Faithful vs. Flattering

Why do I say “faithfully”?

Because, as becomes apparent very quickly during an analysis session, colors that are out of alignment with our inborn appearance can literally repeat themselves in the shadows of our face. As if you just secretly just ate a chocolate bar but didn’t quite manage to erase all the evidence from the corners of your mouth, for instance, or as if you applied eyeshadow that somehow exactly matches the unusual yellow of your sweater—except that you’re not actually wearing any makeup at all, and the yellowness makes you look bruisy-eyed, as if you just pulled an all-nighter. These effects are pure illusion, of course. But people don’t know that. In fact, there’s no way to tell the difference, short of asking, “Did you just eat a chocolate bar?” or “Did you sleep OK last night?” But depending on the situation, these could be sensitive questions that no one would risk asking. Or the illusion could be so strong, the answer so “obvious,” that there seems to be no question in the first place. In these cases, the colors we wear are making untrue negative statements about us, statements that could lead to missed opportunities or a poor reputation at work (“Don’t send that man to negotiate for us—he always has food on his face and it will reflect badly on the company,” or, “Reassign the project to someone else—obviously this woman can’t handle being a new mom.” Ouch).

Why didn’t I say “flatteringly”?

Because “flattering,” to me, conveys a problem-solving mindset rather than a holistic approach. Is your face too red? Then wear yellow makeup to “cancel” it. But then your ashy hair looks drab and dull. Well, color it, then! Wait, now your eyes look nearly colorless. More eye makeup must be the answer! But now your mouth is gone. Fortunately, invisible lips are the fashion trend, so actually you’re fine, you’re fine…. (It’s like a doctor making the mistake of treating the disease instead of the patient. The disease may get better, technically, but at what cost to the patient’s quality of life? In the big picture, complications of treatment may leave the patient feeling worse off than before they got “fixed”—though the doctor might still try to convince them that things are fine now, they’re fine….) Personal color analysis, rather than “fixing” specific issues, takes a holistic approach to identify the colors that are already in alignment with our natural pigmentation. Yes, our best colors can certainly minimize “problem” areas, for example dark circles under the eyes or fine lines around the mouth, but that is not their end goal. Far, far more important is that the colors that harmonize with us literally bring us into focus. Our features sharpen without looking pinched. Our jawline is evident and shapely. And our eyes, the focal point of our face, are bright and clear, our gaze direct and steady. These colors speak well of us as a whole person, wordlessly conveying confidence and competence. When the unquestioned assumption is that we are capable and ready for anything, more opportunities are bound to come our way.