Can Eye, Hair, and Skin Colours Conflict?

Answer: No. Never. They can appear to conflict until your colours are correctly analyzed.

I get 3 or 4 emails each month about this. So let’s talk about it, framed around pieces of conversations with real women. It’s the practical application of my digression in the earlier post, How To Match Foundation.

Palette and swatch in this post always refer to colours found within your particular group of colours in the 12 Tone system of colour analysis developed by Kathryn Kalisz. Some of the Tones or Seasons may have similar or identical names with other companies but if their origin isn’t Sci\ART, their colour collections are different. I don’t know how other organizations developed their palettes, what their colours are, or what the desired outcome of their PCA process is. It’s not my place to answer questions about them.

The eye photos in this post are just lovely pictures. They are not textbook examples of the words or the ideas.


Photo: L-O-L-A


If hair/eye colours are not in the palette

I am a Bright Spring with dark brown eyes, dark brown hair, and light skin.

Yes, Spring under Winter influence is often brown eyed, from a glowy topaz jewel yellow to black brown. Many persons of Asian and Celtic origin have this colouring of darkness in hair and eyes and lightness and brightness in skin.

Since this is predominantly Spring, not Winter, the person is sometimes not conspicuously contrasting, though they certainly can be. A brown eye with light skin or hair is fairly contrasting in itself. Sometimes, the Bright Spring eye is so light brown that it’s yellow, like a wolf. It’s quite a thing to see. Or to be, I would think.

It’s this,


Photo: beverlytaz


not this, but notice the coat colours and the eye-coat harmony, animals are just like us,


Photo: danjaeger



The color of my veins, lips, and cheeks are all in my color swatches and flatter me. However, the brown in my eyes and my hair is not in my color swatches and does not flatter me when I wear clothes of that color. How can I wear brown as an eye and hair color but not anywhere else without looking washed out?

You’re wearing the colour you think you see, which is never what colour is. Here is one reason for why it’s harder to figure for some Tones.

There is variation in hair and eye colour in most Seasons, but nowhere more than True Winter and the Brights. I’m not sure of the answer from a genetic perspective. I don’t think anyone can answer the magic of how harmony happens in spite what our eyes think they see. Maybe the mysteries should remain mysteries.

The way I reason it is that we don’t know the exact pigments that make up our hair and eyes. If I showed you 20 brown eyes, could you pick out your own? Would you pick the same brown as your friends would choose? Would you pick the same browns, yellows, oranges, and other colours, that the drapes (consistent with the Sci\ART colour calibrations) identify within your colouring? Probably not, on any count. We do not know which colours make up our final colours until one is draped. If you knew and wore the ingredients that go into your total hair and eye colours, you’d be utterly flattered.

Bright Spring has many yellows, beer and clear cider colours. When they have dark hair, it’s usually root beer and black tea. It is never coffee, which only looks heavy and thick on a colouring that is as far from those as you can get. Lighter brown hair is herbal tea, not orangey-muted-gold, not velvety-dense-brown. It might look ash brown or medium brown but it isn’t.It i s clear. While clear means high chroma, and transparency is not a quality by which we define colour (because colour can be bright or soft and still see-through), this hair is like coloured cellophane.


Photo: boogy_man


People with green, blue and grey eyes seem to always look great if they match their clothes to their irises.

I would not agree. Blue eyes will match blue drapes or blue clothes in any Season but the best match is only in one. It’s not even a difficult decision. Some aspects of a correct analysis are challenging for a woman to perceive on herself. Achieving the ultimate eye colour is usually easy.

The colour a woman has matched to her eyes all her life is never the best or correct one in my experience. She needs her Colour Book to direct her to her turquoise and only then will her eyes become all they could be. I see women hope they’re wearing their eye colour all the time and most cases, they’re barely in the ballpark.

Blue eyes under Spring influence (one of the 5 possible Seasons) are seldom blue. They’re turquoise, aqua, or cornflower (light blue with very little green, the cornflower being one of the few truly blue flowers, but to me, appears a little violet). It’s a beautiful thing when you find it.


Photo: mzacha


Not just me but a lot of brown-eyed people can’t wear brown.

Quite right, many brown eyed people are Winters of some sort and have very little brown in their palette. And when they’re draped, darned if much of the brown in the eyes suddenly turns black and then they’re wearing their real eye colour at last.

Hair and eye colours as they appear are often not in the True Winter, Bright Winter, and Bright Spring palettes. I think the way it works is that the contributing base pigments are there but the mix isn’t.

You could say to me, OK then, if I could take colours from my palette and mix them, are you saying that I could theoretically make my hair and eye colour from the swatches?

I think so but the truth is that I don’t know for sure if any and every mixture would still guarantee that the hue/value/chroma remain constant. If you mixed complements, you would mute the colour if either of the originals contained the complement of the other. You’d mute the resulting colour into a more muted Season.

To make clear green (say, Winter), you need a blue and a yellow without red, I would think. Could it be done? Winter colours contain red, but are there a blue and a yellow without red? I’m not enough of a colour mixer to know.

Thinking out loud now. To make clear orange (Spring), you’d need a red and a yellow that contain no blue. That seems possible, Spring colours are not blue-based, though some contain blue.

Clear violet – needs a blue that leans red and a red with some blue in it, neither of which contain the complement of violet, yellow. That could make a brilliantly clear violet, even a violent violet, if it’s necessary – sure it is, for Winters. How is that done for Spring where yellow appears in every colour? Haven’t figured that out yet.

