The Language of Style
Go beyond fashion trends and find your inner style.
IlluminEssensce offers one-day
or four-day seminars with
Taylore Sinclaire or one of
her consultants. Call or visit
for up-to-date information.
Join Janet Nadler-Hoffenberg
for an IlluminEssensce event
on April 19. An introduction
to IlluminEssensce is free
from 9:30-11 a.m., or register
for the full-day workshop,
which goes until 4 p.m.
714.444.2564 :: illuminessensce.com
Fashion vs. Style
Fashion is like a tide, coming in and going out, dependent on a mood or a time. It’s about clothes, designers, the kinds of things paraded down runways and those artistically strewn across magazine pages.
Style is like the center of the ocean, evolving slowly with changes beneath it, fine-tuning itself with age and the passage of time. It’s the stuff that can’t be captured in a moment or on a page. It must be lived.
Fashion comes in cycles. Style is constant.
Fashion goes out of fashion. Style is always in fashion.
Fashion costs money. Style doesn’t have to.
Fashion is outside of you; style is in you.
You vs. Not You
Taylore B. Sinclaire has spent a lot of time thinking about these distinctions. As the founder of IlluminEssensce®, a company whose job – no, mission – it is to harness the power of the self in order to project one’s desired appearance on the outside, Sinclaire has spent a lifetime developing one simple maxim: There is no such thing as a makeover from the outside in; there is only beauty from the inside out.
Before you get all eye-rolly, thinking this must be some sort of self-help drivel for the fashion-challenged and under-esteemed, consider that Sinclaire may be onto something – something that doesn’t involve propagating inadequacy in order to encourage people to spend more money, lose more weight and generally be different than they are. Speaking of inadequacy, have you seen this season’s most “wearable” trends? According to two major fashion magazines, they include culottes – yes, those long, baggy shorts also known as “skorts” – a look flattering on exactly no one; and crop tops, which bring out the best in an exceedingly small part of the population on exceedingly rare occasions. Of course, these trends will change; summer 2014 will bring with it a whole new collection of must-have items with which to fill your closet (and on which to spend more money), steadily building a wardrobe that, for most, results in a closet full of clothes and nothing to wear.
The psychology behind this aside, IlluminEssensce is not interested in expanding your wardrobe, or going on extravagant shopping trips, or even telling you what and what not to wear. But you will change, first because of a deeper self-understanding, and then because of an outward shift that expresses itself in external appearance. “I learned very early on that everything, including appearances, is perception,” says Sinclaire. “Reality isn’t some fixed point, it’s only what we perceive it to be. So by changing how we perceive ourselves, we can change our reality.”
This, if you haven’t noticed already, is not your standard makeover. There is no need to starve/sweat/nearly mutilate yourself in order to become skinnier/taller/more (or less) curvy/more (or less) exotic-looking. There is no need to contort yourself into a variety of things you are not in order to wear what’s “fashionable” in that moment.
It’s these misguided ideas that cause Sinclaire to get simultaneously verklempt and hopeful, the former because people buy into them, and the latter because she believes she can help. The goal of IlluminEssensce®, says Sinclaire, is “to align your outer image with your inner essence.” Doing so takes time and patience – two things a credit card and an Internet shopping spree don’t take, notably – and requires an examination of your inner self, not your outer assets. It’s a system that Sinclaire has trademarked, and that homes in on more subtle qualities generated by non-verbal communications and self-empowerment.
With nary a crop top in sight (or even a fashion magazine), Sinclaire transforms people using what she has coined The Science of Human Harmony®. Based on each individual’s “sound” (what Sinclaire refers to as “harmony”), proper application of this unique quality leads to alignment of one’s inner self with the outer world and results in congruity. When the inner self is out of harmony with the outside world, it manifests itself in poor self-image and miscommunication with external people or situations with which we interact. Clothing just doesn’t seem right; relationships suffer; and communications are misinterpreted. “When a person is out of harmony – what we call outside their radiance – you just feel that something is off,” says Sinclaire. “And it has little to do with fashion; it’s about the messages people send unconsciously that others pick up on viscerally.” The fix? To get harmonically toned. Under the IlluminEssensce system, there are four tones, which are used to categorize each individual’s radiance and match them with the clothing, makeup, accessories, hairstyles, and scents that best express an individual’s inner essence.
