A Soft Autumn Case Study

April 30, 2010 by  

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:

  1. The colours of the hair/skin/eyes are themselves very muted and soft.
  2. 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.

Lipstick

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.

Eyeglass Frames

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.

Comments

55 Responses to “A Soft Autumn Case Study”

  1. denise on April 30th, 2010 6:24 pm

    Christine, This article was really helpful for me. I was mis-typed (Sci/Art) as a Soft Autumn and later correctly typed as a Bright Winter. Seeing these pictures helps me understand what may have happened. My eyes are my best feature and look incredible in soft autumn colors. And my skin gets a very even look. Unfortunately it’s an unnatural/unhealthy yellow. In soft autumn colors my eyes look great and my skin either looks yellow or flat.

    My skin never looked as beautiful as Adriane’s does in any soft autumn color.

    The soft autumn personality profile is a natural match to how I approach my work as a spiritual guide. Although bright winter suits the workshop leader/teacher/presenter part of my work. I’m still exploring what bright winter might mean for me as spiritual guide. I do feel subtle differences in how much easier relationships feel when I’m wearing my right colors.

    This is fascinating and transformative work you are doing!!

  2. Rachel on April 30th, 2010 9:28 pm

    Wow! Wonderful to see you do a Soft Autumn. Adriane is a vision in these colors. I can’t stop looking.

    I just ordered the B.B. Rose Brown after examining additional images of it. (I risk buying colors without trying them because I have little time to shop.) I’m searching for my perfect Soft Autumn lip color, but haven’t yet found it. Some, like Maybelline’s Desert Bloom, are a tad too pink and too light; some, like E.L.F. Malt Shake & E.L. Vintage Mauve, are a smidge too warm.

    One color that *is* perfect, but only if I apply a teeny tiny bit of it, is Revlon’s Raisin Rage. So I’m dreaming of a less intense version of that shade. Is it just me, or does B.B. Rose Brown look like it might fit that description? And do you have an opinion whether a hypothetical Raisin Rage Lite would be appropriate for a Soft Autumn? If doesn’t strike you as a Soft Autumn color, perhaps my two virtual analyses were incorrect (*sigh*) …

  3. Ineke on May 2nd, 2010 12:52 am

    That is interesting Denise. I was also mis-typed as a Soft Autumn (Caygill system and Pretty your world) but when I had a proper draping consult, I came out as a Cool Winter.
    It makes you wonder how accurate all these systems are……

  4. Christine Scaman on May 2nd, 2010 3:17 am

    Denise,

    As much we try to make PCA completely objective, there is always an element of human interpretation that can’t be removed. Slight degrees of neutrality (coolness+warmth) in the skin can be confusing. There are many times that we have to look at a draping result and think 3 things
    - is there a yellow, grey, or some other undesirable cast
    - if I could erase that unwanted color, is there something good this color offers, like an easing of the lines, for instance
    - I usually ignore the eyes until much later in the process; it’s very easy to connect the brown drapes with any brown eyes, or the turquoise drapes with blue

    In the article, Jocelyn Is A Bright Winter, a similar thing happened as did with you. Bright Winters often have lighter colors in their body than True Winter. Though her eyes are black-brown in right colors, in True Autumn and Soft Autumn’s browns, the lighter browns were connecting with the eyes.

    Ineke,

    It can happen. I suppose, as with a doctor trying to diagnose every single patient correctly, as long as the analyst gets 90% or more correct, that may not be unrealistic until this is done by robots or skin spectrophotometry.

    One might think, how on earth does a Soft Autumn get confused for a Winter, but I have a daughter who is very much that type. Until her hair is physically covered in grey, her real Season could easily be missed. My husband is also a True Winter, with the same reddish hair but a much softer brown eye than our daughter. You can see him at http://www.agreenertea.com/meet-the-family/

    Which system coded you as Cool Winter?