Can I make amber or warm brown eyes with a True Winter palette? I think so. True Winter contains yellow, very saturated, a little blue without turning it green. It also contains the other primaries of red and blue. Three primaries make brown.

True Winter and the Bright Tones are intricate and unique types of colouring. Not inconsistent, just complex. Which is why I suggest they think twice before colouring their hair. I have never seen it be improved enough to balance the cost, time, and upkeep.


Photo: lcrumling


I can match clothes to the rim around my iris (which is sort of a dark periwinkle) and it is quite flattering but if I wear clothes that are the same brown as my irises I look washed out.

So it’s not the right brown that you’re wearing, it’s just the one you think you see as the amalgamation of all the many colours in your iris. Good call to notice that the rim of the iris is different and if you can match it, a superlative colour on every person.


How can brown-eyed people can be any Season, but only Autumns can look great wearing brown clothes and makeup?

There are a million versions of brown eyes. Brown eyes can be in any Season, but they won’t all be the same brown. Same with the 12 Tone palettes. Many Tones have brown choices but they’re not the same brown.

Nine in ten women only find out their real eye colour when they are draped. Those brown-eyed people you refer to in your question and the browns that you refer to looking great on Autumns… very unlikely the same brown.


Photo: mokra



Are cool hair and warm skin possible?

I was snow white blonde as a child, but am now a dark, ashy blonde. It’s a cool colour.

 Dark ash blonde could be found on a cool, neutral, or warm person. Apparent hair colour isn’t tightly tied to the true heat level of your colouring, though your overall contributing colours and appearance are always 100% in harmony. Every person. The true heat level of your hair is perfectly consistent with the heat level of your skin and everything else.

We could take your dark, ash brown hair and place it next to five other dark, ashy heads. It would be interesting to see whose is cool, whose warm, and whose is neutral in between cool and warm. I would guess that your hair wouldn’t be the coolest if we compared it on a scale. It might be cool-ish, but that’s not Absolute Cool.

Because you know, Absolute Cool and Absolute Warm, they’re rare in human colouring. Kind of extreme. I haven’t seen a True Autumn or True Winter in ages. I see several Neutral Season versions of Autumn and Winter every month. The thing to wrap your head around is Neutral. What does it mean? What does it look like?

Just playing the odds, you are neither warm nor cool in skin and hair. If you’re like eight or nine people in ten, why wouldn’t you be, you’re a Neutral Season that might lean towards cool.

Whatever you are, cool, warm, or somewhere in between, the setting is the same in all your features. One genetic code governs your paintbox.


Photo: otbora


But I have medium light skin with golden undertones and no rosiness in the cheeks. All I see is yellow. Wouldn’t that be warm?

Colour analysis, which guides every colour decision you will make, isn’t about what you look like or appear to look like. Your natural colouring group, Tone, Season, is determined in the one way that can truthfully reveal it: how the colours in you react to other colours. Nobody can know their truthful colouring correctly without testing their own skin’s reactions against an organized and measured set of colours in a colour-neutral environment. If your colours react the way you expect them to, you would be that one person in 50 who knew ahead of time what was going to happen. That’s why it’s so hard to do from books and photos and impossible from verbal descriptions.

Your skin probably is light-medium. What colour your undertone is, or even whether it’s warm/cool/neutral, nobody knows till we test and measure it. Why am I so sure? Because nobody who comes to a colour analysis appointment is ever wearing their correct foundation – until we solve that question forever more and show you how to make the best choice.


Photo: thegnome54


If my hair is overly golden, my skin looks red. When it’s natural dark ashy color, highlighted with platinum, it looks tanned and alive. Just natural it is bland. Dark red wasn’t good. But when I went a more natural dark blonde with subtle red tones, I got many compliments. Dark golden blonde, more of a caramel, washes me out, as does all over light blonde with no contrasting darker pieces. Can someone have a seemingly warm complexion with cooler toned ash hair?

Actually it’s really common. Usual, in fact. Though there’s lots of good colour observation here, the description could occur in many of the 12 types of colouring. Sounds to me like you have cool-neutral skin with a little warmth, but placed next to wrong hair colour, it will look warmer than it really is. You may have a false yellow overtone, like many cool Neutral Seasons, and be interpreting that as your golden undertones and yellow warmth from the previous question.

Too yellow hair does make faces red, especially True and Soft Summer, I find. But then, there’s a disconnect in your comments. Dark ash with platinum sets up big distance between lightest and darkest, which I find looks right on nobody.

On Summer, their light/dark range isn’t this wide, since it goes from pastel to mid-dark, not icy light to very dark (which is Winter). And so it follows that their best highlight is not that far from the base colour, or else they look striped and severe.

On Winter, they do have this big light/dark range but putting it in the hair is only disruptive, breaking up their force. The randomness looks messy when placed on a colour language that is very far from random. Of course, nothing applies to everybody and you can’t generalize about hair colour across an entire Tone. Some Lights are not flattered by highlights either.

3/4 of women would say their natural hair colour is bland. Not remotely true but media has taught us that it is so they could sell us hair colour. The hair industry, ay? Their biggest problem is that they think they’re fine. Many women would not attest to that – the same ones who bought $40 a bottle of wrong foundation colour. Women love their colourist most of the time. We feel real friendship and loyalty. But regarding our faith that we really are wearing our very best hair colour? Not so sure. Hair is a trend-driven industry – highlights, lowlights, we’ve never tried copper, let’s go lighter. We only have one skin colour. It is illogical that we could be flattered by five hair colours. Become the expert of your own appearance.

