Sometime in the early fall, when I began my yearly search for a good coat and something to keep me warm, I realized I had become paralyzed from buying anything. I don’t know how I hadn’t noticed sooner, but it finally hit me that I would never wear at least two of my eight colors as anything but accessories, leaving me with six, which as you can imagine is pretty difficult. I began to rail against the orange energy color in particular, which I was SURE looked hideous on me. As ever, the ladies in the groups assured me, with the absolute best of intentions, that the problems I was having with my palette were effectively in my head. My initial misgivings about the archetype he gave me magnified, and I felt strongly for reasons I probably couldn’t articulate properly that I was not the person that palette was saying I was. After months of ignoring or writing off “Sci/Art” as not having a category for me, I started to wish ardently that I could see a different analyst using that system and find out once and for all whether I could do better there. I just wanted to SEE some colors next to my face with an experienced set of eyes looking on with me. At the same time, my previous attempt to become a trained analyst had obviously fallen apart, which set me searching around online.
Originally, I researched being retrained in another Caygill style system, but worried that I would feel as I had using that system thus far: not feeling that I truly knew that I was giving clients the correct results. Somehow while poking around on facebook, I saw that one of my friends from the groups, who has a long history with color analysis herself, had been draped by one of Christine’s trainees. I asked her for her review of both the analyst and the drapes, and she was very positive about the experience. Poking around on Christine’s website, I was impressed at the progress she’d made with her training and drapes in just a few short months since I last looked – she even had luxury drapes available! reading through her description of training, I realized that I would also be redraped by Christine and my co-trainee. I discussed the options for my future as a color analyst with my mother, who knows little about this whole world but is very similar in many ways to a typical client and an excellent business mind besides. After several hours of combing through websites together, we decided I would train with Christine, and sooner rather than later as she had misgivings about me traveling to Canada any later in the winter (it was currently early November). I convinced Christine to allow me to train in 2 weeks time, which she partially allowed because of my fashion and art background.
I booked my flights and hotel and spent the next two weeks mostly agonizing about my own upcoming analysis, when I probably should have been thinking about my training. I doubted, FINALLY, that I’d be a Light Spring, hoped against hope that I’d be a Bright Spring, and feared but was ready to accept Dark Autumn or Dark Winter. Perhaps most importantly, I decided whatever I was on the flight home, I’d be forever more. Thankfully, upon arriving at the hotel, I quite quickly settled into the work of learning to be a color analyst. Christine had such fascinating things to show me, I was able to forget about my own issues and history for a while, which was good because I was not scheduled to be draped until the end of the second day. Just by reading the training manual, I knew I was going to be able to accept whatever the result was, because no decision would be made without a “better than” comparison, a fact which was only confirmed to me after seeing Christine drape the first model for our course.
By the time my draping rolled around, I wasn’t very nervous anymore, partially because my skin is so reactive that even though I couldn’t see myself draping in the mirror, several of the observers coming and going were noticing that even as I held the drapes up the the client faces, my face was changing as well, in ways that hinted we were going to go bright. Much of the draping process was pretty decisive and quick, because as I said, my skin is highly reactive. In many ways, the early tests weren’t that different than they were with Nikki, except that here no one liked the silver drape or Summer at all – I lose all definition and become “one big silver/grey circle”. Things started to get tough for me once we reached near the end of the red test, and in comparing the neutral warm to neutral cool, (BSp to BW), everyone liked the neutral cool better but me. Still, at this point, I clung to the belief I was warm somehow. We pressed on, being left with a definitely neutral heat level, and not Autumn or Summer, tested the neutral Springs and Winters to each other and came out Bright in both. I just want to reiterate that I overpower Light Spring so much that in a one-to-one comparison you would be hard pressed to miss Bright Spring being miles better. The final test between Bright Spring and Bright Winter, however, took quite a while, mostly because I had to be convinced. I wailed that I had tried that well over a year ago to ardent insistence online that it was wrong, but eventually I just decided to put the Bright Winter makeup on, and it did look excellent. I took the Bright Winter palette to my room that night, and by the morning, I was over any reservations. At this point, I hope you’ll see that if I’m not convinced of something, I will search to the ends of the earth and never give up. On the flip side, once I’ve seen that something is true, and why it is true, I’m past it and will never unsee it. It is my opinion that clients should come away from an analysis with knowledge, not beliefs. It is my opinion that I do color analysis, which happens many times to also be a spiritual and emotional experience, not spiritual and emotional experiences that happen to be color analyses.
As a bit of a post script, I had the pleasure and privilege to meet the incredibly skilled Terry Wildfong this past weekend, and I asked her to do a little mini redrape on me, not because I had any doubts but simply because I wanted to hear her “drape talk” and see her point out reactions as a learning exercise for me, and I was an available subject. As you probably guessed, I am and probably always will be Bright Winter, but the interesting thing was that Terry felt that unless she had a specific reason to show me why I wasn’t a Spring (such as, I came in thinking I was one), she would not have needed to check the neutral Spring comparison, because my coolness and darkness were so definitive at that point, which is quite true. On the other hand, she would have checked back against True Winter, because while most of the drapes were clearly too cool, a couple were passable.
I’m telling you this last bit because I want to answer the question I know you’ll have – “How did so many people see you as warm?” and “What about the fact that you look kind of yellow?”. I have an apparently warm overtone, it is true. If you scan my skin at Sephora, you get a color that looks like smearing dark fake tanner on my face, and carries the most warm color designation. This machine, and the eye with no help, cannot distinguish undertone. We need to harmonize against something else to know what we’re looking at. I’m proud to analyze others using a system and tools that do this methodically and accurately, the one that brought me home after so much wandering.
One last thing I’d like to address: how you can shorten up your journey and be a smart consumer. Don’t want to believe, want to KNOW. Expect your analyst to be eager to tell you why and how he or she is making decisions. Don’t be so eager to “get” any season, archetype, or set of colors that you accept them despite every red flag being raised. Don’t be so eager to avoid any season, archetype, or set of colors that you reject them despite having been handed all the evidence to prove it. Don’t mistake information about your personality, decor, or candle preferences for information about your coloring. Ask questions and don’t leave the room without understanding why you’re leaving with that particular palette or a follow up appointment to help explain it to you scheduled. Don’t expect any human to be infallible, either. Come into this as the savviest consumer you can be, knowing that even with the most thorough analyst, it may take more than one analysis to get it right. Be open, be curious, and be ready to have to learn what right feels like. And finally, may all your color journeys lead to as happy a conclusion as mine.