Posts Tagged ‘dark autumn’

Dark Autumn Blonde, Part Three

Yesterday I received the first edition of Grace Morton’s The Arts of Costume and Personal Appearance in the mail. The second edition from 1955 is available online, complete and completely free thanks to Cornell University. The one I have is slightly different; for instance, in the clothing personality chapter, Morton uses “masculine” and “feminine,” and the revised, posthumous 1955 edition uses “yin” and “yang.” Regardless of which edition you read, it’s a book filled with dense information about everything we care about: style, line, movement, color… It’s definitely a book I recommend either downloading from the Cornell site or picking up cheaply on Amazon. A lot of it is antiquated, such as the section on how your personal appearance should make you “marriageable,” and the fact that there is no information on coloring for women of color. The information it does have, however, is incredibly helpful, and echoes of her work can be found in everyone who came after her.

(This book also solidified my view that McJimsey is the one who came up with the “types” as such. There are a few more books from this era I want to obtain, but so far, I haven’t really found anything that predates her that uses Dramatic, Classic, Romantic, etc.)

A lot of the masculine/feminine (yin/yang) stuff basically repeats what we already know from Northrup. I haven’t had a chance to read the whole thing, since, as I said above, the material in this book is pretty dense, but from what I have read, what has interested me the most is the information about color. She groups people by hair color, and then hair color subgroups.

Obviously what interested me most is the section that applies to me, the blondes. She says that the best colors for blondes are blue-greens and violets, of both the red-violet and blue-violet variety. I find this true, for the most part–these are easy colors for me to wear, the ones I can steal from most palettes.

But I also found some kind of recognition for the thing that confuses me the most about my coloring:

11036669_962184793861407_2007178547272524766_n

This is the first thing I’ve found that says that some blondes do better in medium-to-dark value colors. Conventional wisdom gives blondes light pink lipsticks and puts them in light blue dresses. Getting the Light Spring palette was life-changing moment for me; the sheer terribleness of the colors on me turned everything I had always been told about color in relation to myself on its head. I’d never seen myself look so red and unhealthy. It took me a long time to figure out what was missing. It turned out to be darkness.

Darkness, for me, is magical. Even colors on the Dark Autumn palette that fall on the brighter side of things are hard for me to wear. I love Dark Autumn yellow, but if I wear it by itself, I lose some jawline definition. When I put on a lipstick described as “warm, rusty brown,” it loses all brown and looks like a nice, rosy pinkish-red. I used to gravitate toward spring colors in makeup. Now I understand why I’d look at myself in the mirror and wipe off my lipstick before I left the house. I didn’t even wear lipstick on a regular basis before this year because I had no idea what colors worked for me.

I’m a blonde, but I happen to need darkness to come alive–which is something the color world has seemed to kind of forgotten since 1942. Certainly beauty magazines and makeup companies have. It’s always nice to get a little confirmation about what you see in the mirror and in yourself.

Dark Autumn Blonde, Part Two

IMG_2380

Since I wrote my last post, I have been experimenting with the Dark Autumn color space. I have amassed a collection of Dark Autumn lipsticks, some I already owned, some that were made possible by a killer sale on Lipstick Queen at my salon, and some I just splurged on. I also stumbled upon a sweater in the color I talked about in my last post, the draping card that looked really, really good with my skin.

Unfortunately, the beginning of spring is really the wrong time to begin exploring Dark Autumn. There is next to nothing in the stores, apart from what’s on the sale rack (where that sweater was). Now that I’ve received my fan, I’ll be able to go and seek out tops from the lighter side of the palette without fearing that I’ll mistakenly dip into another season. But of course, what I really want to find are pieces in Dark Autumn’s darks, the beautiful, better-than-black, yes-it’s-a-color-but-it’s-a-fashion-neutral colors.

If you are not familiar with the way True Colour swatch books are laid out, each swatch is labeled with either “A,” for “accent,” or “FN,” for “fashion neutral.” One of the interesting things about the DA swatch book is that so many of the colors are labeled “FN.” Coming from Bright Spring, where I felt like there weren’t very many, those extra darks that count as neutrals are very intriguing to me.

On the other hand, I feel like there is less variety in my makeup possibilities. The swatches in the photo above feel like a complete lipstick wardrobe to me. Any other lipsticks that I both like and fall into DA would feel like a repeat to me. Bright Spring, you have your pinks, your reds, your corals, maybe your oranges… But I may make discoveries yet. I eagerly await Cate Linden’s updated DA makeup post.

(And if you’re a DA and see a major gap, by all means, let me know!)

Also, DA is way brighter than people think it is. Just a little PSA. 🙂

Lastly, I’m not the biggest fan of Color Me Beautiful, but I was reading the men’s book today, and read some things that I had missed when I read the version for women:
1. CMB Autumns are more likely to sunburn than CMB Summers.
2. Ivory skin and ash blonde/dark golden blonde hair are all options for CMB autumns.
3. CMB Autumns can have turquoise eyes with a teal gray ring around the iris–which is exactly what I have.