Until you are wearing your best clothes and makeup, your natural hair colour will not appear as beautiful and perfect as it is – so I advise women after a PCA to make one trip to the salon to get the heat level set right and come closer to their natural colour. Then leave the hair for a few weeks and work on the clothes and makeup. Your eyes need time to readjust to the real original you and to absorb how your better colours affect your apparent hair colour by making it look perfect and ideal. Then you can really see your hair colour and you can go back to the salon, hopefully only one more time, and finish the fine tuning.

Also, once a woman has had many hair colours, she and those who have seen all those colours can’t make a solid judgment any longer. There’s just too much history swirling around. Someone outside your box needs to touch the reset button. I nominate your friendly neighbourhood colour analyst.


Photo: ElvisFan76


I am at a loss as to what color to dye my hair.

I’m at a loss too till your colours are accurately analyzed. You are like 98% of the real people in the real world who seem conflicting. You’re not. Nobody is. Everyone’s colours make complete sense.

Once we have your Tone understood, every single aspect of your colouring and the colour decisions to follow are consistent and coherent. It’s not even hard. Once we know the truth, each one of us is very logical and connected in our colouring.

But. Even knowing your Tone, I still couldn’t give blanket hair colour advice that would cover every woman equally well. Everyone makes her own darkness adjustment within a Tone. Not everyone is necessarily improved by departure from her natural hair as it grows out of her head. And for nobody is this more true than the Bright Seasons.


Photo: Jan Willem Geertsma


Art and Science

Not being able to explain a thing doesn’t make it not true.

C. said it so beautifully here,

…the science of light, the discovery that it is both particle and wave and how it behaves erratically when observed. So nature is evasive and we can not reduce everything in the world around us to neat mathematical equations

….artists working in isolation through history have been representing through symbol what scientists have been discovering in the lab at the same(ish) time and not even known it. Think of the cubists and surrealists relating back to Einstein’s new world of curved space and the theory of relativity, or the complex inherent patterns in Jackson Pollocks’ work reflecting a new understanding of the complex, previously overlooked patterns in nature.

It seems artists, at least revolutionary ones, had/have a deep unconscious understanding of the stuff of the universe and represent it through symbol before we have the words or the science to explain.

All of these threads…point in the same direction. Colour theory, it seems, is not about finding the best lipstick. It is recognizing we are made of the stuff of the stars and finding our place in the universe.



58 thoughts on “Can Eye, Hair, and Skin Colours Conflict?”

  1. Great read. Can you have black hair and dark brown eyes and be a dark autumn? Because my skin screams warm even though I have naturally black hair.

  2. Yes, yes, YES. Thank you Christine, what a wonderful article! It makes such perfect sense, what you think you see isn’t what’s actually there most of the time. It made me smile, how you echo my daughter’s words 5 years ago when I’d colored my hair, for the last time as it turned out: “Mom, think VERY carefully before you color your hair again.” That’s all I needed to finally get that my own hair color(s) would always be the best one for me. I love how you describe Bright Springs, it’s so great to finally be recognized in a system. I’m sure many like me with dark hair, pale skin and brown eyes have been confined to Autumn or Winter, never feeling quite at home there but unsure of what it was that just didn’t work. Thank you!

  3. Oh, I love this article. I´m going to make a copy and send it to all the salespersons who try to give me brown clothes because my eyes are brown! Still unsure about my own season, but it doesn´t matter: at least, I know now that the colour you see is not always the real colour.
    I only have a question: Bright Seasons. First, how do you know if you are a Spring influenced by Winter or Winter influenced by Spring? Second, there is a celebrity who is labelled in many sites as the stereotypical BW: Megan Fox. But she is a natural blonde and her dark hair is dyed! If she have had her real hair, would she still be placed into BW?

  4. Great article! I’m curious about the first eye above. It looks a lot like mine. While I know eyes alone don’t determine seasons, is it possible that blue eye is a Light Summer? I have dark hair but pale, reddish skin and blue eyes with yellow in them. Light Summer’s colors seem to work best on me whereas colors in which I think I should look good (i.e. True Summer, especially anything “dusty”) don’t. I seem to need cool, bright, light colors. Thanks!

  5. This is a wonderful article!!! I completely believe you about eye color (and the rest). I don’t think we can really see the qualities of our own coloring until we figure out what seasonal section we fall in. Almost any shade of turquoise, aqua, blue-green will make my eyes pop, but it took me a long time to figure out that many of these shades did zip for my skin and overall appearance. Only the right shade will really work. Once I saw that, I had an inkling that probably my eyes aren’t quite the color I thought they were.

  6. Thank you, Christine, for reminding us of the many, many colors in each of us! I’ve learned to appreciate my natural hair color, whatever it is, and not try to match it in clothing. I used to try! I also used to have my hair highlighted, but I like the natural texture and shine better, and all your articles on hair color encourage me to keep my hair natural.

  7. Hi Christine. I find myself reapeatedly drawn back to your advise. I’m sitting here with a copy of your book on desk right now (full of page markers). Thanks for being so generous with your time and advise.

  8. Daenerys, I think I may be able to answer your question. My sister and I are both Brights- winter and spring respectively. At first glance we appear similar but on closer inspection you can see the differences. We are both very pale, with grey-blue eyes and dark hair (Irish extraction) Here are some of my observations;

    Skin: My BW skin has a pink undertone with a yellow overtone- it appears neutral/ cool (the icy yellow overtone is very important btw- if I omit it, my skin can look dull), my sister has less of a pink undertone and her skin appears slightly more yellow.

    We both look good in bright blush- red and pink – but my skin sparkles more in a pinker tone where as she looks better with a bright coral-pink and a coral red.

