Light Summer CE And Being Not Pale

Keep in your mind who we’re putting these colours on. Next to a cross-section of the population, this person is pale. But let’s call it light, since pallor implies ill health. Sharon Stone, Meryl Streep, they will be overall lighter than most people you put beside them. Their darkest colour never gets very dark.

The Light Summer person is light to look at standing in front of a black wall. But not always. In their natural beige brown hair and eyebrow colour, they look more medium till you start putting colour next to or on their skin. Then you notice that the lightest blusher that would be invisible on most women has a huge effect. To balance and not overtake, their closet is light. Light needn’t mean a bowl of dinner mints. How does a rainbow dress to look interesting and impacting? First, see yourself through others’ eyes.

Photo: mvasquez13

Nobody complains about looking at rainbows. They feel fresh, hopeful, soothing, and happy. Let yourself be who you are and get media perceptions about power out of your way. The clothing, weight loss, anti-aging, personal growth, and cosmetic industries can get you to buy more stuff if they can convince you there’s something wrong with you. It’s cheaper for them to make clone colours. Please believe me, there is nothing wrong with you. In your light colours, you are breathtaking. The sun shines out through the sky and water of your eye colour. That is such a special magic and few are capable of it.

I had a very beautiful, natural, easy Light Summer client. She arrived quite certain that she was a Winter and was going though the motions of a PCA just to confirm it (and come to find out, she had recently bought light blue and peach Capris just because.) Part of her Winter conviction came from seeing her facial structure as strong or intense, which it was, more in keeping with her ideas about Winter. When I think of Spring Summer blends, fragile doesn’t describe their bone structure – or anybody’s bone structure, for that matter. Meryl Streep (whom she greatly resembled), Sharon Stone, Joni Mitchell, Carmindy, Ivanka Trump (perhaps a stronger Spring), these faces express far more than daintiness. You’ll see many fine-boned faces among all Seasons. Media’s convenient typecast of power as dark, intense, and masculine is very far indeed from what power really is. It’s important to distinguish power from intimidation, the cheapest form of power. And like all things cheap, it is neither sustainable or enduring.

Light Summer is a Summer above all. She likes precision and dislikes clutter. Like True Summer, her personality is considerate, and to a lesser degree, can work the details all day and all night, and be uncompromising about getting them right. She is not really stubborn, just striving towards an idyllic vision that’s almost romantic, as in Utopian.

We often think of feminine for True Summer, all lace and flounce, but that’s not quite the right adjective. Womanly is better. Moon goddess. Fertile (her version of earthy), giving, patient, complete (hence the circle symbol). She can be very sentimental though the first interaction may be quite formal. Relationships, wisdom, and intuition are nearer her heart than raw intellect, which on its own strikes her as unkind, one-dimensional, and too boringly linear, logical, and external.

Spring’s arrival brings the potential for a little more giddiness. She’s more cooperative, happy in the middle ground, and so easy to get along with. She loves a laugh and takes life less seriously. The sun is coming out. She has humour, self-directed humour, the single best entry ticket to self-knowledge. She doesn’t get all the way to the stronger Springs, If life’s not fun, what’s the point? but she does think, Why can’t everyone just lighten up and get along? Why did God even make Dark Winters? They’re missing all the good stuff.

Photo: Domba

She embodies the simplicity of just being pretty. A little cute but mostly pretty. A face like a doll. Christina Applegate. Light Summer is not tough or rugged, it’s tender. Not stern, it’s lenient. Not funky, but still informal. Life can get so complicated, but not here. This is the afternoon off, the nowhere-to-be day, the tell-your-troubles-to person.

Light Spring is creamy, Soft Summer is foggy, True Summer is cool and misty, Light Summer is sunny and barely misty (or do I mean Myst?), like a Once Upon A Time land. The rainbow when the sun comes out. Flower petal showers. Trees always in leaf. The lightest dusting of sugar sprinkled all over, a Cotton Candyland (Light Spring is the Jellybean Candyland).