  5. Ineke on May 2nd, 2010 8:11 am

    Christine, the lady who analyzed me, Katlyn from Belgium, didn’t use one specific system. When I contacted her to make an appointment, this is what she emailed me
    ……… This way I’ll get a first impression of which type you might be: this can be an absolute type (spring, summer, autumn, winter) or it also might be that you are a mixed type (cool, warm, soft, clear, light, deep). After this, I’ll put 30 drapes of your season on you (or the drapes of two seasons if you’re a mixed type) to get a clear vision of your palette, with top (wow) colors, neutrals and accent colors. This method will also make clear a possible dominance within the 12 seasonal system. I work with two systems: a ten seasonal (autumn, spring, winter, cool, warm, soft, clear, light, deep) and a twelve seasonal (spring: clear, light or warm, summer: light, cool or soft, autumn: warm, deep or soft, and winter: cool, clear or deep). It depends on the person which palette I use.
    It turned out that I need cool and clear colors, but some Winter colors are too deep and some contrast is too high. However, Summer colors were too muted. Luckily she made some photo’s of the draping process, so that I could look back on it and see for myself how colors works! I’m very happy that I met this lady. She was able to let go “the rules” and she made me a perfect fan. I have been analyzed so many times – you wouldn’t believe! – and with so many different systems, but this elimination process with the drapes was the best.

  6. denise on May 2nd, 2010 7:13 pm

    Ineke, I’ve also been analyzed many times – winter, summer, golden summer, spring, soft autumn, high contrast summer. I think Christine is right that neutral skins are confusing. Maybe other systems work fine for the 4 true seasons, but not so well for the rest of us.

    Christine, I’ve felt that winter was closest but I definitely have lighter colors than the true winter, as you said about bright winters. Bright winter makes sense to me, and was clearly best when I was draped. I love the resulting simplicity.

    Rachel, when I thought I was a soft autumn, I liked Clinique’s Golden Brandy lipstick. I don’t know if it would work for a real soft autumn, It might be worth a look or Christine might have a better read on it.

  7. Tina on May 3rd, 2010 5:18 pm

    Christine, it is great to see a Soft Autumn. Adriane looks great in the green/olive. I can see those glasses frames working for her.

    I too am a Sci\Art analysed Soft Autumn. While I can see some similarities as I too am quite fair I am much more ‘golden’ in colouring & eyebrows a bit more distinctive. I have that metallic (amber) look in my hair & olive/green eyes you mentioned.

    I’m not sure if the lipsticks Adriane are wearing are my colours. A lot of Rose Browns don’t have enough warmth for me. Some lipsticks I find are great that other Soft Autumns might like are Mac Honey Flower & Plastique, Estee Lauder Burnished Bronze & Tiger Eye and Loreal Lipgloss in Mocha Obsession & Everlasting Melon.

    For glasses, gold frames or tortoise shell or apricot/light copper are good.

  8. Ineke on May 3rd, 2010 11:41 pm

    Denise, I don’t have neutral skin: I’m a cool winter!
    Never the less, some color consultants have analyzed me as warm.
    I believe this is the consequence when you use a method where your body colors (hair, skin, eyes and lips) are taken in consideration.
    It’s also because some color consultants stick to what they have been taught and don’t have an open mind to other possibilities. For instance, when you test black on me, you know that this is an avoid color for me. Many have been taught that when a person can’t wear black, he/she can’t be a winter.
    So, they move over to another season -most of them put me in summer- but sometimes that is a warm season. It depends on the system they use. Systems that are based on wearing your natural body colors, like Body Beautiful by Carla Mathis, or the Suzanne Caygill method, are the ones that turn out to be the most inaccurate.
    Well, for me anyway…..

  9. denise on May 5th, 2010 6:38 pm

    You’re right about cool winters not being neutral – that shoots down that theory ! (smile) I think you’re probably right that the color’s effects on skin is harder to see when distracted by eyes or hair. My eyes have warmth and black is an iffy color for me too even though my hair is extremely dark, black is too strong for my skin when I wear it near my face. Body Beautful put me in muted summery colors and Caygill called me a spring.

    Interesting. . . .

  10. Ashley on May 6th, 2010 4:53 am

    Are the Soft seasons absolutely low-contrast seasons, or can they handle some contrast?

  11. Christine Scaman on May 6th, 2010 2:56 pm

    Ashley,

    Do you mean in the way they combine colours? Or in the colours themselves?

    The Soft Seasons have the colours that are of lowest saturation, much more greyed (very easy to see with Soft Summer, harder to appreciate when looking at Soft Autumn’s palette). Some might call that low contrast, but I realize that you understand the difference.

    When they wear colours together, how much contrast between the colour blocks? Well, certainly some, in that they don’t wear a flow of analogous colour as well as True Summer. They mix different hues together better. Since every colour in their palette has the same degree of saturation, almost any combination will still automatically work. They can even wear their darkest hues with their lightest, since the darks are not extreme, and it doesn’t set up a very sharp contrast. I still think they look better in their lightest or darkest tones worn with a mid-range tone.