    Hair: mine is darker more ashen, hers is dark but there is a trace of warmth when the light catches it- that is not there in my hair.

    Eyes: We both have blue-grey eyes but mine are darker, hers are a lighter version. My eye make-up tends to be much more dramatic than my sisters, but that may be due to other factors.

    Lips: My lips are naturally very red, my sisters are also very red but it’s a slightly softer shade, a touch coralish. I look great in Ruby red lipstick, hers is less pink-based and more coral- based red (but not orange)- both of us suit bright lipstick.

    Personality wise- we are both dead-on for the descriptions of our types; her child-like fun side can brings out the silly side of me like no-one else can.

    Clothing: We wear similar colours though mine are slightly cooler, slightly more jewel-toned, hers are more primary e.g. royal blue compared to true blue.

    Hope that helps.


  9. Tish, you say as a BW, you have a pink undertone with a yellow overtone, so then would a spring have a pink (or red) overtone with a yellow undertone then? I think I may be some sort of spring, but I have the noticeably pink skin with little visible yellow, but warmer shades of lipstick and blush flatter me more than cooler ones. (In fact, most cool colors look undeniably odd on me.) Yet, salespeople insist I am cool and give me a foundation with a red undertone, or a exceedingly yellow one to “neutralize the redness,” which makes my face look ashen.

  10. Christine, please do question and answer posts like this more often!

    I’m sad, because I have tried desperately to get back to my natural dark ash blonde color at least 5 times with 5 different colorists. This seems to be a color that can’t be achieved at a salon unless you have a Hollywood colorist. It always comes out either too warm, or dark brown. :(

  11. Hi Kathy

    I have never seen a spring with a noticable pink undertone. I understand about people trying to neutralise the pink and ending up looking ashen, its happened to me. As a neutral season I don’t suit any noticably cool tones of lip and blush either- any trace of purple or blue makkes me look deathly. I stick to pinkier reds and corals. The fact that you suit the warmer shades, yet have a pink undertone makes me think you may be a neutral season, maybe Soft Summer- this might be worth considering.

  12. I’m sorry. I wasn’t clear. I meant, if a cool season has a cool undertone, with a warm overtone (think of the olive-skinned dark or true winter), wouldn’t stand to reason that a warm season would have a warm undertone with a cool (aka pink or red, though personally, I don’t always consider red or pink warm always) overtone? Think of someone like Conan O’Brien, who has noticeably pink skin (overtone), but is usually typed as a spring by most analysts. I guess you could also call this “surface redness,” but in my case, I always seem to have a distinct pinkness to my skin that seems to be flattered by warm, not cool colors. (Soft summer’s colors are actually among my worst.) I think I am probably one of the neutral springs.

  13. Colette – I think it was Hollywood colourists who got us into trouble in the first place. They’re the ones who transform everyone to blonde. Celebrities often have worse hair colour than us regular women – I figure they’re preparing for their next movie. Nobody could send them out into the world that way on purpose!

    Kathy – Trish is handling your questions exactly. I haven’t a thing to add. I would say that your Q:

    “if a cool season has a cool undertone, with a warm overtone (think of the olive-skinned dark or true winter), wouldn’t stand to reason that a warm season would have a warm undertone with a cool (aka pink or red, though personally, I don’t always consider red or pink warm always) overtone”

    could be an equivalency that I would make under certain conditions. A warm Season does have a warm undertone, and they do turn greyish-ghostly in too-cool colour, so that could be the reciprocal of the false warm undertone on the cool Seasons. Distinct pink to red in the surface might be related to undertone (many Winters) or might have nothing to do with undertone (many other Seasons too). I guess I’m just saying that surface redness or appearance doesn’t really guide you to Season. Reaction to adjacent colours does.

  14. Thank you, Trish!
    It helps, it helps. As I can´t have a real PCA, I´m trying to figure out my season looking at what looks good or bad on me. Winter or Spring are the most plausible choices, so I want to learn about BW or BS, even if they were not my season.
    Funny you are Irish descent; I´m Spanish, but with some Scottish descent! Perhaps Christine is right about Celtic skin.

  15. I struggle with surface redness that’s situational (warmth, cold, especially going from cold outside into warm room; anxiety, embarrassment; capillary fragility due to irritation). As a pale Soft Autumn I find it hard to get foundation to suit: it’s rarely pale enough and if it is pale, will often be that pinky porcelain china doll colour.

    Estee Lauder has recently expanded the shade range of its Double Wear foundation and powder to 30 shades. It’s quite covering, longlasting formula, good for masking redness. I think I now have a good match in 1N1 IVORY NUDE 72 (1 = palest on the darkness scale, N = neutral, neither pink nor yellow).

    You may balk at the word “mask” it’s more to even up the skintone because the redness appears only in certain areas.

  16. Wonderfully explained, as usual! I just have one question. Do you have a picture to illustrate what you mean by “black tea” brown?

    I’m pretty sure I’m a Bright Spring, and have arrived at the same conclusion you have regarding brown and why I can’t wear it. I’m still puzzling over what the best “hair color equivalent” would be, though, for a basic (clothing) neutral, as I don’t seem able to identify the individual colors that meld to make the brown. (Well, nothing dark enough to be useful, anyway!)

    I’m also puzzled by the commenter who said she has brown eyes but with periwinkle rims; that seems like a very strange combination – the rims of the irises usually are darker with even *less* obvious color in them than the irises.

