Category Archives: Spring Colours

Spring and Autumn Natural

The great thing about writing is that it forces you to pin down your beliefs and your reasons for them.

Paraphrasing a reader’s question:

I was reading about Bright Springs on your website and I was wondering if you could help me get an outfit visual on what natural means. I understand earthy, but natural is still confusing to me.

You have used natural in this context: True Spring; no bold lines, the blocks are distinct by colour divisions. Not misty, earthy, heavy, bold, geometric. Instead, Spring is energetic, hippie, fun, busy, buoyant, and natural (where natural is not the same as earthy).


What did I mean about Autumn and Spring being natural in their energy? What do they have in common in that way?

Every Season has associations in Nature. Summer is how water feels, of high importance to water-based life forms like us. Even in the depth of winter, Nature is extravagant. Snow on a tree branch is so much to see and think about, but the number of colours is small to the point that even black and white are colours in this context. Because of Summer’s cool haze and Winter’s cold stillness, although natural, the feeling is less animated.

What the two warm Seasons have in common is heat. Warmly coloured people wear a lot of colour well, as does the planet in warmer locations. Complementary colours, that have the ability to energize one another when worn side by side, is effective on everyone. The warmer the colouring, the closer the blocks would approach equal size. A holly bush, good Winter visual, is much more green than red. The red becomes highly effective in that context.

Natural implies that it would be seen usually in the natural world. Natural effects feel more organic, like food and flowers. The end of summer harvest and the Island Paradise depict Nature as home, security, familiar, nurturing, nourishment, warmth, shelter, and support, in ways that diamonds and sapphires do not.

The Bright Seasons wouldn’t make up an entire landscape the way that True Autumn (October harvest) and True Spring (tropical beach) would. In helping these persons understand how to dress, there is no easy landscape or imagery to refer to. A Dark Autumn could Google ‘Moroccan design interiors’ to get the colour effect  (thank you to Rachel for the idea). A Light Spring could look up ‘pastel interior design’, ‘fairy landscapes’, or ‘spring flowers’ and recreate the entire scene. Googling ‘bright colour interior design’ is quite good for ideas but you’d use it selectively to make an overall look.

As the Polyvore below shows, the Bright Seasons are basically pure pigment. Search ‘’ on Polyvore. Lovely palettes. Beautiful, imaginative ideas to maximize the flexibility of your colour swatches.


Design seed palette images


Once Winter appears, colour effects become more synthetic, which feels modern. They feel more forced, cooperating less with what’s around them. The paradox of Winter is to be modern and permanent at once, like a diamond. When Winter overtakes Autumn, in the Dark Winter, the rustic element is pretty well gone. Many of the colours look like candy when worn by an Autumn-coloured person. When Winter is in larger proportion than Spring, in the Bright Winter, well, it gets complicated.

This may explain why this colouring is such confusion to people, and can be a challenging analysis. During our last training course, we met 5 Bright Winters -

  • the Snow White
  • the exotic Indian Princess
  • the I’ve-always-been-told-I’m-a-Summer-but-it-doesn’t-feel-right
  • the blonde-blue-eyed Winter
  • the magic elf

There are a thousand more. Sydney Crosby colouring, for instance, with green-gold eyes. They drape better in Winter but their heat level approaches Bright Spring.

Since I need digressions, I’ll repeat something I said on facebook:

Season isn’t just an issue of how light or dark we look, as you know. There are darker Light Springs and very fair Bright Winters.

How warm or cool, how saturated or heathered, another human might be are very hard or impossible to judge.

So we give their light – dark level too much emphasis when we guess. This is part of why folks have so much trouble wrapping their heads around a light haired BW.

The other reason is that people are still looking for those ‘clear eyes’ that are supposed to jump out at you. BW does have a clear eye, but we can’t pick them out of a crowd because we’re not that good at judging it and they don’t look any more unusual than any other human. If you put their eyes into another Season’s face, you’d pick it up instantly.

There are many, many BW people out there. It’s not rare.

The Bright Spring colouring exists but not quite as often, at least not where I live, though still more common than the True Season colouring. I imagine the colours are occasional even when you’re standing on the Equator. A feather, a beak, in an otherwise colour-quiet body. These colours are extreme, at the limits of what colour could do in a terrestrial life form.

Bright Spring is a little special. The high purity of such plentiful colour tips it nearer man-made or magic. It’s more fantastic, more HDR photography, colour enhancement, the rare, delicate, and exceptional. How do you put such Bright colours in a print? The result is wildly energized, beyond most habitats. Colour-blocking is not natural. In Bright Spring colours, small print elements appear pixilated, also not natural.

Spring and Autumn Natural

Spring is juicy, light, sunny, clear, shiny, wet, and floaty. We should distinguish shiny as in dewy and wet (Spring), shiny as in frosty, hard, and cold (Winter), shiny as pearlescent (Summer), and shiny as in hot and metallic (Autumn). Raindrops, hearts, daisies, stars, starfish, seahorses and all baby and/or magic animals, clover (especially 4-leaf clover), belong to Spring.

Earthy is perfectly at home on Autumn colouring. Earthy to me means muted+orange. Basically, dull+warm. I ask everyone who reads this to remember that no colour is dull under the face with which it harmonizes. Same as there is no such thing as dull/mousy hair unless it’s placed next to unharmonizing colour.

Autumn is earthy, heavier, thicker, rich, drier, 3D, dense colour.  In the orange sweater game below, the natural the other won’t wear is shown. Autumn keeps company with wicker, tortoiseshell, and fossil.

Lava lamps, fireworks, starbursts, and video games, are unpredictable, fun, and random. Like cartoons, Spring’s is a flatter (2D) effect.

A chess board, the regularity of the pattern, the solid figures, the serious and predictable rules, the 3D shapes and movements, feel Autumn.

Horseshoes could go either way, having both good luck charm and equestrian about them.

This is a game I enjoy. Where is the orange sweater better? [Hint: There are as many correct answers as there are tastes and preferences reading this.]

Some fabrics are muting, like wool and tweed, but that doesn’t automatically mean Autumn. Neither Spring nor Autumn are fully saturated. The orange sweater seems Autumn-ish because it’s wool-ish, but it’s also an orange-pineapple ice cream colour. It’s not so bad on the Spring side.

Would changing the wooden buttons to clear, shiny glass matter? Sure. The watch isn’t natural, but it does live in the world of fruit salad. Food is natural. Jello and LifeSavers are less natural, more Bright Spring (as this watch could be, since the numerals are white, not ivory).

Toggles, tassels, and buckles are usually Autumn territory. But really, they belong better as Yang-side symbols of Classic clothing style, prep styles and the fox hunt rather than the Yin-er dinner party. Everyone can adapt anything. Winter makes them platinum. Spring changes them to coloured plastic.

I have said that I do not believe in the existence of a group of natural colouring that blends Spring and Autumn’s colour properties. Nobody drapes equally in True Autumn and True Spring. In fact, the other Season is often the worst choice on these people. They prefer Summer (where Spring is grateful for the lightness) or Winter (where Autumn can make sense of the darkness).

Draping is a time for technical perfection. That is a long way from shopping. If shopping is rigid, you’ll get tired and give up on something too good to pass up. Same as if you stay too hard on your budget, diet, or exercise program, you’ll burst and do something that will have you regretting. Knowing what matters more and making the most of it keeps you making the very best choices in a sustainable purchasing system.


Spring and Autumn Effects


Equal Energy Colour

Wearing Bright Season colours doesn’t mean that you’re a walking flag, just as the idea that Dark Season colouring wears only dark colours is not true. It means that of the 3 dimensions that every colour answers to (warm-cool, light-dark, muted-clear), the one thing about yours that isn’t medium is its purity of pigment.

Your colouring takes a Bright colour and makes it look normal, and you look normal in it. The other choice being, “It is a bit lifeless and you’re lifeless in it.”  A Dark person takes a dark colour and makes it look very normal with lots of colour and without getting shadowed by it. The other choice being “Is that black? Why, no, when it’s off your body, I can see that it’s quite purple. You’re changing it to look darker than it is. And it’s making you look like you’re standing in the shade. Weird.”

Energetically equal: You could lay the Bright Spring Colour Book on a Bright Spring item of clothing and have them be perfectly in balance, neither one dominating or disappearing. Therefore, they are in harmony.

The blue top could be True Spring, it’s not super intense blue, but the jump from light to dark in that outfit is more than you’d see on a True Spring. The white pants are too cool for True Spring. The overall darkness effect is still medium light, good on both True and Bright Spring, where True is a bit lighter.


Balancing Bright Spring


The items in the centre column can be inserted into Bright Spring outfits and the whole thing doesn’t fall apart.

Let’s put them into True Spring now.


Balancing True Spring


I don’t find the items balance so well. The top is too red and too blue. The jewelry is a little too bling. The clutch is hopeless.

Notice in True Spring that there are no bold lines. First, it’s harder to make a bold line when colours are gentle. Second, these colours won’t balance black, the boldest line of them all, in any quantity. The black just takes over. In small areas, Bright Spring can balance black quite easily.

That red leather jacket is interesting. I’m not sure where the real item would work. True Spring does have a red lollipop/fruit punch red. Leather tends to be heavy and thick on Spring, but in certain colours, such as light camel, it can work fine.

Who wears the dress?

Same exercise with dresses.

Animal prints are natural. But we can’t make assumptions about Season. Is the leopard print shiny gold better with the Autumn or Spring selection?  Is there one group where it seems too sparkly, separate, jingly, attention-getting, as Spring colour would on an Autumn person?


Spring and Autumn Colours


Just because the print is floral and fun doesn’t mean it’s Spring. Humans colours can fill in many different lines, so can prints. When we see that orange flowered dress among items that seem very True Spring – does it belong?

Does it matter as long as it provides heat? It does. The person will look quite different, and distinctly better in one.

We can’t stare or think our way to this answer.  You talk yourself into one and then into the other one. How will we figure it out? By measuring it using comparison, of course!!

Unless you have wavelenth-calibrated eyeballs, and I’ve never met anyone like that, you have to compare it. Lie the swatch book on it and see what happens. Put the dress among your Personal Luxury Drape collection.

Force the extremes. Some  of the Autumn dresses below contain black (Dark Autumn), which Spring colour will bounce right off of.


Spring or Autumn Choices


Where do the flowered dress and leopard print go? Not any easier, is it? If the leopard print is Bright Spring, it will be fine with a little black. Ditto the orange dress if it’s Autumn.



Comparing Light and Bright Spring

Great Q from readers,

1. Obviously Light and Bright Spring share the same parent Season, but I wondered how Summer/ Winter manifest their influence on the palettes and on the people? 

The Light Spring palette contains a Summer touch, which alters the True Spring colours by doing what Summer does … it cools, softens, and lightens them.

Under the wave of Winter’s wand, Bright Spring is overall darker and goes to a much darker endpoint (the lightest to darkest range is very wide, getting close but not fully to pure white and black), and is strongly pigmented. Its heat level is the same as Light-Spring, meaning on the warm edge of neutral, where neutral is halfway between warm and cool.

I can see you there reading, thinking, “Yes, yes, I know all that. But how much does Summer cool, soften, and lighten True Spring?”

It’s impossible to describe verbally and is best understood by seeing it. You can see some pretty good approximations by searching ‘Season palettes’ on Pinterest, my new favourite hangout.  I bring my iPad to bed. I’m like Harry Potter under the covers with his magic wand long after he should have been asleep. Scanning those pictures to add to the two boards, Shopping for Your Season&Style and RealWoman Sex appeal, is addictive. Social media, ay? Once you find the right one, it owns you. Rachel, whom you’ll meet formally soon, is to personal line and shape analysis what I have been to personal colour analysis. We contribute to each item pinned from both perspectives. Very cool information, very cool way to shop.

The blue book over on the right, RTYNC, contains 28-colour layouts (also pretty good approximations) of the 12 groups to give you a sense of the jump in the colour dimensions from one group to the next. It also contains a lot more verbal description and analogy if you learn better that way.

How does Summer manifest in a Light Spring person? Even harder to nail down. The person does not usually have sharpness, which might mean in features (Julie Andrews’ nose and teeth) or character. See the woman wearing the pink dress in Polyvore 4? Could look about like that, though happier expression.

But where’s the line? What would you call sharp? Is teasing sharp because Lights have that? They can certainly have pointed chins, eyes, and teeth.

2. How do Summer and Winter’s presence come across in Bright Spring people?

Summer tends to create a person who is more aware and concerned of how others think and feel, but not always. Summer has great decency. In Winter, there  may be less concern with saying what others want to hear and more emphasis on fairness, and that is decent too.

