Sunday, 24 September 2017

Yellow is the Epitome of Spring

An inspection of my current wardrobe seems to indicate that I have bought some True Spring clothing.  While both the True Autumn palette and the True Spring palette are mainly medium in value, they have their range of light-dark under that medium umbrella, and True Spring has an overall lighter impression than True Autumn does.  Autumn gets darker, richer, and Spring has a light feel like sunshine, fruit, flowers, it's juicy whereas Autumn is heavier, drier, velvety and with a golden glow rather than bright Spring light.  I find it helps to keep these words in mind when looking at colours. 

It's not always easy to see the difference between soft/muted and light unless they can be compared next to each other.  Some practice helps and while I am rapidly learning, I still tend to just feel happy to find something purely warm and I'm less fussed about how muted or how clear and light it is.  I tend to aim for perfection but realise it's not a real-world thing.  I take an aim for the stars and reach the moon approach to many things in life and also in finding the best colours.

I am now thinking of myself as a True Spring more than a True Autumn.   The dark end of True Autumn is not great on me.  It's good because it's warm, but it looks a bit heavy and forced. As I've moved away from trying to visually identify the colours and begun to think more about their properties I am gaining knowledge and getting better at finding what works best for me.   I learned in makeup before I learned with clothing that I need a light, sheer, clear effect.  Makeup is easily too heavy and thick looking, darker colours too forced looking. This is a texture issue as much as a colour issue with makeup, and it can be in clothing too although it's also about the visual weight of the colours.

But I am digressing as this post is supposed to be about yellow.  

Colour is always about context and it reads differently on different people, whether applied to the face as makeup or worn next to the body in clothing.  As it reflects onto our faces it either harmonises and flatters or it makes no connection, possibly reflecting unflattering colours onto us.  This is why everyone except True Spring people tend to look yellow in the Spring colours.  The True Spring colours are very yellow based.  This has something to do with undertones and overtones that is a little tricky to understand.  Overtones are what we see and match foundation to but undertone seems to be what matters when we wear clothing.  Many people in the neutral seasons have a yellowish overtone and my understanding is that this gets played up when wearing yellowish colours and it doesn't work out well with the cool undertones of that person.   I could be totally wrong about this.

A person with a warm undertone and overtone suits the two true warm palettes, but Spring is more about pure yellow while Autumn is gold or browned-yellow. 

Anyhow, True Spring is about yellow!

In cool colours I look pale and slightly grey. I used to think this was good because I knew I tended to be yellow looking and thought that was something I wanted to downplay or avoid.  I had not seen myself get a golden glow or look all peaches and cream because I'd not tried the very warm yellow based colours.  I thought pale and grey looked good as long as I could pink it up a bit with some makeup.

And What About a Yellow Personality?

What happens when your personality doesn't quite match your best palette?  I tend to think that logically, what is visually best is the best choice, and personality comes second.  This is why I have troubles with the Dressing Your Truth system which has a really incomplete and inaccurate selection of colours assigned to palettes that are meant to go with your personal energy level.  Nope, I'm not buying it.  I think it's hit and miss or in the ball park good enough.  I don't buy into the personality descriptors attached to the personal colour seasons either but I would agree that each colour palette does have a mood.

Perhaps, as dear Jazzy Jack suggested to me, I am one thing on the outside and another on the inside.  That doesn't sound too crazy.  I often am surprised at how people judge me to be very warm and friendly and bubbly and even sweet.    That is not at all how I see myself, but is anyone all sunshine and happy thoughts all of the time, or could someone who presents that way to others consider herself a more serious and grounded person?  None of us is a caricature.

Someone recently suggested that I remind her of Julie Andrews.  Well, colour me astonished!

The True Spring personality is described as extroverted.  Hah!  I am not, but I do have the ability to fake it.  Spend a short time with me and you might see an extrovert.  I can be bubbly when socialising, I just don't care to socialise much.  This is how people confuse shyness with extroversion.  I am not shy.  I can be quite outgoing and will talk to strangers.
I am more shy with women than men which is something I haven't quite figured out though I have a few theories.

  I am equally optimistic and pessimistic.  I call myself a realist who usually likes to look on the bright side but I also like to expect the worst and be pleasantly surprised.  I do not feel like sunshine personified and yet I've had a few people tell me I am,  even that I have a yellow aura or that I conjure up the idea of yellow.   My ex husband used to tell me my skin is yellow, but that seemed less complimentary than the other statements, which were made by gay men if that matters at all.

I am often serious, pedantic, judgemental and have a sarcastic sense of humour.

Spring personalities are  considered to be a bit happy-go-lucky, easy going and go-with-the-flow.  I am generally a planner, a be-prepared-for anything sort of person, someone who is a bit rattled if her plans get ruined at the last minute though I will do my best not to show that and to get over it. 

Does any of this mean anything?  Probably not, but it's all my way of getting at the point that I don't see myself in the described persona of the True Spring type person which may be why subconsciously I didn't connect myself to those colours.

 I Will Try to Get Back to Actual Colours Now...

 While the colours of the True Spring palette are not as bright as some other seasons, they can look bright compared with True Autumn and the Soft Seasons which all have a muted quality.  True Spring colours are clear and warm, so the yellows don't go too far into gold, because the more brown added the more muted the colour gets.

Jim has two yellow tee shirts which I keep trying on.  ( I wore one in a recent post and have photographed myself in the other. )  I have taken several photos attempting to capture what I look like wearing yellow but they are never satisfactorily close enough to reality.  It was in trying to photograph yellow that I realised how often my photos came out cooler than reality. 

I recently purchased this flowered top, a colour that has something similar in both the Autumn and Spring palettes.  It's certainly a gold-yellow but doesn't seem muted like Autumn.  It looks like it belongs in the Bright Spring or Dark Autumn palette according to the photo below but it could be the last yellow on the True Spring strip.  Photo inaccuracy wouldn't allow such certainty.

I could be wrong, but I suspect  yellow might be a colour with a fair bit of leeway for a Spring, like blue is for a Summer.  Yellow doesn't seem to be the best test colour for me to choose between True Spring and Bright Spring, whereas pink is significant.  The Bright Spring palette contains a lot of pinks that are bright and a bit cooler and they just seem to overwhelm me.  

A Yellow Comparison

Further down I've used an image of the Bright Spring test drapes and they seem much brighter than the strip of colour in the image below.  Given that I experience a bleaching out of colour in my own photos quite often, especially of yellow, I don't really expect the image below to be accurate for specific colours but it shows that there is some difference between the palettes that contain a lot of yellow and how yellow gets browner in Autumn.


This tee shirt looks like it could be  Bright Spring and I'm not wearing it as well as the woman below me would but it's not as bad as I would have expected.  Brightness is not likely my dominant requirement though, and I still think pure warmth is. And while I might pull off some of the warmest ( yellowest ) colours in a Bright Spring palette I'm doubtful about all of them.  (There is a post about that coming up.)

And in the realm of 'sort of yellow', I always find beige difficult and knew that while beige is admittedly not an exciting colour on most people except perhaps Soft Autumn whom it is sublimely beautiful on, there would still be a best beige for most pallettes.  It may be more taupe or a greener/khaki colour for some.  For Spring it is quite golden and that will be why beige never worked for me.  I've never tried a golden beige and the beiges I tried, which were too cool, always looked flat.  Some of these would be so close to my actual skin tone they would read as a nude.  Not a good idea for a pair of pants, then!


 Yellow Hair
Spring people often, though not always, suit golden-blonde hair, because that hair colour is essentially a large swath of warm yellow next to their face. 

Michelle Williams looks amazing in golden blonde or red-gold hair, but her natural colour is brown.  Here she is looking fantastic in yellow hair and yellow dress, although it may not be in the True Spring palette, exactly and neither is that bright red lipstick.


Here she is  looking pretty in reddish-brown hair.  This may not be  unenhanced colour, but most True Springs are naturally brunettes, at least as adults.  You might look at this and see an Autumn woman.

In case you want more on Springs with brown hair I will link to this 12 Blueprints article which I found interesting.  There is also this one.  These may both be of interest to anyone like me, with dark hair but fair, warm skin.  If you search the 12 Blueprints blog you will also find a post about a woman with quite dark hair and fair skin who is a Light Spring.  I'd say it's a less predictable and very appealing look compared to the stereotypical dyed-blonde coloured Light Spring.

At the fantastic blog Truth is Beauty, Rachel has a post about the difficulty many Spring women have in recognising they are Springs because the majority of the Spring celebrities are not only dyed blonde, but claiming to be 'natural' blondes with a rather loose definition of natural.*  This complaint is not aimed at the women themselves but at the system they are having to work within.  Hollywood perpetuates a blonde is better attitude and also insists on forcing the myth that many of it's blondes are natural blonde.  I don't even understand why this myth is required, but I suppose it's to perpetuate the idea that these women are just that much better than the rest of us.  I suspect this isn't even something the women of Hollywood are keen on so much as a publicity machine they are trapped in.

Some systems and online personal colour experts would guide you to figuring out your seasonal palette based on the colours of your hair and eyes, which is really not a good system at all.  These are the ones that typically give us celebrity examples to measure ourselves by.  In reality, a Spring might look similar to an Autumn and a Summer might look similar to a Winter and the eight neutral season types often do not even look obviously cool or warm so you can't tell what they are until you put colours next to their faces in real life and see how that colour makes the skin react.

Here is a typical example of what the internet has to offer people wondering if they are a Spring.


