Archive of ‘Color’ category

Instinct vs. Desire

As someone who has never had a professional analysis of any kind, I’ve relied entirely on my own experience and instincts. Naturally, I have doubts. What these doubts boil down to is this: Am I seeing what is there, or am I seeing what I want to see?

Carol Tuttle often mentions our “beauty sixth sense.” Sometimes I question whether I’m actually listening to that, or just going with what I like. For instance, I’ve always been attracted to what is shown as the stereotypical Flamboyant Gamine look. In high school, there were periods where I dressed mod. Audrey Hepburn and Edie Sedgwick were my fashion idols.

FG feels good; often, when I have doubts about something, I go into the FG section of the book and realize that what was giving me doubts is actually an FG “no”–wide, unconstructed dresses, for example. But I have small hands and feet, and my length is in my torso. So sometimes I question whether I’m actually an SG or an SN. When I tried SN, though, not only did I feel lumpy, but I felt tired without the structure of FG supporting me. So while I’m not sure whether it’s what David would give me, FG is how I feel my best.

Color is a bit trickier. I put myself in the Dark Autumn palette, which seems counter-intuitive on paper. But out of the 12 seasons of Sci\ART, it’s the one that seems to work the best. Spring is too bright; the Softs seem too muted. A brighter Autumn seems to be what works. But sometimes I wonder, is this really harmonizing with me? Am I fooling myself and these lipsticks are too dark and I’d look better in Soft Autumn or Soft Summer?

Today I ordered one of the new Prism X11 palettes. These palettes are created using a Spectrophotometer to measure the colors’ levels of hue. value, and chroma.

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As you can see, compared to the Invent Your Image palette, this new palette seems a little darker and maybe even a bit cooler. (I am VERY excited to get my hands on those purples, though!) I will see how it works for me. I will do a full review and compare it to the palette I already own.

But still, seeing the depth of this palette really makes me question whether the DA color space is where I belong. In the end, though, I think what actually matters is how I feel in these colors and whether I look healthy and awake in them. I just have to be careful and make sure it’s not just because I happen to like these colors.

When to Stop

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Some people picked up Kibbe’s Metamorphosis when it was still in print in the late 80s and are no closer to finding their Image Identity 30 years later. Others got draped by Color Me Beautiful around the same time and now are flummoxed by the innovations in the seasonal color world. Some people have started more recently, but seem to switch seasons or Image IDs on a weekly basis.

My advice to anyone who finds themselves in this predicament is short and to the point: Stop.

Give yourself time to adjust and understand how a season or Image ID feels. Carol Tuttle advises that when you think you’ve found your Energy Type, try living in that Energy Type for a full month. This is sound advice not only for people interested in Dressing Your Truth, but for people interested in any other style system. You can’t judge how something works for you until you’ve given it a real shot and paid attention to how you look and feel wearing it.

Now, sometimes we don’t need a full month. I realized that Light and Bright Spring were wrong for me much quicker than that. Light Spring made me completely red; Bright Spring was tiring. But if you find yourself switching seasons or Image IDs every other week, I think it would be wise to just stop and say, “OK, I’m going to take the data I have on myself, and try to give one season a fair shot.”

And if you don’t switch seasons or Image IDs, but you’re just having doubts… Consider where those doubts are coming from. Are they because you feel like something is off, you feel tired, or like you need to wear extra makeup? Or are they there because you feel like you’ve left something on the table, some stone unturned?

The truth is, I don’t know if there is some absolute truth with all this stuff. I think it’s enough if you look good and it makes you happy. The only seasons I’ve really tried are Light Spring, Bright Spring, and Dark Autumn. I’ve draped myself in the other seasons, but these are the only ones I’ve tried living in. Once I felt happy with the Dark Autumn result, I got off the carousel and moved on with my life. We could all search forever. But in the end, the point is a workable wardrobe that we look good in. You won’t ever get there if you never stop second-guessing yourself, or if you let the advice of other people on Facebook, who often don’t know anymore than you do, get to you. You’re the one who has to live with it.

