I came across something recently about why people make systems that differ from seasonal systems and personally found it hilarious. In this person's mind, the only reason why people split from the established seasonal system is greed. Considering the amount of time, money, and effort it takes to do custom color palettes I feel that this person is operating on some assumptions that quite frankly are just wrong.
When people ask me what their best color is I wish I could answer them with one simple word. Once I find someone’s skin undertone in the studio, I wish I could tell them every color that worked for them. Doing this would make me very rich, but it would also make me wrong.
Our system is not the easiest, but it’s the system we feel morally good promoting. It isn’t about making a paycheck for us (though we are lucky to make a living doing what we love). This is the thing I wish people understood. As the daughter of the woman who created it, I can tell you that I’ve seen this woman have emotional meltdowns when things weren’t perfect. She spent A LOT of money and time coming up with ebhues™. She did it because she can’t help but strive for answers. It’s what I’ve always admired about my mom. She isn’t stagnant. She is constantly on the search for perfection and helping others (people and animals). This search was and can be difficult, but the thing that keeps her going is pure passion.
I remember when she was doing seasonal color systems. She had a system and mentor she truly believed in. Her mentor had split from the traditional seasonal system and created something with more nuance and complexity that worked for more people. My mom invested completely in this system. After her mentor's tragic death, while my twin and I were still children, I remember driving hours to see the daughter of her mentor. My mom sat with her and tried to help her figure out her mom's printing methods (ultimately to no avail). I saw firsthand my mom's distress as she realized that what she had invested in, was no longer going to work (more about this in her book). This memory haunts me to this day. It has spurred my interest in not just learning ebhues™ but also learning how to maintain the quality of it. I say this because...
Color analysis is not that difficult to understand in theory, some colors work for people and others aren’t as good. In practice, it is sometimes hard to see and is a constant quality control process. Knowing which colors to use, for what, and when is trickier. Knowing which colors to test, creating the colors to test, and even keeping the swatches consistent that people use to find their colors in the world is exceptionally difficult (and emotionally draining tbh). Every single swatch, test board, mineral DIY test color, and makeup color is hand mixed, tested, retested, and verified by at least 4 different eyes now.
For us, the consultation doesn’t end after we find your undertones, that’s just the beginning. We learn about your interests and goals so that your palettes reflect not only who you are NOW but also who you want to be. As someone who used to be considered a true summer, I truly could not resonate with the personality of those colors. Many of those colors were right, but once I got not only more undertones but richer, deeper versions of those colors I felt seen. This sounds absurd but it is something commonly expressed by our clients who have had their colors done. My colors have grown over time and the ones I embrace have changed with life, but my undertones remain the same.
There are times when I analyze someone and a random super-warm undertone is a winner in a sea of cool undertones. I feel my stomach twist and I wonder, does this system truly work? I push down the fear that I may have made a mistake, trust my mom really, and put the eyeshadow of matching undertone on, and WOW! The person looks great in it!
We also feel the fear of making mistakes, of doing something that will make our clients unhappy, perhaps selfishly, our reputation is made by our colors and we don’t like being wrong. Long after you’ve left, we’ll go over every moment of that consultation. We analyze what we felt good about and what we should be mindful of in similar situations. We learn so much about our clients and we treasure this information. We do this because we are obsessed with what we do. We do this because we are artists who dabble in science, and we do it because ultimately, we cannot help it.
In a world of rampant greed and dismal opportunism, it is understandable to treat everything with a certain skepticism. So feel free to ask us hard questions. If you’re happy with what you are using then honestly, we are happy for you! However, if you’ve ever wondered why your skin tone isn’t in your palette, or why you can’t wear brown, or why some colors aren’t working for you… check us out. You don’t have to invest in the full system, in fact don’t. For $12 you can find your best undertone in a color group, and we’ll even help you figure it out.
While I wish I was raking in ALL the money, I'm quite content to do work I feel good about with someone I love and believe in. Coming from a background in web design and marketing, it feels good to be biased positively about something instead of manufacturing angles. I don't have to dig deep to find positive things about ebhues™ to talk about, because I see the difference in not only my life, my friend's lives, and my client's life. If anything, my own passion makes it hard to talk to others like you dear reader. Anyone who knows me knows that I'm passionate about what I'm passionate about whether I'm making money off it or not. I have learned a ton using ebhues™ to mix makeup and paint, I know you'll feel good using it and learn something from it too, even if it's just that you can wear yellow, pink, brown, red, etc.
We're going to keep working hard over here mixing colors, even when sometimes we wish we didn't have to work quite so hard doing it. I'm sure other people are doing something similar, and I'm sure that they are just as passionate. No one gets into this particular business to get rich, there are much easier ways of doing that. I know because custom is the antithesis of mass production (aka mass profits). I'm going to learn all I can about color so that this system can last. My mom has dedicated decades of her life to this pursuit, often not making much money (if any). As someone who somehow has found myself bossing Darin around a bit, she's my most dedicated but annoying employee. Her energy goes towards her interests (which are many) and she seldom takes as much vacation as she should. While I'll never work as hard as her (truly impossible), I do work extremely hard. I'm dedicated to making sure each of those swatches you get is truly your best and always will be.
Love you all!