Bright Spring Neutral Colours and CE

Colour analysis is interior decoration of the soul. If we could extract our soul from our body and stand it beside us, would the two be the same? How beautiful is it when the things we wear are like a window that lets others see to our ocean floor from high up on their own mountain road.

So Bright Spring. Here we go. This Season, this ode to the magnificence of colour so beautiful, a heart aches.

The knockout that is Bright Spring, this woman often looks formal and dark. Once she recognizes you, her smile lights her face and she exudes warmth and charm. She looks much more complicated than she is. You expect her to stand on ceremony and convention but not at all. Her personality is quite informal. The simpler things in life make her truly happy and she knows how to pause and recognize them.

In 12 Season personal colour analysis, the Bright Spring is the person whose natural colouring is based in Spring’s spunky, sunny colours. Winter added a bit of its blue and red, but her inborn colours are not nearly as dark and detached as you guessed.

Like the fox, the seahorse, and the swallow, she’s busy when she’s standing still. She is sharp, delicate, and quite sweet, like spearmint. The yellows, oranges, and browns in her eyes (and Bright Winter’s) are the glowing, pure, peachy red-browns of the animal below, which we’ll see later in dark carrot pants and clear topaz stones. There is no sense of weight, darkness, or toughness. Quite the opposite, she reminds us that the most generously coloured life forms and ecosystems are the most fragile.

Photo: dyet

 

Thanks to Heidi for helping set the stage for us. It looks like Winter but it so is not. It’s young, modern, energized, over the top, waiting to dance, exaggerated, and it never stops moving.

 

If you live in the US, access this version.

Bright Spring Colour Equations

In the book Return to Your Natural Colours that you can see pictured in the right column above Recent Posts, a chapter is devoted to each Season’s persona, natural setting, relationship with the other Seasons, best styles, textiles, cosmetics, hair colour, and jewelry. There is also a section called Colour Equations (CE), a conceptual bridge between the Colour Book of swatches that you take to the store and how to translate into colour combinations. The CEs are helped by some illustrating.

 

Cheat Black In

No point pretending it won’t happen. And why not, but go easy. This isn’t a green light, and don’t accelerate for the yellow, it’s about to turn red.

Bright Spring Neutrals 1

 

Use the smallest real estate possible for the black and not right under the chin. Open necks are better. Just let black bring the picture into focus.

Break it up with a lively print.

Add animation as shine, details, and accessories.

Give the eye distractions. Use pure, juicy, colour so delicious that it can’t get bogged down in the black and keeps moving along.

If there’s black in the top, consider not wearing it in the bottom too – as the triangles top with the light pants. At its best, this look isn’t overall dark. Still, black and beige just can’t pick up any speed and on this woman. Compared to her, the clothes seem to be moving in reverse. The look is not creamy or gradual, because the woman never is.

Few Bright Springs probably guessed their Season right. They’ve lived as Winters for years, or some kind of Summer. Darker outfits (blue purse outfit on R) can look quite fine but serious and Wintery, where light is being pulled in. Take the same top and add light in everything else, white pants, yellow shoes, transparency in earrings instead of density – I think it’s better. Spring emits light.

The two models lower L – the blonde girl (perhaps a Light Spring) shows a dull way to wear black. It’s trying to own her. We lose interest in the girl and seem consumed with negotiating the black block. The woman to the R, very possibly a Bright Spring, wears similar colours in clothes with less weight and more movement. Bright Spring is not a heavy look, more like aluminum foil.

Like her Dark Autumn look-alike, Bright Spring is much better in black and cream (DA’s being a far darker browner cream) than in B&W.

If you wear black, choose warmth in your other colours  andaccessories. Silver looks more Winter and a little dry.

Green dress/yellow purse in the center – this print is quite random for a Winter person. This could feel unbalanced or zingy on some Bright Winters, and just perfect for the show biz energy of others.

Darks with darks can look too dark. Build an office look with grays. Add interest and entertainment, like the pink purse at the top.

 

Even Gray Should Be Fun

Bright Spring Neutrals 2

 

Light and energy must come out of it. Vivacity is always present in the face, the eyes, and the movements. They are quick and neat.

Textures and edges are smooth and shiny because the person is. The control of their Winter side won’t let them appear shaggy, haphazard, or erratic. They do look unpredictable and spontaneous. The song Shiny Happy People was inspired by Bright Spring. The cardi at top L is Lurex and you can still add colour and fun with the beads.