What has been your experience with knowing when to say when?

Do We Sell Ourselves Short?

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As I’ve written about before, I have a lot of success finding the design elements I prefer in the athletic wear department: wilder patterns, more interesting details, etc.

I went to the Nike store the other day and picked up two things, One is a windbreaker that I won’t be able to wear for a few months, but that definitely fills the raincoat-sized hole in my wardrobe.

Nike Sportswear Bonded Women’s Parka

The color is a great fit for DA, falling between the medium and dark olive green on the 7 strip on the classic fan, for people keeping score at home. And the asymmetry and angles make it a good fit for FG.

I went to the Nike store specifically to pick up that parka, but I couldn’t help also getting something else, a sweatshirt. I loved the pattern, and it is really soft. The length and boxiness make it a great piece for winter layering.

Nike Sportswear Modern Women’s Crew

But of course, there is one glaring problem with it. It’s not a DA colorway at all. It definitely looks like some summer grays. I bought it cognizant of that fact. These colors don’t really do anything bad for my skin; they just don’t really do anything.

But we all know that color is really, really important, so I began to wonder, are we selling ourselves short by making exceptions for things that are okay in other ways, but just not our season? How bad is going outside of what you know is your best?

Part of the reason why this was on my mind is because lately, I’ve been watching a lot of the new Dressing Your Truth videos on Carol Tuttle’s Facebook page. DYT wasn’t a system I stuck with, but their new materials and palettes have intrigued me. They recently did a video series showing people in each type dressed in the wrong type, and the mention of how gray is strictly a Type 2 color in the Type 2 video got me thinking. DA would get a warm kind of gray, but gray is definitely a color that I tend to feel comfortable cheating with, even if it’s not DA gray exactly.

But this has made me wonder if I’m selling myself short. Black and gray aren’t terrible on me the way spring colors are, so I feel okay with cheating, or even dipping into the darker summer colors. But I know that they simply aren’t as good on me as a DA almost-black or one of my other neutrals. After spending several years in the color and style world, shouldn’t I be concentrating on having a wardrobe that only has Bests, no Just Okays? I should be in the mindset where every day, it is worth getting out of bed and putting on an outfit and doing my hair and makeup and accessorizing, and all of these things will be in harmony with me and present my best self. I haven’t gotten to that point yet. It’s not something I do even most days.

So while I will definitely wear this sweatshirt to death this fall and winter, because I still love it, I’m going to try to concentrate more on avoiding things that are the wrong color, and making an effort to find enough accessories so that my wardrobe is more complete. Going back to Dressing Your Truth, they suggest that people who are going through their course try doing full head-to-toe outfits in their type for 30 days, and I think I should probably try to do the same with my own amalgamation of style types and seasons. I identify with these types in theory, but I don’t always put forth the effort, in my closet or on my body, that I should–and that I deserve.

I did find on the Nike site that this particular sweatshirt also comes in that DA olive color, so I’ve ordered that too to put away for next year, when the one I have this season is worn out and I hopefully will have several months of dressing to my fullest under my belt.

Nike Sportwear Women’s Crew

Do you always dress in full head-to-toe outfits appropriate for your lines and your season? Or are you more like me, where you want to do that, but you fall short?

Dark Autumn Blonde: Favorite Everyday Lipsticks for Pale DAs

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Out of everything, being able to wear lipstick is the most important thing I’ve gained from color analysis. As a pale blonde, magazine article after magazine article pointed me towards light, clear colors. I would buy a lipstick, wear it once, and be greeted with comments like, “Oh, you’re wearing LIPSTICK.” The only lipsticks I can recall wearing with any regularity are Belle de Jour by NARS (picked up because Catherine Deneuve in that movie was my high school makeup inspiration) and Julianne’s Nude by L’oreal. On me, both of these take MLBB to WBWL–Why Bother Wearing Lipstick.

