I'm hanging on to the fact that it's still autumn at the moment, even though it's really starting to feel like winter, and with Halloween and Bonfire Night over and done with here in the UK, everyone's talking about Christmas. Now I love Christmas as much as the next person, but it's just too soon for me. There is still a profusion of beautiful reds, oranges, yellows and browns out there in nature for us to enjoy, and I'm not about to let it pass me by!
I was inspired to write this post because I came across the below picture, and realised that it would be perfect for both a paper doll exercise, as well as a side by side comparison of two neighbouring seasons. Though it didn't' start out that way! I'll explain what I mean by that in a minute.
|Kate Bosworth and Hilary Swank|
And what do we have here? The official red carpet uniform: the LBD. If I had a pound for every celebrity I see sporting black on the red carpet, I'd be as rich as Cresus. Now I know it's not that simple, and I really don't want to start criticising people for wearing black again because you all know my thoughts on the matter, but this actually benefits us greatly for it gives us the perfect blank canvas for some paper-dolling! Or should I say black canvas?
In this particular scenario, Kate and Hilary probably have a good reason for wearing black - it must be related to the event they're at in some way, so I can't start saying "they should have worn this, or that", but this does give us the perfect opportunity to see how their face lights up when wearing their correct colours!
Now, when I first saw this picture, I didn't know either of their seasons for sure, I only had a vague idea. They both look like warm seasons to me, and I wasn't sure if Kate Bosworth was a Light Spring or a Soft Autumn- I was leaning more towards Light Spring. Hilary struck me as a True Autumn, so like I said, I wasn't sure how this was going to play out. So I started with my first theory, and dressed Kate in Light Spring and Hilary in True (Warm) Autumn. Have a look here:
So I looked at this and thought: Hilary looks awesome in True Autumn peach, but Kate... not sure what it is exactly but this Light Spring peach is not really working for me. It's hard to put my finger on it, but I just don't know. I need to try another colour.
Again, I'm pretty sure I made the right choice for Hilary, since she looks gorgeous: I love the harmony of this muted, rich, mid tone teal/turquoise hue, which just draws my gaze up to her wonderfully strong features and glowing eyes. But Kate? All I see is a too bright hue of turquoise, and that lipstick. It's like I can't actually SEE her. Let's try something different. I'm going to put her in Soft Autumn hues and see what happens. I'll start with the hues I tried in the Light Spring pics to see if we can correct what just happened there!
I just had to colour in Kate's lips as well, because that matte orangey red shade was just... distracting. So now we have Kate in pure Soft Autumn peach, and Hilary in a slightly different shade of True Autumn peach (since you've already seen her in the other shade, nice to showcase other colours!)
I must say, looking at Kate in these Soft Autumn hues, I feel 100% better! I can see the freshness of her skin, and I realise that there is a sort of earthiness to her facial architecture (as there is for Hilary) that I hadn't quite detected before. But most importantly, I am now no longer distracted by the clothes, and I can see HER, the person, as opposed to (ironically) another doll in black.
I'll try her in Soft Autumn turquoise now to correct the earlier too bright hue from the Light Spring palette:
A LOT better! She's so soft and radiant, so romantic and just plain beautiful! And... what's this? Hilary has lost the diamond necklace and is now wearing a gold one. I can see her beauty even better now, as it's not being sliced in half by a too cool and sparkly necklace. Every detail helps!
Let's go back to the dressing room and change them into their seasons hue of violet/purple:
Here we have a perfect example of the difference between the shades of two neighbouring seasons: see how Kate's Soft Autumn violet is more blue based, more periwinkle in appearance to Hilary's True Autumn violet, which has redder tones in it? If you had seen Hilary on her own without Kate standing next to her, you would have wondered how such a shade of purple could belong to the True Autumn palette when it seems such a cool shade, but this is to show how relative it all is. Hilary's purple has just enough warmth laced through it to pick up on the warmth in her skin, yet at the same time it has sufficient coolness to be complementary to her skin tone, which is a very dramatic way of bringing out the golden tones in Autumn skin. Autumns do complementary very well (colours opposite to each other on the colour wheel) because they look their best when giving an impression of texture. Notice also how I coloured in Hilary's lips? The lipstick she was wearing before wasn't outside her palette, however, it didn't match her blusher, which was a lot warmer and seemed orangey by comparison. Call me old fashioned, but I am of the belief that your blusher and lipstick should match, if not exactly, at least approximately. It's just unfortunate that Kate's blusher is slightly too warm, but there's nothing I can do about that :-(
In the following picture I want to show you just how cool a Soft Autumn looks next to a Warm Autumn:
Kate's cooler, tinged-with-blue Soft Autumn hues look positively mermaid like (i.e.: of the sea) in comparison to Hilary's glowing, unabashed warmth. Notice how vibrant they both look, in their own individual way? The Soft Autumn hues bring out Kate's Autumn warmth reminiscent of warm September evenings, and brings forth a very romantic, princess like vibe, whereas Hilary's glowing, straightforward warmth makes her seem a strong wild amazon. You can see why she was such good casting for "Million Dollar Baby" where she played a boxer- strength, verve, passion, all things associated with True Autumn. Now, I know that these colour overlays are a bit fake looking, but in a way I almost like that- because it actually allows me to see which overlays look the least fake when testing colours from different palettes. If something can still look nice even when the outline is a bit sketchy and wrong, then you know you're on to something!