We could say that Summer contributes a pleasant, well-mannered character. Sounds watered down. Light Spring is by no means dilute. The person may be very talkative or quite spunky (as opposed to determined, more Autumn), which come in with Spring. That said, a Summer can talk, oh boy, as they work through ideas. They have plenty strong intentions, especially when they feel honour (not quite the same as Winter’s pride) lays in the balance.

As they learn the draping process, students are shown how to deliberately seek out the effects of the 4 True Seasons’ colours in the client’s face. Later, as the drape colours become more specific and the presence of certain Seasons may be much smaller, they remember those effects from the coarser level and can come back now and apply them on a finer scale. In the story that follows, how would Winter and Summer manifest in a person on a much finer scale (since, in 12 Season PCA, Light and Bright Spring contain a small amount of Summer and Winter, respectively – how small? Different in everyone. Some Light Springs have a lot of Summer, some much more Spring.)

Summer and Winter visit their friend, Dara*. Dara is trying a new Style in her clothing choices. Her husband, Ted*, has a successful sign-making business and they just built a new house. Winter sees the house and Dara’s clothes. She thinks, “Yeah, it’s a nice house. I might try those kinds of curtains. I’m not so sure of my Style type. I think I have more Yin and need rounder lines and more decoration. I’m being too minimalistic.” Winter goes home. She thinks and thinks and searches and thinks and studies pictures and makes her mother look at a thousand images on her phone (which the mother thinks all look the same but no way is she about to say so). Next time you see her, she’s added a silver chain. Had to take off the earrings and bracelet though, they were too much. Her clothes are about the same. You ask about her visit to Dara, “Her house is very nice. What else can I say? It’s her house, got nothing to do with me. I was impressed with her new clothing styles. She’s right about herself. I’m evolving my own style.” And you sit there thinking, “Is this a trick question?”

Summer calls you the day after the visit. “Dara’s house is so beautiful. She looked great, she always does. I hope she’ll be very happy there. Didn’t you feel so sad for her? (Winter is thinking, “Is this a trick question?”) Deep down, she despises that house. (Summer’s eyes are all big and round and teary, and she puts lots of feeling behind her words, especially despises.) Dara doesn’t enjoy it, she wishes they were back in the old house. All she can feel is Ted’s business taking him away from her all the time to pay for it. I’m just baking her some banana bread for the kids and taking her out to lunch later today.”

How does Winter manifest in Bright Spring? They hold themselves a little apart. Their feeling about the world and their place in it is more controlled. When Summer and you have a conversation, she’s nodding. She can hear how you feel. Winter is moving very little, conserving emotional output. Summer is using her hands. She is out of herself , thinking about she relates to you. She sent you the testimonials you asked for within a week of getting home :). From Winter, you’ll be waiting. She got home, went back right into own her head, and will think of you in terms of how you relate to her.

3. I heard the palettes are similar – do you see Light Spring as a lighter version of Bright at all?

They’re similar but just lightening Bright Spring won’t get you Light. Maybe fading Bright might do so with some complement and lightening it with some white. Light Spring is creamy, which gives it a frosted glass haze or milky glow that Bright Spring absolutely wouldn’t have. The Bright Spring windshield is crystal clear and the pigment concentration is dialed way up.

It’s like the difference between

Photo: Ayla87
Photo: Ayla87




Photo: Alfi007
Photo: Alfi007


Both warm-neutral to warm. The Bright (bottom) has icy colours. Light (top) doesn’t approach white. Note that neither image represents the whole palette nor what is possible with it.

4. Could they theoretically borrow any colours (even though this isn’t the best option)?

I’m glad that you asked this good question. I feel that I often answer Q wearing one of two hats and how are people expected to know which is on when?

In general,

You know how you fan out any swatch book and no colour is more or less than any other? Your attention is equally divided when the fan is opened up. They have equal visual energy. If you moved one of those Light Spring flowers into the Bright Spring bouquet, even if the colours were all pinks, it would get a little lost. You’d ignore it more.  If that were the blouse, worn with a Bright Spring skirt, you’d be looking at the skirt.

If you lifted the butterfly onto the Light bouquet, it would be hard to see anything else. As when a Light wears a Bright’s lipstick. When palettes have a lot in common, as Light and Bright Spring, some colours will work well enough but others will be too prominent. The pinks might be quite comfortable and belonging but the yellows will jump out at you.

Wearing the first hat: In a theory situation, as the question states, such as during the training course, the answer is no. We learn how to place any colour, clothing, cosmetic, or any person, into one Season. The Q is, “Which 1 of the 12?”

#2 hat is worn when advising a woman shopping. She is using the system in another way. The only question she needs to work out is, “Me or Not Me?”

Each application is equally important. First, we learn the rules of the road and the driving laws. As drivers, we take shortcuts with a subconscious sense of where and when. The woman who understands her colour palette can discern which shortcuts are safe and logical and which will be unsuccessful. She’ll have a few fender benders along the way but at least she’s behind the wheel of her own car, taking herself where she decides to go.

Say you’re the woman shopping. Working through the compromises of the retail world might open up 5 more questions,

  • How close in colour is good enough? What kind of person am I on this subject?
  • How fast do I need to buy this item?
  • Am I spending $50 or $500?
  • Are the lines of the item so exceptional for me that I’m not passing it up on a little colour issue that will make hardly any difference. You can see examples of this on the Shopping for Your Style and Season board at Pinterest. (the link at the bottom of the R column on this page may take you there, but the website is having a mini nervous breakdown about weekly till it’s upgraded. The link is here too.)
  • Do I think the colour might be Light Spring and I know I’m a Bright but I think it looks great in this composition?
  • Is this an item that really could fit well into several Seasons, even according to uptight analysts like Christine?  When I look at the Shopping for Your Season and Style board at Pinterest, most items are good in two or more groups. She must be wearing #2 hat. (You’re so right. Sometimes, it doesn’t matter. PCA is a life-transforming tool, like a driver’s license or a computer. I want that for you. Being too rigid means missing too many fantastic clothes.) In both hats, jewelry and makeup are definitely mobile in most cases. Many clothes too, if they’re not right up under the face or are in small real estate. Not every element needs to be perfect for the whole thing to harmonize very nicely. In many paintings, prints, and ensembles, the other colours help create the belonging.


 Mostly Light Spring


Mostly Light Spring


Mostly Bright Spring 

Mostly Bright Spring

5. Some of the warm pinks/apricots look similar – how do I know if I’m looking at Light or Bright Spring when choosing these colours?

You can think colour correctness to death and still get it wrong. I do. We all have to compare it to something. You can compare it to anything, a cosmetic, another item of clothing, a painting, a cushion.

Women who own their own Luxury Drapes (or a closet that is colour accurate) can place the item among the good colours and see if it holds its own, is more, or not enough. They’re full-sized drapes so it’s easy to see colours balance and energize. The article about those drapes is being moved to its own post, it will reappear soon.

Because these 2 colour groups share so much, to choose between them will require forcing the extreme that the other won’t tolerate. Light Spring’s muting will be Bright Spring biggest complaint, while Light Spring will ricochet back the other way when she sees the darkness of Bright. So compare to black. It’s dark and saturated. The booties on the bottom next to the perfume – the peach must be Winter influenced to be energetically equal to white and black. The yellow jacket, the same. There’s enough peach in the peach and yellow in the yellow to balance a lightness extreme (white) and a darkness and saturation one (black). These may be Bright Winter outfits because the white and black are not in Bright Spring colours, but they’re useful to judge the balance.

Some colours matter more than others. The peach coat (lower image) might be a little weak but it’s workable. Gray is good at becoming what’s around it. Jeans adapt pretty well if their darkness level is the same as the overall for that Season and they’re just blue. Red and green are less cooperative. Sometimes, it depends on the viewer. Some people are very sensitive to yellow. I am to orange. These colours are either right or not right, but there’s not much you can do about that.

How about the coral dress that appears in both layouts? Where is it energetically more even in the composition? Compare it to the bouquets as well. Is it perfect in either? Is it workable in one, both, or none?

Light Spring was looking all dreamy and holiday till I inserted that green purse. Is that item helping the nice feelings or is it taking over? Is everything around it washed out and falling back? That’s what a Light Spring woman looks like wearing Bright colours. She fades and drops – or, looks older and tired, like the Light Spring clothes next to the purse that look something that doesn’t feel good…. washed too many times…dirty…dull? The green looks aggressive plus it’s all you can see.

Shopping for Bright Spring (Looking Normal)


Shopping for Bright Spring 2


Shopping for Bright Spring

Neutral colours (beige, taupe) could be matched a little more closely for Spring where they can be a little blah, but they’re still versatile. Where Summer and Autumn wear these colours flexibly, and  Summer and Winter can share some grays, Spring colouring wears colour colours more easily than beige and gray (IMO). Also, when we wear our neutrals, they tend to be in large block items. To excite the composition, neutrals with yellow, not muted orange (=earthy). The beige sweater in 4 (and the pants with the orange top in 3), I have no idea where it harmonizes but it works OK. Next to the very shiny necklace, the sweater isn’t looking dingy, clumsy, or chunky the way an green-beige or camel Autumn colour could on this woman. Both versions of the tights are great. Add colour somewhere!

Again, use black to judge belonging colours. Light Spring loses energy even faster than next to the green purse. Bright Spring gets close enough to black and the colours can balance black without losing ground.  The woman in the pink dresss in 4 can hold her own with the earrings but you sense some conflict. Before reading this, you thought, “Why’d she put those earrings with that dress?” Because now you get to feel it. There were a million worse choices, but still, this is not settled. I could  have wasted paragraphs.

Black is quite useful in the Bright Spring wardrobe:

  • to crisp edges of colour blocks, as the earrings with the mint blouse in 4,
  • to outline shapes in a thin black line, as in a print or colourblock, which gives a cartoon appearance that is so right on Gamine body shapes,
  • to darken the overall effect selectively without dulling, cooling, or darkening the colour blocks themselves,
  • to add Winter’s formality,
  • to slim this woman who can balance black, as the mint top and black skirt in 4, the colours are getting along fine, the black is a little strong but it doesn’t appear visually larger

Shopping Search engines are hugely helpful. Polyvore is great. A Light Summer asked recently where to find pants. At sites like Polyvore and Shopstyle, the retail world opens at your feet and it’s uncommon to find items sold out. They are a fantastic way to find your white items online. You want jeans that are a little on the green side? As a Light Spring, the answer is, “Sure do!” Give me 15 minutes. I’ll find you 5 pairs.

6. What do Light Spring colours look like on Bright Spring?

Weak. The way the creamy peach flower from the top photo would look next to the oranges in the bottom photo.

7. What does a Light Spring woman look like in Bright Spring clothes?

Forgettable. What happens to the Light Spring bouquet when the butterfly lands on it. Tired, like she’s having the life sucked out of her. All her sunshine glowing peaches and cream radiance is gone. Between her feet and the top of her head, all you see is clothes.

8. If I find an item that is very saturated and in the medium value range, which Seasons could be likely contenders? I keep getting stuck with colours like hot pink – thinking they look good due to being bright, but on closer inspection often too cool on me and don’t harmonize with the fan…

Very saturated could include the 3 Winter palettes and Bright Spring. True Spring doesn’t have hot pink.

9.a) The person who looks very wintery with dark hair and pale skin. What are the signs that she’s Bright Spring?

There are none other than how her skin reacts to the drapes. The women in the Polyvores could all be Bright Springs. Or some kind of Summer or Winter.

9. b) Should she do anything different with colours or combinations?

She probably sits closer to the cool side of her Bright Spring colouring, near the Bright Winter pigmentation. She many find that the cooler colours in cosmetics work better.

She should still wear the entire Bright Spring palette as clothing and jewelry. Those colours are all in her if the drapes measured her as Bright Spring.

I don’t get caught up on the contrast thing too much, I think it’s built into the palettes. Some women of this colouring may feel quite contrasting and prefer wider distance between lightest and darkest colours in their outfits. This woman may look (and feel) more Winter and use more jewel tones, icy lights, neutral colours, formality in apparel, and boldness in cosmetic application.


