Avon Calling!

I’ve been playing with my cosmetics in preparation for the wedding. It’s been a lot of fun to experiment. Luckily, my best friend is an Avon representative, so I have easy, fast access to samples.

Without cosmetics, I’m still acceptable looking.

But after an application, va-va-VOOM!This is the result of one trial’s efforts. Thanks to Avon, nice lighting, and a good angle, I look wonderful, if I say so myself.

Here’s what I’m wearing:

I love the results, and think I have a new hobby.

To Every Season

In “A Matter of Tone,” I discussed trying to find my skin’s undertone. I had determined I had a neutral skintone. I wasn’t any closer to finding out what season I was. In fact, it felt as though I had taken a step back, because while I couldn’t be a “true” season, I had the flexibility of being a combination of seasons.

Pure winter palette. Colors I’m attracted to, but not necessarily for me. Source: Outfitideas4you.com

I looked at other factors besides skin tone. A lot of people are naturally drawn to their appropriate season, and I find myself collecting clothes in the winter color palette. Those are jewel toned, clear colors with striking contrast. I’ve been complimented more when I wear such hues.

There was a quiz towards the beginning of Color Me a Season that assessed your seasonal personality. I found myself checking off a few affirmative answers for each season, but was encouraged when I found that I answered yes to nearly all of the winter questions. But that wasn’t very definitive.

The book then goes on to describe hair, skin and eye combinations of the seasons. Because of the light hair and eyes generally found in Spring and Summer, those two seasons were ruled out. But I was getting frustrated deciding between Autumn and Winter. Many trips were made to the bathroom mirror to decide if my eyes were golden brown or dark brown. They looked red brown to me, but that seemed like an impossible classification. And what was my hair color as a child? Was it ashy or did it have red undertones? I couldn’t remember. Where my hair is growing out from the chemical dyes, it actually looks to be a very dark brown, finally matching my eyebrows that always puzzled me with their contrast to my natural hair.

I resorted to another book, Color Me Beautiful, the US classic version of seasonal color analysis. It opened quickly with the hair, eye, and skin combinations of various seasons. In the text about winter eyes, it listed it: red brown. Finally! I had the answer to my make-up issue. I was a winter!

Sample colors for Deep Winter. Source: Pinterest

But what sort of winter, if I wasn’t a true winter? I went back to Color Me a Season, paging through it. Towards the back of the book, there were illustrations of various seasonal combinations. I found one that looked similar to me, labeled “Firelight Winter.” By reading the description, I ascertained that it was that system’s term for Autumn-Winter, or Deep/Dark Winter.

Armed with this knowledge, I looked at the suggested make-up shades in the book and on Pinterest. I was now able to request samples of lipstick from my Avon representative, and purchase appropriate eyeshadow. I was now on my way to perfecting my wedding day cosmetics!

For reference, below are suggested make-up hues for Deep Winter:

Source: tealinspiration.com

If you’re on the quest to find your perfect colors, I suggest the following websites in addition to the books listed above:

  • Teal Inspiration – great source for color suggestions for cosmetics for any season.
  • Expressing Your Truth – an in-depth blog about determining many aspects of suitable fashion for you, from color analysis to determining your face/body shape.
  • Cardigan Empire – great examples of each season and sub-type in easy infographics.
  • Cladwell’s Color Quiz – great for determining your season
  • Kettlewell – a British clothing site, with color options for every season in every style.

In upcoming blog entries, I’ll cover the various ways seasonal color analysis has benefited me. It’s surprising what it can do for your confidence and shopping habits.

A Matter of Tone

My wedding dress vision before my bridal dress consultation. Dress by David’s Bridal.

I have been preoccupied lately with finding my colors, looking for my season, and identifying my skin tone. It’s a part of the impeding nuptial frenzy for me, and really started with dress shopping a week after my engagement. The bridal stylist suggested ivory for me when I really wanted soft white.

Then came make-up considerations. I generally don’t wear cosmetics, but it’s my special day. However, a make-up artist is out of the question for me – I can’t afford it with the $5800 I allotted for myself. Besides, wanting to look your best for your wedding day will make most women second guess themselves and what styles work for them. (I don’t think men are excluded from this, but black tie dress puts the kibosh on many fashion and beauty options for the poor dears.)

At this point, I was stymied. I was searching for a dress appropriate for a courthouse ceremony, which had left me feeling defeated and ugly (the bridal appointment reinforced that). I was clueless about cosmetics, and terrified of attempting my own face on the big day, lest I look like the Joker with a hangover in my precious photos. So I did what I do best: research.

Since my mother shrieked at me once about wearing white, saying I “think I look good in white but really don’t,” after she dabbled in “Color Me Beautiful” and the bridal stylist steered me toward ivory, I decided discovering my season would be the ideal place to start. Besides, fictional Bridget Jones’s mother was always after her to get her colors done to boost her self esteem. I discovered during the course of my research that it’s a very British thing to do. I like British things, so why not?

The author’s wrist. The photo doesn’t do the color confusion justice. Are those veins blue? Purple? Green? Alien?

I began by borrowing Color Me a Season, available for free with Kindle Unlimited. It starts, like almost everything on fashion and beauty color analysis, by determining if you’re a cool or warm tone. For some people, it’s easy. Just look at your veins: blue means you’re cool and green means you’re warm. Mine were blue and green. Teal? Which precise point on the inside wrist was I supposed to be looking at? If you can’t decipher your vein hue, do the silver/gold test. Which blends and looks better? I couldn’t tell, although I leaned toward silver. Was that after years of reinforcement and training my eye to prefer silver? I have a couple of pieces of gold toned jewelry, and it looks nice on me. I just avoid purchasing it unless the piece is particularly pretty otherwise.

Once again, I was stumped. I skimmed two more books on seasonal color analysis, then took to Google. Google told me that there were three undertones to skin: cool, warm, and neutral. A revelation! I might be a neutral! A couple of quizzes later, I was convinced of it. The Bustle questionnaire was straightforward and complimentary, and full of information. Popsugar’s quiz gave percentages of warm and cool, but ultimately classified me as cool.

It explained so much. It now made sense, the conflicting opinions on white versus ivory, gold or silver, and why I received compliments on shirts in various seasonal color palettes.

People with neutral undertones are truly lucky once they embrace it. Their wardrobe palettes are more flexible and they have more choices in cosmetics. The options are open, but that can be overwhelming by itself.

So that left me with a new take on the same problem: how do I figure my season from here?