Friday, 25 November 2016

A New Painting

I am not a very disciplined person though I wish I were.  Much of my creating happens in spurts of inspiration, moments of  just having to write or paint because something needs to come out.  There are long dry spells where I just dabble and slide into negative self talk where I tell myself that clearly I am not a writer or a painter. 

I set the bar high, very high, and perhaps too high to ever reach.  At what point would I consider myself an artist?  If someone purchased something I'd created?  If some outside authority proclaimed me a writer or a painter would that then make it so in my mind?  I suspect not.  I seem to be prone to something called imposter syndrome.  I always think to myself, gosh how am I managing to fool everyone?  How am I getting away with this?  Any day now I will be discovered, revealed as a pathetic fraud just like The Wizard of Oz.

I put a photo of my latest painting on my Facebook page and am getting positive feedback I had not expected.   Today, I feel like an artist.  Today I feel that because I made something that has left an impression on other people, that I must be doing something right.  Most of the time I create for myself, or at least I create because I have to.   But art is communication and communication has to reach somebody somewhere, somehow, and all I ever want to do is connect with people.  To make something that someone responds to emotionally means everything to me. 

As usual, this is a mostly finished piece which I will probably observe for a month and may add to slightly.  I don't like to name my abstract pieces because I think that limits what others might see in it.  I believe that although I had an intention when I painted this, it becomes more than that when others look at it.  Having said that, it does have a name.

                                                              Inner Child

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

The Revival of 90s Lipsticks


 I wasn't aware of brown lipstick as a nineties thing, and unless it was popular with children and babies I don't remember much of anything that was on trend in the nineties.  But since the nineties were two decades ago everything nineties is now officially vintage and those who came of age then are old enough to enjoy reviving various aspects of its popular culture.  Brown lipstick shades were popular then, ranging from orange browns to maroon and since I have recently discovered that the brown shades of lipstick are what suit me best, I am right on trend for the nineties brown lipstick revival.  As annoying as it is to be accidentally on trend when I loathe being trendy, it's good to know that my favourite lipstick colours are readily available.  Having spent much time and too much money figuring out what works for me and feels right, I am now fearful of my favourites being discontinued. 

Doesn't that always seem to happen? 

Whether I am looking for a nude, soft and peachy, medium basic neutral look, or my version of red, what works is always a brown based colour.  It works so well I have accidentally purchased identical colours in different brands and formulas because my radar is now so finely tuned to terracotta.

Long lasting formulas tend to be drying, so although I've experimented with them I would rather have a cream formula and just reapply it when needed.  I've found that if the formula is too sheer and oily it doesn't give even pigmentation and a pearl or gold glitter effect can resemble dry patches. 

Even when I thought I was neutral-cool toned I knew that brown was the right direction and always chose browned mauves.  Moving in a warmer direction I still look for brown but I've learned that brown needs to be the dominant colour.

Last year I went searching for my version of red.  I knew already that red in the tube, whether warm or cool, did not work for me and always ends up looking like a neon sign on my face.  I knew I needed the red to be muted with brown somehow and I homed in quite quickly on Rum Raisin.  It looked pretty good, though a bit dramatic.  I was excited.  I had never seen myself look this good in something that looked like a red lip.  I bought it.  I wore it a few times but stopped because it was just too much.  I tried blotting it but that always reduced it to a pinkier-red than looked good.

Reading some explanations about lipsticks for True Autumn on Christine Scaman's blog, 12 Blueprints, my experiences with lip colours began to make sense.  If there is too much  pink in the colour mix it can't find a colour in the Autumn woman's face to harmonise with and it sits apart; the pink begins to be what you notice most.  I had always wondered why lipsticks ended up looking more pink on me than they did in a swatch or in the tube and was puzzled because my naked lips are not overly pink or dark so it couldn't be my lip colour coming through. 

It was awhile yet before I tried anything obviously orange.  Rum Raisin, I learned, was a good colour for people in the Deep Autumn colouring group because it is not a purely warm colour mix. Deep Autumn has a touch of Winter.   It has a hint of cool red in it and that's why it pulls pink on me and looks just a bit off.  The lighting is dim but this is a fairly accurate representation of how these colours swatch on paper.

You can see how Rum Raisin looks more purple/plum next to the other colours I've collected.

Eventually I figured out that I needed purely warm colours and began to read suggestions for Autumn lipstick colours.  Given that MAC brand is very popular it is probably the most frequently referenced brand on Pinterest and in beauty blogs.  Nars is another.  I've not got access to department stores or Sephora, just a variety of drugstores and Walmart for my options so I gathered a limited list of suggestions and began to develop my understanding of what types of colours were being recommended, mentally translating Mac into Revlon as best I could.  Without realising it I bought duplicate colours in different brands and formulas but seem to be headed towards a favourite three.  These are the colours in the photo above.

Revlon Super Lustrous in Pink Truffle is a new  a very sheer formula they call shine and is rumoured to be the same as a now discontinued Lip Butter with the same name.  It is so close to my natural lip colour it's pretty much like wearing lip balm so I treat it like lip balm.  The name is a bit surprising but it's a pale warm pink-brown that is basically my version of peach.  The one actually named Peach Parfait is too yellow-peach for me and would suit someone with Spring colouring. Revlon Colorstay in Runway is nearly identical in colour but the formula is drier.

Revlon Super Lustrous in Rose Velvet is identical in colour to the Wet n Wild Mega Last lipstick in Sand Storm which I bought recently. The difference is that the Wet n Wild is a matte and the Revlon is a cream.  The cream certainly feels better on my lips and I think looks better on lips over 40 too. Despite their names, they both swatch as a warm pink-brown on paper and look like terracotta on my lips. 

Revlon Super Lustrous in Toast of New York is the actual vintage colour in my collection. It's an orange-brown and reads as a red on me, albeit a warm and muted one.  I can apply it straight out of the tube and would wear it any day. Photo at the bottom of the page.
Revlon Super Lustrous in Abstract Orange is similar in colour but the formula, isn't quite working for me. On my lips the colour reads nearly identical to Toast of New York but the formula is sheer and has a gold shimmer.  It seems to wear off in a patchy way that make my lips look rough and dry. 

Last Thoughts

Although I need lipstick colours that are quite brown, I do look best with coloured lips and not anything that approaches the nude look.  Beiges of any type, pink or peach look terrible and chalky and drain my face of colour.  I think this is because I need to match my makeup chroma to my personal chroma.  That is, my own colouring is very medium and a bit muted, and warm so I need to repeat that in the colours I wear, both in clothing and in makeup.  Too light is as wrong as too dark.  Bright and clear are also wrong and so is cool or neutral.  That neutral true red that it's claimed everyone can wear because it's neither more blue-red or more yellow-red?  Nope-it doesn't work for me.  It's not warm enough and it's too bright.  Revlon has lots of reds and several that are dupes for the popular MAC reds, but they all look atrocious on me.  Does this mean I can't wear a red lip? 

 Nope.  It means I needed to think outside the box in order to wear a red lip.

                                                    Revlon Toast of New York

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Memories of Aunt Helen's Red Lipstick

Although red lipstick is often considered a sexy look, I don't know any men who like it.  Most of the men I know object to any lipstick on the grounds that there is no way they want to kiss lipstick covered lips.  I'm not sure I can blame them for that attitude as I am not sure I would want to kiss lipstick-covered lips either.  The taste and texture would not appeal to me.  In general, most women are not putting on lipstick intending for it to result in being kissed.  It may even serve as an armour against it.  I wonder if red lipstick is in fact a very big sign saying these lips are not for your pleasure.

I have always loved lipstick best out of all types of makeup and it's what I am most likely to waste spend money on.  I'm always looking for the perfect, signature colour but even if I come close to finding it, I then get a bit bored and want something new.  It's a bit strange because I don't consider my lips my best feature and the usual advice is to accentuate our best.  Makeup trends come and go and I haven't been too inclined to follow them since I was about fourteen when all I wanted was pale mauve eye-shadow.  My attempt at getting some was thwarted by the helpful cosmetic counter lady who steered me towards a bronzed-purple.  The cosmetic counter ladies have always seen that I was warm-toned despite my own inability to.  I envied Jennifer at school, who had heavy-lidded eyes covered in thick pastel lilac.

