Dark Winter Blonde, Part Two

Since I found blogging about it while going through the process to be incredibly helpful during my Kibbe journey, I thought I’d do the same thing with my season.

Unlike with my Image Identity, I don’t expect to be able to DIY my color analysis. While the tone of my last blog post may have seemed like I had settled on Dark Winter, what it was really about was realizing that Dark Winter is actually a door that is open to me, and not one that is automatically locked shut just because I happen to have blonde hair, pale skin, and (seemingly) light eyes. (Plus I just love that palette!)

Getting the Light Spring fan and seeing just how bad it was a real turning point for me because I had always just assumed that I would be a Light season, and probably Light Spring, since I wear foundation with neutral/warm undertones and it never looks weird or mismatched on me. But as Cate Linden wrote on her post on the subject, it’s extremely difficult to see these things yourself, and it’s rare that a person will be correct about themselves, no matter how good their color sense is.

So what do I expect to gain from examining my colors myself? I hope to identify certain things that can tide me over, shopping/makeup-wise, until I can get draped. So far, I have learned things like I can wear colors that are much deeper and/or saturated than you would expect from someone with my skin tone, and they look normal on me, but sheer lipstick tends to be better, especially with no other makeup. Black may not be my BEST color, but I can balance it just fine, and having both lights/brights and darks is a good thing. Heat level does not seem as important for me as intensity. Dark Winter is still in the running, but Bright Spring and Bright Winter are likely contenders. I will probably stay in this area, clothes-wise, but I will not make any investment purchases until I have had a PCA.

So that is where I’m at right now. And thank you to everyone who commented on my last post; you guys were very helpful and had some great insights and advice.

10 Comments on Dark Winter Blonde, Part Two

  1. Dianne
    January 29, 2015 at 6:34 am

    I wish you the best of luck. I would love to do a PCA now. I had a PCA years ago in a group setting. There were only four color seasons at the time.

    I went convinced that I was an Autumn. When it was my turn to be draped the camps were evenly divided between Autumn and Winter. The color consultant finally (after much hemming and hawing about being puzzled) declared me a winter.

    I have never been entirely comfortable with the palette. None of the brighter blues look good at all. But I agree I’m not an Autumn.

    Jane Iredale’s foundations come in warm, cool or neutral. You might want to try them to confirm your complexion’s tone. The warm looks orange on me, the cool looks like it is sitting on my skin and the lightest neutral is just fabulous.

    My eyes look brown at first glance but they really aren’t. Many people say to me “Did you know your eyes are not brown? they are gold and green with a navy ring? How strange…”

    My hair was brown until 26 (I grew up in a family of blondes and my mom would say when I complained about my hair color that she thought it looked like velvet.) and then Poof! it went platinum blonde (-not silver or gray) overnight.

    I never find my niche when reading the descriptions of the seasons. Could there be a true neutral season out there that has yet to be discovered?

    The new 16 color palettes for seasons inspires me to think that maybe I could find mine. I am interested in watching your journey. The only colors that I look good in are the darkest eggplants, navy and black so Dark winter may be for me too!

    You seem to be having so much fun on your journey. And it is lovely of you to share.
    Thank you.

    • stylesyntax
      January 29, 2015 at 6:49 pm

      Thank you! I prefer the 12-season system to the 16-color one for the reasons outlined in this post, but I’m interested in how it goes for you! I would look at Dark Winter (Winter with Autumn), but also its close relative, Dark Autumn (Autumn with Winter). Even if you feel like you’re not an autumn, it might be worth a look, since you’re neutral. Both are beautiful palettes.

      I actually am allergic to mineral makeup, but L’oreal’s True Match does the same thing. I found my perfect foundation match in NARS Siberia.

  2. Ann
    January 30, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    “It’s rare that a person will be correct about themselves, no matter how good their color sense is.”

    Most if not all professional color analysts make the same claim, and it’s just not true. Cate Linden and many of her peers are brilliant, but their livelihood depends on this claim. I don’t doubt that many people were completely wrong about what looks good on them before getting analyzed. But at its core, seasonal analysis is basic color theory. If you have a good understanding of color theory and a good visual aesthetic, you can learn what colors (and textures etc.) look good on you. Most people can learn color theory, and even though a good eye is more of a talent or proclivity, anyone can develop one to an extent. I’m inspired by the images for my season and its nearest cousins, but I don’t need professional draping to develop an understanding of color theory as it relates to my coloring.