 It takes some digging to learn that you could definitely be a Spring even if you are a brunette and your eyes are not nearly that bright or monochromatic.  The only truly useful thing about this sort of graphic is the colour palette shown, at which you could look and then ask yourself, 'do I look good in these colours?'

*This reminds me of the other popular myth,  that celebrities have lost all their pregnancy weight by 'chasing around after a toddler' or breastfeeding.  Unless they have a contract with a weight loss company that is and then they admit to dieting.

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Lipstick Tests

I took advantage of a sale and expanded my lipstick collection, knowing I was experimenting and would probably not be happy with all the colours.  The down side to the sale was that it was in a large supermarket where there is no cosmetics counter person ready to sanitize the testers so you can try before you buy.  I often find that in these larger stores many testers are missing anyhow.  So armed with a list of colours I'd explored on Pinterest and wanted to try, I purchased three new colours and am really only happy with one.  I've got some recent purchases from earlier this summer which have made an appearance in other photos on this blog but I thought I'd do a little colour review.

I know from my own experience that what colours look like on other people doesn't tell you  much about how they will look on you, and accuracy of swatches and images of the lipstick itself are not much help either.  People's attempts to describe the colour can also be wildly off.  So this blog post is probably of no use to anyone except me.

                                               Revlon Super Lustrous  Coral Berry

This one is taking a bit of getting used to and I alternate between loving it and not sure.  It seems to depend on the lighting I see it in.  

TLDR: I think I like this one

                                     Revlon Super Lustrous Kiss Me Coral

This one is really quite orange, which seems to suit me but I'm more inclined to favour a natural look so I'm not sure about this one. It's brighter in reality than this photo shows and I might look a bit like I've just eaten some spaghetti sauce.  It might be more suited to Bright Spring or a True Autumn with darker natural lip pigment. Again, if I lean back and view my screen from a distance it looks a bit neon but I don't think that is the normal effect.

TLDR: Not going to work for me as a lip colour but I'd wear this colour in a dress.

                                       Revlon Super Lustrous Ravish Me Red

I know this photo is cropped a bit strangely but as you can still see I had a bit of a showing bra strap issue.  Story of my life.  Anyhow, this colour is my attempt at doing a true red lip.  I feel uncomfortable in something this bright but that might be me and nothing to do with whether or not I can pull this off.  It's a warm tomato red and I usually blot it but here I didn't.  Blotted, I love it.

TLDR:  Yes, to this one.

I wouldn't normally pair this next one with a coral shirt as it's a truer pink colour.

                                        Revlon Super Lustrous Teak Rose

                      This one can  look like a very pink-red when unblotted.

My favourite, easy to wear, no need to blot colour is Abstract Orange.  It's very dark in the tube but sheer enough that it's not dark on my lips.  As you can see, I've given up about the bra strap.

                                            Revlon Super Lustrous Abstract Orange

The lighting in the above photos is a little sun-bleached but the effect is the same, since stonger or weaker lighting changes my appearance along with the lipstick.  Still, if the lip colour looks bolder to my eye it tends to make me nervous.   In some ways, the above photos are like the blotted effect even though I wore the colours full strength.

Two of my lippie colours are also, strangely, gold pearl finishes.  I have mixed feelings about that as in some light the pearl is noticeable and I am not a fan of glitter. Some clouds had covered the sun by the time I got to this photo, and  colours are not so sun bleached.

                                           Revlon Super Lustrous Peach Me

This last one is a dud and I'm annoyed that I grabbed it on a whim.   Revlon lipsticks on sale are very affordable, though.  It looks better on me in this photo than in reality, as  it's too cool and pale. 

                                           Revlon Super Lustrous Demure

I can't bring myself to spend what a Mac or Nars lipstick would cost unless I've spent it experimenting with several different colours.

Overall, my favourite every day options are  Abstract Orange, Peach Me despite the gold shimmer, and Ravish Me Red blotted.  I am waffling on Coral Berry.  Just when I think I like it, I see it in different lighting and it looks too pink.   My favourite more dramatic looks are Teak Rose and Ravish Me Red less blotted but that's  pushing my comfort zone and I rarely, if ever, wear a dramatic look.

I think it's time to stop spending money and make Abstract Orange my signature lippie.

For the most part I end up with too pale, too dark, too bright, too orange, too brown or too pink, too frosty or too thick.

Am I a True Spring or am I a True Autumn who looks best in the light end of the palette?  I still don't know and this experiment didn't tell me, perhaps because I don't know what to look for.  I suspect the ones that don't work for me might be  Light Spring and Bright Spring.  The ones that do work might work on both True Spring and True Autumn depending on the person.

Friday, 22 September 2017

Pink Is Problematic

Knowing a season that fits you, having a palette fan, looking at images online, none of those things guarantee that the colours you are looking for are in the store or that you will be able to distinguish your best blues from all the other blues.  It takes practice and it takes comparison.

