12 Blueprints vs older methods
In my previous post I mentioned that Personal Color Analysis is a process of measuring natural human pigmentation. In 12 Blueprints method, I use for this purpose a set of 112 drapes, carefully selected and calibrated with Sci\ART palettes. I measure temperature of individual’s natural coloring (warm, neutral, cool), its lightness/darkness range and intensity of pigmentation. Parameters identified this way are translated into a color palette that harmonizes with the person in the most beautiful way. Repeating these colors in clothing, makeup and hair color gives her (or his) look the most natural and appealing effect.
Skin is the most important factor in 12 Blueprints system. It is the biggest and the most color reactive surface of a body. Understanding of biology of sight and its importance to color analysis have advanced tremendously in the past 20 years. The aim of PCA is to find the color palette that makes skin look the healthiest, the freshest and the youngest. In comparison to older, more stereotypical methods, hair and eye color are secondary factors and they do not determine a Season. Now we know that every Tone can have every eye and hair color.
Human eye recognizes colors best by comparison. This is why color analysis process involves comparison of drapes in different colors to the natural pigmentation of a client. When she (or he) sits in front of the mirror, I stand behind her and change drapes under her face. At the beginning I clarify what exactly we are going to look at and during the analysis I explain what we see happening in the mirror. I want her to see with her own eyes why some drapes are better than others, to understand how we get to the best Season and to get the benefits of using these colors.
We start with 4 Key Drapes which represent the most characteristic colors of Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn. At this stage we study the face and learn how it reacts to colors. No Seasons decisions yet.
The next stage is about the True Seasons. I use 4 sets of drapes (5 colors each) belonging to True Winter, True Spring, True Summer and True Autumn. Every time we compare 2 Seasons and decide which one is better. We might (but don’t have to) start eliminating less flattering ones at this point.
In the next step we concentrate on narrowing down only one parameter of client’s pigmentation – hue (temperature). With 4 sets of 4 drapes in different versions of red we try to identify if the undertone is warm, warm neutral, cool neutral or cool. The worst option is eliminated.
The rest of the analysis is about comparing drapes (5 colors in each set) of all the Seasons that have not been eliminated in any way so far. Every comparison involves looking at 2 Seasons and eliminating 1 of them until we are left with only 1 Season – the best one.
How long does it all take?
As you can see, the analysis process is thorough and therefore time consuming. It typically takes about 2 hours. In addition, I spend some time on the theory, discussion about the characteristics of chosen Season, color palettes harmonization tips, makeup and client’s questions. It is good to assume 3-4 hours for the whole session. I recommend to my clients not to plan anything right after, in case it takes a little longer. My goal is to give them knowledge and tools to improve their lives. I always regret if we have to wrap up in a hurry leaving them confused and with unanswered questions.
Is 12 Blueprints method 100% accurate?
The short answer is: no, not 100%. However, in comparison to other methods the margin of error is dramatically reduced. It is thanks to using full spectrum lights, elimination of color distractions that can influence analysis (background, covers of both client and analyst) and removing barriers to get to the correct result (makeup, analysis from pictures). There is still a human factor though, which properly trained, has to correctly read and interpret interactions between a face and the drapes. Perhaps some day we’ll develop technology which will do it instead of us and perfectly right.