Here’s what I think about that coral dress from the top Polyvores. It is not beautiful in the Bright Spring group. The peach coat may not be perfect, nor the yellow shirt on the L side, but they don’t detract. The dress is dull and detracting. In the Light Spring composition, it feels better but it’s a light sink. Light should bounce out of a Light Spring palette like sunbeams, like Creamsicles. It should feel fresh, light, and happy. This dress is not what an apricot tulip would feel like. If you cover it up, the rest of the group gets better, so it’s detracting here too. Still a lovely dress. Might be just the photo, might be an Autumn colour, this is what PCA from photos is like. No idea where this item would fit and would need to try it IRL to be sure.



Becoming Bright Spring

I met with Chantal* and Rita* within a month of each other.

Chantal’s hair is cut in a short, wash and wear style. The top layer is very yellow, while the hair beneath is medium-dark brown, entirely natural. She is in her late 50s and will probably still have yellow hair in 20 years. Makeup took away 15 years and showed us a very defined bone structure, with high cheekbones and a nose that tips up at the end. Her expression is focused, questioning, and very alert. A personal colour analysis (PCA) long ago said Spring, which we agreed seemed reasonable. She loves colours. Where most women arrive wearing black or no-commitment colours, she had on a lovely green blouse.

Rita expected to hear Light Summer. She does appear fair, with blue-looking eyes and medium brown hair, coloured to a red-gold colour that works surprisingly well, a bit like rose gold jewelry. Although seemingly light of skin, hair, and eye, it was something about her expression and the shape of her features that put the geisha image in my head. Young, exotic, yet apart, on a Caucasian woman in her 40s.

These women have a lot in common. They live practical lives and make practical choices. Both are sensible, serious, organized, quiet, thoughtful as in pensive, and introspective. Neither is rapid in their movements, impulsive, random, giggly, youthful (except to look at), overtly cheerful, or chatty. Nor are they blunt, direct, or sharp in the slightest. They are very polite, pleasant, and hold their cards close.

On meeting them, the impression is light and warm, except that the intensity of the eye in the face is compelling, rather than blending evenly into the face and equally with the other features. The eyes seem like ‘more’. This is not an impression I get from the brown-eyed Bright Spring, maybe because hair is usually darker and the overall look is more balanced.

In the world of 12 Season colour analysis, the natural colouring known as Bright Spring takes its pigmentation from the Spring qualities of colour (warmed by yellow, pure colours, not very dark). Winter has a little say, causing the colours to be cooler, redder, bluer, darker, and even more pure than Spring alone. Bright Spring is a colour rush.

Accepting Bright Spring, or any Season, from the draping is usually easy. It’s a done deal by the time we’re finished. 9 in 10 people can easily see their appearance change. It is what it is. The makeup is harder to accept. The conundrum of, I don’t recognize myself. and That woman in the mirror looks fantastic. Why is she acting like me? takes time to sort out internally.

The book RTYNC (in the right column) and the documents I send clients (similar to the book, but they continue to evolve as I learn and widen my own experience) suggest that Bright Spring looks most consistent with their natural appearance when they dress as activated, energized, bursts and squirts, crazy zigzags, a sunny morning after a freezing rainstorm,

combined with the delicate, a chandelier, gold foil, tinsel, cinnamon heart candies,

and the young, a large or small shiny coloured purse (Bright Spring is not medium), hairbands, sheer coloured tights, and mod looks. A little sharper than Twiggy daisies.

Cirque du Soleil. The motion, physical vitality, and adrenaline of the trapeze. Coloured spotlights. Body paint.

What if you’re really a denim and khakis, Old Navy T-shirts, practical jacket, medium black purse, brown suede slip-ons kind of woman? What if you just like to look medium and not one of those qualifiers connects with you at all?

Some questions came up.


1. Can you confirm that colour 3.3 (from the True Colour Australia Colour Book) is a very dark brown? What would you call it?

Yes, but to me equally gray as brown. I think of the colour of a seal. Bright Spring’s grays and browns are uncommon, very hard to find in cosmetics, and don’t have easy associations for names. They’re just colours I memorize and look at again often. Most important, the colour is not earthy.


Photo: darrendean


2. What is the difference between black and coal?

The image of coal is to illustrate the darkest black&white gray possible before flipping to solid, dense black.


3. I noticed that you show lots of gray shoes in the emails while the book suggests using hair colour to choose shoes – I would feel more comfortable with the yellows and browns of my hair colour as I’m not a big fan of gray – do you see that as a good choice for me? And is this boot close enough to my hair colour, which is darker underneath? I’m not sure I can see myself trying to find or wear light yellow boots/shoes! If this is too tan, too earthy, is there a way to work with that? 

Boot at Roots


The boot Chantal asks about, above, is here at Roots Canada.

Overall, I think they’re fine. No two women will wear their colours the same way. I like that the boots are not too dark, orange (a bit orange, but lots of yellow), or lumberjack, with heavy treaded soles or cowboy feelings. Your energy isn’t really mesa or Cheyenne. These just feel natural, which is how you feel to interact with. You have no pretense or drama in what you choose to share. So in that sense, I like their authenticity and ease. The boots don’t feel like they have something to prove and neither does Bright Spring.

They are quite warm in colour, warmer than you are. They may not go perfectly with your new clothes colours, even if the clothing style is great with the boots. Wearing your hair and eye colour is one of those areas where women have to decide for themselves. I find that it can get you into problems when you interpret your hair or eye colour incorrectly, which we all do, all the time. Eyes have 20 colours in them at least. Hair is not a good indicator of Season, but it does have the same warmth setting as everything else about your colouring. This is common with True Winters who have apparently warm eyes and hair – if they wear those colours, their skin turns yellow, and there is conflict with the rest of the outfit.

For Bright Seasons, hair colour is the most difficult to understand and replicate. If the colour swatches show more gray, it’s because you are at that coolness level. Brights look poor in brown eyeshadow unless it’s the cleanest colour (no orange, no muted, no earthy). True brown can become mud on these faces. The clarity of your pigments can turn even medium browns into looking heavy and clumpy. But it’s important not to discard every item – I would wear these boots for sure, just with the warmer colours of your palette so they don’t seem like outsiders.


Black boots at Roots


How about the choice above, linked here, also at Roots Canada?


4. I’m having trouble seeing myself as a high contrast person. Is this something that I take on faith as revealed by the drapes or can you help me to recognize this in myself?

No. 1: If we define contrast as distance between lightest light and darkest dark, then you’re a medium to medium-high contrast person. You don’t go to white or black. That’s value contrast. Now, your eyes are extremely intense in your face, giving a sense of a pretty wide span from light to dark, as you have, but not maximum.

Position white and black in your head. Now put a dot at a darkness level around medium. That’s the overall darkness effect you’re aiming for. You’ll achieve it using a span from yellowed-white to coal. Clearly, light and medium colours will be necessary, and the more dark you use, the more light you balance it with.


Photo: iudit

Above, medium value contrast, yellows with blues, sharp line distinctions in the foreground. Bright, sunny, warm. With every bit of black that’s inserted, the whole thing dies a little. Save it for tiny bits just to sharpen the edges and bring focus.


No. 2: There’s also colour contrast, distance apart on the colour wheel between two colours. You are colourful to look at. Your natural pigments are quite far apart (yellow hair with blue eyes, on some, we see light skin with golden brown eyes), which is why I find complementary colours so good to look at on warm Seasons. They are a logical extension of the natural appearance.


Photo: Didok

Medium value, sharp edges, a trace of black, neutrals with colours, the pants and T-shirt, the blouse and the earring.


No. 3: I like to see very sharp, clean edges between colour blocks on Brights because that’s what you look like, not all fluffy and blended and soft. That’s not contrast per se, but sharp divisions look more contrasting (is there line contrast?), it’s just a way that clear colours look good. You are moderately sharp to look at (bone structure, eye intensity, haircut is not feathery). Clean edges are a logical extension of the natural appearance. If you follow the guidelines you are made of, your clothes become yours for a reason. They seem connected with you.


Photo: RedVari

This is Bright Winter – simpler, symmetric, darker, colder, with only a faint warmth. Black is half or less of the whole or the whole thing dies a little. Black sucks in light in itself and steals it from everything around it – almost shameful with the purity of the Bright Season colours, and a delicate balance even for Bright Winter because the light is faint and will lose the fight with a black wall.


You really can mix and match quite freely in your Colour Book, aiming for an overall darkness effect that’s about medium (there! a medium thing about Bright Spring). Allover light or dark isn’t so good. You are not monotone to look at. Inserting a colour somewhere is always necessary. Inserting a big colour block plus another one is even better.

Whether it’s lightest with darkest or medium with medium doesn’t matter too much. Your Colour Book duplicates your inherent lightest to darkest range exactly so you’re safe moving around in it. If I were to do the Colour Equations again, I’d lighten Bright Spring up even more, with bright blue, stone, or white pants. The only groups that make any sense to me in white pants (their white) are the Brights. True Winter, it would depend on how it was done.

In the client’s document, I changed two paragraphs to read this way:

This is Spring-like colour worn in a Winter way, meaning that you will wear your bright, clear, warm colors best, but using 2 or 3 different colours at once, and with moderate contrast, not as high as a real Winter would wear. Contrast defines how much distance exists between the lights and darks. High contrast implies that you wear the lightest lights and the darkest darks together. You are fine in these combinations, and equally good when combining your midtones.

With colour this bright, especially if the line between the colour elements is very crisp, they will look contrasting. They will not be like a watercolour swirl, which creates the problem of grayed colours when complements combine, quite opposite to the properties of the colours you are made of. You probably have medium-high extremes of lightness and darkness in your skin/hair/eyes, so you would repeat that in clothing and makeup to look balanced. Your palette does the thinking for you in this regard in that it comes close but not all the way to black and white.


5. You didn’t mention pearls as a choice for Bright Spring – I have a simple strand – will it work?

Anything will work. Like diamonds on a Soft Season, it’s not a natural fit but that doesn’t matter. Wear them anyhow if you love them. This is how you make your Season yours, your personal brand of dissidence that lets us know you better. It has to work for you, not the other way round. I know a Light Summer woman, the epitome of gentle grace, who wears the most beautiful, large rounded oval, slightly dangly, super sparkly, aquamarine earrings. It’s brilliant. It says to me, I love my life so much that I can’t hold it all in.

No matter what we do, as gardeners, cooks, doctors, Seasons, we learn the discipline, we figure out the shortcuts and what we can get away with. Then, we decide how we’re going to break the rules or mould them to suit what we bring to the game. That’s just life lived with complete freedom of expression.


6. I have a sweater in yarn that combines several bright colours, alternating the colourful yarn with stripes in a dark / neutral colour. Would it be more flattering to stick to a solid colour?

Brights look great with many colours at once, just not blended together (blending colours causes either a watercolour effect, or the graying of mixing complementaries that makes the muted colours of Autumn and Summer). Side by side complementary colours or with a neutral colours, both are terrific on you. Stripes give energy.

There is a taste factor. You might like your colours blended together and that’s not wrong, just not what my eye prefers because it’s hard to maintain the high purity of each pigment. Be careful that the yarn isn’t comfy/chunky/heavy looking, especially if you’re working in neutral colours. It risks getting too homemade looking in that Autumn homespun way. Pick something young, Angora, sparkly, smooth. It should not look back-to-the-land. It should look brand new. Fun colours are always better on you, since colour is like your neutral.

A blue-eyed Bright Spring is very colourful to look at.


Photo: cassie_g


Your hair, eyes, and skin come together like this. You are beyond just colourful. You are coloured in complementary colours (blue eyes, yellow hair). That’s an extreme, or a type of contrast. So is light, warm hair on top, dark, cooler hair beneath, another type of contrast. The warm-cool in the colouring at once is true of all Neutral Seasons, but quite bright and alive here. To the viewer, it feels energetic and young.

On Bright Seasons, colours seem more at home than neutral grays and browns. Colours become your neutrals. Every Season has its extremes and only that type of colouring is completely at home and at ease in them. As Susan said so well, black is dressy, but only on True Winter is it casual wear. That’s what at home means. It is that easy that it becomes your anytime, anywhere, the one thing you don’t plan around, where you can hide and relax. Having said that, nobody is at their best in head to toe black. Nobody.

Black is only thought to be dressy. Usually, it’s detracting. It can make textile look more expensive, yes. It is easier for marketers to sell us a ton of one thing than have to keep changing production lines, yes. The Dark Winter wears it well enough since it’s dark, but it begins to transform into the solid wall that it is on everyone but True Winter, so they warm it up. Walls are not entirely foreign to Dark Winter energy.

