All posts by Christine Scaman

Warmth and Coolness of Colour

J. asked some excellent questions.

  1. I would love to see more posts on figuring out how warm or cool a color is, particularly as it relates to matching colors to one’s fan. What is the very coolest blue?  Originally I thought it might be the blue that has an RGB value of (0, 0, 255) – an HSL hue of 240.  However, that blue is opposite yellow on the color wheel, so I thought maybe the coolest blue would actually be the one that is directly opposite orange, which would be closer to a hue of 203.

C: Your Q is best directed to an expert in RGB colour models, which is not me. May I suggest that this information might not be what a colour-analyzed shopper needs?

I seem to be coming at PCA the opposite way. Since I have not the knowledge of mixing pigments or colour models, I can only begin where the end result makes sense. From there, I seem to work back to figure out how the parts came together. The order of PCA for a client is not different. It begins in the store and looks backwards to when she sat down in the colour analyst’s chair. What does she need to know? How to use her palette.

Regarding the coolest blue, or warmest for that matter: IDK what warmth of colour means. We say “True Winter colours contain no warmth.” If that means no yellow, then it can’t be. Every human being contains yellow. The True Winter palette contains yellow. The yellow content of True Winter greens is undeniable. Many Winter neutral colours are distinguished by strong yellow content, along with gray and red. The language needs to evolve to say “True Winter colours contain the coolest yellows.”


The best definition of warm colour appears to involve the ratio between yellow and red. The cooler the Season palette, the less red is mixed with the yellows, down to none at all in True Winter. The more red relative to yellow, the warmer the colour is. Please understand that I am guessing at how this works. I welcome any help figuring it out.

Defining a cool colour depends on the colour. For yellow, the coolest version is the one that leans most blue in the ROYGBIVROYGIVB continuum. That order is fixed because it is the order of rainbows on this planet. A cool yellow is green-leaning.

Blue is different in its behaviour. An explanation Kathryn Kalisz once wrote to me:

Relative to each other, a red-blue is considered warm, and a green-blue is considered cool, red being warmer than green on a colour wheel. When these blues are in prints or composition with other colors, then the relationship reverses. Because of the yellow content in the green-blue, it harmonizes better with the yellow content in the other warm colors, and therefore, we call it a warm blue. In a group of colors, the blue-red has a purple tinge and harmonizes with the cool tones.  Now it becomes a cool blue tone.


Let’s say there is a ‘coolest’ blue, the blue-purple range being the convention, red-orange the warmest. A more important question to the woman shopping with her palette is,

Does the coolest blue appear in human beings? I think that, like other animals, we contain and see best the colours of our own species, or maybe of organic forms on this planet. Of organic forms, plants will differ since they contain no hemoglobin. We see inorganic pigments but are not coloured as are inorganic elements, dyes, or the various colours computer models can generate. From the original question, does the coolest RGB code even apply to humans?

Despite being a century old, the Munsell system persists because it appears to represent human vision exceptionally well. I don’t disagree. What I see in front of my eyes works. I do question whether Munsell’s system could be a platform for something more interesting, intricate, and complex, more artistic and less technical, beyond the entry point of his colour charts.

For now, those charts interpret human colouring with high fidelity. Incorporating other colour systems like Pantone make less sense to me since they span too many colours, animal, vegetable, mineral, computer, neon, textile, plastic, and so on, that have nothing to do with humans.

  1. Or perhaps I should ask – since it’s really about how one’s face reacts to the color – what is the (theoretically) most ideal blue hue for a cool season – the “ur-blue”?

C: There are many. Lighter, darker, cooler, more or less muted, redder and greener. Perhaps people within one Season probably have their own best blue but who could you find to agree? Taste is not involved in PCA. In fact, we work to extract personal preference from the decision-making.

The important part is that a particular set of colour characteristics or behaviours best harmonizes a particular human colouring. With that set in hand, the client’s job is to become very good at using it.

I believe that Kathryn Kalisz’s Sci\ART colour groupings are the most rational in existence because they keep the 3-way marriage between the physics of light, human biology, and the behaviour of colour intact. We can shuffle the nomenclature forever and never change a thing. That is talking theories first, observable facts after. Wrong order.


Humans are pretty good at judging value and brightness. We’re pretty terrible at gauging warmth because it’s a relative relationship. Maybe that’s why PCA from photos is so unsuccessful for me. Still images are too static to represent how fluidly colour behaves to our real-time eyes, far more than we are ever aware of.

We’re also not great at judging warmth when one of the other colour dimensions changes. I could show you two of any colour from the very same value level and you might think the muted one was darker. Some might say that the muted colour is cooler because it behaves the way our brain knows cool colours do from the world we live in. Cool and/or muted move backwards, or so we think.

Colour harmony is really not about matching colours. We have no idea what colours are, we can’t remember them accurately, and they are never what we expected when we see them a different comparison. Believing in what we think we see, meaning colour matching, is why so many women are paying for less-than-best hair colour and can’t find a lipstick that looks like part of their face.

To truly work with colour, I think we have to embrace the inherent unknownable. Have you read “The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry”? The best book I have picked up in ages. Colour requires a space for mystery to be OK as we learn to work with it, just like Harold learned to do with the larger reality of life. Dragonflies embody the physics of flight and impossible magic. Leaving room for both enriches and enlarges the experience of the dragonfly.

Learn to work with your colours. Don’t put your attention into non-existent rules. Accept the palette you have, from the system you chose, and practice finding what aligns with it. I know you’re trying to do that. Logic is how we begin. It is helping you ask all the right Q. Keep doing what you’re doing.

  1. I’m getting the idea that maybe finding a “cool” hue might be about finding the coolest shade of that color.  For instance, a very green blue would be relatively warm, but a very blue green would be relatively cool?

I have a tendency to think a color might be True Summer until I compare it to my fans, and then I realize it looks more Dark Winter.  I think perhaps I’m looking for cool colors that are muted, and instead sometimes find a cool color that is slightly DARK instead.  Ok, technically this isn’t a question.  : -)

C: Questions related to application are taking us in a more constructive direction. We would love to bring the answers down to one set of criteria, If This Then That, a safely anchored set of rules. Colour analysts would love that even more but it doesn’t work that way.

Colour is as fluid as any magic, now you see it, now you don’t. Try not to think in terms of how it has to be. Learn to work with what you see in front of you. Instead of logical predictions, put the two things together and look, as you did here. In ‘realizing it looks more Dark Winter’, you absorb what makes it not True Summer without even trying.


We can’t compare the heat of a green-blue and a blue-green unless we’re certain that the other variables, value and saturation, are fixed. As soon as one aspect changes, everything changes. Something had to be added or subtracted – red, yellow, blue, something. Adding yellow to mixtures might warm them, and it lowers saturation. Therefore, True Warm Seasons will not be fully saturated. We can’t change one thing without changing all the others.

True Summer and Dark Winter are variations of warmer, muted True Winters. They got there in different ways. One adds Summer gray. One adds Autumn orange (brown is added to Autumn, brown being dark orange). This is hardly new information. I’m just not sure how much it matters to the client in the store.

Doesn’t even matter to the colour analyst as long as she can read her drapes and knows her own limitations. Every analyst, like all humans, is limited in her colour acuity, even if only colour matching, by the absolute need for real time comparison. Add to that the chemical limitations of biology (fatigue, sleep, eye strain) and lighting on rod and cone chemistry, and calibrated comparison is the only hope I have of getting a true result.

Were there too many limitations to bother (or to admit to) for doing PCA? Not if you ask me. It simply acknowledges reality. In the real world, nothing needs to be perfect to work extremely well. We are surrounded by examples. Experts learn to extract the maximum info from the real world framework. In any field, experts are constantly on the lookout for information which can be trusted, and that which cannot. If a system can’t stand up to inquiries on that subject, well now, that might be when to not bother.

  1. Weirdly, I’ve also found that I sometimes have trouble telling whether a given blue, green or purple color fits into True Summer or Soft Autumn.  Some of the colors seem SO similar – for example, True Summer 3.10A compared to Soft Autumn 5.8A, or True Summer 4.6A compared to Soft Autumn 5.6A.  I know I’m supposed to try to figure out how well a fabric goes with the whole fan.  But truly, if I had any one of those shades in a fabric, I don’t think I could possibly tell which fan it went best with.

C: I understand the problem. Soft Autumn blue is not obvious to understand. I test many (that end up in Soft Summer) before finding one.


If you can’t tell by looking at the whole fan, look at each colour group separately. The whole fan is WTMI (way too much info) coming in. Separate out the reds and decide if the palette looks calm and strong or has taken a step back.

If you have both True Summer and Soft Autumn palettes, do the Summer lipsticks look frozen? They will if the fabric is Soft Autumn.

Can you assemble a white shirt/gray pants outfit from the palette for that shade of blue? Summer wears blue well, it might not matter that much. It is not necessary to doubt every purchase, just move away from obviously poor choices.

Look at the green strips. Do they make sense or are they just hopeless together?

Look at the colours that really define the Season. Do Soft Autumn peanut butter and ochre yellow look great with the blue fabric? If the blue fabric were a turtleneck, could she find a beautiful lipstick?

  1. As a True Summer, are there some blues in other seasons that would look just as good on me as my own blues do?

C: It depends on the sensitivity of the viewer. When the wavelength of the colour and the person match, the appearance can clarify, focus, and captivate in a way that other Seasons’ colours would not attain. That said, most folks have never seen that and could not recognize it. This is not a reason to compromise (which Summers don’t like and Autumns insist on), just don’t get too immobilized by a perfect standard. Red, yellow, brown, beige, or purple are the colours to be more rigid about between these Seasons than blue.