Light Summer Not Pale


She wears the light taupe shoe well because her hair is light taupe. On this woman, it actually does elongate the leg.

She may carry a green purse and she’d probably even go about in green pants. Light, fresh, and fun.

Warmth? Cashmere. It comes in so many colours. Likewise, fleece. It floats.

Wash those white pants with your darks to soften the white a bit.

A serious colour? Add a girlie colour.

A lot of light? Add a darker colour in a small area. Sunglasses count. Cool frame, cool lens, light hardware.

The light colours aren’t that light. Winter’s are even lighter because they’re not pastels. Make big use of your medium range of colours to move away from the pale feeling.

Squint to blur the details and you see dappled light, the perfect light on Light Summer.

Could drift away like a thistle on a breeze.

The dress on the left, too dark? Maybe so slightly. Reminded me of bunches of grapes. Good colour flow. Wear a light shrug or Pashmina and a fun shoe. Carry a light purse. Impact without consequences.

Turquoise ruffled blouse too saturated? Maybe. Don’t care. Love the colour on this person and I see it on them just fine (rather than not seeing them in a too-much colour).

Those blue capris, that’s darker and more saturated than your navy. The pants will be what people see so the area will get bigger by proportion. The V-neck top to the right of the yellow dress is better. But, they work well enough. If you look at the whole picture, they don’t jump out.

The fun juicy accessory. Why not? So people see your Miu Miu pink coral clutch first (in the outfit along the R side.) So what. Wear your matching lipstick and carpe diem. Light Summer has that Spring fun element. True Spring is the Hawaiian luau. The luscious scent of the lei, the side to side sway of the hula dance, all about relaxed mood, hips, deliciousness, and fun. Light Summer might not get that unfastened but she’s Spring enough for the hair to come down.

I love when Neutral Seasons (those groups of natural colouring whose inborn pigments are neither 100% cool or 100% warm, but have in-between colouring on the heat scale) demonstrate both Seasons they’re composed of. Wearing cooler and warmer versions of their colours together, as a cool pink lipstick and a light gold lip gloss, is an example. It gives them dimensionality. I also love when they wear both esthetics together. Soft Summer looks superb in lace (Summer grace) and denim (Autumn strength). Soft Autumn is beautiful in a flowing scarf (Summer water/flow) and cowboy boots (Autumn leather/desert).

Light Summer elements are Summer (graceful, water, feminine) and Spring (sun, movement, sport, play). I love ballet effects (grace and sport) as wrap tops and skirts, ballet flats, scoop necks like leotards, or body-fitting fabric in pretty colours. I love prints a lot, that can show the dewdrops feeling and depict motion with the body movements. Outdoor combinations that repeat water and sun, as any kind of sun hat, floppy to baseball to gardening, are great. Small sparkly stones near or on another colour are beautiful, raindrops on roses, as beading on a cardi, better in a wave, or a necklace against a blouse, or an earring near a rose lip.

I was asked how a True Spring expresses two energetic states at once. I haven’t come up with anything because there is only the one energy. That seeming rivalry isn’t there. But there are many ways of depicting the sun and on a True Spring, there is almost no such thing as clutter. A yellow or turquoise Swatch, several beaded bracelets, a necklace of turquoise beads and another of different length with a cluster of small gold charms, all three at once, it just looks better and better. Keep sunshine and colour near the eyes at all times.


In the each Season chapter of the book, there’s section called Colour Equations. To help you see what was in my head when I put those together, and I appreciate that illustrating them is needed, I’ve pasted that section below:

Colour Equations

One light, medium, or dark neutral colour + one light colour or one medium colour

One light to medium-dark neutral colour + one light colour + one medium colour

Two light to medium neutral colours + one other colour as a smaller block

More restrained use of complements as gentler colours or smaller areas

Use of analogous colour combinations, moving towards True Summer’s monochromatic designs

Overall light to medium darkness effect


I was seeing this:


Is it pale? Well, compared to what? Dusk? Yes. All the black in the stores? Sure. The person we’re putting it on? No.