  17. Rachel
    I am the commenter with the brown eyes. The words I used were “dark periwinkle”. I know there is no such color because periwinkle is periwinkle which is medium light. The rim on my iris is almost navy but with just a hint of violet just as periwinkle is almost blue with just a hint of violet. I have sometimes seen this color described as French navy but sometimes what is called French navy is quite different. Yes, the “French navy ” border on my iris is darker than my dark brown eyes.

  18. Lindsay – I have no issue with mask at all. Part of foundation’s work is to blend naturally redder parts of the face. Eyeshadow highlight has the same job of canceling redness under the brow, among other jobs. I love the Double Wear line, I wear it myself. A tiny bit goes a long, long way.

  19. I don’t have any, Rachel, at the moment. But there are BW articles coming that will show you what I mean better.

  20. Thank you for another super article!

    I so agree with what you say about so many women think their hair colour is bland – I spent most of my life thinking this too.

    Now I can see it’s incredible bright springy clarity and also how it’s actually quite dark (in relation to me) whereas pre-PCA it always seemed too light for me – I’ve dyed it darker so often trying to achieve the contrast which now comes easily.

    I’m now making the most of the last few years of my natural colour pre-grey!

  21. Christine, Thank you so much for posting this blog regarding eye color. I am a True Summer with autumn-like amber brown eyes. Wearing my eye color is not the best look for me as it overwhelms the delicacy of my season. In fact wearing the opposite color is much better. I hope more women can learn this. I love reading your insights. Thanks!

  22. Many years ago,when I was in my 30’s, I had a color analysis done and was told I was a “provencial” spring. At that time, I had dark blonde/light brown hair, blue eyes and pale skin tone. I LOVED the colors that were in my pallette – lots of golds too. My jewelery was all gold as well.
    Now, i have gone almost completely gray and my hair is almost white in the front. Because my hair grows so fast, my hair stylist says for me to color my hair woudl mean being in the chair every week or week and a half for touch-ups/bleaching which I do not care to do, so I am staying gray.

    Now, 20+ years later at 55, do not feel that my gold earrings go with my gray hair and some of the colors in my pallette dont seem to go with my gray hair. I feel like I have lost my sense of style.

    I have lived in a mountain resort area in CA for the last 12 years and it was easy to dress in sporty, casual, outdoor clothing, but now that I am in a Southern California town and going back to work, I am having trouble finding my style and it seems that with my hair color change my jewlery color should go from gold to silver even though silver is not on my color pallette.

    I have spoken with other friends who are going through similar feelings…when they were blonde they felt comfy in their colors – especially gold metals that were for their type. Now, we are feeling stuck and confused!

    Any help/suggestions you can give would be much appreciated.

    Debra Griffiths

  23. Dear Christine. I am looking at pictures of me in my teens and I look so much worse in the clothing that I used to wear back than compared to what I am wearing now. I have managed to identify those colours that look great and those that look awe full, but of course this can never be as precise as being analysed by a professional.

    I have a question.

    I know you feel that hair colour is the least reliable of one’s features to determine one’s season by. I think it has confused me as well. I am an unquestionable autumn with pale green/grey eyes, with fiery brow/orange around the pupil and a dark teal rim. My skin colour is golden beige and if I wear any summer pastels it looks plain yellow. Pure white is awe full to. Everything point to me being a warm autumn. Yet, there is the hair.

    My hair can look so very different in summer and winter, and looked very different in childhood, puberty and now. When I was very little it would be a mousy dark brown in winter and golden-reddish in summer. Combined with either a very tanned skin in summer and extremely pale in winter, one gets a completely different impression of me. Pictures of a me as a child in summer with light chestnut/auburn hair point to me being a warm autumn. Me in winter, maybe a SA, my hair being quite mousy. At the moment my hair has darkened to a very great extent, to a chocolate brown.

    Because of this I usually dress very differently in summer and winter. Though my hair colour doesn’t very this much any more (and I have dyed it a couple of times, in a slightly warmer brown), my skin does. And it also makes my hair look different. In winter I wear a lot of Deep Autumn colours, in summer mostly Soft/ True Autumn. Because my eyes are quite pale, though warm, I imagined myself to be a Soft Autumn, especially because my hair used to be quite mousy. But the lighter aqua colour in SA-palette looks terrible on me. I look plain yellow. Does this point to me being a true autumn?

    What is the ultimate test to distinguish between the autumns. I like myself best in WA-colours, mainly because of the teal. I look good in medium teal, but the aqua en minty colours in SA look horrible. Other great colours are the olive/mossy greens that aren’t too greyish, and a muted/golden mustered yellow. But these colours seem to be included in all of the three autumn’s pallets. The burnt orange of DA also looks very good, and deep warm grey’s, but black is way to much. The only colours of TA that I am not sure of are the purples.

    I know you only analyse in person. But there are no sci-art consultants where I live. Any clue to what type I might be?

  24. I used to wonder if I could flow into warm spring, but my hair colour is now so dark, that it doesn’t seem to be an option. Though the greens and teals the pallet suit me well, I have a dress in that clear red which isn’t quite right. Tomato red would suit me better.

  25. There’s a lot of information here, Soliwo, as every person has about themselves in some form. The question of it is, what matters and what doesn’t. However your hair changes, as long as it’s natural, it will always be consistent with your skin and eyes – or, if there’s a person out there who is the exception, I have yet to meet them. True Autumn seems reasonable from your good observations, but not the only possibility. Soft and Dark are in there too. Given the overlaps and tolerances in colours that suit you, I doubt you’ll be able to figure this out without very strictly coloured clothes/drapes. It isn’t so much a single colour(s) that will distinguish the Seasons, it’s the colour dimensions. You need at least 3 items, ideally the same colour, one warm-neutral and very low chroma, one maximally warmed with gold and medium chroma and value (True), and one quite saturated, quite dark, and warm-neutral in its heat level. You see where it gets complicated?