Today, the bright red flowers on my Zygo cactus made me think about my Great Aunt Helen, the only woman in my family who wore red lips.  She was an aunt by marriage, we shared no blood but she was much loved and more so than the peculiar man she married who was my grandmother's brother.  Aunt Helen always wore her lipstick.  She probably also powdered her nose, as her generation did and so did my grandmother who wore no other makeup at all.  Aunt Helen's colour was a bright coral-red, quite vivid and yet, it was so much part of her it didn't seem out of place at all.  She was not darkly coloured and I only ever knew her as mainly grey-haired.  I can't recall the colour of her eyes but suspect they were grey-blue of some sort.  They twinkled, and that is what you noticed most about them.  If they were brown they were not overly dark.  I don't know what her lipstick brand was, but it was available from a small town drugstore so I can guess.  I don't know what the colour was but memory tells me it was something like this.

                          Revlon Fire and Ice could have been the one she wore though it looks different depending on who wears it.  Whatever she used the colour above is similar to the effect she achieved.                               

 Aunt Helen grew up in Jamaica and had a definite preference for bright and warm colours.  She accumulated plenty of orange and gold coloured home decor pieces in the seventies.

Photos give me the impression she wore brighter colours when she was younger, and I don't know if her tastes changed or if she thought it was fitting to get a bit more muted with age.  Her favourite colours to wear were red, green and brown, a trio I have always loved myself.  She would likely add golden yellows, oranges and sometimes purples in a blouse pattern or scarf.  Her hair was worn in two braids on top of her head until someone gave her an adorable wavy pixie cut when she was in her late seventies.  She often wore a beret and a scarf that could best be described as Hermes type.  She had a sort of old money type of sophistication that I would not have known to call that when I was a child but I could see it was distinct.  There was nothing pretentious about her but she was more put-together looking than her sister-in-law, my grandmother, who had a harder life and little room for glamour. 

I don't know how much my taste is influenced by Aunt Helen or just coincidentally more like hers than any other family member.  It's certainly not genetic.  Her colour preferences were a little bolder than mine and she wore flamboyant patterns I would probably avoid, but I always thought she looked great, distinctly herself, and I relate to her love of warm colours and floriental perfumes.  I have orange things all over my home, as Aunt Helen did  and my current favourite lipsticks are warm with orange undertones,  not as bold as Fire and Ice but  I find myself wanting to wear my orange-red lips  with little other apparent makeup, just as Aunt Helen did.  Whatever a lipstick looks like in the tube or whatever it might be named, different people get a red lip effect from a variety of shades that are not obviously red until worn. A bright coral-red looked just right on my aunt but would look out of place on me, competing with the rest of me.   My version of red is a terra cotta colour and I'm sharing it below.

I should probably question myself over putting this photo out in public but, here goes...

No makeup and unwashed hair but a dap of lipstick helps.  Let's call it my French Girl Look.  This one is a terracotta red in the tube and on my lips.  Wet n Wild Megalast lipstick in Sand Storm, goes on smoothly, is matte, a bit drying, has pretty good staying power and doesn't have a flavour or scent that irritates me.

Seeing the colour on me is not necessarily useful to other people.  I think sometimes the effect of the colour with the overall face can be different from what it looks like close up and of course our own natural lip pigmentation always affects the colour. This is another blogger's close up of Sand Storm It seems to look lighter on her than it does on me, and more orange.  Burnt peach?  Still very pretty but not so much a version of red.  This is closer to the effect I get with Revlon's Abstract Orange.


Thursday, 17 November 2016

So Much To Learn, I Need Another Fifty Years

        I achieved quite realistic lighting and colours here though my lippie is a bit more browned than it looks here.

Understanding Myself Better

Fantasy is appealing, or at least it is to me.  I have a mother whom fantasy leaves cold.  I shouldn't say it like that because that is not to say that she is cold herself at all-  she is warm and lovely and very literal and practical.  Practicality and realism appeal to me enormously but I, as always, am a conflicting blend of part realist and part fantasist.  If you are imagining that I must confuse people, you are right.  I even confuse myself.

Figuring out my true personal style and colours had been enormously challenging because I had difficult sorting fantasy from reality but I needed to. Or at least I needed to get rid of the delusions.  The fantasy me might have dreams of mooning about the garden looking like a Pre-Raphaelite, or piling on the layers like a mori or lagen-lady, but the real me sits on the sofa and writes mediocre poetry with denim-clad, crossed legs and bare feet.  Deluded me is supposed to wear cool colours, loves the warm ones but believes she looks terrible in them

For some people fantasy is part of the way they dress.  For others, their clear and practical style is grounded solidly in reality.  I don't know what I truly want or like or need until I can try it out but I never really had the time, money or motivation to do that until the past few years.  It was fun but also exhausting.  Responses from the people around me vary from 'Why would you put yourself through all of that?" to "How can you even think of giving up all the creativity involved in playing with your style?"

I suppose I am just aiming for my own personal blend of creativity and simplicity.  I like to try something new just as much as anyone (or even more than some) but I need and want a framework to do that within.  I like simplicity as much as I like abundant options. 

I need to trust myself more than I have in the past.  I have always been drawn to warm colours but believed I was somehow cheating or doing something 'wrong'.  I have always known I was warm coloured but because more than one person had mistakenly said I was cool I thought they must be the ones who are right.  As I type this I wonder what would make me think that.  It's as though my inner Negative Ninny told herself, of course you can't have what you want.  These people must be right and you are not warm.

Considering how obvious my skintone warmth is to me now, I am puzzled as to how others couldn't see it either.  Some did.  There were people who used to comment on my being yellow.  It never seemed like a compliment.  Yet again, there was something about myself that seemed defective or wrong and needed fixing.  I can't blame anyone any more than I must blame myself and I think the answer lies at least partly in the effect that cooler colours I wore had on my face.  I looked pale and tired and that is how people expect me to look.  I do look pale and tired sometimes still, but I can put the right coloured makeup on and fake peachy-good-health a little better than I could in the wrong colours. 

There are ways in my life that I have been strong and there are ways I have been an easy victim.  The best I can do is live and learn.

What I have Learned Lately About How to Dress Myself

There was a time when too much colour made me feel clownish.  Whether it was in makeup or clothing, I concluded that  I must be a colourless sort of person.  Now I know that it was simply that I was playing with the wrong colours.  I love subtle and soft blends, I love analagous colours and monochromatic combinations but I also love the effect of a riot of Warm Autumn colours.  Relative to other colours the Warm Autumn palette is still a muted one, but it is definitely not colourless.  Even in all the versions of brown and browned colours that could be combined it looks colour-rich and earthy.   Dipping my toes into the Soft Autumn palette was a great start and I love the colours. It felt safe but some of them are possibly too neutral and too muted for me to look my best- those that are warmest tend to overlap into the  softest and lightest end of the Warm Autumn palette where I am now playing.  I love soft gold, cream and very soft peach colours together.

 Hastily tossed together for a run to the grocery store, this outfit has analogous colours on top but they are complimentary to the blue denim.  Colours are pretty good for accuarcy thought the sweater is a more peach than it appears.

Warm Autumn is very medium in colour value and is best with medium contrasts in value but I am very comfortable in complimentary colour mixes of similar contrast value.  Where Soft Autumn has more brown pinks, Warm Autumn has more full out oranges and golds but I would happily combine them like a sunset. My favourite reds have always been the warm autumn reds, the ones you would call brown red, brick red or red-orange.  I've noticed I tend to love all the oranges you might call burnt-something.  My nail polish is a browned-salmon.  

                     Celebrating today's photos being quite accurate in temperature and just slightly paler than reality.

                     I'm going to keep living and learning and I am going to do it in orange and gold influenced shades.  I feel like personified sunshine and it literally lifts my mood.

