I am a wild woman living in the Wild West, I like to conjure up images of Calamity Jane or Annie Oakley in my mind. I’m blessed to live in Arizona surrounded by the dramatic desert and the contrasting vivid blue sky above. It is a land and state of extremes, in so many ways, which I have come to love. I share my love of Arizona, not necessarily my love of the dramatic, with my husband. We have a poodle named Jasper who we affectionately refer to as the international dog of mystery, since he accompanied us on many adventures while living abroad.
As a political science major, I am fascinated by the subtle and not so subtle ways that color can affect people’s reaction to you and your message. 80% of human experience is filtered through eyes; color or the lack thereof, becomes critical.
My obsession with color analysis really began when I was in high school. I bought all of the color books and personal style books over the years-trying to diagnose my correct season. I tried countless lip colors holding various colored tops, staring intently into the mirror. I changed my hair often- color and cuts- and I was mostly trying to match my hair to my makeup and clothes. Talk about an endless cycle reminiscent of a hamster wheel. This continued well into my 40’s.
France beat it out of me…well, I should say the French made me come to realize the error of my ways. I found myself living in the south of France and I was so sick of being told by hairstylists that I shouldn’t bleach my hair out to platinum. They never got it bleached to the right level, or used the right toner. So when a new stylist actually flat out refused to color my hair, I left very angry and began to think about my options…
I was going to be in France for a while because my husband had taken an assignment overseas. So, I could keep being frustrated by their inability to get the color right, or I could just make it brown again. I thought the latter would be easier and save more of my time and money, which could be better spent exploring! So, I went back to the stylist who refused to bleach my hair and told her in my best “caveman French” that I wanted to take my hair back to its natural color. I left with it brown.
I have not colored my hair since my original 12Blueprints color analysis which was in Spring 2015. I can’t say that I’m not tempted-shiny black and pure white are especially appealing to me, but I am at peace with my natural coloring and I feel more balanced and centered.
I actually went to have my color analysis done in Norway by Jorunn, before taking my color analysis training with Christine in Ontario. I wanted to see what it was all about and decide for myself if I wanted to turn my obsession into a possible career. Taking the leap to do the training and purchase the drapes was a big investment. I decided on my ferry ride back to the airport that this had been life changing for me. Somehow, a light bulb went off- I was so tired of spending money on clothes and makeup and hair color, trying to be something that was NOT authentic to ME. There had to be others out there too who could benefit from this.
Training with Christine was incredibly challenging and rewarding, sometimes at the same time! It was color baptism by fire; you will get out of it what you put into it. For me it was exhausting but in a good way, how you feel after climbing for hours and then you reach the summit. Much of the learning during training takes place after the models have gone and you begin processing the subtleties and nuances of what you saw in your mind.
Perhaps the most difficult model of all for me during training was my mother. Difficult because I had to try and look at her not as my mother but as a potential client. Christine says the hardest people to analyze are those who we are closest to-so true. I guess it makes sense because we have ideas about how this person should look and how we see the person in our lives. We end up projecting our thoughts onto the process unless we take a step back.
Turns out my Mom was a Soft Autumn, when all along I had been telling her she was most likely a winter; based on the old notion that she had dark hair in her youth and brown eyes and fair skin. How horrible I felt as the drapes began to reveal autumn! The visible difference was huge between even the test drapes. I cried when I saw her in her soft autumn colors and her proper lip stick color- she was how she was meant to be! Gone were the dark heavy bricks of black and too cool shades of hot pink, replaced by a chocolate brown and soft pink-peach. We went out that afternoon in Ontario during my lunch break and bought some t-shirts and lipstick in her best colors. A year and a half later she has stopped dying her hair dark brown- and she looks so much softer and happier! You really can’t tell someone’s season without draping!
I believe you accompany each client on their color journey. You can’t help but feel their frustrations when a drape makes them look tired, or even sad. You share in their joy when they see the right colors properly define and accentuate their face right before their very eyes. It is very rewarding!
My business name is Couleur Comme Ca. My friends in France tell me the name means “So What…Color”, or “Color, Whatever.” They didn’t understand why I would name my business that.
I said, “because color matters, that’s why!” It really does matter.
The Many Hairstyles/Colors of Andrea Over the Years!