I warmly thank Maytee Garza of Reveal Style Consultancy in New Jersey for performing the PCAs for both of the women you will meet in these articles. Maytee’s work upholds the highest standard of colour accuracy, from which we all benefit. Also a thank you to both Emmas for permission to use the photos.
The picture of another person won’t help you find your Season. The variability in human colouring is too wide and the common key, hidden. But pictures are wonderful to help you visualize the Season’s special radiance and right colour’s ability to transport a face to a new, other place.
After two years of waiting to see this Season, my last two clients were True Springs. One was a 12 year old girl, choosing her colours nearly perfectly with the well-tuned colour pitch that children have, the second a 50 year old woman of Icelandic descent. Though I still learn from every PCA, True Spring skin was quite special.
Here is our first Emma.
The first drapes we compare, of the 10 to 20 sets we will go through, are a set of 4, representing each of the True Seasons. I spend a fair time at the beginning of a client’s session deciding which True Season(s) I’m looking at, and which I can forget about. I’m also teaching our eyes what this particular face does in the presence of wrong colour, because they’re all different.
Usually, True Season skin is different from the outset, in that only one True Season drape of the four seems to flatter, instead of two, or maybe three, with the Neutral Seasons. The skin tone perfection demands absolute colour heat or coolness and it does not compromise, even at the earliest stage of the draping.
Describing my Icelandic lady’s draping: Weirdly, both Spring and Autumn seemed ok. I even had trouble deciding between them, which happens very rarely. Spring’s drape made the skin brighter and more evenly coloured for sure, nearer to the face that’s already wearing perfect foundation and concealer, the result we’re striving towards. The difference just wasn’t as obvious as it usually is. On all the Spring blends of my previous experience, Autumn’s drape was very wrong. Not so here.
Spring was better, but why the difficulty deciding that? Because I had forgotten the What Is Most Important rule. For True Spring and True Autumn, heat is most important in colour. Saturation, not so much. Lightness/darkness, a little more, a little less, fairly forgiving. When heat in colour is at the max, good things happen, whichever kind of heat it is. By that, I mean that Spring and Autumn have very different heat. Hold in your mind a buttercup (Spring) and a rusty nail (Autumn). Very different look, feel, aura, everything. Spring’s yellow, Autumn’s gold (darker, richer, greyer) both seemed far better than the pure cool choices.
True Winter and True Summer, I was very sure about…hopeless, ghostly, tired. Like Bright Spring, True Spring looks a bit dead in True Summer pastels. It’s dramatic. Why? Because now two colour dimensions are off. True Summer is max cool and pretty muted. True Spring is max warm and pretty clear. Many Springs are wearing Summer colours because they feel safer and buying pure colour is not easy to do, especially pure and light and yellow colour. In Summer colour, they age themselves tremendously.
Once the drape colours became more specific, it was easy to choose between Spring and Autumn. For me, the next revelation came when I realized that this was the first time I was seeing a person not becoming yellow in True Spring’s drapes. You can see that Emma doesn’t look yellow, and believe me, in True Spring’s test drapes, everyone else does. I had seen the easing of lines and luminous eye that a Spring blend will have, but I had to ignore the yellowing of the skin, teeth, and white of eye. In True Spring drapes, the skin colour is suffused with vitality and life, while it is bland and pale in the Spring Neutral Season drapes. In right colour, especially the bright clear orange-red, you can watch a bloom rush up into the cheeks and the shadows go away.
This skin takes a lot of colour, and noticeably yellow colour, to come fully alive. Cosmetic colour cannot be wishy-washy, not dusty (looks dead), not earthy (looks like a rug), and not creamy (cream-of-wheat face). This colouring is strong. It will fade Light Spring’s beige-pink lipsticks to make them paler, even greyish (because remember, Light Spring’s colours are a touch greyish from their Summer bit).
The misty sunbeams of Light Spring are not here. This is tropical colour. The lagoon, the Bird of Paradise, fruit punch, Kool-Aid colours, full on yellowed heat. True Spring’s pure, golded, ripe, fresh colour will be hard to come by in the earthy, flesh-toned world of the cosmetics counter. Not impossible, but it will take an empowered woman with a mind released from marketing chatter to make these choices. And like everything in life, it will take a few overshoots and undershoots to perfect. Nobody got anything right the first time. Your best makeup and hair colour are on the other side of your mistakes, not on this side.
