Getting the Most Out of your Product Routine

Colour clients could be divided into two categories: those who like makeup and those who don’t.  Those who do like makeup may have a stash that puts mine to shame. Those who don’t like makeup often bring a bag of products anyway.

Your CC cream and mineral powder are still makeup

“I don’t really wear makeup” they say, before taking out a bunch of product that in my mind, is still makeup but cleverly labeled as beauty enhancing creams and powders. To me, product is product and it still touches your skin. 

What makes these products makeup instead of regular moisturizer? Well they might be tinted and contain oxides or micas meant to blur or obscure flaws on the face. Some are labeled as “correctors” meant to balance warm or cool tones on the skin. Or “enhancers” to create an all over “glow” (read: shine).

The word “makeup” in itself implies that by using it you are creating a false version of yourself, and has kind of become a bad word in the beauty industry. 

Dark Autumn and True Winter makeup comparison. Both eyeliners are a dark brown, not black

Just by replacing a few of these products with the right colour cosmetics on the lips and cheeks will improve your appearance immensely while still using the same number of products on the face. If you want to get really bold you can add eyeliner to the mix. 

Some who claim not to wear makeup still wear mascara, and typically black mascara. This is justified from the same perspective that it enhances the appearance and isn’t “fake”. Black mascara gets pushed as a staple by the  industry so much that it is difficult to find mascara that isn’t black.

Black mascara generally looks best on the 3 Winters, and even some of the fairer skinned winters may want to try a dark grey. When black is too intense for the person’s inherent colouring the eye makeup becomes all you see. That includes the little globs of mascara you forgot to comb out or the bit that got smudged under the eye during a cat nap or sneezing fit. 

Having near black hair will make black eye makeup look more normal but there are lots of colours that are also close to black that would create a more natural effect.

Black eye makeup + creams filled will optical “enhancers” usually creates an uneven, ashy, whitewashed appearance on most warmer and muted skintones and in some lighting looks like glitter on the face. Often we don’t realize this is happening to us so we add more product to the mix.

Bright Spring blush may be retina searing bright on paper but perfectly normal applied to the right face

Those that welcome colour cosmetics into their lives even in small, baby steps usually see results right away, as you would during your Personal Colour Analysis. Even clients who are very anti-makeup relax when the right blush is applied to the cheeks. A dab with a stripping brush is hardly any product at all and instantly lifts the eyes and face.

Knowing your right colours puts you in the position of power at the makeup counter. The right red settling in perfectly at home with you natural colouring, no correcting required.

Dark Winter blushes for a variety of skintones

Logical Style Solutions: Thrifting Tips

A blog post about my personal thrift store shopping tips. Hopefully ones you haven’t heard before.

The beginning of a Soft Autumn capsule wardrobe

I wasn’t always a thrifter. In fact most of my wardrobe consisted of items that shipped to me in little plastic baggies (mostly t-shirts and jeans) at the lowest price possible, along with some work “investment” pieces that didn’t really work for me.

It wasn’t that I didn’t know the true cost of fast fashion. It was that I was overwhelmed by choice so I fell back on my default: cheap and plain; and hoped that it would magically algin with my personal values and the places I wanted to go in life. I know clients who had similar feelings and experiences and hope to get into that in a video blog session later.

Dark Winter palette and shirt

Arrive with a Plan, Arrive with a Palette

What got me thrifting is Personal Colour Analysis and there are many pratical reasons to shop by colour first!

You end up with stuff that actually matches stuff you already have rather than have random finds languishing in your closet. With the sheer volume of stuff you can thrift it is easy to hoard things you won’t wear.

A Light Spring palette and shirt

Picking out clothes by colour allows you to process a higher volume of clothes in a shorter amount of time. You can spread your swatchbook of colours near the clothing rack and pick out the garments that best harmonize with the palette, or you can flip through the racks.

During your colour analysis you learn your obvious NOs and can identify and eliminate them quickly without the swatchbook. Use the swatchbook fan to harmonize the final contenders. Eliminate those that obviously don’t harmonize, maybe try on the question marks if you have time. Eventually you learn to pick out your colours by eye much better and can forget the swatchbook at home.

Most importantly, you end up with items in colours that flatter YOU so they become of high personal value and often become what ancors your outfits and wardrobe.

Vintage wool blazer made in Canada

Try to Ignore the Labels

I say try because this is the hardest one of all for me. I am certainly not immune to being woo’d at the possibility of scoring an amazing designer label find at a thrift store or being shocked at what they charge for used clothes.

