The ColorBreeze© System
Before I talk about my ColorBreeze system, I want to go back to Albert Munsell'steachings. Some of you may be aware of artist Albert Munsell’s Color Tree, which was created over 100 years ago. Many industries, including most color analysis systems, still follow his theory of color, and ColorBreeze is no exception.
I found this tree helpful in my own understanding the color seasons. See where certain colors sit on his tree. Yellow is at the top, since it is lighter in value than blue, which is at the bottom. Pure yellow based colors, like Springs, is always lighter in value than pure blue based colors, like Winters.
Warm colors are on the right; cool colors are on the left. And all the variations of these qualities inserted in various spots among the branches.
Since I love to do makeovers, I did one on Munsell's tree! This one is for my ColorBreeze (Advanced Level) theory.
See my ColorBreeze version below. Note: my version does not claim to follow Munsell’s theory exactly. While Munsell refers to specific colors, I refer to specific seasons. As you know, seasons are a mix of all types of colors, values and chroma. But with regards to Munsell’s three traits of color - chroma, value and color- I created a tree that best represents where I feel each season would sit within that tree.
When I discovered there were many more “Soft” seasons than any other dominant trait (like Deep, Light, Warm, etc.) I really tried to understand why. Here is what I found: (the short version).
Notice the two lightest seasons, The Light Spring and the Light Summer, are at the very top of the tree. The deepest Autumn and Winter are at the bottom. When you are the lightest season, there isn’t anywhere else to go really. You can go a little warmer or cooler but in general you are at the top of the tree. When you are the deepest, again you can’t really go deeper than deep.
The warmest Autumn and Spring are at on the right side of the tree while the coolest Winter and Summer are on the left.
The clearest, or purest seasons, the Clear Winter and Clear Spring, sit out far on the branch. Think about the sun hitting the leaves that are furthest out on the tree limb. Those leaves, whether they are high at the top or down at the bottom, will get the most light so therefore they are the brightest, purest and most saturated of seasons.
Then there are the Soft’s.
Soft seasons are not the lightest, the deepest, the warmest or the coolest. They certainly aren’t the clearest. Using our tree example, they are close to the center of the tree. The closer it is to the tree trunk, the more ‘grey’ or desaturated it becomes. The sun doesn’t hit the interior of the tree much. This is where the Soft’s reside. There are lighter and deeper soft seasons. There are softs that are more warm than cool (toasted) or more cool than warm (toned).
It is the discovery of these wide range of soft seasons that ColorBreeze© was born! One cannot just be considered ‘Soft’ now and feel they know their season. Are you the lighter or darker, warmer or cooler Soft? ColorBreeze will find the perfect spot for you on the tree.
One benefit of knowing where you sit on the color tree is when you know where you are and who your neighbors are, it’s easier to know when and how to borrow colors from your neighbors. If you are feeling stuck in a season and want to try some new looks but still want to look good, a season close to you on the tree will be a better bet for borrowing some of their colors or even trying to mimic their look.
For example, I’m a Warm Autumn. If I want to change my look a little, I will first look to my sister season, the Warm Spring. I can lighten/brighten my hair and choose some warm spring colors for some accents (Too much brightness on me though is not good, especially makeup). When I want a much more toned down look I opt for some Soft Autumn colors. I can even borrow some Deep Autumn colors if I really want to. But if I were to try to mimic any kind of Summer or Winter looks, I’d just disappear in them. The colors would take center stage not me.
The ColorBreeze© System benefits:
The ColorBreeze system is the most accurate system available (well, it was, but I made my last, final advancements with my "ColorBreeze Complete" system. You can learn more about that from the "Learn" page). Not only does it find the perfect season for more people, it shows you exactly on Munsell's color tree where you are. As a result, you can borrow colors or looks from your neigboring seasons!
One of the things I hear from color analysis critics, is that it "puts people in a box". While I disagree with this statement (I think it opens up a whole new world to people, a world where they know what will help them look their best), now people who might feel restricted, can jump out of the box! Experimenting with some different looks is fun. But knowing the best ones to try will ensure you still look your best.
The 'new' seasons in my system only relate to the Soft seasons. The remaining original 12 seasons remain exactly the same.