I love Aha moments and sudden connections that allow things to make sense. I keep having such moments in my colour journey as I learn new things about my own colouring and the colours that suit me best. It took some time to find out that my colour home is in the Spring category but when I began to explore it, specifically reading about and exploring True Spring and Light Spring, I encountered the statement "Light Spring women often arrive at their analysis believing they are Autumn." I am not sure where I saw this, but it was on the blog of a colour analyst and it reminded me immediately of my own colour journey. I have a theory about why this happens.
Light Spring is a neutral-warm category and within it some people have a very warm and golden appearance to their skin. Online much of the colour information and the celebrity examples will lead you to believe that the light seasons, Spring and Summer, are blonde seasons, so if you have brown hair, light or medium and golden-looking skin and you know you suit warmer colours, it's not a big stretch to believing you are an Autumn. I know this because I've been there. People look at me and guess Autumn. The light colours of the Autumn palette look okay. So do the light and medium colours of True Spring. They all look okay until I wear the colours of Light Spring and then it's impossible to wear anything else.
This is a sample of what some Light Spring colours look like, though not a complete palette.
And this is the Spring palette from Color Me Beautiful's four season system. It's more similar to SciArt Light Spring,
I don't look light, I generally look medium, perhaps medium light. I have fair skin, usually the second lightest foundation colour on offer in a line with a large range. Often warm skin reads as slightly darker than cool skin, probably because a golden tone looks a bit like a suntan. The colours of Light Spring are light in comparison with other palettes but they still include a range of light to dark and on a Light Spring person they do not all look light just as the Bright Season colours do not overpower a Bright Season person like they would someone else. Light Season colours might look insipid on someone who wears Dark or Bright colours best but not insipid on a Light Season person.
You do not have to look light to wear a light season palette best although light season people tend to successfully pull off blonde hair.
But how many of those celebrity blondes are naturally blonde? Most have light to medium brown hair.
The Dominant Trait Theory of Colour Anaylsis
The dominant trait theory of personal colour analysis is heavily pushed on the internet, sometimes due to the marketing ploy of selling simplicity and other times I think just due to ignorance. It's a hit and miss system which works often enough, perhaps, to mislead people into thinking it's effective but it only takes a tiny bit of logic to realise it can't be. How many natural blondes over thirty do you know? There aren't many and yet we are told that the light season palettes are for people who are all light- light skin, light hair and light eyes. This makes the reverse supposedly true, with darker hair, skin and eyes being the supposed sign of the darker seasons, Winter and Autumn. In the dominant trait method all people of colour are assigned to the Autumn and Winter categories and all blondes are Springs or Summers. People who are very medium are sometimes left out of the dominant trait explanations entirely and spend ages trying to decide if their mediumness is more light or more dark so that they can squeeze themselves into one of the two categories.
Sometimes I see a compromise, where the statement is this: If you are light for your ethnicity then you are a spring or summer.
It's all rubbish according to the SciART method of personal colour analysis and I continue to be in agreement with that. Skin is what most noticeably reacts to colour that is placed near it and reacts in complimentary or unflattering ways. Hair and eyes are distractions though when you are trying to figure out your best colours without a draping process where hair is covered and skin reactions being observed. In my experience my light-medium hair, which can look darker in photos often leads people to think I must be better in deeper colours. The deeper colours make a connection with the hair and that's where the eye goes and yet what I kept seeing in deep and even medium deep colours is that my overall appearance looks heavy and dragged down, not rich and vibrant as it should if those colours were right.
When someone else tells you that a certain colour looks good on you, they are often connecting it with your hair. I have had people say to me 'that colour looks great with your hair' and sales people are particularly likely to do this.
Like most people, I had lighter hair in childhood than I do now, so some people say that when applying the dominant trait method of colour analysis we should look to our childhood hair colour. I have to admit that I might have ended up looking at the Spring palettes much sooner if I had used that strategy, but we shouldn't have to remember childhood hair colour. If a colour flatters us it flatters us in adulthood with darker hair just as much as it did in childhood with lighter hair because it's the skin colour that matters, more specifically the undertones of the skin and how colour placed next to the skin harmonises or doesn't with the colours that are in the mix of your skintone. Reflecting onto the skin and influencing its appearance, colours we wear can flatter, compete with or simply not relate to our faces, which effects our appearance of health as well as potentially making us simply pleasing to look at. The human eye generally appreciates harmony.
As I play with Spring colours I am finding that both the True Spring and the Light Spring palettes seem quite good but while it doesn't seem that colours can get too warm for me, they can get too intense. Some of the colours in True Spring are too much, and would require makeup to help me compete. Bright spring is more hit and miss because many of the colours are just too saturated and too bright or dark to work well. As I discover that a certain delicacy is required in colour for me, I am reminded of how for a long time I thought I needed softness in colour. I am now convinced it's lightness. Clear colours are better than muted ones and softness in colour is essentially a muting achieved with grey. Clear, light and mostly warm, which is Light Spring, literally gives me a release of tension in my gut, a sigh of relief that I am not carrying the weight of heavier or stronger colour and probably why every winter I would retreat to the relief of camel/beige and grey. These perfect for Light Spring neutrals brought me relief after wearing colours that were too heavy.
I'm not good at recognising or understanding my own emotions so this gut feeling has taken me awhile to understand. I approach everything intellectually, looking for ways to measure and calculate and find the right answer. This can be done with colour analysis but I think there is also quite likely something in our guts that can tell us when we are wearing a good colour. It feels like home. I don't have to live in beige and grey although I do really like them. There are colours I can happily wear which are bright, light, warm and very cheerful. They don't look pale on me because they match my own level of colouring. They are light in comparison with other palettes and other complexions.
Makeup CluesWhile makeup isn't a definitive way to figure out your best colour palette it can be informative to discover what works for you and what doesn't. I was really struggling to make makeup work without looking really heavy and artificial on me. It was baffling because I could find colours that seemed quite good, corals and peaches and even quite orange lipsticks look like they should work but they were only sort of working. It was so easy to get into drag queen or clown territory. Cool colours sit on top of my face like icing on a cake. Warm colours look like they should be good, but they were always too heavy. Struggling to make Autumn colours look as good on me as they did on other Autumns lead me to try the Spring direction and it was a noticeable improvement but still I struggled with lipstick. It looked heavy and I could only just lightly dab a bit on with my finger, blot it and make do with that approach. It didn't seem right to me that I would have to wipe off 2/3 of makeup in order to make it work. It dawned on me that I needed a very sheer and light application and that tinted lip balms and very sheer lip tints were what worked best for me. This is very much a sign of being a Light Season. Makeup becomes too much very quickly.
Style Type CluesAnd then there is the undeniable fact that my style identity points to a significant amount of the Ethereal Type and that my facial profiling for Dressing Your Truth points mostly to type one. These are all consistent with the light, clear, sometimes sheer and delicate nature of the Light Spring palette including the type of makeup and texture of fabrics that work best.
I write about all of this simply because I have to in order to process it, and because it gives me pleasure to. I hope it helps anyone who is also trying to figure out seasonal palettes and especially those who may be confused or mislead by the dominant trait theory. You don't have to look like your palette. You do not need to look light or dark or bright, you just need to find the colours that suit you.