  12. Caroline on May 26th, 2010 7:23 am

    I’m on the warm side of soft autumn and I don’t suit rosy lip colors either. I’ve been wearing MAC Freckletone, which is soft and warm and subtle. Sometimes I wear NARS Belle de Jour, which is similar to Freckletone but a tad lighter.

    Any recommendations for a light golden tan bronzer?

  13. Tina on May 31st, 2010 3:40 am

    Caroline, I’m also a Soft Autumn on the warm side and rosy lip colours are no good for me either. I’ve seen MAC Freckletone and thought it looked good but have never actually tried it, but I think I will check it out. I have & love MAC Honey Flower and Estee Lauder Burnished Bronze.

    Interested to hear any Bronzers Christine recommends but I use Clinique Bronzer in 02 Sunkissed. I’m fair and it suits my skin.

  14. Paula on May 31st, 2010 3:42 am

    Hello,
    I was wondering about my season for a long time, and I have a question. I’m typed as summer (don’t know which subtype) and was sure that it’s my type after all. but then one day I was trying on glasses and all the pastels like grey, lilac, light blue looked very bad on my face (although they seem to work as a blouse or scarf). I looked best in brown frames – I’m not sure if it was cool brown, at least not typically. All in all, I have mousy hair and eyebrows, blue eyes (some say it’s grey-blue, some say that it is the purest blue. they are very bright), pale complexion, and freckles. Sunbathing doesn’t seem to work for me,I stay white or get freckles. can you help please :)?

  15. Christine Scaman on June 1st, 2010 1:59 pm

    Tina,

    I like a peach-gold bronzer on the Lights and Springs. I like a tan-honey on Autumn, Rimmel Sun Bronze is a good one.

    Honey Flower is sheer in its deposit, but I have it on my Dark Autumn list. There’s a big personal preference component to this, of course.

    Paula,

    I wish I could help, but even if you sent me a perfect photo, I cannot tell you your Season. I only do the analysis in person. Have you visited Lora at http://www.prettyyourworld.com? She is very good. She used to do the analysis online for clients from a photo (for a fee, of course), not sure if she still does. She posts lots of great celebrity photographs and articles, may be very helpful to you.

  16. Paula on June 2nd, 2010 4:54 am

    thanks. I will look at this site. But I wonder if it is possible that a summer would look better in brown frames than pastel pink, blue or grey? and what about dilated capillaries, if I’m a summer? rosy colours make it more visible. why some people offer an analysis from a photo and you don’t? I mean, is it reliable from a picture? best wishes!

  17. Tina on June 5th, 2010 10:11 pm

    Christine, yes MAC Honey Flower has an element of sheerness so perhaps that’s why it looks good on me (as an analysed Sci\Art Soft Autumn). Even though you have it for Dark Autumn I don’t find it dark on me at all. In fact I have used it all within 4 months so obviously a colour that works for me. I think this is very telling that it is a good colour for me. I mean how many lipsticks do we think will be good but end up hardly using because it’s not quite right.

    With regards to bronzer I need some goldness in it (as I am golden) but not peachy. The colours need to be earthy.

  18. susanne on June 6th, 2010 9:28 pm

    Adrienne looks like a Soft Summer to me.

  19. Christine Scaman on June 11th, 2010 4:50 am

    Susanne,

    If Soft Summer is Jennifer Aniston, does Adriane feel warmer than that? But not as warm or dark as Susan Sarandon? Somewhere in between?

  20. Rachel on June 26th, 2010 6:58 pm

    Soft Autumn ladies: Bobbi Brown Rose Brown, shown on the model in the first photo, is perfection. I ordered it in May and I’m halfway through the tube. I use it on lips and cheeks both.

  21. Cynthia on July 31st, 2010 8:53 am

    Christine, I love this case study! This is really what it’s all about, isn’t it? Although your descriptions are beautiful, it makes all the difference seeing all the different aspects of appearance: makeup, clothing, eyeglasses, put together with a person. Can you do this with Soft Summer?

  22. Lena on March 6th, 2011 5:34 pm

    Thank´s for this great article!
    I bought Bobbi Brown Rose Brown.. and I love it. (I’m a soft autumn, too.)

  23. Shannon on May 27th, 2011 10:42 pm

    Hi Christine! I was recently typed as a soft autumn by a lovely image consultant in Sacramento, CA and for whatever reason, I forgot to ask an important question. Im wondering what are a few complimentary hair colors for this season? My natural color is a mousy medium brown, though I have been coloring it to cover gray hair. I love reds and browns, but look positively horrid blond. Any suggestions?