Most of the world is so used to seeing wild mismatch, and so used to adapting for changing lighting over a day, that they’ll see something good going on even when colours are close. Vision didn’t evolve for us to look beautiful. It evolved as much as it needed to for us to eat and not get eaten before we mate and raise our young.

You probably have several fine blues from all three Summer palettes, and maybe a few low contrast choices from True Winter. If you can identify the great blues and ignore the million blues that are not even worth trying on, you are way ahead of the game you were playing pre-PCA.




Colour Analyst Meeting 2015 Pictures

We have just completed a powerful meeting with a group of our colour analysts. We thought you’d like to meet us.


L to R: Katherine Schlagal (Texas), Leslie Chatzinoff (New York), Rachel Nachmias (Philadelphia), Terry Wildfong (Michigan), Christine Scaman (Ontario), Elaine DeFehr (Manitoba), Monica Gill (Wisconsin), and Kaarin Huffman (North Carolina). Analyst contact information is in the analyst directory on this site (tabs across the top) and Terry’s site at Your Natural Design.

These women have understood themselves in colour. They are at various stages of practicing their most authentic image and essence in clothing line. To look round the room and see the unique definition in their presence, contrasted so much one with the other, was fascinating. One had the feeling of very strong, very distinct, individuals, bringing their entire selves to this and every other situation.

As a network that prioritizes continued learning, we broadened our skills in many formats, as you’ll see in the pictures. Colour is a dance that shifts, moves, and surprises. We may step in but we may never lead.


Observing several client drapings, including the elusive Soft Autumn.

We took the time to discuss what makes best best, because it appears in so many guises for so many reasons. In the photo below, you see a Winter green drape on top and a Summer green visible round the neck beneath. Why was Winter better? That’s a rhetorical question, as you know, since photos alter colour too much to know the answer. Real-time human eyes still see things cameras can’t.


Katherine, comparing Winter and Summer green, discussing the true meaning, and frequent misuse, of the term ‘harmony’.

Women often say to us, “I got it when I saw the makeup.” Cosmetics are an important part of our work and the advice clients receive.  Terry Wildfong, my fellow trainer, is experienced and instinctive with cosmetics. We took an afternoon the discuss foundation matching, including the colour capture gadgets in cosmetic stores these days, and selecting colours for women of different appearance in the same  Season.


Rachel and Katherine are Bright Winters. We demonstrated colour selection for women of different appearance within a Season. 



Elaine is a True Winter, a perfect model for the often-yellow overtones in the coolest Seasons. Terry is showing us how foundation colour decisions are made.



Working with fabrics using the palettes from True Colour International.

The ultimate solutions to our most beautiful, authentic, and effective presentation lie in knowing both our colours and our lines.  Knowing one or the other leaves the effect improved but unfinished. Below, Rachel explains an in-depth image analysis (PIA), including making accurate assessments of bone and shape and advising individual clients within their archetype.


Image analysis with Rachel and model, Elaine. Seated, L to R, Leslie, Monica, Katherine, and Terry.

Important time was created for discussing the future of our organization. We have arrived at a crossroads where we can choose to continue the status quo, always improving methods and materials but maintaining distinct business entities, or strengthening the collaborative advantages that we have. The analysts spoke in this regard in a clear, unanimous voice. We look forward to sharing the journey with you, our respected readers, clients, and colleagues.



Signature/STYLE: The Dresses and Sex Appeal Issue

The first issue of the August 15-16 year came out today. The link is over in the right column of this page. To get the link on a mobile device, scroll a bit down through the upper-right hand corner’s menu choices to “Signature/Style Newsletter,” then scroll down mid-page to find the “Learn more about the Signature/STYLE newsletter here” link.

This is the only newsletter that finds clothing for your Season, in your image archetype (IA), available in stores right now, and puts it right in your Inbox. If you don’t see your issue today, look first in your Junk/Spam folder. Your mail software sees all the links and gets confused.


The topic is Dresses for Colder Weather. To show you as many styles as possible, we always bring you overflow links. Of the 800 to 1000 items we look at, the newsletter only contains 9. But there are many, many breathtaking garments in stores, in any category (and many that nobody should buy). We hear you when you tell us that you want as many examples as possible.

Previously, these have been presented as catalog layouts showing each of the 5 IAs together for their main Season group. For a Summer Classic to see the effect of keeping the colours but changing the lines smoothes the line between who she is and is not.

This time, these images will be together for one IA, then subdivided within for the Seasons to show you many more shapes to flatter your body type. Romantics will see her lines in many different colours. Many will be Winter but the learning is till strong.

We understand the excess of Winter-coloured clothing, not just in black. To leave these out would misrepresent the real world marketplace. Better to be designers who can see the potential in shapes and visualize any colour painted inside the lines. A Dramatic or a Gamine design is relevant to any woman of that body type if she can dismiss the colours for a moment – perhaps there is even more to be learned from this exercise than the mental relaxation of having perfect garments handed to us.


Certain Season assignments may surprise you. Remember that items look different on every monitor. When I work, there is a full spectrum light on the screen. Trust me, you will make different decisions if you invest in a desktop model. Colour is never what you think it is, and certainly never what you remember.

Many items are given to more than one Season because that’s what real world shopping is like. Hold out for perfect everything and you’ll have very little to wear. Many fabrics harmonize extremely well between two Seasons. Therefore, we don’t analyze with them but recognize that they can serve both groups as clothing beautifully. These are most often neighbour Seasons, except for certain whites and neutrals.

Garments can be outside our usual boundaries. For instance, a gorgeous burgundy wool sweater dress might be at the upper range of Soft Autumn darkness, but have a small black detail on the back. Am I going to leave it out? No! (though I would if the ribbon were white).

When I place a colour in a Season, first I take an overview. I compare to anything else in the photo, a purse, a person, a shoe, looking for more-than or less-than relationship. No more than that can be known, but it’s a place to start. If I hold up a True Winter palette to an orange and all I can see is the dress, it will usually take a Bright Winter to balance it. We should not take a back seat to our clothing.

Next, I hold the palette to the screen. If a red dress makes the Dark Winter colours look muddy and dull, the garment will do that to the woman who wears it. There are better places to put our money.

Third step, I look to the swatch book for “Is there anything like it in here already? Could the colour slide in here and nobody notice?” As important as the big picture is, when we learn our palette best is when we deconstruct it, colour by colour. Our attention tends to go to some colours more than ours, but every one of them says and does something special. That’s why I believe so strongly in drapes for analysis that are only one colour at a time.

Next and equally important, I make outfits with the rest of the palette. Can she find gray pants, a white shirt, a healthy lipstick, a print with the palette greens?

Sometimes, I have no idea and I say so. Happens IRL too.


The Issue of Sex Appeal

Awhile back, a reader shared a link to this article about a makeover Tilda Swinton took for a film role.

The comments are as interesting as the article. Many felt that the woman looked better in the role than Ms. Swinton does as herself.

How were we trained to think of certain costumes as natural? Why are black eyeliner and beige lips thought of as healthy and normal? For most women, that is a dated, 90s look that says instantly, “Behind the times. Time to move on. ” Red lips, even sheer red lips, are too much, and yet they are much nearer the un-made-up face.

We were trained to accept the film role woman as a female ideal because we saw her over an over. Eventually, we believed she exists. Why should the woman herself care that she’s completely fake? She feels successful, powerful, influential, rich, and noticed by men. Wasn’t that the point?

Sounds like a decision without consequences. Oh, no, wait. There is no such thing. There are always consequences to the decisions we make and stories we need to tell ourselves to get through the day. This woman is everybody and she’s nobody. She never has the freedom to be herself. Did she know this was part of the choice she made?

The male autopilot responds as evolution ensured it would to a loud and clear call to sex. The story she tells herself to survive is that men want her. She has the numbers to prove it. Sex on her terms must mean she is getting respect. Others feel desperation in her but she doesn’t know or care, it’s their problem. Compared to some generic celebrity ruler, she’s doing fine.

She has an illusion of control over the reactions of others when in reality we have none. Men are responding as all addicts do, by saying or doing whatever it takes to get to the prize as fast as possible. If the only purpose was sex, then I guess it’s a victory. Her daughter will follow in her footsteps unless the child wakes up and pushes back, the great gift of a young, clear, deliberate female mind.

To be OK with the truth is the bravest approach to living there is. I believe that is what this means: “A nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are equal”, Abraham Lincoln, November 19, 1863. Once we lose that, we lose too much of our humanity and start paying attention to all the wrong things.

In her heart, every woman wants the world to be this way. It can be. It is. Getting there is easier than we expect. Everyone around us suddenly relaxes. They’re grateful not to have to talk to plastic eyelashes or aggressive shoes any more, much more complicated than talking to a real person.

We must be fair. Taking on the truth demands courage from ourselves and faith in others. We hear, “They wouldn’t hire me because of my age.”, or “Older people don’t get service in stores”. If that’s true, it’s inappropriate, irrelevant, and illegal. More often, what wasn’t said was, “I wasn’t the best person for the job because…” and “They didn’t serve me because I make appearance choices that make me hard to see. Why don’t I want anyone to see me?”


Until we receive what is, the chance to create tranquility around it, and make the truth into the asset that it always is, stays out of our reach. We would never see that we were the best person for another job all along. We could admit that store staff know older people have the cash, but we made ourselves difficult to approach, especially if you’re 24.

The truth of who we are is the non-negotiable right. Discovering it is the view in the mirror that we never lose in colour analysis. Thankfully, the world is full of women like us who will question anything that manipulates our thoughts and actions, despite the social endurance required.

Undoubtedly, sex appeal is the ability to hone and hold the tension. In my eyes, this is among Rachel’s particular gifts. She has an instinct beyond the archetypal rules that infuses an item with the language of sex appeal that rings true and elegant for each body type, quite unrelated to just showing skin. She is also quite right, that the harder we work to hide something, the more obvious it becomes. Life itself is that way. We have nothing to fear. Where we believe our shadows lie is usually the opposite of the truth.

