Tag Archives: shimmer makeup

The Best Skin Finish on Winter Colouring

In any change you want to effect, three questions matter:

1. What do I want?

2. Where am I now?

3. What am I willing to do to get what I want?


What Do I Want

Very hard question. Most of us are schooled in what we don’t want. You might want to develop the full edge and potential of your appearance. If your idea of great makeup is to take what’s already there and make more of it, as mine is, Winter’s best makeup might have your redefining your position. The colours in the face are a lot and now we’re going to add a lot more. Adding just a little more doesn’t move Winter very far from the start point, or nowhere close to the max point, but maybe you just want to know a nice eyeliner and gloss and that’s all. There is no right or wrong answer.

There is nothing wrong with being a Winter without makeup. The important thing is to channel what you do towards the outcome that you want. Too often, we’ve never identified either what we want or what we do to help or hinder that. If you’re a Winter, the time has come. No face is more altered with makeup. As in life, the good and bad are equal. As in all things Winter, they are also simultaneously at both outer limits. Other types of colouring tend to look more similar with and without makeup, which is a definite good thing. But it’s the Winters who can go miles from where they started, and that’s good too.

I like a lot of colour on Winter, a lot of makeup, a lot of drama. The face is that way already. I want every woman to be all they could be. Would our 80-year-old selves excuse us for having been less than that? Would our reasons have been good enough? Hint: no excuse or decision based on fear or negativity is ever good enough.

This is good.

Shiseido banner



I know it’s hard. This is the group whose language is power, a currency that women have been un-trained to deal in by every force in their lives. Power is not second nature to us.


Where Am I Now

Even harder question. Unpacking our own luggage and seeing what’s really in there can be scary, especially if the zipper has been jammed for awhile. Lots of people can’t admit their height and weight and those are facts. As the oft-heard quote states, Reality is an acquired taste. And slowly acquired at that.

All those Winters from the 80s, which seem to have been in the majority, are very seldom Winters, which is fine because they’re usually wearing Summer colours. The real Winters are buried among every other type of colouring. Their road back is a longer one for the Tone you might think would be the easiest to analyze and dress. They don’t see it coming unless they are very dark of hair and eye to begin with.

Once, I’d love the Winter to walk in who is overdone in her Winterness. The young ones are, even without makeup. They’re bringing it. More eyeliner (that we remove), thigh high boots (brown, but they’re trying to be bigger and it’s good), cape flying, doing something luscious with the hair, more ME-ME-ME. In our fifties, we women have toned ourselves so far down that we can lose our discernment of what is just normal and right.

Especially in our later years, when our faces finally carry all the power that took 50 years to build, isn’t it time to stop being so careful? I get that not everyone wants to present a heavily made up, dramatic face, but it’s not even about drama in makeup. There is so much caution to shake off. Drama and glamour haven’t been added for a long time and yet, this is where they are most at home, most normal.

Personal Colour Analysis is a gateway to Here’s Who You Are.


What’s In A Winter Face: both extremes at the same time.

To be more specific:

1. Contrast. You saw this coming. It means that there is a lot of distance between everything and everything else, such as:

Features from skin. The skin is very even, smooth, and quiet. Insert into that landscape a mouth, cheeks, eyes, and eyebrows whose colours create a big and sudden jump from the background. That Shiseido banner up above.

Light – dark levels of contiguous colours. Eyeliner is dark (it contains more black than any other group). The eyeshadow next to it, the lid colour, is a fair bit lighter (lid colour is medium on the other groups). The next band, the eyeshadow contour, is quite dark by comparison (more about that later). The eyeshadow highlight is icy light, nearly white (not the case for pastel on Summers and creamy on Warms). The brow is quite dark (but not darkened more than Nature designed on anyone), very sharply defined, and dramatized extra (crisp, arched, lengthened, whatever works on that face, which is simply to see what’s there and make more of it). For sure, any particular face might need these adjusted a little, but this is the generic look.

Textures, ultra matte to ultra shine. Quiet skin. No special effects. Snow White’s face isn’t contoured (which sets up lowlights for Autumn), dewy (sets up highlights, best on Spring), or cottony (sets up fluffy, just right on a dreamy Summer). On a Winter face or a winter landscape, those look muddy, busy, and trivial, a million miles from Winter. You want foundation whose coverage is opaque enough to make a very even blanket. Powder the whole face evenly. Add lots of eyes, lots of mouth, more blush or less (both can be good). Done.

The Best Skin Finish on Winter Colouring is: Even.


2. Drama. It’s like a deficiency when drama is left out of a Winter eye design. Not wrong. There is no wrong, no answer that works across the board, even within a Season. Winters I’ve seen, they not only balance drama, they are enhanced further with it. It doesn’t look even dramatic, exciting, stimulating, theatrical, or otherwise extraordinary. It looks normal.


Photo: Krappweis
Photo: Krappweis

Would the image above make sense with a soft and gentle eye colour or shape (expression)? Winter’s is not a gradual, blended, or soft face.

When Summers buy cosmetics, look for products that have a gentle application. Remember when we applied your makeup and we divided the foundation with moisturizer, as I do on every Summer and Spring, because heavy and matte products look like a mask on your delicate skin texture and softened colouring? The same principle applies to all your cosmetics. Having said that, we also showed you that when a colour is correct, you can apply almost any amount of it and it just blends believably into the skin. That’s true, but these are two different ideas. Summer begins with a product that swatches like a watercolour. Winter is looking for oil paint.


3. Keep the number of cosmetic colours low. 1 is good. Colour is subtracted from winter landscapes. Many steely dark grays, many icy grays or icy colours (means nearly white). Very little colour activity. And suddenly, a deeply flushed cheek. A red or purple mouth. The colours in the face are shocking enough on a still and quiet energy.

Remember how on Lights, dark colour takes over? On Winters, it’s colour itself that becomes too much too quickly.

Photo: pixaio
Photo: pixaio

Would this be more effective if we added a buttercup, a bluejay, and a lilac? No, the red would lose its voltage. There are thousands of these photos out there because they make sense to humans by reinforcing something we already know and recognize.


Photo: Nossirom
Photo: Nossirom


4. Intensity. Don’t leave any features behind. Enhance each one to the same degree. Thou Shalt Not Be Wimpy. Apply a lot of colour to each feature and don’t blot any off till the whole face is done. Each part looks like too much on its own but it all works together when all the pieces are in place. Blend nothing till every part is done or you’ll overblend that feature back into cautious and unbalance the face.

Thou Shalt Not Be Wimpy applies equally to concealer as lipstick. The blues and purples in the skin are so saturated that a sheer concealer won’t hide them nearly as well as a product with good opacity. I like  NARS Radiant Dreamy, MAC ProLongwear, and Arbonne for that reason. They stay where applied, last amazingly well all day, and dry fast so I can apply foundation over top immediately without overly diluting it or smearing it everywhere. I am very fussy about where concealer goes but I use a lot of it.


What Are You Willing To Do

Look very different to yourself? Exchanging a plaid duffel coat for a black and white herringbone is a step. Wearing bigger jewelry than all your friends? Be the only one of the girls to wear a fuchsia red mouth?

Draw a lot more attention to yourself? Stand out and apart? As many have discovered, getting noticed for being different isn’t easy, even is it’s a good different.

Wear your real true This Is Who I Am hair colour?

No right or wrong, just questions. Everything looks easy from the outside. Try it, you may find it takes some effort. What are the conditions on what you’re willing to do?

Would you wear twice as much makeup as you wear today? Most Winter women accept the eye makeup fairly easily. Lips can always be sheer. Winter’s sheer is Spring’s Oh, dear Lord, too much, wipe it off, start again.

Winters, pick sheers with a lot of colour or save your money and buy Chapstick. Where you hear the brakes screech is with the blush. They feel like clowns for a week. What everyone else sees is a pulled-together face. Not in how much, which you can decide, but in how red. Blood on snow, right?


The Nature of Reflected Light

The Spring, Summer, and Autumn articles preceding this one are linked in their names. The idea is that our natural colours have a way of reflecting light. Beyond just the colours of the reflected light, the wavelengths have properties that reach our other senses, as texture for instance. In Chinese medicine, our fingers are entry and exit points for energy. Of course. How could they not be? They touch everything. They’re up and down-loading who we are all the time. Each of our sense organs is doing the same. Each of the 12 Tone colour collections speaks a certain language, is evocative of certain emotions, reminds of certain landscapes, and makes sense if consistent in colour and touch and sound and scent and taste. It’s all happening at once. The knee bone is connected to the neck bone.

Summer soft, gentle, serene, muted colours don’t make sense in leather pants. Skin with that colouring has reflective properties truer to the surface of an opal, not a mirror or an elephant’s hide. Soft Autumn skin reflects light like felt and its colours are more beautiful in that texture than done up in Mr. Freezies. Do colours bounce light in certain ways that tell us texture? Or is it that skin painted in certain colours also carries other qualities that bounce light in a way that impresses texture?

The True Winter surface is smooth and hard. Dark Winter is smoother than Dark Autumn but not 100% smooth; it’s also thick, and not quite as hard as True Winter. Bright Winter is very smooth, shinier, and semitransparent – Dr. Sheldon Cooper, as opposed to Autumn’s Magnum P. I. Though some will cringe, I’m still going with rubbery for Winter skin by comparison with the other Seasons.