 True Story

I had a friend, with whom I am no longer in touch ( long complicated story ) and he claimed to be one of the rare people who experience synesthesia.  He always told me that my voice on the phone made him see sunshine yellow.

 Explainy Technical Bit

 Value contrast is where a shade falls on the white-black scale with all the greys in between
 Colour contrast is how far apart two colours are on the colour wheel.
 Low contast is adjacent colours or shade values and high contrast is opposite ones.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Purple Is Magic and a bit Complicated

I love purple, and have typically worn it as freely as I always wore blue but now that I am looking for my best purples it requires some over thinking.

Purple is abundant in the Deep Autumn palette, where colours are neutral leaning warm and deep and rich.  It's a stunning palette.

All of the seasonal palettes have a generous amount of purple and although there is some variation depending on who and which system created the palette, Warm Autumn seems to have the fewest purple options.  Also puzzling is the apparent lack of warmth in the typically recommended purples.  No seasonal palette fan includes every possible colour for that season but is meant to be representative, and to support the user in finding other colours that work with it.  So I am probably being impatient because I do not have a Warm Autumn fan in my hot little paws, and am looking at the different options online.  I have one ordered of course!

Why is Warm Autumn Purple so Neutral?

Something Called Simultaneous Contrast
Redder purples belong to Deep Autumn because they also belong to Winter and Deep Autumn is approaching Winter.  That's my understanding.  It doesn't really work to warm up purple with yellow or gold so it seems that instead, the true warm seasons wear it as a complimentary colour, complimentary to their own yellow or gold tone.  That makes the best purple more of a true purple than anything very blue or very red.  For Spring it's made more pastel with white and for Autumn perhaps muted a bit but not so much as to remove it's identity as purple.  A drop of golden brown would mute it quite nicely and be very in keeping with Autumn colouring.

Simultaneous Contrast explained here.
It's essentially a fancy term to explain why complimentary colours are so powerful.

Celebrities in Dresses ( okay just two of them )
I would hazard a guess that this is an Autumn woman in a Spring purple.  The purple is warm but its brightness seems to compete and win against the muted, coppery warmth of Julianne Moore.


And I wonder if this purple  ( worn by Paige Butcher and accessorised with Eddie Murphy )
might look fantastic on Julianne.  But she doesn't need Eddie.  Let's give her a different Eddie.  How about Eddie Redmayne?


This gown seems warmed with brown, a bronze looks is present, something metallic even though the finish is matte. And that is the general quality of Warm Autumn. 

Julianne and Paige both need some gold jewelry.  Listen to me!  I'm turning into a stylist.  I've got a muted mauve dress that needs dyeing and hopefully I can achieve this purple. I'd better buy more than once box of dye.  That's okay. It beats crushing snails.

You can see it represented here-seen better on in the fabric as the swatch fan is a bit shadowed.  You can just make out that there is a lighter option but it still doesn't look pastel or bright. 


                                Pantone's Plum looks like it has potential to be a good one.


 Why is a Red-Violet in the More Neutral Deep Autumn Palette?

I'm going to attempt to look at it in the context of the overall palettes.  Here the point is not to look at individual colours but the overall effect of the two palettes. 

Warm Autumn is noticeably more golden than Deep Autumn, which has a Winter influence, and the red-violets of the Deep Autumn palette are too close to cool red.


Moving around the colour wheel this is what would happen:  As blue moves towards red it becomes purple, then purple becomes red, and it's a cool red, which gets warmer as it moves towards yellow.  That's why the red-purple is in a cooler palette.


I have analysed that to my own satisfaction and perhaps put readers to sleep.  Speaking of which, it's time for me to do just that!

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Knock Knock. Who's There? Orange. Orange Who?

Orange you glad I am so obsessed with colours?

I've had a love -hate relationship with orange my whole life.  Essentially I love some versions of it and loathe others.  Most people are this way with green.   What I have learned over time is that often colours make different impressions on me in different contexts but there is a pretty strong chance I won't care for bright colours much.  Having said that, some people wear them beautifully and they certainly suit tropical flowers.  People respond emotionally to colours and what is drab to one person can be soft and calm to another.  What is uplifting and cheerful to many is intrusive and loud to me.  All of that is without other factors considered.  A big box store ( so named either because they sell things in big boxes or are generally build in the shape of a large box ) that is a giant concrete and metal rectangle is often a blot on the landscape in any colour but it's typical of them to be done in bright colours.  Bright colours get attention.  McDonald's used primary red and yellow because it gets attention immediately, and bright yellow is a favourite of many other brands too.  I generally find them an assault on the landscape but there is more than colour going on with that association.

I loathe the incessant orangeness of a Home Depot store but I have no explanation other than emotional response for why I might like that same orange colour in a different context.

Given the assumption that I do prefer my colours at least a bit muted, I quite like every colour there is and even the colour blue, which most people find quite benign, is not my preference when it is a very bright blue.

But then context again....

Look at Nicole Kidman in the blue gown.  She looks jaw-dropping and I instantly love this bright teal-blue.


Or Vanessa Hudgeons in this bright deep orange.


Oh good, I managed to work my way back to orange.   My personal biases fit well with the theory that most of us are attracted to our own colours. They feel like home.  The more brightness you have in your natural colouring, the more bright colours look and feel right to you.  The more muted you are the more the muted colours feel right.  Of course experiences and biases develop over our lifetimes.  Being the only person in my family to love warm
(yellow/gold/orange infused colours) tended to undermine my likelihood of choosing them.  Particularly in choosing them to wear.  It's funny how in the end, my goal would be to have someone say, 'you look great' as opposed to 'nice dress' and yet if the dress itself doesn't appeal to those closest to me, I will be reluctant to wear it.

Embracing orange now, is a strong step towards owning who I am.  I look good in orange.  I am a bit orange, and not through the use of any spray tan!  That doesn't mean every orange will work, but the ones that do may not be the shades my loved ones would pick out in a lineup and say 'okay I like that orange'.  Such things used to weight on me and effect my decisions.  I could not get through a day conscious of the fact that people around me probably didn't like my shirt.  Life gets complicated when you just want to make everybody happy.  It's a ridiculous goal most of the time, unless perhaps you are the host of a party.

Depending a little on the lighting, this sweater looks brown-peach, gold-peach or muted orange.  I had a sweater in a similar colour once which I used to refer to as my orange sweater and everyone else called it brown.    I always did love colours that are difficult to name.  That means they are not obvious primaries or easy mixes.  A bit of gold in the mix mutes a colour, as well as making it what we usually call 'warm'.  I do like orange that is more complex than the secondary colour achieved by mixing primary red with primary yellow. 

Digression:  Do you ever accidentally publish an unfinished blog post and realise it moments later, quickly grab it back but notice it's had at least one hit?  My apologies to that confused person who tried to read a blog post that probably made no sense.  Perhaps you were relieved by how short it was. 

The oranges I am playing with, as part of the Warm Autumn palette, are oranges that require modifying adjectives.  Golden-orange, red-orange, rust-orange, muted dark orange, amber-orange, burnt peach, are descriptions that come to mind as I type.  Somehow the name must describe that it is not a pure secondary hue derived form mixing two pure primary hues.  It may look brown-orange or orange-brown.  It  may be coppery or bronzed.  Swatched on paper it tends to look brown.

Back in the summer, while searching for a new nail polish I bought one from L'Oreal called Julianne's nude.  It looked so pretty in the bottle but I got it home and put it on my toes and was horrified.  It was orange.  I didn't wear orange polishes; I always went for a browned- pink generally muted enough to blend more than stand out.  I tossed the once used polish into my donation bag.  A week ago I bought it again.  Having learned that the cosmetics sale's people don't seem to mind people testing out the polishes, I dabbed a little on my thumbnail and loved it.  Why had I not liked it before? I wondered.  Four months ago I saw it as garish and now I saw it as pretty.  I have a changed perspective.  I am the woman who wears Abstract Orange on her lips and is experimenting with coppery and gold eye shadow.

