A Soft Autumn Case Study
April 30, 2010 by Christine Scaman
You find yourself telling this person your dreams.
They integrate Autumn’s open minded acceptance of new personalities and ideas and Summer’s gentle kindness. Autumn’s very natural disposition, completely without airs or pretense, is still here but tempered to lessen the more abrupt honesty. One feels so comfortable in this presence that our own masks and guards fall away. There is no threat, no tension, and no judgement.
For us all, our best appearance happens when our truest inside is projected on the outside. We find a profound peace in that place. The Soft Autumn’s eyes/skin/hair are of similar colour intensity, which is to say very muted. There are 2 concepts here and we wish to repeat both in personal decoration:
- The colours of the hair/skin/eyes are themselves very muted and soft.
- The transitions between the colours are very muted and soft.
Hair color analysis
For both Soft Seasons, the natural hair colour can be a medium gray-brown. These women feel much more alive with hair colour. Done right, it can amplify everything sensual, almost organic, about this palette.
Hair that’s too pale and yellow, the ubiquitous blonde highlight of which there are too many out there, doesn’t even look like their hair. For too many of us, it began as a few highlights, and pretty soon nobody can remember when they weren’t blond.
Too dark is very severe. It competes with the skin, and wins, setting up shadows and aging effects.
They often have a copper subtlety in the hair or freckles in the skin, and someone along the way will have suggested some shade of red. This can be wildy successful, but red is also tough to get perfect from a bottle. It has to be extremely gentle, so the viewer isn’t even sure if it’s there. Full on True Autumn’s molten, burnished heat isn’t here yet. This is the end of September. (See How The 5 Autumns Add Brown To Hair Colour)
Don’t get frustrated with the hair colour, it is the biggest struggle of all. It takes most of us 4 times to get a shade where we go to the colorist and just say “same as last time”. You really do learn interesting things with each hair attempt. This hair (actually the same colour as in the first picture) may be a bit dark and red, but it has found the warm copper in her eyes. Nobody can do metallic color in the eye except Autumn and it is remarkable. You’d want to keep some of that, either in the hair or in clothes.
The color mistakes
1. Black. It is dark, cold, heavy, dense, everything this group is NOT about. Even black mascara looks fake. Their better-than-black is milk chocolate or maybe a bit darker.
2. White. Stark and draining, it adds years. Like black, white is at the extreme end of the contrast scale, in opposition to the basic concepts of this coloring. Their neutral opportunities are enormous, with the coolness and heat both present. From eggshell and sand, through buff, honey, and caramel, mocha, dove grey, endless choices.
3. Dark lines. Eyeliner, lipliner, eyebrows, any sharp colour transitions. All you see is the dark line. The most dominant colour block will draw the eye. Everything else will recede. Dark lines in makeup, like dark details in clothes, look severe and aging.This Season looks very good in flesh and nude tone lips. On most coloring groups, lips need more definition to add youth on mature faces. Here, softer tones look warm, glowing, and natural even on older women, since that is the basic energy of the group.
4. Avoiding the feminity. Though they certainly look more Autumn, their nature is nurturing. Rather than the soothing feel of Summer, this trait is more about fostering and encouraging the growth and happiness of those they love, very womanly aspects. Their husbands have stopped asking who they’re making asparagus quiche for this week. They know the SPCA staff by first names. Heirloom “it was my grandmother’s” jewelry or floral prints combine the more Autumn personal colour palette with these very loving, deeply female characteristics.
5. Only using metals in jewelry. Antique and vintage jewelry, heirlooms, pearls, hair accessories with flowers or natural beads and stones or scarves are fabulous here. Even textured metal is inherently hard, though it certainly can work in soft gold and copper.
6. Missing out on a gentle bronzer. Their look is not made up. It is natural and real. Bronzer can be so flattering and warming. Much of what’s out there is dark, red, orange, or dull. This should be a light golden tan colour.
You’ll be wanting to know what lip colours the model is wearing. The first picture is Bobbi Brown Rose Brown. The second is Chanel Incognito. You’re not staring at the makeup, right? It is neither stronger or weaker than the face. The skin is calm, even, and real. The harmony between who she is inside, how that is depicted in the color story on the outside, and the all the colors she has added is so perfect that it becomes fascinating. An effort is required to pull your eyes away from hers.
We all have about 4 lipsticks that will look custom-colored for our face – more if you get into subtleties, but most of us would be beyond happy with 4 perfects. A Neutral Season, with both warmth and coolness, can play with this in makeup color (the Colour Analysis cosmetic colours are precisely rendered in the Colours Book, easy to match at the makeup counter). A warm pink is one of Soft Autumn’s choices. A more orange (but not peach, this is an earthy Season) light terracotta, is the other, the pink-orange of a flowerpot in the late afternoon sun. Lips like these cost the industry big coin and a lot of Photoshopping.
We wondered about eyeglass frames. This is an old pair she sometimes wears.
How about these choices?
These frames repeats the copper-red now in the hair, so effective at intensifying eye colour. There are no hard horizontal lines to diminish a large round eye. There are no hard lines or corners at all.
Great shade of copper. Softened frame shape. A little groovy chic with the upward flare of the corners, a nice soft flowing curved line (the Summer element integrated! coincidence? I think not). Not heavy at the temples. Unobtrusive but elegant, delicate but strong, an addition to the woman rather than a fight for attention.
In our model’s own words
Anyone who has experienced a Colour Analysis learns that looking your most beautiful and genuine is not about what you do or don’t spend. It is about what you do or don’t buy.
My friend is a writer and an eloquent communicator. She sent me these thoughts (you can read her comments in full on the Testimonials page):
In a culture eager to financially capitalize on women’s (and increasingly men’s) insecurities, we are constantly vulnerable to manipulation by the clothing and cosmetic industries. Christine’s analysis brings a halt to this grinding exploitation. Equipped with a new way of looking at color; with, in fact, utterly retrained vision, we are able to say “no” to that which does not serve our authentic selves. And when we say “yes,” it is with self-assurance devoid of indecision and guilt.
Christine often mentions how wearing our true colors makes it easier and more relaxing for others to engage with us. There is an ease; a sense of effortlessness; a lack of obtrusive striving for that which does not inherently belong. I think we all want to experience this “naturalness of expression” in our both our professional and personal lives. We’d like to give it and to receive it; we are social animals, after all. Christine offers the gift of this life-changing awareness. It is a shift-of-consciousness that is transforming and freeing, all at once.