On Bright Winter, there are no walls, there is excitement. They are better in white than black, and a so-slightly yellowed white. Black shouldn’t be more than half the overall look. Thankfully, both Chantal and Rita knew to avoid it. As Bright Springs, a thin stripe of it here and there is fine but not more than that or it does what it always does – makes the colours dead. It sucks in all the light around it, which is an absolute shame for Bright Spring, the clearest, brightest colours that exist. The overall effect is gasping for sunshine.


7. I was very surprised to read that Spring is strongly associated with triangles and diamond shapes. I feel more drawn to squares in fabric (linen plaids, cotton madras, cotton checkerboard print) and rounded shapes in jewelry (beads, hoops, circles). Any comments?

Your preference. Those shapes are what I feel. Some see triangles as a Winter shape. Squares express more practical, natural, durable, serious, productive energy – maybe truer to how you have seen yourself for the last 20 or 40 years. Could be that the next 20 will be a little different.

Four years after my PCA, I was able to pull in the drama of Winter and could tell where the Enough line was. I couldn’t have done it 3 and 1/2 years ago. It cannot be assimilated in a week, a month, or a year. But you do continue to move closer to your center, hear your guides more clearly, and choose what is and is not the real you.


8. I’m having trouble thinking in terms of adding fun to my clothing. Suggestions of nylon, satin, trims, ruffles!! sound very girly, not a look I’ve ever worn or feel very comfortable with – any suggestions as to how I can approach this?

Bright Winter and Bright Spring read the style suggestions and see this

Photo: Ayla87


or this

Photo: dreamphoto


or this

Photo: african_fi



All I’m saying is that you’re not this. She is beautiful on someone else.

Photo: creazine


Start with the colours. Only the colours. Stay inside the lines you are comfortable with today. Pretty soon, they will loosen up and you’ll find some extra breathing space inside them. You might try yoga clothes instead of gardening clothes, as an example. The clothes at Lululemon, Athleta, Title Nine, MEC are often superb on Bright Spring and way better than rugged wear.

There is no need to ever get fancier than that. Nylon is a windbreaker. Satin might be a scarf. Forget trim and ruffles, and glitter. Not everybody does everything. The point is to get energy, as movement and saturated colour, into your look. Workout clothes give you that.


9. My biggest challenge is with the repeated descriptions of Bright Spring as light, delicate, charming, and adorable. When I read these descriptions it starts to feel like maybe I’m not really a Bright Spring after all. Could we have made a mistake?

The most aggressive woman I know sees herself as nurturing. It shocked her beyond belief to learn that in the character assessment at work, every single person pulled out the Highly Competitive card. A very controlling Soft Autumn. Bit odd. And yet, she is absolutely nurturing.

A True Summer of very classic proportions, in fact quite straight in the hip, sees herself as extremely curvy. In her view, she is aggressive, masculine, direct, bold, a walking firecracker. Yes, well, I could go with endlessly seeking. She has no risk aversion though, which is not really a Summer thing.

We get mixed up about ourselves. More important, we are hugely complex. There are only 12 Season groups. Just playing the numbers, factor in 100 personality traits at high, medium, and low levels, parenting, environment, birth order, experience – you wouldn’t have 12 possible combinations, you’d have 12, 000, 000. Still more important, the 12 groups are not organized around character, they’re organized around colour.

Could I have made a mistake? Sure. Anyone can, anytime. But I don’t think I did. We’ll drape you again if you want. Free. Just bring someone with you. I don’t talk much the second time unless I think I got it wrong.

You have a great deal of Winter in your character. You are certainly curious, analytical, and interested. You have the youthful appearance/hairstyle/feature shape associated with childhood, so there would be great continuity if you wore that but you don’t have to. You may find some of that a year from now. You may prefer to express more distance and reserve and less party, just as you are.

Don’t struggle or try to chase it, you’ll just push it further away, like chasing money. Try not to overthink it or you’ll extinguish all your abilities to feel it. Leave it there and explore stepping around your borderlines in ways that feel good. Release any effort at trying to control it. Trust that it will happen, don’t feel that you need to know how. Your mind took it in when your eyes did – remember how that happened during our PCA session? We were learning it together just by seeing it happening. A few words at the beginning and then we could feel it.


10. If it sounds like my thoughts and feelings are whirling around – they are!

They’re supposed to. In our short time together, we had to pull apart everything you thought you knew about your colouring, right back to absolute zero, to the point where you could say, I do not know what is going to happen next. Then, we built it all back up again with the blocks lined up correctly. It is a lot to take in.

To learn, you have to unlearn. What we think we know pretty well is usually where we are weakest.

To learn truth, you must surrender what you believe to be truth. Ask anyone who’s had a PCA. You get enough proof to get rid of a lot of stuff fast and make space for the real and the right. It’s a shock to the system.

To gain control, we must first surrender control. Control is only an illusion. Trying to get it is what keeps us tired.

To gain power, we must surrender power.

To empower ourselves with new truths is bound to evoke resistance. We will come up against it every single day. In detaching and deciding, we become free and open thinkers.

I know that I overwhelm you with information during and after a session with me. Everyone learns differently and I don’t know what will click with you. I want you to leave a different person than the one who walked in, on every level, not just your lipstick choice. These reflections, the expansion, the open-ness, the wonder and the wondering, they will carry over into every aspect of your life.

Begin with the colours, bringing them closer to your body as nail polish or a beach towel. To the viewer, they still look like part of your energy field. In time, less serviceable items may be easier to replace with brighter combinations or prints that feel too risky today.

Keep asking me questions. I need it to know where you could use some help. Helping you in real and tangible ways is what I am here to do.

And remember the whole point of your personal renovation (Chantal’s excellent words):

Add Joy to the Journey, to every little glimmer, every success, every little deeper understanding.



Can Eye, Hair, and Skin Colours Conflict?

Answer: No. Never. They can appear to conflict until your colours are correctly analyzed.

I get 3 or 4 emails each month about this. So let’s talk about it, framed around pieces of conversations with real women. It’s the practical application of my digression in the earlier post, How To Match Foundation.

Palette and swatch in this post always refer to colours found within your particular group of colours in the 12 Tone system of colour analysis developed by Kathryn Kalisz. Some of the Tones or Seasons may have similar or identical names with other companies but if their origin isn’t Sci\ART, their colour collections are different. I don’t know how other organizations developed their palettes, what their colours are, or what the desired outcome of their PCA process is. It’s not my place to answer questions about them.

The eye photos in this post are just lovely pictures. They are not textbook examples of the words or the ideas.


Photo: L-O-L-A


If hair/eye colours are not in the palette

I am a Bright Spring with dark brown eyes, dark brown hair, and light skin.

Yes, Spring under Winter influence is often brown eyed, from a glowy topaz jewel yellow to black brown. Many persons of Asian and Celtic origin have this colouring of darkness in hair and eyes and lightness and brightness in skin.

Since this is predominantly Spring, not Winter, the person is sometimes not conspicuously contrasting, though they certainly can be. A brown eye with light skin or hair is fairly contrasting in itself. Sometimes, the Bright Spring eye is so light brown that it’s yellow, like a wolf. It’s quite a thing to see. Or to be, I would think.

It’s this,


Photo: beverlytaz


not this, but notice the coat colours and the eye-coat harmony, animals are just like us,


Photo: danjaeger



The color of my veins, lips, and cheeks are all in my color swatches and flatter me. However, the brown in my eyes and my hair is not in my color swatches and does not flatter me when I wear clothes of that color. How can I wear brown as an eye and hair color but not anywhere else without looking washed out?

You’re wearing the colour you think you see, which is never what colour is. Here is one reason for why it’s harder to figure for some Tones.

There is variation in hair and eye colour in most Seasons, but nowhere more than True Winter and the Brights. I’m not sure of the answer from a genetic perspective. I don’t think anyone can answer the magic of how harmony happens in spite what our eyes think they see. Maybe the mysteries should remain mysteries.

The way I reason it is that we don’t know the exact pigments that make up our hair and eyes. If I showed you 20 brown eyes, could you pick out your own? Would you pick the same brown as your friends would choose? Would you pick the same browns, yellows, oranges, and other colours, that the drapes (consistent with the Sci\ART colour calibrations) identify within your colouring? Probably not, on any count. We do not know which colours make up our final colours until one is draped. If you knew and wore the ingredients that go into your total hair and eye colours, you’d be utterly flattered.

Bright Spring has many yellows, beer and clear cider colours. When they have dark hair, it’s usually root beer and black tea. It is never coffee, which only looks heavy and thick on a colouring that is as far from those as you can get. Lighter brown hair is herbal tea, not orangey-muted-gold, not velvety-dense-brown. It might look ash brown or medium brown but it isn’t.It i s clear. While clear means high chroma, and transparency is not a quality by which we define colour (because colour can be bright or soft and still see-through), this hair is like coloured cellophane.


Photo: boogy_man


People with green, blue and grey eyes seem to always look great if they match their clothes to their irises.

I would not agree. Blue eyes will match blue drapes or blue clothes in any Season but the best match is only in one. It’s not even a difficult decision. Some aspects of a correct analysis are challenging for a woman to perceive on herself. Achieving the ultimate eye colour is usually easy.

The colour a woman has matched to her eyes all her life is never the best or correct one in my experience. She needs her Colour Book to direct her to her turquoise and only then will her eyes become all they could be. I see women hope they’re wearing their eye colour all the time and most cases, they’re barely in the ballpark.

Blue eyes under Spring influence (one of the 5 possible Seasons) are seldom blue. They’re turquoise, aqua, or cornflower (light blue with very little green, the cornflower being one of the few truly blue flowers, but to me, appears a little violet). It’s a beautiful thing when you find it.


Photo: mzacha


Not just me but a lot of brown-eyed people can’t wear brown.

Quite right, many brown eyed people are Winters of some sort and have very little brown in their palette. And when they’re draped, darned if much of the brown in the eyes suddenly turns black and then they’re wearing their real eye colour at last.

Hair and eye colours as they appear are often not in the True Winter, Bright Winter, and Bright Spring palettes. I think the way it works is that the contributing base pigments are there but the mix isn’t.

You could say to me, OK then, if I could take colours from my palette and mix them, are you saying that I could theoretically make my hair and eye colour from the swatches?

I think so but the truth is that I don’t know for sure if any and every mixture would still guarantee that the hue/value/chroma remain constant. If you mixed complements, you would mute the colour if either of the originals contained the complement of the other. You’d mute the resulting colour into a more muted Season.

To make clear green (say, Winter), you need a blue and a yellow without red, I would think. Could it be done? Winter colours contain red, but are there a blue and a yellow without red? I’m not enough of a colour mixer to know.

Thinking out loud now. To make clear orange (Spring), you’d need a red and a yellow that contain no blue. That seems possible, Spring colours are not blue-based, though some contain blue.

Clear violet – needs a blue that leans red and a red with some blue in it, neither of which contain the complement of violet, yellow. That could make a brilliantly clear violet, even a violent violet, if it’s necessary – sure it is, for Winters. How is that done for Spring where yellow appears in every colour? Haven’t figured that out yet.

Can I make amber or warm brown eyes with a True Winter palette? I think so. True Winter contains yellow, very saturated, a little blue without turning it green. It also contains the other primaries of red and blue. Three primaries make brown.

True Winter and the Bright Tones are intricate and unique types of colouring. Not inconsistent, just complex. Which is why I suggest they think twice before colouring their hair. I have never seen it be improved enough to balance the cost, time, and upkeep.


Photo: lcrumling


I can match clothes to the rim around my iris (which is sort of a dark periwinkle) and it is quite flattering but if I wear clothes that are the same brown as my irises I look washed out.

So it’s not the right brown that you’re wearing, it’s just the one you think you see as the amalgamation of all the many colours in your iris. Good call to notice that the rim of the iris is different and if you can match it, a superlative colour on every person.


How can brown-eyed people can be any Season, but only Autumns can look great wearing brown clothes and makeup?

There are a million versions of brown eyes. Brown eyes can be in any Season, but they won’t all be the same brown. Same with the 12 Tone palettes. Many Tones have brown choices but they’re not the same brown.

Nine in ten women only find out their real eye colour when they are draped. Those brown-eyed people you refer to in your question and the browns that you refer to looking great on Autumns… very unlikely the same brown.


Photo: mokra



Are cool hair and warm skin possible?

I was snow white blonde as a child, but am now a dark, ashy blonde. It’s a cool colour.

 Dark ash blonde could be found on a cool, neutral, or warm person. Apparent hair colour isn’t tightly tied to the true heat level of your colouring, though your overall contributing colours and appearance are always 100% in harmony. Every person. The true heat level of your hair is perfectly consistent with the heat level of your skin and everything else.

