyes and dark hair? In my opinion it shows no understanding of color.

    I think that all of the on-line analysis and stereotype descriptions is doing harm to proffesional color analysis. The whole purpose of color analysis is to find colors that flatter you. And only way to find out is to try them on. No photos, no descriptions will do that for you. I’m a painter and it’s like I would try to find the right color by reading about it or looking at a photo instead of opening the tube…

    Me and my best friend are great examples how harmful color analysis stereotypes can be… I’m browned eyed brunette with pale skin and Martha is medium blonde with green eyes and some freckles. I fell into winter category and she was “typical” spring, so we dressed like that for years… I spent half of my life listening “you are so pale are you ok?” and she used to be “background” for her vibrant sister. Christine’s wonderfull blog inspired me to use my artistic skills and knowlege about color in my wordrobe. After that my whole thinking of seasons has changed! I would like more sci/art analysts in Europe so I could be properly draped… but using our own fabrics in daylight and neutral enviroment was enough to find out how terribly wrong we were before. We discovered that she is the winter and I am the spring! Now she looks amazing in deep, dark colors and I finally feel alive :)

    How could I be so wong before? I wasn’t blind… I knew I look pale and average… I just thought that my skin is sollow and I’m not as beautifull as I wish… I didn’t blame my cloths, make up and narrow minded season categories (so popular in magazines, internet, make up stores, among beauticians and many other experts).

    Thanx for amazing blog :)

  80. Wow, it’s been a year – after a real PCA I can ad: I recommend everyone doing it – without it you can’t be sure. It’s really hard to find the right set of colours without nothing to compare with – especially while shopping, hard to get all clothes and make up in perfect harmony, hard to see yourself and divide what the result of your ‘likes’/ fashion and what really looks good on you. I still have some Marthas clothes and totally rock them ;) but not all, some were too warm, some where “not quite” for a reason I couldn’t figure out alone – I started to doubt if I got it good by myself and let myself be drawn to dark colours again. So if you can – get help.

  81. Hi Christine,
    I just wanted to say that I have just been draped as a Bright Spring, and because I have dark eyes and dark hair, I have endured many sad years of unsuccessful presentation in DA/DW coloring. I TRULY appreciate your consistent assertion that there can be seasons of any hair/eye/skin color combination! I am of almost 75% caucasian ancestry (German, Scottish, Italian), and the other quarter is mixed Spanish, Polynesian, Middle Eastern and Asian. All too often I believe that beauty advice is tailored to an all white audience (or a spectrum of white), and the result is a confusing disservice to everyone. How would I ever have been lead down the road of LIGHT and WARM if I went by eye and hair color alone? I would have been a deep, and thought I was for too long.
    I so admire you for saying that the SKIN is the key, because though my eyes are light brownish and my hair is very dark brown, my skin is fair olive and very translucent. My skin responds to LIGHT and WARM. If I had read that 5 years ago, my closet and make-up drawer might look very different right now.
    Bravo and keep doing what you are doing, without putting people in a box based on their coloring.

  82. I’m also a Bright Spring, with dark hair, eyes and slightly olive skin. I wore black for 2 decades, as just about every colour I was “supposed” to wear looked bad on me (i.e. burgundy, forest green, dull navy). I look horrible in white, but looked sick and beaten up in autumn colours during the draping. Bright winter just didn’t look quite right, but the bright spring colours made my skin look alive, my dark circles reduce, and my almost black eyes look shiny golden brown. I can even see the dark ring around the iris when wearing my true colours. I couldn’t believe it myself, it has to be seen to be believed.

  83. It has been quite entertaining and useful reading this article and all the posts. Thanks, Christine, for writing something regarding Asians!

    Well… because with many of us having dark eyes and dark hair we tend to be readily shoved into the Dark Winter category.

    I was writing another professional analyst that I recently realized I am a Bright Winter… regardless of the fact that I do not have those vivid blue/green eyes like Megan Fox or Courtney Cox.

    I’ve always known I was a Winter, but when the 12 seasons became commonplace and I was “placed” into the Dark Winter category, something felt “off.”

    For one, before I even knew what PCA was I always felt comfortable in bright, dark, cooler colors. My mother has always told me that I need to wear bright colors.

    I once wore a dark cranberry red kimono, and despite how gorgeous IT was my skin looked sallow and all the sparkle faded from my eyes. Forest green, a dark winter “power color,” had the same effect on me. Wine red, burgundy… forget it.

    On the flip side, black-and-white contrast in my clothes light me up. Colors like fuchsia and royal blue make my skin look translucent and my eyes shine. Until recently, I had no idea why I loved my icy-purple eyeshadow until I realized that it made my eyes pop and brought out a nice pink color in my lips.