Having learned that there is so much orange in my own natural colouring, how can I reject it?

I have orange all around my home.  Brown-oranges, typically.  Terracotta is a favourite and so is rust.  Whatever you want to call the colour, and whatever I might say about Home Depot while rolling my eyes.  I love orange.

Monday, 14 November 2016

Part Two Blue and Blue-ish Because of Course I Digress

Part Two is For Colour Nerds Like Me

Colour names are not used consistently and we have biases about warm or cool associations with colours but the actual definition of whether a blue is warm or cool is based on where it is on a colour wheel.  Blue that works it's way towards red, but before becoming purple, is cool blue because it is moving further away from yellow.  Blue moving towards yellow, before it becomes green, is warm blue.  And yet, the bright yellow- blue that we associate with ice and snow feels cold because of that association. Google the term 'icy blue' and you will see blues that are pale turquoise.  The deeper, purple-blues are often associated with royalty, opulence and the blueberries of summer and so we think of them as warmer.   Confusing!

For the purposes of wearing clothing, we are trying to coordinate the colours with the colours of ourselves because the appearance of skin is affected by colours near it.  Wearing blues that are closer to yellow if your skin is warm reflect flattering similar warm light onto your face.  If you are cool skinned  then the blue that is closer to red will reflect the right light onto your face.  People who are neutral leaning cool have the most blue options just as the warmer coloured people have more yellow/orange options.

Many of the blues recommended for Autumn don't immediately look warm.  The addition of gold mutes them as well as warming them so they have a soft, dulled look.  Blue doesn't really appear warm as we usually  understand it until it is pretty nearly green but it doesn't have to get that warmed up to work with the Autumn palette.  Both blue and purple almost seem to me to function as complimentary colours to the warm golden appearance of Autumn skin, and perhaps it's that fact which makes it work.  Complimentary colours enhance each other and thus blue and purple, in the best formulation, and still warmed slightly, should pop but in a flattering way when next to golden skin.  

The colours below were on Pinterest listed as Autumn Blues but I am skeptical and think some of them are Spring.  The deeper ones look like Autumn to me and I would probably wear 2,3,5 and 7.  It's difficult to tell out of context.  Colour is always relative.


Green-or Teal

The true definition of teal is a dark greenish-blue colour but most people also give the name to a colour that would better be described as bluish green.   It's a subtle enough distinction that I get eye rolling from some people when I make it about any of the non-primary colours.  To me, the first colour name is a descriptor and the second one is still the main colour.  So a greenish blue is a type of blue and a blueish green is a type of green and you may have to squint and scrunch up your eyes to notice a difference.  I used to argue with my ex-husband over whether the flower known as grape-hyacinth or muscari was blue or purple.  He called them purple and I just had to divorce him over it!  ( Terrible sense of humour, I have. )  A teal is also a type of duck and just to make things confusing there is a green-winged teal duck and a blue-winged teal duck.

When does teal become turquoise?  The lighter it gets the more it approaches what we call turquoise (which is short for bleu turquoise, which means Turkish blue)  When it is light and bright it is a Spring colour, the lighter and brighter warm season.   Green is a warmer colour than blue because green is made equally of yellow and blue, so even adding green to a blue is adding some warmth to it.  That's how I understand it.

We associate similar colours with warm seas and swimming pools as well as snow and ice warmth and coolness associations do not always match up with the idea that yellow is the warm colour direction on a colour wheel and blue is the cool direction.  It may be better to refer to colours not as warmer or cooler but simply bluer or yellower.

Purple-It's Kind of Blue

 The more red added to blue (or the more blue works its way around the colour wheel towards red) the more likely we are to call the colour we see purple.  Of course it works the other way around too.   I remember my childhood box of crayons had Red-Violet and Blue-Violet.  They were two of my favourites and were among the most quickly worn down crayons, requiring lots of the paper wrapper to be peeled off.

For reasons I am still learning, the purples recommended for True-Warm Autumn look very neutral and not as close to red as I would expect, given that they would need to be warm.  I know that it has something to do with the way the Autumn types have warm skin.  For Warm Autumn, the warmth comes from gold, and gold is yellow that is slightly muted with warm grey.  That's why the Warm Autumn palette colours are muted colours, though not as muted as the Soft Autumn palette, which is muted, lighter and just cooler enough to be more neutral than Warm Autumn.  Deep Autumn is again, more neutral than Warm Autumn, still mainly warm but as Soft Autumn is on the border with Summer's light and cool colours, Deep Autumn is on the border with Winter's cool and deep colours.  So Deep Autumn skin tone is warmed more with red-brown than with gold.  Thus most Deep Autumn palettes include some gorgeous red-purples.

Having said that, palette suggestions do vary somewhat between colour analysis companies and purple is included in some palettes and not others. However, palette swatches are not meant to be the only colours, but a sample that gives you the best guidance.  Thus I would hold my Warm Autumn swatch next to any given red purple and attempt to determine if the colour looks like it belongs with the others.  If it does, the theory goes, it should look like it belongs on me too.

My other theories include the idea that if true purple (equal mix of blue and red) is the direct opposite and compliment of yellow, perhaps in that sense it is flattering to yellow toned skin.  Also, if I think of the Autumn trio-Soft Autumn, Warm Autumn and Deep Autumn, the two more neutral Autumns have some form of red-purple, Soft Autumns is muted mauve and Deep Autumns is red-violet, so if Warm Autumn is in the middle of Soft Autumn and Deep Autumn, it's best purple might be in the middle of blue and red. 

Final theory of this post 
( but not my final theory ever because theories are what I do! )

Because I have always worn a lot of blue and probably at least half the time was unknowingly wearing warmer blues, I have received compliments in blue and could easily conclude blue is my best colour.   That would certainly lead me to think I am cool and not warm, just as I would have thought the opposite if I'd had experiences being complimented in yellow or orange.  I haven't though, because the number of times I've worn yellow or orange can be counted on one hand.

If you are rolling your eyes and asking why I am making this so complicated, the answer is simple.  I'm an INFJ-I need to understand.  Everything.

Blue Part One

You will be really relieved to know that I had a longer post and accidentally deleted half of it when in the process of dividing it into Parts One and Two.  It had lots of photos of Warm Autumn celebrities wearing all the right blues and my thoughts on this but there is no way I am going to re-create it.

Unless I turn Part Two into Part One and then spend some time later working on this one.....

That didn't happen.

Here is a picture of me with my "I kill people with these eyes" face.  I happen to be accidentally wearing a good blue for Warm Autumn.  Let's pretend I was clever enough to do that on purpose.

There is no way I looked at this shirt and said to myself, oh there is a blue that has some yellow in it.  However, technically that is what makes this a warmer blue.  Keep adding yellow or gold to blue until you get green and everything that came before green is a warm blue.  Often we call it teal.  Teal is a wonderful colour because there are versions of it that look great on everyone, especially if you add turquoise to the definition of teal.

Colour names mean different things to different people so they aren't always helpful but blues that are likely to be suitable for Warm Autumn are often called teal, turquoise, light navy blue, air-force blue, cadet blue, and peacock blue.  Not every colour with these names will be right though.  That's the problem with colour names, but they can get you going in the right direction.  Steel blue, which I've always thought of as a cool colour, is actually a warm blue as well.  In Part Two I explore colour theory more.  Part Two is for those who are colour nerds like me but in both posts I keep mentioning that colour names are tricky.

You can find, if you look, lists of colour names to go with each colour palette (seasonal or tonal, 12 or 16 or more). Some of them are even written on coloured graphics but since we are dealing with colours as represented on a computer screen that's not terribly accurate.  What I have noticed with the colour name lists is that the same names show up in more than one season/palette so really that is not helpful.  Sure, more than one palette contains a colour we might all call medium salmon pink but they will still be different in ways that a colour name doesn't show you.  What comes to mind when you see the word teal?  There are many, many options.  Teal is fairly forgiving and everyone can wear some versions of it but we will all have our best versions.  The same thing happens with colours named after flowers.  Violets come in more than one variety of purple.  What colour is rose pink?  I could go on, and you know that I could.

