Skip to main content

the style fyle :: go towards the bright

in the course of the last year's adventures in trying to colour analyse myself, while i haven't necessarily come up with a proper response to my exact type, there are several things i've learned.

first and foremost is that there's a reason that people hire professionals to do this sort of analysis for them. or at least get other people to do it. it is completely impossible to be objective about what looks good against your own skin and anyone who tells you differently just hasn't taken a hard look at themselves. [not that there's anything wrong with that approach either. i've been planning for a while to do a post about knowing something isn't quite right for you and indulging in the lusty, rebellious joy of wearing it anyway because screw the system.]

second is that while there might be some niggling doubt in my mind about my exact place in the sci/ art seasonal spectrum, i cannot deny the fact that what works best on me is bold, very saturated colours and sharp contrast. i still hover between choosing bright winter [although i'd dismissed it for a while, i've circled back around] and bright spring as a final perch, but as i've become more conscious of how everything- clothing and makeup- changes my overall appearance, there is just no getting around the fact that bold works.

it also explains things like why i've never been able to make peace with things like jeans and t-shirts, which generally have a muted quality to them. [modern dyes are changing that, but any sort of fading has become a major sticking point for me and i'm better off for it.]

i always liked bold colours and patterns when i saw them, but i tended to opt for a more muted palette, because i was convinced that my natural colouring couldn't support the higher wattage. and of course, when i wore those things, i tended to look a bit "meh", which just reinforced my idea that my complexion was too soft, too muted to handle anything more.

but making myself look critically at what worked, along with accepting that some things were going to work better than others [not necessarily in ways i'd imagined], has resulted in some changes. for instance, here's a look i wore last week that i would never have considered even remotely possible a little over a year ago.




the magenta scarf is something i've had for years, but haven't really made use of. i just thought it was nice to look at. it's seen more wear in the last few months than it had in the previous several years. the blouse, however, is brand new. it's by mink pink, about whom i know pretty much nothing, except that there's a store on sherbrooke west in ndg that sells some of their stuff and they're having a big sale. it's the sort of colour i would have rejected outright through much of my life, because orange, along with yellow, was a colour i knew i couldn't wear. particularly, this is like a jazzed-up peach- not pastel, but not in any way coral, either. i bought it because some kind of instinct told me it was going to work and i've learned in the last little while to listen to those instincts, even when they contradict what i know to be true. 

[the rest of the outfit is just a pair of black shorts from old navy and fluevog sandals from a few years back: they're called hestia and the family was called "free". i'd say the colour palette falls more into bright spring than bright winter choices, but it could probably go either way.]

what i've also learned is that, while i might love to play with all sorts of things, what works best on me makeup-wise is a clean eye and bold lip. which works out nicely since it's a look i gravitate towards anyway. [what follows is also an object lesson in what happens to a person with naturally wavy hair in hundred degree heat and 80% relative humidity.]


i can't remember exactly what i had on my eyes this day, but i believe it was just a couple of soft neutrals with illamasqua precision ink liner in "wisdom" [a deep antique gold]. the cheeks are tarte's new and improved cheek stain in "flush" and the lipstick is guerlain rouge grĂ©nat. that particular shade is an example of what seems to work best on me: bold, moderately deep and lacking any kind of brown tones. it's not that i can't wear other shades- clearly i can and do if you read through this blog- but this is the sort that's a no-brainer. i know it'll work without trying it. 

the nail polish i'm wearing is butter london "macbeth", another colour in this sort of family, a bright pink coral. 

it's nicely coincidental that the place where we were having lunch had a very bold red wall, because i find that the background makes my point about bright shades against my skin even clearer. if i put dom against that same wall [and i'm kind of wishing i had, for comparison purposes], he'd look feverish. 

i'm glad to say that i finally feel like i'm making more informed decisions about what i put on myself. i'm not sure what to make of the fact that it took me decades to figure this process out.

Comments

I always find your sci-art posts helpful because our coloring is so similar: pale, cool(ish) skin, dark hair, light eyes. Like you, I've come to realize that soft, muted colors tend to wash me out (especially if they're gray- or brown-based), while bright jewel tones light up my complexion. You look beautiful in these photos, so you're clearly doing something right! I envy your ability to wear bright orange...

as long as you're here, why not read more?

white trash

yes, my lovelies, i have returned from the dead, at least for the time it takes me to write this post. this is not just another piece of observational drivel about how i haven't been taking care of the blog lately, although i clearly haven't. on that front, though, the principal cause of my absence has actually been due to me trying to get another, somewhat related project, off the ground. unfortunately, that project has met with some frustrating delays which means that anyone who follows this blog [perhaps there are still a few of you who haven't entirely given up] would understandably be left with the impression that i'd simply forsaken more like space to marvel at the complexity of my own belly button lint. [it's possible you had that impression even before i disappeared.]

ok, enough with that. i have a subject i wanted to discuss with you, in the sense that i will want and encourage you to respond with questions, concerns and criticism in the comments or by em…

i'm definitely someone altogether different

about a hundred years ago, i remember having a partner who told me that, rather than writing the sort of ambiance-oriented crap [he didn't say crap, i'm saying it] that i was naturally driven to write, i should just compose something like the harry potter books. this wasn't out of any sense of challenging me to do new things but because of the desperate hope that my love of writing could be parlayed into something profitable.

my reaction at the time was "i just can't". and that was honestly how i felt because i didn't believe that that kind of story was in me. for the record, i still don't think that anything like the potter-hogwarts universe is in me. i'm not a fan of fantasy literature generally speaking and i feel like there's a richer experience to be examined in looking at our experience as regular humans being part of the rational, limited, everyday world and at the same time being able to feel connected to something that, for lack of a…

making faces :: a lip for all seasons [summer edition]

this may seem like an odd time to think about summer, but not to think about coolness. it can be hard to wrap your head around the idea that summer is considered "cool" in colour analysis terms and, in my opinion, reads as the coolest of the cool, because everything in it is touched with the same chilly grey. winter may have the coldest colours, but its palette is so vivid that it distracts the eye. everything in summer is fresh and misty, like the morning sky before the sun breaks through. in my original post on the season, i compared it to monet's paintings of waterlilies at his garden in giverny and, if i do say so, i think that's an apt characterisation.

finding lip colours touched with summer grey and blue is, as you might expect, kind of tricky. the cosmetic world seems obsessed with bringing warmth, which doesn't recognise that some complexions don't support it well. [also, different complexions support different kinds of warmth, but that's another…