So when I realized that Dark Autumn was the season that suited me best, I finally had some direction in front of lipstick displays in stores. I first started with recommendations from Cate Linden’s post on the subject, but after over a year of living in DA, I have my own set of favorites.

My preferred texture for lipstick is cream–opaque but not matte, a little shiny but not glossy. I find this to be a compromise between DA’s matte recommendation and FG’s glossy recommendation. Also, these lipsticks tend to be the most moisturizing and comfortable, without being sticky like gloss. But during the day, I’ll also wear a lot of sheer/balm formulas, and most of the lipsticks in this post fall into this category.

Sometimes, it can seem like DA lipsticks are all a variation on reddish brown. While that’s definitely something you should have in your rotation, DAs can also wear coral or red violet or our version of pink. Here are the lipsticks I personally usually have on my person and reach for on a regular basis:


Albeit Violette. Lately I’ve been into exploring the possibilities of violet for Dark Autumn lipsticks. This is a nice sheer version for testing the look out. Very comfortable and pretty. (September 6th, 2016: I’m wearing it today and I have no idea why I thought it was sheer! It’s definitely opaque.)

MAC Brick O La. It may seem shocking for someone who has the amount of makeup that I do, but this is the first MAC lipstick I’ve ever owned, and I just picked it up last week. I had a very goopy MAC lip gloss once, and the sugar-cookie scent/taste was overwhelming to the point that I didn’t want to bother. Luckily, the scent isn’t as strong with the lipsticks. Anyway, the idea of owning this particular lipstick won me over. It’s DA’s pinky nude.

Lipstick Queen Saint Rust. I’ve blogged about this before, but this is a great brownish-red in a sheer formula. The color also comes in a matte, opaque formula, called Sinner, but unfortunately I find that formula drying and horrible. You can see how much I’ve carried this one around with me–the tube is pretty banged up.

Clinique Mega Melon. A nice pinky coral option. This is one I’ll wear a lot when the weather gets warmer.

So these are my favorite lipsticks for day. Do you change up your lipstick from day to night? What are your favorites?

Sci\ART: Is the Bloom Off the Rose? Part Two

As a follow up to my last post, I’d like to discuss the following posts from Amelia Butler:

Winter Is Coming… And Coming
Subjective Timbre – Getting It Backwards
The Blonde Winter

These posts are interesting because they say something that seems to not be popular among analysts who work with the 12 Sci\ART seasons. Amelia’s perspective is especially interesting to me because she was trained and mentored by Kathryn Kalisz herself.

After years of believing that your appearance alone gives no clues at all to your season… I’m starting to come around to the idea that visual harmony matters. It’s interesting that people are very open to seeing Winters of all stripes, but a Light Spring with dark hair and eyes would be much harder to believe.

I think the point that Amelia makes in her Blonde Winter post is important–the colors need to work on you without makeup. In your natural state, you need to need that much saturation as Winter seasons provide, and no one would tell a man that they need a lipstick to look good in the True Winter palette.

In her “Blonde” post, she is mainly talking about True Winter, so I’m curious to know if she thinks a Bright or Dark Winter could be a blonde. Perhaps it’s different when there is a spring or autumn influence affecting the colors, versus the purity of winter alone.

While I think there are still room for surprises in the draping process, I think that perhaps sometimes, it’s because the wrong colors are dulling your natural coloring and making you present differently than it is otherwise. I’m not sure if I believe anymore that you can see something really unusual, like a Light Spring with dark hair and eyes as I mentioned above.

Those of you who have read my blog before probably know I identify with the Dark Autumn season. As a natural blonde, if someone believes what Amelia is saying in these posts, then one might also come to the conclusion that a Dark Autumn coloring would unlikely. But I still find that I harmonize with the fan, when I look at it under my face. Unlike many others who are blonde into adulthood, I don’t find that mascara or filling in my brows makes any bigger of a difference on me than it does on brunettes. I will frequently just put on a DA lipstick, or wear no makeup at all. So there are still surprises, but maybe not just huge leaps…

What do you think of Amelia’s posts? Do you agree, or are you firmly in the “you know absolutely nothing until you’re under the lights and in the drapes” camp?

