Thursday, 21 January 2016

Epiphany


Sometimes I take breaks, withdraw, from people, from going out,withdraw into my own world which is a place of refuge.  I do not sit staring at the wall.  When withdrawn from the outside world I look very busy.  I am busy.  I am occupying my brain with learning new things because believe it or not, that is a form of respite for a busy brain like mine.  My brain is normally busy taking in everything around me intuitively, processing it, filing it somewhere, pondering it and making connections, filling in gaps even if temporarily.  I need to understanding things.  It's am intense craving sort of need.

When I give my brain a rest, I occupy it with facts.  When I withdraw I am fact gathering.  Of course, I cannot help making connections and having epiphanies while I gather the facts, but somehow it's all a little more soothing and self directed than what everyday experiences feel like.  I will dive into a subject that fascinates me, such as colour, or more broadly, some aspect of psychology or philosophy.  I seek to learn everything I can about this current topic of focus.  I read endlessly and I make notes.  Almost frantically at times.

It looks like this...



It may be my laptop or a book that is open and in use.  I make notes.  I am quite prone to making notes on small scraps of paper, with the logic being something to do with very important ideas get their own piece of paper and then trivial working something out ideas can be scrawled all over the discarded pieces.

This is a strangely busy and seemingly not relaxing activity and perhaps not what any of my friends might imagine I am doing when they notice I have withdrawn.  It is not the same as a crash due to the CFS/ME where I am just in bed and can't function.  This one is not a feature of my medical issues but a feature of my personality.  I realise I have done this all of my life.  It is why I would love to be a university student forever.  It brings mental peace.  Some people take their body for a jog to relieve stress.  I have to take my brain for a jog.

Social interaction does not give me facts to rest with, it gives me information about people, about the world that my brain uses in a non-restful way.  More like those images we see of frantic stockbrokers in the trading rooms.  Information about people and the world is steadily coming in at me and I am processing, making decisions, filing information, making connections, taking in more information than I could ever begin to describe to anyone, and often more than I am aware of at the moment.  I am only aware of being bombarded.  I know more about other people than they often know about themselves, because I have taken in so much, but I also know more about them than I know about myself.  In order to better understand myself I have to slow down and direct my brain to a singular focus.  I cannot empty it easily.  If I empty it, as in meditation or a meditative task, it will just automatically go back to sorting through the files of everything I've taken in, continuing to process, make connections, devise systems of understanding.  I have no control over this; all I can do is employ methods of interrupting it.

It's not sensory input, that is quite different.  I am often less aware of sensory information than I should be.  I am that person who walks through a doorway but hits the frame as she goes.  I am that person who is literally in her own head and not physically present.  This is why sensory information can sometimes hit me really hard and feel like too much.  I am not accustomed to dealing with it.  I don't deal with it well if it is overstimulating or startling.  If I make myself focus on more sensory things, I can also give my mind a break.  This is where I find myself loving painting, gardening, and even weight training although the CFS/ME makes a bodybuilding hobby an impossibility.  I have tried.

So something like studying, focus on one specific topic, diving deeply into it, making notes and learning new facts is a brain vacation of sorts.  Of course, I cannot stop myself from aha moments, from sudden clear understanding of something I had only had a vague and intuitive sense of before, but the aha moments are fine.  They are restful in a sense too.  There is some sort of closure.  It's the endless intuiting that is draining.  It's the frustration of knowing I know something and can trust my intuition but not be able to explain to someone exactly how I know, that I need a break from.  I can explain how I came to know something that I've studied and studying something can help me make sense of everything I have intuited.  I am not creative when I am in this phase.  I can't be.  That is almost shut down and it used to distress me. I didn't know who I was if I was not creating.  I understand it better now. I can always feel when the creative part of me is gearing up and that too brings a sense of relief.