    • stylesyntax
      January 30, 2015 at 3:37 pm

      I believe you said your color season was fairly obvious, though, and that only three were real contenders. For me, as someone who is very neutral, it’s not that obvious.

      There are two main issues with the DIY method:
      1) Not being able to be objective, which Cate covers well in her posts.
      2) Accuracy of the colors you use to test. I thought Light Spring was fine until I got the fan and could actually match colors. In hindsight, I should have recognized my ability to go darker, but still. Unless you have a fan for the season, you don’t really know if the colors you’re working with are actually from the season you’re attempting to test. Is that a Bright Spring pink or a Bright Winter pink? In the end, DIYing can be just as costly as just getting it done in a PCA. I do know someone as neutral as me who I think has been able to correctly find her season, and even had a draping with a result she disagreed with, but she also had a Beauty Valued fan to work with and several 12-Tone fans. All of the money spent on getting proper fans, things to test with in good lighting, etc. can add up to more than a PCA.

      People who get it right are lucky. It doesn’t work out that way for most people, and in the long run, they’ll save a lot of time and money by just getting a PCA instead of trying to do it themselves. I know a handful of people who I think have gotten it right, and Cate even says in her post that there are people who come in thinking they know their season and end up being right. But if you have access to a well-regarded analyst, I don’t see the point in forsaking their services for DIY.

      • Ann
        January 30, 2015 at 7:42 pm

        This would hold true even if one’s coloring suits a broad range of colors and is therefore more difficult than mine to pin down. I don’t think you even need to work with fans or specific drapes. The difference between BS and BW pink is negligible and therefore unimportant, you’ll drive yourself crazy if you try to match your clothes & hair/makeup to your season exactly. In your everyday life, what’s helpful is to have a sense of what overall color scheme (including hue, tone, etc.) works well on you, and avoid its opposites. Seasonal color analysis is essentially a lesson in color theory using real (though often misapplied) examples from nature rather than abstract concepts. It can be immensely helpful to people precisely because it’s so concrete, but saying most people can’t figure out what looks good on them without professional help is like being told you can’t cook chicken because you don’t know a recipe for it. Of course no one can cook a specific recipe without being told the ingredients and directions. But if you learn cooking techniques (akin to color theory), you can cook without referring to any recipes at all. I’m not against professional color analysis by any means, but think this claim by analysts that only professional draping works accurately is ridiculous.

        • stylesyntax
          January 30, 2015 at 8:20 pm

          I would argue that it’s not negligible; it may look that way on Pinterest, but in real life, there is a difference between a color on a BSp fan and one on a BW fan. The person I mentioned who discerned her own season after an unsatisfactory draping did a comparison of the BSp fan against her skin and the BW fan, and in each one she did, the yellowing of the skin the happened with the Bright Spring colors was obvious. With seasonal pairs like this one, where you find cool-leaning BSps and warm-leaning BWs, etc., there may be colors you can borrow from the other fan in some cases, but still, there is going to be a difference.

          Going DIY can cost as much money and takes much more time than going to see a professional. Many people live their whole lives vaguely knowing what colors are good, or just wearing what they like, and that’s fine for them. It’s not impossible to DIY, but why spend months or years trying when an analyst can do it in a couple hours? Plus, I just don’t think you can even DIY properly without a fan. Yes, there are things you can drape with at home that are obvious, like black and white, but most differences are subtle and you can’t tell these differences from the charts on Pinterest. If I had been able to, I would have gotten a PCA months ago.

          The VAST majority of people don’t care about their season or their image identity/archetype. Now, I DIYed my archetype and have no plans to get a professional analysis (unless it’s Zyla), but what lines are flattering are pretty easy to see. Color is more difficult. Plenty of people look good and have great style without doing these things. But if you do care about your season, I don’t see why you would avoid having a professional do your season. If you live far from any analyst, then sure. But otherwise, accusing the PCA community of making these claims just because they want to make a buck is a bit much. To use an analogy like your chicken one, people represent themselves in court all the time, but it’s a lot better if you have a lawyer do it. Yes, some people are successful. But most would be better served by someone with professional training who knows exactly what to do. But I guess according to the note that Cate had to add at the top of her post, a lot of people feel the same way you do.