Sex appeal can only begin when a woman allows others to see her as she truly is, when she gives her entire self, without the blunt determination towards only one outcome. If a survival mechanism stirs in the other person because harm or threat are perceived, the sex part might be valid but the appeal is long gone.

Sex appeal is engaging a game for two, the silent conversation that attire is, all day every day. We want to use our natural inborn gifts to attract others in a way that offers them a choice. We want to project grace and humour whatever they decide because we respect their choices and feel confident that we live in an abundant world. There’s more of everything, wherever it came from. In being honest and curious in our natural voice, the conversations that become relationships start to happen. Sex appeal appears the moment that we own our power and originality. Just as well, we can never own anybody else’s.

How then do the 10 Image Archetypes choose dresses that optimize what sex appeal truly is? Well, dear readers, you’re about to see, from a woman who has the remarkable talent of having mastered this game – and will put you in the game, hearing comments you truly never expected to hear.




Uniform Dressing for 12 Seasons

My thanks to J. whose question inspired this post.

J: I appreciate your blog a lot and would love to see you do a post on “uniform” ideas for the different seasons.  “Uniform dressing” is pretty popular right now (see for example but it seems that most people’s ideas about uniforms are black and white (good for winters, but not for a cool summer like me).  I’d love to read your take on something like this!

C: Is this idea is to create each Season’s consistent, best neutral background, and change the accessories as desired? The background might be what reads as B&W on each colouring, or might be something else if that looks better? Or do we stick with the B&W equivalent as the background, for this post to have most value to women’s understanding of ‘uniform dressing’?

J’s reply, in which I am now fully on board:

J: I think that the idea behind uniform dressing (especially since it is usually done for work) is to create a versatile outfit (meaning that it is appropriate for almost any work-related situation) that conveys authority.   Authority is especially important for women, more so than for men.  Also, a certain lack of fussiness with clothing while still maintaining a sense of what is appropriate hits that sweet spot of “I know how to dress for my job, but I’m so busy doing great work I don’t have time to pay a lot of attention to creating a new outfit every day.”  These are the reasons that I think black and white are usually appealing for this kind of uniform dressing– black, especially, is thought to be always appropriate and authoritative but somehow still creative and artistic (read: entrepreneurial)!  It is interesting to note that people in caring professions (nurses, counselors– note: traditionally feminine kind of roles) don’t often develop their own personal uniform.  For these folks, either a uniform is given (and pastels are understood to be not only completely okay but preferred!) or not thought of.  I really think that a lot of this comes down to managing gendered expectations and thinking through what it means to be “feminine” or “masculine”.  Uniforms in themselves, especially personal uniforms, communicate a certain “male” approach to dressing– this can be strategic for women to use sometimes in certain settings.

C: Brilliant explanation. This is getting more and more attractive as a post, your words placing it suddenly among my top translation interests for dressing: the story we tell others.


Uniform Dressing 1 Cool Whites



I asked a man what he thought of women wearing the same clothing, or clothing theme, to work every day. He said,

“Finally, someone got onto it.”

He has a point. It is not our responsibility to produce a fashion parade at work.

Women would notice and judge. Great work wear gets brownie points with women because that’s who sees it and cares. Men might notice but won’t judge because they dress this way anyhow. Is there a man alive who would say, I think she wore that skirt to last year’s annual meeting? Therefore, they also don’t hand over any authority or admiration for how organized we are.

Otoh, Uniform Dressing could devolve into an escape hatch that spells visual boredom for the rest of us. Boredom reads as unimaginative, not a good signal to send anywhere. I admit that if I worked with a woman who showed up in the same outfit every day, I would think,

“You have no idea what to wear and you’re tired of trying to figure it out. I know some super good shortcuts. I can connect you with some really good people. I’m here for the asking.”

In a web Search of Uniform Dressing, I kept running into the phrase “staring at my closet wondering what to wear”. Why? Two years after PCA&PIA, you have so much good stuff, the choice is only hard because you look great in any of it. I keep entire outfits in Ziplocs, accessories and all, flip them in and out of suitcases like Frisbees. Speed and organization are everything with me. The “Staring at my closet…” line would put in my head,

“You have no clean clothes. You haven’t done laundry in a week and don’t plan on doing any for another week.”

After the Search, my overall take on Uniform Dressing was,

“You’re walking by the chance to tell me so much more about yourself (and give me reasons to give you more money).”

Not giving up yet. There is definite merit to the idea.

Despite its apparent simplicity, successful uniform dressing is not a decision to take lightly. For both men and women, the uniform should have a great deal of planning assigned to it, much more so than if the outfit changed every day, which would be less of a declaration. In the reverse psychology of humans, a uniform actually draws more attention to itself.

Colours were once necessary for our survival and still influence every human able to see them. Warm and sweet to look at, a Spring coloured person dressed in Autumn colours look like she’s wearing furniture. She looks either child-like or conflicted. In many cases, close enough is still 1000% better than we used to look. Arriving into your main Season palette is a huge wardrobe step forward. Even with similar colours, Spring wearing Autumn khaki can look like she’s going paintballing – which could work on certain Natural archetypes in certain job situations.

Warm and strong to look at, Autumn coloured people wearing Spring coloured clothes look dressed from the kids’ department, and more mannish. The clothing is a tilt-a-whirl that reads ditzy or frivolous, the absolute last thing you want to express at work. When I analyze colouring, I’m looking for the colours that allow the face to be calm and steady. I can’t think of any job where one would choose a different expression.

Work clothes do what we wish our business card would. Your appearance is telling me what you’re selling me. None of us have any choice about this. Until I decide if I’m buying your story or your product, I’m looking for visual backup. Personal opinion, Casual Fridays are a mistake, or an opportunity few seem to take.

Have we not all been on websites that sounded interesting till we spotted the person? Leveraging that first five seconds impression is a bigger deal-breaker than a business card, a logo, a business name, and all sorts of other things that are glanced at, put in a contact file, and generally forgotten.

White seems the most obvious choice for daily wear, to minimize reaction to clothing. I can’t talk about all-black. It is too uninspiring to consider on anyone. All-black is a clothing cop-out, the equivalent of clothing for camouflage. All-black is as dated as Generic Corporate Formula wear, which I do not believe any workplace requires. We look like bulky, frazzled women under the control of outside influences. Never compromise your You-ness, it’s the best thing you got.

I like looking at alpha-female clothes, not that this style is necessary in every job situation. If you’ve made it, who cares? Nana Mouskouri can wear any glasses she wants, giant beetles if she feels like it. The minute she opens her mouth, she transports the room to wherever she chooses. For those of us still striving, don’t give anybody a reason to eye roll when you’re not there.

I’ll be sticking with separates, though many would prefer a dress, perfectly fine. Pants or skirts need not be shown with white tops because let’s be honest, Winter will buy black, Autumn will be in dark brown, Summer in gray, and Spring…Spring neutrals are not so easily found but they do exist. Yellow-green grays are Spring’s, in comparison to Autumn’s which have less obvious clear yellow content. Let me show you some grays, as approximately as this medium permits.


Uniform Dressing 3 Grays in Season Groups



Not sure about Season with neutral colours? Scrunch up the fabric and look down in the folds, in daylight if possible. Lighting makes an enormous difference because it’s light that makes colour in the first place. If too much yellow is going in, too much yellow is coming out, amplified if the fabric is shiny. The feeling of a strong yellow (not necessarily a lot of it though), along with shine of fabric, moves many colours into the 5 Winter groups, for instance the bottom right blouse.

Winning Uniform Dressing is a new challenge. You’ve decided to go for it. OK, I’m with you. We are not at work to be Friended or Liked, agreed with, supported, or loved. Shared maybe. With my usual emphasis on clarity of purpose, we are there to be hired, re-hired, and referred. Those are the reasons, the only reasons, for the wardrobe.

Once hired, then we can do good in the world. Being hired is the playing field by which we have opportunity to share our gifts, enrich the lives of others, and give back more than we take. Being hired is the ticket to the training ground on which we grow inside and innovate outside.

Knowing your white might be the biggest payoff to having your colouring analyzed if you happen to be an Autumn, on whom wearing white every day is a series of unfortunate events – therefore the absence of white-white in the Warm Whites panel below. Want a good way to tell Dark Autumn from Dark Winter colouring? White. Pick beige or gray instead. In stores, that’s 7 beiges in 10. When Autumn gets her colours right, no colouring conveys capable strength better. She looks like she can take on anything, gorgeous and fearless.

PCA is a big payoff for Springs. Life is so much better when she knows her ivory and cream because she will put down money for a lot of it. Spring manages the lightness of white better than Autumn but she is certainly not at her best. She is not given many beiges and grays by stores. She could wear a small number of Autumn beiges, like the turtleneck marked *1 in the Warm Whites group, but why? Ivory quite literally illuminates her from within. Her pores go away, the skin is smooth as cream, the eyes sparkle.  It is easy to find. If you scrunch up her whites and look in the folds, imagining what colour the fabric would be if you concentrated it more, you would see versions of peach and egg yolk, as the blouse top row centre.

See the *2 shirt in the Warm Whites board? Might be fine in either row.  It has a very slight pink tinge that puts Soft Summer thoughts in my head too. I couldn’t place this one without having it in hand.


Uniform Dressing 2 Warm Whites



Then you decide you’ve had it to here with your dry cleaning bill, collars now tattooed with permanent makeup, and the steady stream of packages containing your-white shirts arriving at your door.