We could take your dark, ash brown hair and place it next to five other dark, ashy heads. It would be interesting to see whose is cool, whose warm, and whose is neutral in between cool and warm. I would guess that your hair wouldn’t be the coolest if we compared it on a scale. It might be cool-ish, but that’s not Absolute Cool.

Because you know, Absolute Cool and Absolute Warm, they’re rare in human colouring. Kind of extreme. I haven’t seen a True Autumn or True Winter in ages. I see several Neutral Season versions of Autumn and Winter every month. The thing to wrap your head around is Neutral. What does it mean? What does it look like?

Just playing the odds, you are neither warm nor cool in skin and hair. If you’re like eight or nine people in ten, why wouldn’t you be, you’re a Neutral Season that might lean towards cool.

Whatever you are, cool, warm, or somewhere in between, the setting is the same in all your features. One genetic code governs your paintbox.


Photo: otbora


But I have medium light skin with golden undertones and no rosiness in the cheeks. All I see is yellow. Wouldn’t that be warm?

Colour analysis, which guides every colour decision you will make, isn’t about what you look like or appear to look like. Your natural colouring group, Tone, Season, is determined in the one way that can truthfully reveal it: how the colours in you react to other colours. Nobody can know their truthful colouring correctly without testing their own skin’s reactions against an organized and measured set of colours in a colour-neutral environment. If your colours react the way you expect them to, you would be that one person in 50 who knew ahead of time what was going to happen. That’s why it’s so hard to do from books and photos and impossible from verbal descriptions.

Your skin probably is light-medium. What colour your undertone is, or even whether it’s warm/cool/neutral, nobody knows till we test and measure it. Why am I so sure? Because nobody who comes to a colour analysis appointment is ever wearing their correct foundation – until we solve that question forever more and show you how to make the best choice.


Photo: thegnome54


If my hair is overly golden, my skin looks red. When it’s natural dark ashy color, highlighted with platinum, it looks tanned and alive. Just natural it is bland. Dark red wasn’t good. But when I went a more natural dark blonde with subtle red tones, I got many compliments. Dark golden blonde, more of a caramel, washes me out, as does all over light blonde with no contrasting darker pieces. Can someone have a seemingly warm complexion with cooler toned ash hair?

Actually it’s really common. Usual, in fact. Though there’s lots of good colour observation here, the description could occur in many of the 12 types of colouring. Sounds to me like you have cool-neutral skin with a little warmth, but placed next to wrong hair colour, it will look warmer than it really is. You may have a false yellow overtone, like many cool Neutral Seasons, and be interpreting that as your golden undertones and yellow warmth from the previous question.

Too yellow hair does make faces red, especially True and Soft Summer, I find. But then, there’s a disconnect in your comments. Dark ash with platinum sets up big distance between lightest and darkest, which I find looks right on nobody.

On Summer, their light/dark range isn’t this wide, since it goes from pastel to mid-dark, not icy light to very dark (which is Winter). And so it follows that their best highlight is not that far from the base colour, or else they look striped and severe.

On Winter, they do have this big light/dark range but putting it in the hair is only disruptive, breaking up their force. The randomness looks messy when placed on a colour language that is very far from random. Of course, nothing applies to everybody and you can’t generalize about hair colour across an entire Tone. Some Lights are not flattered by highlights either.

3/4 of women would say their natural hair colour is bland. Not remotely true but media has taught us that it is so they could sell us hair colour. The hair industry, ay? Their biggest problem is that they think they’re fine. Many women would not attest to that – the same ones who bought $40 a bottle of wrong foundation colour. Women love their colourist most of the time. We feel real friendship and loyalty. But regarding our faith that we really are wearing our very best hair colour? Not so sure. Hair is a trend-driven industry – highlights, lowlights, we’ve never tried copper, let’s go lighter. We only have one skin colour. It is illogical that we could be flattered by five hair colours. Become the expert of your own appearance.

Until you are wearing your best clothes and makeup, your natural hair colour will not appear as beautiful and perfect as it is – so I advise women after a PCA to make one trip to the salon to get the heat level set right and come closer to their natural colour. Then leave the hair for a few weeks and work on the clothes and makeup. Your eyes need time to readjust to the real original you and to absorb how your better colours affect your apparent hair colour by making it look perfect and ideal. Then you can really see your hair colour and you can go back to the salon, hopefully only one more time, and finish the fine tuning.

Also, once a woman has had many hair colours, she and those who have seen all those colours can’t make a solid judgment any longer. There’s just too much history swirling around. Someone outside your box needs to touch the reset button. I nominate your friendly neighbourhood colour analyst.


Photo: ElvisFan76


I am at a loss as to what color to dye my hair.

I’m at a loss too till your colours are accurately analyzed. You are like 98% of the real people in the real world who seem conflicting. You’re not. Nobody is. Everyone’s colours make complete sense.

Once we have your Tone understood, every single aspect of your colouring and the colour decisions to follow are consistent and coherent. It’s not even hard. Once we know the truth, each one of us is very logical and connected in our colouring.

But. Even knowing your Tone, I still couldn’t give blanket hair colour advice that would cover every woman equally well. Everyone makes her own darkness adjustment within a Tone. Not everyone is necessarily improved by departure from her natural hair as it grows out of her head. And for nobody is this more true than the Bright Seasons.


Photo: Jan Willem Geertsma


Art and Science

Not being able to explain a thing doesn’t make it not true.

C. said it so beautifully here,

…the science of light, the discovery that it is both particle and wave and how it behaves erratically when observed. So nature is evasive and we can not reduce everything in the world around us to neat mathematical equations

….artists working in isolation through history have been representing through symbol what scientists have been discovering in the lab at the same(ish) time and not even known it. Think of the cubists and surrealists relating back to Einstein’s new world of curved space and the theory of relativity, or the complex inherent patterns in Jackson Pollocks’ work reflecting a new understanding of the complex, previously overlooked patterns in nature.

It seems artists, at least revolutionary ones, had/have a deep unconscious understanding of the stuff of the universe and represent it through symbol before we have the words or the science to explain.

All of these threads…point in the same direction. Colour theory, it seems, is not about finding the best lipstick. It is recognizing we are made of the stuff of the stars and finding our place in the universe.



Spring’s Children

Pure Season children can be the epitomes of their Season personality. They have not yet learned to temper some of their strong characteristics. They are not diluted by the blending with another Season that makes for a thousand unpredictable mixtures. True Spring is sometimes very random, laughter that bursts out, changes in subject you can’t keep up with. Others are optimistic. They will see the bright side but can be very quiet and reserved.

Bright Spring usually is very true to that type, snappy, quick, and friendly, though sometimes have softened their clothes to such a degree that their behaviour seems quieted too. Can clothes do that? I think so. A haircut can change how we act. Heck, just move the part in your hair to the other side of your head to shift your center of gravity.

Light Spring has Summer self-discipline and Spring moxie and audacity, which can leave you wondering if you’re seeing Autumn determination instead. Both can appear spunky, where Spring is often more spirited and Soft Autumn more low key.

Spring Children

The party children. Playful, silly, unpredictable. Would shoot Grandma with a water cannon and say they were only aiming for her walker. As 2 year olds, it takes a lot of extended family to keep them alive.

Photo: blue_one

spilling happiness ; the heart shaped face of the cuteness on the right, clear yellow skin, butter yellow hair like the center of a Laura Secord Easter egg, like the boots below, all True Spring

Favorite topic is themself, whose isn’t, but they will talk about anything. Go to the bathroom and get a drink before this child gets going because they do not turn off easily. Grownups that can talk for a long time often have a Spring+Summer mix, because Summer might start out quiet, but they have a lot they’d like to share. If the story comes out in a timeline, they got a bigger sprinkle of Summer’s fairy dust. If there are many twinkly smiles and jokes, not taking anything too seriously, and really rather be moving than talking, more likely True Spring.

Do not get hung up on every little emotional upheaval.

Will play any game at any time with anybody. No rules? No problem. Who needs them? Staying on task to complete a chore? Now, that may be a problem.

Will stand in a spotlight with a bucket on their head if it gets laughs. Laughs and applause is even better.

Photo: ColinBroug

these boots will find a puddle that will pour in over the top before they get home ; notice the butteriness of the yellow colour, these are True Spring yellow

Will get caught behind the couch at Christmas eating candies with the cousins he talked into joining him. He will squeal and take off to commence the next antic, like eating his brother’s pet fish. Who can get angry with such a happy kid?

Has trouble choosing. Do not ask which of 4 kinds of juice she wants unless you plan to be there awhile or are willing to give her some of each.

Walk in a pouring rainstorm? Sure! Might meet a bear? Great!! Pirates? Better!! They will be friendly bears and pirates in this optimistic and imaginative mind.

Do not need every kid to agree. Whatever floats your boat. Would prefer not to be told what to do in return. Can dig in their heels with the best of them.

Spring Grownups

Spring finds reasons to get along. If things get tense, they’ll make a joke. Summer will soothe and facilitate. Others might put up their dukes.

Photo: Ayla87

Spring windmills on an Autumn background – and why Spring + Autumn Season blends make no sense to me. How do you shop for upbeat functional? how ‘not harmony’ feels

If a True or Light Spring is late for her appointment, when she arrives, she’ll sashay on up the walk, apologizing, floating along in Spring and Summer’s unhurry. If anyone will break down the stereotypes, it will be True Spring. Her iris pattern won’t always follow the rules, in that it contains only blue and grey (no yellow) and much Winter line geometry. Her character may be very gentle and quiet, yet still brimming delight. Her hair might be blonde but it’s usually medium brown. Her eyebrows can be darker than you expect. There is often a pinkish brown somewhere, like the outer part of dry ginger root, and it makes a good eyeshadow that flows really well with the hair colour.

May have learned to blanket her natural sunshine to match all the seriousness around her. She may have forgotten that we need her easy laugh over the smallest things, to brighten the room, the meeting, the world we live in. Serious has nothing to do with smart or kind, just as kindness has no connections to brains or power. And neither does bubbly. Buy her a Flower Power purse at any age .

With optimism are bundled hope and faith. She is not a skeptic, a cynic, a pessimist, or a logician. The world would feel better to her as a simple place where faith sustains and guides, traits for her to honour and express openly. Buying into the myth that grownup=dark can make her feel restricted all the time, like a wearing a bandage that’s too tight when she’s already healed. When she lets herself be herself, it feels really good to be around her. When she’s trying to fit into all the dark seriousness around, I get this crazy feeling of wanting to cry. She holds the most beautiful attributes of the Forrest Gump character, to me a movie that was not about handicaps of any sort. It was about never giving in to bitterness. Forrest knew in his heart that honesty, unwaivering intention, and compassion to a pure, near childlike degree, can simplify life. He knew that IQ, success, and kindness are not prerequisites of one another.

Bright Spring is the Valentine’s Day box of chocolates. More glitz, bigger show, great flash, still delicious, lots of sweet centers. It crinkles and pops right back into shape. Too delicate to survive a year in storage, just won’t come out the same, very in the moment.

Photo: lauralucia

Bright Spring incarnate, as if she couldn’t be real, from a make-believe place

Not sure other analysts would agree, but in the presence of incongruent colour, Spring faces appear to become very asymmetric, almost taking on a Picasso quality. On all of us, the lines on one side of our face are straighter and more curved on the other. On Springs, it can seem as if one side of the face is set an inch lower than the other or the straight/curved comparison magnified. Sometimes, one side of the face or a single feature appears collapsed or even receded backwards relative to the other side. It is one amazing sight to behold with your senses and know at the same time that you’re in the grip of a powerful illusion.

Light Spring hasn’t had a theme song yet. Here is a suggestion.



a beautiful face, very expressive eyes, and the anthem of hope and happiness that Spring extends

Everything about life is nothing short of miraculous. Perhaps most awesome is the body’s and our planet’s capacity for healing and renewal. Spring embodies this most extra-ordinary and wondrous gift, the reminder she offers us just by being here.

Photo: AMA90

that’s a nice True Spring gray, you can see the yellow sun

Smiles easily and with genuine pleasure at greeting or interacting with people, even as adults. This is a trait often seen in Spring men. You see their teeth much more often than men from other Seasons.

If straight hair is your natural texture, then wear it that way. If it’s curly or wavy, try doing what you keep reading about, let it be itself. Forcing straightness on Summers (where hair looks so much better with swoopy curls on the ends or wavy ripples like the surface of water), on Springs (where energy and spontaneity look so good and true in the language of hair), on Gamines (whose punchy natural style should not be constrained, whether a suit or straightened hair), on Romantics (where the stiff hair is not consistent with the softly rounded features)….for those of us looking at you, it’s the difference between tension and relief.