Every woman works out her best use of contrast on her own, it seems. A general rule for this group is to keep it high and clean. Outfits in various versions of the same colour don’t usually make sense (unless contrast is very high and/or edges very sharp), meaning distance between colour types and darkness levels is quite high. If she is older, the coolest looking lady at church with her white hair, dark brows, and turquoise eyes, she’ll bring these closer together to repeat what she looks like.

There is no true red. Here, we have clearest orange, many pure lipstick pinks, fuchsia pinks, and purple pinks. Red only appears in the Winters but you can cheat that in too. That red pants outfit, lower L – cover the silver watch and look at it. Then cover the gold watch. Isn’t that intriguing, that shift in what the eye notices?

Notice that the beiges are very very pale light, barely yellowed, not earthy browned. Rather like icy beige.

A full gray dress (middle top) needs to be jazzed up with more colour. Sunglasses like those are small but they’ll get noticed and will hold the viewer’s gaze and attention.

Gold is good. Not too hot (yellow), very shiny.

If you look inside your eyes, many will see those dark carrot pants. So will many Bright Winters.

At the center of the lower band, see the girl in the gray blazer, two-tone shoe? Let your eye travel from the earrings to her face and across to the tank top. See all the repeats?

Watermelon and moon slices, outfit R side : On a person who looks polished and streamlined (your weight has nothing to do with it), pick jeans that are the same. Next to you, faded can look like a rag. Too dark is better than dusty, wrinkled, or patchy. Keep them ultra smooth and classy. And if you want to wear leopard stilettos (or flats), please don’t let me get in your way. It looks better than most other things.

Detail + Innovation + Restraint = Originality (Sp) + Discipline (W)

Bright Spring Neutrals 3

 

As you overview the collection, can you feel Winter’s presence? It causes Bright Spring to have a much tighter way of moving the body than the relaxed and unconfined True Spring.

Mixing silver, gold, and other shiny metals is fine.

If you wear black, taupe, and beige, make the print electrified and the cut, cough, distracting, as the dress in the top R.

Black and white have tipped over to Bright Winter, perhaps more so in the colorblock print at lower R, regardless of how hot the other colours are. Try to avoid pure black and white together. If you wear one, don’t wear the other. B&W only really looks good on True and Bright Winter. Even the Dark Winter could think twice unless she is very cool in her colouring.

Pure stark white pants are one of those items most of us must think about carefully. To me, they look right on the True Winter, Bright Winter, Bright Spring, and that’s about it. Take pictures of yourself and look at them yourself. You can see oh, so right and oh, so wrong within seconds. Light shoes are pretty good despite having dark hair if contrasting with the clothes. Not white pants and white shoes.

Don’t get too matchy. You can be as Classic-symmetric or  Gamine-irregular as you body’s lines dictate, but keep the humour good, free-spirited, and lighthearted. Even at a meeting, as outfit L side, keep shine and design interest in a gray jacket, wear a pink but simple watch, add dangle and sparkle in the earring.

 

Bright Spring = Lighting the Darkness

Bright Spring Neutrals 4

The icy blues and greens dress at top R – yes, it could be sunnier. Maybe this is cheating white. Wear pale gold earrings so as not to cool it further with silver. It could be more contrasting but that bit of black looks more at home on Bright Spring than anyone else. The print could be less watercoloured. Whatever. The dress is beautiful. Imagine seeing that woman on the dance floor. This is heart-stopping beauty that no other natural colouring could wear so well. Don’t take my suggestions too literally. They can’t apply equally to thousands of women. Make it work for you. The dress is also an example of high saturation light colours (Spring), without being so close to white as to be icy (Winter). We often hear high saturation and our imagination shoots right up to dark sapphire. High sat means not softened with gray.

Our red is a wardrobe neutral too, more out there than taupe but equally versatile. For the three Springs, traditional neutrals (gray, beige, taupe) can be too monotonous, like a dial tone voiced over a wind chime or a water cascade. No match found. Wear your colours a lot.

Consider making the clothing coloured and the accessories gray/beige/taupe.

Details are good. Orange starfish with diamonds, not orange balls. A shiny cap on a toe. A star shower, not a single star.