          And yes, once I have my season, I will only buy clothes that harmonize with the fan, and I will take my fan shopping with me. I don’t buy any clothes that aren’t FG; why would I invest in clothes in colors that aren’t my best? I don’t see it as something that would drive me crazy; I see it as a way to make sure everything looks good together and on me. I would rather buy a couple of perfect things than a whole bunch of things that aren’t. 🙂

          • Ann
            January 30, 2015 at 11:23 pm

            I’m going to insist on my view here. I think you’re putting way too much faith into the system. It’s called Sci-Art for a reason: it’s part science and part unquantifiable aesthetics. It’s a system of convenience, that makes us look more radiant and greatly simplifies shopping, which is its prime selling point. But beyond that, our coloring cannot be reduced to one of 16 color archetypes (even with subtypes). It’s like trying to compress all of humankind into the Briggs-Myers 16 personality types. They can offer guidance, but the reality of our personhood is nowhere near as absolute. Nuances between close colors really are negligible as you go about your everyday life, with different light sources all around you, and the various changes on your complexion because of temperature, physical exertion, etc. You do you, but your color fan(s) is not the be-all and end-all of colors that work better for you than a color that strays somewhat from its exactitudes. That’s simply not a realistic claim.

          • stylesyntax
            January 31, 2015 at 12:52 am

            You can insist on your view, but this is my blog for my own personal experiences and theories and views of these systems, so at the end of the day, it’s my space. My hope is that people come here wanting to learn about the things I write about and share their own experiences, and I welcome discussion and even disagreement. But this is a blog about style systems, and if you see these systems as invalid, I don’t know how much value what I write about can have for you, and I don’t know how much you can add to the conversation.

            Also, 16-color systems are not Sci/Art; Sci/Art and Sci/Art-derived systems like 12 Blueprints have only twelve seasons. (I do not subscribe to the 16-season theory.) So before you make claims about the validity of Sci/Art, I would suggest getting the basic facts about Sci/Art correct. That tells me that you really don’t know much about it and probably haven’t done much research into the theories behind it. Yes, some colors in your fan may be better than others. Some analysts are now starting to add strips of other fans, or combining two (and a good analyst can help you know where you can cheat). Some people prefer a palette done using the system Caygill developed or their gorgeous Beauty Valued fan. But I believe that in terms of using a ready-made palette, nothing beats Sci/Art and I haven’t found a system for color analysis that works as well.

  3. Chiara
    January 31, 2015 at 10:22 pm

    I am 100% a fan of having a “proper” analysis, having experienced the process myself. That is, an analysis by someone who is trained and has a set of drapes calibrated to compare cool with warm, dark with light, soft with bright.
    Humans are very, very good at comparing pairs. But start making comparisons on more than two characteristics, and it all starts getting very difficult (and then we just fall back on heuristics and justify our decisions post hoc. Lots of research on that!!). So, this color looks better, but is it because it is lighter or softer? Or maybe it’s because it’s warmer? Or maybe I just happen to like that color? These decisions are all relative, not absolute, so having someone who is trained and experienced to discern this makes a difference. So sure, cook a chicken, but having someone who’s done it before, who knows how to test when it’s cooked through, how much cheaper and easier to learn from them, not work it all out from scratch and risk giving others salmonella in the process 🙂
    The other invaluable thing I found from my analysis, was that I learnt what to look for that shows a color is working or not. Now some of those things I already knew- I’m a LSpr, and my wardrobe at that stage was mainly black and grey. I knew those colors were making me look wan and tired. I’d looked at the palettes and done a lip drape- light summer seemed possible (although I didn’t really love it). I just didn’t know what the right colors would do, and that, for instance, other colors made me look severe (autumn) or frumpy (LSu).
    Now, indeed I’ve found that about 5-6 of the colors are my best, with neutrals. I wear the others, because I love them, but actually the oranges, salmons and creams do best. How much shorter and cheaper that discovery was, with the guide of the swatches, and the knowledge of what changes I was looking for! Can you imagine trying to make the leap from grey and black, to that, without guidance? It would have taken sooo loooonnngggg. I believe I would have given up at some point, and probably lived, in vague dissatisfaction, as a version of a LSu.

    • stylesyntax
      February 1, 2015 at 1:08 am

      Beautifully put, Chiara. I have some key pieces of information from observing the effects of different colors on my skin, but a professional eye and a thorough draping process will enable me to have the complete picture. We don’t want to end up with salmonella, or worse–a wardrobe that makes us look like we have salmonella every day of our lives.

      The other advantage of strictly keeping to the palette and not playing fast and loose with whether something is a BSp or BW pink that I didn’t mention before is that your palette all coordinates together. So you’ll have a wardrobe that is incredibly functional because everything works together.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.