John Kitchener starts your personal color analysis by showing you an example page of a swatch book and explains that on each page is a range of a color. The range extends from lightest to darkest and coolest to warmest. You can wear any color within that range. You do not need to match your swatches exactly. They serve as a means of delineating what will work on you.
Then he pulls out the first of many of his flat file cabinet’s drawers. The swatches are organized according to the Munsell color ordering system.
He always starts with reds. By training, he was taught to analyse a client’s eye colors first, but he finds that can get the consult off to a confusing (for the client, I presume) start. He says he finds red the most helpful for understanding a person’s coloring. Then he proceeds through the rainbow, stopping to do eye color along the way. He finishes with what he calls neutrals and puts all the pages into a nifty binder – not in rainbow order.
I wish I could say my photos are truly color accurate. Not so. I tried my best.
I’d use those swatches also for lipstick and blush choices. (They match the makeup I have. They do! They do!)
My greens and blues (the far left page of swatches, in particular, looks brighter/lighter in real life):
12 Season Fans, you see summery greens here, right?
Power colors are the most contrasting to your own natural colors. The first page of each of these sets (you’ll see John’s labels such as Romantic on the top of the pages) has the most impact. Impact declines as you move to the next page.
When I told John green scared me a bit, he said power colors can be confrontational. Even the word confront makes me feel uneasy. I’m also an introvert and don’t like feeling all eyes on me. Power colors are not retiring. Perhaps I’ll start with wearing the less powerful colors and work my way backwards to find my most comfortable power-zone attire!
My light greens and yellows:
Yup, 12 Season people, these here are Soft Autumn greens and yellows. I do not have the darker yellows of DW or their olive greens. I asked. He said I couldn’t go warmer, that I was too cool. Interesting, eh? And it makes sense with his system, that if I’ve got more Subtle Blended than Striking Contrast, that I’d go towards SA rather than DA. (You know, if we’re mixing PCA models!)
John’s “Playful” colors are supposed to be used in casual wear. (Ummmm….that would be everyday for me?)
Yet more summer infusion, this time recommended for special occasions! Don’t you think it’d be funny to turn up at every party in purple?!? And if anyone asked, I’d say, “But It’s my sophisticated color!” (John, if you ever read this, know that I am being playful, in the truest sense of the word.)
My calming eye colors (the golden browns) and understated (super delicious, oh-how-I-adore-them probably because I am introverted?) colored neutrals:
He told me that because my eye color is warmer than the rest of me to wear my eye colors in refined texture. I didn’t ask why. I should have. It sounded so good: “Eye color in refined texture…” that I got lost in the juiciness of it all. But now that I give this further thought, my beloved vintage coat needs a replacement button. It’s approved!
Obviously this brown page comprises the largest Earthy Rich component of my swatches.
And my traditional (yawwwwwwwwn) neutrals:
He said wearing all black was fine (not that I’d ever want to – I don’t get that look) but not the darkest, heaviest black. i.e. no black velvet capes for me! I have antique and oyster white to choose from, not bright white and not ivory.
Regarding metals: silver, either matte or shiny, is best. Shiny gold is ok, but matte gold got a long, “Ewww, nooooo.” Shiny rose gold was deemed “just ok.” And I need to avoid copper and bronze like the plague.
12 Season gals (and guys, if there are any), I think you’ll agree you see a lot of Dark Winter colors here, with some fine tuning to make the palette more personal. Questions? Comments? Send them my way.
Now. I do need a MUCH bigger bag if I am to lug this swatchbook around. It is the size of my current purse! Maybe I’ll keep my DW spectrafile fan with me most days, knowing which dots aren’t my best, and my JK swatchbook when I actually plan to go shopping.
(A photo of me with the swatches is included in A Truly Personal Palette: Part Two.)