Here is what I would do. Keep changing the story. Pick a theme and develop it over 2 years. Co-workers would be looking at the door every morning to see what you’re wearing today. Keep people engaged. Among the top 3, the only 3, things I care about if I’m hiring is imagination – tell that story too.

Clearly, the uniform theme is getting shaky, but the colours are still neutral-based. I’ve grouped Neutral Seasons with their True Seasons throughout this post, where each Neutral Season could choose a colour scheme to repeat every day. Dark Autumn might go with gray/rust/teal or caramel/brown/black, having it in different garments and designs. How tight you want it is your choice. You can tell that I’m dressing different body types. For yourself, image archetype would remain consistent in every style.

Uniform Dressing 4 Warm Prints



Why more colour in the Warms compared to the Cool Prints coming later? Because the heat of the colouring looks so good with a lot of colour activity, the whole Circle of Life thing, ‘The sun rolling high through the sapphire sky…’ The music heats up, ‘Far too much to take in here…more to do than can ever be done.” Warm colouring is not a Zen Garden (Summer) or a Fjord (Winter) to look at.

Can we move away from white? High maintenance and a waiter feel. If I had to pick one colour family that is spectacular on every colouring when it’s right, I’d choose blue-green. Green can be gross, oh boy, yes it can, but its greatness can be hard to beat.

Green is the complement to the colour of blood. When we choose the right green for our own reds, others’ awareness of our human presence is sharp, heightened, sounding the “I am here.” signal. Plentiful in stores for all Seasons, blue-green is also hard to beat in professional situations as the colours of Nature and money. It is appropriate and civilized. Below, with the odd could-not-resist, like periwinkle for Spring.


Uniform Dressing 5 Blue Greens



Patience was my magic word for the first 6 months of this year. It switched to Perspective back around May. Some general ideas about what the rest of us will tire of seeing each day:

  1. The same print, design, or picture. Like a screen that’s frozen, anyone under 70 will open a new window in 5 seconds or less. Unless it’s black, in which case the eye is desperate for something to do.

If you insist on black, transform it to be interesting. Eyes like something fun to do. When eyes are happily busy, their person is receptive and ready to listen. When the appearance just gets better the longer you look, as colour-analyzed appearances do, there’s no incentive to stop looking. If anything, the viewer thinks, “I see that investing time in you is rewarding. What else you got?”

Once again, the changing story, this time in cool colours.


Uniform Dressing 6 Cool Prints



  1. Take care with lace or ruffles, however Yin you are or which designer is on the label. Grownup ruffles or lace could be ok, but nothing that says, “I can wear this because I’m a girl.” Sounds too much like, “I can wear this because I’m having a hormone day.” As if we need help from ourselves to be written off as emotionally loose, besides which nobody knows or cares. If you only ever see women clients, managed bows and decorations are fine. If you’re a grief counselor, different decisions are needed. We want, “I know what suits me. If I can make good decisions for me, I can make them for you. Let’s get to work.”
  2. Statement anything. If you need a signature item, keep it contained, like a bracelet or ring. Don’t let it anywhere near your face, especially as eyeglasses where we have no choice but to keep negotiating with them when we are trying to reach you, unless eccentricity is part of the game plan. Signature pieces often overshoot or undershoot. Frankly, I think Jackie O. could have done much more with her pearls. Don’t give people a reason to giggle. Getting taken seriously is hard enough and been a long time coming.
  3. Logos, however Bright you are, even if it’s Prada. They take attention away from the job. The viewer goes off task and on outfit. Women might notice, men won’t care, and labels don’t get us hired more.
  4. What looks cute on you, however Gamine you are. The client walking in, seeing a woman sitting behind the desk, doesn’t know or care how she looked a year ago or anything about archetypes and colours. She wants a problem solved, right now, today. Clients can only compare us to the world at large in that moment they decide to hand over trust and responsibility. Every archetype has great work outfits to look like competent adults.
  5. No tight. Fitted is fine, but no clingy. Naturals, wear your size so the rest of us can breathe.
  6. No cleavage, however Romantic or YinDramatic you are, never ever, not 1 mm, nevermind what somebody said in a fashion book. Cleavage is for the bar, the beach, the stage, or, like the ultimate graphic T, maybe a picnic or shopping day if you’re under 25. An inverse relationship exists between skin and power. I’m just here to keep it real so here I go: Men are hard wired in what might be Nature’s built-in self-destruct button. As it says so nicely in SuperFreakonomics, [Men want more sex than they can get for free, since the beginning of time, everywhere in the world.] This will not change. Even women are distracted. Take the bull’s eye off your body. Let’s get to work.
  7. Caution about yellow. Many people have a high awareness of it, even disturbance from it.


Work is self control as much as crowd control. In that sense, Uniform Dressing fits the bill.



Signature/STYLE Re-Subscription Issue Released

August 1/2016 marks the beginning of Year 2 for the newsletter that Rachel and I co-write. The image and links to the Signature/STYLE website are located over in the top of the right column of any page on this site.

Over in the left column, under Categories (scroll way down), clicking on Signature/STYLE will open up earlier posts if previous information would be helpful. You might also find these as Related Posts after the end of this article.


As many know, Signature/STYLE is an email that you receive four times per year. It provides you with images that include both explanations as to why the items are made to look so good on you, plus links back to the retail page where they were found within the 3 weeks that just passed.

There really are clothes out there that already know your body, your face, and your colouring. I get a 2 week advance on seeing them. I can tell you that this is the world’s easiest, most successful shopping. The best clothes ever, and this has become my normal over the past year. It can be your normal just as easily. What women can do when we all work together is truly astounding.

When a woman knows her lines and colours, we become such informed consumers that shopping is more challenging regardless of Season and Image Archetype. Let us make this job a giant step easier for you, not to mention much faster. Your closet will start singing your song very soon. The mixed melody of too many songs playing at the same time will fade faster than you might expect.


In the inboxes of previous subscribers, today finds a special issue of Signature/STYLE. We recap the past year, review our intentions for this resource, and explain re-subscription. To thank those who placed faith in our work from the early days when software and store websites were still a test, we offer a 20% VIP thank you discount. Mark your calendar: the discount code expires in 30 days!

Please note that the first issue of the new year will be released in mid-September 2016. Since we have no back issues yet for Year 2, any subscriptions that arrive between now and then will not receive any newsletters till that first one comes out. Anyone who would like last year’s back issues to fill up their learning while they wait is welcome to purchase them at the store found when you click Subscribe on the Signature/STYLE site linked in the right column.

Through many conversations with our clients and so importantly, much appreciated feedback from you, we have experience with how colour and style look through your eyes. As consumers ourselves, we also understand the reality of shopping (and have learned a whole lot more since beginning the newsletter). Rachel and I agree that the theories of colour and style are only fascinating to a few of us. What we want for you is to go to a mall or website right now, today, and know exactly what to try on, what to ignore, and when to buy.


We are so excited about the next year. In the September issue, in one of the Featured boxes where we traditionally survey a special topic, we will show each Season and Image Archetype the clothing version of What Is My Best Sexy?

Communicating sex appeal matters tremendously to our presentation. To harmonize garments with Season palettes, I often suggest testing with the greens, because green seems to have two choices in colour combinations: great or gross. Sexy is the same, outstanding when right, and ‘um, please, no’ when it’s off.

Still fascinating to me is that how we demonstrate our own best sex appeal just happens to be how we express intelligence, exclusivity, taste, and the ultimate confidence of that rare and powerful magic: “I know who I am. I know what looks good on me.”




The space reserved for the joint training session with Terry Wildfong  and I in October has opened up.  This will be the last training option until March 2016.

In November, we will bring two new (Europe and U.K.) colour analysts into our community. In December, the plan is to take the training course to Vancouver. Although I cannot see clients during that visit, given the time of year, I hope to offer you something much better: two, yes, 2, colour analysts in British Columbia! Exciting times ahead.


3 Foundation Counter Scenarios

In the last video, part the previous post about PCA and Teens, we talked about a life lived with freedom from identity crisis. The freedom of knowing who we are early in life means an exemption from the knots that hold us so fastened to appearance beliefs that are unflattering, distort our self-story, and cause others to greatly underestimate our potential. Why carry this around for 20 unnecessary years? Who would saddle their child with this load voluntarily? The world will do so unless we step in.

Our kids are gorgeous in pyjamas and we love them too much to care how they look. The world at large does not share those sentiments and feels no pressure to try. To any young adult reading, get this figured out when you still have a million choices ahead, many competitions and serious money at stake. Stack the odds in your own favour. Never fight to lose.

I can’t get those years back, let alone all that money. Get your kids’ colours analyzed between 18 and 25. Give them a different life than what’s in the cards for them today. How many women in a room could say about their appearance, “I went away from myself and proceeded to get totally lost.” That would be me and most of the women I know. Staying lost is a choice. Used to be that our entire future was laid in by our gender. No more. Choice is a beautiful thing. Choice is the most important by-product of education.

Why Foundation Is Usually Too Warm

In this video, girl walks up to a makeup counter.  Not only a girl who looks warm, but any girl.

Many people are artificially yellowed by hair and clothing choices. Some, especially people of ethnicity, have a lot of natural yellow in the overtone but in reality, are quite cool. We can’t look at the yellow and know its heat setting (there are cool yellows, right?) unless we test it.

Some colouring looks warmer than it is whether the person is wearing harmonizing colours or not. Soft Summer colouring is notorious for this because of the slight smoky effect, as if the person were tanned all the time, misinterpreted as warm. The surface skin contains a lot of yellow, while the truth of the entire colouring is to be predominantly blue, not yellow, green, or red. You wouldn’t know just by looking.