Does it still feel too light? Add a darker block and keep it smaller. People will see it.

There’s a fair bit of colour variation but still continuity between colours, because that’s what this person looks like. Mixing up the colours even more than what’s shown looks really good. Keep a balance. The more colourful the look, the gentler the colours should be. This isn’t something to worry about if you have a Colour Book of swatches, the gentleness levels are built in.

My thanks to Natalie who pointed me to Alima Pure’s line of cosmetics. The eyeshadow and foundation selections are beautiful, with many choices for Neutral Seasons. Under Products, choose your category and when the page opens, click View Swatches. You’ll see the whole panel open up for comparisons with colour accuracy that appears very good. I can’t recommend particular colours, having never tested them, but if you have experience with this line, please do leave a comment.

If we’re dressing to repeat how we already look (and we are because it feels good to the viewer), the overall effect shouldn’t get darker than medium on a white to black scale. Big light blocks can look bridal or sterile, not right on a fun-in-a-quiet way, optimistic, and cheerful person. Getting too saturated or busy with colour means her clothes compete with her and win. If colours get too dark, her skin will be drained and grey (and it will follow, who needs grayer teeth?) Remember too that viewers have a lot more colours to process besides your clothes – there’s hair, makeup, eyes, and that big block of skin – that aren’t in the graphic above. They will thank you if everything matches.

The Dance

How could I forget the music? From classical ballet origins in True Summer and then loosened up when Spring appeared. Spring brings magic and mysticism, freedom and imagination.

Proving that anybody can make fire:


Too hot for Light Summer? Maybe that’s Light Spring’s and we need something dreamier? A reader felt a connection with this very beautiful harp music.




23 thoughts on “Light Summer CE And Being Not Pale”

  1. Hi Christine and everybody,
    Just a comment about Alima Pure. They’re a great company. I’ve ordered from them for years. The owner, Kate, is a very sweet person and their customer service is outstanding. Each order comes with several free samples, all packaged so beautifully you feel like you’re receiving a gift.
    Their foundation is excellent. Quite matte, so those with dry skin and those of us over 40 will need to pay attention to moisturizer underneath. Their foundation lasts much longer than any mineral foundation I’ve tried (and I’ve tried many). Shade selection is outstanding and samples are generous and cheap. Generally, the colors are paler IRL than you’d expect, #0 being practially white.
    One thing about mineral makeup though: companies that don’t use carmine, ultra marine and chromium green tend to have colors that are a bit more “earthy”, less bright. Great for all Autumns, SS, TSu, DW, a bit more of a challenge for the Lights, the Brights, TSp and TW. (That’s how Kate explained it to me when I asked if they had a “clear pink” blush.)

  2. I must have the jewellery personality of a Light Summer, I am craving all those pieces in the polyvore! Would like to add that I think gold and rose-gold jewellery can look stunning on light summers, perhaps even more so than silver.

  3. Aromaleigh was great about featuring pigmented makeup. Hopefully, they’ll feature it again this time around.

    Also, yes, <3 Alima Pure. Praline, Platinum, and Zen are gold-toned grey eyeshadows.

  4. Wow! I just love the way you write about colour! I love my light summer colours and the way you’ve got me thinking about them. Thank you for such an awesome analysis!

  5. This made my day! Loved all of it and am especially grateful for the polyvore and color equations visual.

  6. Thank you so much for this wonderful article, Christine! You have a great understanding of the seasons, and I do feel such an affinity with your interpretation of Light Summer. The polyvor seems to have a silvery glow with all that gray combined with rainbow colors. I can’t stop looking at the landscapes. They feel like Home.

