Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Spring, Autumn or Just Warm?

Yes, I am still obsessed with personal colour. 

Colour Palette

My online colour analysis resulted in a category called Warm Autumn which kind of straddles the Autumn and Spring palettes used by the SciART system.  This result was very useful to me in the sense that I knew I was struggling to decide whether Autumn or Spring was better and it didn't seem to be a struggle commonly described.  There are a few obviously warm celebrities for whom there is no agreement about whether they are Spring or Autumn.  Marcia Cross is one of those and so is Beyonce.  For awhile I just settled on the idea of being warm-dominant and very medium, and knowing I can worry less about clarity or mutedness.  I thought I might be content with a colour diagnosis that was nicely open like this, but that was silly of me.  I know myself to be someone who loves precision.  I like the best, most accurate answer.  Maybe it's just that the same answer can be worded in more than one way and I have a preference for certain wording.

For awhile now I have played with colour fans from both SciART True Autumn and True Spring. (Different systems use different names and slightly different palettes but I am still a fan of the SciART)  I find that using these two palettes gives me a better sampling of possible warm colours and colour analysis is not as restrictive as many people believe because there are always a couple sister palettes one can dip into.

My Mum knows she looks best in cool, slightly greyed colours and I suspect she is a Soft Summer,  but she dips into True Summer and Dark Winter and those both make sense.  True Summer is still cool and slightly muted with grey, although it is fully cool whereas Soft Summer and Dark Winter are slightly warmed though not necessarily on a level where most of us would recognise that.  One clue is that they both have a small degree of taupes and browns in their palette whereas the pure cool seasons do not.   Mum's default colours are blues and berry tones and if she's not a Soft Summer she is probably Dark Winter.  My Dad is also probably Dark Winter and my brother looks like one of these categories as well.  Given this, it doesn't surprise me much that I assumed I was one of these too.  I imitated my mother in dress style and colours for most of my life.


Photography and computer monitors are often inaccurate with colour representation.  These can only be used to get an idea of a colour palette and samples of Spring often look a bit less saturated on the computer screen than they actually are.  True Spring doesn't have any true pink and what looks like pink in these images is very definitely coral on my Spring fan. Next to true pink it will look more orange but next to true orange it begins to look pink.  

It's not science but I do it anyway....playing with photos is mainly just an attempt to show here what I have found with the actual palette fans and my experiences with clothing.


 I can't get rid of the belief that I am actually a SciART True-Warm Spring who can wear some of True-Warm Autumn even though I was analysed as an Autumn category in a different colour system.   As good as the analyst is, and I do believe she is very good, analysing from photos is difficult because accuracy is difficult and because it's not going to give the same effect that draping does, where the face actually reacts to the colours.  I seem to be one of those people who looks more like a stereotypical Autumn than Spring but that doesn't make it so.  I can certainly just go with the idea that I am a Warm and play with all purely warm colours, not worrying much about whether they are clear or muted, but sticking to the lighter and medium ones.  In reality that's essentially what I do but I can get rather obsessed with finding the 'right' answer and I think that in terms of 12 season SciART analysis the right answer is Spring and not Autumn.

My Experiences Tell Me This:

Autumn colours can look a bit heavy and dull although the warmth in them looks good

I only look good in some ( maybe half ) of TA colours but all of TS colours

A portion of the Autumn palette is too dark and heavy for me-the lightest colours are best

Autumn makeup is too much/heavy for me

Autumn deal breaker colour is rich burgundy/maroon which is not stunning on me.

Spring deal breaker colour is warm bright blue which looks very good, better than burgundy.

Light Spring deal breaker colour is light golden khaki which is also quite good on me

Spring makeup is better on me than any other season, with Autumn second

Key Thing:
With the True Autumn palette there are colours I would wear and some I would never wear because they aren't good on me.   With the True Spring palette there are colours I would wear and some I would save for special situations because they are psychologically too intense for my comfort.   

Here I am with the Autumn colours.  In my opinion they look good but not as good as Spring.  A little bland perhaps.  They look more muted than I am.  I think one reason I use the lighter colours is that the mutedness isn't as obvious. The wine-pink colour isn't good on me and the darkest colours aren't either.  The teals are good but perhaps Spring teal is better.

Just for fun, I'm looking at Light Spring as a palette I might sometimes borrow from it and it is possibly just as good an option or better than Autumn. I wouldn't wear the pinks and seem to look a bit orange near them but everything else looks like a possibility.  As Autumn is a bit muted this is a bit light.  The colours might look a bit insipid on me but could perhaps be incorporated into a mix of colours where True Spring is predominant and near my face.

 And this is fun...Pick a blue.  Do you think I am equal to the True and Light Spring blues?  I do.  More exciting on me than the Autumn blues.

Conclusion:  I could do worse than to wear some Autumn colours, or Light Spring colours but in Sci/ART I am a True Warm Spring.

Lipstick Draping 

 I also tried the makeup route for testing season.  It's not as reliable as clothing but it can sometimes help. 

A woman I know on a Facebook Colour group is a Bright Spring who can borrow a lot from Bright Winter ( these seasons are also sometimes called Clear ).  Recently she tested some lipstick colours and shared photos, asking for feedback.  The Bright Spring colour was clearly better on her and looked like it belonged on her face while the Bright Winter colour was sitting on the surface. She pulled it off better by using blush that matched it but the Bright Spring lipstick didn't need any other makeup to make it look good. You can see from such a comparison how important brightness is for her but also that warm brightness is better.

Another challenge about testing your season with makeup is knowing whether or not you have correctly identified the season of the makeup in question.  There is overlap too since makeup interacts with our pigmentation in many cases so many colours can work for more than one seasonal palette if they are influenced by the underneath colour of you. Just google a lipstick colour and see how the different lips and various lighting it can make it look cooler or warmer, lighter or darker than it may look on you.  We also don't necessarily know to look for harmony when looking at makeup.  Some people are not aiming for harmony at all, but simply drama or a deliberately unnatural look such as black or grape-purple lips.

The pink-red-orange range of your best colour palette is where your best lipstick colours come from but the comparison needs to be made with lipstick swatched on white paper not your hand or arm or another person's and not the tube of colour.

I struggled with the lipstick method though because everything seemed wrong.  Autumn colours were too heavy and Spring colours too saturated and anything pale soon looked chalky.  Often colours were good and I could see that there was appropriate warmth but somehow it still looked wrong.  Too thick, too intensely pigmented, too heavy and I began to realise it was a formula issue so I only wore lipstick well blotted.  It was a better solution but still just didn't seem quite right.

It wasn't until I discovered the style ID blends that I realised I need a very light and sheer touch with makeup and that it was not a colour issue necessarily.   I look best in a lipstick that leans orange as it will read as coral pink on me but I need a very light and sheer application like a tinted balm.  Most people are seeking intense pigmentation in a lipstick but I am not.

Another clue that I am a Spring and not an Autumn is that Spring is clear, juicy, a bit translucent whereas Autumn is opaque, a bit velvety.   I need that translucence in makeup and perhaps even more so than some Springs because of my style ID.  Springs are more likely than Autumns to benefit from a sheer formula.

So I have  returned to something I had and didn't know was my best. 

Welcome back to Revlon Super Lustrous Rich Girl Red in the Shine formula which is a tinted lip balm.  It is astonishingly good on me as it is a warm tomato red that turns into a dark coral on my lips, not too dark, quite sheer and believable but still giving that polished look that lipstick gives.  When the shine wears away a stain remains though it does come off with eating and drinking. 

You might wonder why I persisted so intensely with lipstick if it just wasn't working for me.  There are two main reasons for that, I think.  One is that it was a problem to be solved.  The other is that I like how simple it is to swipe something on my lips and look polished if I am going out the door, and yet it's very easy to remove when I need to.  Most of my friends don't wear makeup and I don't on a daily basis either.  I wanted to be prepared and accomplished at creating the polished or professional or adult look if and when needed.  I also find that something on my lips gives me confidence.  Perhaps that comes from the influence of a former generation.  The adult women in my life when I was growing up tended to wear nothing but lipstick on their faces.  To me it was the symbol of being an adult female.

Do I need a symbol to tell me I am an adult female?  Perhaps not but don't we all do the things that make us feel right?

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