This woman often chooses too-warm hair and clothing colour, adjusts her face with makeup, leaving one problem: her eyes don’t go well with anything. If the eye colour conflicts, the whole look leaves the viewer with a feeling of off-key. Adjusting appearance with cosmetics is a boomerang. You can never really fool anybody. Humans are too in-tune with each other for eye colour clash to slide by, though the awareness of it be subconscious. Actually two problems: the face widens and flattens, like a robber with a nylon stocking pulled over his head or a face pressed up against a window.

Most foundation is too warm, and warmed in the way a Spring face would be.  Much of it is too candy and peach, maybe because it looks pretty under department store lights, real skin colours being kind of drab. The cool colours are often too candy and pink, again not matching most human skin tones.

What’s a girl to do? Take back the reins. Get colour analyzed, learn your own colouring, and stop being talked into wasting your money.

In Scenario 3, she has a good chance of leaving with the right foundation colour.


Teens and Seasonal Colour Analysis

I bought two blouses from the last Signature/STYLE newsletter (you can see the picture and links over in the right column). Rachel at Best Dressed, who selects the styles, said, “Do a video so I can see them. ”

What could I talk about over two videos? Children in the first one. Parenthood is my highest calling. Ultimately, this is where I take measure of myself, the only place where I need to know that I was great. My children are where I lose perspective because we parent from the heart, not the head. Perspective is a game of the mind.

Keeping up with mailing books, drapes, and Blueprints cosmetics has taken over my schedule entirely. I introduce Ally today as my new shipping assistant. If I’m travelling, which is half the time, you may sometimes communicate with Ally directly regarding ordering and shipping details. (Invoices and receipts will still be with me.)

Ally Prom

Read any book about colour and you’ll hear tell the same tale, a page devoted to the story of a child who wore colours other than their own, either by Mom’s preference or by necessity. Those were my kids too. Ally is my middle child so she often wore what we were given.

The training is a huge experience for a colour analyst. I don’t recall many details. What happened with the very first drapes, I can relive as if it were happening right now. To this day, I wave that black drape back and forth, her 12-year old face smiling back, in absolute shock at what I was seeing, with Terry standing at my side quietly, knowing exactly what was happening. Those were the moments when I realized that I had to start over to become the things I care about – the best colour analyst and far more, the best parent that I could be.

What I saw in the mirror stopped me in my tracks. Even as my fourth draping, it was obvious how much the red hair/brown eyes/Autumn stereotype  would hold her back. Obvious that I, her mother who wants everything for her, was making choices that were limiting her reception in this world, her preparation for the rest of her life.

Self-expression is vital to kids. It is their single job in life. And here was me, not only suppressing but also sabotaging my daughter’s individuality and truth. Fixing that mattered more to me, then and today, than fixing myself. When a person knows how it feels for their light to shine bright in one part of their life, it’s much easier to reach that level in other parts.

Ally was and still is a True Winter in her colouring, a YinNatural in her image archetype. Knowing these have changed the course of her life already. She makes educated choices that give her beauty, and also confidence.


This video is also on YouTube.



Introducing Colour Analyst Katherine Schlagal (Texas)

In Katherine’s words below, she says some nice things about our time together. I can assure you that the pleasure and the honour were mine. She was a brilliant student, with the wisdom and humility to know that we all remain students in the subjects we love if we are to excel. This, I admire.

An intelligent woman once said to me, “It is a great thing to remain teachable.” I may have quoted it before because it left such an impression. It is true at any age, and probably what I most enjoyed about teaching Katherine. Because she can think and her mind is able to absorb knowledge quickly, learning should be easy but these are not enough to truly grow. So importantly, her nature already holds the flip side, which is the personal confidence to explore the difficult questions openly and honestly, without theatre or judgment. A person who can do this for herself can do so for her clients.  This, along with her beautiful social competence, create the type of analyst that I hold most dear – the analyst focussed on the highest theoretical and technical standard, who still places the needs and concerns of the client foremost.

I loved meeting Katherine.  I love the honesty, sensitivity, and maturity with which she tells her story. You will too.


Hi everyone :) My name is Katherine Schlagal. I’m a Music Therapist from San Antonio TX, and now a 12 Blueprints Certified Personal Color Analyst.

I started my journey into color analysis four years ago while I was in college working on my degree in music therapy. I had found and was fascinated by the system. I read every article of information I could find on the subject and knew I wanted to know more. In July of 2013, I scheduled to see a Sci/Art analyst who told me I was a True Autumn. It was a great experience, and another stepping stone on my journey. I was still trying to learn as much as I could, and it seemed I could never read enough about it. It was something I couldn’t stop talking about. I told all my friends and family, and started to find that it was something lots of people were interested in. By 2014, I contacted Christine, and scheduled to go to Canada to be trained.

11036444_10153264648741803_3381024719861173820_n (1)

Training with Christine was an amazing experience. It was great to learn under her genius and she was a brilliant teacher. I feel confident in my ability to deliver this service to people back home now. During my training, Christine draped me as a Bright Winter. I think I literally went through the five stages of grief as she draped me. First I tried to deny what the colors were doing in front of my eyes, but I couldn’t for very long. Then I was angry, because it was very apparent autumn was my worst season, and I had been buying autumn colors for over two years. Next I was depressed. Not because I didn’t like my new colors, but because I knew I now had a wardrobe of clothes that were my worst colors, and I would be starting over from scratch. The bargaining stage came next. I thought to myself, “Well maybe I’m a dark winter, at least that’s closer to autumn than bright winter, right…?”. Nope, a bargain was not to be made. Lastly, came acceptance. I made peace with my true colors and my world brightened. I was seeing a different person in the mirror, and I liked her. Christine had said she hoped that I would change seasons, so I could understand my client’s perspective of buying the wrong clothes for years and having to start over from scratch. Well I can assure you, I get it now. But as I feel about anything in life, finding the truth is better than any other alternative.

Katherine 2
Katherine with her husband, Andrew

What excites me about Color analysis is that it celebrates the colors that are within all of us, and it lets people know what’s special and unique about their own coloring. It’s a rewarding experience to find someone’s season and watch their eyes light up as they see their own potential and beauty. The media tells people they are inadequate as they are, that what’s inherent in them is wrong and needs to be changed to have value. This system combats the negativity in that message by showing people that the opposite is true, that who they are and how the came into the world is magnificent already, and it’s the clothing and cosmetics that have been wrong. That’s what I love about it and that’s what I want to bring to people.

Katherine 3

To start out I will be offering Personal Color Analysis in a studio in a private residence. I really see the value of the luxury drapes and would like to offer them in the future, but do not have them at this time. I have a love and interest in makeup and I plan on offering foundation matching and cosmetics as part of my analysis appointments. I believe it’s a very applicable and necessary part of learning one’s season, and I think it’s something many women will find valuable. I would also like to offer personal image analysis in the future, because I believe people need to know the truth of both their colors and lines to be successful when buying clothes. I’m looking forward to getting started and plan on being open officially for business on June 1, 2015.


Website:  (will be live on June 1/15)



Lipsticks for Naturals in 12 Seasons

Naturals has two meanings in this post: Natural image archetypes (IA) or to achieve a no-makeup, natural look.

I enjoyed this article about the psychology of fitness clothing, in a bigger picture of how our clothing choices inform others about who we are. Those choices are informing us as well. Like haircuts with a shape that works with our head, clothes that are built for our body help us sit up a little straighter. “Enclothed cognition” applies to makeup too.

The point is made of not changing too much, too fast. That new hair colour or lipstick might be fabulous but not only are we not yet ready to see it, we are not ready to be it. In the early days after learning your Season, I often want to advise the client to do nothing for a week or a month except absorb the label, the palette, and the online resources that will gradually unlock a world of meaning for her.


We can create our own futures on our own terms with patience and clarity about what we want. The future being where I live, this question helps me gauge my appearance on days when it matters:

What conversations do I want to be having tomorrow, with whom, and regarding what? Am I dressed for that? Am I behaving for that? Exercising for that? Reading for that? Would I choose or hire me to represent the me that I truly know myself to be? Would they even be close?


There’s one other question to ask: What am I willing to do?

Naturals can feel love/hate about makeup. They don’t like the clutter to carry around, the stuff on their face that closes them in, the added steps to getting ready, and the implication that we’re not good enough as we are. These are all valid reactions that nobody would disagree with.

Every woman who wears makeup had to get over all that or stay exactly where she is today. Saying, “I want to look put together but I don’t want to do anything any different.” cannot happen. There is no right or wrong, just clarity about what you want and are willing to do.

Have you read Women, Food, and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything by Geneen Roth? In the most conversational voice, with very honest emotion, and the sympathy possible from one who’s been there, Roth talks about eating as a means of deflecting other problems. Among the very real advice is that same question: What are you willing to do?

Appearance is the visual language of potential and potency. Others pick up on it like they pick up on posture. Great makeup, which ranges from subtle to strong, signals possibility. I react differently when I sit across the table from a professional woman, or any woman, wearing good makeup and one wearing no makeup, far more influential than what her clothing cost.

If I drew my life on a timeline, many of the important sightings of what I could expect from myself were coincident with appearance changes that brought my real self into view. Those were the breakthrough times. Once I could see myself clearly, I finally knew what I could do. Presumably from the reaction, others see it to, indeed long before I ever did. Our ultimate and truest self is like a little person sitting at the centre of one of those maze games that has multiple entry points, of which appearance is most definitely one.

This article at Quartz is about ‘vanity capital’, what we spend on looks and how to measure it.  If you hear that the appearance industry (including PCA) is alive and well, you would not be wrong. The POV leans to a definition of appearance as a form of showing off, also not wrong, qualifying that by saying showing off is not utterly superficial.

Appearance choices are symbolic (the wedding ring). They are a language that speaks to other members of our species. They also speak back to us, as “self-actualization through self-improvement and self-focus”. A new generation of colour analyst exists in the world today, women who instinctively know all of this. They seek the training because they are already aware that enabling this deeper connection with self through colour is fundamentally what they want to share.

