I did a video recently. In an ad lib way, I said, you can look better in your 50s than you did in your 40s.
I’d add to that, or than you have ever looked.
Which often gets me the eye roll.
Fair. Here we have two women wearing dots. Not fancy, at family events, kids holding cameras.
The span is 5 years.
Define looking better. Does it mean…
Define looking younger.
Young Type 1: Smooth rounded edges in a face that is flatter and wider than adult faces. The dilemma is that baby fat only works on babies. On an adult, the look feels juvenile, pudgy or spongy, and childish. The person may look young in this sense, but does not look socially competent. Social competence is a huge and important point that greatly influences how much trust and responsibility folks are willing to extend.
Young Type 2: Sharp angles, solid bones, and defined contours. This person is expected to be strong, resilient, and competent. The presence is bigger, richer, and more textured.
Some of both would be great.
I don’t believe in the expression, past her prime, though there is such a thing as looking it. I know 90 year olds who still look plenty prime, who are the most extraordinary person at the party.
In the top photo, the colour of the face makeup does not match the neck and arms. It is too dark and warm, the warmth having the effect of blunting the bones and placing a pea-soup overlay on the skin. The edges look a little dirty, maybe hairy around the mouth and jaw, 5 o’clock shadowy?
Long before you get onto fillers and complicated makeup designs to sculpt your face, change your shirt to a better colour and locate foundation that cleans up your skin. The visual difference in your bones is astounding, even if you’re 25.
One of my beliefs: The more skin you show, the less power you have. Certain kinds of skin delete power much faster. If you show one cm of cleavage, the man in the room is biologically distracted, if not compromised, in his ability to hear you. He has no choice but to sail with the wind of our hormones, as do we all. No good or bad, no wrong or right, but we need to be clear about what we want to achieve. Have you read The Male Brain?
I have learned that power isn’t everyone’s language. Very fair. The best use of power is to make other people happy. There are many ways of achieving that end besides power.
The balance of power.
The power of balance.
Men need to ask more questions.
Women need to ask less.
Sexy Type 1: The modern media version, a sad surrender, the sort of backdoor disempowerment of women we all know that says, I’ll be whatever you want me to be. Available above all and yet predatory.
Sexy Type 2: The sexuality, of quality, taste, invitation, modernity, excitement, surprise, and unique identity. Self-determined and self-realizing.
Why do I keep using the word modern? Because it implies: state-of-the-art, leading-edge, prevailing, with-it, twenty-first-century. Its importance cannot be overstated in appearance because the alternative is: left-behind.
Modern means willingness to change, the opposite coming across as stuck back there somewhere. The winds of change never cease. An appearance that says, I can keep adjusting my sails, is part of my definition of Looking Better Than 10 Years Ago.
I think about how we could tell in ourselves. We can be hanging on to a style, such as Kate Gosselin hair. We can be hanging on to a belief such as, I like tailored clothes, I need coloured hair, I am warm in colouring, or all the other ideas we’re not willing to let go of easily. Most of the time, if they need us to shield them, they are not true today. The truth would sound as, less structure looks a million times better on you, that hair colour is all anyone can remember, and there is no evidence in your appearance or colour testing to support your warmth. Keep moving. Let stuff go. Don’t get stuck on the riverbank.
Sexuality between adults of equal power is about possibility.
Possibility might be my favourite word.
I know a woman going to be filmed. All anyone wanted to talk about was her makeup and being sure her face would not be washed out. Nobody cared about her message. They wanted her to look like a news anchorwoman, with the kilo of makeup it takes to balance that wall of hair.
Have you read Millroy the Magician by Paul Theroux?
Much brilliance. This for instance,
Health matters more than looks.
As joyful as it is creepy, about media, manipulation, cults, and the simple messages of everyday messiahs.
It has been said in a hundred places and ways that to know where we’re going, we must know where we came from, or else keep reliving the past. To make something better, we have to build on what exists already. Accusations and distortions abound, usually from those who have never tried to make anything. Sometimes, it’s the love folks have of throwing rocks at things that shine. Sometimes, a beautiful idea gets shut down because people feel the need to safeguard or preserve a belief. In protecting the wrong thing, meaning an idea that belongs in a past long gone, the rest of us are prevented from accessing something new and wonderful.