I have to shut people out sometimes.  They are sources of too much input for me.  Overload hits me and I have to withdraw.  But I think some if not many people would be surprised at what recharging looks like for me.  I suspect to some it would even look like mental illness.  Manic, or something like what a delusional person might engage in.  It's not.  It's just me.  It's just how my brain functions.  I've opened a window to it here, in case it might help anyone else who is like me and fears they are weird.

And now, I have to do something about my hunger, my headache and the fact that my feet are cold.  I have been registering these things for about an hour now but too focused on writing this to address them.  No wonder I struggle a bit with self care.

Deep breath, make a plan:  scrambled eggs, tea and painkillers, thick socks-I can do it.

 Note: due to extreme need to deal with these sensory issues I am posting this unedited.  Sorry.  I've used up all my energy and there is none left for editing. 

Thursday, 14 January 2016

This Post Has No Title

            Are you surprised that I have only three books on colour?


 Hanging out with me is loads of fun.  I do things like draw lipstick on my arm and blob paint on paper to make colour comparisons.   Here I was testing my primary colours for a good balance of warm and cool selections.


I make piles of scarves on the floor to look for colour harmony.







I am good at sorting laundry too!  I take lots of photos of coloured things, making comparisons, looking for why certain colours belong together or work together or if any types of discord are appealing.  I take photos to illustrate points I want to make in a blog post and then the photos don't turn out well so I abandon the blog post idea and you don't know how lucky you are!

Here's one such picture, a pink sweater that looks bright on me (in a nice way) but in comparison with a faded denim shirt you can see how it's not one of the brightest pinks out there.  



 I am endlessly frustrated by my own limited skills with photography and with the limitations of my equipment and environment.

Lighting problems drive me bananas when taking photos for the blog because colour accuracy is so elusive and I am so often talking about colour and wanting to illustrate my point.

I feel that photos often make me look a little clearer, brighter and of flawless skin than I really am.  There is a sort of whitening/brightening effect that happens which I certainly don't see when I look in the mirror.  I have lots of faint freckles, my hair is medium ash brown but can look almost black or it can look auburn in photos.  The light changes within minutes.  As in these two photos taken beside the same window and consecutively.


This is why photos are tricky for personal colour analysis and it helps to have taken and looked at lots of them to get a sense of the trues colours and of contrast levels.  In photos I look darker of hair and paler of skin than I really am and even more so if the coolness level is accurate.  You can also see that the green of my coat changes with the lighting.  Most of the time it's a grey-green that is cool but in some lighting it takes on a warm tint which bothers me.  I suspect that when the light is such that it adds a yellow tint to the coat, it is probably adding a yellow tint to me as well and thus there is harmony.

I am obsessed with figuring out the 'true' colour of this coat.  I get tons of compliments when I wear it, which is surprising as it's not one of the brighter colours my blog friends tend to prefer.  But in offline-real world people like this coat on me. 

Anyhow, I am very fond of greys, green-grey, blue-grey, grey-browns and neutral grey and they seem to suit me.  I should stop over thinking this coat and just enjoy the compliments I get, but lots of thinking is what I do.

Now, speaking of colour, I am off to paint some blobs which will hopefully resemble something other than blobs.  I'm working on a birthday card for my Mum.

Look at the risks I take!  The mug on the left is my paint water and the mug on the right is my tea.


.......birthday card looks like this


Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Which Summer Am I? Colour Analysis Part 2

Of course I couldn't cover it all in that one post.  Within each of the four seasons, there are sub-categories that are usually similar across different systems though there are also colour analysis systems which have dispensed with the seasonal labels which are limited in the sense that people around the world do not make the same associations of colours and seasons.  The Season names do have the advantage of being simple, instead of calling a category what it is such as Light-Warm-Muted.  Some systems assign archetypal names or choose from an assortment of descriptive words like Elegant, Sophisticated, Dramatic.  Every naming system has its imperfections.

