Wednesday, April 2, 2014

My Personal Color Analysis Was a Big Surprise

Color me shocked. As it turns out, I'm not a Bright Winter at all. I'm actually a Soft Summer! They are both neutral seasons, leaning cooler with just a touch of warmth, but the colors and saturation are very different.

I wrote about what I was anticipating and a little about what this is all about in my previous post, here.

Now, how does a personal color analysis work, exactly? First, you wear no makeup. The "studio" (actually a hotel meeting room) was set up with a gray background and full-spectrum lights. I wore a gray scarf over my hair (because there is still a tiny bit of dye in the ends) and a gray drape. My analyst, Christine, also wore a gray coverall so as to not distract the eye. She started by draping me with fabric drapes representing the four true seasons, Winter (black), Autumn (dark brown), Spring (gold), and Summer (silver), comparing two at a time. It was clear that none of the true seasons were a perfect match, but Summer was the best, followed by Winter. We were looking for each color's effects on my face. You want feature definition, smooth skin, healthy skin color, bright colorful eyes, pink lips. You do not want shadows, yellowness, redness, pale lips, dull eyes, or hard lines.

We went through the red drapes (a series of pinks to reds designed to test for how much saturation suits you) and then we did each of the 12 seasons individually. Nine seasons were eliminated pretty quickly. She spent extra time comparing Light Summer and Soft Summer (SSu), but Soft Summer won out. She saved Bright Winter (BW) for last, because she know it was what I was expecting. I didn't tell her straight out, but she figured it out by my comments on how pretty certain drapes were, as well as what I walked in wearing (black and fuchsia).

The Bright Winter vs. Soft Summer draping was interesting. The BW drapes really didn't look bad - they didn't make me sallow, like the warmer seasons (Spring), or severe, like the cold seasons (True Winter and True Summer). But - in the BW, I just sort of receded. I wasn't center stage, the drape was. The SSu drapes, on the other hand, showed ME. This may sounds like a subtle thing. But I really could see it. The SSu colors are truly colors I've hardly looked at in stores. I just assumed they didn't have enough saturation for me. The SSu colors are heathered and grayed. I think they're very pretty, but they are just so far from the electric pinks, purples, and teals I've been favoring lately!

Christine sensed my shock, and she spent a long time with me. She really wanted me to see the changes that SSu made in my appearance. In fact, my session was about six hours long! Granted, much of that time was talking, about color theory in general, and then more specifically once my season had been revealed. We also talked about makeup, and she applied a full face of makeup on me, explaining as she went.

Once I got over my shock (even my shock shocked me - I swore I was totally open minded!), I decided to just embrace my new season. Hey, nothing is permanent, I can always go back to my old bright colors if I like. I've been collecting new makeup from Christine's recommendation list, and bought a few clothing items and scarves. Below, I'm sharing some photos from from draping session, as well as a selfie I took in my car wearing some of my new purchases. All of the draping photos are in my Soft Summer colors, with makeup on (I wasn't going to take any pictures of the "bad" colors, or any no-makeup shots, no matter good an illustration they might be!)
My colors (well, a few of them, anyway)

Some individual shots with Soft Summer colors

Here is my attempt at "doing Soft Summer" myself.

The scarf in the photo above is by Natasha (purchased at TJ Maxx). Foundation is Clinique Perfectly Real Makeup in 14N, blush is Clinique's Cupid. Eyeliner is Urban Decay's Uzi. Eyeshadow is a custom palette I created with MAC's Blackberry, Yogurt, and Scene. Mascara is Almay's Sapphire. Lipstick: Plumful by MAC.
A sampling of Soft Summer colors 
So was it worth it? Yes, I think so. I do love the way I look in the softer colors it would never had occurred to me to wear. And I did DO this in order to push myself out of my comfort zone - and to be the best me I can be. It's a work in progress! Have you ever had a PCA? Were you surprised by your results?


  1. Wow! I'm surprised for you. Now I'm really questioning my thoughts of myself as a Bright Winter. Makes me want a PCA soon. Also, I'm Patti Ann from Cafe Gray.

    1. Hi Patti Ann! Thanks for reading, and for your comments. I have to say, I did a lot of research beforehand and I was just so certain that I was a Bright Winter! Truly, a PCA (by a trusted professional!) is the only way to know for sure.

  2. Kare, the sSu colors are so pretty on you!

  3. Karen, I read a lot last night about PCA, unfortunately, the company you used is not in my area. I need to do more research on this and maybe a road trip is in order for my mom, daughter, daughter-in-law, and I?

    The SSu colors look so good on you, but I can definitely see why you thought you were a BW. Does it make a difference because of hair color? Would you have been a BW with brown hair, but are a SSu with gray hair? Or did your analyst say that doesn't matter?

    You've got a great attitude, "I embrace my natural hair color while still striving to be the best I can be." Love it. I'm going to remember that during my transition.

    1. Thanks for your kind words, Patti Ann!

      Hair color does affect how we perceive ourselves, but it would not actually change your season. In fact, the PCA should cover your hair if it has any dye at all in it. My analyst said that your season at 20 should be your season for life!

    2. Thanks for clearing that up, Karen. I've wondered about that.

    3. I too was a Winter in the 80s with a Color Me Beautiful rep. I had another one in 2012 with Nikki Bogardus in St Louis and she says I'm a Soft Summer. I do love the SS palette. I had been feeling the Winter was too harsh now. I would probably been considered a Deep Soft Summer in the 80s if the 16 Seasons system existed.

    4. Mlou, thanks for reading/commenting! The lovely thing about having "a season" is that there are still lots of choices within it. I know a Soft Summer who favors the lighter tones, and another who favors the darker part of the fan. And it all works! I happen to like the middle section best, though I'll wear colors from any part of it (if I can find it in stores!)

  4. LOOK at your eyes!! Stunning!!!