There’s such a pull toward mediocrity and for doing the same thing over and over again.
And Millroy is right about the food. If The North America Empire is spiraling downwards, it is my belief that the cause is chiefly due to its food choices. We are watching a slow self-poisoning process, of our minds and our bodies, in the midst of the greatest food supply in the history of the planet.
Tell me the book did not change the way you eat.
From those pictures,
the parts of a colour analysis that I love.
Where is there more Christine? In the older face, I would hope. We should and do enrich our souls as we move through life. Why on Earth wouldn’t the outside keep pace instead of retreating back the other way? In so many of their personal stories, women tell me these exact words,
I feel like my outside doesn’t match my inside and I don’t know what to do about it.
As a colour analyst, it’s a pretty special thing to give people back themselves. Here you go, may I return some more of you. You thought you lost it, but look in that mirror, it was here all along.
Which Christine will be seen and heard more clearly? When she speaks, which one is most likely to be listened to? Who will be seen when she walks into a store? A reunion?
Which one feels fully here? Which one is still coming down the hall so we can see and sense only parts of her?
Who do you know before she speaks? If those women were words, is one more legible? Who can you read?
The weigh essentially the same, the top woman being 3 lbs heavier. Do they look it?
Which one is more bland?
Is one more dangerous?
I talk about how harmony means the woman and her apparel choices being more together than they would be apart.
I speak of colour energies that lock together so effortlessly, as if it were inevitable and could be no other way,
that each energy elevates the other, level after level, more colour, more line, more focus.
Which is the most unique person, the one nearest her only real obligation in this world, which is to find and share her absolute and pure self?
Younger is not better. More is. True is.
Up to you to decide which one looks better. What I can tell you is how each one of those women maintain their relationships. 10 years ago, the outside informed the inside to make weaker choices. In the 2-way traffic of who we are, what happens on one side happens on the other, like mirrors. As energetic beings, we sense this to be true in every person. When we see an outside that feels muffled or lessened, we extend that to our expectations of the inside. And yet, that’s how most people look.
I aim for your appearance to express your fullest potential as a human being for all to see.
I believe that the best beauty looks like it could have happened by itself. No work. No effort. No tension. No process. No distraction.
A Part and Apart
Another application of truth:
Once analysts have been working for a while, a question we hear is, How do I tell a client that she would look so much better if she would change the colour of her hair?
A difficult truth to hear. What would be your reaction if a person you had known for 2 hours said, It is no longer in your best interest to believe that your hair colour is enhancing to you.
Would it make any difference if she were a fair bit younger? Older? When would your defenses go up? I really believe that every demographic needs its own colour analysts. Young, mature, African-American, Hispanic, Asian. To really get it, you have to have lived it, or even better, be it.
I am asked for opinions and advice about a lot of hair colour, to the point of considering offering this service to women who have been accurately colour analyzed. Without that, our hands are tied because we cannot know the parameters of the colouring with which the new hair colour must accord. Maybe even not for payment but rather permission to show Before and Afters. I have seen some most impressive colour corrections lately by putting some images on Pinterest for a woman to take to her salon.
Women desperately need good hair colour advice. This is a service that colour analysts can provide with relative ease and accuracy with the type of data we collect as a routine part of the analysis process. The hair colour industry has no means of gathering this information. Finding women the right hair colour and lipstick feels like the biggest part of a colour analyst’s job sometimes.
I always send this warning:
I figure that if I ask someone a Q, I want to know what they really think without a whole lot of polite beating around the bush that is useless to me. I extend that same honesty when I am asked something as well. I’m not mean, but I’m direct and honest, as you maybe have seen from the Pin boards. If current hair colour is working against a woman, I’ll say so. After all, who else in her life will? Usually nobody.
Being liked, loved, approved of, or agreed with, do not motivate me. They won’t cause me to alter my behaviour or choices. Neither do money, compliments, safety, peace, fame, or recognition beat my drum. Achievement does. So do truth and doing things surpassingly well.
Do you know what beats your drum? The place where you are not neutral. You are reactive, so it becomes both a weakness and a strength. Among my many weaknesses, I’m a bit insensitive to those who need compliments, safety, emotion, and so on. OTOH, you and me can have a conversation about anything, including your appearance, and you will know what I really think. This is useful to you because it could be what most people are thinking.