Back to Blue...

I mentioned that I'd been using pictures of Warm Autumn celebrities wearing blue, but I want to clarify that I didn't determine that the blue was the right kind because a Warm Autumn celebrity was wearing it.  Photos of celebrities are edited to look good no matter what they wear.  Some celebrities are more aware of their best colours than others are and of course if you have the benefit of a makeup artist, good lighting and photo shop it matters less if your colours reflect well on your face.  Costume designers use colour choices to manipulate how we see a character, not just the mood that the colour creates but how healthy or vibrant or powerful the actor looks in them based on the actor's own colouring.

 No matter how warm it is, blue still suggests coolness to people psychologically, so often the best way for a warm-toned person to wear it is in combination with other warm colours, especially creating a complimentary effect with warm golds and oranges.    This will repeat the effect of the blue seen against the golden skin.   I have an appropriately blue coloured spring/early autumn coat which I love paired with a gold scarf and a gold cardigan I love paired with a blue dress. 

Come Spring, I will be looking for something in a lighter, warm and muted version of turquoise as my warm weather blue.  Knowing the right blue doesn't mean I will find it in the shops every season though.  My shopping habits are changing, and now instead of going into it thinking that I want a red shirt or blue skirt, I just look at the clothing and look for colours that are warm.  Following the Warm Autumn palette they will all look right with each other so it's easier to shop.  If I need a summer blouse, I will get the blouse that I like in whichever of the Warm Autumn colours it comes in, knowing it will go with everything else I would want to wear it with.  If the trendy blue of 2017 is a Spring blue or a Winter blue, I won't be buying any blue.  I would much rather do it that way than buy blues that don't flatter me or work with the rest of my clothing.

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Lipstick Adventures -A Post No Shorter Than Any Others

You know how when something becomes so obvious you can't figure out why you didn't see it before and it's truly one of those moments when you want to slap your forehead and shout WTF was I thinking?  Or maybe you don't know because you are much less likely to get confused.  I do wonder why nobody told me.  Why did nobody say, something?  I am breathing down the neck of 50 years old and nobody has ever said to me. 'It's not that you are a hideous yellow colour and must try to camouflage it with pink and blue.  Put on some orange, darling. You will look marvelous.'  Of course, all my closest peeps are cool toned, blue- favouring, non-interfering types.

                                                         Warm and Bland

 I've been in bed with a migraine recently so this was venturing tentatively into the land of showered, dressed and trying to feel pretty.  Wearing teal is always a good idea. 

I thought I might be particularly pale looking so I was cautious with the makeup colours and the application but for the most part achieved a nude look.  The eye shadow is copper and brown though you'd not know it unless I blink at you. I could wear a bit more colour in my face but actually it did look more colourful i person than it does in a photo.  Or at least my face did.  Not so much the lips.  That's about the same.

I wasn't sure about this lipstick and after I  bought it I thought it had turned out to be a disastrous choice.  It's not awful though, it's just not great.  I am not generally a fan of blanked out lips but I think this is more soft and subtle than blanked out.  The lips aren't the exact colour of the rest of my face but they are still so subtle I am not sure there is any point to wearing this lip colour.

Does it improve my look?  I doubt it.  I was trying to get something that reads soft peach but most that look peach in the tube are not right  on me.  I am limited, (self inflicted) by finding certain brands unappealing due to taste, smell or texture.  Generally I like the Revlon Superlustrous lipsticks so I stick with those and rarely even look at any of the others now.

Brazilian Tan (which I am wearing in the above photo) is so-so but even worse  is Champagne on Ice -  beige chalk on my lips, though it looked like nice soft peach on other people. So awful I didn't even want to take a picture.

Here are some things I've learned about myself so far: 

I need a bit of colour on my lips.  Face coloured lips are blah on me.

Lipsticks pinkify easily so even when it looks soft peach in the tube it gets yucky pink on me.

I like sheer formulas and they seem to suit me best. 

In order to celebrate a headache free day I popped out to the nearest drugstore to buy a celebration lipstick.  That's what you do when you've wasted money already on colours that are wrong.

Knowing the names of several colours suggested for True Autumn types I cautiously explored them and swatched them on my hand.  Two of them swatched essentially the same colour on my hand though they did not appear so in the tube- Abstract Orange and Sandalwood Beige.  In the tube Abstract Orange looks darker and more bronzed and on my hand, it also seemed more sheer.

I flagged down the cosmetician and asked her to sanitise them so I could try them out because I have learned my lesson:  Back of the hand tests only lead to a 50% success rate.    

The winner was Abstract Orange and believe me never in a bazillion years would my previously deluded self have selected that one to try.  As I purchased it I chatted with the cosmetician, telling her about how I'd only recently learned that I am warm and how I am so happy to be peachy and golden when in the past I was either grey or yellow.  She said 'Oh I could have told you that you are an Autumn. You are so an Autumn.'  I must have been doing a lot of enthusiastic bubbling because she told me I am so sweet.

I don't think there is any light peach lipstick in my future.    Essentially, Abstract Orange is sort of burnt peach, at least on me. Frost looks horrid on me, because of course it's cool,  but the slight gold metallic glitter in this lipstick only enhances the colour and does not read as glitter or sparkle. It gives a subtle metallic look which apparently suits True Autumn.


I'm pretty good at finding the browned pinks and reds that work for me, but as I experiment with a shift from the more neutral Soft Autumn to the fully warm True Autumn, I was pretty nervous about orange lipstick.  I'm not the type of person who does fun lipstick colours.  I am always aiming for something that looks believable.

Thursday, 10 November 2016

It's Possible

 Feeling Confident

I have written before about not wanting to stand out.  I feel extremely uncomfortable standing out and although I am capable of performing solo, I don't want to be a solo performance on a constant basis.  Bright colours usually make me uncomfortable in part because they are noticeable but also because they have never felt they related to me in any way, not my personality, my mood or my physical appearance.  I would wear them as a costume for a performance but that would be exhausting on a regular basis.  It's not surprising that a Soft Season Colour Palette would be a comfortable home for me and that colours or colour combinations that look great on others can feel too loud for me.  I put my foot in my mouth by telling my sister in law that bright colours feel like shouting to me.  She wears and looks great in bright, colours.

 Brightness is all relative though and in the seasonal colour palette systems ( or others with non-seasonal names ) some are brighter than others.  All of the Autumns are comparatively muted, so although Soft Autumn is very muted, True/Warm Autumn is more muted than most of the other palettes, although darkness can read as mutedness so Soft Summer, Dark Winter and Dark Autumn also read as somewhat muted.  Having decided that my personal colour characteristics are warm and muted and happily exploring the Soft Autumn palette, I find myself constantly wondering about True Autumn and after all, standing out and looking my best do not have to be exactly the same thing.

Wondering, Wavering, Rationalising

Nothing is stopping me from exploring that palette too and I suspect I will.  But for me it's never good enough to do something because I want to. I don't like beliefs I like facts.  So I want to know, objectively, which is my best palette.  Not which is my favourite, which do I like, or okay I will just use both.  I want to get it right.  I do feel pretty certain that my best is one or the other.  If I turn out to be a True Autumn it won't match up nicely with where I feel I fit in the Dressing Your Truth system but the more I explore these systems the more I find they don't always work together.  They can't because they are not fully objective.  Personal Colour analysis done with drapes by a trained and skilled analyst who is looking for the colours that most perfect your skin is about as close as it gets to objectivity.  The Sci/Art system is created from colour science and the palettes are not arbitrarily compiled.  Style guides based on body size, shape or lines and style guides based on personal energy or the vibe you give off are definitely getting into the real of subjectivity.

There isn't agreement among the experts or the women I know as to whether or not a belt around your middle is a good idea if you don't have much waist definition.  Some say it creates a waist to belt it and others say no it just points a big arrow at the waist you don't have.

But the ramble is mainly about colour, so back to those Autumn palettes.....

While I see soft, mutedness in my own colouring, and can easily rule out Springs and Winters because they are too saturated and have recently ruled out Summers because they are too cool and much to my astonishment I have been in denial of my own warmth all these years, the question is not so much, am I an autumn of some type but which autumn type am I?  Deep Autumn is fairly easily ruled out because it's colours get to deep and dark for me and I obviously do not have the darkness or depth of colouring required.     My colouring does not say dark and warm, it says soft and warm or it says warm and soft.  The question is which is more dominant. 

The True Autumn palette is a little more saturated than Soft Autumn and slightly warmer, but it is still a palette of mostly muted colours.  There are only two colours I can see in the typical palette which I would be uncomfortable wearing.  They are bright looking oranges.  It is quite possible that objectively they would look good on me, but I would probably feel uncomfortable wearing them unless I were very deliberately dressed elaborately.  I might wear an orange-red ball gown because I am going to feel conspicuous in a ball gown anyhow so it may as well be a look at me colour.

Looking at celebrity examples to try and pin down your palette can be quite the rabbit hole.  And believe me I have gone down it.  Even though I know it's more an exercise in frustration than anything.  There is more variety amongst the people who will wear each palette than we ever see in the celebrity examples and most of the time the examples are the stereotypical average for the season.  For those who are outside the average it's not very helpful to look at pictures of celebrities for clues.  Also, celebrity images are highly manipulated and the celebrities themselves will have makeup, spray-tans and hair dye all masking their natural colouring and making it more difficult to relate to them.  There are very few naturally blonde adults but the majority of female celebrities with light to medium-dark brown hair are dyed blonde or heavily highlighted to achieve the look called bronde.  Almost every celebrity example of a Soft Autumn is blonde and almost every example of a True Autumn is a redhead but few of them are naturally so.  This makes it very misleading.

Trying to decided if your own skin colour is the same as any given celebrities is very difficult but according to some colour analysts this won't work anyhow because it's all about how your particular face reacts to colour placed next to it.

And photos are problematic because accurate colour is a challenge.  My own photos and the photos of various celebrities show just how differently coloured people can appear in different lighting, looking cooler or warmer, paler or darker.

In the end all I can do is try wearing colours from the True Autumn palette as well as those from Soft Autumn and try to determine which are more flattering.   That will require time and experimentation and I am typically not patient when I want answers.  I want to know now yesterday. 

Ignoring all of the difficulties that photos present in terms of accuracy, I have taken a couple photos of myself that look fairly accurate, which is to say they are similar to what I see in the mirror depending on how bright the light is, and I have put them in collages with celebrity examples of True/Warm Autumn and Soft Autumn Deep.  At the moment the red in my hair is enhanced with a rinse but it is consistent with the natural highlights I have in the sun. 

It's tricky, but here are the points I am considering.

* My experiments with makeup are taking me to warmer places all the time. Light versions of true warmth seem to work best.  I still have fair skin and I like a subtle natural look so those factors influence my choices but they are still warm and True Autumn type colours. 

* I seem to have a little more contrast/be less blended than the Soft Autumn examples.

* Although there are fewer examples very light skin is quite possible in True Autumn and celebs are often tanned or enhanced by lighting to look darker.

*I have warm medium brown hair and pull off red hair better than blonde.

* My eyes are actually warm though that was difficult for me to tell at first.  They are somewhere between greyed green and teal with a camel-gold coloured sunburst in the centre and of course warmer than they have sometimes photographed, just as the rest of me is.  Note-some true autumn celebs have blue eyes but it's a warmer blue.

* While I do see softness, it may not be my dominant feature but my second one, which is what True autumn is-warm and muted, while Soft Autumn is muted and neutral-warm

*  I look much healthier in warm Autumn-type colours but have been lead astray because I don't suit clear, bright warm colours which are Spring. All clear brights are the worst colours for me, warm or cool, and warm brights make me look greenish yellow instead of golden. 

* I LOVE the Soft Autumn palette so I may be biased in its favour.  Even if I am a True Autumn I would probably mix Soft Autumn and True Autumn. 

*Soft Autumn was divided further by some colour systems and I don't find a good fit in either one.  Soft Autumn light gets too pastel and Soft Autumn deep gets darker than True Autumn does.

* I still do love many light warm colours such as the pale golds and creams but they exist also in the True Autumn palette. 

* Blue is not as good on me as I always assumed and the warmer blues and teals are definitely better.

* The norm for True Autumn is bronzed skin that tans well but some are very fair and don't tan well or burn before they tan.  I do tan with some effort but haven't bothered to in the past couple of decades.  I tan a very golden colour.

*I once owned some rich orange-red sweaters and looked great in them.  I had forgotten this.

* There is a reasonable method of comparing oneself to celebrity photos:

Step 1 gather lots of photos of yourself that show accurate colouring in good light

Step 2 don't worry if X celebrity is or isn't a particular season, just say X photo of the celebrity represents the season.

Step 3  make a collage to aid in comparison.

Monday, 7 November 2016

Exploring Warm Palettes

Is it enough just to wear warm colours?  In my case, no.  Low saturation is probably the most important quality, with warmth being a close second and of course, the best result is achieved with both qualities.  Not only do I need to find this combination in clothing but also in makeup.  It's the second part that is most challenging and I hate wasting money on makeup that turns out to be not quite right, though buying drugstore makeup means not everything can be tried out in advance of purchase.

Soft Autumn Makeup

The colours of blush and bronzer are easy enough to find, as browned colours, peaches and brick colours are abundant enough, but they must be quite sheer when applied.  I also must apply with a very light touch, especially if the product is not as sheer as I need it to be.

Eye shadow mistakes don't seem to be as drastic since my eyelids don't show much and I am tempted not to bother with eye shadow at all.  I am using black-brown mascara which seems to be okay.  The top lashes don't look drastically different from the bottom.

Lipstick has always been tricky and perhaps that's the reason I have experimented the most and wasted the most money on it.  I am drawn to it because a bit of lip colour gives me the most impact with the least effort but  it's very easy to get it wrong.  Lip colours pull pink on me and I've bought so many colours without trying them on and then being disappointed by the pinkification of my lips.
Christine Scaman explains in her book that this happens when the lipstick formula contains a lot of pink in the colour mix and on a warmish complexion that pink doesn't blend in with the rest of the facial colouring so it sits on top and becomes all that you see. 

The next challenge is colour saturation.  Blot blot blot, is the general rule but I've always liked the idea of swipe and go, and thick lipstick blotted leaves my lips feeling dry.

For that reason I tend to like sheer lipsticks or tinted balms.  The downside to those is they really don't have any staying power.  The upside is they generally are not drying and they do give me the sheer colour effect I need.  In this picture and all the pictures used below I am wearing my new favourite, Revlon Pink Truffle which is a sheer so it's going to come off with any eating or drinking or kissing the cat.

Gah! I took this photo for the sake of showing the lipstick and am rather horrified at the shadows and bags under my eyes.  Let's blame that horrible morphine withdrawl episode followed by a three day migraine.    I remind myself that I have a chronic illness and sometimes I look like I do, even wearing my best colours.

Swatched on white paper, Pink Truffle looks like a sheer warm brown.  That's how to tell Autumn lipsticks from Spring.  The Spring lipsticks will be a clearer, definite peach or coral pink.  You can see this is quite sheer and I did go back and forth on the paper a bit to make the colour show.  It feels very light and moist to wear, like lip balm

I am a big fan of Revlon Superlustrous lipsticks because some brands have a feel, taste or scent (or all three) which I cannot stand.  For me, these lipsticks don't offend. 

 Not long after deciding I am Soft Autumn I began to question.  Was I sure?  I've already been through Winter, Dark Winter, True Summer and Soft Summer.  I am sure now, but I did have to explore warmth in colour a bit more before being reminded that low saturation was also very important and thus Soft Autumn is the right one.  I am showing them here in the order that I think is best to worst of the warms.

