Soft Autumn Darkness Adjustments
June 24, 2011 by Christine Scaman
Every Season makes darkness adjustments for hair colour one woman at a time. There will always be individuals who don’t look right in the median colour, and fare better along the outer edges of the curve. I love hair colour that looks believable, like it happened by itself, and that flatters the skin to the utmost. This is when the viewer feels most relaxed.
Depending on depth of complexion, personal taste, and occasion, cosmetic darkness is adjusted too, though always staying inside the personal colour palette of the Season, and aiming for the same goals as with the hair.
In 12 Tone personal colour analysis, Soft Autumn is the name given to the type of natural colouring that contains colours mostly characteristic of the Autumn group, but cooled and grayed by a smaller measure of Summer.
In previous posts on Soft Autumn hair colour, I showed a coppery apricot colour as being quite lovely. In every Season, many hair colours are not only possible, but better and righter. Sometimes the freckle colour is the perfect highlight, even in the Dark Autumn or further out in the Autumn family, at Dark Winter.
Soft Autumn is a typical Neutral Season in that they have a range of warmer and cooler colours, but none fully warm or cool. The value (meaning, Light>>Dark) range that perfects the skin has some movement too, though never extends to extremes of either one for the Soft Seasons. What this woman strives for most importantly is very muted, soft colour. Muted and warm, that is, because maximally muted (greyed) and cooled belongs to Soft Summer, peanut shell and misty mauve respectively.
The element of coolness means that they are not especially orange-tolerating. Hair and freckling can skew the perception. The woman above (all 3 photos) has many apricot brown freckles. She adds those colours to her hair, giving a warmer appearance, as you see in the lower photo where natural medium warm brown and apricot highlight are visible. She can wear soft golden-oranges beautifully in makeup as long as they’re not very dark. Regardless of hair colour, darkness in makeup is a caution point for Soft Autumn, often appearing darker than expected from the pencil or tube colour.
Some Soft Autumns are harder to imagine in apricot, like Kate Moss, who does not seem orangey at all. (I only know she gives a Soft Autumn impression). Though the blonde that Charlize Theron wears well never flatters her, and warm blonde does, she is neither very orange or dark. Some of these seem almost too orange. She can do more darkness and warmth than we usually see and look far more interesting with less paint. This feels just beyond the upper darkness limit where colour is being pulled from the skin.
Kate Moss has smaller, sharper features and wears darker hair better than what we normally see, but does not do very dark so well. This is a good gallery. 6 and 8 seem very good, while the rest make your insides tense up. Or, go back even farther.
The less well blonde works, the more Autumn presence there may be. Kathie Lee is a good example of a woman who was beautiful with deeper, warmer hair colour.
Google Kelly Macdonald. Though you’d think she’d be better in the lighter warm brown hair, I prefer the darker. Many have a naturally quite dark hair colour. They might be expected to be darker Autumn, but they’re drained out by those drapes. On Kelly, orange hair is overheated, not as good as a more neutral brown.
On Kelly, we again see those sharper features that are more often seen (by me) in Soft Summer, where the facial architecture resembles Candice Bergen’s who is probably a Summer of some sort. Soft Autumn usually carries more squared, slightly blunted features like Claire Danes, but there is interchangeability in this. Is that to go with Autumn’s blunter personality? I never said that. I would go as far as direct.
I wonder if so many models are Soft Autumns because their very medium-ness of colouring makes them versatile and that particular bone structure is so pretty when it shows up in this Season. Molly Sims, Drew Barrymore, Gisele – it’s in the fine nose, high round cheekbones, defined jaw, and feminine mouth. The example of Rene Russo came up on Facebook recently, and I can’t think of a better illustration of this combination of facial geometry and colouring.
There was a request for a formal look for Soft Autumn. I visited my latest happy place and made this. Our Polyvore craze has been a great thing. In practicing to be my own Season (Dark Winter), I didn’t realize how capably I had learned to exclude everything else. Now, the DW imprint is strong in my head. It is high time to reopen the windows to register the many choices on the shopping landscape.
Maybe you will think, those colours are all too similar. When I do this, I’m essentially following the guidelines of your natural colouring, how it feels to look at you. I dress you as you already are, to be consistent with the light you already emanate. On Soft Seasons, there are no big jumps from one colour to the next. Transitions exist, but as the eye moves from the skin to hair to eyes, it doesn’t encounter anything bold or sudden in the colours themselves or how they are combined.
The purse is the warm hair highlight. The lighter woman might choose from the right side, the darker from the left. The darker shoes could be worn by any of the three Autumn Seasons. The metals are not very hot. I love wood, shell, and muted bead on Soft Autumns, in keeping with the female-earthy feel. Natural fibers and textures are fabulously good on them, which drew me to the linen-and-flax feeling of the jacket, but it might be too casual for this ensemble.
Pearls? I love femininity on Soft Autumn. In this regard, Summer leaves a strong trace. The curve-hugging rippling fabric of the dress…. But everything is very medium. There are no extremes, the swatches all hug the center in Warm>>Cool (but tipping over to warm) and Light>>Dark. Only saturation is low and soft.
Colouring hair may enable wearing warmer or cooler choices from the Neutral Season swatches, but you’d still stay within that Season’s own colour menu or the skin’s perfection will pay a price. I do not believe that anyone can convincingly and flatteringly colour her hair to take her outside her Season. I know for a fact that many will disagree. OK.
Recreate the light you already cast. Make the wavelengths you add be synchronous with the ones you are. To the viewer, it feels effortless as floating.