My Color Journey Chapter One: A Simple Question

Feb 11, 2014 | Personal Color Analysis

You may recall that in my intro post on 12 blueprints, I mentioned that my personal color journey started with a blog post, but that the rest was too long to share in that space. Today, I’d like to continue where I left off.

After lurking on yuku for quite a while, I finally decided to take some pictures of myself “draped” in various colors (many of you know exactly what I mean) and post them so people on the forum could help me discover my season. I wondered how anyone could see anything from them, as even though I stood in the same spot at the same time of day in each one, the lighting shifted dramatically, but I posted them nevertheless. I could have posted any pictures of me and would probably have heard the same response; as a dark eyed dark haired Β woman with fair skin, most people inevitably saw me as Dark Winter. A few suggested to try Dark Autumn lipsticks too, and maybe one or two felt Soft Summer was possible, but mostly not. I went out and bought myself some makeup and a swatch book, and started living as Dark Winter.

71485_802964206477_1194519589_nA few months later, I started feeling like something was wrong. I was struggling terribly with dark circles under my eyes, and at first I just bought some more concealer and told myself I was getting older, but eventually I started to get the idea I might be in the wrong season.

183338_788864053297_1079786304_nAround that time, I ordered the Color Me A Season analyst starter kit, as I knew I wanted to do color analysis and that at the time there was no training available in the Sci/Art System. Reading through Bernice’s book, I came to a bit about searching for your body colors in the fan, and having looked in my eyes with the included magnifier, I could not find the yellow in my eyes in the CMAS Winter fan. I did find it eventually though – in the Spring fan. That made me wonder – could I be mixed with Spring?


I went out and bought Cherries in the Snow, and very happily posted pictures of myself wearing it on yuku… Only to be told it was too bright. Frustrated, I finally did what I had been dancing around for months – I booked an appointment with Nikki Bogardus for a Sci/Art PCA. I drove myself to her home one October morning, fully expecting to be a Dark Winter, but hoping I might be a Bright Winter.

521958_802964660567_1002189365_n Nikki is a very charismatic and lovely woman, and we got on right away. I told her about my background, and that I wanted to be trained as an analyst and she was very enthusiastic. Eventually, after some chit chat, it was time to get down to the draping. We started with the same thing I start with in every one of my PCAs – the key drapes. I have very reactive skin and I certainly saw things right away. No one liked brown or gold all that much. I preferred black, though I could see it was too dark, while Nikki told me she preferred silver. Admittedly, I know we did some version of a further test of the 4 true seasons after that, but I can only remember some of that bit. I do know that after that, Nikki determined my heat level to be cool neutral with the “blood color” drapes.

At that point is where the process truly diverged from what I currently practice. I was tried in some luxury drapes from Dark Winter, where Nikki liked some things, particularly the ice pink. Then, a sapphire drape from Bright Winter was tested and the entire season was rejected in half a second. Next, True Summer was tried. Then, the Soft seasons. Then for some reason, Light Spring, where Nikki saw something she liked – a medium value coral drape. Afterwards, she tried Light Summer, and True Summer again. Finally, it came back to deciding between Dark Winter and Light Spring, and after going up and back a bit, she decided on Light Spring. We tried some makeup and snapped a couple of pictures, and that was that. I honestly don’t know on what basis this was decided, but at the time I had no reason to doubt it, and probably I didn’t want to. Nor did I ask Nikki if this was her usual method, or any more penetrating questions. I had blinders on and I ran out of there with my palette like a bank robber who was getting away with something and not sure how but sure not going to question it.


I’ll admit I was ecstatic with Light Spring at first. I did find it a bit hard to make outfits, as the neutrals in the palette never seemed to look right. When I finally got my draping pictures emailed to me after a terrible storm hit NJ, I was disappointed with how they looked, but blew it off, deciding you can’t see how something looks in a picture. However, I mostly wear dresses and didn’t think of it much, until I decided to go see David Kibbe the following March. I knew he used a four season system comparable to Color Me Beautiful, and I had a strong feeling that there was no way I would be any kind of Spring to him. Everything I’d ever read had discounted 4 season systems as not having accuracy due to the lack of neutral categories, and I already knew that he decided immediately upon seeing you what you’d be and that any comparisons he did show you would be under poor lighting and intended only to show YOU, as he already knew. I decided to see him anyway, and just planned to ignore his color advice, as I wanted to confirm my type and see how he worked.




  1. Worse cliffhangers than Game of Thrones …

    • LOL It’s for your own good, since the full story would be 15+ pages printed πŸ˜‰

  2. This is fascinating, Rachel. Thank you for sharing! I can’t wait to hear more. I love, love, love the picture of you wearing the flower headdress. You look gorgeous and completely at home with the colors around you. The Cherries in the Snow lipstick picture is pretty, too. Of course, I can’t believe the light spring for you…

    • Thanks, Debbie! The lippie in the flowers pic is probably a little dark, but really not that off of what I can handle, and in a photo with face makeup and filtered lighting, it works pretty well, huh? I won’t say much more, lest I give away the punchline πŸ˜‰

      • The picture of you with the flowers is beautiful.

        • Thank you!

      • Ooo, there’s more! Love that! You have a fun personality. I’ll be watching for the punchline. πŸ™‚

        • Two more parts, should be up tomorrow and the day after! And thanks πŸ™‚

  3. Fascinating indeed. There’s not much good to be said of the photo of you in black and . . . black lipstick? The Cherries in the Snow is quite pretty.

    • Like neon lipstick, black lipstick is a thing that exists but probably does not belong on any human coloring. Though, I don’t think this actually was black, but most likely just too dark, and then wearing black and photo filters on top of that. I had an interesting conversation with a couple of my fellow analysts this weekend, and it was suggested that the definition of a “Dark” person would be a person who makes very dark colors look normal, as they are not always apparently dark themselves.

  4. Isn’t it interesting how we know our season instinctually? We just find ourselves drawn to the colors or made happy by them or hope to be in the season. By the way, the cherries in the snow picture is the best. Love it, quite clear to me you are a bright winter. The light spring drapes are tragic.

    • I wouldn’t say we all know it instinctually, but I would say we are all expressing our season somewhere, maybe in our home, maybe in our fantasy pinterest board, but somewhere. It’s just not helpful to use info like that to try and sort out what you might be, as you’ll see hopefully in the rest of the series. Tragic is a pretty good word for me in Light Spring. So good to point out, just because you love something, doesn’t mean you should wear it. Buy a throw pillow, or better yet go get a massage and forget about it. …I’m a bright winter you say? Well, I never! πŸ˜›

      • Like you say, I would never advocate to determine season based on feelings alone. But it is interesting in hindsight after your analysis, how your colors were there all along, calling to you.

  5. Cherries in the snow–is that the significance of the home page pic? You’re writing is captivating and I am so hooked, I can’t wait to hear the rest of the story…….

    • Cherries in the Snow is the name of a Revlon lipstick that’s notorious in the color analysis communities for being the layman’s “test” for whether you might be a certain season. The name is, as you pointed out, highly evocative of what the color palette for that particular season looks like, and not entirely unrelated to my cherry blossom picture. πŸ™‚

  6. Wow! Such a huge difference between LSp and BW! I hope you bring hope and happiness to many color and style -in need people with your new business! You’ve learned first-hand what doesn’t work!

    • Thanks for your encouragement, Bridgett!

  7. I’m guessing bright winter or bright spring, judging by how gorgeous you look in the picture with the flowers… now to read on and see if I’m right. πŸ˜‰

Rachel Has Been Seen On


Rachel Has Been Seen On