  7. I have my PCA done at the beginning of January with the wonderful Lisa Ford of Lisa K. Ford in Tampa (highly recommend). Turns out I am a Dark Autumn, so the Dark Winter assumption wasn’t too far off the mark. I love coming back and reading all of Christine’s posts with knowledge of my DA palette. I am looking forward to your in-depth DA review Christine, and I absolutely adore your site and writing style.

  8. Thank you so much for this article, it is so insightful! You hit the nail on the head with the point that we Light Summers actually need medium colors, and are not pale thank you very much :)
    I also love how you incorporated personality traits, nature and music…I agree with all of your choices!

  9. Personality wise, this is me to a T. Too bad I can’t do the lightest stuff and as low contrast as summers seem to need, otherwise I’d found my home.

    BTW, I think you’re selling yourself and Dark Winters a bit short. At least from your comments so far you seem like a really pleasant person (just saying).

    I have a question concerning pictures. How should the lighting be for a picture to be representative? I’ve learned to wait to make any decisions before my photos are transfered from camera to computer, but I still have a lot to learn. I’m asking because I look great in black/white on an overcast day outside or when I’m indoors. But in direct sunlight I tend to look washed out. Actually I look washed out ( for me this means an unhealthy pale where you can’t really see someones facial features) even in military green if the picture is taken outside on a sunny day.

    And to anyone else who might be reading this, and are thinking about having a non-sciart color analysis, I have an advice: don’t be such a pushover with your color analyst as I was. If they decide your season mostly by using four drapes and assessing you from your looks (or anythig of the sort), it’s okay to demand better service :P. The uncertainty afterwards is not worth the conflict you avoided that day. Or maybe even if you’re having a sciart analysis, actually. Unprofessional people can probably be found within every tradition.

  10. RK,
    Like everyone else, I am very pleasant when things are going well. I’ve just never met a DW who is loaded with patience under certain button-pushing circumstances. Of course, every character trait is a strength and a weakness to an even degree :)
    Sunlight overexposes everything. Photograph a blouse in sunshine and it will look faded. I find the most useful, true lighting is the overcast 11AM. It’s neither too blue, yellow, or red. Have I answered the Q?
    So many good points you raise…nice one about the pushover. I’m glad it got said because I can’t say it.

  11. I just had my color analysis and it was wonderful. The analyst was a dark winter, consequently I was hoping for that. She had a wonderful grasp on what she was doing and was very knowledgable. I was a little surprised, having always thought of myself as someone with harsher tendencies, but as I read through all that you’ve said Christine about light summer’s I’m truly amazed and rather relieved to find myself again. I think we light summers have a tendency to be too empathetic, and lose ourselves in our need to understand everything around us. I especially resonate with the choice of using ballet as a mode of expressing fashion and energy for the light summers. I think I appear calmer than I feel much of the time and a small part of me is always ready to be wisked away into an adventure, so long as it isn’t too rugged. :)

    Thank you Christine. You are a wealth of knowledge and experience. Just what this inquisitive and insatiable seeker of knowledge (ie light summer) needs.


  12. Congratulations on finding your truth and your willingness to embrace it, Thalia. We are so happy for you. This is just too good,

    “…always ready to be wisked away into an adventure, so long as it isn’t too rugged.”

    Can I use that in my next book?

  13. Thanks for your answers, Christine. It really did help. Photography is a good way for us who are uncertain to guess about our season. But there are so many ways it can go wrong, apparently. Especially one’s hair can photograph as a different colour than it is.

  14. BTW I completely get the whole: strong-features-so-I-must-be-a-winter thing from your client. I’m short with a large head (I can wear menswear hats) and small but more masculine features. and I tend to try to wear strong colours to make my head look smaller. It is easier to accept being an autumn or winter if you’re not conventionally cute. with spring or summer it can seem as though you’re failing at your own season. but maybe Kibbe styles are a huge help here.