    Audrey’s color analysis also allowed me to conclude that I am definitely not a Bright Spring. Yes, I can wear any of its colors without washing me out but when I do I realize that I start craving a little more depth… without losing any of the saturation.

    I wore a lot of Bright Spring colors in my younger years, and I finally realized that some of them (e.g. neon green) were too warm on me. Also, coral pink (the swatch Audrey was wearing) is much more flattering on her than on me. Same goes for the yellow drape.

    I am also starting to suspect that my sister (whose skin is lighter and warmer than mine) is a Bright Spring… sunshine-y yellow looked so much better on her than one me….

    I read your comment comparing Bright Springs and Dark Winters. Maybe it’s here somewhere, but I would love to read something from you about distinguishing between Bright Winters and Bright Springs.


  84. In Caucasians, brown eyes are common enough in DA and BSp. As ethnicity gets into the mix, eyes can go to appearing quite black in these groups. Most Asians fit into the 3 stronger Winters, sometimes DW, but far more TW and BW in my experience. The post comparing BSp and DW was by Rachel Nachmias in her blog at Comparing BW and BSp could show a closet, but I think you’d appreciate this as well just looking at the many palettes online (try Pinterest). Any single colour is near impossible. There is too much inaccuracy of any photo of a fabric or person and too much individual reaction in every person in a Season. BW yellow can be a very difficult call that requires an analyst with solid technical understanding of the decision making process, in person.

  85. I typically do not comment on websites/forums, but I was wondering if perhaps the drape colors are slightly skewed due to the blue light cast from our computers, tablets, phones, etc? The blue lights cast from various technological sources is a royal blue. Even when taking photos of myself, it is difficult to pinpoint my exact skin tone, and even eye color. I think that the purpose of this article was, instead, to illustrate that anything is possible. For years my mother insisted that I was a winter, dressing me in deep blue reds and blacks. However, it wasn’t until recently that she realized that those colors only drain me, and that I am much more flattered in turquoise, peaches, coral, and chocolate brown. She was originally analyzed herself with the traditional Color Me Beautiful system, so she expected that because of my dark hair and eyes that I must naturally be a winter. To be honest, I’m still not quite sure what my coloring is, and I’d rather not guess until I’ve been draped, but I do know what is unflattering; it’s the colors that leave me feeling drained, tired looking, with circles under my eyes. I almost wonder if it would be less biased to be analyzed as children, completely in our natural element (no makeup, freckles, highlights in our hair cast from the sun, or maybe for others, a rosy burn). Yes, our hair darkens with age, gray settles into our hair and skin, and eye colors change with light cast and even with age, but the true colors we are born to look great in do not change. They are written like codes into our genetic display, flattering, living cooperatively side by side with us, their evidence marked in each freckle, each highlight, and each bit of yellow, green, gray, brown, and blue hidden in the depths of our eyes.

  86. Kelly, you’re completely right. I guarantee that the drapes colours are skewed in the photos, as is every colour in any photo. Photos can have a place but the boundaries of their use are quite high and must be respected. We can see focus, but that’s also at the mercy of many factors. We can see more-than-less-than relationships. But we cannot see true colours. Thank you for making the point of the post, that our PCA mind can never be open enough. I think about this client often and would love to drape her again today. I doubt that brown eyed Light Summers are likely, especially in Caucasians. Although we looked carefully at the other Seasons, for reasons I don’t recall, we chose LSu. I bet I wouldn’t today. I appreciate your thought (and very beautiful written expression) about analyzing children and having the answer once and for all…yes and no. Their beauty can make them a little hard to analyze actually. More importantly, Season does change till one is about 20-25. My own kids were settled by the time they were 5. Others change till they are about 16, some later than that. I agree that after maturity, the outward presentation changes but Season does not in most people.

  87. Hello!
    Congrats on your blog, it’s amazing!
    I have a question – I have a neutral undertone and very but a yellow TONE (I am not asian, I’m latin, but it is a asian-like yellow, not the normal latin tan). I look amazing in every color of the bright spring chart, EXCEPT yellows and oranges. I doesn’t look sick in those colors, they enhance my eyes, but also enhance my yellow tone. Is it possible to be bright spring and doesn’t look god on yellow and orange?
    (except oranges and yellows, I look better in bright spring colors then bright winter ones).

    Thank you,

  88. Carol, I think you’d have to show me the yellow and orange that you are working with. To know that your undertone is neutral, you must have been tested in the past – since there is no other way to know, I don’t think. Foundation certainly wouldn’t tell you that. Most people with a yellow overtone are actually quite cool. To get your Season, you probably need to go back to the beginning and figure it out in controlled system.