Photo: lhumble

Natural Beauty


Makeup Colours

True Spring could find beautiful makeup in Lauder Apricot Sun lipstick, MUFE HD 6 blush, and MUFE 19L eyeliner. Lancome Rouge in Love 322M could be the lipstick that’s the natural colour of your lips.

Bright Spring might try Tarte Lust lipstain, Mercier eyeshadow in Pewter, and Dior Devilish Pink lips. Sheer and dewy (not frosty, which is hard-looking and works better on the 5 Winter Seasons) cosmetics allow Spring’s youth, glow, and health to shine better than matte and dry do. Lipsticks MUFE RAI 37 is matte and N45 is more sheer and glossy, might look better on the girl above. On mature women who want lipstick to last more than 15 minutes, use a product that doesn’t go darker, like Lancome Rouge in Love 377N on the cool side and 170N on the warmer side. A favorite of mine on Bright Spring is baby peach, a fabulous eyeshadow highlighter in Lancome Meet Me in Paris.

Light Spring’s face looks perfect in any combination of the words pink/peach/beige/miky, even as an adult. Dior Beige Casual lips, Body Shop 54 and 04 lipsticks, MUFE N35 lip and HD5 blush could be great.



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.



True Spring in 13 Kibbes

David Kibbe’s book that amazes me more, the more I try to learn it, contains 13 Image Identities based on the shapes of your body and face.

Like colour, you can subdivide the groups to refine every individual individually if you want to, but even if you get your general category right, you are looking so much more like your real self. I’m amazed at his eye for what works on a body shape and how correct he was. Even about the smaller details, to get the most from this book requires hanging on his every word. Perhaps that’s why the artist stays hidden.

Disclaimer: The images below are probably 50% incorrect.

I can only hold four words in my head at a time and I repeat them over and over, the Shopping Mantras (SM). The details about shoulders and so on come later with the fine tuning. I still make mistakes like I did with colours, but it’s happening less, fast.

The Theatrical Romantic and Romantic

TR SM: intricate, delicate, sharp edges, tapered.

R SM: lush, flowing, circular, ornate.

The singer Adele is probably a Summer R, but I had the perfect True Spring Romantic model in Marilyn Monroe. Problem is, I don’t see the clothes on her very well. Not sure where I went wrong, maybe it’s all too Natural. Or maybe it’s fine for the real Marilyn that her family knew.

Important Note: About the Poly below, Deana brings up such a great point in the Comments below that I want to be sure everyone sees it. She noticed that the pink of the R dress on the right isn’t in her fan. She is right and her 12 Tone fan is right. The pink of the dress is not warm enough for True Spring. Even the blazer for TR with the green pants is just borderline warm enough, perhaps more of a Light Spring colour. True Spring is too yellow, causing their pinks to move into coral and nectarine. I can’t always find the item, the cut, the colour, kind of like a day at the mall, so I compromise and agree that a True Spring could do better.


True Spring TR and R


Dramatic and Soft Dramatic

D SM : crisp, angular, tailored, long.

SD SM: bold, ornate, lavish, draped. Puts Jessica Rabbit in my head.


True Spring Dramatic and Soft Dramatic


The D blue dress- it’s too fussy? I couldn’t find the column I wanted. This one seems long, lean, spare of colour and design. Could its length outweigh its delicacy and tip it further towards ultimate Yang, as happens in the proportions of SD bodies?

No, I get it now. The problem lies not in the degree of fuss but in the fabric: it’s not crisp enough so the angles that the folds generate are not sharp. On a D face and body that is all sharp angles, these round, flowing folds don’t match. Not just that, there are so many of them that the inequality gets even more emphasis. The halter style is better.

Who is that blue dress right for then? A FN would be my second guess. It fits the geometric, asymmetric, rounded edges, rectangle, suggested for FN, and of the narrow and slinky dress description. It’s still string bean and banana shaped, though I can certainly see it on Princess Di. Or is the dress right for no body?


The Dramatic Classic, Classic, and Soft Classic

DC SM: sleek, angular, geometric, straight. Bends are tight, but not necessarily acute angles. Not a circle and not a lightning bolt. I wonder if the yellow dress is too asymmetric but I’d wear it. Trimness is important, the teal shirt would have the side seams taken in so the width at the hem is less than across the shoulders.

C SM: smooth, slim, symmetric, moderate. I had to put in that purple trench to add interest to all the controlled and moderate. The woman who was my inspiration for many of the Allow Yourself To Be True Summer -themed articles is also a Classic. She longs to break out, tries shiny trenches and patchwork jackets. It’s good to know how to break your own rules harmlessly. There will be those days.

SC SM: unbroken, curved, symmetric, softened. Unbroken means smoothness both in lines and textures. Soft = supple, smooth, flat, silky, downy, round, decorative, whispered, gentle, sensitive, sentimental, sweet.


True Spring DC, C, and SC


Lately, I really like shiny, pinky copper on True Spring (4th strip, first and second dots if you have a Sci\ART Book), like metallic apricot (as opposed to SA’s sueded apricot).

The DC ring is curvy but I’d wear it for the head of the Cobra shape that imparts the sharp leitmotif of the group. I was also trying to repeat similar shapes for all the C’s to keep the head to toe continuity Kibbe recommends. For C, I paid more attention to symmetry than colour continuity. For SC, I added more romance as softer lines. For DC, I used more colour repeats. Continuous smoothness of texture also supports the appearance of an unbroken line.

DC has a bigger hand, mine is quite square, and seems to need a menswear or bigger watch. SC is the dish soap commercial hand, the cheese sauce for the broccoli Velveeta hand, perfectly symmetric in length and width, rather than the small-and-wide of SC as roundness arrives.

The Naturals

N SM: slim, straight, eased, simple.

FN SM: vertical, horizontal, bold, blunted. Remove belt from colourful green dress and wear cool white belt low slung for the desired dropped waist.

SN SM: rounded, relaxed, shaped, creative.

The use of texture and separates seems a big difference between N and C, to bring the asymmetry of a more natural, less controlled world to the Ns.

The FN dress – too floaty? It does fit with Free Spirit Chic of FN. There are so many similarities in the ergonomics of the Sci\ART colour analysis and Kibbe body geometry systems. If you avoid what you shouldn’t wear, that’s you 90% better. As long as you pay attention to the Avoid: section, whatever’s left is probably quite decent. Since it’s not ornate, fussy, crisp, severe, or fitted, I figure it would be OK on Jessica Simpson.


True Spring FN, N, and SN


Green cardi on N worn open neck with those nice beads that my eyes would get glued to.

Between SN and SC, the line is tricky for me. Both are the most fluid and smooth of their group. Poly 3B below shows my attempt to compare the 3 Classics and 3 Naturals.

For FN, I tried to go with strong horizontals and verticals with fancy stuff kept low on the body. Between C and SC, and N and SN is a transitional style that seems either could wear. Yes, the SN dress is a Soft Autumn colour, we can just pretend it’s juicy instead of earthy.


True Spring 3C and 3N dresses



The Gamines

These are the clothes you lift off the rack and think they were misplaced from the kids’ section. They’re hip and clever, have lots of personality, are very chic in a small way, and you wish they made them for bigger bodies. You try them on just in case they look as snazzy as on the hanger, and in the dressing room, say to self in mirror, You are no Paul McCartney. Must remove these in case there are cameras in here.

This woman could wear red Capris to the office and look great. She’s the only one who can wear tight ankle length pants with a bold plaid print and just look better, while everyone else just looks funny-peculiar. Her Dark Autum rendition is among my dearest friends. I read the book. Now, can I dress her with vague images of go-go dresses, Carnaby Street, Parisian waiters, sailor outfits, and Madeline’s school uniform floating in my head?

Those are images are off though. This is small in size to give the sense of quick and clever, like squirrels, but not childish at all in design, not Peter Pan, Alice, or jelly beads. I’m feeling that it will take a miracle on the order of the loaves and fishes to figure this out, as if being told to find something without being told what it is.

G SM: small, crisp, skinny, outlined.

FN SM: short, sharp, fitted, extreme.

SG SM: detailed, crisp, rounded, fitted.


True Spring Flamboyant Gamine


The pictures of the Asian women in FG and SG make a good contrast. The cream blouse on the SG is too floppy, I think. In fact, it’s probably the blouse on the model in the right that would be right, but I found none. The Gamines really need a seamstress.

A G could actually bring in some black (might have to to buy anything). Black evokes a rule-breaking approach to life that seems almost necessary.

Those FN shoes, you must admit they’re irregular and chunky.

Kathryn suggested FG as lines contradicting and intersecting in opposing directions. I thought that very clever and held on to it as I made choices.

All the detail would have to be added with accessories, because contrast and piping don’t appear in today’s mass-produced garments. Accessories would add asymmetry and sharpness. Unmatched was a buzzword I used when scanning so that every piece drew attention and didn’t blend overly well. I sensed a personal “you either love it or you hate it” polarity towards these items and outfits, perhaps the extreme Yang and Yin of the Gamines. If jewelry was staccato, it had to be almost obnoxiously so. By the time the outfit was pulled together from the items that matched the guidelines, I got the “OK , I get it already” reaction that I’m learning to expect from Kibbe. Really, I love this man’s vision.



Light And True Spring: Neutral Colours At The Office And CEs

The previous article was about settling into the mood. We looked at some landscapes to help us get the human face and all the emotions it evokes out of our decision-making. The brains of women especially go into an overdrive when we see faces (which is why advertisers make a point of using a face or at least a set of eyes in ads) that make it very hard to be completely impartial about colours to include or decline from the scene. It looks good, right, and real when the woman, her natural colouring, the colours she’s wearing, her own style, and the style she’s wearing, all point in the same direction.

We also decided on the neutral colours are that will be the spine of a work wardrobe. Spring looks so good in colour that wardrobe neutral (which is different from neutrality in heat level) was expanded from grey/beige/brown/taupe to include navy and your darker green, which are the suits I would choose. I would also add blush and pale peach to the light colour choices.

First thing: You Don’t Have To Be Perfect. (Or: Don’t Let What You Can’t Do (or Find At The Stores) Stop You From What You Can Do). We could have an ID bracelet : iLearn. iAdapt.

The face, the woman

Let’s bring in faces. Who are we dressing?

Kate Hudson and Scarlett Johansson may be Light Springs.

60 Minutes is the only TV I watch so I see Leslie a lot. I find her very beautiful in her expressions. She conducts an interview with curiosity and interest, not a fact finding mission. One of Spring great assets is their charm. Because Spring can look so young, age bestows a power and confidence that the young may not feel easy to own. Below is how a True Spring looks wearing Light Spring colours: better than many other choices but somehow not enough the balance her. She is more colour than what she’s wearing. Notice the Suzanne Somers-Joni Mitchell face proportions. True Spring was assembled to look best when they’re smiling. You see twinkling eyes, dimpled cheeks, beautiful teeth, the natural disposition is just to be happy.

Lesley Stahl
Lesley Stahl Pictures

Give her heat, anybody’s heat and it’s better because heat is the TMIT for True Spring. The eye colour is more faded than it needs to be but that’s just a little colour adjustment to bring them up to the level of the hair and lip intensity. I often feel that I would be happy to know her and be in her presence. Looking at these Spring faces, who wouldn’t?

Lesley Stahl
Lesley Stahl Pictures

Ivana – love her lipstick, dress, and necklace. A woman who knows what looks good on her never goes out of style. True Spring needs a lot of cosmetic colour for their magic to happen. Nobody can outdo them cream skin, lagoon eyes, clear apricot cheeks, and pure coral lip colours, all swirling around. Colours aren’t too blended because they aren’t on the natural face. Ivana’s lips, cheeks, and eyes are distinct. I have said that Ivanka, her daughter, may be a True Spring. She has some of her mother’s qualities, but her voice is deep and her manner blunt, more Autumnal. Who knows?

Ivana Trump
Ivana Trump Pictures

Office attire

By comparing the neighbour Seasons of Light Spring (the natural colouring made up of True Spring’s base palette, then cooled and hazed by a wash from Summer’s, so 2 True Season parents = Neutral Season) and True Spring (the natural colouring defined by pure, light, warm, yellow-based pigments), you can see the size of the visual heat shift. You can see darkness and saturation shifts as well when you look from one Polyvore to the next.