Where I live, the natural colours of most people are cool or cool-neutral. From what I hear about which colour analysis palettes need replacing most often, this is probably true of many places. Too much hair is coloured too warm, as is most foundation.
When the hair colour cannot be a part of you, when your natural colours can’t find a home for it, then it only has one other choice: to be apart from you. Hair that is apart is, by definition, a wig.
We could look at the idea that blonde hair is beautiful, a USA ideal where so much of our media comes from, Ms. Aniston, Swift, et. al. We could decide to see it out there on an island, and decide not to give that place energy any longer. Now, whatever someone says about the desirability of blonde hair will just be neutral information. You can consider how pertinent it is to you in an uncluttered way if it has no hold over you.
Forget about your childhood hair colour unless you have your childhood face. Baby hair only makes sense with baby skin.
In great makeup, we’re all wearing flesh tones. Our own! If more makeup advisors really understood what that means, there would be fewer women going around in other women’s flesh tones. Or nobody’s from what I can tell of certain lines of foundations and cosmetics.
I hope you have people in your life who would tell you if something you believe about your appearance is holding you back. And I hope that it is safe for them to do so.
Have you read Thinking Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman?
Systems 1 and 2 could describe various approaches to PCA. Equally, the distinction could apply to how I teach it: R brain > L brain > Eyes, in that order. The rationality we believe to be true about ourselves is profoundly not. The more ways we play to the strengths of our brains, and trick its weaknesses into uncloaking, the better our final decisions. How humans make decisions preoccupies me because a colour analyst will make 50 to 100 decisions in a 3 hour session.
Don’t kid yourself. PCA is hard to do. Historically, it got put in the lineup with System 1 feel-good-be-pretty topics. As we all know, I don’t see it that way.
I loved the review at Amazon.com (in the book link above), that begins
The mind is a hilariously muddled compromise between incompatible modes of thought in this fascinating treatise by a giant in the field of decision research. Nobel-winning psychologist Kahneman (Attention and Effort) posits a brain governed by two clashing decision-making processes. The largely unconscious System 1, he contends, makes intuitive snap judgments based on emotion, memory, and hard-wired rules of thumb; the painfully conscious System 2 laboriously checks the facts and does the math, but is so “lazy” and distractible that it usually defers to System 1.
This article does a great discussion, includes an overview in an excellent table, and approaches ways of maximizing our ability to make sound decisions.
We could do PCA as System 1 < > System 2.
I sometimes wonder if more women do it partly because they have so many more L < > R brain connections than men.
Have you read The Fifth Agreement: A Practical Guide to Self-Mastery by don Miguel Ruiz and his son, don Jose Ruiz?
Read The Four Agreements first. This tiny and simply written book alerts us to when we are speaking in the voices of The Judge, The Victim, and the Tyrant. I looked for a new voice. I chose The Student.
From The Fifth Agreement, about skeptics, listeners, and messengers,
When you unlearn,…you begin by facing what you believe…You only have one tool to do this, and that tool is doubt.
Can you be untaught? Can we listen to words about ourselves without becoming activated? Is what we believe about what looks good on us so rock solid that it needs defending?
Or is it fluid and can shift and move around with no reactivity on our part?
I have respect for your story because I have respect for you, but I do not believe your story about you. To me, you are a show happening on a screen. The scene, the costumes, the lines can all be changed anytime. Like watching a performance, just as I am to you.
If I screened students for the training course, which I cannot imagine ever doing, I would probably ask one question? How easy is it for you to replace your learning?
I find students and clients who know nothing about the 4 Season systems easier in some ways. Not only do they not have to unlearn the 4 and their associated beliefs, they don’t have to sort through what to unlearn, what to keep, and when to keep it. Years into a 12 Season approach, they still crossover and compare, which is not all bad. There are strong plus and minus factors with the deeply embedded concepts that went with the 4.
Have you read the Inspector Gamache series by Louise Penny?
Because village mysteries are fun and Armand Gamache, Chief Homicide Inspector of the Surete du Quebec, can teach us all a thing or two about the grace of personal restraint, among the powers of age, and a mind that is always open, among the powers of youth.