Sci\ART: Is the Bloom Off the Rose?

When I first discovered this style and color world, getting draped by a Sci\ART or 12 Blueprints analyst was seen a seen as the gold standard for seasonal analysis. There seemed to the perception that you will never been able to see your true beauty until it’s revealed by the drapes, which is still the position taken by said analysts.

Recently, however, I’ve noticed that there’s been some backlash. There are people who have had to be draped numerous times, despite the controlled and standardized process. Some people end up with “compromise” seasons, which usually seems to be Bright Winter for whatever reason. Some people get draped in Sci\ART, and then get custom palettes that are extremely different. I’ve seen who were draped Bright Winter get Soft Autumn-ish palettes from someone like Zyla, and then someone who wears Bright Winter colors beautifully in real life and gets a Bright Winter palette from Beauty Valued is draped Soft Summer.

Then there’s the issue of the lights. Full-spectrum lighting is supposed to replicate northern sunlight and be ideal for color-matching. Yet people have said that they felt like they were under stage lighting while being draped, and it had no relation to how they actually look in the lighting conditions that people live their lives in.

Another issue is that you’re paying to be put into a predetermined set of palettes. Some feel that they don’t fit well within one season at all. This last point came up recently when Christine Scaman’s prices were discussed. Right now, getting draped by her costs 734.50 CAD, or (as of today) 580.95 USD. Zyla’s price for the initial session, in comparison, costs $20 more, and you get a custom palette and style guidelines. Plus he has an Emmy and celebrity clients, and he goes on TV and hosts events–he’s definitely a man whose time in valuable.

Yet as someone who does a lot of freelance work myself, I think I have a little different take on this on most, as the consensus was pretty much outrage. As a freelancer, you charge what you think your time and services are worth, and what the market will support. Christine spends most of her time training new analysts and working on products like the makeup line and the luxury drapes. In fact, on her site, she says she only drapes clients immediately before and after a training course, so she doesn’t have many slots available. So I’d say she is fine with cutting her potential client base down to those who really want to be draped by her in particular and are willing to pay for it. Other analysts who pretty much exclusively drape clients can’t do that, because they need to have a full roster of clients to support themselves. So in and of itself, especially since most analysts seem to be sticking to the standard $350 range, this doesn’t really bother me.

But does that mean that I personally would pay $580.90 to be draped or, let’s be honest, even $350? Sometimes it surprises even me that I have never gone for any kind of analysis when I’ve spent so much time on all of this color and style stuff. Part of it is due to financial and logistical reasons, but the other part is that I’m so stubborn and have such a clear vision of myself that I no longer really want someone to tell me who or what I am. I’ve talked about it some in a prior post, but I have a feeling that the clearer the image of yourself is, and the happier you are with that image, the more likely you are to walk away unsatisfied.

I’m happy with Dark Autumn and the way I use that palette. I get positive feedback on the colors in clothing and on the makeup. My friends even tell me that it’s made them realize why this color nonsense I babble on about matters. I firmly believe that you can DIY your way to a palette that you’re satisfied with.

Will I ever have the “WOW” moment in front of the mirror and under the lights? At this point in time, it’s looking unlikely. I may one day invest in a Beauty Valued palette, but for now, I’m making use of what Kathryn Kalisz began in my own way, in a way that feels right to me.

Can You Choose Your Season?

Getting your style type to work with your season is an important part of the workbook. A winter dressing one Kibbe type is going to be different from a summer dressing the same Kibbe type. I like to add more texture and tend to do less high contrast than a Bright or True Winter FG, for instance.

There was a discussion on the Kibbe group I co-admin recently, however, that got me thinking about this in a different way. Can our lines themselves affect what season works for us? Do our tastes and personality affect it, as in what feels authentic to us?

Some suggested that while one color may be flattering in the heavier fabric analysts use to drape, but if you’re a type with lighter-weight fabrics, other colors may work better when in the right fabric.

Then there are all the women who were draped one season and then received a vastly different palette from David Zyla or Beauty Valued. While some people receive pretty much the same palette from all the analysts they visit, some seem more like chameleons, with the ability to somehow wear both Bright Winter and something that would probably harmonize best with Soft Autumn–and look great in both.

So what do you do if you get wildly varying palettes? I think you could go with what feels authentic to you. If you like what Zyla (for example) gave you and you feel good in it, I think it’s fine to center your wardrobe around that.

Or you could use different seasons for different occasions. Use your darker/cooler/brighter season for Level Three looks for higher contrast and more drama. Plus, you’re not liable to mix these clothes in with your lower levels, so your wardrobe will still coordinate nicely.

The idea of choosing your palette brings to mind Dressing Your Truth. In this case, the vibe you want to give off, which is supposed to match your dominant energy, will be expressed by line and color. I know I look terrible in white and the colors that would be given to a Type 1. Do I look terrible in them because they’re just the wrong colors for me–or because they conflict with my energy?

I think I would be a 3/4 in DYT, and the palette I chose for myself, coincidentally, is Dark Autumn. I chose Dark Autumn, however, because I felt like it looked the best on me. But perhaps that’s so because it feels the most like me. If I were draped, however, and the analyst said that another palette looked better on me and I agreed, I would switch out my wardrobe.

In the end, I think we do have to make a conscious choice to whether we are going to dress in the palette and/or style we receive from an analyst. We have to decide whether this is the appearance that we want to project. So while I don’t think anyone gets free reign to just choose whichever palette they want–you still have to consider how you actually look in it–most people seem to have a bit of wiggle room and can consider which version of themselves communicates their style the best.

What has your experience been? Have you received wildly different palettes from different analysts?

Cheating on Your Palette

I wrote about this today, among other things in a similar vein, for the workbook Facebook group as a sort of “bonus chapter,” but I’ve decided to go ahead and share about this specific topic in more detail here on the blog. This topic is, of course, how to cheat on your palette.

Cheating on your palette isn’t ideal. The ideal is, of course, to have a wardrobe where everything harmonizes together because it’s in the same palette. But we’re limited by what’s in stores and what we can afford. If you add in the fact that we have also each have a specific set of lines to deal with, finding things that are both in your season AND your line type can feel like finding a unicorn.

Sometimes, we have to make compromises. There are situations where I’d never make compromises (i.e., a wedding dress), but for everyday casual wear, I feel okay about it. I would never compromise on my lines–it’s very important to me that clothes fit the Flamboyant Gamine guidelines. Most stuff that isn’t FG is N in some way, and that’s my personal worst. But as long as I avoid my horrible colors, which tend to be light and springy, I can get away with cheating on my color palette.

The two sweatshirts I mentioned buying in this post are both really clearer than Dark Autumn. It’s evident when they are paired with my blanket scarf, which perfectly replicates the strips of browns and reds on the DA fan, that they do not harmonize exactly. But DA stuff can be hard to find in FG lines, especially in casual wear.

What’s important to me in my casual wear, which is generally just jeans or leggings with some kind of tunic/sweatshirt/tshirt, is that there are FG lines, with the boxy layer on top of the narrow base layer. It is way easier to find this in Dark Winter than it is in Dark Autumn. Dark Winter shares the most important trait with Dark Autumn, which is of course darkness. There are some Dark Winter colors I’d never be able to wear–anything approaching white, basically–but a lot of it, while I see it’s not quite as good, is a pretty good substitute for the real thing.