So that’s interesting. Anyway, if you are a DA and have tips, please share.

Dark Autumn Blonde

Today I did the experiment I mentioned in this post. To review, I purchased Truth Is Beauty home draping cards for six season (Light Summer, Soft Summer, Soft Autumn, True Autumn, Dark Autumn, and True Spring) and took a picture of each season’s fan underneath my chin. But before I posted the pictures, I cropped the colors out, so all you saw was my face. Online color analysis has limitations no matter what, but I felt like this got rid of one of the major problems: people see what they want to see. If they like a color, that’ll influence their opinion. If they feel in their heart of hearts that you’re a Soft Summer, that’ll influence their opinion. This way, all they were looking at was the effect of the color on my skin, not the color itself.

When I posted the photos, the results came in quickly. The worst was Light Summer. The best was… Dark Autumn. And when I posted the individual colors of Dark Autumn (again not showing the color itself), the best color was this one:
newts
(Source)

The attractively named “Newt Green.” Definitely not a color you could imagine a Spring or Summer wearing.

I think this experiment was a successful one. People looked at what I wanted them to look at–skin effects–and not my hair and eye color. I’m not taking this to be the same as being draped Dark Autumn, but it’s enough to make me seriously consider it and want to experiment with it.

Looking at Autumn Again and Adjusting Makeup

Sometimes determining your colors can feel like going around in circles. I’m really no closer to figuring out my colors than I was when I started this blog. After playing some more with the fan, I think Bright Spring results in some graying. Bright lipsticks jump off my lips like translucent candy in photographs. I think that I need some clarity and brightness, but not as much as a Bright Spring, at least.

For fun, I took the Truth Is Beauty Seasonal Analysis Quiz today, and my results were surprising. Using the knowledge I’ve gained over the past couples of weeks, I end up with three possible results, depending on the things I’m not sure of:

1. If I consider black to be overwhelming (I think sometimes it overwhelms me in photographs because the white balance gets thrown off on my phone camera, but in real life I think it’s not the worst, but it makes my eyes gray): True Autumn.
2. If I think black is good, and that pumpkin is also a good color on me (I have just never tried this color): Dark Autumn.
3. If I do not think pumpkin is good, but black is: Dark Winter.

I actually wrote about looking Spring but potentially being Autumn, True Autumn in particular, way back in July. While I feel I’m in the same spot now (see what I mean about circling?), I do think I have some more knowledge at my disposal. I know some important things about myself. These things include being high contrast as far as natural blondes go and looking awesome in bronzer. Christine Scaman talks a lot about how key bronzing is to the autumn face in this blog post. I know for a fact that my most important step, even more so than foundation (okay, well, covering undereye circles too, but that’s part of my highlighting routine anyway) is highlighting and contouring/bronzing. It really defies all logic. I have the kind of skin that’s so pale I can’t even buy foundation at MAC. You know, the kind of person for whom beauty experts say bronzer will look just look like dirt on their skin. But me? Nope, I wear bronzer, and not even the peachy kind, and all I hear is how nice and healthy and glowing my skin looks.

One of the things that has turned me away from Autumns in the past is the brownish lipstick and blush looking like dirt on me. But a couple of months ago, Cate Linden, herself a very pale Dark Autumn, posted about her own DA makeup struggles. It has made me realize that makeup recommendations are definitely not one size fits all. As a non-typical DA (pink overtones, very pale skin), she has had some trouble figuring out the makeup angle. While we would have separate issues–I would say my overtone isn’t particularly pink, but it is very porcelain and clear as hers is–it seems that whatever season I do end up in, unless it’s one where I would basically fit the stereotype, which would be Light Summer, I am going to most likely have to deviate from the standard makeup to fit my own extreme coloring.

9ae6a9ddd9ac6a5c6fbbb8e35ca8e811
Source

While we most often associate Dark Autumn with dark makeup looks with very dark, reddish-brown lip colors, there are other colors on the palette that seem like they would work as lipsticks that are not as dark, and clearer and not as brown. On a Dark Autumn who is as dark as the stereotype, these colors might be too light to work as lip colors. On someone whose starting point is much lighter, however, it may create the right contrast level with the rest of the face.

I am not saying I am Dark Autumn, of course. This is just how I would approach makeup if I did turn out to be one. (Look at how gorgeous the DA colors are! I would LOVE to be one.) Just like you address contrast level in your Kibbe according to your season (e.g., an SSu FG doing high contrast in the context of the low-contrast SSu palette), perhaps we also have to expect makeup to look normal on our face according to the coloring we have on our face already, while staying in harmony with our season’s palette overall.

1 2