Category Archives: Customized Color Analysis

The Suzanne Caygill Legacy Event, San Francisco, CA Aug 31,2013

This past Saturday, I was lucky enough to attend the Suzanne Caygill Legacy Event to celebrate what would have been Suzanne’s 102nd birthday.  I met so many wonderful people and delighted in all that was shared.  For any readers who wished they could have been present, this post is for you!  (And, if you’re reading this and wondering who on earth Suzanne Caygill is, she was the first person to create custom palettes for clients.  She related the palettes produced to seasons, as well as to personalities and style.)

CoralynnLpalette1977

The palette above, created in 1977, is an example of a Vital Spring.  

Rochele Hirsch, one of the graduates of the Suzanne Caygill Academy,  masterminded this event and brought it to fruition.  (Thank you, again, Rochele!)

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A hand-painted-to-match-a-palette silk scarf!  I thought the idea so lovely I wanted to show you. 

  • Coralynn Lundell of CDI,whose Caygill palette is at the top of this post, brought so many items to put on display I could not believe my eyes.  There was such charm to Suzanne’s promotional materials and in her letters to her students that  I went snap happy in my giddy state. (Click on any item to enlarge to read it.)

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 Suzanne produced a Seasonal (of course) newspaper 

It advertised her services and amused:

funnymanarticleCaygill

I knew nothing of Suzanne’s classes before this event.  Coralyn said that Suzanne was not a teacher – that she didn’t know what a lesson plan was – but she was an INSPIRATION and everyone agreed.  Who else would have a Code of Elegance for their students to abide by?  Have a read.

CaygillCode of Ele1

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We also heard about Suzanne’s Master Class open to those students who had completed her other courses.  In this class, students put together outfits for different occasions and learned things such as how to walk, sit, eat, and write thank you notes -“Finishing school!” as Carla Mathis put it so succinctly.

masterclassSC  A completed form for one outfit.  Note the space to write which gloves would be worn and how the hair would be styled.

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Suzanne also organized evening theater performances!  She would have loved to have been an opera star and music was included in these theatrical events.   Students performed, bringing their Seasons to life!

  • Jennifer Butler spoke about a person’s essence. Suzanne had said to her – before Jennifer studied with her, “I see you’re highly trained, but can you really see who someone is?”  Jennifer related how she has taken Suzanne’s work regarding essence and expanded on it.  Whereas Suzanne had five phrases for each client regarding their essence, Jennifer uses eleven – having added six themes or aspects relating to personal growth. The words or phrases selected are used along with the palette colors in the creation of a client’s vision board.  A handful of the vision boards were shown to us, explaining the process.
  •  Rochele Hirsch paints palettes which allows her to travel and work easily!  She explained, furthermore, that how she mixes the paints tells her which season a client belongs in.  If she’s painting colors as they are, the client is Spring; if she needs to add the complement they are Summer; if she’s adding raw or burnt sienna, they are Autumn; and payne’s gray goes into Winter palettes. (Logical once you hear it, isn’t it?  Well, if you paint!)   Rochele’s healing work has expanded from color analysis to include other health related therapeutics such as something she calls relationship energies.  (See her site for more info / to buy her book.)   At the end of the day, when we chatted  briefly, she was spot-on classifying the dynamics in my family and she deducted it all through intuition!  Eye opening.

(As an aside, I was really surprised how many of the attendees had a connection past or present to complementary medicine and healing:  I felt right at home!)

  • Naomi Tickle spoke of the work she now does…reading faces!  She gave us all quick tools to better understand the personality of anyone we see and gave us two tips regarding dressing clients. One was that clients with larger backs of their heads (from ear to back of head) will wear ethnic jewelry better than others and the other was that clients with wide faces will have better interactions with people wearing their less bold colors.  You can buy her books on her site if you’re interested to learn more about Personology!

Interspersed throughout the day were “Suzanne Stories.”   Roy Cook, one of the two gentlemen in attendance, shared that he asked Suzanne once, “When looking at a roomful of people, what percentage of their seasons do you know right away?”  Her answer, he says, was a credit to her integrity.  She had replied, “I can guess.  But only about 3% with certainty.”