For the most part, these colors will look okay on me, and no one who is not super into this stuff would be able to detect a difference. Again, the real issue is disrupting the harmony of your wardrobe. But for everyday casual pieces that are going to go through a lot of wear and tear and mostly be paired with very neutral basics, I think it’s a decent compromise while I try to build up a lasting, quality wardrobe of Dark Autumn pieces.

For Levels 2 and 3, I don’t think I’d be as willing to compromise. These clothes are generally more expensive, and things I’d want to last for a long time. But for a sweatshirt, Dark Winter warm blue instead of Dark Autumn warm blue isn’t a huge seasonal sacrifice.

New Series: Color DIY

I’ve mentioned before that I was working on a workbook that will help people DIY their season and yin/yang balance. Once I finished the color portion, however, I felt that I didn’t want to sell it as an ebook. Unlike the workbook, which outlines my original system for defining your personal style and rebuilding your wardrobe, it felt like I was compiling things put out there by other people. I’m not an analyst; I don’t have nearly enough education to come up with my own system for analysis or anything like that.

I realized that I just really wanted what I’ve learned over the past two years to be out there for anyone who is interested in attempting to find their season on their own. So over the next week or so, I’ll be posting the sections from the ebook. They’ll be available under the “Color DIY” tab in the menu bar.

As this project is posted, I will definitely be welcoming feedback and questions. If you disagree with me on something, or need something clarified, I can always add it to the project. Which is definitely an advantage over the ebook route!

Post One: Color DIY
Post Two: Sci\ART: A Brief Introduction

Things I Love: Lipstick Queen Saint Lipsticks

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When I was first exploring Dark Autumn, the makeup options scared me a little. No matter how obvious it was in the mirror the colors of the palette were working for me, I was so used to thinking that only the lighter colors in a makeup shade range were appropriate for my coloring. Now it seemed like things were going to change completely, that I would be restricted to the darkest colors, and I wasn’t sure if I would pass the test and be able to pull it off.

I ended up going to Ulta armed with a mental shopping list from Cate Linden’s blog. I’m not pink-skinned, but I am light, so I figured that if these colors worked on a fair Dark Autumn without the super-dark hair you often see associated with the season, it’d probably be my best shot at finding things that work. I did end up picking up Smashbox Fig, which Cate mentions in her blog post, but my true discovery was Lipstick Queen’s “Saint” line of lipsticks.

Among their other formulas, Lipstick Queen has “Saint” and “Sinner” lines of lipsticks, with the same colors, but differing opacities. Saint is sheer, with 10% color opacity, and Sinner is matte and full-coverage at 90%. I picked up Berry that daysite calls a “deep mocha with a delicious pinkish hue.” I happened to be shopping with my mom, and when I put it on, she expressed surprise that it didn’t look too dark or out of place on my face. My mom would totally be the first one to tell me that a lipstick wasn’t right, so I took it as a pretty sure sign that maybe I could handle this dark lipstick thing after all.

A couple of weeks later, my hair salon was having a Lipstick Queen clearance sale, so I picked up another Saint Berry, Berry in the Sinner formulation, and Saint Rust for $5 each. I didn’t end up loving the Berry Sinner–it was very drying–but Saint Rust I liked even more than Berry. It’s a muted red-brown shade, and was one of my go-to colors last summer, along with Clinique Mega Melon. The warmer and clearer Dark Autumn shades definitely feel more summery to me, for obvious reasons. The rest of the DA lipstick wardrobe I had at the time seemed to fall more in the berry family, with crossover DA/DW shades, and felt too heavy for the humidity and the heat. These two colors, I found, were basically at the limit of clarity that I can handle in makeup, plus they both have a similar balmy texture that feels great and moisturizing on.

I highly recommend the Saint lipstick formula for people who daunted by their new season’s makeup, and want an option that will be sheer, but still in the correct shade range. Plus it really feels more like a balm than a lipstick. Just looking at the options, I’m kicking myself for not having picked up Coral already.

What are your favorite “beginner’s lipsticks” for your season?

Know your type in several systems but having trouble putting it all together? My workbook can help.

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