Could Miu Miu be the designer? Something about this colouring is so very young that anything remotely kiddish accentuates a feature that already comes across very strong and you might not want at the office. I’d leave ribbons, little animals, peace signs, and hearts for after work or to the Seasons who could use some de-formalizing, especially if they work with the public. On any Bright Sring, the Winter aspect lends a seriousness and maturity that may not suit very young additions perfectly, but they wouldn’t be as out of place as on Dark Winter.

Springs have known all along that life really is this much fun.

 

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26 thoughts on “Bright Spring Neutral Colours and CE”

  1. What a delicious post! I am going to re-read, but thank you so much for the thought that went into this. It was only recently that I understood the power of pure, electrifying color, after some 18 months of BSp-ness. Two recs for fellow BSps: a great darkish warm grey is J.Crew’s Dark Pewter (not currently available, I don’t think, but bound to be back soon; Dark Charcoal also great) and also J.Jill’s Flagstone. Reds are difficult to find, right now J.Crew’s Modern Red (and Vivid Poppy when available) and Pure Collection’s Flame.

  2. I’m still confused. I think. Trying to sort out in my head what I need to buy for basic pieces. I’m getting the feeling that maybe my basic pieces need to not be neutrals – just color-colors that coordinate well.

    I’m especially wondering what to wear for a “hair color repeat” when I’m brunette and have no brown in my palette.

    I’m also learning that I can definitely cheat “deeper” with individual pieces as long as the overall look of an outfit stays light. And can definitely cheat stark white if it’s a portion of a print whose color-colors are right.

  3. Dear Christine,
    Thank you so much for this. It brought a tear to my eye when you said that “(Bright Spring) reminds us that the most generously colored life forms and ecosystems are the most fragile.” My skin has caused me grief for most of my life, being very sensitive and refusing to tan the way I thought I wanted it to. It’s very fair and translucent and to me I thought it was weak, easily irritated. But discovering my season has freed me from this vicious cycle of self loathing and it occurred to me that my ‘weak’ skin is brought to life by one of the brightest, strongest colored palettes. I feel very fortunate to have this self knowledge and I thank you for your insight. Incidentally, my eyes are swamp water green with flecks of those dark carrot pants in them;) and no matter how bright the color of my clothes, they never look dull and lifeless anymore.

  4. I live in a country where I can´t be draped, so I must guess my season looking at the colors I wear good. Sometimes I believe I´m a Light; but now I´m thinking if I could be a Bright instead. Looking at this post, I think I can belong to that group. Is that a clue the fact I wear taupe and beige really bad? Black is bad for me too, but, oddly, very dark grey, nearly black, makes me shine. I cant understand my own colouring!

  5. Thank you soooo much Christine! This Bright Spring has been desperate for you to do another post and it is just brilliant – it really makes sense of so many things that I’ve been trying to figure out.

    Just one thing I’m not sure I understand what you said about Bright Springs and reds. Warm but light reds are amongst my best colours and I find that a bright neutralish (only slightly warm) red is one of my best, easiest to wear lipsticks, far easier than warmer colours such as coral.

    Rachel – My hair is reddy brown – a colour which would be too warm if I matched it directly, what I find is more important is matching the amount of contrast it gives. My best colour combos use a dark (for my hair), a light (for my pale skin) and a bright (for my green/blue eyes and my lips) – red or turquoise, cream and navy is one of my favourites.

    Navy is one of my best, most WOW colours and a fantastic neutral. I definitely need to chuck on bright colours with it so I don’t look too formal though.

  6. Not sure what the exact Q is about reds, Lian. Did you mean, why did I say they don’t really have red? This is just about words, I think – is a ‘bright, neutralish, slightly warm red’ still red, by which I mean true red, the primary colour, from the pigment tube? ‘Warm but light’ reds are not exactly and only red. They’re yellowed red – right on perfect for B Sp, but not the same as True Red. Not sure if I’ve addressed the Q properly.
    Thanks for making the point about navy being among the best neutrals for B Sp, for all Sp – I forgot to do that and it is so important and true.