  26. Yes I do see where it gets complicated. I think I might be able to rule out dark autumn. Would a deep autumn look so bad in DW colours? As an experiment I tried on a deep dark green due to all the Christmas and party fashions in store right now, and I looked very badly indeed. I suspect I might be somewhere in between soft and true if such a thing exists.

    I so very much wish I could go to an colour analyst, but in my country I can only find people who distinguish merely between 4 seasons, not these twelve. And as I already now I am an autumn, this would not help me much. Your website has been an immense help though, thank you for that.

  27. Wow, thanks Christine!
    Your articles are so helpfull and well written, thank you for sharing your knowlege.

    I have two questions:

    What about skin color all over body?

    It’s qiute different in different areas in everybody… What is the most important in colour analisys? I think that PCA is more focused on the face – am I wrong? For example my face is the reddest part of my body (relatively), my neck and chest are more yellow-beige, hands and feet are very yellow. So should I choose warmer color for swimsuit than for a scarf for example? Or is it enough that generally I’m yellow based and I should not be bothered by such details?

    And what is the connection between health, diet and seasons?

    For example I often suffer for anemia, my skin turns kind of gray then. My grandma drinks a glass of fresh carrot juice a day for years – I have an impression that she’s a little warmer becouse of that. And my mother is very yellow. As a teenager she was treated her for jaundice untill they got her blood results and found out she had no liver disease. I read that there are some genetic predispositions to store more bilirubin in body than average, I think that maybe her case. Does all of that affect PCA? For example if I get draped while having anemia the result can be wrong?

  28. The genetics that code your hemoglobin, melanin, and carotene are the same for all of your body. The face may appear different, but when tested, it’s no different from the neck or hands, the only two other places I’ve tested, and I doubt it would be different anywhere else. What you see on the face are overtones but it doesn’t affect your undertone or how your pigments react to colour. Many women have the same problem you do, as foundation that seems perfect on the face and never matches the neck. Once the heat level of the foundation is adjusted for what the woman REALLY is, not how her face appears, there is never any issue with matching.
    I have not known health or diet to affect Season, but I have not tested many women in illness and then in health. I suppose you could eat enough yellow pigments to turn yourself yellower, or have jaundice, and that might change the colour reaction of the skin temporarily, but I have not tested these deliberately. With anemia and a lower hemoglobin at those types, it seems valid that the proportion of the pigments will be altered, giving a false PCA result, but I don’t know that for certain. Good thoughts though.

  29. Christine — Thank you for an informative read. As you know, I am a seemingly warm-eyed (read brown) TW. If I choose colors that I seem to see in my eye, then my skin goes slightly orange.

    You article explains why my eyes seemed to go rather ‘glassy’ to me during my draping. The colors in them had solidified to a reflective constant I wasn’t used to – TW dark and light at the same time.

    Since my draping, I have worked to ‘find’ some of the colors in my eye. Frustrating work and very hard to be objective about. I agree with you that you could make my eye color from colors in my palette. Now I want to look in a mirror, with and without makeup, and see what color – not colors – I see.

    Thanks again for the post.

  30. I feel like I do have a weird discrepancy with my hair. The hair at the nape of my neck is a dark root beer color and the outer layers tend to be a golden or reddish brown, especially in the summer. When I used to get highlights people described me as a blond, even though that always surprised me.
    The issue is that the underneath dark color looks great with my skin which is warm and luminous, but with a pink “bloom”. The lighter color makes me look very flushed. However, the dark color sucks all the life out of my eyes (medium brown, reddish around pupil and charcoal grey around iris) and the blonder hair makes my eyes stand out.
    Now that I am getting some grey hairs I need to make a choice how to color. Usually I go with lighter hair to accentuate my eyes, and tone down the pink in my skin with makeup. What do you think?
    Thanks, LOVE your site.

  31. Well, nc, what I think is that you need your colours analyzed. Apparent discrepancies are common – very contrasting eyes, warmth in eye colour, various tones in the hair, unexpected skin effects in certain colours. In fact, they’re usual. Everyone has something like this, which is why each person is their own colour story. It’s rare to see textbook colouring in every feature. I do know without doubt that every person’s colours are perfectly congruent. I also know that they are rarely how they appear. So they have to be measured. Colour is only known and defined by wavelength so we use instruments of measured wavelengths (the drapes). You absolutely have an answer to all this, you have a hair colour that will work perfectly for both skin and eyes, but oh boy, from a written paragraph, nobody could know what it is.

  32. Thanks Christine!
    Years ago I was analyzed as autumn, but it was on the 4 category method. Someone else told me I look like more of a soft summer. Maybe i will have myself draped again. I’ve always attributed it to my parents having such incredibly different coloring; I thought maybe I had gotten characteristics from both of them that conflicted.
    I’ll keep trying!

  33. Thank you for providing us with this insightful article, Christine. I have found that colouring is all relative as you say. My skin may *appear* cool, but whether this is the undertone or overtone is unclear. My eyes and hair are warmer, compared to my skin, but does this mean that they are actually warm? Not necessarily. On warmer skin, they could look cool(er).