For the good of the group, Spring, wear more colour than anyone else. It’s a good rule, rather like always be the most sober person in the room. For the office, keep the number of juicy colours to one big block and one little one, which could be lipstick or earrings, a watch or scarf. Try keeping the very colorful items near you but not on you if you feel too much at first. A colourful jacket or sweater you can drape or carry, a clutch or wallet, a hair accessory on the back of your head, shoes, a laptop case, it all counts if it’s seen in your vicinity. Colour signals confidence, creativity, imagination, sensitivity, self-motivation, and an open-mind. If I am hiring, those are what I’m looking for because they are near impossible to teach, learn, or implant.

Use grasshopper green and goldfish orange. All of us, so often, the TMIT of our Season is what we are busiest suppressing and covering, the thing that makes us most special that we downplay. Being a toned down version of our TMIT makes us usual, average, and hidden. It seems we do it without thinking, and yet it’s the unique features that we love most about others, that define them, not the traits they share with the rest of us. If True Spring does wear mostly neutrals in clothes to work, make every accessory coloured within the limits of the boardroom. While that may look too fanciful on anyone else, on a Spring, it’s a woman who knows what suits her.

All-one-colour looks too quiet. Analogous colours are too gradual.  Spring jumps around more, facial expressions changing every few moments. The person looks like a lot of colour and is better balanced when dressed that way. Of course, nobody looks like a lot of colour right out of bed. Most humans look like variations of brown. We don’t sit at the Food Court and see the yellow-based people. If you stood everyone side-by-side, you’d see the yellow ones. Dressed in their best colours instead of the colours of pavement that are favored these days, suddenly everyone looks different and more like themselves.

For the Polyvores below, if you visit the site, you can zoom in and take a better look round.

True Spring

True Spring neutrals office



Light Spring


For both:

Be unexpected. A blue that has a trace of violet. A coloured shoe. Wear the coloured skirt or pant and neutral top or vice versa but wear colour. Keep the cut conservative and the size of the vivid block controlled.

Purple is so important on Spring, but like yellow and orange, can make textile or garments look less quality, so make these your most beautiful purchases.

The daisy print is saved because the centers are not yellow. The grownup version of kids’ items looks superb – hairbands, patterned tights, beads, all very workable in neutral colours.

Not tortoiseshell, which looks odd to me on everyone but the 3 Autumns. Coloured plastic better.

Avoid fabrics that mute or dull colour. Pick fabrics with a little shine in one element of the outfit. It’s pretty because you shine a little. Also, it adds the sensation of movement just by breathing, which keeps shifting the light play.

If the outfit is neutrals, make the accessories colourful and the makeup glowing, vibrant, alive. Neutral colours don’t belong on True Spring faces and nor do shy lips, which True will turn gray. Just to simulate the natural lip colour for a no-makeup look, it takes a lot of pigment. Neutral colours do belong on Light Spring faces – grey eyeshadows, softer blush, and apricot and beige lips.

Don’t wear darkest with darkest, especially Light Spring. The overall value effect is light for the Lights and medium for the True.

Wear green, excellent for those of us looking at you.

Liven up neutrals by finding them in prints. Coloured buttons are good.

Why all the solid colours in the collections? Because I don’t see prints I like. I was asked to do florals for the 12 Seasons. I’m sorry, it would take years. Wear them if you can find them. Prints are great on Spring.

Consider that neutrals are a bigger challenge for Spring to find than colour. To me, they always feel a little unexciting, as if they do not quite live up the potential of the person. Look at navy, your darker turquoise colours as pant, suit, and skirt colours. Widen the meaning of neutral colour. Some analysts consider your red among your neutrals.

Coloured coats, trenches, and jackets look good on you.

Keep the overall look relaxed. The dark suit looks stiff and heavy. Spring isn’t wrapped that tight.

Play to your strengths. What is it that Spring knocks our socks off with that nobody else can do? Yellow-green. It’s uncommon, it looks like the new leaves we wait for each year.

True Spring

Don’t match too much.

Wear lots of accessories. You know how children can wear a candy necklace, several bracelets, hair clips, and look fabulous. Spring has a lot of that.

Never dull down Spring in any of the 3 colour dimensions. A True Spring who compromises saturation or darkness level looks pale, floury, grey, with doughy bone structure and no angles in the face. True Spring is looking for warmth first, yes, but pure pigments and enough darkness really do matter too.

What about a print with white in it? What should come across is sun. Even a little white can look too crisp and drain you as the Bright Spring drapes did. The two turquoise tops in the upper left of the Polyvore – see how the one to its right has more warmth of a yellow type beaming out of it? The dots one on the left is cooler in the colour, and cooler still and sharper by the white, no primary sense of sunshine, looks more Bright to me.

True Spring goes darker than Light. Experiment with it. If you overshoot, it’s not a big deal. If a Light Spring overshoots, even far from the face, the whole picture is weighed down.

Beige yellow, butterball yellow, not cool yellow. The yolk in those Laura Secord Easter eggs. For zingy days, wear it with purplish blue and pretend you had no idea what purple and yellow do for each other.

I wouldn’t wear red, orange, purple pants to the office but would in a skirt with a cream or beige top. Consider more stuff at the store tomorrow than you did yesterday.

Wearing a busy coloured top? Make the bottom be one of the colours in the top rather than adding yet another colour element.

Mod looks great.

Orange can be a colour that preoccupies the eye, maybe just my eye, but it’s very at home on Spring.

The brown dress – too muted/orange/Autumn? Maybe it’s on the line. Wear it with the Spring orange cardi to pull it over to Spring.

I love blazers. Love them. You won’t wear your red lips to work, favoring nectarine, but wear your red blazer. It looks awesomely strong. Wear it on Casual Friday to stay office-worthy.

Light Spring

Much like True Spring but a lighter colour stamp, since the Season’s TMIT is that colours be light.

Bit more monochromatic than True Spring but still lots of colour. A pink blouse and a turquoise sweater look fine. Since the article is about neutrals, I used those more but go the colour way if you like. We will be very happy looking at you.

The cooler yellows are gorgeous as are the cooler pinks.

Build your wardrobe in the next few months, even buy your Christmas dress now. You’ll be happy in December.

Light Spring Looking Serious has a lot more information about this Season.


We still need to superimpose the Polyvore below on top of those we just looked at. That’s how much the audience has to connect. We are like a 1000 piece puzzle to look at. So amazing when all the pieces fit, so obvious when one doesn’t, somehow our eye goes right to it. Imagine a black dot floating in those collections. You would see nothing else, you’d just stare at it moving around like some kind of hypnosis, like the railroad tracks effect of black mascara.

True Spring on the left, Light Spring on the right.

True and Light Spring office accessories



In 12 Season personal or seasonal colour analysis, True Spring looks

Yellower and warmer.The pink drop earrings for Light Spring are cooler pink and the metal less yellow. Belt buckles are yellower for True Spring.

Brighter, which can translate to bolder.

More pigmented or saturated (compare the green shoes – are they yellower on the Light side? Yes, but you’re always juggling heat/value/saturation at once and these are less saturated).

True Spring’s accessories can also take on more weight. That could be more solid (a heel), sturdy (fabric weight, a buckle), chunky (a belt), big (a stone), or wide (a strap). That bead on a wire effect in jewelry, it looks really excellent on Light Spring. Don’t be too literal or exclusive here, many pieces will work well in both Seasons.


From the book RTYNC pictured in the column to the right:

Colour Equations Light Spring

One light, medium, or dark neutral colour + one light colour or one medium colour

One light to medium-dark neutral colour + one light colour + one medium colour

Two light to medium neutral colours + one light colour

One neutral colour + two colours

Use of complementary pairs in medium sized blocks or with quieter colours.

Overall light to medium darkness effect


Colour Equations True Spring

One light, medium, or dark neutral colour + two brighter colours of similar area

One large block light to medium-dark neutral colours + one small block medium-dark to dark neutral colour + one brighter or lighter colour

One light, medium, or dark neutral colour + one bright colour + two other colours in small areas

Two colours

Full use of complementary pairs

Overall light to medium-dark effect


We are dressing to look like we inhabit our natural space, looking like we were meant to look when we stepped into this world. The glow and vitality of perfect health and eternal youth are Spring’s claim to fame.



Light and True Spring: Landscapes and Neutrals

Once again, in 2 parts. Sorry, I get going, I cannot get stopped. This post will be about the True Spring – a type of natural colouring in itself and an influence on 4 other types of colouring, or Seasons – and seeing what those neutral colours are in comparison with True Autumn, the most likely baffler. Part 2 will be about working neutrals into an office wardrobe. There, we’ll compare Light and True Spring to see the size of the heat, saturation, and darkness shifts between them.

The only ensemble in which I could abandon colour for all neutral tones on any Spring would be the Light Spring in a selection of creams and beiges. This monochromatic scheme leans on the Summer influence of that Season and it looks really good. The Bright Spring needs more contrast. The True Spring needs more colour. Colour is so in place and at home on Spring that we miss it when it’s not there. They absorb it into their body the way Summer does blue and Winter does contrast. Colour is as necessary at the office as on the beach.

One Light Spring said,

One thing that I struggle with a bit is integrating the neutrals and the colours of the light spring pallet. With light summer, the greys work beautifully with the brighter colours of the pallet but I find it hard to wear the browner neutrals with our colours. I tend to wear a colour (or two) with blue denim, a neutral (or two) with blue denim, a colour (or two) with cream or ivory, or two or more colours. I can’t seem to make the leap into mixing a wide range of my neutrals with the colours. As an aside are white jeans doable for light spring, should I only look for cream?

Before I forget, I’d go for ivory buff or light grey in jeans rather than white. The effect of white can be bit like black in that it gets bigger than it actually is if it’s not balanced. It can twinkle in places where most of us don’t have that outcome in mind.

We looked at Light Spring landscapes in Light Spring Looking Serious. The white needed to lighten that palette makes many colours appear milky. Not so in the misty Light Summer or the clear, pure True Spring.

The whole series of landscape articles came about as a way of seeing yourself the way the rest of us do and to objectify what you add to the picture. Which earrings belongs? Which lipgloss doesn’t? True Spring’s landscape…tulip fields? For sure, but watch the saturation. As beautiful as those are, they can be such a riot of red, orange, and yellow that the image screams COLOUR!!!!! instead of :) sunbeam hugs :) True Spring is an easy, playful caress, not a blood pressure spike. True Spring is warm and yellow above all. Imagine the difference between the coral reef and the crayon box. Colour is not shocking, it’s freehand and sunny. Yellow light is radiating from every pixel of this picture. So would the person to look young, healthy, and tuned into their own frequency.

Photo: Auroqueiro

Spring generally does not care for suits, feeling too constrained physically and mentally. They’re not sure where life will take them next, want to make the choice themselves (but may have to overcome wanting every choice), and will resist any restrictions on the possibilities. Even in a perfect tan suit, it can look bland and more mundane than the wearer. The opposite can be true too, where a Winter in their suit looks more imposing than the wearer is or wants to convey. Blazers are in right now. It’s a good time to create some inspired jacket/pants combinations. For situations where a full suit is needed, I would choose your navy over tan unless you find the tan suit that articulates enough light and interest to not look like menswear. Blue would look snappier.

Spring’s stereotype is to have their extroversion translated as effusiveness. Not quite. They have caution and shyness. They are not diving into waterfalls any more than anyone else. Spring is not giddy or superficial, though deep philosophical conversations may feel lacking in wit if they drag on. The extrovert functions best when surrounded by other people. Spring will be bored at a conference alone for a week in a strange city. Winter may feel oddly energized by the freedom from emotion that strangers allow, like they’re living a dream ..oh, wait, we’re not talking about me here. Spring is less likely to exercise alone at home than the introvert who thinks and decides inwardly and moves away from extended contact time with others.

Every Spring I know, all 5 types, has a pure and unaffected sweetness. When they smile, they can literally light up a room, so much so that it takes you by surprise. Attire that feels like this

Photo: Colin Broug

while superb on the right woman, looks bland, repetitive, dry, hard, and monotonous, that is to say, wooden, on Spring. There’s just not enough going on for a person who feels like this to look at

Photo: Ziepo

and maybe this

Photo: Topsoft

or even

Photo: cassie g


Spring, all five Seasons whose natural colouring has those attributes, has a necessary delicacy and lightness of touch. Like the mimosa, the leaves fold when touched. That anything so tender and sensitive could live in the first place, and more, share a beauty that seems other-worldly , even for a moment, this is the wonder of Spring.

