Valeria Is A Dark Autumn

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.

Hair

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.

 

 

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15 thoughts on “Valeria Is A Dark Autumn”

  1. Wow, what an absolutely wonderful description and analysis of Dark Autumn. I would say your comments on Valeria are spot on, and she looks fantastic in her correct colours too. I was diagnosed as a Dark Autumn last year and am adapting to these new colours gradually. Bronze, I have found is wonderful as a jewellery colour if you can find it. I have never read such a poetic description of colour before, love the way you describe the whole person and not just their colouring. You have made me feel quite special as well for being in this group (althoug we’re all special of course as individuals, whatever group we fall into). I teach textiles and I always teach my students, as I was taught as Art College, that there is a relationship between someone’s colouring and their personality and likes and dislikes, as well as the colours they chose to work with. Thanks for a truely beautiful piece of writing.

  2. Yay! I think I saw Valeria on colorhelp.stylemakeovers.com. Funny thing that many people voted Winter. She looks radiant and intense in Dark Autumn drapes.

    I was told many times that I’m an Autumn. Dark hair, freckles, bright green flecks seen in my irises. And finally, the “Aztec sun” eye pattern. However, the colours felt wrong. Very wrong. I’m sure I can’t wear any of Valeria’s colours. I look washed out and sallow in warm, muted tones. I suspect Winter, or maybe Summer ;)

  3. Hi,

    Christine, could you please tell me (if you know), what the name of the colour of the drape in the first picture is? That is the closest I have seen to the natural colour of my flush – but I have never had a name to call it.

    Valeria’s makeup is absolutely gorgeous… the eyes are fantastic. An already beautiful woman made intensely alive. And I am fascinated by the lipstick. My immediate reaction was that it was too soft, too pale and frankly a little bland. Then I realised that it did not interfere – at all – with any of the drapes. Most impressive. I wonder if I can find it over here in the UK…?

    Oh, and on the subject of lipstick, a while back, you recommended Autumn by Estee Lauder as a good shade for Dark Autumns. It is discontinued in the UK, so the only place my seach found it was eBay. What a marvellous colour! I just came back from 8 days living out of a suitcase, and wore only that shade (with brown, purple, blue, cream and some black clothing). Your various makeup recommendations meant that I was able to travel with that one lipstick and a makeup bag just three inches by four.

    Of course, now that I know that EL’s Autumn is discontinued, I am wondering whether to buy up the entire eBay stock…

    Jo

  4. Hi, Jo,

    That first drape is precisely what you say – the ultimate natural lip/cheek color of the Dark Autumn. The name of it – I don’t exactly know because Sci\ART doesn’t give each color a name. Cinnabar? Bronzed rose?

    On the Facebook club, we discussed that lip color. My reaction was the same as yours, that it’s a bit light. Now, is that because the hair is light. Even if I flip the hair to the mid-range color of a coffee bean, I still feel pretty good about the lip. Perhaps it’s that browns are so forgiving on Autumns, where the rest of us look a bit flat. Perhaps the mauve in the liner changed the lip color in a good way.

  5. Itari,

    You know, Bright Springs can make color analysts nervous because of their superficial resemblance to Autumns, and yet hopeless intolerance for the Autumn colors.

  6. Well, this is a good demonstration of how little credit is to be given to color analysis done through photos, I think. I myself got “analysed” at colorhelp.stylemakeovers.com, resulting in a cool summer which I definitely am not, because I get asked what’s wrong with me anytime I wear pastels near my face. Valeria being analysed as a soft summer and turning out to be a dark autumn further validates the point. She looks radiant in all these drapes and this is clearly her season, which, in backsight, seems quite obvious: such intensity and warmth cannot be overlooked.

  7. I am still in awe at how beautiful and in harmony Valeria and her colors look together. :) In terms of her lip color, and in terms of lip colors for all of the seasons…what does it mean when a lip color appears to wash the complexion out without the addition of eye makeup? Does it suggest that the color is generally slightly off, in some way, or perhaps too weak? Should one aim for a lip color which is vital enough to give the face some life without the addition of masc, e/l, and so forth? I know that eye/lip color balance is important, but I am just wondering if this scenario suggests anything about the basic rightness/wrongness of the shade or intensity. Thanks!