So, I decided that my colouring is pretty obviously cool and that the Winter option was too intense.  Working with coolness as my most obvious characteristic, I then had to look at the options within the Winter and Summer categories.  There are generally three or four, depending on which system you are working with.  Some analysts claim that twelve categories are enough and everyone finds a home within them and others say no, 16-18 are required to fine tune it.  I think it gets a bit nit-picky at that point.  The purpose of a palette is not to go shopping and find exact colour matches but to find harmony. If you actually own a colour swatch fan you hold it up to a garment you are considering and look to see not if the colour is actually represented there but if the colour of your chosen garment looks like it belongs in the set.  You are matching qualities and the fan helps you to see the qualities.

I can go into the store and know that I am looking for cool, medium-value, slightly greyed, less saturated colours with a blue base and still have some difficulty discerning those colours without something to compare them too.  If I come home with a cool pink I am probably fine, but if I am seeking to avoid mistakenly choosing something slightly too warm or slightly too bright, which I may find myself not wanting to wear or having difficulty making work with my other garments, then I have possibly wasted my money.  For me, the mistakes tend to come from choosing something too warm or too saturated (dark/bright).

A blog written by Personal Colour Analyst Christine Scaman, called http://www.12blueprints.com/ is one I enjoy browsing for insights into colour.

Here she shows some different blues, with subtle differences in saturation or coolness.  Blue is generally a cool colour.  I usually look at least okay in just about any blue but some are better on me than others.  People with very warm skin who don't easily wear blue, do better when yellow is added to it and it becomes brighter, almost turquoise.  The first four blue circles are for cool seasons, the top two being True Summer and the middle two True Winter.  The bottom two are for True Spring.  The differences are subtle and the differences between Summer and Winter are largely of saturation.  The Summer colours have a greyed look, a muted look next to the Winter ones.  They could also be made with a paintbrush more loaded with water in proportion to the pure hue from the paint tube. 

                                                 Source

Primary blue hue is cool.  To make blue slightly warm yellow must be added but too much yellow and you arrive at green.  That is what makes blue the trickiest colour for very warm toned people and the colour easiest to wear for cool toned people.  I avoid yellow, although technically a very very cool (greenish) pale yellow should work for me.  I find that particular colour very difficult to find and not one of my best anyhow.  For warm toned people it is difficult to go wrong with yellow, though certainly the more red in it prior to its becoming orange, the better it is for them.  Orange also does not work for me and reds must have a bit of blue in them.

Green is often a challenge for me since it is inherently blue and yellow combined.  I have to make sure I don't get a green with too much yellow or it doesn't really flatter me.  (When I say 'doesn't really flatter' I probably mean 'makes me look ill')

Here is a good graphic to compare warm and cool greens.  It seems obvious when you see them side by side but without context it can be more challenging and it certainly is for me because liking of the colours can get in the way of truly seeing them. 

                                                     Source


Even more challenging for me than determining warm green from cool though, is seeing the difference between more saturated greens and less saturated or slightly greyed greens.  It shows up more readily in comparison.  To me every single one of the greens above looks bright except perhaps the two warm-dark ones.  Bright is a relative term, but when looking for 'less bright' something to compare it to is required.  If I put on any of those four greens on the right they will look fine because they are all cool, which is my dominant quality but I have established that 'less saturated' is better for me.  More heavily saturated colours don't harmonise with my own colouring.

So I ruled out the Winter palette called True Winter, but there are actually at least two other Winter options.  If True Winter is too intense for me, it's not hard to imagine that Deep/Dark Winter colours would also be.  But what about the palette of lighter, brighter ones?  Let's check.  Oh oh-confusing because they are all cool so they look pretty good.





The top right palette is Dark/Deep Winter and the bottom one is Clear/Bright Winter.  The darkest shades of both palettes are like darker versions of me. Not wrong or bad, but they compete with me.  Without makeup I can look pale and faded in them.  The icy colours on the bottom seem pretty good.  I have those colours in me.  But icy colours are white with a little bit of colour, whereas pastels (Summer palette) are colours with a white tint.  Which is better for me?