    I have hazel eyes, and it annoys me when people say they are autumn, therefore *I must* be autumn. No, in Sci Art we know that’s incorrect; you need to test the skin by draping to see the reaction of colours. Saying you have warm eyes puts you into a warm season seems untrue to me. I know of two TW’s, one of whom has warm eyes, the other very autumn looking eyes and yet the drapes told them they were TW’s. Warm colours made them reflect the drape, and turn yellow. Just because you have warmth in your eyes, doesn’t mean that warmth will suit the skin. My skin around my eyes is very pink. This might not amount to anything, but I’m saying warm(er) eyes doesn’t always equal warm skin.

  34. I seem to have a yellow skin to my eyes. But i hardly wear yellow coloured clothes. i have green and darkblue almost purplish vein on wrist and purple and green/teal on my arms. I never look good in brown people often ask if im sick if i do wear them but i have always been analysed as autumn season. the only colour i like in autumn are the reds almos orangy kind of tone and the green which is clear green with a bit of yellow in it. I have yet to ascertain what season i am becoz the sand and browns or autumn is really not a colour for me. I had this dull navy blue and every time i wear it people seem to think i have gotten a shade fairer and once i wore a maroon and my friend was like i never knew you had this scar on this side of your face :'(. i have really black hair which looks almost dryish and looks ashy brown when in sunlight.

  35. You need to be re-analyzed in a 12 Season system, Taiga. I can’t comment about your appearance or Season without that. It does seem as if Autumn is not right, at least not Autumn on its own. 3/4 of the people do not fit into the main Seasons, they are actually a blend of Seasons.
    I see your comment appeared after another post as well, so I deleted that (the site doesn’t allow duplicated content or comments).

  36. Wow this really made me rethink a few things!

    I’ve always thought brown was a good colour for me, because
    I have brown eyes, but on closer inspection my very dark brown eyes actually have a thin navy bluish rim. And just as you said, they often appear black instead of brown.

    I have very pale skin without freckles and I believe I am cool or maybe neutral. My hair is not dyed and begins as a light ash brown at the roots but is a more golden colour on the length and ends. In the past when I dyed my hair a deeper brown I looked like a winter, but now with my softer natural hair colour I am unsure. I don’t really know how to properly drape, but I do try to pay attention to how colours make my skin look.

  37. I can see pictures a lot of people with black/dark hair and blue/light eyes, with hight contrast, but not really the opposite. (blonde/light hair and black/dark eyes – with very light skin – is it so contrasting as black-hair-blue-eyes?)

  38. That’s a one-person-at-a-time question, Olga. Some of the dark hair/light eyes are not that contrasting once the colouring is tested against a full calibrated value range. Some light hair/brown eyes can surprise you with what they can balance. Light blonde hair and brown eyes are uncommon in adults and my experience with them is not wide.

  39. Cosmetics are incredibly individual in their reactivity with skin and the simultaneous contrast that occurs with he surrounding skin and eye colours. I’m a believer in using neutral eyeshadows, as the recent post with the 2 videos explains. Use the colours already in your own pigmentation so there is no competition with the eye colour. Then, to intensify, you might use the complementary colour (still from your own palette), so if eyes are green with a lot of gold, you could try peach/rust.

  40. Hi. I love your book and website and very much need to be draped! Have you come across eyes that seem to change color? Sometimes my eyes are blue,sometimes blue/ grey and quite often green. I gave gold in my eyes and a darker rim around my iris. My clothing seems to influence the color change at times. I have light red hair and medium to light skin that has some pinky/ peachy blushing. I believe I am either a light Spring or bright spring.
    Thank you!

  41. Laurel, I see eyes that change colour every day. The only eyes that don’t are the really darkest eyes, and also the very light coloured eyes. They change in other ways in reaction to colour, as all eyes do, but colour isn’t top of the list. Spring sounds reasonable, any of the 5 Springs can pull a lot of yellow, green, and sometimes violet from eyes depending on the colour under the face.

  42. Hi Christine. This post was extremely interesting. Picking up on an earlier comment about Light hair/Dark eyes I am intrigued because I think I am this person and have been trying to find an answer. In all tests I have conclusively decided True Spring, however, I have very dark blue eyes, almost black. Is this a possibility for spring? Thank you so much.

  43. Seems unlikely for True Spring, Sheena, but anything is possible. Bright Spring has higher odds, but so do many other Seasons, with the colouring you describe.

  44. Hello, I have a question.. for most of my life I thought I was a summer..But it never felt like I could find a color that could make me look nice. Recently I went to have my makeup done at a school and as the student was starting to put cool summer colors on me the makeup artist said to stop. She said I have warm yellow undertones in my skin, my eyes are green blue with golden yellow flecks…she asked the student to drape the color swatches around and I looked so much better in spring colors. .however my hair is dyed right now a golden blonde…normally is what I call mousy blonde. .When I was young it was really really blonde but it’s darkened into a dark blonde, almost light brown now. .And I always thought it was a cool color..Now I can’t figure out what category I fit into. Can’t seem to get my brain around being a spring! Lol! And what type of spring am I? Or is it just my hair color messing things up?

  45. Hello Christine, recently a makeup artist put me as a spring. I always thought I was a summer, so this is all very new to me. In all honesty, I never felt like I could shine like other women… The summer colors never made anything pop on my face and I felt bland. The makeup artist said I have yellow undertones in my skin, golden yellow flecks in my ask me what color eyes I have..I’m not sure. They change from Green to blue to hazel depending on what I’m wearing.My natural hair color I always thought was cool, but looking over pictures and thinking back…in the winter it is a light brunette/dark blonde and if I’ve been in the sun…by the end of the summer it is all shades of blonde including a slight red shine, if that makes sense? I think it would be called a wheat blonde. Now I’m trying to figure out what season I am…proving a little hard. I’m going between light spring and true spring..I tried different lipsticks and loved L’oreal everbloom on me and yesterday I tried NYX butter gloss in orangesicle and honestly I felt beautiful.. But I keep on second guessing myself. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  46. Honestly, Hannah, it can’t be figured out this way. You could actually send me every picture of you ever taken and I still wouldn’t know. The only way to know your real Season is to test your colour reactions in a controlled surrounding with very calibrated drape colours. The whole story will make sense in the end, but there’s no information in your very good description to help us arrive at a sound answer. If you want to be draped, email me where you live and I may be help you find a nearby analyst.