So far, we’ve said:

Bright Spring: glass

True Spring: persimmon

Light Spring: petal


Light Summer: peach

True Summer: cotton

Soft Summer: flannel


Soft Autumn: suede

True Autumn: velvet

Dark Autumn: leather


Dark Winter: Vinyl

If we start at Dark Autumn and move along to its cooler side, we arrive next at Dark Winter. These are both Neutral Seasons. Dark Winter has more in common with the True Season parent of True Winter, but does share the most important dimension of colour, darkness, with the Neutral it’s paired with and whose descriptor it shares, that is, Dark Autumn.

We begin with Autumn’s canvas, which is strong and textured. As Winter settles in, the skin texture smooths out. Dark Autumn leather is transitioning.

Dark Winter skin throws light back like vinyl.




Not just record vinyl, but inflatable products, dominatrix gear, and tarps. Maybe even a car. Industrial, tough, shiny, smooth, waterproof, and useful. Good Dark Winter words. Not bad words for their jewelry and belts either. Dark Winter takes Dark Autumn’s gypsy/Rustic Opulent and shifts it to gladiator. A sweater in black or dark grey metallic looks like chain mail. Stud, armor, and heavy link effects are a natural fit here, scary elsewhere.

Dark Winter is mysterious. Christmas Eve, the dark jewel-toned ornaments, the fireplace, the night, the lights in the windows. Very nice, but there’s something bigger going on. The feeling of waiting for something. Waiting for the reason behind the pretty. Deeper, even darker. Sinister.

Nude lips on Winter looks tired and old. Dead lips, a good friend calls it. My new favourite lipstick is Shiseido RD 305. It is just pink enough to not be red-lips. It is beautifully saturated with the touch of brown that Autumn adds to make your colours less cold and more natural than True Winter. That brown is essential to create the encompassing harmony that only a colour analyzed appearance can give. You are coloured with a little of that brown, where brown is dark orange, and your hair, skin, and eyes have some gold-amber-orange tones. If your skin is light to medium, this colour may be your best natural lip. It’s not dark, often the case with Dark Season lip colours. It’s fresh daytime believable natural lip colour. Not ready for it yet? Top it with clear gloss.

Bronzer can play a tiny part because Autumn has left behind the slightest texture or roughness. Contour carefully, with powder that has enough red to disappear into the skin (eleablake‘s Miss November is great). Follow the 3 shape at the sides of the face and down the sides of the nose bridge, using a small amount, more to carve more geometric drama into the face than to warm it up.

Soft Summer’s darker foundation trick to contour is too wishy-washy here. More colour is required to be noticeable and achieve the outcome. It’s not a bad option as you learn or if you want a very subtle effect, just be sure the darker powder is as cool as your foundation or you’ll look yellow. It takes a lot of colour to make any difference on the intensity of this inherent colouring. A few shades of beige this way or that will make less difference on Winter skin. Carefulness is plain pointless.

Darkness works. Smoke is natural, like the Autumn muting in the skin. Smoked eyes make sense. The lighter lid eyeshadow can equally well be fairly dark. Any Season can do smoked eyes, but it’s most at home on the Darks. Even the other two Winters are best to exercise caution in darkness so it doesn’t look heavy. They look better in clean and silvery.


True Winter: Ceramic

Even smoother and even harder.

True Winter: ceramic. Like a white sink. Impenetrable, tough, and enduring.


Photo: nade
Photo: nade


Clean. Picture the makeup colours from your palette painted right on that white sink. Dark eyes, red-violet cheeks, red-violet lips. No fuss, no frills. Not smoked (Dark Winter) or clear, as in translucent (Bright Winter). Can you tell this before they’re draped, by looking at them? Absolutely not. True Winter is always the draping surprise for me, even more so than Bright Spring.

For True Winter, that very quiet blanket of skin without a lot of cheek colour, or with an icy light cheek, is excellent, like the picture at the top. For Bright and Dark, colour on the cheek is better, I find. It adds to Bright liveliness and Dark intensity.

Eyeliner is dark. Eyeshadow is quite light and silvered. Under brow highlight is near white or some icy (near white) colour. Contour and back corner eyeshadow is quite dark. Darkening the outer back corner of eyes looks good as a way of adding drama. Use a dark gray/black eyeshadow. Go over the eyeliner to fill in holes. Drag the dark shadow out past the crease. Turn around and start pulling in inward above the crease, not in the crease. This enlarges the apparent size of the eye and recedes the skin above the crease that can close in. On eyes where the upper half of the lid is smaller than the lower half, the crease is shallow, or the eye prominent, you would omit this effect. Deposit some dark shadow at the outer lid corner.

Other Seasons will use a darker shadow that isn’t much darker than the lid colour or skip the effect altogether. On a Light Season, where dark colour takes off, the eyeshadow contour can just be the medium lid colour packed on a bit more heavily. On a Soft Season, the liner, lid, and contour are quite close in darkness level, as in medium, with contour only slightly darker. They distinguish their roles by being of different colours in similar darkness levels, rather than Winter’s variations on one colour (gray) in extremes of darkness levels. On a Winter, light means really light and dark means really dark. You are it already. So be it, as P. said so cleverly.

I do not know how bronzer can improve this face but I’m willing to see it if anyone has good products or ideas. You wouldn’t want to dull that spectacular opposition of The Purity and The Darkness that only this colouring incarnates.

Winter’s sheer is Spring’s almost-opaque. The best Winter gloss I can think of comes from Lora Alexander at Pretty Your World. The texture, finish, and amount of colour are excellent, with good clarity. Glama and Hot Lips lip colours and Fast Track blush are great (I own them). From this compare page of the Cool Winter selections, Diva looks super good too.

Though True Winter is very red-based and looks great in blue-based red apparel, I find their most natural fit for blush and lipstick is somewhere in the pink-fuchsia-purple spectrum. That may be because true red lips are like true black eyeliner, somehow harder and more dramatic than human faces really are. Dark Winter’s burnt rose red and Bright Winter’s strawberry or pink red alleviate the pure redness. True Winter does the same by using violet, meaning clear purpled pinks. Arbonne’s Raisin gloss is a very impressive purple. Lauder’s Raspberry Pop is good but gentler, as is Merle Norman’s Raspberry on Ice.


Bright Winter: Silicone

How about Bright Winter? That amazing special blend of innocence with a dark, brittle edge. The geisha could span the Bright Seasons. Once the delicacy feels almost too rare to conceive on this Earth, the hummingbird, a membrane-thin gold foil, we’re into Bright Spring.

Spring has a hand in Bright Winter. Therefore, we need a sugar coating, shiny, fun, and ornamental. Pink frosting on lids, cheeks, and lips, lilac highlights, more play (more colours at once), more theater (cat eye, a few false lashes, fine winged brows, bright lips, hats with veils, cloche hats with beautiful ornaments, because hats and earrings are face accessories). Below, the haircut, the dress print and line, all awesome.




Definitely a lighter palette than the other Winters.

The skin’s reflectance had me searching for an analogy. Fine china with that near-transparent edge? Thinking, thinking,…mostly Winter, therefore rubbery and even, but a little softer with a transparency in the outermost layer… oh, you’re going to love this, jellyfish! Not good? Soft boiled egg? Maybe. Yes.

But jellyfish is so good. Stay with me here.


Photo: drakemata
Photo: drakemata

The flamenco dancer.



Photo: bofft
Photo: bofft

Heavenly and magical.



Photo: zoel
Photo: zoel

You see where I’m going?


How do we translate this to makeup? You don’t have to do a lot, you have this smooth and rubbery (all Winters) clarity (Brights) already. Clear silicone skin. Increase it with intensely coloured products, pigments so pure, you would swear they’re transparent. Brush powders with the slightest finest shimmer effect on all exposed skin. Don’t stop at the jawline. It’s a sprinkling of fairy dust, that sugar topping, an overall crystalline effect.

Bronzer? A little icy gold uplight, sure. Baby peach, always good on Brights. Very little. We feel no bronzer per se here:


Photo: Andreius
Photo: Andreius


Chanel Glossimer in Jalousie is nice. Bagatelle is a light, pretty peach, Clarins Crystal Violet and Revlon Lip Butter in Raspberry Pie could be shared with True Winter. Stila Lipglaze Raspberry Crush is very good.


Recap: The skin is calm and even in colour and texture. By using strong lines, bold colours, intense pigment deposits, and big distance between light and dark, both adjacent and separate, we create very clear feature definition. There is no question about where one ends and the other begins.

For Summer, we said: The skin is soft and dry, setting up gentleness and gradual muting. The features are blended into the skin with colours that create a soft flow or diffusion instead of sharp definition. As colours flow into each other as hazy mists, it feels difficult to tell where one feature ends and the next begins.

For Autumn: The skin is contoured, setting up lowlights. The features are defined from the skin by colours that are warm and velvety and the judicious use of metallic glints.

This was Spring: The skin is dewy, setting up highlights. The features are fresh, lively, distinguished from the skin by being very colourful, moist, and vibrant.



The Best Skin Finish on Summer Colouring

Feeling Imbalance

I went to a meeting. As the women arrived, one woman distinguished herself immediately as a leader in any crowd. Her physical presence was noticed first because she was quite tall and strongly built. Her face was equally strong, in the colours of coffee, cream, and golden piecrust, with clove brown eyes. Wearing bronze eyeglass frames with copper glints, her only makeup a beautiful deep cinnamon lipstick, she was striking and beautiful.

She moved through the crowd with confidence. She had the business savvy to put in a plug for her company as smooth as could be. Her natural qualities of character were as manifest as her beauty. Her choices in clothing and jewelry, although of high taste and quality, were confusing.