I have difficulty identifying the warmth of colours that are not inherently warm.   It's a bit of a simplification to say the colours I am looking for are warm ones, as the question is how warm, warmed with what, yellow or gold and while it is easier to fudge with the colours that always seem warm, like peach, coral, yellow or orange, and red and green always seem more obvious in it's relative warmth or coolness to me, I have difficult with pink, purple and blue as well as the turquoise/teal range.  Teal and turquoise are often considered universally flattering colours as they are made of colours from both the warm and cool side of the colour wheel.  However, they can lean warmer or cooler, depending on the mix.

More accurately, I should say they can have more yellow or more blue.

There is a version of nearly every colour in every seasonal palette, with the exception of yellow and orange for the coolest palettes.  True Summer has no orange and it's rare, very cool yellow is difficult to find and identify.  It seems that every colour can be warmed up enough for the Spring palette and I find the bright pink very tricky.


When I see it in comparison to the purple-looking magenta pinks of the Winter palette it makes more sense but it seems about as rare as the cool, pale yellow of the summer palette.  This is why Christine Scaman recommends comparing colours in the store, gathering up garments of similar colour even though you don't intend to try them on or buy them.  Compare all the versions of bright pink you find, which  I suppose this will work better in a department store or large thrift shop.  Smaller stores tend to get one set of colours in each season, as though the merchandise all came from the same dye-lot.

 A warm pink that is not muted looks a little as though it is lit from inside with a soft yellow light.  It is almost coral but still one would first say that it is pink.  Depending on which colour system you are looking at, there is more pink or very little pink in the True/Warm Spring palette.  I favour the Sci-Art palettes for their carefully measured colours.  Some systems give me the impression that someone just eye-balled the collection and picked the colours out of a bin.

I used to call a very bright pink 'hot pink' and now I am thinking the term should only be applied to the Spring bright pink, since it is the one that is actually warm.  Bright, magenta-pinks are often very cool and blue-based. 

A Bit of a Digression about Pink Lipstick

Pink lipstick was quite problematic for me until I discovered I needed it to be warmed.  Nervous about bright colours I went in the brown direction until I worked my way through the Soft Season Palettes right into the orange-brown colours of True Autumn.  Brown certainly does warm up a lipstick colour and my natural pigmentation is very pink so lipsticks get even pinker on me than expected.  This seems to turn the oranges into corals but it makes finding a lipstick that will read as pink but not too pink a little bit tricky.  My favourite, Revlon Super Lustrous Abstract orange, which looks brown orange in the tube reads as a bright coral on me. 

I will venture into the corals and lighter oranges next lipstick purchase, which is exactly where a True Spring should go.  I am tiptoeing in though, as they seem bright to me.

Revlon Teak Rose is working for me, I think, though I blot it.  I blot everything except the lightest and sheerest of colours.  Although you won't usually see pinks recommended as lipstick for True Autumn I did spot this one recommended somewhere.  Lipstick results vary according to the pigmentation of your natural lip so these suggestions are guidelines. 

The first photo is wearing Abstract Orange and the second wearing Teak Rose.  In the one minute it took me to change lip colours the light shifted but it's fairly accurate in both photos.

I think these photos show that while there is a pink I can wear, the orange-coral looks better.  It's all just personal taste though.  Because to my eye different lip colours work better with different outfits I like having a pinker option.  Lipstick has become my thing.  I only use minimal eye makeup and nothing else. 

 Comparing Pinks Between Seasons

Here is a graphic showing makeup colour suggestions for the True Spring compared with Bright Winter and True Summer.  See how different the pinks are even when they seem bright.  When the bright pink of the True Spring palette is seen in context with the rest of the palette it just looks like bright pink.  It takes on a more coral appearance in comparison with the blue-pinks of the cooler palettes.   Bright Spring is comparatively cooler than True Spring but in comparison with the other palettes it's hint of a coral look can still be seen.

All graphics belong to and can be found at 12 Blueprints or do a Google  search using the key words 'best makeup colours for" and add the season you want.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Crazy for Coral and a Passion for Peach

The weather is cooling and we've had a few days of rain so the dampness makes it feel even colder.   I bundled up in a favourite simple outfit, combining peach, green and cream along with the faded bright blue denim of my favourite jeans, not visible in this photo.  It's a season when people begin to wear darker colours and I'm staying away from them.

I don't know if the colours of my vest and scarf are the lightest end of the True Autumn palette or if they are True Spring but I suspect they are Spring.  My lipstick is a True Spring recommendation and I'm not wearing any other makeup.

