As part of the training I got to be analyzed as well. I arrived in the firm belief that I was a DW. No doubts here, and thinking that my analysis would only confirm and refine the result. Well, think again. It began the day before, when Christine (who is DW) and I compared foundations. She remarked that my foundation was perfect for me, and since we both have very fair skin, we sat down to find out if we could wear each other’s foundation. So we each smeared a strip of both foundations on our jawlines. This was very interesting. Though very similar in lightness, my foundation disappeared right into my skin and blending in, Christine’s lay like a grey smear on top of my skin. Same happened to Christine, only in reverse. Her own blended right in, and mine lay there like a light strip. The fact that hers looked so grey on my skin and mine looked so bright on her skin planted a niggling doubt that started to wiggle in the back of my head. Fast forward to the next day, I was determined to keep an open mind and really look at myself through the eyes of a stranger. From the key drapes at the beginning we saw that black is good, but not the best. Not bad enough to say terrible, there was a certain intensity about my face in the black that we liked, but the shadows that crept up my chin and cheeks were definitely ageing. There was a brightening effect in the gold drape that was quite pleasing, but not enough to outshine the yellowing that was going on. Silver was – well, not awful, but it washed me out. These plusses and minuses were repeated in the 4 true season drapes, and the red drapes firmly concluded that my heat level is neutral/cool, and also safely put summer on the side line as well as TA and TSp. The spring drapes did bring a certain radiance out in the face, though, which was noted with interest. Along came revelation after revelation in the 12 season drape sets, we clearly preferred BW to BSp which was just much too warm. Also, we found TW was too cool on me since my heat level is on the cooler side of neutral. We thoroughly compared DW to BW since I was a confirmed DW believer, and I must admit that next to the BW drapes, each and every one of the DW drapes either aged me, or dulled me, or both. Not that the DW colours were BAD, they made me look just a little more dull and serious than the BW colours. I have to admit that my favourite colours are found in the DW drapes, and most of the BW drapes are rather electric looking in my opinion, but I must also grudgingly admit that my face lit up next to these drapes and they did not make me look ridiculous. My skin looked fresher, I looked more awake, healthier. I looked younger. And who can hate that? To conclude, I was able to see that I am indeed a BW. It does not mean that I will run out and buy bright red patent pumps and sequined bright turquoise tops. It might mean that I will lighten and brighten up my makeup, choosing brighter and lighter coloured lipstick among other things. And hey! Lo and behold, in my closet at home resides a bright red raincoat that never matched my DW fan but it made me so happy to wear it so I had kept wearing it, the bright emerald cardigan that I do so love, bright fuchsia and bright green tank tops that actually blend perfectly with my BW colour book………. Well, then. Perhaps not so bad after all. If it wasn’t for the fact that I did not figure out this for myself.
I just so hate to be wrong! I hate to be wrong. I hate the feeling that I did not see this myself. My pride is wounded and whimpering loudly with self pity at the moment.
However, I have learned a powerful lesson that is more valuable than my wounded pride.
I have learned how it feels to be shown that you are a different season that you thought you were. It feels very humbling. And rocking the boat is not comfortable.
I have learned to never, ever (EVER) think you know what season you are before you are draped. I have learned that the colour analyst should ruthlessly look away from the client’s preconceived notions. I so wanted to cling to my DW season, but Christine showed me draped after drapes why one was better than the other.
I have learned that personality is much less connected to your colouring than you think. I am so introvert, so minimalist, so…….. dark winter (for lack of a better description) in my personality, I thought it utterly impossible, inconceivable that I should be a BW, right? Wrong.
And I have learned that style does not define your colour home. I hate prints and I hate sequins and cute bright patent ballerina flats. So I could not be a BW, right? Wrong.
But wearing BW colours (the brightest ones in small proportions) will allow me to be ME in a much better way. I will probably still be the most minimalistic BW there is. I will probably not be seen in sequins. Ever. I will have to incorporate shine and sparkle in a different manner. Don’t know how yet. But I am on my way to a more authentic, better expression of who I am. Didn’t know I needed a change, but I do. And the learning experience alone makes it worth it.
I have come to believe that this experience is the best thing that has happened to me in the process of preparing to become a PCA consultant. The Experience of realizing that I was wrong about how I viewed myself, the revelation of what tweaking my makeup and colours could do towards presenting a more authentic version of myself has been astounding.
Also, if a client is shocked and a little disappointed at what is revealed by the drapes, I will be the one remembering precisely how that felt, because I have been through a similar experience. I hope my own journey will have made me more able to help my clients through similar transitions.
So, to illustrate: