Like the first book more than a decade ago, this updated guide will change your outlook on life. The concepts you'll find here will give you the right tools to make the right choices at home and in the store. If you haven't organized your closet for a while or find yourself unsure about what to buy, this is the book for you. This handy guide provides a springboard to the concepts, colors, and regiments that can make you look your best. Inside, you'll find great new information and perspectives ... and a few all-new colors too.
The Color Me Beautiful concepts have been refined and developed to give you more flexibility than ever before. The author has blended two all-new color concepts, warm and cool, with our tried-and-true Four Seasons color palettes--Winter, Summer, Autumn, and Spring--to help you better understand and choose the right shades for you. Do you color your hair? Well, then we've got you covered. Do you need to update your makeup? This is the place to learn how to do it. Do you need some direction when shopping for clothes? We give you ideas on how to wear colors in ways you never have before. Discover our revolutionary approach to color analysis and learn how you can Reinvent Yourself with Color Me Beautiful!
If you are like me and first became familiar with the Color Me Beautiful system of Seasonal Color analysis (Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter) back in the 80's you may have felt like you didn't quite "fit" into one of the four seasons. You weren't alone, other color analysts estimate that only 25% of the population is a true representative of one season, the majority of us have coloring that is more like 80% one season with 20% from another. So in the early 1990's CMB expanded their seasons to 12 - there were three types within each season. For instance instead of just Spring there were now Light Spring, Warm Spring, and Clear Spring, each with their own expanded color palette. With 12 possibilities, you were much more likely to find your true colors.
Now, CMB has gone back to the old four season system with this new release. Why? The 12 season system may be a little more complicated and take a little bit more time to master, but it is so much better! Fortunately, there are still resources out there. Instead of this book, I'd recommend Color Revival Color Revival: Understanding the 12 Season Color Analysis System (Volume 1) and one of the Color Me Beautiful books on the 12 Season system that is still in print, Looking Your Best Color Me Beautiful's Looking Your Best: Color, Makeup and Style You'll be glad you went to the extra effort to find your REAL season.
Richmond uses the four-season system popularized by the original Color Me Beautiful for classifying women's coloring. First, she describes the hair colors, eye colors, and skin tones associated with either 'warm' or 'cool' types. This section could have used more illustrations, particularly for the skin tone descriptions which I didn't find clear at all. Then she divides the 'cool' types into summer and winter and the 'warm' types into spring and autumn based on whether hair color is light or dark. Each seasonal type is described next to a palette of 40 or so swatches. If you're not sure where you fit into the seasons, I doubt this section will help you figure it out. There aren't enough models, and most of the models seem to have been chosen as pure examples of their seasons. They include a few Latinas and a few African-Americans, but don't even represent the full range of Caucasian types (much less those of any other race).
The rest of the book contains a chart that lists particular shades of basic colors suited to each season, a guide to makeup colors by season, a guide to jewelry by season, a guide to hair colors by season, and some notes on colors for eyewear, handbags, and shoes. There are also sections on skin care and applying makeup. These could have been cut; there's no information in them that a book dedicated to the subject wouldn't cover in more depth. The same thing goes for the wardrobe and style advice; it's probably nothing you haven't heard before. (A scarf is a 'cheap and easy way to add sophistication to any outfit.' Who knew?)
If it's not obvious from the above, Richmond isn't going for any cross-gender appeal. A man could probably apply the basic principles, but all the models are women, and all the style advice is targeted toward women.
How useful this book is to you is partly going to depend on how snugly you fit into the four-season scheme. I personally don't think it's a coincidence that the only white non-Hispanic brunette models have either a) extremely pale porcelain complexions or b) hair that is almost red. I doubt I'm the only person who finds the winter colors all wrong and the autumn colors overall too hot and intense. If you can't really pull off either hot pink or mustard yellow, you may be better off looking elsewhere. The 12-season system from Color Me Beautiful's Looking Your Best works better for me at least, but none of these systems seems to be perfect.
