Valeria had a Personal Colour Analysis and makeup selection/application performed by Maytee Garza. Maytee is the owner of Reveal Style Consultancy, located in Morristown, New Jersey. I thank Maytee for allowing me to use the results of this long-awaited PCA. Thank you to Maytee and Valeria for permission to reproduce the photographs. (Photos were taken in a mirror, if you notice a slight background texture).
If Dark Autumn announces that they are going to build a boat in the garage, move the car out. With Autumn energy and quiet determination, and Winter opulent appearance, these people are predestined to create goals and reach them. The rest of the world knows enough to get out of the way.
Valeria saw herself as a Soft Summer for a long time. A restlessness with that conclusion caused her to visit Maytee. As she says, the experience is amazing and traumatic but I could not argue with what I saw in the mirror. One of the best things about a Sci\ART PCA is that you will see your face change with the drapes. Easily. It is not mystical and does not require an ounce of imagination. In our mirrors, you will see yourself look better than you ever have.
In 12 Season Colour Analysis, this person is essentially an Autumn, with a daub of Winter. The Autumn palette is respected, in that the colours are mostly warm (though foundation is often neutral) and muted down. Unlike True Autumn, these are dark colours. Much darker. The most important thing about these colours is their darkness. Even the light colours are darker than anyone else.
I have found this Season hardest to pin down and generalize about, not in the appearance, but in the person. They are variable in character, always evident in the Neutral Seasons, and also elusive. There exists a mystery in the darkness that I do not perceive in the other Seasons, even Dark Winter.
Sensible and straightforward as all Autumns, but direct in speech, and quick to absorb change with good evidence, they speak honestly and bluntly. What I love most, I believe, is that they are not one bit threatened or defensive about new ideas. The person may demonstrate more of Winter reserve, or more of Autumn passive and natural way, but there is always an element of fire.
Dark Autumn can look very Winter. The hair colour can be a most interesting bronzed black, easily just looks like black-brown. It is the dark colour in this dress, from J.Crew. This model looks great. She combines Winter simplicity in the absence of neck and ear jewelry, with a dramatic effect at the wrist. She can balance what would be excessive weight and clutter on someone else. Even the shoes are great, substantial, stirring, and essentially the same as the hair color.
Hair colour ranges from medium brown to chestnut, mahogany, and sometimes blue-black in persons of ethnicity.
Avoid a cool red or purple highlight or rinse. Though a Neutral Season, with both coolness and warmth in the skin, this is predominantly still warm skin. Auburn is better.
Avoid blonde highlights. They look like frosting your hair with gray. The whole impression should be of luxuriant darkness. Highlights of any sort can break up the full-on, sensational dark force of this look.
Use a laminate to heighten the hot shine.
You may see that her hair looks good. Yes it does, but this woman has extraordinarily good skin. That can make an analysis much more difficult, because like children, it is very forgiving. Do the eyebrows seem a bit dark by comparison? Not only is there an imbalance, like something is being forced, but dark eyebrows can look very severe.
My hair color visual for Dark Autumn is a coffee bean. Flip her hair color in your head. Did you feel the pieces click into place? You could even hear it. Could you see the bronze depth emanate even more from within the eye? The synergistic power, where the whole is so much more than the parts, roots you to the spot. Pick the lighter or darker roasts, choose the shade on the bean that matches the intensity of your look, and enjoy those rich bronzed browns. Even in the almost-black haired people, there is a bronzed quality to the hair colour. Find the colourist who can do that.
The Superlative Dark Autumn
Needs time to get comfortable wearing colours that should strike and excite the senses. The darkness mixed with the heat can feel volcanic. Just as the clear brilliance of Bright Winter palette should accelerate the heart, so should Dark Autumn evoke the distinct feeling of a controlled furnace.
Like the sensation of hot sauce in your mouth, this is not a comfortable heat. It is peppery, strong, and undeniable. Her most telling comment, coming off of a Soft Summer self-image, I nearly fainted when I saw the turmeric.
The moment Winter appears in the picture, it tries to take over. A sharp feeling is in the air. In Bright Spring, where a hint of Winter is added to Spring, we see this powerful Winter effect again. The Winter signal, inside and out, is power. But with Dark Autumn, we have heat to contend with too. Like temporary containment, the pressure valve will not hold forever.
Can wear black because they can balance the darkness, but cannot fully balance the coldness. Dark Autumn needs to heat black up. Wear gold or bronze jewelry instead of silver. Add flame colors, hot metallics, rich neutrals (from brown sugar to eggplant), and hot spice colours.
Do texture and weight better than anyone, and not simple tweed or corduroy. Oh, no, we are talking velvet, leather, suede, metallic. Autumn strength and Winter wealth.
Can add theater, because it looks like tension and feels like excitement. Winter is never easy, it demands space and attention, just as Winter in personalities is not always easy. Everyone else has to adjust a little.
The Dark Autumn palette is the feeling of dealing with food that is almost burnt. Your attention is high, your movements are urgent while you ignore everything else. Red is already here now. Black is almost upon us. Something is about to happen. You feel it happening? A reaction is demanded. There are only moments left till Winter and black coldness descend. The viewer ignores everything (everyone) else. They feel the need to do something. We need a moment to catch our breath, dab the sweat, and calm down.
Pure Winter classic, gypsy fortune-teller, Aztec priestess, military command, jungle exotic, Middle Eastern bazaar, Spice Island queen, are all so good and so seldom played up enough. These are your best skin, your youngest face, your slimmest body. So much more than appearance, here we actually react to colour as flavour. Every sense organ seems invoked.
Looks 10 years older in white. Every line is deeper. The gold in the skin has turned to gray ash. In Summer light pastels, the skin looks like cement, and that is not just me being descriptive. The skin looks like grey, rock-solid stone.
Grays the hair well. It heightens the drama. They look even better in the greys and the cooler choices in their Personal Colour palette.
Strive for a bronze glow in makeup, though not necessarily through use of bronzer. When you know your Season, you know your cosmetic colours. In right makeup, the colours diffuse away into your skin because they are already there. The ultimate in polish and sophistication, perfect balance, this is your best and healthiest (healthy=young) no makeup look.
This makeup is so gorgeous, I asked Valeria for the products used:
Maytee matched my foundation (not sure what brand she used but she mixed several for the right shade). Then she applied a sheer brightening powder on my cheekbones and if I’m not mistaken, a brownish/reddish/peach-ish blush, just a touch. On the eyes, she used: all over the lid, Navajo from Bobbi Brown; on the lid, Ash by BB, and in the crease, Hot Stone, a neutral matte brown, by BB. She then lined my eyes with BB’s Espresso eye shadow (especially good liner color on Dark Autumn) and used black mascara. On the lips, she used the Whirl pencil by MAC (its a mauve brown shade the same as my own lip color) and Givenchy Gloss Interdit in Coral Frenzy.
In Valeria’s Words
My experience with PCA was wonderful. The process itself was great fun. However, anyone going into it with preconceptions: be prepared to have them shattered. Be prepared to trust your analyst, trust their training and years of experience, and be prepared to let go of how you used to see yourself. In this sense, PCA can lead to some profound revelations. For me personally, it was about more than just color and style. PCA gave me the answer I’ve been searching for, and with it, it gave me confidence and brought me to a new level of self awareness. It both empowers and releases. It also inspires.
Seeing yourself the way you were intended to be, being at your best and most beautiful, is a wonderful thing. Everyone should get the chance to experience it. There is nothing like it.