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Soft Summer

The Beauty of the Unexpected

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The Beauty of the Unexpected

I get asked all the time about "unusual" combinations of Season and Image Archetype. The first thing I want to say to you on this topic is: there are no mistakes in nature. Every combination of Season and Image Archetype exists on this planet, in droves no less, and each is perfect. That said, from the origin of color analysis there has been a tendency to associate certain styles with certain Seasons, beginning at least as far back as Suzanne Caygill and her "lines of becomingness" for each season. Even in shops, designers who don't know anything about color analysis seem to make an especially abundant quantity of certain styles in certain colors. Perhaps at one point in history, when gene pools were less mixed, these stereotypes lined up, though I kind of doubt it. It doesn't take a week as a color analyst to see that not every Autumn is a YangN Pocahontas, nor every Summer a soft and gentle Romantic, nor every Spring a perky Gamine, or Winter a Dramatic Morticia Addams. That may be the most literal design interpretation of the colors, but if the body isn't that, seems to me one must modify the strategy there. Based on all the evidence I've gathered out in the real world, it seems that your natural coloring and body lines are determined separately, and the only inherent unifying factor is you.

Recently, I had the pleasure to analyze a Soft Summer Yang Gamine, certainly one of the least stereotypical combinations out there. You might think perhaps some of these don't exist, and then she just walks in the door and all questions about how that could be are resolved. You might also think "fine, but she won't find the clothes", so here are some. There are clothes, there are always clothes.

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Is that sweater really Yang Gamine? For a Soft Season person of this type, I think so. It's boxy and petite, but also a bit earthy, like her coloring. Are those skull loafers too dark? Hard to say from a picture, might be they are in Winter, but I don't agonize over a picture on a screen, it's pointless anyhow. When it arrives, your best efforts to analyze the picture may still have been wasted. Even in my wardrobe, I only harmonize things to my own palette, because if I can't do it with one and look ok, how will my clients? Might be I just wanted this woman to have skull loafers, she's got attitude -  in the best way possible, of course. Sequins and patent leather for SSu? Well, I told you she was a Gamine, right? Do Gamines wear monochrome schemes, like mauve and merlot? If she's a Summer, I'd think so, if she's a Bright Spring, probably not.

In an analysis scenario, we hold things tightly with both hands, look at every detail under a microscope and call everything A or B with no room for debate. In the real world, your only question is, as Christine always says, "Me, or not me?". If your season says do x and your image archetype says do y, feel free to do both, or neither, depending on what feels right, and what can be done without violating the most fundamental concepts. Hold your Season and Image Archetype loosely, and leave room for discovery and joy in your wardrobe. It's only as good as it makes you feel.

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Stuff I Love: Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains

By now, you know that I am always looking for lip products that I don't have to reapply a million times during the day, but that also don't leave my lips painfully dry. I tried this product mostly out of curiosity about the stability of the colors after another analyst swatched a couple of them, including one for Bright Winter.

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I was somewhat skeptical, because the ever-popular Lip Butters are decidedly not my favorite product, partially because I feel they slide all over the place, and partially because I noticed while swatching them out of paper that the colors tended to shift after a few minutes, pulling either soft or purple, or oddly, both. Happily, I don't find that the Just Bitten line tends to shift nearly so much, which is great, because they're just as cheap, stay put better, and are much longer lasting. I've heard some people still find these drying, but for me, they feel very comfortable on. I bet you've already guessed where this is going... after wearing one quite a bit myself, I decided to pick up several to keep in my makeup kit for my clients, and to swatch for all of you. I seem to have missed a few, but most of them from the main line (not the glosses or the matte ones) should be here.

  •  Honey - Soft Summer, may be too brown for some, though on my skin it was less brown than on paper, and on the whole distinctly more purpley than what I like on Soft Autumn
  • Lovesick - True Winter
  • Smitten - This one swatches as True Winter on paper, but on both my lips and skin, it seemed way more desaturated than Lovesick. True Winters who are tentative about their lip colors can probably still wear it, but I think a number of True Summers could do even better in it.
  • Cherish - Light Summer, I guess. I wish I hadn't bought this one, as it's one of those colors that's meant to be lighter than your lips, which I don't find to be a very flattering category of colors, in general.
  • Sweetheart - Bright Winter, really good for lighter-looking people in this season, but most should wear it well
  • Adore - Dark Autumn, quite warm, but a little overpowering next to the True Autumn fan. Either could try it.
  • Rendezvous - True Spring
  • Crush - Dark Winter
  • Charm - Light Spring, pretty warm and not much of a color even for this season, but it could work for some

So, there you have it! Let me know if you've tried any of these, and how it went. :)

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