My opinion is that while it's close, the medium value of the Summer palette matches better than the higher contrast values (very light and very bright) of the Clear Winter palette.  Will the Clear Winter palette work for me?  Somewhat.  But I also know that in reality I feel overwhelmed by the bright versions of these colours and a little washed out in the icy ones.  So now it is my quality of mediumness that becomes important.



That mediumness rules out Winter palettes so I turn to examine all of the Summer palettes.   I am using True/Cool Summer as my comparison and the reason is that the other two Summer palettes, called Light Summer and Soft Summer, vary slightly from True Summer in that they are just slightly warmer and I suspect coolness is my dominant quality.  First I will compare True Summer with Light Summer, also a soft, cool and light palette but with a subtle yellow-brightness to it.



This is trickier and I did not do my analysis using only the palettes from this source.  These particular palettes work best for my collages but here are some other sample palettes to compare True Summer with Light Summer. I've flipped them on their side as I think that makes it easier to compare them. These images are to illustrate the differences between the Summer palettes.





 Now you can see how there is a bright sunniness to Light Summer, more yellow involved in it.  Some of these colours would suit me fine, but the corals and yellows wouldn't and the palette needs to work together.  I don't suit colours that get as warm as some of the colours from the Light Summer palette.  Light Summer people also suite gold jewelry more than I do.  They are just that much more neutral in their colouring, or not as obviously cool.  In real life testing, it also seems that some of the Light Summer colours get a little too bright for me.  I suspect that is the yellowness again, literally like more sunlight than I can handle.

The other Summer palette is Soft Summer.  This one is also slightly warmer than True Summer and very muted.  Every colour has a sort of smokey veil over it, though it seems a very slightly warm smoke. 





Some systems take Soft Summer and divide it into light and deep versions.  That may or may not be pointless.

Okay, so although we are sick of my face by now, this is what I did next.  I wore the palettes.




If you are familiar with Red Dwarf you know what I am thinking about every time I look at this photo of myself.  Hello, Holly.











I narrowed it down to two contenders.  I ruled out Light Summer as too sunny, bright, warm overall and had troubles deciding between Soft Summer and Cool/True Summer. If your brain is not totally addled by now, you might remember that Clear/Bright Winter was almost a contender as was True Winter.  Those two are more directly related to True/Cool Summer than they are to Soft Summer.  I am very attracted to muted colours and so I am quite attracted to Soft Summer, but then I remember that True/Cool Summer is quite soft and muted compared with Winter.  It's all relative and context is key. 


My dominant quality is cool, followed by lightness and softness which are all features of Summer, the lightness and softness ruling out Winter.  Coolness trumps all so that rules out the slightly warmer other Summer palettes.

I bought myself a colour palette fan for True/Cool Summer and I am excited to receive it in the mail and play with it.  I can't wait to take it into stores with me and look like a colour nerd holding it up to the clothing.  Yes, I could just go in with the mantra cool, medium, slightly less saturated, but I've already been doing that and it isn't foolproof.  Having a colour swatch fan gives me a reference point and if you know anything about Myers Briggs personality measures you will know that as an INFJ I NEED to get things right, as accurate as possible, to know as much as I possibly can about anything I am interested in.  I already know that if a colour doesn't feel right to me I am agitated by it.  The colour swatch fan is a measuring stick for colour, a method to help me get it right before I pay for it and bring it home only to discover it is more saturated than I thought it was and glares like a beacon inside my closet.  We don't want that!

Sources:

The collages cut off some of the palette images but the full image is found at these links. 

Deep Winter palette in collage here

Bright/Clear Winter palette in collage here

True Summer palette in collage here

Sideways Soft Summer palette here

Sideways Cool/True Summer palette here

Sideways Light Summer palette here

Monday, 11 January 2016

How To Play With Sample Palettes-the Unscientific Method Part 1


 I have difficulty writing a blog post on personal colour analysis without writing a thesis.  I want to thoroughly explain, answering all possible questions as best I can.  Realistically I can't do that and will not try to do that here.  There are many many sources of information online, though not all are accurate or detailed enough.  I don't have access to a professional analysis but I am interested in the topic and, I think, reasonably well equipped to figure it out on my own or at least to narrow it down sufficiently.  Here is an illustrated example of my process and some tips for doing it yourself too if you want to.  Colour accuracy is a challenge with computer monitors, cameras and whatever lighting you may take a photo of yourself in.  The same problem occurs when we are shopping because store lighting can distort colours. 