  89. I just wanted to mention that, as a nail art/nail polish blogger, it can be extremely difficult to capture true color on camera. Most recently I was swatching a light warm green polish and on camera it showed up dusty green, which is not even close to what it looks like in person! Also a very bright warm blue didn’t show up as bright on camera. And neons never show up correct on camera. So I don’t take pictures as true colors anymore. I just try to take in an overall affect.

  90. People are speaking too ambiguously here, just get straight to the point~

    1. Audrey’s face looks greenish when she wears the (blue). The blush also looks like a cooler pink there.

    2. When she wears (red) the blush becomes more salmon. And her face turns orange (her natural color).

    3. When she wear (yellow) the blush turns redder.

    4. The (yellow) leans towards green and people are being thrown off because her lipstick is a deep red. Take Audrey’s lipstick off, and you would find that the yellow is quite alright.

    The thing is, not all spring palette people would look good in the same spring colours! Everyone’s RGB values are different!! Just because it’s in the spring palette doesn’t mean it has to fit her. Try taking a yellow with more red values in it and Audrey might look bomb in it~

    5. I’m glad to have read this post because the focus is on the skin! I think This should take into account of the natural lip colour as well.

    Personally I think I am Light Spring!
    Regardless of what the commentor (E. Hues) has said, their advice doesn’t work on me because my hair and eyes are basically the same color…

    My colors:
    – Soft Black hair (brown tint)
    – Deep brown eyes (not reddish)
    – Light Golden skin
    – Wrist veins: purple, blue, and green
    – Lip Color: muted pastel pink with some brown and grey in it (which can look purplish)

    I only look good in White, grey, and pastel colours.
    I am never a Winter palette because any jewel tones or black makes me look like mustard sauce or a sick patient.
    I’m not an Autumn palette either because anything with black mixed in it would make me look sick and scrawny.

    Overall, I don’t think people should look for their ‘season’ by trying to find the exact shade of their skin and how it pairs with their eyes and hair.

    They should just look at the color palettes of each season, and if it looks the best on them that would determine their season palette! :D

  91. Beyonce, Tyra Banks, Khloe Kardashian, Nini, & Vanessa Williams are all Clear Springs! Scroll down towards the bottom!

    There’s also AfricanAmerican Light Springs, like Jasmine Sanders ( And ethnic Light Summers, like Diandra Forrest ( And Indian, Latino, and AfricanAmerican Warm Autumns ( And ethnic True and Bright Winters too (

    There’s also ethnic Soft Autumn/Soft Summer Deeps like Aishwarya Rai, Nicole Richie, Mariah Carey, Leona Lewis, Rihanna, Denise Vasi, etc (towards the bottom of page: These deeper Soft Autumn/Soft Summers can handle more color the typical Soft Autumn/Summer Lights. There’s even an AfricanAmerican Soft Spring, Dominique Reighard, in the link of my first paragraph! Thank goodness for the 16, instead of 12, Seasons! It’s necessary!! What’s crazy is that 99% of these women have naturally very dark hair. Even the Light Spring’s natural hair is a type of brown-black! And majority of these women have brown to deep brown-black eyes!

    Also just for fun- this professional analyst has also done Alicia Keys: she’s either a Light or True Spring! (The analyst described her method of assessment in the comments section of my last link. The analyst has really reinvented the color system in a beautiful, all inclusive, & accurate way.) All these women are great examples of how women-of-color should not give up on finding their coloring, and not be forced to ignore what colors they KNOW look best on them! Because, truly, based on the stereotypical season representatives…. a woman-of-color would NEVER find their season! Especially a non-deep or bright! The system is so outdated, plus some analysts can be so prejudiced and don’t analyze ethnic people objectively. Lighter people have no more stronghold on having coloured eyes or hair than any other race does. That’s simply a myth rooted in racism, which sadly has now become widely accepted “fact”. When we see ethnic people with light features, we automatically assume they’re biracial. Because we assume light= white, if I’m being honest. Yet I meet fair skinned Deep Winters all the time and that’s totally accepted in color analysis… Anyways. I have a cousin with deep brown skin, deep hair, & blue eyes. Both her parents are fully ethnic, with dark brown-black eyes & hair. Furthermore, I’ve literally traveled to Ethiopia (Africa) and I met many children with deep skin with light eyes or light redhead hair color. It’s truly amazing. I’m hoping that ethnic anomalies -such as myself- will stumble across this post and feel inspired, validated, & be guided in the right direction to their season!

    Best wishes! :)

  92. Nicole, it’s pretty much impossible to analyze people’s seasons from photos alone (as I’m sure is done here), which also evident from the fact that most if not all of those celebrities you named have been in fact analyzed as different seasons from the site you linked to ;D For example, this site (one of the most reliable ones, I’d say) actually has Beyonce & Aishwarya Rai pegged as True Autumns, both. ( &

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