Nobody is ever unattractive. Every woman is truly a beauty in her face and her heart and I can look straight in your eyes to say that. But there are better choices. Better ways to spend our money that look more truthful and less artificial. In a white dress with splashy flowers in primary colours, suddenly, the random blonde hits in her hair stood out as disorganized. The coloured glass bead necklace looked plastic because our energy modifies not only colour but also texture and everything else that comes near it.

In the white jacket, our needle skips into a groove of wondering about skin that’s seen too much sun. It’s uncomfortable now. We have thoughts we don’t want to have. During your colour analysis, we’re going to see what the drape colours do to your skin. We are equally going to observe what your own colours do right back to the drapes (and so to your clothes and jewelry choices). Next to our woman’s colouring, white ages her skin. She in turn alters simple white to become strident and look, well, a little cheap. Thoughts we don’t want to have.

We love this woman. It doesn’t feel right that we can’t settle in her presence but our visual system is on a roller coaster with too much to process. I’m always reminded of a light-coloured person wearing those Christmas sweaters in strong reds and greens with shiny ornaments appliqued on the front. Like wearing garland. We’re feeling effort and distraction. Subconsciously, we’re scanning the room for somewhere easier to be. She is an Autumn, probably True Autumn, wearing colours and feelings made for another woman.

Where’s the balance? How can we know the way to enhancing what we are in a way that attracts people into our presence? By wearing the colours and lines that we are.

Soft Natural True Summer

One of our group wondered about a Polyvore using the True Summer palette, adapted for a Soft Natural body.


Classic bodies are people who are medium in their proportions, like me. Nothing really out of the ordinary, in the center of the National Standards charts. Natural bodies are similar, with a heavier bone structure and more muscular tendency. The other groups belong to those body shapes that strike you as not average. They are Dramatics (long and lean, Keira Knightley, or long and curvy, like Bond girls, Ursula Andress), Romantics (smaller curvy, like Adele) and Gamines (Mighty Mites). These are very loose versions of the 13 body types outlined in David Kibbe’s 1987 book, Metamorphosis. If you can find yourself, it is brilliantly good.

I am not brilliantly good at Kibbe’s interpretations. This is my take on SN. It won’t match anyone else’s.


True Summer Soft Natural


Classics dress head-to-toe. Natural means separates.

No Croc, Brahmin, Python…Summer isn’t lizardy, futuristic, or obviously modernistic. Even on a Dramatic, they are more of a high breeding and ancestry group. Those other words are too cold and hard. They seem oily to me, moving into smarmy. Great on the right person though. We’re just looking for your normal. If you look like you’re wearing a costume, you’re in the wrong Kibbe and/or the wrong colours for you.

Choose coloured handbags. The choice in this item is endless. Gray or black ranges from sensible to serviceable to kind of depressing. Water colours, berry pinks, gorgeous blues, these are beautiful places to pick up the makeup colours. Trust me, we’ll see it, even in a fingernail. You would on someone else, right?

Cool Shimmer

Summer skin is most beautiful when it’s smooth, silky, and dry. This colouring is not at its most beautiful glossy or frosty, slick or metallic, which boomerang us back to wet, cold, and hard.

True Summer skin’s way of handling light is the diffusion of moonlight. There, we can find no sun, no hardness, no glitz, no wetness. There’s no winking like fireflies (that’s Bright Spring), no sharp gleam of platinum (True Winter), no dew (Light Summer), not iron and lead (Dark Winter’s gray feelings), and on it goes. Moonlight is not blingy (that’s Bright Winter’s normal). Moonlight is very cool and very soft. In a morning sky, it’s a sheer cloud-white curtain moving in a breeze. At night, a cloak of pearly, silvery light.

Vision theory moment: Moonlight is a combined reflection of sunlight, starlight, and reflected earthlight. It is neither blue nor silvery. We have colour sensitive cone cells in the retina whose highest sensitivity is to yellow light. But when illumination levels are low, the cones fire less. We become almost colour blind. The very light-sensitive (but colour-insensitive) rods take over and they happen to create more impulses in response to blue and green wavelength light.


Photo: Bongani


In the way of Summer skin to mirror the colours and textures it wears, it will shimmer in brushed silver. The way to iridescence in skin is in brushed shimmers in pink, lavender, or blue, since these are the notes found through the entire palette, including the grays. You look amazing. The shimmer is an even veil. Put a Winter in those colours and textures and you’re looking at the skin through a window that needs cleaning.

Even satined makeup requires caution. Satin on Summer skin can convert into cold and frosty because these colours are already so extremely cool and the complexion is delicate. On Winter skin, frost is just skin, in the same way that Winter’s so-white-it’s-blue white will be just-white on a Winter and aggressive-colour-under-oily-face on a Summer. Only you see your clothes on a hanger. The rest of us see them compared to your own colouring right under your face. Again, just looking for what looks like normal white on you.

Textile that mutes colour is effective. Not the stronger thicker textures of Autumn colours (and skin). This is the much softer side. Summer isn’t thick, straight, or hard. It’s swirly. Spring is sweet and scattered, moving towards pointy and buoyant. Summer is grounded. It sweeps like a porch swing, a branch in a breeze, the lines created when you pour liquid slowly into liquid. The Best Skin Finish on Summer Colouring: , dreamy, dreamy, dreamy. (Light, True, Soft :))

Summer colours are light (compared to Autumn and Winter), cool, and soft. Summer surfaces look muted and lightweight (Spring, who goes from frothy to floating, is closer to weightless), with brushstrokes or a gently buffed texture. The softness is feathery. Fluffy is good. Downy is great. Good dreams have fleecy edges.

Shiny surfaces shift colour to appear lighter and brighter. That’s great on Spring but makes no sense with Summer’s colours. They don’t cooperate. Since those same colours exist in Summer skin, it won’t cooperate either. White feathers can be almost blue in moonlight but they’re never the colour of lightning (Winter).

The True Season Analysis

If you’re a True Summer, remember when the analyst saw that drape on you right at the beginning of the PCA and stopped for a minute? And changed drapes and went back to the silver, and kept going back to the silver without telling you why? She saw something. She didn’t move the drapes that way on your Bright Spring daughter.

Finally, she said, I see today’s session is going to be a little different. A True Season analysis is quite singular. In the True Summer silver drape, the face is perfect right from the start. Skin is evenly coloured. The eyes are so huge, you’ll think I’ve lost my marbles, I wonder if the colour analysts will recognize this, I am reminded of those glowy pearlescent white alien forms with great big eyes like from the Close Encounters movie. Read the story – no accident that Spielberg put 6 year old ballerinas in those outfits. The man had a handle on Summer. In some ways, with a True Season analysis, you begin at the end. Most remarkable, regardless of which of the 4 True Seasons you see.

More True Summer. They always look like this to me. The eyes are all you can see, the skin is so cool and quiet.


Photo: prima_vera


Photo: ilco


The Summer Skin Finishes

Integrating Summer into the Spring and Autumn we’ve already done,

Bright Spring: glass

True Spring: persimmon

Light Spring: petal


Light Summer: peach

True Summer: cotton

Soft Summer: flannel


Soft Autumn: suede

True Autumn: velvet

Dark Autumn: leather


True Summer

Paper to pearl finish.

Use face powder. Translucent.

Use a foundation brush that makes the product a thin even layer. If I’ve applied your makeup, you know I’m selective in the extreme about where concealer goes and how foundation is applied. It’s fast and simple but there’s a way that I think works best.

What I don’t do for lack of time is follow with something I do on myself, and everyone could, which is to buff the skin a bit more. The Body Shop Extra Virgin Kabuki brush is my favorite (found it on beautypedia.com of course). It’s much too general to be the first foundation brush to my picky preference, but it leaves a superb buffed finish without moving the concealer and foundation from their zones.

The Shine Stopper at Paula’s Choice is very good. It works well on the T-zone.

The lips should look about like unpowdered, natural skin or just a bit shinier. Gloss becomes goop in a heartbeat. I’m not telling you to have powdery lips, just stay with reasonable, believable lip moisture, not a whole lot extra.

The colours of water are so important in True Summer – wear this type of jewelry, scarf, and movement near the face.

Navy mascara, soft not intense sapphire (Dior Icone Blue 268). Grey is hard to find, but the various Soft Blacks and Almost Blacks are fine. Black equals railroad tracks.

Stay with calm, fresh, gentle contrasts. Summer light colours are pastels, meaning more pigment than Winter light colours that are much closer to white. Avoid too much distance between lightest and darkest elements in hair, cosmetics, and clothes. Keep them closer together.

It’s quite important to settle in your mind how far from white your lightest colours are. Look at them and notice that it’s a long way to white from your coloured pastels for all three Summers. The eyeshadow highlight for Winter is some version of ice. On Summer, I use more colour under the brow bone, as muted (grayed) shell pink, where the amount of graying depends on the Season. True Summer might wear Merle Norman Ballerina, while Soft Summer could wear Merle Norman Mist.

Use eyeshadow instead of eyeliner or diffuse the liner well by applying shadow over it.


Light Summer

Pearl to petal, as daisy, as butterfly wing. A little more fluff than Spring, a little more dry-down.

Photo: mcoot


The True Summer section applies. There is more warmth here as a first warm weekend in May. Outdoor glows are great but controlled. A pale pink gold gloss or an uplight on the cheeks is plenty. You are a Summer, not a Spring, so restraint is needed. A May picnic isn’t the same as the beach in July. As a Neutral Cool colouring, remain cooler than warmer in everything you add. The Mineral Glow in Shimmer at e.l.f. is a nice choice without a lot of heat or a silly price.

On the Light Seasons, the lightest colour is plenty. The lightest application is plenty. The sheerest sheers will look so much younger. The blush by e.l.f. called Shy is one I love. It would set you back 2 whole dollars.

Face powder still applies. Use translucent, perhaps with a slight yellow tint.

Wondering what else to invest in at e.l.f.? Go to beautypedia.com. Click Search All Reviews. Choose Brand e.l.f. Cosmetics. Down in Skin type, click all the types. Down in Ratings, deselect all the boxes except Paula’s Pick on the left side. Why spend the same money and not get the best? Scan down the price column. Not bad. Now go back to the Search and select the Very Good box. 4 pages. Even better considering what’s coming next month.


Photo: przybsz


The Spring stroke in Light Summer often places the outer corner higher than inner. Follow that. Don’t add cat eye effects unless you’re under 20, going to be in a music video, or are a Bright Winter Theatrical Romantic, and even then, it’s better in eyeglass frames than eyeliner.

Many True Summers have a very round eye, almost square. If the outer eye corner seems to pull downwards, then don’t extend the line at all, just keep it close to the rounded outer corner of the eye.

One of the many places to use concealer is to cover the red and/or downward crease at the outer corner of the eye. Blend the concealer up, not down. Everyone should do this. Nobody over 20 should use frost.


Soft Summer

Paper to flannel finish.

From our textures above, Soft Summer becomes more woven, drier, and thicker as we move deeper into Autumn. Cotton to waffle weave. Light Summer will wear L’Oreal Peony Pink lipstick, while Soft wears Spicy Pink.

Soft Summer is not the dustings of icing sugar or flour above. It’s a dusting of dust. Contour with powder 2 shades darker than foundation. It looks like believable sun without seeming dirty or yellow. Clinique Superpowder Double Face makeup in Matte Tawny 06 is an option. Your choice is still cooler than warm, like a foundation but a few shades deeper.

Use it as contour, as we began discussing in the Autumn article previously. That means in a 3 shape around the forehead, where the bone is most prominent, around the temple, under cheekbone so the blush can be blended above it and nearer the midline, and a little under the jaw. If the nose shape is not sharp, add second contour by beginning at the inner corner of the eye and go down the sides of the nose bridge, just off the midline, not down on the nostril. The deeper eyeshadow that goes above the crease is diffused away as it approaches the midline, at a level about where this second contour placement would go if extended under the eyebrow.


Photo: riceguitar


During the cosmetic colour section of your PCA, we focus on what right colour looks like on your skin. I really want you to see someone very new to you and also, that when cosmetic colour is correct, you can apply it and pack it on and apply more. It just melts into the skin. You can be a lot less careful than you’re used to with wrong colours. Some steps are left out for lack of time and small learning opportunity. Lipliner is one. I never use coloured lipliner anyway. I use a clear sealant to keep lipstick in place. Paula’s Choice makes a great one. The Lip Lock pencil at e.l.f. is another.

The cosmetic selections for Soft Summer are unlimited. You could fill pages and pages. At e.l.f., the Mineral Blush in Plum mixed with Pink or Joy to get the right darkness level, looks like it would be pretty.

For eyeshadow, look at the Endless Eyes Pro Mini in Everyday. You won’t use them all but for $5, it’s almost ridiculous.


On Summer, application is gentle and swirly. There are so sharp lines or edges.Diffuse one product into the next. The canvas is drier, using powder to ensure that products don’t catch and jump. If using cream products, apply them to the skin before the powder so they appear from within.


Recap: The skin is soft and dry, setting up gentleness and gradual muting. The features are blended into the skin with colours that create a soft flow or diffusion instead of sharp definition. As colours flow into each other as hazy mists, it feels difficult to tell where one feature ends and the next begins.

For Autumn: The skin is contoured, setting up lowlights. The features are defined from the skin by colours that are warm and velvety and the judicious use of metallic glints.

This was Spring: The skin is dewy, setting up highlights. The features are fresh, lively, distinguished from the skin by being very colourful, moist, and vibrant.



Colour Balance

When your colouring is stronger than your clothing colours, then your clothes appear even more subdued and ineffective by comparison.

When your jewelry is brighter than you, you become duller by comparison.

When your eyeliner is too dark, your eyes cannot balance it. The eyes closes in and looks smaller.

What is this whole concept of balance and colour in personal colour analysis? The goal is that everything you wear so matches who you already are in darkness, coolness, neutrality (meaning warm and cool at once), clarity of colour, saturation…any colour parameter, that to the viewer, your person and your decoration are as one.

A woman walks into a restaurant. She has blonde hair and blue eyes, and a pale sunshine complexion. Nobody can see anything but the dark eyeliner and black spider eyelashes. She only wears a line of liner on the upper lid, but still her makeup is stronger than she is. She is reduced by comparison, as is everything else she is wearing, if anyone even noticed it. Taylor Swift cannot balance her eyeliner, so her eyes appear small and squinty in the face.

Actually, people couldn’t help but notice the clothing. She had on a black suit. Once you got past the eyeliner, the black block kept dragging the eye back down. The blonde hair on the black jacket may have been pretty, but she looked too serious, too old, and too solid (which we translate to heavy). Her presence is reduced, and the importance of every word she speaks is reduced. The suit and eyeliner muscled their way on stage, grabbed the microphone, but they had nothing good to say. Colour is always about its closest neighbor, because that’s what determines how the colour looks.

Even Kate Middleton, in her engagement photos, wears too much dark eyeliner, so the eyes look smaller. There is blue in the liner, to match the dress, and once you get past the black lines, you become caught up in the blue. If the blue then sparkles, and the woman sparkles less, the woman just got duller. Human coloring usually cannot match the intensity of cosmetic pigments, let alone their bizarre effects of frost/sparkle/glitter/prismatic reflections, etc. Some women can match it with ease, but the cosmetic industry wants us to believe we call can. Think about your friends out shopping on a Saturday. Honestly, can their natural coloring balance the world of shimmer? Can most of them balance darkness beyond medium?

These are separate concepts from looking yellow, sallow, or other aspects of balancing heat. The focus today is mostly on, can you match the saturation and darkness? Matching the degree of warmth or coolness is another issue altogether, as in warm colours make me look ill. That is a different kind of balance.

Open this article in a new window (the link should do that automatically). Resize the two windows so you can see this one and the pictures side by side.

Now these are my impressions. If you disagree, that’s ok. In fact, please tell me why so I can see it your way.

Try to slow down time as you look at each photo and answer this : What was the FIRST thing your eye took in ? The second?

Also, take the time to look at the thumbnails under the slideshow. If you put a fulcrum at the midpoint of the picture, which way would the picture tip? Would any pictures stay level? Do any effects look so out of place on the person that they seem to have been Photoshopped in after?

January Jones

The black dress, black hairband, and black brocade in the dress are all more than the girl can balance, so they seem too prominent. Blue eyeshadow just competes with blue eyes, as it always does. I saw the red lips long before I saw here eyes. The strong eyebrows save her on the L. They are long gone on the R, but not as far gone as the lips.

My deep-down reaction to both pictures is that I have no idea who this woman is.

One can always say nice things. The hair color on the L feels quite good on this girl, a point aimed at balancing degree of heat.


What feels like it belongs on this woman? We won’t talk about the lashes because nobody alive could balance those, and as a 20 year old celebrity, she can do what the rest of us would look nuts in. The lashes were the first thing I saw when the picture opened.

The colours on the L are ok. When your eye makeup is very frosty, or blingy in some other way, your eyes get dull to the same extent, as hers have. You may feel her eyes look pretty, but are you looking at the eye color, or is your attention preoccupied with the makeup color or application? Think about discerning exactly what you are looking at.

The toffee blonde of the hair is not so bad. I can imagine a sweater this colour, and it wouldn’t wear her, or the other way round. It might turn her skin too yellow if she can’t balance the amount and type of heat, meaning that Autumn and Spring have different heat.

The red hair on the R seems to take over the energy of the entire photo. I think it’s too dark and too cool a red. Is it just the big style? I think it would have the same effect in the hairstyle on the L.

Joaquin Phoenix

The suit is stronger than he is. His head looks attached as an afterthought. He does B&W better than others might. Let your eyes relax and take in the whole photo without trying to look at any element particularly. Think about what you are most aware of. For me, it’s the clothes.

He’s not way far off the B&W. Some of you may like it on him. When the balance gets closer to being right, it becomes more subtle. Maybe it’s the coldness of the black that doesn’t work, rather than its darkness. Maybe it’s too saturated for him.

Men usually have more intense coloring than women in a given Season. They can wear darker color because they contain darker color. If this man were Winter, I’d think his hair should be darker at this age, but who knows. Hair is (for me) the most misleading aspect of choosing Season.

Jennifer Hudson

She is much stronger than what she is wearing on the L. In that big, soft, light block, she might as well be naked. Because the clothes are less than she is, the parts of her that are showing seem larger.

On the R, not bad at all. The dress comes just to the edge of taking over, but not quite. That is saying something because the dress is A. red, and B. a big block. By balancing the dress and wearing a good lip colour, her skin clears and looks fresh, not heavy or thick. Her presence has impact and interest. She looks alive, not dumpy.

Ashley Simpson

I have no words. It hurts to look at this child. I’m so caught up in seeing vulnerability that I am having trouble peeling apart all the colour layers.