  7. Christine, you have helped me thru email attempt to determine my season for about the past year… I have purchased 7 ( blush) different colour palettes and nearly driven myself crazy trying to ‘force’ myself ( if I’m honest) into one of those seasons. I have read and reread many posts on many of the better PCA websites , yours my favourite . I have bought your amazing book and devoured the descriptions. The other day , aside from my work and school time I decided to spend a few very productive hours in my favourite local clothing store trying on clothes in the season and kibbe type I thought I am…soft autumn..also the one you suggested to me I probably fit into.. and voila! It felt so right it shocked me . I have been told several times I look like a mini Candace Bergen ( facial lines) and the soft autumn colours really brought that out. I can’t believe how I missed it all for so many years.. stubborn autumn traits perhaps. I just want to say thank you for your incredible writing and detail in your book and blog. I know this post is long… :) so has my journey been! I love love love the soft autumn colours and I had completely overlooked them! I can wear some Dark autumn too.. and am thrilled that much of this is already in my closet. You are amazing . and thank you!

  8. Christine, you have helped me thru email attempt to determine my season for about the past year… I have purchased 7 ( blush) different colour palettes and nearly driven myself crazy trying to ‘force’ myself ( if I’m honest) into one of those seasons. I have read and reread many posts on many of the better PCA websites , yours my favourite . I have bought your amazing book and devoured the descriptions. The other day , aside from my work and school time I decided to spend a few very productive hours in my favourite local clothing store trying on clothes in the season and kibbe type I thought I am…soft autumn..also the one you suggested to me I probably fit into.. and voila! It felt so right it shocked me . I have been told several times I look like a mini Candace Bergen ( facial lines) and the soft autumn colours really brought that out. I can’t believe how I missed it all for so many years.. stubborn autumn traits perhaps. I just want to say thank you for your incredible writing and detail in your book and blog. I know this post is long… :) so has my journey been! I love love love the soft autumn colours and I had completely overlooked them! I can wear some Dark autumn too.. and am thrilled that much of this is already in my closet. You are amazing . and thank you!

  9. Aha thank you Christine. It was this line below that worried/confused me as I see warm red as still being red but I now understand what you meant:

    “There is no true red. Here, we have clearest orange, many pure lipstick pinks, fuchsia pinks, and purple pinks. Red only appears in the Winters but you can cheat that in too. “

  10. Hello again Christine.

    Something my other spring friends and I have been wondering about is the difference between True and Bright spring – even though Bright springs’ TMIT is bright, our colour combinations (as v accurately shown in your polyvores in this article) often look less bright than True springs’ look even though their TMIT is actually warmth.

    I’ve assumed this is because the need for contrast – incorporating some dark and light – in Bright springs seems to reduce the obvious brightness. And also of course, the fact that ‘bright’ actually means saturation rather than day-glo bright necessarily.

    True spring hits you in the face with all-out colour as there’s isn’t as much light and dark contrast needed so the eye sees warm+bright+bright as opposed to Bright springs’ bright+dark+light.

    Does that make any sense or am I way off? :)

    Thank you!

  11. You answered your own Q perfectly, Lian. Bright means clarity of colour. But the Brights bring in darkness which tones the sense of colourful-ness. The brightness of T Sp seems high because of our tendency to associate it with the extreme sunny-ness, but those colours are not at max saturation.

  12. Wow – the description at the beginning….that’s me. Don’t know if I’m actually a Bright spring. But it moved me. Thank you.

  13. Christine,
    Another great, great article, thank you! This really gives me an understanding of how to incorporate the Winter element without going overboard and too dark. Having been analyzed as a Winter several times I now get why such an error would be easy to make, and also why Winter was “sort of okay”, but still not quite right. I’m a Kibbe SC and while I need the Spring colors I still need to keep on the classic and slightly less flamboyant side in my color combinations.
    Katharine, I so know where you’re coming from! I’ve always been considered extremely pale (and Swedes in general are obsessed with having a tan from April to October, so of course I stuck out like a sore thumb) and my skin is also very sensitive and translucent in quality. But just like you I’ve realized that in MY colors I don’t look “sickly pale” at all! What happens when I wear my BSP colors is my skin looks really luminous – yes, it does look Aspirin white in the wrong colors but becomes a very light, bright gold in BSP’s palette. I’ve decided not to be ashamed of my paleness anymore!

  14. Hi Christine, what a super article! I love the way you have an affinity for describing the magic of each season. I just have a question about something you call Colour Equasions in your book. I have your book, and there are season colour sheets at the back, but nothing called CE or Colour Equasions for each season. Where do I find these?

