The Influence of Color
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PS Color Analysis

Creating a New Harmonious YOU.

Harmony equals order and balance.  Have you ever worn clothing that was given to you as a gift and it fits well and you like the overall style and design but you just don’t feel good in it?  When you study nature’s color qualities, you will see that there is an ordered relationship in the way the combinations of color are presented. The colors you see in a rainbow create a natural order and a basis for the relationships of color.  Nature gives us seemingly endless harmonious color arrangements.  Artists and designers use different harmonious color schemes depending on the mood or feeling they are trying to convey to the viewer.  But, for our purposes, we will focus on three color harmonies:

1)  Harmonies based on similarity of qualities such as hue, value, or chroma.

2)  Harmonies based on contrast of qualities such as complimentary pairs or light and dark values.

3)  Harmonies that unite color qualities by using both similarity and contrast.

According to Kathryn Kalisz, (Munsell Color Expert and the author of, “Understanding Your Color”), “Beauty will always present itself as one unified whole.”



During the 1800′s in Paris, France, artists started using portable easels and tube paint so they could move their artist studio from indoors to outdoors.  Artists like Claude Monet became fascinated with the effects of light and color on the landscape.  By painting outdoors, they became more aware and sensitive to the effects of light, sunlight on color, the atmosphere, different seasons, and how the time of day changed their perspective. Claude Monet painted, “Impression, Sunrise” in 1872 which prompted critics to label this style and perspective of painting, The Impressionists.  This group of artists included Renoir, Bazille, Sisley, Boudin, Manet, Degas, and others.  The Impressionists led the way to new awareness of color sensitivity and helped to usher in the Modern Art Era.

Claude Monet's Painting, Impression Sunrise, 1872

Claude Monet's, "Impression, Sunrise." 1872

Claude Monet's painting, From His Nymphea Series, Water Lillies, 1914.

Claude Monet's painting, From His Nymphea Series, Water Lilies, 1914.

Claude Monet is one of my favorite artists.  He painted Water Lilies in 1914.  Knowing that my season is a Deep Autumn, you can see how this painting appeals to me because of the colors I love and gravitate towards.  I love nature and am an earthy person so nature themes are my favorite.  You could design an entire room around this painting.

From the Impressionistic movement, evolved the Seasonal Color Theory. The original “Color Me Beautiful” color analysis system in the 1980′s used the four main seasons to create harmonious color schemes for the every day person to refer to when shopping for clothing, makeup, and accessories.  It soon became obvious that many types of skin tones and hair and eye color combinations were not well represented using the simple four color season method. Next came a 12 season (and some even use a 16 season) system that most color analysts use today to be far more accurate for the masses.




Deeper, darker, fiery effects as the landscape changes from blue to gold.  These hues are warmer and are more subdued by nature or are lower in chroma.  Because of their depth, they are located near the inner axis at the dark end of the value scale.

Autumn Color Palette and Swatches.



You will notice sharp contrasts of dark and light.  Beautiful pure hues sparkle on stark white snow and is sharply contrasted against nearly black bare Winter trees.  In the Munsell Color System I use, cool Winter colors are found at the extreme ends of the value scale (both light and dark).  The Winter colors are also found at the outer limits of the chroma scales because of their purity and high intensity.

Winter Color Palette and Swatches.


This season is aglow with a sense of new growth, rebirth, and warm sunshine.  The palette of Spring colors are medium to high in the value scale and far from the center neutral axis because of their brightness and high chroma.

Spring Color Palette and Swatches.



As Spring becomes Summer, the warm Spring hues begin to cool.  As the sun overhead becomes more direct, the hues take on a bluer tone.  Even the greens are bluer.  The Summer colors in nature are softer or more pastel because they are lower in chroma and found nearer to the inside axis.  The Summer palette is light to mid-range in value.

Summer Color Palette and Swatches.


For my basic PSCA assessment, I use the foundational four season approach created by “Color Me Beautiful.” If you have been color analyzed in the past, the 24-30 colors palette you were given will reflect this original seasonal color analysis system.

Original 4 Season Color Analysis System

The 4-Season Color Analysis System is very straightforward.  We must first determine whether you are “warm” or “cool” toned.

Warm – Includes the seasons of Spring and Autumn.

Cool – Includes the seasons of Summer and Winter.

This is determined by draping material that is either warm or cool and watching the effect on the skin.

Then, you test the client to determine the amount of “lightness” or “darkness” in their hair and eye coloring.

Light – Includes the seasons of Spring and Summer.

Dark or Deep – Includes the seasons of Autumn and Winter.

The best choices for the client are determined after using color analysis drapes in various colors, values, and shades. In a fairly short period of time, it will be obvious to both the client and the analyst which season is most appropriate.  This type of analysis is good for those that desire basic guidance and suggestions for their clothing and accessories.  Often, this client already has a good sense of their season already and just wants clarification or confirmation.


Image of personal seasonal color flow chartFor my full PSCA Plus assessment, I use this modern Seasonal Color Analysis as illustrated.  Color analysis systems available today that have credibility and powerful results recognize and acknowledge that each season can have a more precise determination, which will encompass a full range of tones found in all races and nationalities.  Different systems use different terminology and follow different philosophies but all are pretty similar.

