Wednesday, April 20, 2016

My Thoughts on Seasonal Colour Analysis - Why I No Longer Agree With It!!!

I have to admit up-front that I am very hesitant to write this post because I respect so many people who are part of the Seasonal Colour Analysis Community.  However, I feel that I need to express my ideas on this topic as I have struggled with Colour Analysis now for 'years' and I keep coming back to the same conclusion: Colour Analysis is subjective!  I have been told that I'm a Cool Winter,  Soft Summer, Soft Autumn, True Autumn, Warm Autumn and Soft Winter Deep (all by different analysts).  Here are some the main issues with Colour Analysis:

1) There are different 'systems' of colour analysis: Sci/Art, Pretty Your World, Unique to You, Personalized palettes by various analysts and systems etc etc.  The fact that there are so many and people see and understand colour so differently, shows that Colour Analysis is 'very' subjective.  I've seen and heard of people being draped as a Cool Summer in one system and Warm Autumn in another system.  How this even possible?  I don't think either one system was 'wrong' in their personalized analysis - I think Colour Analysis itself is flawed.

2) Time and Energy - I can't explain in words how bothered I am by this.  When I look back on this blog, all the experiments, all the time that I devoted to colour analysis, seems wasted.  Actually, I take that back - I have learned a lot about myself in the process, but I feel frustrated just the same.  One of the key slogans of colour analysis is that it will save you time and especially money once you have discovered your best season.  I have to admit that the truth is quite the opposite.  I have ended up spending a lot of money, time and energy every time I thought I belonged to a particular 'seasonal category'.

3) Seasonal Analysis is a business first and foremost.  Just like any business, colour analysis exists to sell you a 'product' - in this case, "your best colours".  We all have our own perception about colour and we already know what looks good on us (which is 100% true - we all have an intuitive connection to what looks good on us.  In fact, this is how seasonal colour analysis was born).  So why are we putting that intuitive knowing into the hands of someone else who is determined to sell you a palette?  We are not meant to be boxed into colour categories, which leads me to the next point..................

4) Colour is energy.  Imagine is someone told you, "here is a musical scale and you should listen only to this particular music scale all your life".  How would you feel?  Constricted, bound to one way of being.  This is so wrong and unnatural.  Energy is movement.  It changes, it flows, is expands.  The same is true for how we use and wear colour.  We are constantly changing and growing.  We have the right to listen to whatever music makes us feel great, alive, confident.  The same should be true for colour palettes.  If you're analysed as a 'soft autumn', but you're having a 'bright red' kind of day, wear the bright red.  Something in you that knows better is asking for the bright red, so go with it, move with the energy of it.

5) Finally - let's look at the obvious: If a colour really doesn't suit us or is horrible and causes shadows, lines, discolouration etc etc, why would we even want to wear it?  It's almost like those in the 'colour business' use this to put you in a state of fear.  You start to think to yourself "yes, I need to know my best colours, I don't want to look ill and tired".  Don't you think you 'already' know???  I think there needs to be a sense of inner trust, inner strength, inner value and inner confidence to know what looks good and what doesn't.  If I put on a colour that looks horrible, I'm going to think 'yuck' - I'm going to know it's horrible.  I don't need a colour analyst to tell me.  It's like if you eat food that tastes horrible, you don't need someone else to confirm that it tastes horrible, you'll know as soon as you eat it.  Would you pay someone to send you a list of foods that taste horrible? Or will you use common sense and past experience to know that you may not like olives or spicy food or something too sweat???  You know yourself better than anyone, so give yourself the credit and authority to choose what is best for you!

I know that this post may seen harsh to those who have devoted time and energy to colour analysis.  I don't intend for it to come across that way.  It's just my current realization of what I've come to understand about myself and where my personal journey needs to go in the future!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Understanding Olive Skin-tone

Yesterday I was shopping for a pink top at Marshalls.  I was looking for something to go along with a new soft white blazer I had purchased earlier in the week.  I found two tops (the same tops in fact, but in 2 different pink shades).  One was a cool bubble gum pink and the other was a brighter salmon-pink (or more of a coral pink).  I was torn about which one to get so I asked another lady who was shopping nearby.  She automatically said "Oh the the coral-pink, it goes so well with your olive skin-tone".  I thanked her and realized that I just had a massive 'a-ha' moment.  A majority of my colour journey has been about trying to figure out my season,  looking at my eyes and hair colour, trying to figure out if I'm cool, warm etc etc.  I always 'knew' I had an olive skin-tone, but I didn't focus too much on that because it's rarely represented in magazines and beauty books. You usually get makeup recommendations for light, medium, tan and dark skin tones.  Anyhow, I decided to do a little bit more research about Olive Skin.  I had some information from the time I attended my own makeup artistry college classes, so I started there and then moved on to reading various articles on-line and searched some pinterest pages.  This morning, I put it all together and came to this conclusion:

Olive skin-tone is a 'blend' of yellow/green and is in fact neutral.  There is a range of Olive skin tones from light olive, to deeper olive, to golden-olive etc etc

Olive skin-tone is difficult to pin-point in seasonal colour analysis because of the apparent 'yellow' tones.  This is not to say that olive skin tone can't lean warmer, but the answer is 'skin-deep' :)

The cool/warm ratio is also difficult to pin-point in the traditional manner.  If you go by the vein test where blue is cool and green is warm, olive skinned gals will be lost because we have a blue-green blend that doesn't lean more one way or the other.