The colour palettes are samples of the potential range and the collage tool didn't allow for the full photo frame either, so keep in mind the palettes are only representative.


This is the best I can do since my photo editing skills are very limited.  I've blurred out the background ( somewhat poorly and a bit of my jawline as well) and then put my face into a collage where there are sample colours from the True Summer palette and the True Winter palette.

Note: there is an error in the Summer palette, labelling a mauve tone  as blue green. 

Neither is bad, as I obviously suit cool colours, but in my opinion the bottom one, Summer, is best.  Those colours seem to match the colours in me, whereas the Winter colours are too saturated and intense.  I sometimes buy winter colours.  It's difficult to tell without comparisons, just how saturated something is, and mainly I have always just sought cool colours.  I find that in the Winter colours I need more makeup whereas in the Summer colours I might look as though I'm wearing a bit even if I'm not.  I do have makeup on in the comparison photo.  I think that if I required a formal gown and was intending to wear dramatic makeup, I might pull off one of the Winter colours due to the dramatic nature of it and it would look formal and be suited to spotting me from a distance or for showing up in photos.  That's not my life though.

Just for the fun of it, see how warm colours really don't work for me.  There might be one or two that I could get away with if they are less obviously warm but the cool are always better, and I think even the more heavily saturated Winter cools are better. The warm colours, although really pretty in themselves, just don't relate to me as well as the cool ones do.  When I make mistakes it is usually to purchase a purple, brown or green that is too warm to really flatter me.





I think the Spring palette, which is the warm but light, is arguably either my second or third best option.

 It supports my recent thinking that I need to really lighten my colour choices.  So it's debatable whether my most dominant feature is soft and light or if it is cool.

To test that I made this comparison-Winter (deep cool) vs Spring (light warm) 



And this one, comparing the light warm colours with the light cool ones.


 My skills weaken a bit here and I often waffle.  So I consider what it is about the warm colours that make me consider them.  The purple tones simply don't look warm to me, so I sense that they would work.  The greens also seem cool enough and the corals close enough to the pink in my face.  BUT the more yellow the colours get the less they work and the palette has to work as a whole.  The colours from the Spring palette that almost work have better versions in the Summer palette.  Everyone can wear a version (or two or three) of almost every colour. 


This isn't as scientific as a proper colour analysis draping,  with hair covered, natural lighting and the drapes right under my face to see how they reflect light onto me, but I don't have access to one and I enjoy playing with colour theory anyhow.  Within the four seasonal categories there are more specific palettes to further refine your best match.  I used the pure seasons here to narrow things down.  If you need brighter, darker or more muted, for example, there are versions of those within the warm and cool seasons.

Your dominant quality is likely to be warm or cool.  The second quality is likely to be light, dark, bright or muted but sometimes it is the other way around.  Even if your most dominant quality is lightness, mutedness, brightness or darkness, you will still look better with either warm or cool closest to your face.  People are not entirely neutral even though they can first appear it.

Undertone can be tricky to spot without making comparisons. Many cool toned people easily are made to look yellow with incandescent lighting or in photographs.  Some people with reddish looking  skin (often they tan a very red brown) are often warm toned.  The closer you are to neural, the trickier it is to tell.  Hair and eye colour don't matter in the process of analysis, only skin does.  Hair colour matters in that if you dye it you want to coordinate it with your colouring.  There is bias towards a golden glow in our Hollywood dominated culture of western beauty ideals.  Many celebrities are given spray tans, bronzer and gold-blonde hair when it actually is not their most flattering look.  Cool beige- blonde hair and fair skin has not been fashionable since the fifties.   Goldeness came to signify health-the 'health' of a California beach babe.