Whether you want makeup or not is up to you. Make your choices for the right reasons.  I do not lie, ever, not to you, and I’m even harder on me.  Humans convince themselves too easily that they don’t want or like a thing when raw honesty would admit that the thing is simply intimidating. Don’t wonder or wish about makeup. It is too easy to make this one come true. There are so many of us here to help you.

When I begin a colour analysis, I reassure the client that she has only two tasks. The first is the most important: To pretend that she doesn’t know the woman in the mirror. No doubt the woman carries around beliefs about her appearance as all women do, but we don’t know what they are any more than we know the beliefs of the woman walking past the window.  A degree of detachment makes for a good colour analyst. Just see what you see. Then decide, this one or that one? Who do you want others to meet when they shake your hand? Of which face could you expect what you want to achieve in this day, in this year?

(The second task is to remember that it’s all a bit of an illusion, a trick of light and our visual systems, albeit real and powerful illusion that we can use to our advantage or disadvantage, another choice.)


The Bright Season Natural

We were inspired to write this for the Bright Season woman who feels better in a Natural look. Rachel is posting today with clothing suggestions and tips for The Winter Natural, The Natural Winter. For the makeup, we thought we might offer natural look for the women of all 12 Seasons.

Whom are we meeting?

Between the Bright Season and the Natural archetype, she feels enough conflict to disown one or the other.

She knows she doesn’t want to look like it’s cleaning day but explicitly does want to look safe. That is her good and conscious choice. She has sidestepped the makeup by wearing sheer colours but they don’t have the effect she wants. Next Q: What does safe look like to you?

The client’s job is to tell the analyst what she does want. Part of the information gathering before the PCA begins, after she has described where the problems lie, is to understand, “What is your vision for yourself?” We can’t know what you want unless you tell us. Since ‘vision of yourself’ is too big and abstract, bring a picture of the look you want to achieve today. Saying what we want is the hardest thing but it matters. Others will almost always guess wrong if we give them no other option.

I asked Rachel this woman’s vision for herself.

“She might be a hippie or want to be seen that way, effectively. Someone who is really conscientious, not interested in status, the rat race, etc. Drives a jeep from the late 90s. Grows her own vegetables and has a chicken coop. She wants to feel confident in how she looks, without changing those other things about her that are really important to her. She will wear makeup but is not willing to have it be noticeable. Is there a way not to worry about her recognizing herself? Is it possible to find cosmetics for the Bright Season woman that still have her feeling like herself?”

Just because she drives a Jeep does not imply that she doesn’t have sophistication. She may be highly educated, widely read, the aunt that the nieces and nephews in the family go to for advice, serve at the women’s shelter twice a week, and hike in the Andes every year. She is strong, accomplished, and generous. The face she would like to speak for her is a little more defined, a little more cleaned up, without anyone knowing she’s wearing makeup.

Eye makeup is a breeze. Eye liner and mascara, gray and black if you are a Bright Season. The mascara part if easy to find. Eye liner is a little harder but your analyst can suggest one or knows where to ask. If you have time for eyebrows, good. It will help you. Just do it every day. Don’t negotiate with yourself any more than you negotiate about whether you feel like brushing your teeth. In 2 weeks, you’ll feel odd if you leave that step out.


Makeup Colours and Online Recs

Spring at any level can be the person who thinks best outside the box. Thinking inside the box is a strain. Rules can frustrate them, causing them to feel trapped or the need to oppose something. It’s the rule they’re resisting, not the subject that the rule is addressing. To insinuate that Winter-influenced faces look better with makeup or that more of it looks healthier with age sounds like a rule.

Here is where the natural tendency to refuse to go along with anything that feels like a box is a huge advantage. When it comes to online makeup lists, deploy it at full strength.

As Terry says, outward appearances in any Seasons lie on a bell curve. You have the medium people who look like the descriptions, wear makeup and clothing quite predictably, and are easy to imagine reacting to colour as their PCA result suggests. Thing is, the curve is tall and skinny in the center. Then, it stays wide and flat for ages before coming back to the baseline and transitioning into the next Season.

More than half of the people in any Season are out at the sides. They don’t look like the middle group, though they do respond to colour in the same way – because that’s what PCA is. Nevermind about what you look like just standing there, it won’t connect you with the visual transformation possible. Colour analysis is a reaction in real time. Switching the colour under a face is like stretching an elastic and letting go. Something happens in 5 seconds or less. That something is the event that the analyst interprets to know your Season, your group of the 12 natural colouring categories. The reaction remains once the 5 seconds are up but our visual system adapts to it. You get the read when the colours switch.

When it comes to makeup, not even women in the center of the curve react predictably – which is why using cosmetic to determine Season can be pointless.

Maybe that’s too inclusive and too vague. Rephrase: Using 12 Blueprints cosmetics to determine Season is a waste of time. The colours were selected all along the bell curve. There is no colour that suits every person. For some women, not one of the colours for their Season is striking. For others, they all are. Most women will find something gorgeous in the group, but certainly not all of them. There is no cosmetic, no analyst’s drape, hair colour, or anything else that is the very best on every woman in any Season. As a reality check, hoping for that is either wishful thinking or willful blindness, not sure which.


Small Gives, Big Gets

Much of this could apply to the young Bright Season also.

Tinted moisturizer is as hard to put on as sunscreen, feels no different on the face, and makes a world of difference, youth, and health for the skin. Self-adjusting sheer foundation (eg, Almay Smart Shade) and BB creams can be great too.

Draw in enough eyebrows so they do something. This is beyond easy. You will not look fake if you ask your colour analyst to help you.

Allow one pretty thing just because you are a girl.

Rustic is not how Brights do Natural. Not in makeup colours, not in jewelry. If it reads Cheyenne, Marlboro, Santa Fe, etc., your money could be better spent. This is Rachel’s department and I comment only according to my taste, but no matter how N you are, you do not look like the log cabin. What would you hang on the wall of a beach house? What colours would you paint the walls? What is the furniture made of? Are there rugs?

Charcoal eyeliner, waterproof so it doesn’t smear during the day. The industry makes many of these. Your analyst can help or she can ask one of the makeup geniuses in our group, who can pull this information from the top shelf of their brains in a split second.

Black mascara with a normal application, not Mega Venus Lashes or Deep Space Black.

Lipstick in sheer colours. Will you need to reapply? Yes. Annoying. Try a matte colour with a balm over top. Modern formulations are remarkably stay-put and comfortable.

Don’t get talked into hair colour. It is usually not great on Brights, especially over 40. Your own hair is so much better, unparalleled once it lies against your new clothing colours. Hair colour is costly to fix and not easy to grow out.

A little bronzer, especially on Bright Spring is lovely on Natural faces. This purchase does need care and education, so for sure, have your analyst connect you with the right product. Autumn bronzer will be dipping your makeup brush in dirt. Many Brights can do without, for instance an Asian face, a pink/blue/silver- looking Bright Spring, or the very fair Scandinavian face.



Finding My Lips But Better is essentially solving the same puzzle that faces the Natural woman who wants a minimal lip look.

All colourings, even Softs, even Natural Softs, need life in their lips. Nude lips, beige lips, gray lips, what for? They might be pretty enough as a swatch on canvas, a Pin of an 18-year-old face, or a magazine ad treated to the miracle that is Photoshop, engineered for you to notice the lipstick and nothing else. These have nothing to do with the rest of us.

How often do you stare at lips except in pictures? Never. We defocus more than that to take in a whole head. For an effective mouth, or mouth colour, we want to look in the eyes and have the mouth in our awareness. The mouth brings balance, shape, and definition to the entire bottom half of the head. The lower half of the face can’t balance the top half or do much of anything if it’s floating around in space. It also gives more substance and grounding to the words that come out of the mouth.

Without lips, if the viewer perceives a blank space in that area, it can look almost like a skeleton head when we smile and there are no lips. Put lips on the face the same as you put eyebrows on the face. Missing features are weird. Picture a face with one eye or no nose. Weird.

The MLBB recs here were not chosen to be naked or lip erasers. They were chosen to be where you begin and it’s up from here.


Winter is Red

Of the ideas below, you might say, “Well gosh, these were supposed to be my lips but better. This colour you’ve given me is a lot redder or darker. Why do the other Seasons have colours that are nice and calm?”

Winter makeup is far from where the face begins, one of the many big distances that this group will travel with cosmetics. If makeup colour is wimpy, the natural pigmentation will turn it clear, or worse, gray. Red and violet are still your lips. The Season result confirms that those pigments are there.

Many Naturals feel comfortable adding one makeup item, usually lip colour or eyeliner. That can be fine for any of the 3 Summers, Springs, and Autumns. For the 3 Winter groups, the face risks losing balance. Even at the MLBB level, each addition can seem a lot more than the bare face until the additions are balanced.

The payoff is that a Winter woman does that Winter thing. The TV goes from the fuzzy B&W you had in college to what you watch today. Mom and friends are a little quieter when they see it, being emotionally invested in their previous image of you as a component of their image of themselves. The Natural thinks they’re staring at the makeup and pulls her baseball hat down lower till she can get the makeup washed off.

Without makeup, winter skin can seem quite bland. It may be a little gray or green-gray. The face doesn’t seem to have much energy or activity compared to the lively, sparkly, glowing, rosy, pretty Spring and Summer faces that just ran out to pick up milk and eggs. There is little or no natural blush in the cheek. The whole face can be quite red, an excessive flush, a red that only calms once the person wears Winter colours. The eye colour can be so much that the rest of the face might as well not be there, or nothing much till the right colours surround it. The natural pigmentation in the skin dulls other-Season clothing so the overall effect is even drabber. Natural lip colour can be almost the same as skin or so strong that lip products need a definite pigment deposit to just look normal. Then she applies the right makeup. And the ground shifts.

