Where Should You Start?

It’s tempting to just run around your house and drape yourself with every single piece of fabric you can find. But no matter how hard you try to approximate colors from the palettes you see online, they’re going to look different on different screens and you have no way of knowing how accurate it is.

There are two approaches that I recommend.

The first is buying the seasonal draping cards from Truth Is Beauty. You can buy six or 12 seasons at a time. They are paint sample cards in varying sizes matched, as far as I can tell, to the original Sci/ART fans. For each season, you get a blue (or purple), a red, a yellow, and a green. The idea is that you can use these to get a more or less accurate understanding of how your skin reacts.

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The cons to this is that these are small pieces of cardstock, and not fabric drapes that cover your whole torso. Personally, these did help me narrow it down to Dark Autumn.

The second is to go with your gut. Are there colors that you know work for you and those that you know don’t at all? The season that fits these requirements may well be the one that works. Which palette immediately resonates with you when you look at it?

The approach I don’t really recommend is what I spent nearly a year doing: Draping yourself with random pieces of fabric and asking people online what they think, and/or buying a ton of lipstick in the drugstore and asking what looks best. This is what most people do.

When I tried this, I found that it was hard for people to see past my blonde hair and bluish eyes and pale skin. They would suggest Light Spring or Summer most of the time, sometimes Soft Autumn. Even for people who follow Sci\ART, it can be hard for them to see past the stereotype.

I also don’t recommend digitally draping yourself in Photoshop, or trying on lipstick colors this way. You can’t see the effects of the colors on your skin. I also don’t recommend lipstick draping, because while it is very fun, it gets expensive and makeup is individual. A lipstick color won’t look the same on every person within a season.

The second issue with asking people online is that people in online groups are coming to their evaluation of your pictures from all different kinds of backgrounds. Some know a lot about color analysis or are even analysts themselves, and some are new at it. Some follow Color Me Beautiful or 4×4, and are working with entirely different toolbox. But we’ll get to that in a moment.

The other issue with draping yourself with random fabrics is that you have no way of knowing what season something is from. Many like to use the Truth Is Beauty Dealbreaker Colors, but how are we to know what is meant by “clear lemon yellow” or which “mint green” is specific to True Summer. It’s impossible. Colors can be very similar at first glance, but the subtleties can make all the difference in the world.

In any case, without a palette, it’s impossible to get an exact match. So I would use either draping cards or try to match colors to the Invent Your Image palette images as best you can. Look for things like white vs. black, obviously warm colors vs. obviously cool, soft vs. bright… See what direction you get led in. When you’ve narrowed it down, it’s time to pick up a palette.