Simple tests to find out if you are warm or cool:

In good, natural light, compare your skin to white paper, to silver and gold jewelry, to hair colour samples, or consider if you are more likely to get compliments in blue or orange.

If you want to do this photo collage test here is how I did it.  The palettes are all from the same source but I've linked to the specific palette samples.

Autumn palette source here

Spring palette source here

Winter palette here

Summer palette here

Collage making at Pic Monkey

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Brace Yourselves

This is a warning because I like you.  I am obsessed with colour. I play with it, read about it, study it, and have written about a bazillion unpublished blog posts on personal colour analysis and my exploration of it.  Yes, I said unpublished.  I have written and published a few in addition to the masses of words and pictures I've accumulated and not inflicted on the online world.  That's about to change.  I've got two lengthy posts coming and so I decided to warn you in advance.  Fortunately nobody is going to make you read them.  I am posting them for anyone who is like me and obsessed with the topic, or perhaps those who are mildly interested but patient.  I am not even sure my own mother loves me enough to read all of these posts, but then I write this blog for myself and if it pleases me to write endlessly about colour then that's just how it is.  And it does please me.

For some people choosing colours to wear is not a big event.  They may not believe in personal colours or they may not care.  I would argue that it is a fact, not something to believe in, that everyone looks better in some colours than others and that there is a scientific basis for sorting colours into groups that belong together based on like properties.  That we can determine which groups of colours suit us best and that thankfully someone else has done all the work of organising the colours into groups.  There is a version of almost every colour for everyone, so the colour palettes are not limiting as some might think, though they are limiting because their very purpose is to eliminate colours that do not flatter and home in on the best of the good ones.

For some people it is enough to decided if they suit warm or cool colours and have done with it.  I read somewhere (can't remember where) that colour discrepancies humans are best at distinguishing is warmth and coolness and it is the wrongness of this warmth or coolness that may be the first thing that jars us.  Warm and cool are temperature terms and colour only has perceived temperature, of course.  The more blue in a colour the cooler we perceive it to be and the more yellow, the warmer we perceive it to be.  People who perceive their own colouring to be cool may avoid yellow and those who perceive themselves to be warm may avoid blue, as indicated in the chart below.

                                                Source

However, green is a bit of an exception since green is a combination of blue and yellow and the more yellow that is added to the mix the warmer the green appears to us.   The above chart is woefully inadequate, since browns can be made cooler and purples can be made warmer, but it does give the general idea. 

Just look at some of the options for wearing the colour turquoise.  Don't you want to know which one is your best?  I've always thought of turquoise as a cool colour but that's somewhat relative.  The more yellow you add the warmer it gets.  The warm versions get closer to green and the cool versions closer to blue but with many of them they are best distinguished from each other when seen in comparison.  Oh no!  Such opportunity to get it wrong.

                                                    Source

Confession:

Myers Briggs personality test results consistently place me as INFJ

INFJ people like to learn everything, every detail, all the nuances, in order to fully comprehend the core idea, the nugget of truth.  Or at least they do for topics that interest them. I find I do not have this compulsion with algebra.

But colours-those interest me!  So two lengthy blog posts are coming.  They are already written and my finger hovers over the publish button like Ronald Reagan's hovered over the red button of doom. 

 In the meantime here is an update that has nothing at all to do with colour or the Cold War.

Update on the handbag experiment:

The short handled bag I bought (thrifted) recently has been a short lived experiment in carrying a new-to-me type.  The experiment lasted about as long as did my attempt to take my coffee black.  I am a die hard shoulder-strap/cross body bag carrier and having to hold the bag in my hand just drove me nuts.  I also had accidents.