Some time ago, I've lost track if it was a year or two years ago, the desire to lighten my palette hit me hard.  Perhaps I once thought that darker colours were more serious and career appropriate.  Perhaps being young and having the dewy freshness of youth, I just didn't notice or care.  As I discovered my warmth and played with the True Autumn palette I lost track a little of my need for lightness.  Or at least I did in terms of trying to identify my palette.  There are light colours in the True Autumn palette but there are also some medium-dark ones and I find myself avoiding them.  Am I avoiding them because I just don't like them or because they feel wrong.  A person could choose to only wear a select few colours from a whole palette but should not feel confined to those.  That would indicate the wrong palette.
 This image found on the 12 Blueprints site in a great post about Springs with dark hair, got me thinking about my peach passion.  I love both of the colours in this image.  I would wear both, but I suspect I look better in the Spring peach.


I LOVE the entire True Autumn palette.  I love earthy colours like burnt orange and ochre.  I decorate my home in them.  My desire to wear colours a little lighter may be my need for clearer warm colours asserting itself.  Or it may be my imagination.  In my attempt to purchase True Autumn colours over the past year, I suspect I've actually bought many things in True Spring.   In the end it doesn't matter what it is called, as long as I like it and it works.  But of course I want to know.  That's just how I am. And even though I know that personal colour analysis is about watching colour next to to the face, I am still going to attempt to think my way into this.  That's what I do.

This collage of Spring peach/coral/orange with a dash of yellow really appeals to me.


My favourite coral tee shirt, which is my favourite of the two corals I own and possibly my favourite tee shirt altogether.  Lippie is a sheer tint from Revlon called Rich Girl Red and generally looks coral on me.

                                                   Brighter more direct light

Spring is a light season and there are many 'experts' who will say it is light, warm and clear so it is for people whose colouring is light, warm and clear.  They then give examples of celebrities with (dyed) blonde hair and point out the overall lightness.  Autumn is a rich season, with medium colours, deep in comparison with Spring.  These same experts will describe it as warm, rich, muted and sometimes use the word deep.  They will give celebrity examples usually with auburn hair, not all natural.  These descriptions are accurate for the colours of the palettes but only accurate for the person's appearance some of the time.

The Spring palette is warm, light, fresh, clear.
The Autumn palette is warm, medium-deep, rich, muted

What gets lost in translation is that these descriptive words might describe the appearance of the individual who wears these palettes but it might not.  The palettes suit the skin of the individual who wears them and the hair colour, eye colour and even the overall impression of lightness or darkness are not that straight forward.

Some other descriptions that I have found helpful though are these.

 Here is a quote from 12 Blueprints.

"Autumn colour is heavy. Like a rug, a warm blanket, a stone fireplace.
Colour is medium to dark.
Colour deposits can be more opaque. The skin is more opaque and needs heavier colour. Like putting makeup on a quilted cloth doll."

I have been observing a blog friend who is a confirmed Autumn.  She is definitely able to wear heavier makeup application, richer colours, deeper, darker more intense colours than I can.  When I wear the True Autumn lipsticks I blot them.  She applies them thickly and liberally and looks amazing.

What are the colours I can apply liberally?  They are Spring colours.

Here is what 12 Blueprints says about Spring makeup.

"Spring is light. Literally, figuratively, subliminally, Spring is light.
Colours are light to medium on the Light >> Dark scale. The brown that looks dark on Scarlet Johanssen looks pale and insignificant on Julia Roberts.
Colour deposits are light and /or sheer, though color is still lively. Like putting makeup on a porcelain doll."

This lipstick swatching was done by Cate Linden, a 12 Blueprints trained analyst and I found the image on Pinterest.  It is an image that confirms for me that I'm favouring Spring lip colours and perhaps explains why the True Autumn light-medium colour options are dark on me so I kept to the light colours or sheer formulas.  I really can't pull off a matte lipstick. 

A year ago I would have laughed at the thought of myself as porcelain doll, and I'd still laugh today, but I do indeed use a very light hand with makeup, liberally apply sheer, light, clear warm colours.  A light golden brown eye pencil reads as enough eyeliner for me.  I was getting this right when I played with the soft palettes, but they were muted and not warm enough.  When I really got into warmth I strayed too far, literally beyond my depth.

Chocolate and peach!  Two of my favourite foods and favourite colours.  I would love to wear this combination and I'd add cream to both the food and colours too!


I want to be an Autumn.  I love Autumn.  But I don't think I can convince myself that the deep colours are something I can pull off.  I would have thought them safer than colours that read as bright to me, but gradually I am learning the difference between bright and clear.  True Spring colours are not muted, not softened with grey or lightened with white, but the clarity gives them a lightness and a delicacy that seems to be right for me, despite my medium-dark hair.  