A high amount of brand knowledge is required to separate the real finds from the fakes, so stick to the brands you know well.

Check tags for quality fibre content and care. Look for clues that the item may be sustainably made – those are my most favourite thrift finds of all.

Dark Autumn thrift haul

Try to be open minded to brands that you don’t necessarily gravitate to, the goal is to bust some of the old world marketing traps and get variety in your wardrobe.

Also try to ignore the size tags to an extent. Start by the smallest size section you could possibly fit in and work your way to the larger sizes. Sizing is so inconsistent that you really need to try items on. Also look at the ends of the racks for the “one size” type items.

Don’t get hung up on what the clothing would cost new, unless that exact item is physically in stock somewhere that exact second and you are willing to leave to go get it.

Light Summer palette and shirt

My dream is that Edmonton becomes this hub of of colour analyzed people that can help each other score their perfect finds, but in the meantime if you don’t have the storage space you might want to leave those awesome for someone else items on the rack.  

Shopping Outside Your Seasonal Palette (sometimes we really need clothes)

A question I often get from clients is:

What season is my next best or what can I cheat with?

I struggle giving an answer. Cheating seems like such a bad word and often the draping process does not allow for a second best. Sometimes we may spend more time comparing two seasons before picking a best, which makes the runner up season more obvious. Other times a client is so solidly in their season that the comparisons are more to put our minds at ease.
If you have been following along the other 12 tone system blogs such as Christine at 12 Blueprints you will know that the colour draping system measures 3 dimensions of colour: hue, value, and chroma. While every person is unique I am confident that they will fit into one of the 12 tones. The system is well designed to accommodate the changes in colour dimensions that can perceived by the human eye. While custom palettes are cute and fun for the real colour hobbyists, they are not necessary to make good shopping decisions and can lead one astray. Anyhow, the typical client wants to know their second best season to expand their colour choices not limit them.

Sometimes you have to combine imperfect elements to make a look that works.

In order to give more clarity to the question above, I will discuss the real world of clothing shopping. Because when we consider all factors in deciding what to wear such as fit, price, appropriateness for the weather or event, it may not be possible to get a perfect colour match to your fan. You probably already know this and that is why you would want to know your next best season. Thing is, your next best season may not be the best way to choose clothes off a rack. I will give an example. I am a Dark Autumn and my second best season is probably Dark Winter. The trait these seasons share in common is darkness. Dark Winter is cooler than Dark Autumn and is more saturated and has a higher contrast meaning a greater range of light to dark colours. Dark Winter has white in their palette while Dark Autumn does not have anything near white and quite honestly I look rather sickly in white. So to pick up a white garment off the rack just because it belongs to my second best season doesn’t make the most sense. Here are my shopping tips:

  • Consider your wardrobe. Can you wear the item with anything you own or do you have to purchase an entire new outfit? Wearing items you know harmonize with your palette while shopping helps. Hold the item you are considering up to your outfit. Does it look reasonable? 
  • Consider the garment. Some items are easier to work into a wardrobe Than others.  One piece items such as a dress or a jumpsuit in a flattering silhouette will probably work. As will some shoes and handbags as long as the colour isn’t totally off. Underwear, no one will probably see though I often dream of owning a boudoir in my colours. Pants and tops are where things get iffy as they are larger blocks of colour that need to be coordinated with each other.
  • Put down the off-season makeup.  Makeup is too plentiful and too expensive for what you get to cheat with and the right cosmetics will help pull your whole look together. Email your analyst for more recommendations if you have to. We don’t mind because you looking good is good for our business!
  • Nobody is perfect and people don’t care as much as you think. Forget what the Facebook groups say, most people don’t pick up colour harmony as well as colour analysts and those who have been through the draping process. There is room to make mistakes. Lots of outfits on Pinterest and Instagram don’t match and people like them anyway. Don’t be so hard on yourself and don’t feel like you need to spend money on something you don’t need when you can make do with something you already have.

Hello Edmonton! I am a Dark Autumn.

Dark Autumn is the result of my colour draping, in which my skin’s reaction to various colour hues, values and chroma was studied. Yes it is very complicated sounding which is why I was so driven to take a course to practice this system in Edmonton. I believe that getting your “colours done” can be life changing if you are willing to accept that change and reveal your most authentic, beautiful self. Whether you are a fashionista, makeup maven, or just want a scientifically supported system to help you choose your most flattering colours all time, Personal Colour Analysis is worth it!


The beginning of my analysis. Here we are testing a Winter black. Notice there is a neutral grey cape covering my dyed hair and clothing to neutralize the environment.