  •  Carla Mathis of Body Beautiful talked of writing The Triumph of Individual Style/Timeless Beauty saying that despite having worked for Suzanne for 18 years, she has no language to explain what Suzanne actually did.  (Coralyn wasn’t kidding when she said Suzanne wasn’t a teacher, eh?)  Then one day, she went to a flower arranging class with a friend and the arrangements were going to be assessed by the teacher on line, movement, rhythm, balance, etc and lo and behold here was the language needed!  She also told us how she has clients use Pinterest to share with her images of things that they love that are not clothing.  From a discussion about these images, she is led to their true identity.  In other news, she has developed a line of paint and is working on a dating site!  Yes, you read that right.  Happy Home Lives courtesy of Carla coming to a city near you, soon!  (Oh, and that’s not her product name, that’s just me being playful.)
  • Bonnie Humiston assisted Suzanne for six years in NYC and spoke to us of the similarities between the Feldenkrais body work that she does and personal colors. Both increase an individual’s self awareness.  Feldenkrais  does this through movement, and she had us all do a seated exercise to demonstrate just how easily and quickly it works.  Bonnie had also worked as a psychotherapist and she said when she learned color analysis she wanted to tell people, ” Go get your colors done! It will save you five years of therapy!”  Colors balance our systems.  Earlier in the day, Carla had mentioned that Suzanne seemed to FEEL personal colors, that she could do people’s colors in poor lighting.  Bonnie talked of color as a vibration.  If she needs fabric in a particular color, she paints the desired color and takes that paint swatch to the fabric store.  She can then feel very quickly if the fabric she needs is for sale there or not, as if it is there then she feels the vibration of the color she has painted aligning with the color fabric she is wanting to buy!  (And to think friends think I have done a 180 and left energy work behind.  Ha!)
  • Beverley Cole from New Zealand spoke of her career path through makeup and color and now to Fashion Feng Shui, which helps people dress to attract the dreams of their life. She explained the five energies/elements/archetypes and how to you encompass more of the energy you want in your life, you must incorporate more of it in your dress/home to attract it.  Online workshops and certification training are available and if you’re ever in New Zealand she’s got an amazing B&B to fortify your soul!
  • Marilyn Allen, not a student but an admirer of Suzanne and a big believer in the healing that is done with color harmony, gave us the most wonderful pep talk (as only a former school principal/current director of marketing/ Spring-y type could)  to keep this profession going strong.  I’ll do nothing else, Marilyn!!!

Happy Birthday, Suzanne!  That was a beautiful event, held in your honor.

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Why Custom Palettes Choke Up their Owners

We’ve all had glimpses of our best colors in trying on clothing. But most of us haven’t seen all our best colors laid out together at once, on beautiful fabric.  When clients receive their palettes, they’re often quite emotional.  I’m both used to the response and astounded by it. Each time it reminds me that my work is fun; my work is pretty; and my work is deeply personal.  A customized color palette may seem a fun luxury but there is so much more to it.  Usually clients realize this – it really hits them – when they get their palette in the mail.

Here are the reasons I think a personalized palette can bring tears to a client’s eyes and a mixture of emotions to their heart:

1.  A custom palette is you in color form.  It’s got the physical parts of you that you love in it, and none of the parts you might wish were different.  (This is the meta-you. No wrinkles, no spots, not a hair out of place…the perfect YOU.)  You can see and accept your physical beauty much more easily when it’s presented in color form.

2. Your palette is not fleeting.  It’s there for you to study, hold and cherish.

3. It’s what you’ve been trying to find (your BEST colors!) and wondering about and now it’s here and it’s even more incredible than you could have ever imagined.  The sweet delight is a bit overwhelming.

4.  You’ve never known yourself or nurtured yourself in this way.  You’ve never seen how beautiful and unique YOU are.

5.  Now that you see YOU, you’re more sure of yourself than ever before. You feel enriched, empowered, beautiful and smart (for making such an investment).

6.  You “grow” in knowing your colors. You understand yourself better.  You can live more fully, more beautifully.

7.  You’ve honored yourself: your palette connects you to YOU, deeply.

Of course, as time passes the familiarity of the custom palette overtakes the novelty of ownership.  But along with the style guidelines that come with a palette, the woman can create a cohesive, winning wardrobe and the novelty of that never wears off!  The palette is still treasured and serves as a gentle reminder that our outer physical self, just like the rest of our body/mind/spirit deserves and is, in fact, enhanced by recognition, respect and a deeper understanding.

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Edited on 8/13/13 to add a message I received from a mom across the country who had ordered an online palette for her teen daughter:

“SHE GOT HER FAN TODAY!!! She was blown away and is totally in love with it. She immediately held it to her heart and just cradled it lovingly while she absorbed it all. She was almost wordless as she caressed every single wand individually, just processing each color like she was committing it to memory.

It was so precious to watch her as she mentally and emotionally connected this beautiful fan with her own being. She looked up at me and said, “Mom, am I really this beautiful?”. There are no words to describe the feeling that was in my heart at that moment as tears freely ran down my cheeks. “Yes, you truly are that beautiful!”

There was then a very definite shift in her as she allowed this colorful proof of her beauty to become a part of her self-image. I could literally see the level of her confidence and self-acceptance increase. You are a color angel!

She now has clothes all over the bed going through them. It’s truly amazing to me to see firsthand just how powerful seeing one’s self in living color really is! It truly answers the age old question we all have. Who am I?”

This left me feeling very, very committed to my mission: https://beautyvalued.com/mission/

What Information Comes with an Online (or In-person) Color Analysis? Part One

I send all my clients a document explaining how to use their palette to assess their current wardrobe and for future shopping.  It’s not as simple as “Toss everything you have that is NOT in these colors! ”  No, no.  Your palette contains your BEST colors but you also have plenty of ok colors, and I want you to salvage as much as you can from your wardrobe that is good.  I advise how to do this.  I  also want you to remove your worst colors from your wardrobe and you’ll learn how to do this.  (Note: during an in-person analysis I usually can’t resist but show a client her/his worst colors, saying as nicely as I can, “Please never wear these colors.”)

An online color analysis does not include a formal in-depth style consultation but I do include some guidelines.   If you just wear your colors but not in your style, you won’t look great. The “ok” clothes you’re salvaging need to be great styles for you.  If I need more photos to formulate my style thoughts, I ask for them!

I also add personalized information. This might include where a client has more wiggle room with color and where they do not.  (Most of us have a hue or two we do really well in.)   I offer suggested garment purchases and information about color combining where relevant – more about that in part two.

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This online client had an incredible array of fantastic “colors” that worked on her.  But neutrals?  They were not forthcoming, and she was relieved when I told her that as she’d suspected it herself.  I included her best traditional neutrals and suggested she use her medium dark purples as neutrals too.  Doesn’t she look beautiful?

So to give you a taste of how my personalized comments read, here are my personalized comments for Elmo: ElmoPalette - Edited

(Oh, and if you missed it, go  here for his original custom analysis!)

Elmo,

1) You may use your body color (your reds), as part of prints or in details.  A mechanic’s jumpsuit in your body colors will lead to an Emperor Has No Clothes effect, and this would negate you coming to have your colors done. On the other hand a Hawaiian shirt with a touch of your reds in it would work nicely.  Red as part of an accessory is also good – like red shoelaces.

2) Ideas for purchases to build a working wardrobe:

For formal speaking occasions:

  • Dress shoes in your blacks
  • Dress shirt in your whites
  • Dress shorts in your blues or purples
  • bow ties in your greens
  • Satchel in your oranges/yellows

For every day frivolities:

  • Converse or retro sneakers in your yellows or greens
  • Graphic T shirts or Hawaiian shirts in any combination of colors – just not a red background or you’ll look like you have a tattoo not a top on
  • Pants with medium -large geometric designs – stripes, polka dots, etc or a fun, large crisp print, airplanes, for instance
  • Casual back pants are an alternative to jeans if you are wearing a lot of color elsewhere
  • Socks in any of your colors including red if you MUST wear socks with sandals
  • Backpack in any of your colors, especially a bold mix with clearly outlined shapes

I told Elmo to keep in touch and to feel free to email me with any questions! (Note: I told the same thing to his similarly but not quite identically colored Elm friends and family in this post, where I demonstrated pictorially why creatures with the same skin tones but different hair or nose(!) colors need customized palettes!)

I always want to be learning and if clients ask me something I don’t know it’s WONDERFUL to figure it out and build on my knowledge.  If you ask me something I do know, it’s a fast, easy reply.  And, I like to keep in touch.