  15. Having previously been diagnosed as a Soft Summer, I am delighted to officially be analyzed as a Light Summer. I got a little bit over-enthusiastic with the warmer end of the LSu spectrum and purchased several tops matching the fan’s corally-pinks, light yellow, several blue/green teal tops, and light neutral brown pair of work-appropriate capris. I now have a a closet full of beautiful colors, but I feel that my outfits are all taking on a Springy feeling. Christine, do you have any ideas on how to incorporate our beautiful, fresh, slightly warmer ended colors without coming out looking like a Spring season?

  16. By choosing more of your colours when you shop, Amanda. Every colour of your palette is perfect for you, even if you picked all the warmer versions and wore them all at once. You’d look great and still like a L Su, not L Sp which is yellower, whiter, and so looks creamier. But if you bought a few L Sp things along the way, and if they’re on the cool side of L Sp, and if they’re lighter in colour, you might find they can be worn successfully with the L Su palette. I also think accessories go a long way in polishing or defining a look – so choose silvers, cool beads, water coloured plastics or watches, keep the hair colour correctly cool. Does it answer the Q?

  17. I was draped a light spring many many years ago. The colors never fit my personality, I rarely got compliments while wearing them, and was told they were too bright. I was at least told I looked younger than my age.

    After a very long time and money spent searching, I now believe I’m actually a light summer. How you describe light summer personalities and appearance totally fits me. I’m comfortable wearing almost all of the colors, except perhaps some of the lightest or brightest.

    I’m married to a dark winter (maybe more soft winter) and have one dark winter and one soft summer son. My husband and I are polar opposites. He often thinks I’m too random and not focused or sincere enough. Kind of flighty. (Which is true.) I think he’s too serious, sensitive, impatient, and misses all the fun stuff. Lolol

    Yet we’ve been married for 12 years and love each other despite our differences. Or maybe because of them. We drive each other crazy, yet also have a balancing effect on each other. I’ve learned a lot from him. There have been periods of time that I’ve felt constrained by his seriousness and limitations he seems to place on life, but he’s helped teach me how to live a better, more stable life. And that’s what I wanted. I let him see that being abnormal is ok (and perhaps that there is no such thing as “abnormal”). That there’s many ways to live life and that’s ok. This was what he needs to know and feel to balance himself.

    My soft summer son is more intense than my dark winter son, because he gets OCD over details and doing things a certain way. He’s more demanding and impatient. My dark winter son enjoys being left alone, but also enjoys company when there’s a good reason for it. My soft summer son is not happy unless he has people to talk to, and he lives in a fantasy land. When he can chill and have fun with people, he turns so loving and easy-going. He loves art and fine motor skills. My DW son love technology and science.

    I think we fit many of the seasonal personalities, and I enjoy learning that I am ok, and my husband and kids are ok, and I don’t need to try to change who I am or who they are. I do feel a lightness of being that it seems most of the population doesn’t have. I’m also not a crazy partier. I’ve always felt like I’ve been seen as a weirdo or on the fringe of society for these reasons. I get anxiety around people, like I’m not lovely or witty enough. I just like to chill and have easy laughs under an overcast sky on a slightly rainy but warm day with vivid colors and opportunity to wander and explore. And if people and life are weird, that’s great.

    Thanks for helping me feel confident.

  18. Lol, I was just thinking, the phrase that comes to mind most often when I’m frustrated with my husband is, “Chill the f*** out!!

    Fits perfectly.

  19. Well I’d thought my younger one was a soft summer because of his medium brown hair and grey-hazel eyes and cool beige skin. Though he can also look good in most dark winter colors. But we just tried on soft summer colors and they were too light. Maybe he is a deep summer or winter after all. Black looks good on him and he’s better in silver than gold. He also one where I scream, “Chill out!!!” a lot lol.

Leave a Reply

All mention of copyrighted terms and content from any book, website, or organization will be edited to include only the company name to avoid copyright violation on the part of 12 Blueprints. Thank you.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *