I first became aware of personal color analysis all the way back in the late 1980s, when I was in eighth grade or so and my mom got the book Color Me Beautiful out of the library. I walked into the living room one day and it was sitting on the coffee table, and, well, I think I probably read it in one sitting. I remember it was like a bombshell for me—I never would have thought of it myself, but it’s so logical that certain colors would look more appealing on some skin tones than on others! I was struck by the different palettes and their distinct—and distinctive—personalities. I quickly determined that I was a Summer, and even though I still bought some clothes from other palettes, I made Summer-ness a core part of my identity.
After I graduated from college and started looking for a job, I wanted to refresh my memory of exactly what Light Lemon Yellow (Summer’s singular yellow option) looked like, so back I went to the library—where I discovered that the four seasons had become twelve! I was taken aback, yet intrigued by this development. Again, I devoured the book and determined that I was a Soft Summer, having just a drop of Autumn warmth added to Summer’s essentially cool colors.
I might have lived happily ever after from that point, except for one thing: I didn’t have a swatchbook. The color blocks in the library book had faded so much with age, all the greens looked identical! The best I could do was to write down the names of the Soft Summer colors and try to imagine what they must look like...which didn’t go so well. (Amethyst? Soft rose? Buttermilk? What?) Finally, I gave up and just started buying whatever I liked that didn’t look awful in the mirror. For one reason and another, this phase lasted several years.
It was about two years ago now that I couldn’t take it anymore—I had to know my season for sure! I needed a swatchbook! When I found 12 Blueprints, based on the Sci\ART method of color analysis, I was so excited. I had never been willing to spend money on a color analysis before because the outcome had always been subjective, and a subjective opinion is still just an opinion, even if it’s professionally given. (I was especially wary because everyday people who knew of color analysis would say to me, “Oh, you must be a Winter!” or “Your eyes say Spring to me!” No one ever said Summer.) But now there was a scientific process that would lead to a clear, rational answer. I discovered that there was a 12 Blueprints-certified analyst near me and (after the inevitable argument with myself over whether I deserved to spend good money on something as frivolous as my own self-esteem…) booked an appointment. Part of me was hoping to be right about Soft Summer, because being right would feel validating. Part of me was hoping to be anything else, because Soft Summer colors look so...gray...on the page! Dark Autumn, maybe? (I hadn’t gotten the memo that Soft colors don’t look gray on a Soft person—they just look normal!)
Well, it turns out I was right! I am a Soft Summer, just like I thought. But...remember how I said I had given up on trying to imagine what Soft Summer colors look like? I wasn’t even close! My entire wardrobe had ended up being a combination of True Summer and Dark Winter. I don’t think I kept more than a handful of items!
It took some time to get comfortable with my new colors, but the validation immediately started pouring in. People asked me what had changed. They said I glowed. They definitely noticed my lipstick, which I had never worn before, and enthusiastically assured me that the color was perfect! I subconsciously began responding to their positive reactions. My self-esteem increased, I felt more grown up, and I found myself making more daring decisions than I ever would have made otherwise. One of them, of course, was to become a personal color analyst myself, to help others who are seeking their color identity find the same level of self-confidence and—honestly—joy that I am now experiencing in my own life.
Whether your story is the same as mine, or you need to be certain that you are representing yourself and your profession with as much polish as possible, or you just want to get off the merry-go-round and stop taking the fashion industry’s word for it that you need an avocado-green blouse this fall and should definitely wear nude lipstick and absolutely must cover your incoming gray with caramel highlights to look “young” again, personal color analysis is the tool you need to orient yourself toward the palette of coordinated colors that will let you achieve your goals. My studio, Pizzazz PCA, is located in the greater Philadelphia area, and I would be delighted to help you find the pizzazz in your own natural coloring. Let’s get in touch!