Sunday, 23 October 2016

The Key That Unlocks The Door

It could be a favorite pair of earrings, the sash of an evening dress or a handbag you keep going back to. Maybe it is a bracelet or a t shirt you get an inwardly happy feeling from. Within that one piece, every mystery of your color and style journey could be solved. The door you have been banging on, to the point of exhaustion, could finally be opened!

This is an exciting thought, and it holds much promise.

On your style and color journey, there are lots of little clues along the way. You just might not realize it immediately.

Let's discuss a woman who has been trying to find her color season for a long period of time. She met some online friends who were True Summers, and tried experimenting with those colors.…..but the color palette did not work for her. She resonated with the coolness aspect, however.

Realizing she needed more drama, a short experiment with Dark Winter followed. In many respects, it was better, but it seemed heavy and serious.

Not long after, she had two analyses. One was done via the David Zyla/Caygill method, the other by a Sci/ART trained consultant. The latter was performed in a rapid fire method where many crucial steps were skipped over. There was one thing in common about these consultations:

Winter was a component of her palettes. 

Her Zyla palette looked like a hybrid of Dark Winter and True Winter. Indeed, Dynamic Winter was chosen in this instance.

Her Sci/ART results were Bright Spring. There was something about the intensity and contrast of it that fit, to a degree.

Could the sunny, nuturing part of her personality have led the second analyst to place her in a Spring category?

Could her love of good quality shoes, well made handbags and modern edged style solidify her a spot in a Winter archetype?

For a while, out of sheer frustration, she put everything aside and tried to clear her mind free of all of the conflicting noise. 

There were a few items she owned that she could not bring herself to get rid of.

A pair of clear cut yellow CZ earrings.

A patent leather handbag she had just purchased as an investment piece.

A houndstooth dress she always received compliments on.

Her tried and true gray, white and black wardrobe.

She had just purchased a tube of very high quality lipstick in the truest color red she could find, with no brown, blue or orange tones added. Previous trials with brownish tones ended in failure.

It became quite obvious that pieces of the puzzle were coming together, pointing her in the direction of being a possible True Winter, despite the fact that she does not appear to be the stereotypical Snow White type.

Within a short period of time, she decided to jump in with both feet and give that icy, contrasting palette a try since it was the one place that went untouched. For the first time in a long time, everything fell into place!

The common threads to her long term color experiments were:

True Summer: Coolness
Dark Winter: Depth
Dynamic Winter: Contrast and intensity.
Bright Spring: Contrast and intensity.

She had to travel a few roads to get to her color palette destination and ended up at the one place she overlooked the entire time. Since True Summer did not work for her, it made her shy away from the other three True Seasons.

Sometimes during our search, we fail to see the forest because we are too focused on the trees.

I hope this post inspires you to have your own lightbulb moment!



Friday, 21 October 2016

Road Testing The Seasons....True Autumn and True Spring

There is no better time to talk about True Autumn than the present. We are just about a month into this season. Leaves are changing color, people are thinking about pumpkin spice flavored coffee, and the kids are in school. High school football season is in full swing and the temperature outside is somewhere between unseasonably warm and chilly enough for boots and a heavy sweater. 

Image result for autumn

Image result for gourds and pumpkin

So many people decorate their homes in the earthy, grounded tones of True Autumn because they are rich and expensive looking, yet inviting at the same time. You can easily switch from elegant contemporary to homespun and antique with the True Autumn palette. 

Image result for earth tones interior design

Image result for earth tones interior design

Conversely, True Spring is very energizing and lifts our mood just by looking at it! We want to open the windows and let the breeze blow through with abandon. 

Image result for spring interior

Image result for spring interior

If you would like to experiment with True Autumn or True Spring, where is a good place to start?

Let's do some more comparing and contrasting. 

Notice how True Spring looks clear and light in weight. True Autumn is deeper, more muted and sturdy. If True Spring's wind chime is made of glass and thin pieces of metal with a distinct tinkling sound, True Autumn's is made of wood and burnished metal. 

Kirk's Glass Art fused and stained glass windchimes Precvioso!!!!!!!!!!!!! y debe de sonar maravilloso con el viento:

Image result for wind chimes

Image result for true autumnImage result for true spring

True Autumn is falling leaves, muddy ground that is beginning to dry, and a solid feel. Mystery and a sense of foreboding start to creep in. Add a little bit more mystery and a sense of something lurking in the shadows and we arrive at Dark Autumn. The ground and everything in nature is beginning to settle in for a rest. 

Image result for autumn

True Spring is laughter, play, a sense of optimism and a lot of welcome sunshine after a long, cold Winter. Everything is renewed and blooming. The sun is shining high. We begin to look forward to new beginnings and our energy level raises. True Spring is not serious, solid or warmly inviting. Instead, it is playful, rousing us to action. 

Image result for tropical beach scene

Image result for spring

Four colors to experiment with when trying True Autumn:

Olive green
Terra cotta
Rich, warm brown

Image result for true autumn color equations

True Autumn makeup colors are among the easiest to find. So many women wear earthy colors on their face, yet can't carry that off with any measure of success. A True Autumn worth her salt will look right at home in the best way possible. 

Image result for true autumn makeup


True Spring needs more brightness and a feeling that's substantially lighter in weight. 

Four colors to experiment with:

Clear orange
Clear leaf green
Pure, light to medium gold

Image result for true spring color equations

The makeup colors are more citrus-like and sunny. The energy level is raised. 

Image result for true spring makeup colors'

Here is a look at True Autumn and True Spring fashions. You can easily see the difference when clothing is compared. 

Image result for true autumn

"True Spring" by nyrvelli on Polyvore:

A True Autumn will look like she is wearing candy colored baby clothing in True Spring. She won't look grounded or mature. Her face may look puffy and moon like. Conversely, if a True Spring wears True Autumn, she will look very weighed down and have lots of shadows and lines in her face. 

I have not given the True Warm seasons the attention they so rightly deserve in a while. I hope that this post helps you see how in some ways they are a bit similar, but in others, they differ by quite a span. 



With special thanks to Cate Linden from Cate Linden Chromatics for the inspiration behind this post. 

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Wearing Your Natural Hair Color.....The Ease and The Reality.

I am a hairstylist, and have been so for over 29 years. I will let you in on a trade secret. :

Hair color, and the sale of hair color to a client is the biggest salon money maker there is, and some salon owners will push their stylists to sell-sell-sell it like crazy. Unlike any other beauty enhancement, whether it is cosmetics or acrylic nails, hair color is the most powerful way to change your entire look. 

I am one of those hairstylists that will not sell hair color to someone just for the sake of performing that service. If you have beautiful pure white or salt and pepper hair, or if your naturally blonde hair has gorgeous sun-given highlights as an example, not touching it would be the best and most flattering course of action. This woman would NOT look better if I gave her a dark blonde base tone with highlights. 

Image result for salt and pepper hair

Is there a thing in the world wrong with enhancing what nature gave you by adding highlights, or doing something fun? Absolutely not! If your hair is on the fine side, that color or those highlights open up the cuticle layer of the hair shaft and give you more lift and body. Maybe you are the artistic type that enjoys putting pink, blue, red or green in your hair after lightening it up. I say, if your lifestyle and career choice allow for this, go for it. 

Image result for rainbow hair

What if you went prematurely gray before the age of 40 and you aren't ready to let nature completely take its course? In the end, you have to do what makes you feel best about yourself when looking in the mirror

If you have been thinking about growing out your natural hair color, there are distinct advantages to doing so:

1) Low maintenance and low/no cost. All you need is a hair cut that suits you and your lifestyle. Just make sure it is flattering and up to date. 

2) Your natural shine and your natural highlights and low lights are kept intact. Think about a child's hair. That soft shine and the dimension it has are what expert, top notch hair colorists try to emulate in their work. 

Image result for natural red hair boy

3) Do you have skin sensitivity issues or allergies to the components of hair color chemicals? I know I do. If you grow out your hair, by not using any hair color, you avoid the itching and welts or blisters caused by the PPD's, peroxide and direct dyes. (For an article discussing this topic, please click on this link. )

4) As your hair color changes, so does your skin tone. In some cases, you may end up shifting to the next coolest seasonal category, (e.g., a Light Spring may end up changing over to a Light Summer as she turns gray. Or a Bright Winter may need to use more of True Winter's palette when her hair turns white.)

5) I can only speak for myself, but my overall look is very harmonious and complete with my natural hair color. The amount of cosmetics I have to wear has gone way down. In photo, I don't look like I'm wearing a blonde wig anymore. There is this overall appearance of totality. It is very hard to explain unless you see it for yourself in real life. 

6) You retain your natural level of contrast. There is nothing that will destroy your overall look more than deviating from it to an extreme degree. 

Image result for kylie jenner blonde

7) By choosing not to color your hair, you don't risk damaging it. 

Should you have fears of growing out your hair color, take heart with the following example. I have seen women who have colored their hair brunette for years, then transitioned into their gray. It astounds me how much younger and authentic they look when the growing-out process is finished. 

I have used this photo in a previous article, but it is worth being seen again. This is such a dramatic before and after. The woman on the right looks like a harmonious and complete picture. On the left, we see an uneven skin tone and red patches. Areas of the face look puffy and irritated. Could it be her hair was lightened, toned and conditioned to allow for this transition? Absolutely! The good news is, it will be much easier for her to go au naturel in the long haul. 

Image result for growing out your natural hair color before and after

Your hair, how you dress, your lifestyle choices and anything else you do are all entirely personal decisions. What may be exactly right for you may be totally wrong for someone else.

In the end, embracing the trend of celebrating your natural beauty is something you can never go wrong with!



Thursday, 25 August 2016 Ultimate Color Resource.

If you are looking to learn more about the 12 seasons, there is truly no place better to look than Christine Scaman's blog. If you are contemplating getting a PCA done, have already gone through the process or are a potential analyst in training, it is a fantastic resource. 

Here is what you can expect to find:

Polyvore collages that enable you to envision your seasonal category.

In depth discussions on hair, eye and skin color and how they factor into the process.

12 blueprints certified analysts and their stories.

Color equations for the 12 seasons.

Cosmetics suggestions.

Getting adjusted to your seasonal category.

Visual representations of each season in nature and landscape.

Case histories of in real life clients.

I cater more to those of us who are pressed for time or have a short attention span. (NO offense intended....this is me!!) Christine is great for those of us who want to sip some tea and carefully consider every word. 

Whether you are completely new to color and style, or if you are an expert at using your palette and have graduated into putting together a capsule wardrobe, you will most certainly find something new to learn every time you visit her blog. 



Wednesday, 24 August 2016

The Dark Haired Light Season

Not everyone with dark hair is a Winter, or will be able to borrow from any of the Winter influenced palettes. Putting Winter colors on those who thrive on delicacy is a cruel form of visual punishment to every eye that sees the wearer. If you have naturally dark hair and look like a person with a high level of value contrast (see Inside Out Style Blog for more info.)  where do you go if dark and jewel tones do not fit? 

Too many well meaning image consultants in the know will go by outer first impressions and not take into account the underlying subtleties of individual coloring....the varying pixels in the eye, the myriad of colors in the hair, or the overtones and undertones of the skin. Everything works together. It only makes sense to wear a palette that is a direct reflection of how you were created. The goal is simply harmony....both on a physical and emotional level.

 When it comes to first impressions, the golden rule of a good image consultant is.....never make assumptions that someone fits into a seasonal category, when the opposite may be true. In applying this to yourself....if you have been trying to shoe horn yourself into a certain section of the 12 season palette and have met with utter frustration, maybe it is time to step back and consider that a season you never gave a moment's thought to may indeed be your perfect fit. Be willing to experiment with the one palette you have been overlooking.....the results can be surprising!

What if you are indeed a Light Spring or Light Summer yet do not fit the blonde stereotype? My advice is....don't worry about it so much, UNLESS at gut level, a Light season verdict for you feels intrinsically wrong. A newly declared seasonal category may feel like a complete left field surprise, which is to be expected, but it should never feel completely uncomfortable. The neon sign of "STOP" should not be flashing in your head like an auto dash warning light.

Take a look at your newly acquired palette. Pick out something about it you really like and start right there. :

Choose four colors. Two neutrals and two "color" colors. I suggest one of your lightest neutrals and one of your deepest. 

Two pairs of jeans. Place the fan right on top of the denim to make sure they harmonize. You don't want something super faded, but you don't want something overly dense looking. 

This: (From 1969 jeans......)

These beautiful lighter wash jeans from Nordstrom. Team them up with your relatively darker colors:

Not this. Too solid and weighty:

Four Polo or t shirts. Both Light seasons wear casual clothing better than anyone I know of. Here is a great Polyvore collection from Relateable Style for Light Spring. 

Thalia the Muse composed a really nice one for Light Summer:

Cosmetics are easy. A good mascara, some blush and two lip butters. Don't worry over anything else. I really like these visuals Christine Scaman from created because they make you think, "Aha!" in a way the color fans do not. :

Look at ideas as to how to put together your palette, but don't construct anything in real life until you feel ready to take that next step. These collages from Ford will get the wheels in your mind turning.

What would I do if this was my situation?

If I woke up tomorrow and found out I was a dark haired Light season,  I would do the following:

1) Gravitate to the brighter and darker lipstick and blush colors in my palette. Avoid mattes or heavy opacity. Shimmers, lip butters and pearl finishes preferred.

2) Wear blackest brown mascara or brown and go easy with it.

3) Use my hair color as a guide when choosing eye liner. Anything lighter or darker than this may be too anemic or harsh looking. Blend that line out so it has a soft edge to it. No harsh lines on the face. Ever. Ditch the liquid liner while I am at it.

4) Combine my lightest palette colors with my darkest or brightest to repeat what I look like in real life. I would not wear two of my lightest colors together like my blonde Light seasonal sister would.

5) Go for pearl or satin finishes in formal wear. Add bling, but make sure it is just a delicate spray of crystals like a shooting star.....not dripping in sequins. I am Summer and Spring....not Winter.

6) Stick with my Too Faced Perfect Flush Blush in Candy Glow. Wear Buxom Bombshell in a light wash with a duo fiber brush, remembering that a little on me still goes a long way. I might even choose a brighter coral or watermelon pink, applying it delicately. 

7) Read all of the information I can about Light Spring and Light Summer at starting with this article.

8) While I am at it, read this and this.

9) Do not allow anyone to talk me into highlights, just because I am a Light season. Not everyone is meant to wear blonde hair.

If you are a dark haired Light season, you are not in an alternative universe. Try following the above suggestions and see if things don't fall in place for you easier!