  15. Christine,
    Wow OMG, reading your article on Bright Springs feels like a light has just been switched on! I have been interested in colour analysis for about 5 yrs and have never been able to pinpoint my correct season until reading this. I have played around with winter,summer even autumn and spring and something about them all has been a little bit off. Everything about this piece describes me and who I am. Thank you, I will now embrace my true colours and have fun with them!

  16. Jorunn, they’re in the body of each chapter, after Natural Setting, I think? Or after Undertone?

  17. Thank you for your wonderful blog, Christine! I used to be a CMB consultant in the Chicago area in the 1990s. I’m a Clear Spring with bright green-blue eyes & a yellow-beige skintone. My light brown hair got dark when I covered my grays. Now my contrast level is higher. Like Rachel Ramey said, it’s harder for bright seasons to wear browns. So I’m phasing in more gray and black & phasing out muddy colors. But I’m not going to purge all my camels & browns just yet. I kept a small core of good pieces that match my skin and hair. They still work if I wear them in strong contrast with brights. I also found they look better as animated prints (i.e. leopard) or colorblocked pieces (camel+red+black). I figure since I have to contrast taupe to look good, why not substitute a skintone camel instead? It’s blends well with the other colors and keeps black and gray from looking too cool. And oh yes, about brown eyeshadow…the worst are the dusty, earthy matte shades at Bobbi Brown. I have better luck with pearlized shadows and dark browns that have a bit of plum rather than an ash tone. Gray & taupe also look dusty and boring unless they’re shimmery and worn with a lively secondary color. Overall, I’m better in colored eyeshadow than neutrals. Just like my wardrobe.

  18. Hi! I think that I am a Bright Spring (have golden-brown hair with reddish highlights; fair, ivory skin; warm teal-blue-grey eyes), and am really enjoying COLOR! I was wondering about mascara– is that a no-no for us B. Springs? Meaning, is it too heavy and clunky? And what color is best? Black or brown or some other color? Thanks!

  19. Mascara is for every woman, Trisha. Bright Spring’s natural appearance can be widely different. This is the original no-average Season. Black is too stark for most, and I’d suggest black-brown or a clear navy blue.

  20. I am a bright spring over age 50. I’m not an expert, but speaking from my own experience, I find that colorful mascaras and liners are trendy and best left to the young with firm skin around the eyes. If your hair is dark and eyes are bright like mine, you’ll find that black mascara and liner makes your eyes pop without competing with your eye color. It’s more effective than black-brown and sophisticated. The key is not to get heavy-handed with black. You must tight line–that is, keep a skinny narrow line—around your lashes. Don’t draw heavy lines or wing outside the natural eye shape, or it will look droopy. Standard black mascara is enough: you don’t need velvet black, black black, extreme black or whatever deep color they’re pushing. I traded all my bright eyeliners for smoky teal, black brown, graphite, dark forest, exotic plum. These don’t emphasize wrinkles, but they enhance eye color and make lashes look thicker.

  21. Wonderful article and insight! I am also interested Lian’s True/Bright Spring question- I know that I definitely favor the Spring colors, and the Light Spring colors just aren’t “enough” on me…I need warm and clear in order to look my best, but I can’t figure out what TMIT is. I have warm golden blonde hair that lightens significantly in the sun, and darkens/reddens in the winter, blue eyes, and a yellow undertone. (I know this doesn’t really help in determining the season). I can wear black and sometimes look ill in beiges or tans which makes me think I lean towards Bright Spring, but I also appear very “golden” and warm so it makes me think Warm Spring. Do you have any suggestions for deciding between True and Bright Spring?

  22. No suggestions that you’ll be able to use reliably at home, Christine. A trained analyst with a very carefully coloured set of drapes can have trouble knowing sometimes and needs to go back and forth and try a few different comparisons. Once a person is down to their 2 best and those 2 are immediate neighbour Seasons, and especially if the person’s colouring lies somewhere between the 2, it is impossible to know for sure without being draped. You have good observation skills though. One difference is that T Sp doesn’t really wear pink, like Barbie or warm fuchsia, she is better in melon and tangerine. You might try those?

  23. Christine,
    I withdraw my question :-) Guess I got carried away by finding something that fit well and thought I could somehow work with the colour. This shirt will go back and I’ll look for one similar style but a better colour for me. Might be nice on a Winter instead.
    Laura

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