Most of us who drive a car have a sense of our vehicle's boundaries and edges.  In time we know exactly what small spaces our vehicle will fit into or through.  Well, I had difficulty driving this new handbag and I didn't know where the edges and boundaries were at all.  I kept knocking things off shelves in the shops when I was carting around a bag hung over the crook of my arm, which is what one has to do if one needs one's hands.  Strike two against the bag was that it did not meet my requirement to go smaller.   It's a lovely bag, but seems not right for me.  I will sell it and hope someone else can enjoy it while I enjoy the cash.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

So Cool





 We had a brief snowfall, which is always so pretty on the trees.   While I am not personally quite as white as snow, I sometimes look quite near it, as you can see by my arm, below.

A big change for me has been experimenting with makeup after a ten year hiatus from it.  I've been really exhausted lately, and trying not to get upset by the dishes and laundry piling up.  Such things stress me as I don't like mess unless it is a creative mess.  Self care can be a bit of a distraction and helps me to feel I am not a totally hopeless case. 

Cool and light makeup colours work best for me, matching the pinks, blues and taupes that are already in my face.



                            Here is a sample of colours I typically use.


Lips:
Essence Natural Beauty
Essence Barely There-this one is my MLBB
Revlon Mauvy Night-this one is pretty much my red
Cheeks:
L'Oreal True Match CoolC1-2 blush
Eyes:
Almay Blendable Eye Pencil 02 Brown
Annabelle Kohl Pencil 80 Blue Grey
NYX, Craving
Lise Watier, Bleu Intense-looks darker on my eyelids than on my arm
Revlon Taupe-also good for eyebrows
Revlon Greige
Foundation/Concealor:
L'Oreal True Match, N1 Soft Ivory

I also use L'Oreal Voluminous Mascara in Brown-Black.  It doesn't make my lashes crunchy.


I don't typically use foundation all over my face but sometimes make a tinted moisturizer by mixing it with my every day lotion.  It's tricky to find something as pale as I am but this does disappear into my skin when blended so it's the best I've ever found.  The N stands for neutral and I find the cool version in this brand is tinted too pink.  Pink is good for cheeks and lips but I don't want it all over my face as it doesn't look natural on me.

     Eyes here are the brown/taupes and the lips are Natural Beauty by Essence.
      

Another stunned, deer in the headlights sort of pose.  It's my specialty.
 
Here, I am wearing the blue-grey pencil and shadows and Essence Barely There on my lips.  Also, bed head.


Differences in the two are relatively subtle and the different effects of photogrpahy, lighting and angles are probably more profound.  The lighting of the second photo is better and the image looks more 'normal' to me.


When we think of makeup that gives a natural look we often think of warmer tones.  There is that bias towards earth tones that are neutral-warm when we think of natural or earthy concepts in colouring, whether it is makeup clothing or home decor.  While I am attracted to them I realise that I am not inherently warm toned myself and those colours just look wrong on me.  It's not appropriate to try to warm me up.  I am blue and pink  and I can't even imagine that face above wearing orange and yellow based tones.

I've gone heavier with eye makeup than I have in a decade and I think the last time I wore coloured eye shadow or blush was 1989 or thereabouts.  I'm feeling slightly self conscious about it but at least I know that the colours make sense and it takes a very generous application before I even get close to looking over done.  I had coffee with my friend Pam while looking like this and she is not used to seeing me in makeup.  She complimented my hair but did not say anything about makeup and she would if she noticed.

Generally I aim for a balanced face instead of a dramatic eye or bold lip.  I find it much easier to live with.  Having said that, I think the purpose of all makeup is to make the eyes most noticeable.  I want you to look me in the eye, not stare at my lips.  I want the whole face to look like it belongs together and belongs on me. 

On behalf of cool people everywhere, I want to tell all makeup artists, hair stylists and anyone else giving make-overs.  Please don't try to warm someone up.  It doesn't happen.  Warm is not the only way to look good and we have the obsession with the California Beach Babe look to blame for our thinking that it does.  Unless your natural colouring is reminiscent of Snow White, Hollywood wants you tanned and golden blonde.  This really does not suit everyone, and neither does that ring of black they love to put around everyone's eyes. Why don't they listen to me?

Well, at least I am the expert in charge of my own face.