Sunday, February 4, 2018

My House of Colour Experience

House of Colour is very popular in the UK. I always kind of secretly envied my UK color friends, because they were easily able to have a consultation done. At the time, those of us in the States had to get a costly Transatlantic plane ticket as a prerequisite if we wanted to partake. Fortunately, there are stylists in the US beginning to pop up here and there, with lots of room for growth. 

In looking at the About section of House of Colour's website, I noticed this description:


Put simply, 30 years of highly professional know-how. You get a unique, accurate analysis and understanding of your perfect colours and styles because our stylists go through the most rigorous professional training available in the UK. You’re in safe hands. The Gold Standard awarded to us by Investors in People, and Safe Beauty Association accreditation means that you’ll learn life-changing colour and style expertise from the best teachers in the world."

Imagine my surprise when I discovered Annette Byman, a HOC stylist was only 45 minutes away from me! I spoke with her on the phone and felt like I was speaking to one of my best girl friends. She immediately put me at ease. It was really tough to wait the two weeks for my appointment. 

My mission? 

To finally put my ongoing battle with Bright Winter vs. Bright Spring to rest, but most importantly, to let you know my thoughts on HOC as a method unto itself.

In the latter part of my waiting, the weather a couple of days beforehand had been iffy. She uses lots of natural daylight for accurate results, so a very cloudy day is problematic. What a relief to see abundant sunshine the afternoon of my session! Riesen, white chocolate and some mixed nuts were there for me to nibble away on, much to my delight! 

In the beginning, she spends quite a bit of time discussing how the process works. She asks you about your lifestyle, how high or low maintenance you are with your daily beauty routine, your particular challenges and then describes how the House of Colour process begins. 

There are four seasons in the beginning to this approach, much like Color Me Beautiful. However, that is where the similarities end:

The warm seasons of Autumn and Spring are framed with gold. Winter and Summer are framed by silver, denoting best metal colors. Annette then discussed the three primary colors of red, yellow and blue. Up until that point, I had no idea that true red is a universally flattering color, but it does indeed harmonize with each palette. 

Next, she seated me in front of a large mirror and covered my hair with a white scarf. I also wore a white cape. She began with neutral colors, comparing both the cool toned drapes against the warm ones. Drapes are layered on your shoulders in a large stack. Then, one by one drapes are taken off in order to compare and contrast. I really tried to not offer my input, but it was tough/impossible because the changes I saw elicited my opinions. Fortunately, Annette and I were in agreement across the board and she welcomed my feedback.

It was obvious in my case, all of the warm colors were much, much better. Without exception, cool colors put large white patches all over my face. The light in my eyes turned off. In some instances, I looked depressed or like I was lacking in oxygen!

Through further examination, the one seasonal category I was secretly hoping a little bit for, got the proverbial kibosh. Winter turned me white/gray/pale and put awful shadows under my chin. Yep. My love affair with Bright Winter ended that very day. Since there are 36 drapes in each season that represent the whole gamut of subseasons, any kind of Winter was totally off the table. Who knew fuchsia could look so awful on me? 

Summer colors were blah, boring and uninteresting. Such a shame about the two cool seasons. I love all of those pinks, purples, cool reds and violets, but they do not love me back at ALL. Sigh. No Light Summer for me, dangit.

We determined I was definitely a warm. I had a feeling I would end up being a Spring based more on my gut feeling than anything else, but we needed to compare with Autumn just to remove any doubt.

There is a green blue neutral color called Kingfisher. It is another one of those universally flattering colors from the Autumn spectrum. Could I wear it? NOPE. It was pretty yucky.  As we went through the Autumn vs. Spring drapes, Autumn looked like someone threw mud onto my face. Spring, for the most part, fit me like a glove. It gave my face color and life without any makeup. 

Next, we did a brief makeover. Mineral foundation with primer beforehand, blush, brown mascara that I liked SO much better than black, and trying on lipsticks for size. We stopped as soon as I put on this gorgeous poppy red because it was THAT GOOD on me. The remainder of my draping continued with the simplified minimal makeup application. I liked knowing I can throw myself together makeup wise in 90 seconds and look pretty well complete.

There are four sub-seasons within each season.( For more information, please see Kettlewell's blog.) This is a "16 season" system that further refines your palette. It was now time to discover which section of Spring I belonged to. 

Annette gave me a booklet. Each of the 36 drapes has a color name, which is listed. Each drape is given a rating. Some are fantastic on you head to toe. Others are better as accessories.  You will also find your best neutral colors during this process. 