Within each season, a predominate color characteristic can be identified: hue, chroma, or value.  These are considered main seasonal characteristics. If you use a system that includes these characteristics along with the distinct seasons, you will find it advantageous and sometimes necessary in order to best assist the client.  Because the focus for this analysis is different than for the 4-Season Color System, we first determine the main characteristic of your coloring, and then figure out your season accordingly.  So we look for Soft, Light, Deep, Cool, Warm, and Clear/Bright first.  The warm or cool aspect is often secondary unless it is the first thing that is noticeable about you.  After these two determinations, it is easier to identify your season.

For instance, let’s say we have determined you are predominately Soft or Muted.  We now know that you are either a Soft Summer or Soft Autumn.  Next, we determine if you are warm, or cool toned.  If you are warm, you will be a Soft Autumn. If you are cool, then you will be a Soft Summer.  With the 12-Season Color Analysis System, you can see that a Soft Summer transitions or flows towards a Soft Autumn.  Soft Summers are sometimes hard to work with!  But, this was my Mother’s profile so I am very familiar with it.  She could wear some of the Soft Autumn colors successfully.

Katie Holmes, a Soft Summer wearing her right colors on the left and wrong colors on the right.


>>  The Dominant Characteristic is SOFT.

>>  The Skin or Coloring is Neutral.  Not Noticeably Warm or Cool.

>>  The Hair is often “Mousy” with No Natural Highlights.  Blah.

>>  Can Have a Heavy Velvety Look.  Often Mistaken For a Winter.

Power Colors: Medium to light Grey, Soft White, Purple, Medium Blue, Raspberry, Deep Rose, light Navy.  Keep it light and muted.

Avoid: Electric Pinks and Blues, Clear bright oranges and corals, Black.

Many women of color were frustrated with the 4-Season Color System because they were always told they were a Winter or Autumn.  Many of these women noticed that the thirty colors in the original 4-Season Color Analysis System did not always work for them.  With the 12-Season Color Analysis System, we determine your predominate characteristic first such as being Soft, Clear, Deep, or Light.  Then we see indicators as to what your season really is.  So, if we do determine you are a Winter: are you a True Winter, Deep Winter, or Clear/Bright Winter? Each of these dominant characteristics has its own set of “Winter” color swatches.

You may notice that if you are a True Winter, your colors transition or flow towards the Cool Hues of Summer. You may find that you can wear some colors from the Cool Summer Palette as well!  Likewise, Deep Winters transition or flow towards Deep Autumn and some of these individuals can actually share some of the colors from the Deep Autumn Palette.

I created this chart because so many of my clients get very confused about the 12-Season System.  A confused client is not a good thing.  We are hired to bring order and clarity.  Obviously, a full PSCA Plus package takes longer than a basic PSCA.  I can usually complete a Virtual Full PSCA Plus in about 3 business days.  Hopefully, this illustration will enhance your knowledge of seasonal color analysis instead of leading you deeper into confusion!

May I Suggest An Excellent Resource…

During my research into the various Color Analysis Systems, I found a wonderful ebook that helped explain the chart above in very simple terms.  I always offer it to my clients that want a clearer understanding.  Occasionally I will review products or books that I find valuable and give you links to places where they can be purchased. Unlike most beauty sites which have links to every product they think they are supposed to be promoting, I will limit them to only items that I think are unique or somehow stand out from the crowd of the overly saturated world of beauty products.

“Color Revival” is now an eBook!

Image of Lora Alexander's eBook Cover, "Color Revival."Instantly download eBook to your computer. No shipping costs, no wait time.

Download to your iPhone or iPad and carry with you when you shop.

All the information of the physical book (plus a few little extras), including full color palettes!




Makeup suggestions, hair color suggestions, and lots more all available to download now!

Get More Details and
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Only $12.95!


My Review of Lora’s eBook…

Lora Alexander is a Certified Color Analyst, licensed Esthetician, Make-Up Artist, and Illustrator.  A very talented woman who gives so much of herself.  She willingly shares on a deep level her love of color and her expertise as a color analyst.  I was excited as I downloaded the eBook.  I knew (because of her great reputation online) and her website that I was in for a treat!  She did not disappoint.  It’s not a skimpy eBook, but 111 pages.  I was very impressed as she designed the book and did all the beautiful illustrations.


Her writing is easy to comprehend and follow.  She has a way of writing where you come to feel as if you know her, personally.  The contents of the eBook are detailed enough that she instructs you and explains what to do in order to analyze yourself and come to the appropriate conclusions.  And yet, it isn’t so long and detailed that you need to set aside an entire afternoon to digest it all!  So, it’s an easy read, attractive eBook that even includes the seasonal color palettes digitally, including the names of the colors so you can be more accurate.


It left me wanting more… Is that a “con”?  Maybe I should buy the book version.

Other reviews of her printed book…..

“This is the best book in print on the 12 Season color analysis system. Step by step instructions for finding your true “Season” (which may not be the one you think it is!) Great color palettes too. Highly recommended!”

-S. Clacks, California

“….If her book had been available when I was desperately searchiing for what colour group I belonged to, I would say I’d have found it with the advice here. She goes into much more subtle nuances of colour and how they often work together, her sensitivity and perception really shines through. This voice is far more like the one to one consultation I received from the counsellor, more intuitive, much deeper and better explained in its approach. I love the sections on how to colour your hair as you age, this is an area that is sadly neglected elsewhere and most hairdressers, despite what magazines suggest, don’t really offer advice, just do what you want them to do.”

-Trish, U.K.

I hope you enjoy it and get as much out of it as I have.



To your success and empowerment,

Deborah A. Ten Brink's Signature