  24. Christine Scaman on May 30th, 2011 8:42 am

    Shannon,

    Stick with your own base colour, or maybe a shade or two lighter. That will set the darkness level. Like Soft Summer, the highlight should not be a big departure from the base, that’s what the Soft Seasons are all about, no sudden jumps. The highlight has warmth to it, as toffee or warm apricot, but not as dark or red as copper. Maybe the lightest copper. Often, the colour they call golden blond is about right. Visit Rachel at http://www.truth-is-beauty.com and look through her photos for your Season. She has a variety of beautiful choices.

  25. Shannon on May 30th, 2011 11:36 am

    Thank you Christine! I keep making the mistake of coloring my own hair. It consistently goes too dark and too red. I definitely think copper is more suited to me than red, and the only time I have managed to get that tone was when I went to my mother’s stylist and she did a light chestnut with some butterscotch highlights. When I was little my hair was a light honey blond, but darkened with age. I am still adjusting to my season as my wardrobe prior to my draping, consisted mostly of black and bright greens and purples. In your article about SA jewelry, you have a young lady wearing a cross as an example of soft autumn features, and her features are very similar to mine! I will check out Rachel’s site. Thank you for the information! :)

  26. Shannon on May 30th, 2011 12:03 pm

    Truth is beauty lists Kelly Macdonald as a soft autumn and out of all the examples, her coloring is the most like mine. In fact, almost exactly like mine, so I think I’ll thumb through some of her pictures for hair inspiration. :)

  27. sid on October 18th, 2011 6:06 pm

    Personally, based on the photos you have provided, I would say you are not a soft (muted) autumn, because you’re coloring is clearly warm, not neutral. I’d say you are a warm summer!

  28. sid on October 18th, 2011 6:10 pm

    Or perhaps I mean a warm autumn or warm spring, you’ve definitely got an overall warm tone to your coloring

  29. Christine Scaman on October 20th, 2011 2:01 pm

    Sid,

    You’re 100% right that this woman is more warm than cool. According to how the Sci\ART palettes proportion warm and cool, her colouring was not AS warm as True Autumn. The amount of heat that matched her perfectly was in the Soft Autumn. I’m not sure what Warm Summer is, but you know…in many ways, Soft Autumn IS Warm Summer. As you noticed, some amount of Summer had to be there. Sometimes, we are all saying the same thing using different words because different companies put different names on the groups, but the colour palettes we have in our head are similar.

  30. jezseeca on January 6th, 2012 6:15 pm

    This was so helpful. As an SA, changing my hair colour to a coppery apricot has done wonders. it really brightened me up. And now i notice that i have the same color in my eyes (Even though they are green). I also want to thank-you for mentioning Clinique’s “Mocha Pink” for a blush– it’s perfect. blush was always so difficult for me before. I also use a bronzer in a light dusting (i actually use a darker colored face powder in a honey-tan color). Do you have any nail polish recs for SA? i have a lot of trouble finding the right reds or pinks, and so i usually just do clear to be safe.

  31. Christine Scaman on January 8th, 2012 6:16 am

    Jez,
    I don’t do nail polish, I’m afraid, just not enough time.

  32. Lena on January 30th, 2012 5:17 pm

    I am a Soft Autumn. For years I hunted for a good, inexpensive lipstick that wasn’t too harsh for my muted coloring. I finally found one – L’Oreal’s Colour Riche “Tender Pink”. It is a lovely soft brownish pink that suits me perfectly.

  33. Lea Beck on February 20th, 2012 10:16 am

    Hi, hope all is well. I was wondering if a deep autumn can have peachy pink cheeks? I have a orange brown ring around my pupils, then a clear green color & then a medium gray blue. I have ivory skin with golden tones & tan to a rich golden brown. I was told by a dermatoogist that I have an olive complexion. My skin actually picks up some colors I wear. My hair is medium brown with gold highlights. But the few greys that I have pulled out are silver!! So I have warm & cool tones to my eyes & hair. I have some pink tones to my skin, but the gold rules. I have not been analyzed before. Some people think I look better in softer colors. Some in deeper colors. Could I be a deep autumn that flows into the Winter season if I have peachy pink cheeks? Thanks for your comments!!

  34. Christine Scaman on February 20th, 2012 3:16 pm

    Lea, You could be any Season, but your observation of peach pink cheeks wouldn’t be usual for DA. They look bronzy or often have a skin that’s all similar colour, as Winters do. You don’t sound like you have the darkness in hair and eyes that a Dark does.