Photo: juliaf

True Spring is emotional with feelings that run near the surface. They are also deeply spiritual, whatever their Creator or Source image happens to be. For a being so sensitive, to be brought face to face with the question we all ask, What is my purpose?, not knowing the answer or knowing where to turn can be very debilitating. True Spring takes life very much to heart and can be worn out by life’s complications, wondering why things can’t just be simple. You’d think everyone would want that but oddly no.

Bob Marley. Sun Is Shining, the Songs of Freedom, Island in The Sun, Is This Love, pick one.Why can’t it be enough for life to be happy, easy, and safe?

Barbara J. Winter:

When you come to the end of all the light you know, and it’s time to step into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing that one of two things shall happen: either you will be given something solid to stand on or you will be taught to fly.

Spring Neutral Colours

Let’s look at these colours, these greys, browns, beiges, taupes, and creams. Since any True or Light Spring who wants to look old and tired need only drape herself in black and/or white, I think of the darker blues as neutral colours too. Blue may have more colour signal than the other neutrals, but that’s on everybody else. Spring can wear a lot of colour before it approaches noticeability. Correction: Spring ought to wear a lot of colour. In some ways, colours are True Spring’s neutrals and it’s everyone else’s neutrals that Spring needs to plan.(Light and Bright Springs rely more on grey to be their neutral.) Because Trues share absolute warmth with True Autumn’s browns and greys, knowing you’re buying the right one can be hard.

Spring Neutrals to Autumn Neutrals

peach brown apricot to orange brown lion

clear beige sand to brown beige cappucino

nearly greeny beiges to nearly greeny greys

light and fresh and sunny to heavy and thick earthy

stout beer is darkest to coffee is darkest

blonde, Palomino, flax to ochre, umber, sienna

bunny, chipmunk, house cats to bear, moose, wild cats, and often dog colours

yellow ivory, almonds to antique ivory, old lace

wild chanterelles!!! to cigars, light to dark

This Polyvore shows the True Spring (Left) and True Autumn (Right) browns and greys. Think about the diff between beige and camel.

Spring and Autumn neutral colours



Across the top left: a range of Spring greys with a bluer one on the right end to show you a Summer grey – how do you do this in stores ? Like for any other colour, go around and gather a bunch of items in that colour family. Even if they’re close, they’ll help your mind see which are the yellower ones, which are greenish, etc.

Center top L and R, side by side, the black ballet flats pants are Spring while the coral top pants are Autumn; greeny yellows are more Spring while Autumn’s greened greys look like army Jeeps.

Autumn will go darker than Spring; Spring will look good and make better outfits in lighter pants than Autumn; Autumn’s light colours are darker and heavier.

Orange browns, mustard, red browns are Autumns; peach, blush, and yellow browns are more likely to work for Spring ; those in the center with the blue top, I could see on either, they have a pinker quality than the Autumn ones to the right.

Words won’t really help you shop. Here’s the easy way: own your Colour Book of swatches. Own the Book of the Season that causes the most confusion, like True Autumn, though you don’t really need to. In the case of browns and greys, there are not many overlaps or similar colours except maybe among the very lightest. Why certain colours go into each Season doesn’t matter. I don’t know either. You’d have to be expert at mixing paint to have devised all those precise tones. If you match the Book as closely as you can and think about the overall weight the colour of the entire item conveys, you will be fine. The difference between 85% and 100% isn’t that important. The rest of the outfit will create a beautiful finished look.



The True Spring With Dark Hair


Tension Vs. Relief


Learn To Trust Your Feelings

A fascinating draping experience recently.

A woman of Northern Italian descent. Her overall appearance was of a mid-range darkness level. From the nose down, she had an Old World Mona Lisa face shape. Dark beige hair and eyebrows (hair growing out an orange-red dye), light brown lashes. Her eyes are large and a green brown colour that glowed yellow if lit from the side. Baby perfect skin that seemed fairly clear, more translucent than restrained in colour clarity. Her mind could spin in three directions at once. This lady could change topics on a dime.

One of my reasons for loving the Sci\ART analysis system is that it self-checks as it proceeds. No Season is canceled until we have multiple sources of corroborating evidence, meaning many different comparisons that always gave consistent results. We were sure she was a True Warm. Our choices were down to True Spring and True Autumn.

This is where it got difficult. She was one of the few women I’ve met who was not even slightly drawn to Autumn colours. My gut feeling was always Spring in every contest. In the end, True Spring brought out a delicacy in the features that Autumn would blunt. We saw darker shadows under the eyes in Autumn drapes. The edge of the iris was fuzzier. It was the Spring brown that most intensified eye colour, not Autumn’s camel brown.

The dark haired True Spring won’t look like Charlize Theron. Lightness is not True Spring’s TMIT (the most important thing). Of course, even Seasons whose TMIT is lightness can have dark hair because hair colour is very varied among all Seasons. True Spring’s TMIT is yellowed warmth. The Season doesn’t get very dark but the colours that most folks associate with True Spring actually reside in Light Spring. When we finally wrap ourselves around True Spring palette, we say, Oh, wow, I didn’t get how much colour there is. Most people would be physically fatigued after an hour of trying to match the energy of True Spring colours. Even when we are dealing in brown, there is a lot of brown.

The richness of colour and the high degree heat give True Spring colours much more intensity that we expect. The darker colours are so saturated that on a person of fair skin, they can appear to be fairly dark. Put that hair on the head of a dark person and it would look lighter, like sandy brown. The same colour that looks quite dark on Helen Mirren will look just medium on Sandra Bullock. The question we want to answer is, What are your darks? Which colours make up your perfect set of just-right-darkness darks?

Natural hair colour isn’t always typical of the average for any Season. Indeed, there’s very little yellowed hair growing from heads over 35. If that colour were added to the hair, it would look great on most True Springs but not all. Many True Springs don’t have Uman Thurman’s Nordic genes. They are inherently darker of hair and eye. Highlights are never a necessity nor do they flatter everyone in any Season. As we saw in The Emmas Are True Springs Part 1, the result of a PCA can be quite unexpected, and never more than for True Spring.

I try to think of resemblances because I often see people for 3 hours and never again. I can’t always remember faces for future email questions. Also, it helps us picture changes on ourselves if we can apply them to a look alike. This woman made me think of Lucrezia Borgia. There was a Renaissance quality to her face.


The facial progressions to find a modern day version landed on Spanish actress Sophia Valverde. She could be a dark Winter for all I know, but could you agree that she doesn’t seem an automatic Autumn? There’s a lightness of colour and a delicate bone structure. She is more streamers (Spring) than building blocks or bricks (Autumn). Is that just because she’s 20 and beautiful? Yes, sure, very possible.

Here she is as Lucrezia.


And another version of the same woman.
María Valverde
Mari­a Valverde Pictures

What does streamers and building blocks tell you about a person’s colours? Nothing. Season can only be known by in person draping. I’m not trying to prove Maria is a Spring. It’s just fun to think about. Have a look through this evolution of Maria. I found Picture 9 most interesting. Then, let’s compare her to Jillian Michaels (watch the video clip) and go through our Autumn vs Spring question list.

Who is an unattractive blonde? Maybe both women are. Jillian has great Autumn hair colour. Blonde would not be nearly so good, though not as rough as on a Dark Autumn. There, if she’s 30, she looks 50, and if she’s 50, she looks a much older woman, as if she’s frosted her hair with grey for some reason. The pale pink lip they put on Jillian looks grey, as every pastel does on Autumn.

Who feels like bricks? Jillian does, perhaps part of her media persona, but it doesn’t feel a big stretch. Maria looks to have a lighter, more playful touch.

Who wears corduroy, who taffeta? I’d suggest J and M in that order.

Who wears toffee lips, who clear salmon? I don’t see J in clear salmon. Maria? Well, I’d be open to either. You don’t have to know the answer to every question just as the winner in every drape contest won’t be obvious or easy. Maria in toffee lips makes me feel like I did when Leslie Stahl of TV’s 60 Minutes wore a curry lipstick. Goodness gracious, it wasn’t good. Another time, Leslie wore a lime green jacket, a black and white polka dot blouse, and bright pink-red lips. Gorgeous, professional, striking, confident.

Whose energy is best described by solidly grounded? Ms. Michaels definitely is. Maria seems too delicate. If one of these is the little coloured glass figurine that sits on a little mirror, it is Maria.

Photo galleries are a good exercise in learning to recognize tension and relief. Don’t think about shadows or makeup and so forth. Only think about when looking feels most relaxed. Only think about where your guts don’t tighten up at all. Where do you need zero internal adjustments, where is it all acceptance and no resistance? Where is there no distraction of external stuff to process before you get through to the real person? Every time you change the photo, every time I change a drape, tune into your first response – did you feel a step forward or a step back? Maria’s gallery is here. Lightness or golden-blond, as the photo leaning on white wall never feels so good, too heavy or thick. Something about the long peach dress works.

Renata’s recent post on Ivanka Trump shows another woman who reminds me a lot of Maria. Similar face structure, like the singer, Dwight Yoakam. They sure could be Soft Autumn, but I would be keeping True Spring in mind till they’re draped. Autumn women often have a deeper voice, as does Ivanka. But then, so does Scarlet Johanssen who appears Spring. Cannot go by that.

A most astute True Spring reader sent me this photo of Nicole Richie. That seems a True Spring red, maybe even more saturated than that depending on your monitor, which would push it into the Brights. I have no idea what Season the woman is, though the stereotype pushes you to drawing Soft Autumn assumptions and maybe that’s correct. I’m just saying that you have to stay very open to the possibilities. This colour doesn’t look completely overwhelming on her. She is sorry in black and sad in white, so are Soft Autumn, Light Spring, and many True Warm Season people. Have a look at this most interesting gallery. All this yellow coming out of these eyes- who knew it was there?

Michelle Williams is similar. Many blonde hair green-eyed celebs like Hilary Duff and Kate Moss seem Soft Autumn to me. Not this woman. The pixie face, the general sense of lightness, dimpled cuteness and youth, speak to me of Spring. Strong, solid roots doesn’t seem to capture her somehow. Ethereal, sprite, and fairy fit better. She’s not a great ash blonde, nor is she a natural blonde. See all the yellow in the eyes?


She is a great honey blonde. She can go incredibly yellow and just gets prettier.

Photo linked to Allure Beauty Trends blog.


Perhaps we haven’t learned much we didn’t already know besides illustrations of the difference between tawny (Autumn) and perky (Spring). And how hard it can be to see the difference and the many ways in which it got hidden. That’s fine. Seeing the infinite variations of beauty never stops inspiring us.

We often look at one another’s photos. The fascination and the problem with them is that until we see you in person and in your right colours, we haven’t really seen you. I find this with every woman whose photos I’ve looked at many times, then finally see in her right colours at a draping. It took those colours to fill in the missing blank, to express everything that that woman is, not just some parts of her. This is where the frustration of searching for your right colours arises, of trying to come up with that last elusive jigsaw piece. You know you haven’t been seen, or been seen as someone else, and you’re tired of living the half-truth.

One of the basic questions asked by philosophy is, Who am I? But we get confused and uncertain, with age and media and so on. Eventually, what we are looking to answer is, Is this me? Without knowing that, it’s hard to move on to answer, What is my place here? What is my purpose? That’s what the woman sitting in front of the analyst’s mirror is looking to recognize. It helps her pin down, This is part of me. That is not part of me. The border between the two is here. That is why women want to know and understand their colours and how to express their colour language. And why it disturbs many analysts so much to hear that they’ve tried and tried and keep getting different answers. At least know that there are analysts as distressed by this as you are who aim to fix the problem, even if it means exposing it, discussing it openly, maybe ruffling a few feathers, and then moving away from these Dark Ages to a lighter, truer, more educated place.

PS – about a question on differentiating Spring and Autumn’s peach:

Spring’s peach can be found in a pile of cooked cold shrimp on one of those $2.50 rings you can buy, you know? You can perceive gentle white, young skin pink, and clear luminous yellow. And it’s moist.

Autumn’s peach is more likely to be in a bouquet of dried flowers. It will look duller and drier. If asked whether you pick up the same colours as the shrimp ring or let’s say, the presence of tapestry beige, brick red, and muted gold, you’d choose the latter.

In the Comments, Renata asked for a visual of the comparison. Huge thanks to Margo for creating the graphic below, a gift of creativity and time.


Note: I do not own the photos on this page. Wherever possible, they are linked to the site of origin. If you own these images and would like them removed from this page, I would be happy to do so.