I'm pretty sure that, at $48, the 12 Season Home Draping Cards are the most affordable way to figure out your color season.
But for some of us, even that is a big chunk of change!
If that's you, I recommend trying the Six Season Home Draping Cards.
But how do you narrow yourself down to just six seasons?
Here's are a few techniques that work for many people:
Ask yourself, "Can I honestly wear both black and white?" If black and white truly don't overpower you, that narrows your seasons down to five: Dark Autumn, Dark Winter, True Winter, Bright Winter, and Bright Spring. If black and white are too intense for you, that leaves seven seasons; then you only have to rule out one more.
Are you sure about your undertone? If you are pretty sure your undertone is more warm than cool, that narrows you down to the six Autumn and Spring seasons. And if you're sure your undertone is more cool than warm, that narrows you down to the six Winter and Summer seasons.
If you're confident that you need very bright colors, pick Bright Spring and Bright Winter, plus the two seasons to either side: True Winter, Dark Winter, True Spring, and Light Spring.
If you're certain you need gentler colors, pick Soft Summer and Soft Autumn, plus the two seasons to either side: True Summer, Light Summer, True Autumn, and Dark Autumn.
I hope this helps!
The Style Identity Calculator asks you to compare your face to many, many pictures of clothes, and to notice whether or not those clothes flatter your face. Here are some tips to help you make that determination.
- Use a Happy, Forward-Facing Head Shot
When I analyze other people, I find that the type of picture used affects the results quite a bit. Over time, I've found I get the most accurate results with a happy face. I think this is because our best clothes complement our authentic selves, and our authentic selves are happy selves. "Happy face" doesn't have to mean an ear-to-ear grin, although it may; I suggest using the smile that you feel most flatters you.
It's important to use a photo of yourself looking directly into the camera. Most of us don't find this our favorite type of picture; we prefer ourselves at an angle. (I think that's because it narrows our jawline.) But a photo of a face at an angle distorts the dimensions of the face. A head-on photo reveals what you actually look like, and will give the most accurate results.
And do use a photo, not a mirror. Selfies are more trustworthy than a mirror; for some reason, it's much easier to objectively evaluate a frozen image of ourselves.
- Try to See Yourself Objectively
I hate to be yet another voice telling women not to trust their instincts! We get so much of that, don't we? Yet, for the sake of truthfulness, I have to say that many of us don't have an unerring instinct for what looks good on us. I suspect that most of us are drawn to color and style analysis because we realize we often aren't objective about ourselves.
Really seeing oneself is a challenge, absolutely. When you're able to do it, you're in a state of mind where you're viewing yourself rather dispassionately, as a visual image you're responding to on an aesthetic level, but not on a personal level, or with value judgments.
- Your Body Can Tell You When You're Seeing Beauty
The aesthetic reaction you're listening for inside yourself is a sense of liking or not-liking, attraction or lack of attraction. I personally sense this feeling in my chest: something in there warms and lifts when I'm seeing visual harmony.
To feel this reaction, you might try this: put your picture next to one garment that you're absolutely certain complements you. In another screen, put your picture next to a garment that you're certain is awful for you. Then flip back and forth. As you flip back and forth, pay attention to what changes inside you. You should notice a switch that goes on and off, or a feeling that flows and ebbs. *That's* the feeling you should have when you're seeing yourself next to your best clothes.
I also make a habit, if I'm feeling stuck, of going away from a picture for a day or so, then coming back to it. Seeing a picture with fresh eyes can help me notice my aesthetic reaction.
If you're still stuck, consider trying a Virtual Style Analysis.
Is matching the color of a pinched cheek or pinched finger a good way to pick your lippy and blush colors?
Well, the answer is a little complicated.
The color of your pinched skin is usually the effect you're going for. That's true.
But you won't achieve that effect by matching that color and then putting it on your skin.
When you pinch your cheek or finger, you're seeing a color that combines the red of your blood with the brown of your skin tone. (All human skin is some variation of brown.)
This is why your pinched-skin color is less saturated than the actual reds and pinks in your swatches. (Try it and you'll see.)
If you choose a red or pink that you've matched to a pinched finger, it's already desaturated, because it's a combination of your body's red with your skin. As this matched color mixes with your skin color, it gets further desaturated -- most likely too desaturated for you.
So, to create that same pinched-skin effect on your skin from the outside, you need to add a purer, less browned red or pink to the brownish tone of your skin.
This is where your swatch reds and pinks come in.
When you apply a purer red or pink from your swatches to your skin, the result that the viewer sees is a color that combines that red or pink with your skin. So the color you end up with is very similar to the pinched-skin color.
That's the effect you're going for. It's a less saturated version of the pure swatch red or pink because it's blended with your skin color, and it looks perfect on your skin.
That's how your palette reds and pinks are supposed to function. They shouldn't sit on top of your skin like red circles of blush on a Raggedy Ann doll, right?
This is the same reason that matching makeup colors to your palette by swatching them on your skin is wrong, wrong, wrong. For purposes of matching your palette, makeup should only be swatched on white paper.
If you "swatch" makeup on your skin, you're not learning what color it really is; you're learning what color it looks like mixed with your skin color.
That information is interesting information. But it's not the information you need in order to know whether a pink or red matches your actual palette colors. You're looking to match those reds and pinks.
I can only speak from anecdote and personal experience with regard to this question. (Looking forward to the day when I have the resources to do real research in this area!)
I don't think that parents' seasons have no effect on kids' seasons. Since skin tone is heritable, it makes sense that season would be heritable.
But I don't believe we can predict with great accuracy a child's season from a parent's season-- just as we can't predict with great accuracy a child's hair or eye or skin color based on the parent's.
We can make good guesses-- two Winters are probably likelier than average to have a kid who can wear black, don't you think? -- but we can't know for sure.
I don't see clear patterns in the families I know. In my own family of origin, my mother and father -- a (probable) Bright Winter and a Soft Summer -- produced a Dark Winter daughter, which you might very well expect, and a Soft Autumn daughter, which you probably would not expect.
In my family of generation, as they say, I combined my Soft Autumn genes with those of a Light Summer. We made two Light Springs. They're warm, like me, but they're more saturated than either of us. Who would have predicted it?
What combinations do you see in your family? Share in the comments! :-)
There are seven basic style essences. People can be pure essences, or they can be blends. If you count two-essence and three-essence blends, there are 63 possible types in the Truth is Beauty Style Identity System.
Most people find that three essences is the maximum needed to account for their beauty. It's rare for people to go beyond that, for two reasons.
One is that 4-plus essences is more visually complicated than most of us get.
The second is that, at a certain point, a combination of five or six or seven essences can start to look like a balanced average, which is itself an essence -- Classic.
But I do see a mix of four occasionally.
In those cases, a woman can usually view one of the four as an "accent" essence, to be sprinkled in with a more typical three-way blend, or as a "fudge factor" essence, to fill in any small aspect of an ensemble that isn't accounted for by one of her other three essences.
I myself have a dash of Romantic and a dash of Ingenue. Most of the time, I ignore them because they're so small. Occasionally, I bring in one or both if the options for the item I'm choosing aren't available in Ethereal or Natural. For example, if my only earring options are tiny and delicate, I can wear them, knowing that my tiny bit of Ingenue gives me room for that.
Not sure of your style identity? Try the Style Identity Calculator, or consider a virtual analysis.