Autumn colours and Spring colour sometimes look very similar and I think that is why I've bought more Spring than I initially realised.  It suited me, it looked like an Autumn colour so I convinced myself it was.  There are places where the two palettes diverge and even with the similar colours the key to the difference is whether or not the colour is a version that is clear and fresh looking or muted and rich and earthy looking.  Fabric type can mislead or allow you to fudge a little.  You can and should make personal tweaks to your palette, figuring out your own best lightness-darkness range and which of the makeup rec's work best for you.  But you can also tweak yourself into a different season, which I may have done.

 It's all a matter of playing, with just a few rules so you know the game and the right ball park to play it in.  

Monday, 18 September 2017

Am I a Spring? Will I Ever Know?

In case anyone is wondering if I might be a True Spring, rather than a True Autumn, I have definitely wondered that myself but so far thinking probably not.  Although I am learning that I can wear brighter colours than I thought I could, now that I know they need to be quite warm, there is a difference between the  brightness of True Spring and that of True Autumn.  In a proper colour analysis, the colours are draped beneath the face and changes in appearance are detected, disappearing of fine lines, dark circles or strange colours.  Photos can't show that but they can point a little bit towards harmony and give some indication of what colours to play with and try out. 

 I think that I am learning I can wear brighter colours than I thought, but I'm not sure about True Spring brightness.  Depending on which system you look at you will be told one of two different things about the Spring category.  It is always warm, but in some systems it is described as light and warm, while in others it is described as clear, bright and warm.  The latter is more common, and the former seems to come from all of the celebrity examples of Spring being blonde or strawberry blonde and appearing light. 

This is pretty much me rolled right out of bed.  I'm wearing one of Jim's tee shirts and it might be the rich golden yellow of a True Autumn palette, if I can depend on my ability to eyeball that.  The photo accuracy is not great either, so this photo may not be worth much, but my point is that there are some intense colours in the True Autumn palette and that Spring gets even brighter, although it doesn't always look that way in online images of the Spring palette.

                     I once held the belief that yellow was the worst colour I could wear.

 I would love a proper analysis but it's not available to me right now.  Or at least not without the cost being close to a thousand dollars, which is another way of saying not available to me.

I think I am an Autumn, not a Spring, but I could be wrong.  As I play with the boundaries of how brightness works for me, perhaps I will dip into Spring a little.  Or perhaps I won't and think that I am. Perhaps I will change my mind and decide I am a Spring and not an Autumn. My understanding is that Spring is very bright and Autumn brighter than people realise.  Mostly I know warm is good for me.

Pictures and Swatches

 Here I am outside and inside in natural light, a Spring palette placed beneath me.  Does this tell me anything?  I don't know.  Does the hair distract?


Is there any noticeable difference when I put my photo next to the Autumn fan?  Even if there seems to be, accuracy of photos cannot be guaranteed.  I have seen photos of people being draped in True Spring colours and they are very bright. 


I suspect that the photo of the Spring fan doesn't represent how truly bright the actual Spring palette is.  Perhaps the best conclusion here is that colours as shown in the photo of the Spring fan would work.

What about this next one?  Does this work?  It seems possibly a bit too much, too solid, to saturated.  It seems to me almost but not quite right.  Could I wear those colours and not lose against them in a fight to be noticed?




Could I pull off these colours below?  I don't think so, but I am not always right.  I'm not sure I would feel right in them. What confuses me is that I look very brightly coloured and able to take bright colours in this photo but not in all photos.  Of course I should listen to are not very accurate and this is not how you do colour analysis.



There are online colour analysis sites that simplify the concept down to Spring is warm and light, Autumn is warm and dark.  Springs are blondes and bright redheads with blue or green eyes, Autumns are brunettes or auburn with hazel or brown eyes.  These systems are not Sci/Art which asserts that skin only is what matters, and any hair or eye colour can occur in any palette.  Some may be more typical, but a certain hair or eye colour is not a determiner or a deal breaker.  Celebrities shown as examples usually have dyed hair, and the few who are natural redheads or blondes have enhanced their colouring.  They aren't very helpful for comparing yourself, as tempting as it is.  In the end it is about how your face reacts to colour, not what colours you appear to be.

As much as I dislike the imprecision and misleading statements offered in the tonal system of personal colours, it may be that all I can do is assume I am in the Warm family and work with that.  I wouldn't wear every colour suggested here, nor would I put them all on Amy.


My objection to this system is that it is sloppy.  I believe it is inaccurate to state that some people need only concern themselves with one of the properties of colour, and thus choose a family of colours from palettes that are either Warm, Cool, Deep, Light, Bright or Muted.  This is presented as giving yourself more options but I think it is really just a poor substitute for good analysis.  However, having said that, I don't have access to proper analysis.