 

The 10 Items Every Woman Should Own

Personal stylists often write a list of the top ten items that they believe every woman should own.  Often it includes a  white shirt, a black dress, a trench coat…. items too generic in taste for my liking in terms of color, lifestyle and individual style.

Here is my list:

1) A piece of jewelry of great sentimental value – and who cares if it is costume or real?

opal - Edited (1)Mine is an opal ring from my grandmother. 

2) A pair of shoes that make her feet SMILE.

naotred - EditedI wear these Naot sandals at home in place of slippers.  

3) An item she loves so much she’d like to buy more in her favorite colors (or have them made) and for this to be her uniform.

prairie cloak hoodie assortment collage

Prairie Underground Cloak Hoodie (in organic cotton) would be my choice

4) A hand bag that sits right on her shoulder….and is just the right size.

5) A fabulous find from a second hand store that no one can believe she found “there”!

6) A secret weapon for bad hair days.

hairtye

For some this might be a hat, headband or turban.  For me, it’s the common hair tie.

 7) A handmade or re-fashioned item: a necklace, a scarf…maybe a sweater?

8) A customized hand selected palette of her best colors

myrevpalette

Mine

9) Personalized style guidelines from an expert or a lot of self study

And the last thing she should own?

10) Her unique beauty (which will be a cinch after 1-9)

Tell me about some of the items you have on this list!  And, does this list feel right to you or how would you change it?  I’d love to know.

The Gift of the Gab…and why Hair Color Matters

Since you last saw Elmo for his customized color analysis, his friends have been here to see me.  (I take it Elmo liked learning his best colors through his completely custom hand picked color analysis.)

You’ll note his friends and family have the same fur color but different nose color. You can pretend that fur = skin and nose = hair, ok?

Here is Elmo’s cousin, Elma, with her “Bag of Skittles” palette:

ElmaPalette - Edited

This is his neighbor, Elme, and his “Golden Rainbow” palette:

ElmyPalette - Edited

This is his online friend, Elmi,  with her “Tropical Holiday” palette:

ElmuPalette - Edited

Finally, this is his Great Aunt Elmu , whose nose is badly dyed.  While she grows out the color this is her palette.   I call it  “Condiment City”:

ElmePalette - Edited

When she lets the gray grow in (or do Elms go glittery silver? – I should have asked), then we’ll modify her palette.

Want to see all the palettes together? 

ElmaeoiuProject - Edited

They all have the same color fur (and the same eye colors) yet their best colors vary.

More on hair dyeing soon….. People are a bit more complex than Elms. Not everything changes for people.

AhairT07

I use at LEAST one strip of fabric swatches for a client’s hair. The variation in it is important.

How I do Color Analysis. Simplified.

When yesterday’s client turned up I was a little surprised.

elmodoor

My client explained he had come because he’d decided he wanted to wear clothes. And he wanted to do it right:  he wanted to honor his natural coloring, and maximize his beauty even when hiding some of his body under clothes.  It all sounded perfectly reasonable to me.

ElmoChair - Edited

I explained how I do my analysis.  I start with finding what we call body colors.  In his case this means:

  • the color of his face and body fur – which match
  • the color of his nose –  which is different
  • the color of his eyes – both the pupil and the whites of the eyes as they’re so big, and, finally,
  • the inside of his mouth – as it’s always open.

That took us here:

elmo - Edited (1)

I selected:

  • the whitest of whites
  • a strip of bright reds that caught every nuance of his fur
  • blacks that ranged from nearly black to darkest black (mirroring the range from his pupils to his mouth); and
  • a strip of oranges that best reflected what I saw in (not literally) his nose.

Then, after his body colors were chosen I went through the rainbow, selecting other colors that harmonized with these.  His palette was quite simple.  Only 8 strips of color in all. (Truth be told I’ve never given anyone such a small palette, but then again, I’ve never had such a small, colorful, client.)  And here it is:

ElmoPalette - Edited

This palette is called Toucan.

Stay tuned…Elmo’s wants to DYE HIS NOSE. (What? ?? Get over it! You dye your HAIR!)  You don’t want to miss that post and how it affects the colors in his palette, do you?  

Didn’t think so.  After all, color analysis isn’t just about FUR color.