  8. Lucretia,
    The difficulty for me with photos is that I can be right some of the time. I can usually get it down to the last 2 Seasons, but not always. There is just so much variation even within 1 Season.

    Adriane,
    No, I don’t make any connections there Adriane. As soon as we artificially enhance something, it’s hard for everything else to compete. Unless the lipstick is a sheer flesh-tone, I think you’d see the effect you describe across the board. Rather like wearing mascara and nothing else.

  9. Hi Adriane,

    Your comment got me thinking. My makeup has evolved so much over the years, and a lot of the changes I have made have been due to the slow realisation that I need a lot of pigment – in the right places. Christine always says that if you pick colours that exist in you, it is surprising how deep you can take those colours. I always thought that fair skin meant that I shouldn’t put too much colour on – it would look like crude paint. Experience, a developing critical eye, colour analysis and discussions like these have slowly led me to change my mind.

    My natural colouring is fair skin, very pale lips, short eyelashes in mid brown and no natural cheek colour. Without harmoniously balancing lips, cheeks and eyes, my face is a fairly featureless expanse. The gravatar pic I use is 6 years old now, from a time when I thought a whisk of tinted moisturiser, a nude lipstick and soft smudge of eyeliner and mascara was enough.

    Nowadays I know soooooo much better. I use deeper lipstick to balance the intensity of my hair (I may be a dark autumn, but I am also fairly high contrast for a DA, brown and cream rather than HIGH contrast black and white of a Winter). I use blusher now, a very light sweep of an intense colour, and my eyeliner and brows balance my hair.

    When I see myself reflected in shop windows I no longer see a pale blob of a face, instead I see a face with features. Nothing sticks out – no garish lips or clown like cheeks, just real features. But if I leave the eyeliner off, or forget to refresh my lipstick, the blandness creeps back.

    Maybe I should get another pic done. Grin.

    Contrast has such a huge part to play in colour analysis (and it is something that I didn’t even realise mattered until recently). I guess the low contrast people are probably the ones who do better without makeup. The high contrasts, unless they have naturally striking eyebrows, lashes and the intensly pigmented lips of youth are going to need a bit of makeup help…

  10. Valeria you look wonderful with your new colors!The gold fabric and green one are really stunning on you! :)

  11. Hi

    Atre are all the fabrics that Valerie is swathed in – in the pics on this page – suitable for adark autumn?

  12. Yes, they’re all DA drapes. If you saw them IRL, some would seem different to you. Cameras always change things and these images are being reflected in a mirror.

  13. Hi, I’ve read a couple of entries regarding autumn colouring on your blog and in each one you describe dark colours/ black as severe and ageing. This is your opinion of course but I’d like to know why you think dark eyebrows are ageing? I know many women with naturally dark eyebrows who look great and do not look aged. I have natural black eyebrows and a lovely natural shape which I constantly get compliments on. I personally would rather have full dark brows than thin and/ or sparse light coloured brows. And I think the majority of polished well groomed women out there would agree. Why else would there be women from various racial/ ethnic backgrounds tinting or penciling in their eyebrows? Audrey Hepburn, Jennifer Connelly, Rachel Weisz, Camilla Belle and Brooke Shields spring to mind when I think of dark eyebrows. And Megan Fox is one celebrity that I can think of that looks better off with her full (even though they’re fake) black eyebrows than her old mousy brown eyebrows which were terribly thin and sparse.

  14. Nicki,
    Glad you brought this up, but you answered your own Q. I don’t think NATURAL dark or black brows are ageing, I think they’re simply stunningly beautiful. On any colouring.
    Nature will never give you colour anywhere that is less than perfect. You’re born colour-coded to match, hair, skin, eyes, veins, tans, teeth, everything. What I think is ageing is when brows or hair are darkened. That looks severe and older and the viewer can pick it out a mile away.
    The opposite is true too. Some dark Seasons have naturally light brows, almost invisible. And that looks awesome and should be left alone. Define them with a dark blonde pencil a little, but don’t paint them in to match your hair.

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