Dakota Fanning

Looks real on the L. If that jacket is a bomber style, it could be great. If it goes to the knees, the lightness of the girl won’t balance the weight of a big, dense, heavy leather block. It’s the girl coming out to meet you in this photo, not the decorations.

On the R, the eyeliner is much stronger than she is, so it seems artificial, like it’s not part of her. Then your eye sees the face but there’s this nagging distraction of the black in the bottom half that keeps calling the eye down to it. At rest, it should be effortless to keep the eye on the face, and the face should have no look-at-me elements.

Heidi Montag

Hollywood’s love affair with processed blond on black. Read the caption. Should have just had her colours figured out. The facial expression on the L, the whole 2 photos, just say I live to please men, the fashion industry owns me, because I sure don’t own myself. Forgive me, that was honest but not nice. You might love it, perfectly fine. Suffice it to say that the pink is better than the black, as is the makeup.

Skip along…

Emma Watson

One interesting girl. She is darkening with maturity. The medium-everything colours she wore at the beginning of the series worked well enough, and expressed the bookworm nerd persona. With each movie, she more dominates those clothes. They look duller, and duller as she gets darker and sharper.

Though the black isn’t solid on the L, she has no problem wearing it, even when her lips are erased. The eyeliner does not reduce her eyes. She can balance the eyebrows, meaning that they enhance and fit believably into the whole without being so dominant as to stand apart. The white on the L is good, I don’t think she’s drained by it, but I usually prefer her in darkness. She has more clout.

Looking for someone real…

Keira Knightley

The girl is much stronger than the clothes on the L. This is an example of clothes doing nothing for the person. The match between hair and eye colour is interesting, Dark Autumns do this. Dark Winters don’t usually, but brown eyes are more complicated than other eye colours to fit into Seasons (for me).

She is much stronger (so appears as bigger) from the neck up, in fact from the nose up, than from the nose down. Hold up your L hand up to block out the L photo. Hold the other hand up to block the R photo from the cheekbones down. Let your eyes relax and look for awhile, then take down your R hand. It’s like there’s nothing there. Just look at the thumbnail at the bottom of the page, it’s topheavy. Depending on what’s on her bottom half, she could still work this well. If the pants are the same colour as the top, her head will look big.

I wonder if she wears light colours on her body to not look so thin. Would it work on her? It’s the reverse of the automatic assumption that black is slimming. Well, would she look even thinner if her dress were black coffee? I think it would give her body more solid substance, and less of a floated away impression. This woman might use styling details to add shape to her body.

How about Natalie Portman?

Can she balance black or does it take her over? It doesn’t have to be her best.

Does she dominate light colours most of the time, does the balance feel good, or do only some light colours work? Light to medium people, like Soft Autumn, can wear more darkness in clothes than in makeup or hair, so you have to consider both.

Are there photos in which something other than Natalie takes over and keeps dragging your eye back to it?

Does she need warmth? What kind? Orange, yellow, coffee, beer, buttercup, apple cider, chocolate?

Which feels more right? Pixie, hippie, sex bomb, college chic, fresh&lovely, classy&remote?

What does she overwhelm? What overwhelms her?



Best Makeup Colours : Soft Summer

It’s a good thing Soft Summers are so wonderfully even-tempered. A certain fortitude helps for the group who have most often been assigned 2 or 3 different Seasons. The very fact that the coloring is not obvious is precisely the concept of this Season. Therefore, nothing else about the appearance should be blatant either. Dark liners, yellow highlights, or golden bronzers might be ineffective or undetectable or other Seasons. On Soft Summer, they are shrill.

At her most aligned, Soft Summer dresses for an art gallery opening. She wears her makeup the same way. Ultimately tasteful and sophisticated, she would be invited anywhere. She is never inappropriate, bold, or abrupt, and her makeup is not either.

In 12 Season Colour Analysis, Soft Summer is the Neutral Season that is basically a Summer, incorporating the earliest feeling of Autumn. Still more an intuition than a very obvious shift, True Summer’s cool/soft palette is now observed through a veil of light grey smoke. Here on the outskirts of Autumn, the light taupe that settles over the entire palette is not yet warm enough to heat these colors. What it does is dull them. (See How The 5 Springs Add Yellow for more on how heat is added to the warm Season personal colour palettes).

If you looked at True Summer’s colours through the sky in the picture above, they might look like the cosmetic colors palette below. Look at the effect the mauve-grey-taupe has on the grass and trees, relative to the colors in the foreground. A little warmer, certainly more muted and quiet.

I could have sworn those blocks were lined up when I made this. Let’s not notice that. Instead, we could notice that the entire palette seems to fogged, even a bit blurred. If I’d really been on the ball, I would have softened the edges of all those squares and put the lightest mushroom color over the background.

There are no extremes of darkness or brightness. The overall effect is cooler than warm, so no gold, warm beige, or orange. The feeling is gentle but not fragile, an oak tree rather than a crystal vase (which would be Bright Spring). Soft Summer could share their cooler makeup palette with True  Summer, but not with their warmer neighbor, the Soft Autumn, whose colors are much too golden to perfect this skin tone.

The  most beautiful eye appears to be coming out of a misty lake. Eyeshadows and liners are hazy tan greys and mauve greys. The eyeliner is not much darker than the eyeshadow, to avoid creating an obvious line which only looks severe. In this Season, liner can distinguish itself by being a different color than the shadow, instead of a darker color.

The tan browns can be used to fill in brows as well. Eyebrows should never be the first thing people notice on anyone, or they’re overdone. On this group especially, brows may be darker or lighter than the hair depending on the individual, but they should diffuse into the face. It’s the eye color we’re trying to energize. Brows, blush, lipcolor, and hair are there to support, heighten, and accentuate eye color. When the natural features flow so seamlessly into one another, makeup must be exceptionally undemanding to not take over.

The lip and blush colors are interesting. Soft Summer and Dark Winter share certain characteristics. Both add neutral brown to a pure cool Season, True Summer and True Winter respectively. Dark Winter’s brown is much darker as Winter imposes blackness. Both are Neutral Seasons, so have cool and warm choices. Cool for Soft Summer is dusty plum, while warm is tan rose (still definitely a cool version). Cool for Dark Winter is not dusty or greyed at all, quite the opposite, but it is a browned plum; warm is saturated coral pink, dulled a bit with a drop of dark brown.

I love Soft Summer’s red. It is not fire engine, scarlet, blood, or anything else that activates. Summer is restorative, not catalytic. We’re still in the realm of rose petals, they just live on a dusty road.

There are 2 makeup items that are truly out of place on this type of natural coloring. The first in bronzer. You might think it would work, since a light touch of it can be quite outdoor-glowy on Light Summers. The difference is that the heat is so not-obvious in Soft Summer that bronzer stands out. You can’t find taupe bronzer, and who would put a grey layer on their skin anyhow? You’re so much easier to look at in a powder that respects the coolness of the skin and is two shades darker than a match. Use it with restraint, more to contour than to add heat, or skip it altogether.

Shimmer in makeup is the second means of over-gilding this lily. A satin finish in a lip product, maybe, so much easier to find. This Season is an exception where matte choices are actually plentiful. High shine is insistent and feels too childish to fit into this supremely elegant atmosphere. Add shimmer to many Soft Summer eyeshadows, and they become Dark Winter’s.

How Autumns Intensify Eye Colour

I went into the drugstore yesterday. The cosmetician was very pleasant, very helpful, but who hired her for this position? Her makeup was so dark and severe that it would scare children. I am no better at impartiality when it comes to my own face than anyone else, but there was nothing more this woman could have done to detract from her appearance. Her eyes never get noticed, lost in the pharaoh effects and dark burgundy lip. She might be a Soft Autumn, so it feels a bit of a tragedy to look at her.

We talked about Spring and Summer in previous articles (How Summers Intensify Eye Colour and How Springs Intensify Eye Colour). There, it was suggested that every single step of the makeup process should intensify eye colour. Your first reaction to a good blush should be, it strengthens the color of my eyes. As the picture frame of your eyes, eyebrows should to be natural in shape and color, and groomed to look like you, but neater.

In 12 Season (12 Tone) Colour Analysis, Autumn’s colors are warmed by gold, medium on the light/dark scale, and muted to various degree, depending on which of the 3 Autumns is in question.

Eyeliner should not be so dark that it becomes obvious. Because so many women buy this product in colour that is too dark, that is what the industry makes. Finding lighter colours and a good variety of browns and greys takes some searching. The Autumn challenge is to find colour of the right degree of warmth. If the colour is too hot, the rims of the eyes look bloodshot. It is surprising how warm the Autumn brown can be and still do what we want, define the eye shape and then disappear into the face.

For anyone who might be new, you might wonder why I never show you any blue/green/purple makeup that the viewer could perceive to be those colours. Next time you see a woman with that makeup, think about whether you are looking at eye or the makeup. It sure can be done tastefully. A dark green that looks more like dark brown? Fine. A taupe olive that looks more taupe? Fine. Teal that looks like peacock? Well, y’know.

I know there are blue die-hards out there. Wouldn’t it be ok to wear blue in eye makeup, as an orange complement, since Autumn skin undertone is orange-brown (more about undertones in Skin Undertones)? The cartoon effect of blue makeup can get away from you, but your taste may be different from mine and that is fine. Colour is big enough for many opinions. I would suggest you wear your blues in clothing, and let them complement the eye colour. Clothing has great power to strengthen eye colour. As a bigger colour block, it is more effective than makeup for this purpose.