Olive skinned gals will often find that they need lipstick shades with added brown, mahogany tones.  They look great in reds, wine and dark apricot/peach shades, as well as deeper rose/pink shades.

I was personally torn between many seasons in my search for seasonal colour analysis.  However, that being said, every time I was draped in person, I was most definitely an autumn.  Yet, at home, I would be drawn to the summer-deep cool shades.  My 'olive skin' is the reason for this.  In seasonal colour analysis, yes, I am a warm autumn :)  However, I feel that if I were to step outside of the sphere of colour analysis, I am most definitely a neutral skin tone that naturally needs brown/mahogany tones (a warm autumn feature), but that also looks great in deep summer hues.  In the end, its all about the system that you choose and works for you.

Regardless if you follow colour analysis or not, olive skin is beautiful and the more you can learn/discover about this skin tone, the more prepared you will be to put your best face forward.  Here is a look I created that is perfect for my own medium olive skin tone:

For this look I started with a yellow toned concealer and blended in a rose-beige foundation to play up the neutral balance of my skin.  I then added back some warmth by applying NYX Ignite/Passion blush (apparently a dupe for MAC Warm Soul blush).  I then blended MAC soba and woodwinked and applied this from the lid into the crease.  I lined my eyes with Urban Decay Demolition eyeliner and smudged the upper lash line before finishing with black mascara.  For my lipstick, I spent some time studying the natural colour my lips turned if I were to pinch them or bite the lower lip.  I found that it was consistent with a mahogany shade (which matches my warm autumn seasonal fan).  I matched this colour by applying MAC Spice lipliner and then applying NARS Pigalle lipstick :)

I hope that this post was helpful and I look forward to creating and writing more posts about Olive Skin Tone and makeup looks to up-play this skin tone :)


Saturday, April 2, 2016

Salmon and Coffee Browns

I've been creating a lot of cooler toned makeup looks lately and today I really felt like warming things up a bit.  I recently got a lipstick colour 'Legende' by Chanel - it's the perfect salmon-rose shade.  For this look, I wanted more of a rust-salmon shade, so I used MAC chicory lipliner before applying the lipstick.  I then used MAC Coffee eyeliner and smudged out the upper lash liner to create a very smokey look.  I think this is a very nice evening, warm look:

I think that browns and coffee/espresso shades pair very well with salmon and rust shades.  The combination is truly unique yet chic at the same time.  I really love the Chanel Legende lipstick because its very pretty on its own as a warm pink shade, but it's also great blended with various lip liner shades.  Soon I'm going to be adding some highlights to my hair.  I'm not quite sure yet what shade I'm going to add, but I know that regardless of my hair colour, the neutral elements of brown and salmon will always work :)

Friday, April 1, 2016

Chanel Legende Lipstick

I noticed a few days ago that I was almost out of one of my Chanel lipsticks (Mademoiselle).  I had every intention of picking up the same shade until my eye kept gravitating towards the Legende shade.  I asked to try on the colour and it was 'love at first try'.

I would describe this shade as a medium neutral pink lipstick that leans slightly warm.  What I have always loved the most about Chanel lipsticks is their texture and consistency.  I can see myself making this one of my everyday polished work lipsticks.  It looks great with both cool and warm makeup and it's perfect for this upcoming spring/summer season.  I paired this shade with my new Urban Decay Desperation eyeliner (which I smudged with Quarry eyeshadow on the upper lash line).  I also used NARS Mata Hari blush to add that pink glow :)  

I think that Chanel Legende may just be the first Chanel lipstick that I picked out without asking/needing the help from the Chanel makeup artist.  I don't know why but often I like to visit makeup counters as if I know 'nothing' about makeup, just to see what the other person will recommend for me.  It was fun at first, kind of like being a makeup 'secret agent' :)   However, now I know what I want and I don't wait to hear what someone else thinks, but rather follow my own intuition!!!

Go Blue - Autism Awareness

Today is Autism awareness day in Canada.   I wore all blue clothes (head to toe today - from my shirt to my shoes :) and so I wanted to create a makeup look to compliment all the shades of blue I was wearing.  Strangely enough, I'm not wearing any blue on my eyes, but rather various shades of taupe.

I started this look with my basic concealer and foundation.  I then applied NARS Mata Hari blush.  For the eyes, I used MAC Quarry from the lid into the crease and then used urban decay mushroom liner.  I smudged MAC copperplate eyeshadow into the upper lash liner before finishing with black mascara.  For my lipstick choice, I went with Chanel Legend :)

Aside from just creating a makeup look, I want to bring people to the attention of autism awareness.  I've been a special education teacher for 10 years and am currently teaching english and art at the high school level.  During my time working with severe needs students, I've come to understand how important it is for us to be aware of individuals with special needs.  Students with autism and special needs in general have so many incredible gifts to share.   One of the best experiences I had teaching students with special needs was when I created and taught a special needs 'cosmetology/makeup' class.  It was so much fun showing my students how to apply makeup and other everyday life skills.  So I'm very proud to be wearing blue today!!!