  35. Sheila Beck on February 21st, 2012 11:42 am

    One more question, please. Does any autumn season, especially soft autumn, have peachy pink cheeks? If not, I am suspecting I am a spring. At least I will have it narrowed down to the different springs.
    Thanks much for your help with this!

  36. Sheila Beck on February 21st, 2012 11:43 am

    By the way, you can call me Sheila or Lea. They are both mine.

  37. Christine Scaman on February 24th, 2012 3:12 pm

    Sheila, Yes, I know some SA with peachy pink cheeks. Maybe Miley Cyrus or Catherine Deneuve. They’re in big supply. The bigger question is first, what you see in your head when you say peach – pink (may not be the same as in my head), and more confusing, I could say that BSp, TSp, L Sp, L Su, and SA could be said to have that colouring in the cheeks.

  38. Maja on February 25th, 2012 1:02 am

    I think this would be a nice soft autumn feeling too, right?

    http://wallpaper.goodfon.com/image/273252-1366×768.jpg

  39. Christine Scaman on March 1st, 2012 3:46 pm

    Wow, Maja, that’s actually very impressive. The line of colour warmth that divides SA and S Su can be difficult to grasp, often people assume S Su is warmer than it is. This photo is phenomenal, and more so because there are so many neutral beige and grey type colours, the heat level of those being often very hard to gauge.

  40. Nicki on March 20th, 2012 9:28 pm

    Hi, is this case study mainly about soft autumns or autumns in general? Because you state that black is too severe so I was wondering if I’m an autumn because of my dark brown hair, black eyebrows and brown eyes? I had my hair dyed an auburn-ish colour and this has warmed up my complexion and almost looks natural if it weren’t for the black eyebrows. For reference I’m NC25-30 in Mac foundations, I have mild rosacea on the cheeks and warm undertones (mostly green veins on forearm). Black hair makes me look pale and sickly and caramel blonde/ light brown makes me look dull unless I’m tanned. I look good with my natural dark brown colour and even better with more warm tones in it. Would you classify me as an autumn?

  41. Christine Scaman on March 21st, 2012 2:31 pm

    Honestly, Nicki, I can’t tell Season from verbal descriptions or even if you sent me a million pics. I do it with drapes. There are 3 Autumns and anyone of them can have quite dark hair. Hair colour, eyebrow colour, foundation colour – none of them are relevant to what Season you are. Some Light Springs have quite dark eyebrows and look fantastic. They make a mistake when they bleach them. The article above is mostly about SA but some will apply to all A.

  42. Candi on March 28th, 2012 4:09 pm

    I am a soft autumn and I have dark blonde hair with highlights. I am getting the highlights touched up in a couple of weeks, but I always wonder how I would look without such light highlights. I also wonder if my hair is just too light for being an autumn.

  43. Christine Scaman on April 2nd, 2012 11:09 am

    Candice -there are no rules about natural hair colour and Season. If Nature gave it to you, it will be perfect. Nobody is coloured by anything less than a perfect and precise palette predetermined in your DNA. You were coded to match. Now, if you wanted to add a little detail, highlights are fine. In this Season, many look beautiful in toffee coloured highlights. And many others just look best in their own hair colour.

  44. Jenny on August 10th, 2012 1:41 am

    I’ve been analysed as a SA. Does anyone know of any colours within the Bare Minerals makeup range that would be suitable for a Soft Autumn such as a lipstick or eyeshadow colour?

  45. Maiju on August 20th, 2012 10:41 pm

    I’m confused with my colouring. I have very dark hazel eyes (brown in the middle, dark olive and greyish dark olive rings). As a child my hair was very light ash blond/golden blond and about my twenties it darkened and now (I’m 29) it is mousy light brown with some golden highlights. My skin is light beige, I think it’s pretty neutral. I have freckles in my nose and cheeks (at summer) I tan pretty an doesn’t ever sunburn. Also gold and silver jewellery fits me and veins in my wrists are green and blue, or purple? I like to wear muted colours. I have always thought that I’m an autumn, but I’m not sure. Deep beach colour looks weird on me. I still think that I’m more warm than cool? Could I be a soft autumn?

  46. Christine Scaman on August 22nd, 2012 6:46 am

    Maiju – you could certainly, easily be SA. It would seem you’re some kind of Neutral Season, but sometimes the drapes show you things in yourself you never expected and didn’t know were there.

  47. Maiju on August 23rd, 2012 12:49 pm

    Thank you for the answer. I really feel that I’m SA, but of course I’m not sure. I would love to be analysed. I hope it will be possible in future.