Soft Autumn

The principle of the Season, the radiance, the special look that nobody else can pull off so realistically: Our Earth is our cradle. She feeds us, protects us, and never does anything harsh or unexpected that might harm us. She is gentle, warm, and generous in her abundance. Even her light is moderate, kind, welcoming.

Who would put black eyeliner on that? Or cool foundation and fuchsia lips? It would feel like a ski jump in a September cornfield. Avoid overwhelming the eye with makeup, which happens too fast. Better to underwhelm the eye with makeup. A very little goes a long way on the Soft and Light Seasons.

The hair is butterscotch and brown, like peanut butter fudge. Make the eyeshadow toffee. Every Autumn has the ability to repeat her hair color in her eye colour.

This is a Soft Autumn eye. The orange at the center repeats the freckes.

Make this the hair.

Is this the same as Spring red? No, that is here. Is there a difference from a bottle? Ask a colourist, I cannot answer. It might depend a lot on the base colour that the pigment is being applied to. If anyone does know, please share.

Notice too that there is a lot of Summer in this  eye, where the outer half or more is gray-blue-green. Soft Autumn is a Neutral Season and a cooler-neutral eyeshadow can work as well as a warm-neutral (shown in the graphic below).

Among the test drapes that are used to identify Season, there always seems to be one that connects powerfully with the eye colour. For Soft Autumn, the olive drape is the best eye colour intensifier. Interestingly, for the other Soft Season, the Soft Summer, the best eye color drape is the soft pine green. The drapes are finding something in these eyes that is not immediately obvious.

Below are the eyeshadow cool and warm colors, the olive drape, and the brown eyeliner I use on almost every Soft Autumn. The eye above belongs to a cool-side Soft Autumn and my usual brown eyeliner (Rimmel Sable) can be very slightly dark in the daytime. On her, Soft Summer brown-grey (Clinique Smoky Brown) is very good as well.

If an eyeshadow the same colour as the eye were applied, it would look too blue. Matching eyes to eye makeup is a big boobytrap. The tendency is to pick the wrong eye colors and it ends up looking matchy, like the dreaded tried too hard.

True Autumn

Autumn says to the world : My burnished glory can melt with its heat, but I am also safe and strong. I am what I appear to be and honor truth above all.

These eyes have a very particular property . They contain the colour of metal. It might be copper, flame, or a darker greener bronze color. This effect is sometimes seen in the other Autumn Seasons as well. They have to be wearing the right clothes or it can be lost.

Metallics in the thread of a scarf, or somewhere, is the kingdom of the True and Dark Autumn.

Get your hair colour to pick up something in the eye. Too many Autumns have weak, safe beige hair. It will only age them. The other pitfall is to go too dark, but these are very medium darkness people. I like this hair colour, or perhaps a shade darker. Even in second-best makeup, you can’t not notice the eyes.

We discussed True Autumn’s best makeup colours previously, here. A metallic dot of antiqued gold eyeshadow just over the iris, and under the matte shade that covers the whole lid, is sublime. The viewer keeps seeing a flicker of flame in the vicinity of the eye.

Metallic lipstick or blush also can be beautiful on True Autumn. The caution is to be careful to put in on tight skin and only one feature at a time. Once over 40, adding a laminate to the hair might be a better way to add fire than a shimmer makeup face. Today’s shimmers are ground  much more finely than the old frosts. The metallic in Autumn skin takes to it nicely.

We’ve talked about ways to repeat and complement eye colour. What about contrast? A warm/cool contrast does not work. This skin is absolute in its warmth. Cool colour will sit on top and look like silver icing on an apple crisp. A dark/light contrast isn’t possible since there are no extreme lights in the person, and extreme darks look obvious and severe. I don’t see any room for contrast here.

Dark Autumn

I always have trouble pinning down this Season. I am here to get something done so get out of my way is close, but Dark Winter can get this way too. Try again. This is their unique radiance: I can rule the world with my might but my opulent beauty surpasses all. This is the image that I never shake (minus the singing).

Copyright Walt Disney 2005.

The Aztec princess, born to rule and privilege.

These eyes are gingerbread brown, chocolate gingerbread, liquid bronze, or can be a green-bronze color like the head of the wine goddess in the lamp photo above. The colours of the sky swirling above Pocahontas’ head, from her crown to the top of the poster, are about right.

The eyeliner has to be very dark brown. Mascara is black-brown, possibly black depending on the darkness of the person and hair. Gentle eyeshadows look like a cement wall, instead of an invitation deeper into the person. Use rich coffees, with cream and without.

Eyeshadow hilite is darker than most other Seasons. M.A.C. Brule is good and on the light side. The other Dark Season, Dark Winter, can wear Winter icy lights, but not this group. They turn the skin to ashes.

Dark Autumn and Bright Winter are the 2 Seasons that need time to accept (and wear) the full richness of their colours. Many women back away from the strength of these colors. They are exotic colors, not traditionally feminine. The clothes and makeup are hot too, chili pepper, wasabi, nubuck tan. They watch in amazement but want it to be over, like it’s too much to absorb. It would be as if you woke up and saw three suns in the sky. They feel awkwardness, danger, almost embarrassment that these colours are who they are, like they are too shamelessly attention-getting. Mind you, Autumn is nothing if not sensible. They are quick to adapt to what works and many know what they will see before they sit down. They are among the fastest learners.

Play up the hair and arrange it around the face. It repeats the eye colour exactly. If it is worn too flat or skinned back, you lose a huge eye intensifying opportunity. Do everything you can to make it gleam. Avoid anything too red, wine, magenta, or burgundy. It looks more natural as warmer brown, like redwood, mahogany, dark chestnut. Port wine is the reddest you’d go.

Wear the lip colour, sheer if you have to. Lancome LaLaque in TechnoBrick is a great compromise. The lips have to balance out the eyes and hair so you look complete, instead of like a puzzle with corner missing.



Best Makeup Colours : Bright Winter

The Bright Seasons would not be as perplexing as they are if someone had not made an allusion to clear eyes. Suddenly, they became indefinable. Who has clear eyes? Who doesn’t? Analysts run a little scared of pronouncing someone Bright Winter.

In 12 Season Personal Colour Analysis, this group belongs to the Winter category. Colours are dark, highly saturated, and cool.

Bright Winter is a Neutral Season, so Winter with a Spring infusion. Spring does do some fascinating things when it mixes with Winter, maybe part of what makes this colouring so consuming of our attentions and imaginations. Maybe it is the relief we have evolved to feel when warmth returns to tell us that we survived another cold spell.

When pure and clear colour energy mixes with Winter power and scale, the effect is arresting. When the sweet innocence of Spring flows into Winter formality, it feels almost heartbreaking.

Some of the True Winter cold is substituted for the Spring pale yellow warmth. Not buttercup yet, not even daffodil. More like snowdrops. There is a trace of the delicate in these people, unlike True Winter that neither looks nor acts delicately ( or if they do, you soon learn it’s pretend).

When the 2 True Seasons of highest color saturation mix, this color sings with clarity. These are the highest color notes.

Spring also lightens the colours, compared to True Winter darkness. Only a bit. This is the lightest of the Winters. The person can look too light for the cliche of how a Winter looks, often living as Light Summers.

Some Bright Winters react to their palette with Obviously, the happiness with which most people greet their colors. The great David Weinberger said, in the cluetrain manifesto, that laughter is the sound knowledge makes when it is born. Colour analysts see it every day, in the laughter that people almost have to suppress when they see their palette. They are joyful and peaceful. Often, they feel a bit confused by the strength of their reaction.

Some Bright Winters react with Oh, heavens, I could never do that. One piece at a time. Let yourself do this. Being safe when you know more is like visually dumbing yourself down. Why knowingly be less than everything you can be? Buy a bright tank and wear a yellow one underneath. Wear dangly silver earrings. Wear a sheer bright gloss.

These are the Colour Analysis cosmetic colours that work so perfectly with this skin tone.

The eyeshadow in icy violet is incredible. Merle Norman makes Freesia and it is gorgeous for a reason. The icy is Winter. The violet is the complement of yellow, a component of all Spring skin.

The other hilite is yellow, or creamy, but still quite neutral champagne. Everyone can do neutral champagne. Just avoid brown, beige, buff, gold, and pastel.

Eyeshadow for the Brights is my biggest search challenge. You can do a clean light grey and deeper charcoal (left column). You can add in a bit of brown and get to taupe (right column) but barely any. Will you be able to find 2 separate products? You might, but you would not need to.

Shimmer in makeup is a definite possible, though never necessary. The industry just makes so much of it that it’s easier to find. Winter has a still polish. Spring expresses dazzle and movement. Merge the two and the shimmer works. One facial feature at a time.

Eyeliner is charcoal, or black-brown. Purple can be great, but certainly more playful. It is lighter than True Winter’s bluer colour and will look purpler. Spring allows imagination, energy, and fun, but still very contained in this group. Winter sapphire can also work. These eyeliners might be better as accents, rather than for surrounding the entire eye. You might just do an inner rim of the upper lid, or the outer section of the upper lid, merging with the charcoal. Just because you can look great in circus gear does not mean you should.

Lip and blush usually take time to get used to. Start light or sheer with makeup. Your Colour Analyzed swatches give you lighter choices too. The lip often has a fair bit of natural colour. The rest of us would love it on you immediately, but I get that it is you who has to wear it. Ask someone you trust. Sugarplum gloss is lovely.

As for the clear eyes thing, it sure would not help you pick a Bright Winter out of a line-up.  Everyone’s colouring is perfectly balanced in their face. You would notice the clear eyes in a second if they suddenly appeared in an Autumn face. They are often black-brown (see Jocelyn Is A Bright Winter). They can be Virginia turtle eyes, which become OMG with charcoal eyeliner. They can be Asian black and wolf-yellow.