If all of this sounds a bit abstract – a bit out there – don’t worry, we thought so, too. Which is why we went and did it ourselves.
Temperament vs. Personality
Temperament: the combination of mental, physical and emotional traits of a person; natural predisposition
Personality: the organized pattern of behavioral characteristics of the individual based on the sum total of the physical, mental, emotional, and social characteristics of an individual
In other words, to return to the psychology behind IlluminEssensce, temperament is what one is born with; personality is what’s created throughout one’s lifetime based on an accumulation of experiences and external influences, including family, friends and cultural input. IlluminEssensce is interested in uncovering your temperament – those qualities innate to every individual that are hard (if not impossible) to change. While many people try – and try hard – to change what they perceive to be undesirable about themselves, the result is often confusing, sending incongruous signals to the outside world that cause dissonance and friction. By contrast, accepting these traits and working with them results in alignment and harmony, and enhances an individual’s most positive attributes.
With these basics in mind, Janet Nadler-Hoffenberg, a licensed IlluminEssensce consultant, began the process of toning me. Instead of raiding my closet or examining my body type or skin tone, she began in a relaxed format by making conversation; then watched me walk; held up patented colorless configurations and various objects to my face. After about 15 minutes, she asked me to read a short document to see if it resonated with me. It did. At the risk of sounding like the immediately converted non-skeptic, the description of a Harmonic Tone IV (my tone) described many of my most fundamental traits – my temperament – things that seem to be hard-wired since birth, and the kind of things that resurface time after time, despite my best efforts to correct or change them. They were the kind of characteristics a parent might describe of a child: “Ever since she was a baby, she’s always been quiet,” or, “He has always been impulsive.” Tone IVs do happen to enjoy silence and tend to be the quiet ones, and they are mentally organized and grounded. We’re concise, preferring a few words to many, and direct once a goal has been established. People often perceive us to be unapproachable or aloof or cold, and we can be stubborn when we are off-center. We are defined by stillness of being, which sounded right for someone who prefers reading a book to a party, and the wind blowing through trees over the din of a city.
Once a person’s tone has been established, the real work begins, both internally and externally. Some people find that they resist their tone, believing themselves to be different than what their temperament might suggest. For others, the internal work is more natural, and the process can move to matching one’s inner tone with their outer appearance. But this is not a traditional makeover. There is no color matching or need to replace an entire wardrobe. The different tones resonate with shape, style and, yes, the radiance of a color, but only to the extent that it is in the same vibrational frequency as the person’s inner temperament, or tone. It’s not necessarily an intuitive process, and it takes practice to dress in one’s tone, but the results are helpful in a variety of situations, from career-related goals to relationship-building and everyday social interactions. And, most importantly, in one’s own self-perception.
Tools of the Trade
THE BOOK AND THE LOOK
Every person who gets toned according to IlluminEssensce’s system receives a book describing their harmonic tone. There are a number of tones and each one is distinctly different. The book sets out the basis for IlluminEssensce’s® approach to expressing one’s inner harmony through appearance and goes into detail on the characteristics of each tone’s temperament, from relationships to innate gifts, communication and challenges to overcome. It also taps into the tone’s key words (words to refer to when picking out clothing, for example, but that also define the person’s temperament), flattering clothing, design lines for necklines, pants and skirts, textures and fabrics, patterns and prints, jewelry and other accessories, and hairstyles and makeup. It also explains how to use the Harmonic Tone Fan, a collection of swatches with specific radiance tones, patterns and prints, textures, finishes, and metallics that are unique to each tone.
Every one of the tones has a makeup kit that best expresses the inner essence of the individual. Consisting of blush, two lipsticks, brow color, eye shadow, and lip liner, it’s a starter set for those new to makeup or for those utilizing their new harmony. When it comes to foundation, skin tone is largely irrelevant, except perhaps when deciding how lightly or intensely the makeup should be applied. Color radiances should always be in the same vibrational frequency as the Harmonic Tone Fan – a task much easier said than done, but that's taught in IlluminEssensce's seminars.