This palette of soft muted colours still looks and feels right.  Though the purple and mauve-pink don't look quite as good to me, many of these colours look like the are the exact colours in me.  I tend to instinctively prefer that very blended look so the more a colour stands apart from me the less comfortable I feel.

                                              Muted Palette by Style and Image

 In  a Warm Autumn palette sample I look better than I thought I would.

                                                  Autumn Palette by Style and Image

 Though the colours seem seem a bit strong/saturated for me, most of them would be okay. Since they are getting to be a medium darkness and I once used darkness as a substitute for low saturation when I didn't understand that was what I needed, the darker of these colours look like reasonable choices to me.  My face recedes a bit though, not quite able to compete with the colours.

                                              Warm Palette by Style and Image

While the palette before this one is a dark-warm, this one is a light-warm.  It too seems reasonably good but the difference that doesn't perhaps show up too well here is that a spring type of palette is lightened with white, not lower saturation.  It looks  muted here but I think in reality they are meant to be brighter and more saturated colours.  Fruit punch, popsicle, sherbet, easter egg.  I think of them as thicker.

                                                      Spring by Style and Image

Again, this palette looks almost right except for that red.  Red is generally a stand-out colour but I  need a quite muted one, browned a bit ,while this is too clear and bright.  It doesn't relate to anything in my own colouring.  These colours are almost right because they are warm and they appear light.  Some of them might be better than others. 

It takes a bit of practice to not think in terms of colour names, such as coral pink or butter yellow, and to pay more attention to the qualities of the colour.  Is it a muted coral pink or a bright one?  Is it pastel or deep?  My approach has to be to seek out warmer colours than I used to ( which is not hard as I've always been attracted to them and used to pick them up, sigh and put them back ) and then ask myself, is this muted enough?  My Soft Autumn colour swatch fan helps with that, but as I practice I get better at seeing it simply in comparison with myself.

I've come a long way through dark and cool colours to much lighter and warmer ones.  Putting a photo inside these palettes might not be the best way to figure out which seasonal or tonal palette is best but it helps.

If you want to play around with putting your own photo inside colour palettes the link to Style and Image is below.

Try Out Colour Palettes

Friday, 4 November 2016

Threeness with a Generous Dollop of Two

"What people do is, they go from one thing to the next. I call it ‘Costuming.’ We are wearing costumes to church, we are wearing a costume into the office, we wear a costume to family gatherings, we try to mimic what that [identity] looks like, [trying] to “fit in.”
Once you have this confidence and esteem starts filtering in on a daily basis, you feel good. You get so much feedback from other people, you can’t deny it. That takes over and you have less need to try and find all these things to “fit in” because what you’re wearing is your own personal style."


What I have written here is derived from my online research and the majority of the information comes from Dressing Your Truth.  I have mixed feelings about Dressing Your Truth but cannot deny that since a large quantity of information is free and easily found online it has given me much to explore.

Although the Dressing Your Truth system has a very strong internet presence, it is not original;  Carol Tuttle, creator of Dressing Your Truth was analysed by Taylore Sinclaire in the IlluminEssence system before using it to create her own programme.

For other information on 4 Types  also look up...

Carla Mathis -might be the first to have created the 4 Type system
Jane Segerstrom- book "Look Like Yourself and Love It" 20 years before DYT

These are 4 types are based on Yin/Yang properties identified by Belle Northrup and others used the Yin/Yang concept to develop style archetypes such as Classic, Natural, Gamine, Dramatic and Romantic.  The four type systems tend not to take height into account whereas the five type systems do.

For the archetypes mentioned above look up...

John Kitchener  -people are a blend of all types and you work with your percentages
Harriet McJimsey -people are a blend of types
Suzanne Caygill -possibly the first to link colour theory to seasons for personal colour        palettes and extending to personality and style
David Kibbe -people have a dominant type (Taylore Sinclaire and Carol Tuttle)

Many of these people studied with Suzanne Caygill originally-  I am sure there are others, but these are the ones I am aware of.  I have not listed those who mainly do colour palettes.

  Under either the Dressing Your Truth or IlluminEssence system I have identified myself as a type or tone 3 with a secondary 2 which happens to be a very strong 2.  Thus the rich and dynamic appearance I am told to cultivate for a type/tone 3 seems to work best if it is softened by the 2.  Softening happens not only in fabric and line, but in colour and this translates well to my Soft Autumn palette.

I have no formal or purchased association with either type ( my knowledge of what it means to be a Type 3 with a secondary 2 in these systems is limited to what is free online ) and explaining them along with my thoughts about them is complicated.  I have written and abandoned several pieces on the subject, my feelings are very conflicted about Dressing Your Truth as I have found much information to both support it and criticise it.

But Let's Talk About Me

I am a 3/2 and so I appear most authentic if I dress according to the 3-ness that shows most strongly in my physical appearance.  I round that out with a touch of 2-ness just as anybody should take any system and personalise it and this means softening it as I described above. If I do not take my secondary 'energy' into consideration I get the costume effect Taylore Sinclaire mentions in the above quote.  I've had some experience with costumes in my personal style journey and I've learned that I can like the look of a style, really want to wear and be that, and yet if something feels off about it I really do feel as though I am wearing a costume and thus playing a role.  A costume  can be a form of self-protection, a way of trying to fit in, or be who I perceive others want/need me to be, which I am sure I have done at various times in my life,  but I have also been obsessed through much of my later adult life with what I can only call authenticity.

Perhaps there were reasons, a need for some self-protection, but that time of my life is over. I have been seeking this authenticity for awhile and it has taken some time, effort and navel-gazing to find it.  It's not easy to admit to that.  I am a person who does not intentionally attempt to deceive, I am honest and generally straight-forward and have a revulsion towards  people who seem fake to me so to imagine that I may have ever come across to anyone in that way is nearly devastating.  However, I don't think I have.  Rather I think that my self presentation may at times have either undermined my strength or made too much of it and created a harsher appearance.  I can see how that would feel safe to me in times of stress and vulnerability.

Slight Digression:  As someone who sometimes looks ill-pale, dark under the eyes, tired-I like the idea of wearing clothing that makes me look healthier.  But there is a downside to looking healthier than you actually are, so it requires some strength of character to be able to go out into the world  prepared to put myself first.  I do not have the strength, stamina or energy that I appear to have or that would be expected for my age and apparent able-bodiedness.  With regards to my invisible disability, my mother used to say 'pity you don't have a limp'.  Well, currently I do. 

Back to the Regularly Scheduled Programme:

A conflict with the tone 3 energy that lead me not to even consider tone 3 but rather to lean on my secondary 2 is that I am quite introverted.  I confuse people though because I am capable of short term extroverted behaviour and my love of connecting with people often drives me to use that ability.  It is profoundly exhausting to me but I have persisted in doing it all my life.  (The light bulb came on brightly when I discovered that is a very strong trait of an INFJ.)  I had ruled out T3 at first because I am not like the typical description.  Nobody who knows me would describe me as loud and pushy and I was not a rambunctious child at all.  I had lots of energy if I wanted to but was equally capable of and likely to be still and quiet.  I have no desire to be a leader though will reluctantly do it if nobody else steps forward.  I am more likely to champion someone else as leader.  So I did not recognise myself in the generalised descriptions of T3 behaviour but I did see it in my body language and facial features which Carol Tuttle, creator of Dressing Your Truth, says is more important.   Not every T3 will appear or behave exactly like another and the secondary natures contribute to those differences as do the variations in how strong our secondaries are.

I know that in my case it means a softening of the rich and dynamic energy of T3 and that I might bring in some T2 elements with lines and accessories.  I also know that the secondary type will make adjustments to your colour palette.

Okay, I Just Have To Say...

Style systems telling you about design lines, colours, textures and shapes tend to have a fair amount of overlap for two reasons.  One is that many grew from the same source, modern style gurus had the same teacher and then went on to expand on what they learned and develop their own systems.  Another reason is essentially a copyright issue.  There is some debate over what ideas are owned by whom and possibly not enough acknowledgement of what that guru has not actually invented herself but is implying that she has.  Human beings tend to notice patterns, and in the end, these systems all are based on some patterns that show certain types of personal colouring tend to go with certain facial and body features, certain styles of moving, and something we might call a person's vibe or energy or essence.  Some people like to use archetypes to describe these.  Most of these style gurus will tell us that our natural instincts tell us which type is truly natural to us but that some of us over-think and second guess it more than others do.  Such as, yours truly.

