Photography: Carla Watkins
I had the pleasure of draping two friends a couple of weekends ago, one of whom is a photographer, hence the brilliant photography! (Thank you Carla!) After an exciting morning we discovered that one was a glorious Winter and the other a super-pretty Summer.
I see them both regularly and actually it’s hard (for me at least) when I see someone regularly not to look at the colours they are wearing and consider what season they might be. What I noticed with my Winter client, prior to the session, was that she consistently wore colours from the Winter palette. She had pretty stereotypical Winter colouring too (very dark brown hair, incredible greeny-brown eyes) and a love of bright colours. She didn’t look washed out (as most do) in the brilliant white cape and the metallic gold drape made her look rather jaundiced, whereas the metallic silver one cleared her skin nicely. It didn’t take me long at all to drape her. I compared Spring and Winter drapes and Winter was a clear winner. I compared Summer and Winter too, just to be sure, and sure enough the Summer drapes made her look as though she had a layer of dust on her face. I tried a few key Autumn drapes to be certain she wasn’t Autumn and sure enough the warmth of the olive green drape (which I’ve never seen look anything but wonderful on an Autumn) made her look sickly.
My Summer client took a little longer to drape. I hadn’t (thankfully) had too much opportunity outside of our session to study her which meant I was able to start with a (mentally) clean slate. I started comparing Spring and Winter drapes and it quickly became apparent they were too bright. The silver Summer metallic drape (top photo, top drape) looked incredibly pretty on her which was my first significant clue. Summer emerged as a clear winner.
When I applied blusher to them both I was astounded by how much of a difference it made and just how ‘in focus’ they looked. Bear in mind that I’m applying blusher to an otherwise make-up free face. What I noticed was that they both looked as though they’d applied mascara (not an unusual phenomenon but one that usually surprises me every time) and their irises looked incredibly sharp against the whites of their eyes. I noticed in particular that (Winter) Carla’s eyes appeared to change colour. Before they looked brown but after the application of a very small amount of blusher (House of Colour’s ‘Soft Burgundy’ no less) I noticed that I could see the green and gold in her eyes too. She looked as though she was wearing foundation, her skin was so very clear. It was astounding and all three of us noticed it and commented on it.
When my Summer client arrived she understandably felt self-conscious without make-up. She made reference to her face and the things she didn’t like about it, and what was deeply pleasing to me was that once blusher was applied her ‘flaws’ completely disappeared, so much so that even she noticed and remarked accordingly. MAC’s Captive (pictured above) and Plumful looked fantastic on her, and I persuaded her to swap her black mascara for navy. I’ve seen her since and it most definitely makes a difference, in her Summer colours she is best described as pretty, which is a very Summer look I think. Winters look amazing in their own way, the word I’d typically use to describe them would be ‘striking’. There is often something quite dramatic about their high-contrast colouring.
My Winter client was thrilled to learn that the electric blue colour she’d been dying the ends of her hair was very much one of her colours, and my Summer client was relieved to hear that the ash blonde highlights she’d been having put in suited her perfectly. It’s especially important for blonde Summers to ensure that the blonde is never yellow-y or brassy (toners are very useful). Warmth must never be added to the hair. Also anything that strays too far from what is believable is best avoided (e.g. dark ash brown might be ‘right’ for a Summer, but it’s quite a leap away from one’s natural hair colour if one is naturally fair-haired).
As is fairly typical (in my experience), both clients turned up wearing exactly the right colours (note Summer Sophie’s blue jumper in the second-to-last photo). I often smile to myself when I hear that my clients have agonised over what to wear to a draping and I always think that they’d be better off looking at what I’m wearing to see if I practice what I preach! 😉