Somewhere on the website I've linked to above, there is also a link to a fun though not highly accurate method of determining your palette using a photo you upload.  I have done it many times and depending on the photo, Autumn, Spring and the Warm palette samples all look good.  It's all a bit subjective as photos don't really show your skin reacting to colour and it become more of an am I light or dark issue.  I look lighter in outdoor photos than I do in indoor photos.  Is that real or some trick of the lighting? I look cooler if the photographer hasn't got the white balance adjusted.  I look cooler if I am in the shade.  I look pale and grey in a photo if I am wearing too cool a colour.  I look yellow if I am under a light that has a yellow cast.  Photos are problematic.

Go here if you want to play with this tool.  You want clear photos in natural light and the tool gives you the ability to zoom in and eliminate most or all of the background.  It might be valuable to pull back your hair or crop it out of the photo.

Another method of testing is called lipstick draping. It means trying out the recommended lipsticks for a season to compare which are most flattering.  In the photos above I am wearing a lipstick recommended for True Autumn. I've also got one that I've seen recommended for Spring, and I get compliments when I wear it.  But makeup is a bit less precise than fabric drapes and more crossover in makeup colours as well as more compromise has to occur. 

Here is something you may not know.  An analysis is meant to be finicky, highly precise and end up in very definitive results because it is the foundation you work with.  Shopping, finding your best colours in the right clothing and makeup is much less precise, more difficult, compromise must happen.  The more you know about what you are looking for, the more you can get most of what you put on yourself as close to best as possible, the more it all comes together and works.

On my own, anyone trying to figure this out without professional and proper analysis is working with an approximate idea. 

Am I a Spring or an Autumn?  I don't really know.  Spring and Autumn are both the warmest palettes.  Autumn warmed by gold and Spring by yellow.  The former is more muted, a bit earthy, while the latter is clear and bright.  Just how bright, I am not certain as I don't own a palette fan. 

In general I simply like the warm earthy colours that are more likely Autumn, but I have learned preference doesn't lead everyone to their best colours to wear and knowing a colour flatters you can turn it into a favourite.

I suspect I may have Spring items in my wardrobe already, especially in the coral/peach range.  What I do know is that the True Autumn palette contains some colours brighter than one might expect if thinking it is all about earth tones, and that I might be more successful and comfortable wearing them then I'd once thought.

It frustrates me not to know which palette is best for me, as though the correct answer to a burning question is being withheld.   Perhaps for now, how to live with that not knowing is the lesson I need most.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Getting Bolder

The main aim of this post is to discuss the colour pink, but before I can settle into that I must moan a bit about the tortures of growing out hair.  I have been growing out a pixie cut for a year and it sure doesn't look like it.  When my hair is cut short there is a great deal of detail cut into it because I have a lot of hair, very fine and slipper.  Then there are the peculiarities of my head shape to take into account.  The end result is that as it grows it grows in strange shapes, thinner and thicker bits and the number of trims to reshape it into something reasonable as it grows are rather numerous.  I confess to doing them myself, in part because I am not going to pay for half a hair cut but also because I usually decided at an inconvenient time that something needs to be done about my hair immediately.

Anyhow, I am currently sporting a Soccer-Mom flippy do circa 2003.  If I actually wanted a flippy style I would not be satisfied by what I've currently got, but since I don't want one, this is what my hair wants to do on it's own with little encouragement.  The other option is a sort of turned under, bowl-mullet.  You can understand why I am going with the Soccer-Mom hair.  Periodically I decide I want to inject a little fun into my hair colour which, if you know me, means something really rather tame.  How does someone who likes the natural look do fun?  In most areas of my life, what I consider fun many others would not.  Reading is fun.  Painting is fun.  Going for a walk is fun.  So the few times I got crazy and dyed my hair purple it was a bit like going bungee jumping.  It seemed like a good idea but very quickly it became obvious that it was not for me. 

My idea of taking my hair colour one step or two beyond it's normal state is to put a bit of an auburn or coppery rinse in it.  The problem with that is that the makers of hair dye are not very good at natural looking reds and so many of them skew pink-burgundy.  I bought one with a picture on the box that was very much a light orange-copper, a bit lighter than my natural medium brown.  For those wanting to know, it was Clairol Natural Instincts and it was called Light Golden Red.   At the first look of my newly done hair I was a bit horrified as the colour had a burgundy look to it.  I gave it a vigorous shampooing after application, which is normally not recommended but I had panicked and was hoping to wash most of the colour out.  I am not sure if this extra shampooing worked or if I had just unnecessarily panicked and the shampooing didn't actually do anything.  In some lighting my hair looks medium, brown-auburn and in outdoor lighting it looks like this, more coppery.

 I've now decided that I love it so much I am worried I won't be able to replicate it.

               I tried to brush out the flips a little but not sure I improved on the style any.