Overall, I can't really recommend this book. If you do prefer the four-season system, the sections on makeup and accessories are probably worth looking over, but the presentation of the basic principles could be clearer and better illustrated, and the beauty routine and style advice is just padding in an already short book.
I've given this book two stars for the decent color palettes. Color blocks are large and clear. But this book repeats information in previous Color Me Beautiful books, especially in Carole Jackson's original, and offers nothing new except a revision of a system that has been applied to people of all races and geographical areas, and now applies to fewer people than ever before.
The genius of Carole Jackson's original Color Me Beautiful is in presenting a system of four palettes, each distinguished by three factors: cool or warm, clear or muted, and light or deep. In all three of her books, Jackson also offers advice to fair and darker subtypes in each season. But the photo illustrations feature mostly Caucasians and no other races among the Springs and Summers.
Subsequent CMB books, and the latest is no exception, have marginalized other races more comprehensively, declaring that only Autumns and Winters may be found among races other than Caucasian. That observation contradicts not only other books on the seasonal and similar color-type theories, not only visual demonstrations you can see online, but also my personal experience. (My sister-in-law is Chinese, I'm descended from northern Europeans, she looks better than I do in stronger colors, but we are both Summers. Neither of us looks good in black, and she does look good in soft pastels.)
Reinvent Yourself with CMB also contradicts itself--for instance, stating in one place that your skin tone never changes as you age, and in another place that your skin tone may change from warm to cool as you age. This book also contains errors such as the claim that cool people have blue pigment in their skin, or the claim that blue eyes turn gray as they lose their blue pigment. As the author of a book on human coloring should know, cool-toned skin reflects a shortage of warm pigment, and blue eyes reflect a lack of any pigment. Nobody has blue pigment in their irises or skin!
Finally, this book sometimes borrows too freely from Carole Jackson's original. The author claims to present "all-new color concepts, warm and cool" (these concepts were old when Carole Jackson first presented them, and at least she acknowledged her source). On page 52 the author summarizes seasonal coloring by comparing it to images of the seasons in nature. The same images, along with some of the same phrases, appear on page 11 of Jackson's original. On page 115 of the new book, a chart of neutrals and basic colors for each season is copied from Jackson's original, with Jackson's color names instead of the newer color names on the palettes. None of the color names in this book are really new--those not in Jackson's books may be found in Spillane and Sherlock's Looking Your Best.
In short, CMB's latest book may be helpful to those who fit the narrow categories presented here, but it's a disappointment to me and I'm afraid will be a disappointment to anyone familiar with previous CMB books.
I only gave the book 4 stars because:
1. To purchase the complete color pallet it costs $35. Bummer!
2. I thought the book was going to give me a simple answer, make me confident and feel beautiful. However, it made me ask more questions than get answers.
Before reading this book, I thought I was a winter person because I preferred bright colors, black and white, and silver jewelry. From what I read in the book, it looks like I might be an autumn, wearing browns, greens, and beige colors with gold jewelry. Thus, the confusion.
I think skin is the most difficult part to determine, especially as you age. The book did not help me a lot in that area.
I'm slowly leaning toward being an autumn, but not completely convinced.
What the book did do is open my eyes. I now research and carefully choose colors based on the information I read.
I purchased this book hoping it would be Color Me Beautiful for the 21st century and instead I found a more rigid version of the original book from the 80's. For example the author states if there is any blonde in your brunette hair you cannot wear winter colors. Well it would be hard for me to find a brunette winter that didn't put some blonde highlights in her hair over the age of 35. Dark brunette solid haircolor and white skin is harsh and aging and why can't a Summer season have brown eyes? Or have some warmth put in her ash hair for depth? I find this black and white (or should I say warm and cool) thinking to be totally passe. I gave it 2 stars as a reference replacement to my original Color me Beautiful book that was chewed up by the dog.