    I love to read these articles!

  48. kiny mccarrick on August 24th, 2012 9:39 am

    I just wanted to say hello. I too am confused about my color. Pink undertones (nose and chin), green veins, freckles, ash medium dark natural hair, blue green eyes (gold flecks) that change with what I wear… The older I get without makeup I feel I have no color at all. I have tanish arms and chest, burn easily and pale white legs with maybe a yellowish tone. White looks horrible on me. I am all of a sudden obsessed with figuring out what looks good on me. I can’t pinpoint my tones, they seem all over the place.

  49. Beth Holmes on March 20th, 2013 8:03 am

    Great article. I love Bobbie Brown’s Italian Rose and have been wearing for several years — it was used by the makeup artists at a makeover I did, and I think it’s soft autumn. I was recently typed as a soft autumn by Nikki at My Color Rx. I had always thought I was a Winter so this was big shock to me. Now reading some of the earlier commenters I certainly hope that I really am a soft autumn. I have confidence in Nikki though, but she was deciding between two that were close — of course I forgot to ask her which the other one was! I’ll e-mail her. Anyway, I always thought I had bluish undertones because I’d been typed as a blue undertone when I wore Prescriptives makeup. I also have medium brown darker hair than a lot of other soft autums — of course when Nikki drapped me I had the grey scarf on my head, I do have freckles and hazel eyes so that may be what’s making me a neutral. I look awful in Summer’s muted colors, but the autumn soft colors do seem to be suiting me. I’ve been getting “you look great in that color” comments.

  50. Bettsi on March 22nd, 2013 4:16 pm

    Christine, sometimes I feel I’ve read everything on your website, but this case study is the thing I come back to again and again. This is a really lovely description of SA.

    I just want to comment that in my experience, the color analysts with the best “eye” are usually Winters. I realize that is a subjective observation, but I often wonder if it’s because they have the gift of judgement and can wear black and white. I hope that doesn’t sound crazy!

    Anyway, thank you so much for all of your amazing observations and word illustrations- you have given me so much insight! I wish I could get out and up to visit you from California to have a proper draping.

  51. Christine Scaman on March 25th, 2013 3:32 am

    Bettsi, I also wonder why so many analysts are Winter. I can’t imagine that we see colour better than anyone else. Maybe we’re more Yes/No in our judgments. I agree that it’s an odd thing. Now that students are being trained, I hope that we can even the spread a little better.

  52. Courtney on July 17th, 2013 11:20 am

    In your opinion do most soft autumns have oval faces? Lately it seems most soft autumns have that face shape.

  53. Christine Scaman on July 18th, 2013 10:24 am

    Many do, Courtney. But many don’t. Catherine Deneuve does. Barbara Walters has another shape very common to Autumn, which is square, equally long as wide…and interesting the whole head seems that way, equally deep as well, like an even cube. The Olsen twins are rounder.

  54. Tara on September 15th, 2013 11:51 pm

    I loved this case study and the woman above is a beautiful Soft Autumn. I know this is an old post, but I have a question about Soft Autumn. But, before I ask I’d like to give a little more info on my situation first. I feel I may be a soft autumn, but I have never been analyzed professionally as one. If I had to compare myself to a celebrity as an example, I would say I look similar to a Katherine Heigl type, with or without a tan. I am naturally very fair and quite neutral in undertone. My eyes are a medium warm brown. My natural haircolor is a medium ash brown, yet I bleach it to light blonde. I do not look great in black and pure white looks off on me. The issue I have, is that I am not the natural type. I am far too dramatic with makeup and false eyelashes, fake tan, and enjoy my bleached blonde hair. lol. I really love this palette and feel it best suits me more than any other palette. Silly as it may seem, but is it possible that I am a Soft Autumn and can a Soft Autumn be not as natural as the model and your description above? Thanks. :)

  55. Christine Scaman on September 21st, 2013 1:35 pm

    Hi, Tara,

    There are many kinds of women that fit into every type of colouring – Dramatic, Flamboyant, Romantic. What your real Season is cannot be known without a live in-person experience with correctly coloured drapes. In my opinion, the chance of getting a correct result is highest when done this way, not from photos or verbal descriptions. So, sure, you could be a SA. They tend to look more tawny than Heigl, but it is simply amazing how people in the same Season can look quite differently and how much our natural colouring is altered by hair colour, cosmetics, and photos.

Feel free to leave a comment...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!