As you can see, I think, I seem to be pulling off some richer colours than I might have once thought I could.  I am dabbling in colours a little bolder, though I still have a few things left over from when I thought I was a Soft Autumn ( like this tee shirt ).  Now I sometimes look at a photo such as this and think, hmm maybe there is enough brightness there for me to be a True Spring.  True Spring colours are clearer and brighter, though still warm.  But I think that actually what I am discovering is how far to reach within my True Autumn range.  Every individual will have a personal adjustment of how light, dark, bright, or even how warm or cool to go within an given palette for maximum flattery.  The colours of Sci/Art True Autumn are muted in comparison with other palettes except the Softs, but there is also some brightness available.

In the past my experiments with bright colours did not work out well because my understanding of what colour properties I needed was still undeveloped.  Bright and cool is probably one of the worst colour types I can wear.  Or rather, it wears me.  Anything with some mutedness begins to look right, but warm and bright can look quite wrong too.  These properties are all relative so when I explore brightness it's relative to my best palette and it's in harmony with my own colouring.  The question to explore is where can I push the boundaries? 

In makeup I tend to avoid brightness because it's an area where I really prefer a natural look.  But having said that, for some people, bright makeup colours do look natural.  When I use the word natural I mean it in the sense of natural for the individual as well as in the sense of personal taste.  In eye makeup, which I don't use a lot of, I aim for a me but better look and if I use eye shadow at all I use colours that would actually be in my skin, thus browns are my preference.  I can pull off a bit of metallic but wouldn't use it for day time.  Bronze is a really good colour for me.  Having found my best colours I rarely feel the need for foundation or cheek colour.  I don't own foundation any more and while I have some peachy cheek colour I rarely use it.  My skin tone can take light bronzer but a sculpted look really isn't me.  So when I use colour with a sense of fun I use it in lipstick and toe nail polish.

Even then, some would say my choices are not daring at all since I still aim for the pink/peach/orange/red range.   While I've spent much time looking for lipstick colours that are that coveted MLBB ( my lips but better ) I have found that knowing my colour palette and the properties of my colouring has helped me venture away a little from the really safe colours.

Strangely, some of the colours that read as very natural on me are more brown-orange than many people would dare to use or consider natural looking.  It's pinks and true-reds that look a bit odd on me.  When I dabbled in the Soft palettes I used brown-pinks and brown-mauves.  The softness of them was right and the certainly did disappear into my face more, making me feel safer.  But a bolder lip is more comfortable when the colour looks like it belongs on me.  That's why when I used pink I knew it couldn't be something that looked pure, clear, bright or too cool.  Pink became a bit problematic as I discovered that peach/salmon was my better version of pink and I've always had an aversion to the cool pinks, especially bright ones.

There is a colour I've always thought of as hot pink and yet it is actually very cool.  It's a magenta or fuchsia pink and it looks terrible on me.  When we were small and in primary school most of us were taught about warm and cool colours, usually with a colour wheel divided in half and the basic explanation that one side of it was cool, the blues, greens and purples, and the other side was warm, the yellows, oranges and reds.  If our teachers were particularly keen, we may have been shown, or we may have discovered for ourselves, that purple and green could have one foot on either side, and that a more yellow-green was warm and a more red-violet was was warm.    At some point in life we may eventually discover that all colours can have a warm version and a cool version, and that it is the addition of yellow/orange/red that makes a colour warmer in comparison, while the addition of blue makes it cooler.  I always thought of pink as a cool colour, and this is perhaps because pink is red with white added and white added to a colour does cool it.  If the red is an orange-red and white is added we get something we might call peach and peach is not pink.  Therefore pink is cool.

So pink, purple and blue are tricky colours for someone looking to wear warm colours and I have avoided pink for awhile.  Then I cam across a list of lipstick recommendations for True Autumns, swatched and confirmed by a trained colour analyst.  While most of the recommendations are in the brown-orange range, one was Revlon's Teak Rose and it looks very pink.  I read some reviews online, looked at images of it swatched or on the lips of various bloggers.  Often it was described as a warm pink, a bit browned, maybe leaning coral.  I looked at it in the store and it looked very definitely pink and somewhat bright.  I was afraid.

For good visuals comparing the warm and cool versions of colour, you can't beat Imogen Lamport.  Her images won't tell you how warm or how cool the colours are, but they are great as a starting point to get the main idea, that every colour can be made warmer or cooler and just how do they look in comparison with each other.  This one on pink shows the range from blush/nude to bright.

 Imogen's exceedingly informative and helpful blog is here  

Revlon's Super Lustrous Teak Rose reads as a bright pink on me, but warm without being obviously browned.  I'm wearing it in both photos in this post, indoors and outside, natural lighting for both.

 For those of you who wear really bright colours, it may seem funny that I am calling this bright.  But for me it is, and I am stretching myself in my comfort zone by wearing it.  While the oranges and browns I like completely harmonise with my natural colouring, pinks and reds are colours that are most believable on lips.  This might be a coral-red-pink and the more I wear it the more I am beginning to think it could turn into a favourite.