  47. Your comment, “Also, once a woman has had many hair colours, she and those who have seen all those colours can’t make a solid judgment any longer. ” is so true for myself.

    I had amber eyes and a type of ginger hair, light skin with freckles, when younger. Now over fifty…….something, a few grey hairs later, I am wandering through the mist confused, unable to clothes shop as it leaves me totally drained and depressed. My wardrobe is sad with mainly all the same coloured clothes, of ‘safety’ colours, greys and black, with a few beiges and creams. My eyes are also different and I am sure menopause had a little hand in it. Or perhaps the endless changing of hair colours from age 50 ? I look a real mess and don’t know myself as me anymore.

    On a lighter note, your site is beautiful and I love reading all your artistic writings. Thank you.


  48. I find this so frustrating. It’s so deep and analytical at first glance but as with every other single post the same essence pervades. “Unclear till analysed. ”
    Yet I’ve been analysed 12 times with different outcomes.
    My skin tone tone by Clinique specialists had been judged as medium fair neutral or medium fair gold under their reproduced neutral light. I wear lipsticks that stand out like a sore thumb on most others, rose gold is my all time best jewellery and my hair if left alone would appear black but in actual fact be deepest brown with no warmth in it. As a child my hair and skin were a match, golden brown and I was muted but now I’m medium deep contrast. And my eyes look deep deep brown to the casual observer and in some lights a VERY deep muted green brown. My origins are Celtic/Spanish/German/English and I’m told I’ve go the strongest dose of the Spanish blood YET my friend Veronica who is Chilean and her hubby who is Spanish have lighter skin than I and warmer eyes. If I were to stand in a forest I look like I belong. Green brown. Yet put those clothes on me and they’re just plain nothing.
    All this analysis needs one more group – mine! It’s not dusky autumn deep as one in person analysis was determined while her “guru” teacher disagreed because that made the wardrobe I now have the most drab and uninviting wardrobe I’ve ever owned and hate it is not strong enough.
    My natural lip is a deep muted mauve and my skin medium deep and my hair deepest brown and my eyes can interchange depending on how I am feeling. Hands up anyone out there who is the same and let’s compare how we feel in certain colours. Deep red, soft white and deep charcoal is way better than brown and horrid mustard! Way better. Think often deep winters are slapped into autumn.
    And then in stores I get elderly classy sales assistants who say oh my you are a spring! Or no she’s a golden autumn.
    This science is so confusing that I can’t believe it saves money except for the easy-to-slide-into-fixed-palette-categories.

  49. Mariah, you’re not alone ;) I also feel I don’t really fit in any one season of the 12. (And resultingly I’ve been considering almost all of them during the 3 years I’ve been into seasonal color :))

    Always, just when I think I’ve finally found my season, I find some anomalies that don’t fit… Among the biggest of which is black, as it definitely enhances me & clears my skin (though may not be among my very best colours) – but I’m pretty sure by now I’m not a Winter, as very warm colours give me that special kind of glow… Oh well.

  50. Mariah & Melina; you both sound like Soft Summers to me. Take a look at my Pinterest page Soft Summer (bus2sunshine) I think you will find that the colors and cosmetics are much more than you think. These are the colors I wear, and I have the same looks as you. Being able to wear black is what kept throwing me off. I hope this helps you :)

  51. Jan, I’m afraid not, Soft Summer is definitely one of the least flattering seasons for me! Of course, that’s the category that all those “dominant trait” based systems would like to put me in (at least based on hair colour), so I have tried that one in the past… And it’s so, so wrong. (Also, it seems that in those systems, all who don’t apparently fit into any other category are put into Soft, like it was some kind of leftover container…) Unlike those, Sci/Art is great in that it does not base the season decision on looks, i.e. what season you *look like* outwardly, but on what different colours do to your skin, and which ones suit it best!

    And I have very warm skin, and also quite clear eyes, so definitely not a Summer :)

  52. And if you saw me right now wearing this orange cardigan (colour of actual orange fruit’s skin), you’d surely agree, Jan :)

  53. Hi could you please get back to me, I’m confused as to what colour season I am… I’ve got (neutral) light brown hair, green eyes (with flecks of brown through them) overall they look medium in hue… and pale pink skin… so basically, I’ve got neutral hair, warm eyes and cool skin.. go figure?

  54. Miceala, Season cannot be known without an in-person analysis. I wish it were otherwise but I do not believe that it is (other analysts may place more faith in it, you could search them online perhaps). You could send me 20 pages about your colouring and every photo of you that’s ever been taken and I still would not know. I might be able to give a list of possibles, but even then, I’ve been wrong too many times from a client’s photos. For me to guess does you no favours.

  55. Micaela, I have warm skin, warm-neutral eyes – green with flecks of brown in the other eye – and cool-neutral hair, so you’re not alone in having a (seemingly) conflicting colouring :) Actually, I’ve found (from colour sites like this) that it’s in fact more common than not, i.e. only few people, if any, have all-cool or all-warm colouring.

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