Dark Seasons can take dark cosmetic colour and seem to lighten it. They can take a medium colour that could make a lovely blouse and candy-fy it to become Miami Beach Coral. If they draw their normal&natural lipstick on a paper for you, you look up at their lips and say, “Really? That’s what you’re wearing? It looks so much darker on the paper!”

True Winter and True Summer lipsticks exist on a continuum. There is movement between them. The True Springs and Autumns are totally different in cosmetics, except perhaps the odd brown eyeliner. Autumns wear baked, tan, coppery, brick, and brown tones. Awful on all 5 Spring colourings, like smearing curry paste on the mouth. Fresh fruit juicy mixtures of peach, coral, orange, and clear red are the answer for Spring.




1. Gray lips look dead and concealer lips look like chalk, or greasy chalk, dry and wet papier mache,  if gloss is added. Summer lip colours might look a little greyish next to Winter colours, but so what, it’s not a Winter face that’s going to wear them. When seen next to their palette or person, they become highly colourful and very energized. For instance Lancôme Rose des Cygnes for Soft Summer, Bare Minerals Raise the Bar, Or Bare Escentuals Pop of Passion in Lip Oil-Balm in Rose Pop (may also work on True Summer).

While Soft Summer is flattered by some darkness, there is a definite upper limit. They are  Summers, after all and one of the hallmarks of that group is light, as in light-cool-soft. Lightness is the thing they have in common with Spring. For Soft Summer, picture holding the True Summer colours in the shade. What happens? Colours would darken, and importantly, they would mute. The reds would not look as red. The blues would be less blue.

That combination of darkening and losing some pigment concentration towards the gray scale is what Soft Summer wears so beautifully. Some Soft Summers wear darkness fairly easily, and some at fairly high saturation, just as there are some fabric colours that are a little beyond the Soft Summer palette in darkness and saturation. What made them not-Winter was that Winter colours drained the fabric and noticeably took over. If the line is really fine, the fabric is often given to Winter because I’d rather see the woman than her shirt. If it’s that hard to tell, does it really matter IRL, enough to pass up the purchase? No. For most Soft Summers, the end of the palette is the darkness max and requires that the colour be noticeably muted.

2. For any lipstick in any Season, if you have a colour that you feel works well but is too heavy or opaque, ask the sales staff to match it in a sheer stick or gloss. They are surprisingly good at it. Stay towards the middle of your palette – but stay with the palette as much as possible. For Bright Spring, get a sample of Dior Fireworks. Also look at Bare Escentuals Oil-Balm in Pink Pop. Don’t wear Light Spring lipstick if possible, which looks weak, why spend money for that, or use it as an entry point and graduate to your own level asap.

3. Play with the similarities between Seasons. Neither True Winter or True Summer should spend any valuable time searching for a beige, brown, or skin coloured lipstick. Your MLBB is a version of violet because your lip colour is violet. Both Seasons could wear Urban Decay Sheer Lady FLower, and also Obsessed for True and Light Summer. Bare Escentuals Plumberry Pop is worth looking at for any Winter and True Summer. The 12 Blueprints Cosmetics have just been intro’d through your colour analysts. For True Summer, Transcending is the one light one, Supreme the deeper one.

As scary as it looks on paper, red can disappear into Winter coloured faces. True Winter looking for a healthy, red lip that isn’t jumping red could try Lancome 335 Framboise Etoile.

True Summer looking for a healthy soft red lip? Lancome Lip Lover 353 Rose Gracieuse (different name in US, this is it in Canada), also a pretty cool coral for Light Summer. She’s purple and violet, this girl, not nearly red as Winter is.

4. The Light Spring can wear versions of beige very nicely, as Lancome Lip Lover Beige Adage. YSL Rouge Pur Couture 7 is a nice peach beige for Light Spring, where 9 is a beauty of a colour for True and Light Spring. Dior 750 Rock and Roll for both Light Seasons. Buxom Mistress is quiet beige pink for Light Spring. Bare Escentuals Peach Pop is pretty.

5. True Spring has a lot of natural-ness about its colours and its feeling, related to a healthy, young, growing planet. With all the yellow, they do peach and golden beiges beautifully. Dior New Look is pink peach also for Light Spring, and 643 Dior Diablotine is a subdued earthier peach beige for True Spring. NARS Niagara (and the bit redder Mercier Mango) is a natural orange, not a jellybean factory, still with the fresh energy a True Spring coloured person needs for vitality. Cover it with a golden gloss. For Springs, YSL Gloss Volupte 1. Bare Escentuals Tangerine Pop too.

6. Bright Winter is like Bright Spring in that the more colour she wears, the better she looks. I asked Rachel‘s advice since nobody I know embraces the BW lipstick spectrum so well. YSL Tint in Oil #5 is a good barely-there colour. Lancome Shine Lover 120 is also worth looking at.

7. Try colours from the lighter Neutral Season, choosing the darker ones if you’re Winter side borrowing from the Summer side, or lighter if v.v. After knowing my Season, it took me years to get out of darker Soft Autumn colours into my better home of warm Dark Winter red. Do I kick myself? Yes, a bit. When your colour analyst pushes you to wear your own Season colours, she is trying to save you time and money that you will want back later. Bright Spring might look at Urban Decay Sheer Streak, (sheer or not) which could work as a darker option on Light Spring.

8. Dark Seasons need to go pretty dark to have a mouth that balances eyes and hair. In the same way that jewelry that is light can be hard to see on them, whereas dark jewelry sits up beautifully, so can they wear darker lipstick than anyone else without having it look too dark. Sheer formulas feel more at home. Both Dark Seasons might love NARS Gypsy.

This colouring also wears opacity well – and wet shine less well, so if you feel dark and opaque colour make your lips look smaller, choose a bit less dark and metallic instead of a lot less dark and wet . Browns that are red enough to not look like dirt or food on Dark Autumn could be Urban Decay Rapture (both sheer or not), Fiend, and Manic. Dark Autumn, it’s 12 Blueprints Volcano.

Dark Winter can try UD Manic and Lancome Jolie Rosalie, a less saturated version of Smashbox Fig. Dark Seasons don’t really have much use for gloss. It can look oily because the skin doesn’t reflect light in that way. Shine via metallic flows better into the face. A very good natural mouth that lasts can be achieved by applying a lip, even a matte one, blot, reapply, blot.

My eyes see red as Winter’s neutral lip, a difference with Dark Autumn who wears browner flesh-tones well. 12 Blueprints True Brit is quite safe as warm, smoky reds go, my personal favourite. Saw a photo of it on analyst Cate Linden, a Dark Autumn. Swoon-beautiful in that very chic, Parisian way where lips look normal and always have.

Try a slightly lower intensity of your Season. Maybe the heat level and darkness are pretty good, you don’t want transparency or a wet look, but you would like to drop the intensity a bit. Dark Autumn could try Bare Minerals Get Ready (a new colour at Sephora in Canada).

9. Soft Autumn. Hourglass Fawn. Bare Minerals Speak Your Mind. Lancôme Rose Rendezvous. Bare Escentuals Nude Pop. Perhaps the easiest makeup shopping Season of all.

10. True Autumn. Bite Heather. NARS Toledo. An antique gold gloss makes everything look like a golden sunset. Sephora She Sparkles, maybe for evening, not on its own. Glitter lips feel disco to Naturals. Locate a sample of 12 Blueprints Grown Up (analyst list in the article introducing the makeup, linked just above the crocuses).

11. Light Summer: 12Blueprints Flowergirl. Bang on. If you’re searching for a heartbreakingly beautiful red, try 12 Blueprints. Come Dancing.


Since it was a Bright Spring woman who inspired these posts, she has a couple of extras. When Bright Spring is ready to up her game, look at Hourglass Muse. When she is ready to up it even more, Marc Jacobs So Sofia is waiting.

Remember that photo of yourself that you brought to show your colour analyst? Copy it and stick it on every flat surface in your world. We move towards what we see and think about. Inside of a month, it will become your new normal. Whether you are wearing lipstick or not, you will always be able to recognize yourself.



How PCA Has Changed

Those of us who read here have had the experience of saying the word Season pertaining to appearance and hearing, “Season?? That’s over, isn’t it?”

Of course, we know that Season is no more over than looking good or behaving well are over. What might be out of date is the database that person is working from.

Those of us with enough years under our belt have also heard, “Season?? What, like the time of year??” from a young, utterly blank face.

My reply often includes the statement, “It’s not what it used to be.”

Recently, a clever friend asked, “How did it used to be?”

Well, now that you ask…

Used to be, you’d be told a Season, maybe with drapes or maybe not, might take 20 minutes or 2 hours, maybe some makeup applied, and given a swatch book. Away you went to work out how to use it, and best of luck to you.

There is no industry or discipline on Earth that believes or practices what it did 10 years ago, let alone 30. Let alone 2, because it amazes me how much keeps changing. People bring their ideas and innovations every day. That’s a beautiful thing.



I asked my colleague, fellow trainer, and co-drape creator, Terry Wildfong in Michigan for some background.

  1. When did you begin doing colour analysis?

1983 is when I began learning. In 1993, I began doing it for business.

A friend of mine who purchased the Color Me Beautiful book by Carole Jackson introduced me to color analysis and then had our colors done by CMB. I was so intrigued that I purchased the swatches for the other three seasons to compare them. In 1994, I studied through Color Me a Season by Bernice Kentner and began seeing clients.

Back in the four seasons, it was easier and simpler to do a PCA. I had only 8 drapes for each season and only four places they could go. If the client wasn’t a True (as we now call it and were relatively easy to determine), I had to put the client in the best season; namely, a color that didn’t yellow them too much or gray them too much.