We’re putting makeup on Cameron Diaz and Robert Redford here. Could be Amanda Seyfried and Wayne Gretzky, they’re pretty yellow, but not as yellow, probably Light Springs. As you see from the photos, not every True Spring looks obviously yellow. The majority do not. But the colours that work on Ms. Diaz have a good chance of looking glorious on all True Springs.
PCA is not about what you look like, it’s about how your skin reacts to colour, right? Ms. Diaz is the stereotype for the Season, our prototype to try and transfer data from. None of us can really picture anything on ourselves. It works better to visualize on someone whose skin acts like ours, someone in our Season. If you’re not sure about a colour, think of who you’d put it on – Diaz or Lindsay Lohan.
Most of the time, a Season makeup colour will be believable and attractive on every face of that natural colouring because the colours are chosen to be the same as those already in the face. These are the colours that could have just happened by themselves, indeed already have happened in the natural colouring. Every woman makes her darkness adjustment depending on intensity of hair and eye colour, rest of the makeup, comfort level, age, occasion, and complexion, but the colours always come from that Season palette.
- MAC Duck and Uniform (a green)
- Clinique Roast Coffee (darker) and Brown Sugar
- ELauder Bronze
- Gray is brilliant in makeup but can be hard to understand and to find the one you want. If we ignore the dark, sharp, and blue grays and look for medium colours (since sunny gray will take some searching), Sephora 11 Matte Charcoal may be good. Many eyebrow pencils are grayed and Lancome Sable is a nice, soft one.
- True Spring can carry a lot of colour without looking parrotty, and navy eyeliner may work well. Clinique Navy is great, a bright, true navy. Turquoise is worth trying. The green in it may allow to belong even more effortlessly in a True Spring face where all the yellow has turned most blues to turquoise. No dark colour should ever be so dark that it appears to hold black. Light is supposed to come out of the Spring palettes, not be absorbed into it. The more saturated, darker Deep Cobalt is for Bright Spring.
- looking mostly for yellows, peaches, the colours of Rice Krispies and parchment. Colours for Charlize Theron, not JLopez. Not red or orange browns, but yellow and peachy, all the way to dark peach.
- ELauder Sandbar Beige, Riviera Rose, Wild Sable, and Cafe Au Lait, Ivory Lace, and Buttercream Double Wear. The Stay Bronze pot could be a good liner, but this stuff dries almost instantly and doesn’t move without more eyelid pulling than I want.
- MAC Cork.
- EArden Vanilla, Teak, and Wheat.
- Lancome Positive and Chic.
- Gray? nothing I loved. Gray is inherently cool, and I see it as liner better than shadow.
- clear, candy, lollipop, warmer than Barbie pink. No grayness (smear it on paper towel and wait 30 min. to check). Gladiola, not sweet potato.
- Shiseido RD 103, PK 304 (very nice).
- MAC Fleur Power.
- Lancome Rose Mystique is a lovely red in lisptick and gloss, may go on too blue for some. Revlon Love That Pink is good too.
- Lancome Jeweled Pink.
- Maybelline Color Sensational Hi Shine Coral Luster.
- L’Oreal Always Apricot and Charismatic Coral.
- Merle Norman Popsicle, Persimmon, SunKissed
- MAC Crosswires and Sheen Supreme Made To Order; See Sheer is a possible, similar but toned down from the discontinued Viva Glam Cyndi (and from the opinions of True Springs, too muted and brown – try MAC Ravishing instead)
- Clinique Rose Toffee (sheer), Ambrosia (more golden orange), Sugared Grapefruit (light)
- medium to dark brown.
Important Heads Up
I haven’t applied the makeup above to any True Spring faces. I just went shopping with the swatch book. Buy nothing without trying it.
If you want colours from an artist who has test-driven the colours, be aware of Darin Wright’s fantastic products, custom-coloured for all twelve Seasons at eleablake.com. For tough to find Seasons like True Spring, this is one-stop successful makeup. The eyeshadows for True Spring look shockingly beautiful from the website.
In Part 2, the hair, the person, the look, and and our second Emma.
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.