Monday, April 17, 2017

Free Online Color Analyses......Worth Your Time?

Online quizzes are fun! Sometimes the answers are intriguing...other times, they are just funny. The best ones are in magazines someone else spent their money on, haha!!! If you want to know quasi-facts about your ideal partner, what your personality traits are like, or if you should make this or that decision, a quiz with a few questions can either lead you in the right direction, or down five miles of bad road. 

Should you take a chance and try to find your color palette via an online Q and A session? 

Let's try a few of these, and find out. 

Here is a photo of a woman with coloring you see every day, whether you are on the street or at the store. 

Image result for woman stock photo image

Neutral to warm brown hair with warm blonde highlights, brown-amber eyes and a medium-light skin tone. Her undertone is not obvious. She has an overall neutral look with a peachy-pink glow. 

First color analysis test:

I came up with Deep for her analysis. If I change up the eye color selection a little bit, I come up with Soft

Second test:

Donna Fujii

This one was not as consistent as I hoped. If I chose the Caucasian option, she ended up being a High Contrast Summer (much like True Summer). If I chose the Latina option, she turned out to be Topaz (close to a rich True Autumn.) 

Third test:

This test was the quickest, but also my least favorite. All you have to do is choose the Hollywood/Famous person that most closely resembles you. 99.999% of us are real people that don't spend a lot of time in front of a camera. However, I do have to say, out of all three tests so far, this one was good.

Our model turned out to be a Soft Autumn. 

Fourth test:

This one was also a quick test that involved more photos of Hollywood starlets/famous women. Jen does a good job of breaking it down from soft to bright and warm to cool. The result for our model is:

Soft and Warm. 

Fifth test:

With this one, I had to click on various photos to find which one of the models looks the closest to our young lady. The Winter and Summer categories did not resemble her in any way, so I dispensed with those. There are a few more choices for Spring and Autumn. The Spring models were lighter and more clear than she was...the Autumn ones were closer. I settled on Sunlit Soft Autumn. 

In our case, almost all of the choices point to a Soft Autumn or an Autumn of some type, so with that being said, the results were pretty consistent across the board. Me being the cautious type, I would not trust any of these results without doing some further testing. 

Here are some flaws of testing your coloring online like this:

1) Total lack of objectivity. You may think you have mousey hair and dull eyes when you really don't! You could be warm and not realize it. 

2) The colors you currently are drawn to might not necessarily be the best colors for you, so you can't rely on personal preferences should that come into question during the quiz. 

3) What if you don't look like any of the famous people/models that are pictured? It can make you wonder if you fit in anywhere and cause needless frustration. 

4) If you are 40+, you won't be able to relate to a 20 or 30 something starlet that has a personal chef/trainer/makeup artist/clothing and hair stylist. 

5) You can get different results with each test, or slightly similar ones. 

6) What if you really have no clue as to what basic colors look best on you to begin with? In particular, Donna Fujii's test is going to drive you insane. 

7) Gray hair/silver/white/salt and pepper hair is not created the same. If this is your hair color, I can guarantee that you do NOT automatically fit into a Cool season. If any of the above are your hair color options, it will be very difficult to accurately judge the undertone. 

8) Not all of these online color analysis tests cater to all ethnic backgrounds. If you are multi racial, this makes it more difficult and frustrating. Not everyone who is looking for their color palette is always Caucasian. 

In online free color analysis can be a fun thing to do, but I would not base my entire wardrobe planning or cosmetics purchases on it. Before you do ANYTHING....back it up about a mile. Go on Pinterest and search for your color category for a color swatch photo you can use as a visual reference. Buy four T shirts and some inexpensive Wet and Wild, Jordana or Hard Candy lipsticks in the palette you want to test. See how that goes first before venturing further. If that doesn't work, you have 11 more categories to test. Rinse and repeat as necessary. 

Above all else, trust your gut! 



Thursday, April 6, 2017

Housecleaning and Business

Due to time constraints of my own, I'm unable to acknowledge or answer any of my comment posts for the time being. I know this will come as an inconvenience for some and an annoyance for others. For that, I apologize in advance. For those of you who have participated, thank you! Your comments fill me with a sense of deep gratitude and give me a lot of food for thought! I will more than likely open up comments at a later time. 

If you have questions you would like me to answer, comments or have suggestions as to what you would like me to write about in the future, please send all emails to 

Keep your eyes out for True Autumn, how our coloring changes as we age, my opinion on how companies market cosmetics and beauty items, and other good stuff. 

Thanks for reading!



Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Hair, Eye and Skin Color....How Important In Color Analysis?

I still have a copy of Kathryn Kalisz's book entitled, "Understanding Your Color, A Guide to Personal Color Analysis." She published this in 1996, and for those who are serious students of color, her book is highly sought after. 
I often use both this book and "Return To Your Natural Colors" by Christine Scaman as references. 

In Chapter IV, Kathryn has individual in depth explanations as to what entails a seasonal group. Of particular interest are the last paragraphs of each explanation. (e.g, True Summer: "The over-all appearance of a person whose coloring is in harmony with the True Summer tone is cool and tone is soft pink, beige or rose coloring is ash brown, deep ash blonde or grey. Eye coloring is blue, blue grey or grey blue" pg. 62)

In going through this book, by reading the descriptions, it would not easily be a simple task to find your seasonal category because it is next to impossible to be objective enough with one's appearance. (e.g., Based on this info, Bright Spring would be my closest, but my hair is not "medium to dark brown or salt and pepper grey. (pg. 82)

This blog post from Amelia Butler from True Colour International got me thinking.....and this fairly recent blog post got me thinking even more. 

Could the idea that any season can have any hair, eye or skin color be wrong? Or, is our outer appearance, at first glance, a guidepost?

Within this post, I found my answer. 

"Generally speaking certain physical characteristics (hair/skin/eye colours) can be attributed to each of the 12 tones. For example Dark Winters and Dark Autumns generally have dark hair and eyes, whilst Light Springs and Light Summers generally have lighter hair and eyes by comparison. These generalities make sense in terms of how colour harmony works-the closer the relationship between two or more colours (in terms of hue/value/chroma) the more colour harmony is perceived.   This is not to say that unusual combinations of hair/skin/eye colouring do not exist, they certainly do but are far less common than people imagine. Although useful as a guide, physical descriptors cannot be used alone as an accurate diagnostic tool for PCA."

You will really need to read the entire post in order to get the fullest sense of her answer to this question. In my humble opinion, she knocks it out of the park. 

So....does your hair and eye color matter just as much as your skin tone does when finding your best color space? Yes, it does. The correct palette will enhance all three features of your appearance in concert, rather than just one over the other. 

I hope this post has given you a little bit more food for thought. 

For those of you who are hard core color geeks and wish to expand your knowledge in color theory, I invite you to read 
Amelia's blog.  You will definitely enjoy spending time reading the information she so graciously shares. 



Monday, April 3, 2017

Living With Your Natural Hair Color

If someone told me, even three years ago to grow out my natural color and leave it be, that advice would have fallen on completely deaf ears. It has been over eight months since I've grown out my color and I see no reason to change it. 

Here are the advantages:

1) Your hair will be in the best shape possible. 

2) I can guarantee that you will be using a whole lot less in the way of conditioner. 

3) Hair color dye technology has definitely come a very long way. Gone are the days of yesteryear when "hair dye in a bottle" was all one uniform shade. Even with a multi tonal formula, nothing works as well as what your DNA has given you. 

4) You won't have to worry over whether your hair color will work with your color palette, because it will. 

5) Less direct exposure to chemicals. 

All of these things are good....but not everyone is ready for their natural hair color. 

Maybe you are going or have gone prematurely gray. 

If your hair lacks natural body, highlights do indeed add volume and lift. 

Some women do not like their "mousey" hair and wish to enhance it by giving it more dimension and shine. (I say, try out your color palette may indeed change your mind about the whole thing.)

Is there anything wrong with giving your hair a kick of color? Nope.....certainly not! As a hair stylist, I really enjoy changing a client's look. It can be a whole lot of fun! Some of you might be looking for a drastic change. As long as your complexion can handle it....go for it. 

I have to say, in my own case, my untouched hair feels nice and soft. It has a natural shine that no amount of serums or product can replicate. I don't have to wear as much in the way of cosmetics. Furthermore, the cosmetics colors I do wear tend to look better, because I don't have overly blonde or red hair fighting with my skin tone so much. 

A nice added bonus are the the highlights the sun has given me. Instead of being brassy, they are the same tonal value as the rest of my hair. (Note the level of darkness in the back part of my hair....yes. It gets that light in the Florida sun just walking outside to my car. )

I have seen women go from hair tinted a dark brown make the transition into their natural silver gray and they look much younger rather than the other way around. 

My suggestion is to give it a try. If it isn't for you, it's not....but if you have had your correct color palette chosen it will be surprising how much better your natural hair color will look!