Everyone has amazing eyes. Once we notice them, we all find it hard to stop looking. It is so important to get rid of the distracting clutter. Calm down the skin, the hair, the over-makeup, and let your eyes leave an echo.



How Springs Intensify Eye Colour

The wonderful benefit of colour analysis is that by wearing the colours already in you, same value, warmth, and saturation, you get the youngest, healthiest, most perfected skin. You also look least artificially made-up in colour analyzed cosmetic colours.

When Spring eyes are light in colour, they are usually quite light. If they get surrounded by dark eyeliner, hoping to bring attention to them by creating a deliberate light/dark contrast, the problem is that the dark colour does not appear anywhere in this natural colouring, so it looks false. And because this person will not balance such darkness, the effect is to do what a dark line around a light shape always does, to close it in and make it appear smaller.

Sorry for all the links, but these images are copyrighted. May take some patience. They should open in a new window.

For all 3 Springs,

1. Makeup cannot be earthy or pastel. Earthy means orange and muted. Pastel means softened with gray and not too pale. A lot of makeup is halfway between clear or not clear. The discomfort of earthy makeup on a Spring can be seen here (please excuse the title of the article, but you see the painful effect of orange-brown eyeshadow?) It looks unnatural and heavy. Lines appear under the eyes, as if the woman is tired from competing with the colours.

When makeup is too cool, the effect is anemic, here again on Ms. Theron. There’s something ghostly about the skin, rather than healthy and glowing with vitality.

And when it is good, here, same model. Only the Light Season can do this spun gossamer, sugar fairy look so beautifully. Spring adds yellow light, Summer does not. (The eyeliner is still pulling colour out of the eye.)

2. Eyebrows matter. PCA brings attention to your eyes like never before. They are the focal point of your entire being. The brows are the upper frame for the eye. Keep them neat and shaped. The cheekbone is the lower frame for the eye.

3. The waterline of the eye is the inner rim of the lower lid. In your best colours, it will be the same colour as the rest of the skin, which is calm and pale yellow-beige. That looks healthy, cleans up the white of the eye, and sharpens the iris. You could put a line of cream eyeliner there.

4. Never underestimate the power of jewelry. It is near the face. Violet eyeliner does not look entirely grownup in makeup, but violet in jewelry can be remarkable. Spring infuses everything it touches with happiness and movement, so can it wear a lot of bright, clear colour. Even costume jewelry and plastic beads work very well. They express the exuberance, the enthusiasm for life that is felt even at the outer reaches of the Season.

If you are young and want to wear violet eyeliner, be sure it comes from your Personal Colour Palette. Stay away from purpley grey or brown. It’s the color of the string on the necklace linked above.

5. Mascara is cool brown to black brown, depending on how dark you are. Black looks like spider eyelashes. Some of the dark-haired Bright Springs can wear black. Hard Candy makes a cool brown mascara. Smear a few out and look at them.

6. Wear your eye colour and wear its complement colour in clothing.

7. Wear a yellow-cream or yellow-peach eyeshadow hilite. It brings out yellow in the eye.

8. Think about accessories. The inside of eyeglass frames can have another color bonded to it. It looks cool, and I find it imaginative. Spring is a bit exaggerated and they can manage this effect nicely. (image linked to source). The outer frame is too dark for Springs.

Light Spring

These people are usually very fair. Some have ash hair and look like Summers. Some have yellow-green or brown in the eye and believe they are Autumns.

The woman who gets my vote as most consistently ruined by makeup and clothing. At least, her hair is usually good. True of the Light Seasons, the less they put on her, the better, younger, real-er she looks. Here not too bad, but I searched.

This is a Light Spring eye. Notice that there there is yellow in it. It may be a green yellow, but it is certainly not an orange yellow. The eye belongs to Louise in the article Louise and Stevan Are Light Springs. Notice how cool and ash her hair looks and that she is not particularly light, though Stevan is. Notice too that the lashes are not very dark.

Repeat effects using makeup if eyes are blue or green will be the cream eyeshadow hilite or the cream waterline pencil, but go easy with this waterline thing. It can look bizarre quickly. If you love a pale aqua eyeliner, you’re under 25, and you are not in a professional situation, have at ‘er.

With the Summer cooling effect, Light Spring still has more grays in their palette than browns. You want an eyeliner that defines without overtaking. Rimmel Stormy Grey is good. Summer may have left an unexpected charcoal rim to the iris and this repeats it nicely. Wear your gray clothes, for the same reason.

Keep makeup light in colour. Do not be talked into pops of colour that just compete with what you are. Even contour eyeshadows should be light. Louise does not wear dark makeup.

If green is in the eye, wear your clear light red lips, even as a sheer. Red and green are complements.

Go easy on the frost. The Summer Spring blends have a deceivingly fragile complexion. Makeup effects can take over and fast. Do a thin shimmer in one place at a time, maybe inner corner of eye. Or maybe do a lipgloss over lisptick in a light peach-gold like MAC Instant Gold Lustregloss.

True Spring

These are the fair-skinned, light-eyed, yellow blondes. Uma Thurman, Charlize Theron, Cameron Diaz are the stereotypes. In the real world, the True Spring may have medium brown hair, since there are few real blondes after 30, and glowy golden green eyes.

Same repeat effects as Light Spring if eyes are blue or green.

Brown eyeliner is good. Warm yellowed gray also works. As ever for Spring, it is not an orange brown. Can Spring still wear orange? Absolutely, a clear orange. It’s just that the browns are not oranged.

Balance the eye with lively lip colors. Flat and safe looks like Nicole Kidman in pale hair and lips. Spiritless in a Season based on the very opposite concept. The whole face, the entire presence is drained and diluted. True Spring can balance a lot of the right colours and look fantastic in them.

Brown eyeshadow is fine. Light and clear. Picture those women in beer and honey eyeshadow, it works. In flowerpot or antique deep gold, too heavy, doesn’t work.

Wear bronzer that is not too yellow or brown. It should be a sheer, pale, yellow-golden-beige. This is Stila 01 at Sephora. Sweep it up onto the forehead, around the eye.

Add a touch of cheek highlighter in a light yellow gold if you’re young. This is the face of the glowing outdoors.

As ever, wear your eye colours from your Colour Book somehow every day. A scarf, a pin, an earring, a purse, a hairband.

Bright Spring

The very fascinating Bright Spring never fails to surprise everyone, the analyst included. If the eyes are light, you may wonder why they look so bad in Summer pastels, which is where you thought you were headed. If the eyes are darker, you wonder why Autumn drapes look tragic, while all the lines are eased away by the Spring drapes.

These women can use the light/dark contrast of dark brown or grey eyeliner with light eyes, because the darkness of the hair can balance it. The grey must be clean and crisp, and less dark than Winter. Merle Norman Galaxy and Annabelle Mercury are good.

They never wear brown in eye makeup very well, unless it is a light taupe like Dior Earth Reflections. Notice (linked below) how there is no orange in the colors and they never get extremely dark.

The person is deceptively light, though they do not always look it, as some Asian people for instance. The same rules of Spring apply, meaning not going overly dark or bold. This remains delicate skin.

Heather Karuza, who writes the very worthwhile makeup/nail blog at Coloruza.com, might be a Bright Spring. That could well be that Autumn-looking eye of this Season. The dark hair-light skin contrast makes one think of Winter, but this girl is not really all that dark. The skin on the throat is light and yellow.

Here, in clearer coloors, showing also the Dior 5-shadow Earth Reflections.

Here in more Dark Autumn makeup.

You see why they so intriguing, ay?

(PS- Heather, if you read this, the e-mails from the site did not get to you. Hope it is ok for me to post these links. If you prefer not, I will take them down. C.)



Best Makeup Colours : True Winter

In 12 Season Personal Colour Analysis, True Winter is the pure Season whose most important color fact is its coolness. The saturation and darkness are fairly high but not at the max. Every colour, light or dark, is cold, crisp, hard, frosty, dry like the inside of a freezer.

There are 5 pages of pinks and purples in True Winter Personal Colour Palette. 5 swatches on each strip, so 25 pinks and purples. They far outnumber everything else.

The color at the core of this being is red-purple, all very clear and blue-based. The palette is so cold that it almost feels a bit unfriendly to look at. There is not a shred of warmth. No brown, no beige, nothing we associate with comfort or security. Combine that with the relative darkness, and we sense danger.

Like these personalities can often be, Winter demands that we make some space for it. We feel commanded to notice but prefer to keep our distance. It likes to argue and will resist any sort of control. Tough and brave, selfish and loyal in the extreme. This beauty is awesome and unto itself.

True Winter has some serious strength in their coloring. They can balance much more makeup than most others. They can wear eyeliner along the inner rim of the eyelids, the waterline, and look even more remarkable. On the rest of us, it just looks vicious.

If someone told me they liked my eyeliner, I would throw it out. When you look at pictures of Laura Mercier or Mrs. Obama, you are not looking at their eyeliner. In this Season, the colour analysis cosmetic colours would harmonize a sapphire and deep purple eyeliner, as long as were not obviously, ridiculously purple. The sapphire has to be pure, dark, and cold. Not teal, just pure deep blue. Merle Norman makes a nice Sapphire eyeliner. Bright Winter can balance this too, with their glamour signal. Everyone else pushes the limits of credibility.