So, How Did I Figure it Out?

 My T3 Face and Movement:

I didn't see it at first.  In many ways the T2 is the inner me and the T3 is the outer me, and I am much more in touch with my inner self.  We will all have some of every type in us, but what we are looking for is the dominant type.  Energy profiling programmes promise that by dressing in accordance with this dominant ( or as I see it, outer ) energy, we will come across more authentically to others and will feel more comfortable and confident about ourselves.  I might be tempted to argue that, because I tend to think of my inner self as more authentic.  But perhaps the inner self is too private.  Or perhaps I am just grasping at straws and this is all like horoscopes-we see what we want to see and ignore the rest.

Okay, back to my face.  I had to step back and instead of examining every small detail and getting bogged down in thoughts like, well my nose looks T3 and my skin looks T4 etc..I just thought about what the overall first impression probably is.  I came up with warmth, friendliness, asymmetry, angles-more angles than I at first realised.

My movement is quite determined and I walk with a heavy step, determined, deliberate and a quickness.  I can get quite busy multi-tasking and bang around noisily without realising it. My focus is often on getting things done.  I have a sporadic energy too, sudden movement as well as sudden motivation, alternating with rest or pauses.  I can change my mind and my direction instantly. 

While I do not identify with being loud and pushy, I do identify with being determined and sometimes impatient to get things done.  I am not much good at relaxing though it is forced on me often.  When I am comfortable I speak enthusiastically and use my whole body and face to express myself-which leads to very unflattering candid photos.  I am definitely described as intense, and I can be abrupt.  The T3 sometimes offends people without meaning to.  While this does not happen often I can do this.  I am prone to forgetting to filter my thoughts, to rephrase the original thought more tactfully or just thinking out loud and not quite saying what I really mean at first.  On the other hand, I am very sensitive to other people's feelings and always intend to be kind so if I am too blunt I am generally mortified.  Perhaps that's my T2 taking over, but I would argue ( I do use that word a lot and it sounds a bit T3 ) that everyone should be kind.

And yet, I have written before about my struggle with wanting to be more of a call it as I see it person.  Have I been socialised to be more tactful and polite than is my true nature?  I don't know, but I think I will stick with tact.    T3 and T2 are opposites and so this is a tricky combination ( as is 4/1 and 1/4 ).

Learning How to Do It
 Colour for Tone 3

For example the T3 palette is warm, earthy, rich colours from an Autumn-type palette.  For me they are a bit too saturated and sometimes too golden.  If I soften them, sort of warmly grey them down with a T2 essence, I actually get the Soft Autumn Palette I have recently decided is the right one for me and if I soften the T3 personality description I get something that feels more familiar.

Design Lines for T3

As a dominant T3 with a secondary T2 I am giving myself permission to wear the warm, soft colours I love, choose design lines that are somewhere in between soft and flowing and structured.  I have a better image in my mind now of what that looks like but still find it difficult to put into words.  I do like soft feeling clothing, dislike feeling my movement restricted, avoid collars because they neither flatter nor feel comfortable with my shorter neck, know I look best in tops with seaming that indicate a waist but do not cinch it and probably also look best with small shoulder pads but they are not on trend right now so none of my clothing has them.

In general, the recommendations for T3 design lines are to create the look of texture.  This is done with layering, mixing colours, patterns, accessories and actual fabric texture.  The idea is that a T3 woman can handle a greater mix of these than other types do.

 Key words: texture, substance, angles, asymmetry.  Triangles, rectangles and zigzags are associated shapes but I believe that for me my secondary T2 will allow for some softening of those.  Sharp angles have never been shapes that attracted me.  I've always chosen curves, ovals, ellipses and sometimes even circles.  That would be a big shift for me and I have accessories with those shapes I would find difficult to let go.  It may happen.  I may find I truly do prefer the look of the T3 shapes.  Or I  may not.  It is quite typical of me, and apparently of T3 to want this sorted out now.  Yesterday, even. 


T3 types are advised to only wear chunky gold coloured jewelry but I'm not quite there yet.  I mix metals and include silver, which will work for a Soft Autumn.  I feel uncomfortable in larger and chunkier pieces, but then larger and chunkier are relative words.   I think that some of my more delicate jewelry is delicate not because I favour delicacy but because the smaller the item the more affordable it is if it's real silver or gold.  I am reminded here that David Kibbe's recommendations for a Flamboyant Natural and Soft Dramatic are to wear what he calls obviously faux jewelry and I definitely balked when I read that.  I associated costume jewelry with chunky plastic but eventually realised that there were other types.

I tend to prefer scarves to necklaces and that works, especially for a 3 with a 2 secondary, though scarves can be a bit problematic for a peri-menopausal woman having hot flashes and they are out of the question in warm weather.  


T3 hair should suggest movement.  Often it is presented as short and spiky or what I call the soccer-mom flippy shag that was popular ten years ago, but any length can work.

  This is literally outward movement which is very T3 and my hair will basically do this naturally, without need of curling iron or flat iron.  I used to fight this look, trying to straighten and turn my hair under.

                           Martina McBride wears it well and looks like she could be T3


 Hair Shape

Although people seem to love a pixie cut on me and I agree it looks good in photos I am never happy with it for long.  Over and over again I attempt to grow my hair out and get talked into going back to the pixie.   I think I have identified the issues going on there.  For one thing, growing out hair is not always going to be flattering so my hair may be at a less flattering stage when someone says to me 'you know, you really look better with your hair short.'   I also think I've grown it out the wrong way.   I always aimed for some sort of bob as I grew it out which is a bit heavy and still looking for a T3.  That shape is reading as wrong to people but they don't necessarily know why and because the pixie looks lighter it seems better than the bob.  I'm now aiming for the short shag, sort of like Martina above.  Don't care if it is not current.

Hair Colour

My hair has changed as I age, which is typical, there are very few naturally blonde adults but many if not most of the women who dye their hair blonde were blonde as children.  I think we have some troubles adjusting to hair colour change.  When I look in the mirror and see hair that is much darker than it once was I feel confused.  I had light, reddish brown hair as a child.  I feel quite comfortable returning to that or adding highlights like that.  The main thing is to keep the hair warm.  I have tried dying it darker and/or cooler but it never felt right.  Darker and cooler colours, in hair and clothing, tend to drain my face of colour.  

T3 can pull off multi-dimensional colour - obvious and chunky highlights and lowlights.  Autumns are advised by some colour analysts to keep the look realistic and with subtle variations in colour or just an overall gloss, which conflicts with the T3 recommendation of chunky and obvious streaks of colour.  I say, do what you want.  Those who don't go for the colour chunks often go for something reddish or very red.

Hair Texture Key Words:

tousled, piecey,  choppy  razered, layers, edgy,  texture, angles and movement. 

I want my hair to actually have movement, not just look like it does.


A Conclusion about Dressing Your Truth.. Sort of, Maybe

I think I mentioned that I have mixed feelings.  My research has definitely lead me to believe that the creator of this programme has borrowed extensively without giving enough credit for the original sources and tends to imply that she has invented it all herself.  Attached to this programme is a great deal of therapy, analysis and 'energy healing' for which her qualifications are questionable.  And then I wonder how much that matters.  Many women speak online about how much this system helped them, and yet others come forward telling of some very negative and distressing experiences.  I have to admit that what I have found available free and used has indeed been helpful and while others may have done it first and do it better, they haven't hit on the brilliant marketing strategy of offering at least half of it free.    Even without credentials, it seems that more often than not Carol Tuttle manages to support and empower women, though it may be difficult to judge that accurately and certainly there are people who have experienced otherwise in their encounters with her.  I have no personal encounter to go by nor has anyone I know.