There is something else that I really cannot emphasise enough: the correct colours should look FABULOUS on you. There are no half measures. There's no ho-hum feeling that comes from wearing them. You put them on, you see the results. You see the smoother skin, the scintillating eyes, the shinier hair. You realise that yes, you CAN look a million dollars, and not in a haphazard, accidental way (we all stumble across the right colours occasionally, even if we don't know what they are) but in a systematic way. So even though the above pictures are a bit crazy looking, all coloured in like that, what they bring forth is that sense of fun, the excitement that comes from dressing up in colours that come from the same palette that nature used to create you. All these colours, they are aspects of us, of our essence as people, our personalities even. So when we wear them, we not only show the world at large how beautiful we are, but we also show them WHO we are. Our clothes become accessories to the main event, the piece de resistance, the beautiful work of art that Nature made: YOU.
By the way, something that needs to be considered with Kate Bosworth, is that the reason I initially saw her as a Light Spring is that I was misled by her hair colour, which is bleached blonde. Now there's no doubt that it totally suits her, but it's not her real hair colour, which means that it changes the way she appears at first when you look at her. But colour analysis forces us to look behind the image that is being projected, to see the real person underneath. And just like tanned skin does not make a warm season necessarily (almost anyone can get a tan) since a tan is a visible overtone, blonde hair does not suddenly transform a person into a light season either, since the colours you wear need to enhance two things that CANNOT be changed, and they are your UNDERTONES, and the colour of your EYES. Those are the two elements that need to be brought forward through the colours in your clothing, makeup and accessories, because they are the very foundation of your beauty.
Kate Bosworth is an especially interesting case, because her eyes are not both the same colour. If we start from the premise that everything that nature creates is perfect and in total harmony, we can begin to understand that it doesn't matter whether they're the same colour or not, since they will contain similar tones. Have a look-see:
One eye is blue, and the other eye is green or blue green, with a touch of brown. The blue eye seems quite cool, whereas the green plus brown eye seems quite warm. But then look at her skin, and her makeup: all the softest, slightly warm beiges. There is a slight coolness present in her skin, but it's beautifully enhanced by her nude champagne gloss and soft tawny blush, with a lovely tawny eye shadow. This is makeup made perfection for her. The delicate gold jewellery further picks up the warm tones in her complexion and eyes.
Consider now the fact that when you look at this picture of her, there is absolutely nothing jarring about the difference in eye colour. On the contrary, it's exciting and a little awe inspiring. A Soft season is not the shrinking violet that everyone tends to believe. Just because the colours that suit soft seasons are so soft and subtle that you wouldn't pick them out in a crowd next to the louder, brighter hues of Winter or Spring, doesn't mean that they're beauty is any less arresting. But a soft beauty like this is a slow seduction: it draws you in, and then you're hooked. Soft seasons, know your power!
Now, although Kate's eyes are different colours, look at how her mid tone to dark blue picks up on the same colours in both eyes? Wearing her colours is going to actually harmonize and enhance her eyes in equal measure. It's really quite astonishing, the power that the correct tones will have on you.
Now take this same picture, but with the top in Light Springs palest powder blue:
An amazing thing happens: the Light Spring baby blue picks up only the blue eye, and leaves to other eye looking less jewel like, and more subdued, because the common thread has been lost. This effect is easily observable in a case like this, but this same thing is what is happening all the time, to anyone who wears colours from outside their palette/tones. The overall effect here is slightly weaker and a little lopsided, which is just not necessary when you have such an astounding beauty like Kate.
This time, let's see what happens when she wears a top reminiscent of the green part of her eyes:
The effect is two-fold: the green part of the one eye is brought forward, and the blue eye is made slightly greener looking. Both eyes are enhanced to look dazzling in their own way, and you can enjoy the difference between them, and what they have in common all at once. It's just amazing.
Finally, let's pull forward that brown shade in her eye:
This is truly magical, for the brown in her eye is enhanced by the brown in her top, yet the blue tones in the brown top still enhance the blue of the other eye. This is the power of colour analysis at it's very best!
Well, this has been quite an exciting post for to write all round, as I've been able to touch on several issues all at once, and what better way to celebrate the beauty of autumn than to talk of all this!
Till the next time!
Lots of love,