A big surprise was the first drape, which was this gorgeous chocolate brown. I never considered wearing a brown dress, but this color made me reconsider! It looked amazing! Sure...there were plenty of colors that did not cut the mustard (hee!) but the ones that were my best TRULY were my best. I needed the brightest and most intense colors out of the Spring palette, particularly the primary blue, red and yellow colors, so Annette said my best category is Paintbox Spring. I figured ahead of time I would be a Blue Spring, so Paintbox was a bit of a surprise! 

We did take a few photos, but smartphone photos being what they are, I did not like any of them. However, this is a reprentation of the Paintbox Spring color spectrum. Doesn't this lady look amazing???

I discovered that I am actually closer to True Spring than Bright Spring and that I need to stay away from the dark and really cool end of Bright Spring. Indigo Tones Bright Spring plume is pretty much dead on perfect for me, since it eliminates the coolest and deepest of Sci/ART Bright Spring by default! 

If you have been draped by the Sci/ART or 12 seasons method, the four seasons method, or want something more personalized, I highly, highly recommend getting a House of Colour consultation. It was highly informative, so much fun and got the wheels turning in my mind to begin a capsule wardrobe. 

Next? A HOC style session! Stay tuned!



Rings for the 12 Seasons: Part #1

These are all current listings from and the vast majority of these are very affordable! If you do not see anything you love, no worries! I plan on continuing with this series. The seller's info is included within each photo:

                                True Winter:

                                Bright Winter:

                                 Bright Spring:

                                  True Spring:

                                  Light Spring:

Light Summer:

True Summer: 

Soft Summer:

Soft Autumn:

True Autumn:

Dark Autumn: 

Dark Winter: 

Enjoy admiring all of these lovelies!

Sincerely, Tina

Pantone Color Of The Year 2018

Drum roll please....

The Pantone COTY is: Ultra Violet!!!

                          Image: Pantone Copyright 2018

I know....I am very late to the party here in talking about this, but I have known about Pantone's release for a while (actually stalked their website for months).

The great thing about the COTY is, designers and manufacturers have different iterations and interpretations of Ultra Violet this year, as they do every year with the color chosen.

Let's see how the 12 seasons fare:

True Winter: Wear this head to toe as a dress with your silver jewelry. Wear it with your gray, or white and black. This year, Pantone has blessed you.

Bright Winter: Your version of Ultra Violet has a bit more red added. Wearing it in a contrasting manner with one of your bright greens or bright lemon yellows will be STUNNING!

Bright Spring: The strict interpretation of Ultra Violet is definitely going to be too cool for you on it's own. Choosing a brighter version of this not so shaded in black will be your best bet. Couple it with orange, yellow or green for interest.

True Spring: You will have to stick very closely with your purples as represented in your palette. The black undertone Ultra Violet has will be at odds with your complexion, so tread carefully.

Light Spring: Ultra Violet is not a clear, delicate color. Your complexion lives in the sunshine, not midnight. Stick closely with your palette purples and hyacinth shades. Since you are a Spring, contrasting colors are a matter of course. Do not go too intense.

Light Summer: Your Ultra Violet has to be on the medium to lighter side and have a bit of a mauve undertone. A watercolor pattern with pink, blue and violet will be SO pretty. Like Light Spring, be wary of any dark undertone.

True Summer: Purples have always been great friends of your complexion, but do not think you can traipse blithely into True Winter territory.  Even on you who needs cool colors, Ultra Violet will be jarring.  Go for more of a cool plum tone and combine it with your teals.

Soft Summer: Brightness is not your buddy....never has been and never will be. Your best representation of Ultra Violet is your good old mainstays, grape or plum which look great on you regardless of the year.

Soft Autumn: I would be sitting this one out. Any kind of purple tone on you is a tough one. Ultra Violet is the exact opposite of who you are, so do not feel obligated to jump on this trend. Stick like glue to your palette purples.

True Autumn: Like your Soft Autumn sister, Ultra Violet will detract rather than enhance. Purples are tough colors for you to deal with anyway, so I would give the COTY 2018 a no go. Your plum color is great on you, however. Do not deviate from it and insist on an exact match.

Dark Autumn: Your violets have a burnished undertone to them. Combine with some warm cranberry and burnished copper jewelry and you will look magnificent. Just stay away from too blue or bright of an undertone.

Dark Winter: The deeper and more dramatic of this tone, the better. I think Ultra Violet with your favorite charcoal pants, a dark blue green velvet coat and a pewter necklace is going to be rich looking on you. Like your Autumn sisters, watch out that you do not go too cool.

There are plenty of great fashion forecasts Pantone publishes beyond the COTY. If this Winter is not doing it for you, no need to be in a funk. Lots more great things are on the way!



Monday, December 4, 2017

The Good and Bad Effects Of Colors......Guideposts to Deciding Your Season

Rachel Nachmias of Best Dressed US told me that when it came to deciding one's season, you automatically have a 1 in 12 chance of getting it right. A few fortunate ones hit it on the head the first go round. The rest of us struggle. 

My hope is that, with this post, you won't struggle quite so much. If you don't find your seasonal type right away, you will at least be in the ballpark and will be able to narrow down the choices. 

First, you have to know what the bad effects of color really are. At times, they can be more subtle. At others, they really stand out and make you feel almost a little sick to your stomach, or make you cringe. 

Here is what you do not want to have happen:

1). White mustache and white patches, particularly around the chin and under eyes. This happens quite frequently when colors are too cool. Common with someone who is a warm-neutral or warm season. 

2) Stone-like gray complexion. Common especially in warm seasons.

3) Sallowness. Yellow patches or an overall yellowed appearance like jaundice. The whites of the eyes may even yellow and dull. Frequently seen in those who are cool or cool-neutral. 

4) The iris of the eye becomes less defined. 

5) The margin of the lips can look messy or smeared. 

6) Yellowing or graying of the teeth. 

7) Facial planes blend into one another, making the face look puffy and undefined. This can happen if the colors are too light and muted. 

8) Graying of hair. I realize that your draping will be done with hair covered. Once the hair covering is taken off, you will see how hair may have a gray appearance to it. 

9) Emphasis on crow's feet or lines around the mouth. 

10) Dulling of eye color. 

11) Instantaneous gut reaction that can even make you feel nauseous. 

12) The drape itself may look powdery and dull. Or conversely, the drape can look so bright it will hurt to look at it. 

13) The color in question may make you look and feel tired, sick or depressed. 

14) A "pinching in" of facial features. Everything tends to go to the center. When Bright seasons or Springs wear Winter colors, this is a common effect. 

15) Beards, moles, hyper pigmentation and marks on the skin become more obvious. 

16) The color looks like it is wearing the person. There is no harmony between the person and the drape. 

Second, take a look at the 4 parent seasons of Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn. Narrow it down to that first before looking at the 12 seasons as a whole. You could knock out 4-6 seasonal categories off the bat, because you know you will not look your best in that parent season or any palette with that undertone. 

Using myself as an example, I know that Autumn of any kind is not me at all. Instinctively, it is not a fit for me. I am sure of that 100%. So, that automatically eliminates any Autumn season or it's blends:

Soft Summer
Soft Autumn
True Autumn
Dark Autumn
Dark Winter. 

I also know from experience that True Winter is way too contrasting for me, so I also say goodbye to that one. 

This leaves me with 6 seasons. 

True Summer
Light Summer
Light Spring
True Spring
Bright Spring
Bright Winter. 

2) Take a look at the base tone of the remaining seasons:

 True Summer and Light Summer have mauve as their base tones, along with blue gray, sky blue and rose pink. 
Image result for true summer color palette

Image result for light summer

Light Spring and Bright Spring have clear yellow, pink toned orange and peach as their base tones. Light Spring is very pastel and Bright Spring is vivid. 

Image result for light spring color palette

Image result for bright spring

True Spring has grass green, yellow, yellow orange and clear peach as undertones, with clear yellow being the strongest.  

Image result for true spring

Bright Winter has the paintbox of red, pink, blue, green and black and white as base colors, with a distinct blue base tone. It is vivid and contrasting. 

Image result for bright winter

If you see an overall base tone you know you do not look good in, eliminate that seasonal category. 

The base tones of gray, mauve, rose and blue gray are not flattering on me. This is one thing I know from previous experience, so I will have to nix True Summer off the list. 

This leaves me with:

Light Summer
Light Spring
True Spring
Bright Spring
Bright Winter. 

Light Summer and Light Spring contain a lot of pastel colors. Pastels do nothing for me. Furthermore, Light Summer also has that mauve/gray toned base I had a problem with earlier, so Light Summer and Light Spring are gone. 

I am now down to:

True Spring
Bright Spring
Bright Winter

In looking carefully at the base tone of True Spring, I can see it has a lot of yellow added to it. The warm browns it contains won't work on me, since brown of any kind is a menace to my complexion. There is also no pink to be had. I know from previous experience I look great in several shades of pink, so now I am left with:

Bright Spring
Bright Winter

I don't look great in the warmest of the Bright Spring tones, but the coolest and darkest of the Bright Winter colors are also not my best. I have the option of wearing both seasons  to see what looks best on me and can take my time experimenting. At least I know Bright is my "most important thing." 

Have you ever tried this method of deducing your season? Yes, it takes a little bit of time and some thinking in order to narrow it down, but you may indeed find your best seasonal category or categories this way. 

Take a close look at the prevailing undertone of each season. If you know that undertone doesn't work, scratch it from the list and keep moving forward. 



Saturday, November 11, 2017

"Can Colors Be Too Soft.....or Too Bright?"

Being a Soft Summer or Soft Autumn, you may wonder if you can go *too* soft. Finding yourself in the category of Bright Winter or Bright Spring, you may be deep in thought as to whether a color may indeed be too bright for you. 

The entire color spectrum does go much softer and brighter than human coloring allows for. Pushing the boundaries, for the most part, works very well because the color saturation in question is emphasizing who the person is. There are exceptions to everything. 

Take someone who is a True Winter, for instance. They have a very fair skin tone and quite dark hair. Put them in the purest black and the iciest white. Even though their natural pigmentation does not outwardly appear to go to those extremes, the pure black and icy white underscore who they are, and we cannot take our eyes off of that individual. 

Here is a perfect example of this.

A Bright person in neon colors? No one is neon in color, in real life. Bathe that individual in brightness and they look more authentic than anyone else can. 

I love this....sure. The colors are bright, but your eye goes directly to her face and hair.

Here is where things get interesting. When it comes to the Soft seasons, I really do think you can go TOO soft. The effect of color that is too muted or powdery is grayness or dullness to the complexion, less sparkle in the eye and an addition of 10 years to your overall appearance. I feel that Soft Autumn and Soft Summer have complexions that are pretty darned unforgiving, since their color palette is of a low saturation to begin with. HOWEVER.....low saturation of color does not mean NO saturation of color. 

Could this young lady go softer with color? I suspect if she did, we would start losing her. 

This blog post goes much more into detail about Soft Summer's color saturation aspects. This one  delves into the finer points of Soft Autumn, and shows you it's potential. 

My thoughts? Bright seasons are pretty extreme to begin with. That is why they can really push the envelope. Soft seasons don't have much leeway. Anything too this-or-that will have a pronounced negative effect. 

In both cases, going more muted than your palette allows will not be your best choice. The bottom line is....everyone needs a little color, some more than others. 



Sunday, October 1, 2017

Light Spring in the Autumn.

Can we just stare at Light Spring and breathe a sigh of delight? 

Image result for light spring

Photo: Elea Blake Cosmetics

Delicate, beautiful, ethereal, magical, clear and friendly. I have a personal affinity for all of the Spring seasons and their blends. Light Spring is no exception. It's just plain pretty!

Now that the seasons of nature are changing, those of you who live North of certain latitudes are contemplating a Fall wardrobe segueing into Winter. Pantone has offered us their up to date fashion color palette:

Image result for Pantone 2017 2018 fashion

Here also is the London version of what is in for Fall 2017:

PANTONE Fashion Color Report Fall 2017, London

What colors are going to be good choices? Before I head in that direction, here are my thoughts....

I really like how Pantone has gotten away from the traditional, heavier colors we associate with Fall/Autumn...whatever is proper terminology in your locale. The feeling is much lighter in weight and less shadowy-looking. Some people get very depressed during the change of seasons due to graying skies and lack of sunshine. I think both of these color collections will keep everyone perked up.

If I were a Light Spring, here is what I would examine. (PLEASE NOTE: It seems like when Pantone chooses colors, they get interpreted by designers in many different ways as far as undertone goes. Stay clear rather than browned or muted in this case. )

Grenadine! How I love "lipstick" colors! This color has a bit of an orange "pop" to it. Look for a lip balm or gloss in this shade. You are so fortunate that you can be a makeup minimalist due to your delicate coloring. 

Butterrum could be a good fit as a neutral color, but compare it in person to the rest of your palette. I see a bit of a mauve base to this color. If it is too mauve, it won't be harmonious. 

Shaded Spruce appears on my computer monitor to be a great match for your relatively darker greens. Teal greens like this look very nice on various complexions. Be certain not to go too dark with this one.  

Marina is also another delightful color. Who would not want to see this optimistic looking blue on a day where there is no sun to be seen? I think many Light Springs forget about that bit of Summer in their palette. Marina is a nice reminder. 

Lest I forget about wardrobe basic colors, I think Neutral Gray is a fantastic choice. It is difficult to find warmer grays. This one could end up being a real winner for you. 

Continuing on to the London version of the Pantone Fall 2017 forecast:

Flame Scarlet is STUNNING!!!!! Look for a gloss, lip balm or semi sheer lipstick in this shade. This would be pretty as a blush if you can find it in one of those sheer gel formulas. 

Primrose Pink looks warmer than Ballet Slipper, which is certainly within your realm. I can see this in a knitted angora sweater, a rain coat in some crisp fabric or a fun pair of socks. I happen to like both of these colors for Light Springs, just being cautious that Ballet Slipper does not go too much on the cool side. 

Toast is a really nice neutral color. Just don't go more pink toned than your palette's limits. Some eye shadow this color might make for a really nice all over or transition shade.

Copper Tan appears on my screen like it would mesh quite well with the peaches and peachy neutral colors of Light Spring. If it appears heavy or drab looking next to your colors, give it a pass. Better yet, buy something in this shade for your Soft Autumn sister or friend should it not be a fit for you. 

Lemon Curry would have to be interpreted lighter and fresher looking in order to be a great choice for you. If it is off by even a little bit, that could throw it into Autumn territory, so tread cautiously!

As you can see, the Fall 2017 Fashion Forecast as published by Pantone has a wealth of possibilities for Light Springs, which is so nice for a change of pace. 

Are you a Light Spring looking forward already to...well....Spring 2018?

Click here to see all of the great things coming up!



Your Smart Phone: A Great Tool For Shopping.

Smart phones have come a long way. They used to be these little flip gadgets that took awful photos and did not allow you to get onto the internet with any form of ease. Now, many of us have high tech devices that can do everything from pay bills to comparison shop with digital coupons and scan QR codes. We can even book a ride from Lyft or Uber to get us moving. The Tinder dating app? Well.....only if you are brave. 

Did you ever stop to think that your smart phone can be used to help you do color matching? If you reason to read this article any further. BUT...if you have not, now is a good time to start. 

Owning your color fan is a great first step in getting to know your season. However, fans wear out around the edges and if you have used one for a really long time, it will eventually start fraying unless you have a nice case for it. Fans can easily get makeup and nail polish stains that are next to impossible to remove. (Ask me how I know this! )

The advantages to having a photo of your color palette in your phone:

No fading!
If a stain happens, wipe the glass. 
By having your phone display on the brightest setting, you will get the truest color. 
It will always lie flat against a garment. 

For those of you who are not super tech savvy, please follow these instructions in order to download your color palette into your phone:

Android phones: (PLEASE NOTE: Each phone model will have differences.)

1). Open up your web browser, which will be an app that says "Chrome" or a little purple planet that says "Internet".

Image result for android smartphone screen

2.) As soon as the browser opens up, type your seasonal category into your address bar, then tap "Go".

3) The next window you will see will show your results. 

4) Tap the blue phrase that says, "Images for bright spring" 
(Using my season as an example)

In my case, the color dot chart comes right up. 

Tap on the color dot chart in order to enlarge it. 

5) Take a screen shot. Each phone model varies as to how this is done. On my particular phone which is a Galaxy Note 5, all I have to do is hold down the Home and Volume button simultaneously to wait for the "click". 

If you are not sure how to do this, please click here.

6) Hit the Home button and go back to the main menu for your apps. Tap "Gallery"

Image result for android phone gallery app

7) Next, tap on the photo of your color dot chart. 

8) Tap on the photo and look at the bottom screen for a pencil that says "Edit". Tap on the pencil. 

9) On the bottom left you will see a square that says, "Transform", or it may say "Crop". Tap on that. 

Image result for android phone gallery edit

10.) You will see little frames on the corners of your photo. Move them up or down with your fingers until your photo is the size that you want. 

Image result for android phone gallery edit

11.) When you are done, tap the check mark at the bottom of your screen. 

12.) On the upper right hand corner, you will see the word that says, "Save". Tap that. 

You are done!!!

Now, all you have to do is click on your Gallery and the photo of your dot chart will be right there at your finger tips!


1) Click on the Safari app:

Image result for iphone safari
2) Follow Steps #2-#4  above in order to enlarge the dot chart. 

3) Take a screen shot. If you do not know how, please click here.

4) I found these really nice ladies on YouTube that explain in detail how to edit a photo to your liking on Apple devices. Please click here to view the link.

5) Make sure you save your edited photo! :)

6) All you have to do now is click on "Photos" in order to access your dot chart! If you are not familiar with the iPhone "Photos" icon, it looks a bit like this:

Related image

A word on color accuracy:

My suggestion is to make sure your phone display is turned to a setting that will match the brightness of your color fan in person, side by side. If it isn't, you won't get color accuracy at its best. The last thing you want is for your color dot chart to look too grayed or too saturated. 

Is a smart phone photo as good as a fan? In my opinion, I happen to think so. If you follow the instructions in the above paragraph regards lighting, I think you will find your phone to be a valuable tool!