I had a Summer who couldn’t wear the pinks, browns, and many other colors of that season, but I placed her in Summer because it was the best fit. I now understand she is a Soft Summer.

  1. Why did you train with Kathryn (Kalisz, Founder of Sci\ART)? That was in 2005, right? What convinced you?

After I found Kathryn’s website in 2004, I called her to discuss her system. We visited briefly, and I ordered her book. By reading Understanding Your Color, my eyes were opened to a whole new world. Not only learning about neutral seasons, but also the “science” of it all. None of the color systems I was familiar with explained how and why an analysis works…through science and human vision.

The science and knowledge of the neutral seasons made so much sense that I purchased all the drapes and equipment to begin again that same year.

I saw the great results and believed so much in the system that during my second visit with Kathryn when she mentioned she was looking for trainers, I was the first to jump in line in 2006. I couldn’t believe there could be another color system that was so right, so complete, so systematic, and so sensible. I still believe that to this day.

  1. How did you find the transition from 4 to 12 Seasons?

Not as easy as I would have thought with nearly 10 years of draping experience. In the prior systems, I had to place clients in one of four seasons. In order to do this, you needed to “clear the complexion.” What that meant at the time was if a client turned sallow yellow or red in one set of drapes, meaning the drapes were too warm, they were either Winter or Summer, depending on which set of those drapes were best. The warm seasons were overpowering for many clients because they were too warm, but warmer clients looked ghostly in the cool drapes, so one of the warm seasons they became.

I thought I could just purchase the drapes and everything would fall into place. Problem was…I really had no idea how to “see” the neutrals. I didn’t know what I was looking for. So I flew to see Kathryn in Connecticut twice in the Spring of 2005 for help.

  1. Are there additions or developments that you hope to see?

I would love to have professional cosmetologists get involved, either as analysts or consultants. Currently, Cosmetology and PCA don’t speak the same language. Getting the right hair color can be crucial to complete a client’s seasonal look.

I would call where we are now as being “Beyond Sci\ART,” meaning that Kathryn gave us the neutrals, the science, and the method that is the most innovative system to date. We would not change the basis of her method. As with all ideas, products, other knowledge, eventually there are areas to make improvements. I think Kathryn may have made some of the changes we did, had she been with us longer.

The system and method is still as Kathryn taught using all the steps and drapes. We’ve made two great changes so far. One was adding more drapes to the 12 Test sets, from three to six, for more in-depth comparisons. Another was moving from 12 to 16 Red Test drapes. By having all eight neutral seasons represented in the Red Test, it gives us more opportunity to fine-tune heat level.

The cost of training and materials has increased. When PCA was less expensive, many people thought it would be fun to be an analyst. Many people have trained over the years, but very few are still in business today. I believe that due to the higher cost of education and the dedication it takes for such rigorous training and client satisfaction, the students we are now training are more serious than ever before, seeing it as a business, not just a hobby. The curriculum we now teach is significantly more substantial and relevant than it’s ever been. I believe this is attracting more serious, competent students.

  1. What has changed for our clients?

In color analysis of the past, and even with Sci\ART, the client’s season was found, they were given a cosmetic makeover, and were handed their color fan. There wasn’t any talk of how to use it. “Here are the colors, go find how you wish to use them,” was pretty much all that was given. That was it. You were on your own.

In every system, there are more colors for each season than are on the color fans, but no one talked about how to find them. Kathryn said to see what harmonizes, but nothing specific of what that meant. Over some years, I developed a way to find those colors. I didn’t really realize it at the time though. “Harmonizing” the color fan is the best way to do this. Our students are taught how to do this so they can, in turn, teach their clients.

Many of our analysts now give clients documents about their season, their draping, and links to various on-line sources, even putting together client-specific Pinterest boards and Polyvore. There are cosmetic lists that can be shared. Some analysts even put together specific lists for their clients. Often, analysts have different levels of aftercare to keep in touch with the client to make sure they are happy and comfortable in their season.

The client receives so much more information and attention than ever, but they still must actively learn how to wear their palette.



Comparing Sci\ART and 12 Blueprints Drapes

I hear noises about the 12 Blueprints drapes being somehow inferior to Sci\ART’s. I can only speak of my own drape sets. For those, it’s the other way round.

And still, the Sci\ART drapes represented the best system for colour analysis that existed. My car is different than 5 years ago. Computers coming off the line are different the one I bought 6 months ago. If the industry is alive, learning, and growing, it is changing.

We are often asked the differences between the two products. If people are forced to guess, they might come up with the wrong answer. Let me explain the differences.

Let me also emphasize that done correctly with Sci/ART or 12 Blueprints drapes, the analysis will result in the same Season in 19 people out of 20. Like when your computer’s operating system upgrades, right? 19 files out of 20 are unchanged. That last one is better too, once you get past the irritation and use it for a while.

I would have no problem going back to my original Sci\ART drapes. I still teach with the original Red Test colours for the first draping model or two. Every analyst must learn her own drapes. Which are cooler in their position? Which are more saturated in that Season? Which are similar to another distant Season? Thinking that every set will hit the dead center of every dimension of every Season is unrealistic. Colour is a fluid entity.

In my original drape sets, purchased in May 2009, 2 or 3 colours were duplicated between Seasons over the approx. 80 testing drapes, and a few more, maybe 6, among the 180 Luxury drapes. Why would drapes have been placed in Seasons that seemed to have different colour dimensions?

When Terry and I began creating drapes, we examined these colours carefully to understand Kathryn’s reason for using the same colour in various places. I absolutely do not believe that it was any sort of accident. Her choice was intentional, coming from knowledge that I did not have. Some colours seemed to harmonize partially with the Season they were in, and partially elsewhere. Terry and I discussed this at length.

Terry had seen this years before with her own drape sets and once asked Kathryn about it. From Terry,

Kathryn saw colors as warm, cool, and neutral. She didn’t discuss warm neutrals and cool neutrals, per se; but the seasonal palettes were created that way. To put a somewhat dark, blue drape in both Dark Winter and Soft Summer, she would explain that they are both neutrals, somewhat muted by Autumn, and in the darker value range of Soft Summer and medium-dark value range of Dark Winter. So it could work for either season. If a cranberry color was found both in Dark Autumn and Dark Winter sets, the explanation was that both seasons are Dark and Neutral. This may have been her way of showing the ranges within the help understand that some people who are Soft Summer can wear their colors darker than other SSu people, etc.

Without Kathryn to ask, and without her magnificent instinct and knowledge, we had to be more by the book when creating our own colour collections. Experience being a great teacher, our drapes do and will continue to improve. The idea of laying the entire book on the fabric was Terry’s invention, one that has been literally revolutionary for the way in which our trainers, analysts, and clients work with their palettes.

In the original sets, as Terry has mentioned, each of the 12 Seasons was represented with three drapes per Season, sometimes the same colour three ways in one Season, and almost never the same colours between Seasons. Today, we have six repeating colour families represented in all 12 Seasons. Until you’ve done the shopping, you have no sense of how difficult it is to find colours in fabric that are 100% exclusive to Season. Don’t misunderstand; we wouldn’t trade the experience. Our skill as colour analysts has increased by creating drapes in ways that we could not have imagined. Every time any of us sees colour in a new way, we learn.

The 12 Blueprints drapes harmonize with Kathryn’s original palettes as well as the True Colour Australia palettes, created by Amelia Butler, the accuracy of which we respect. Maintaining the highest precision as the span of the drapes increases, and staying true to Kathryn’s system because it is so effective, are our primary concern. In this, I am sure that Amelia would agree.

The testing instrument is now calibrated. We can prove what we believe. We can reproduce results. Science is just asking for sound proof for an idea. We have a test for which everyone who runs the test gets the same answer with some practice. This has always been true between the Sci\ART, TCA, and 12 Blueprints methods. Terry and I did not alter the draping system. It worked fine the way it was. We clarified the distinctions between Seasons.



Redefining the business model

We continue to move away from stereotypic appearances when the client walks in the door. Stereotypes, like photographs, have a place, which we now understand and accommodate. Eye and hair colour are emphasized less than years ago. I can analyze you just as well with your eyes closed and hair covered, maybe even better.

Terry pointed out that the power of social media to for the analyst to educate and support clients post-PCA has been transformative. Clients have lists of cosmetics with which to go shopping. The resource store is almost exhaustive. To alleviate that, we now have our own 12 Season-customized line of cosmetics. The entire community can share with one another every day. The feeling has been one of being on a great ride together, pulling one another along, celebrating the joys, being amazed when new truths come to light, recognizing that knowledge gives choice and freedom, and picking our neighbour up if need be.

It brings me such delight to meet women who have become colour analysts themselves, enthusiastic business owners who love talking shop. In every age group from their 20s to their 70s, women have become their own boss while doing what they care about. They don’t punch a clock or go out on snow days. They have access to a system that is proven to work. The science is so good that I can tell you what makeup to buy and your best hair colour from your results. Empowerment at this level thrills me because, though I hope it never comes to this, women might just save the world. We save our families every day and we are saving this life-changing profession.

Those folks who dismiss Seasons as antiquated and cough dramatically when they hear the current price of the service are forgetting something that I learned as a veterinarian. From whichever hospital you picked up your dog, you did not know what the animal had experienced from the beginning to the end of its stay, for a neuter, or even a grooming. Clients could not compare services between hospitals, though they tried hard to do so, because they did not know what took place between “Your pet’s name?” and “Bye, Furbie!”

Comparing the prices of today with yesteryear fails to recognize the vast progress in the inputs and the outputs. Thank you to Rachel, for sharing this post that expresses it so well.





Photo Credit: Sonja Mason.