It may take time to get used to fuchsia, ruby, dark plum, and crimson in blush and lipstick. Begin with sheer colours, but don’t compromise the colour. Your makeup will be invisible, or else it will be noticeable as some warm, wishy-washy shade on your skin tone. Don’t go there.

The basic eyeshadow is a clean, crisp steel grey. A cool taupe (grey-brown) can work as a good alternative. MAC Satin Taupe is fairly good, but very shiny. This group can handle shimmer makeup, consistent with Winter polish, but nobody should overdo the frost, especially after 40. Summer cool taupe is not quite the same because of its inherent softness. If these colours look warm on your screen, they’re not intended to.




Emily is a True Winter

Emily has passed the milestones of her first 20 years. The next 20 years will involve marriage, career, and family, often all at once. In these years, women have the least amount of time to spend on themselves, both inside and out. The demands can be overwhelming and once we emerge on the other side, many of us still look like the students we were when we last bought age-appropriate makeup.

Emily 1.

Like so many women, in every age group, Emily does not wear makeup. Easy to understand. Very few women can accurately choose what cosmetic colours suit them best. Many have tried but the result does not speak for them, so they felt like impersonators; or the sales pressure was too intense, and the upsells too mind-boggling to honestly express uncertainty. We have all seen, or been the woman at the makeup counter looking completely overdone. You can feel her thinking, Get me home before someone sees me.

Emily would like to know what clothes look best and some help choosing makeup that does not make her feel painted. She has the sense and good taste to want to be noticed for the right reasons.

When the cosmetic colour is wrong, you can never achieve the magic, no matter how lightly or heavily you apply it. When you start hearing, Just apply a thin layer and blot it to a stain, forget it. If you need all those shenanigans, the colour is wrong and besides, it would not last 10 minutes. We all know what makeup- sitting-on-top-of-skin looks like. When the colour melds with the skin, you can apply quite a bit before it starts looking fake.

Emily 2.

Put a light, wishy-washy colour on a True Winter and unattractive things happen. Their eyes are dull, almost empty. The person so dominates the colour with their inherent colour intensity, that all you see is a face that appears ill. The skin is dull and shadowed. What happens to the skin happens to the whites of the eyes. As they yellow or grey, the crispness of the eye colour is terribly diluted. It makes you  feel sad to look at that face.

Emily has colouring so strong that she wore many of the Bright Winter drapes well, the most brilliant colour there is. Bright Winter requires a little heat in the skin, which Em does not have. That heat will not harmonize with her. As a result, the Bright Winter drapes drained the colour from her face and turned her skin grayish, like the walls of the room.

Though I have often said eye colour is not relevant to Season, I want to clarify that. Any Season can have any eye colour and that remains a fact. But just as the drapes are looking to make a connection with the skin, so are they searching for the like colours in the eyes. They are astonishingly and precisely coloured to create a reaction in the skin, and to detect an exact colour match in the skin. When the association is made, it can be electrifying, as if the drape colour is coming right out the eyes, a true mirror for the natural colouring. Em has navy blue in her eye. Watch it come out when like colours find one another.

Emily 3.


1. If you are not used to lipstick, use sheer colours but stay true to your swatches. The blue-eyed winter with a soft feeling about her may do better in soft fuchsia than red, but too much colour would be outside Em’s comfort zone. We used Cover Girl Amazemint in 615 (Cozy Plum) and it’s lovely.

2. Even young people should use shimmer makeup carefully. It has as much to do with facial anatomy as age because the lightness advances. The upper eyelid may be too prominent. Classy makeup is your supporting cast. It does not scream, Look at me!! Let your makeup be a diffusion of your own colours floating over your face, but let people look at your eyes because they are the shine in your face.

3. Here is an example of Winter who might deepen her hair to match the brows, but always remaining true to the base shade. Nature will never colour you wrong. Her hair is the right colour but Emily could enhance the dark brows/milk skin effect more by deepening her own shade a touch. It will look real because the brows are dark, but more dramatic (not necessarily better, just a stronger visual effect).

Emily 4.

4. This is also a place to think about how bad it looks if a Winter were to lighten her hair. The dark brows become more prominent, and look severe, which may read as aging or masculine.

5. As a Dark Winter, my eyeliner is browner and lighter (MAC Grey Utility). Em will wear a crisper darker gray (Graphiti). I have never seen anyone of lighter complexion than Frieda Pinto can wear black eyeliner as their best choice, at least in the daytime. True Winter’s gray consists of black and white. It’s a pure, true gray.

Emily 5.

It takes a certain courage to step up to a personal colour analysis. Like having your fortune told, as empowering as it is, you may hear some things you are not ready for. I have been told that I read palms. What I really read is potential. To see yourself as you never have, both inside and out, takes endurance. It also brings the responsibility of answering the question, What are you going to do with it?

Em will travel her own colour journey. It will be unique, unlike mine or yours or anyone else’s. Some of it may not gel for years. You have a lifetime to refine it. She can feel confident and beautiful wearing makeup and know that people see the real Emily. It takes more time to convince yourself of all that it can be, and how powerful the final effect is, when every element meshes.

Once you get to the makeup counter and are told that you do not really need to follow your personal colour swatches, you really have to dig deep and find some fortitude. Why would you not use them? Why would the sales assistant not use them? If they have never had a PCA and watched the process, they cannot understand why you are holding the book you have, or what the other Books look like. They’re tremendously good at what they do, but colour analyzed skin tone perfection is a key that can only be turned one way.



Use of Images

The images contained in this article are of private individuals, not celebrities. I consider the permission for me to use them as a privilege. It is my intention to protect these women’s privacy and generosity. If you use any of the photos without permission, I will seek legal counsel. I do not want to have to reduce the beauty and detail of the photographs with watermarks.

This is a learning site. Please do use my words with credit back to the web page you copied and pasted them from. If you mix up my meaning and get the message wrong, feel free to omit any reference back to me.



Colour Analyzed Cosmetics

When I listen to conversations about beauty, it sounds as if everyone has a different definition of it, one that they’re never really defined even to themselves.

For me, beauty is a feeling best described with words like truth, rest, or peace. The other face feels like distracting, processed, or forced, with effects that could never believably have happened by themselves. The person’s natural colouring just can’t find a home for the colours because they’re so far removed from the woman’s natural pigmentation.  A defined, sophisticated, polished, and still natural beauty comes from taking the colours that you already are and adding more of them.

The best makeup feels invisible. It doesn’t somehow worm its way between us and the viewer or the dialogue we’re having. It enhances the features without needing to be noticed. This so not the same as the trend called Neutral Makeup, which is heavily weighted with beiges and browns. Fine on some, but what if there are not many browns in your natural colouring?

Let’s clarify some terminology. Neutral Makeup can mean a generic, flesh-tone, beige and brown group of shades, like many of the neutral collections makeup companies come out with. Any of these colours probably looks good on someone, but none of them will look perfect on everyone. Any given colour is still only right on certain people, neutral colour or not. Wrong colours will sit on the top of the skin and look like an island of obvious colour. These collections sell well because they feel safer when we are not sure what better colour to wear. The problem is that it looks flat and lifeless on those it’s not meant for.

The other definition of Neutral Makeup has to do with finding YOUR neutrals. That means grays, mauves, or greens for eyes, and pink/peach/purple/red for lips and cheeks. This is the makeup that just becomes part of your face and that others don’t notice before they notice you.

The best makeup  for any face will make use of the native colours. These colours enhance, rejuvenate, brighten, and define, but never look artificial. When the makeup colour is right, it will disappear into your skin. It will fuse with your face believably because the colour is already there.

When you think about it,  our best makeup look is neutral…OUR neutrals! Yours are brown, mine are reds, hers are peach-pink. That’s the magic of colour analysis. We can identify the precise shades that are present in your natural skin coloring and give them to you in a swatch book. Match those shades when you buy makeup and you will never look “made up”.

What if you knew exactly what cosmetic colours would look custom-made for you? No more hit-and-miss or believing wrong advice. No more having 5 tubes of the same shade of lipstick at the bottom of your purse. No more drawer full of makeup to never wear. What if you owned 3 eyeshadows, 2 blush colours, 2 lipsticks, and a gloss, and they looked so perfect that you never stopped at the makeup counter again?  With PCA, this is so easy.

Lipstick should have more colour than nude. If you are 25 or less, with the great lip definition of youth,  wear flesh-toned lip colours. Even at those ages though, the only women who can wear lip colour that is lighter than the skin are on the pages of magazines. Once over 35-ish,  a brighter shade, still from within your palette, looks more youthful. Feature definition is as big, if not bigger, in how we see youth as smooth skin.

Are there makeup colours that everyone can wear?  There may be very neutral grays and champagne beige eyeshadows. That’s about it. Your natural colouring  is your perfect makeup and there are 12 different types. If you wear the wrong shades, it’s like wearing someone else’s size or style of clothes. The effect is disorganized. It doesn’t have the impact that it could.

Are there makeup colours that are shared between Seasons? Sure, yes. Some colours could cover 2 Seasons. Also, cosmetics are harder to predict because they interact with the surface colours and chemistry of the face. Several women of the same Season will prefer different lipsticks.

Visit Sci\ART analyst Darin Wright at eleablake.com. Darin is the source for correctly-coloured cosmetics for the 12 Seasons. The quality is outstanding (in fact, this product changed my mind about loose powder makeup). The colours are precisely matched to your Season, whether you are looking for light, dark, gray, or coloured products. I am happy to see that the job of right-coloured cosmetics and easy shopping for women has been done right.