The Reason For The Season is You

Among the 4 True Seasons in Personal Colour Analysis, there are two groups of people whose coloring has a  cool undertone. They are the Summers and Winters. Their nature also tends to be less energetic and a little more reserved and slow-moving.

The Warm Seasons of the Springs and Autumns have skin with a yellow or gold undertone. They are lively, busy, talkative, and active.

Colour makes us feel certain feelings and think certain thoughts. A big block of why that is comes from the most primitive associations humans have made with colour. It is embedded in our genetics and the evolution of our brains from the beginnings of our consciousness.

Just as the energy of the 4 True Seasons follows the course of the year, from

the short-lived but almost frantically busy, almost reckless, activity of Spring


the hazy, flowing, genteel days of Summer


the time of yields and returns in the fields, of efficiency, and security, and responsibility in Autumn’s solid personality


Winter withheld reserve and its contrast of frozen yet shocking beauty. How can such austerity and colour severity be so beautiful? How can something so motionless be so compelling?

Frozen in time.

So does the warmth and coolness of the Seasons alternate in every 24 hour cycle.

Spring is a colour riot. It corresponds to the early morning optimistic business. The light is pale yellow, but there is a definite promise of heat to come.


Summer colours are seen between noon and 3 PM where activity slows as the heat induces a softness and relaxed peacefulness to how we feel, as well as what we see.

Late afternoon light mellows and heats the colours of the world around us, just as it does to the coloring of people in the Autumn seasons.

Winter individuals, whose personal decoration in clothing, makeup, jewelry, and hair colour is stately, formal, and symmetrical, look best in the colours of the darker time when motion settles. This is a feeling of colour restraint worn in simple, contrasting ways.

Though there are 12 colour groups, or Seasons, among human beings, each has their special edge, their special effect. Learn what yours is and your appearance will crackle. Colour is above all a feeling. People will keep looking for why you send sparks but they will not know.

Your thoughts project outward from you as a vibration. They are like your inner colours. You send an energy vibration by the colours of your body too. You have a wavelength all your own. Wearing wrong colours is a constant irritation because the wavelenghts don’t jive. You’re emanating too many frequencies that are all clashing.

Trying to look like what you could not be never works. Think about how you were intended to look. You came here, meant to look a certain way. Are you close? You’ll feel it when it happens.



Elisa Is A True Summer

Elisa has always believed herself to be a Spring. Her freckles, warm brown hair, and natural flush in her skin caused her, and others, to conclude that the colours in her design followed Spring colour rules guidelines. When assessing a colour, be it in you or outside you, we ask the same 3 questions, because any colour has 3 properties.

Spring colours are:

Lightness or Darkness? > light, or at least never very dark

Warm or Cool? > warmed, and by yellow, not orange

Clear or Soft? > clear, or highly saturated

The premise of Seasonal Colour Analysis is that every colour in your natural colour composition answers those 3 questions in the same way. Your swatch book is a group of colours that fit on those scales in those exact same positions too, thereby replicating the colours in your design. That is how the magic happens.

I can see how one might look at the light-medium warmish brown hair and see warmth, light, and clarity.

Her eyes are not warm though. They are a medium-dark blue-grey.

The dark brows could make Winter cross your mind.

Nevermind the hair and eyes. We established long ago that they are not used in defining the Season. We look at skin. The person Season is their Season, eyes open or closed.

Without a proper analysis, we cannot really understand skin. You have to watch how it reacts to colour. Are freckles not a sign of warmth? No! Freckles are just another red herring, found in all 12 groups of natural colouring. You have to look beyond them, at the skin.

Both skin and her eye patterns performed precisely as True Summer does. The moonlit, luminous translucency that only True Summer does so well was there for sure. The absolute inability to handle the slightest degree of heat, or we saw instant pasty skin, was there. This skin tone seems to look turquoise in turquoise, and melon in melon.

In fact, Elisa is a study in contrasts. She has warm hair, dark eyebrows, deep blue eyes, and freckles (which feel warm). She could be placed in any number of Seasons, but none would feel right. Once we neutralized all the variables, it was clear that she is a True Summer.

In the past, makeup often seemed too conspicuous so became something to avoid. We looked at how to accentuate her features with the same understated elegance that is true of her entire palette. These are Grace Kelly clothes and colours. This is the skin and eye colour that was made for BlueGrey eyeliner (Annabelle makes a perfect (and perfectly inexpensive) pencil by that name). Everyone can wear makeup beautifully, but the fragility of this skin is easily overwhelmed.

Elisa has some natural shadowing around her eyes. It was least pronounced in the True Summer colours, but wasn’t obliterated altogether. That’s called Photoshop. Many women fight that with too much concealer, which ends up looking caked and even more obvious. There is a little foundation here, but no concealer. I usually apply concealer or foundation, but seldom both. On any Summer, foundation is always divided with moisturizer.

True cool foundation is truly hard to find. If the store won’t allow you to take a few samples home to try in daylight, don’t buy the product. I ask women to bring their foundation to their PCA. So far, none have been wearing the right colour but they knew that already.

In your right colours, you will see the area under the eye become as illuminated as possible. Wear a little makeup, but allow your face. Ignore our magazine-obsessed culture that has us trying to delete our individuality.

One of the biggest misconceptions about True Summer colours is that they are all dusty lavender and Wedgewood blue, old-feeling colours. In fact, the most important feature of True Summer colours is not their dustiness, or softness, or grayishness, all the same idea. It is the coolness, the blueness.

These are not at all confined to being light colours, though Summer is thought of as light. Relative to Winter, it is lighter, but they can do surprisingly dark colour.

In this graphic, the high saturation (hi sat) colours are on the left, as you can see. The lo sat colours are only softer by comparison. They are the colour of denim and flower petals. The True Summer personal colour palette contains these same beautiful colours, at about 50% saturation or less.

The hi sat shades on the left are pigment-saturated, pigment-soaked, pigment-logged. Winter needs them.

Elisa is married to the most mannerly man you could ever meet. Aggression and confrontation are disturbing to this personality. Hurry and pressure flusters them more than most. It is very calming to this character to be able to depend on certain things, especially decency and kindness. Courtesy is the most essential prerequisite of all.



Use of Images

The images contained in this article are of private individuals, not celebrities. I consider the permission for me to use them as a privilege. It is my intention to protect these women’s privacy and generosity. If you use any of the photos without permission, I will seek legal counsel. I do not want to have to reduce the beauty and detail of the photographs with watermarks.

This is a learning site. Please do use my words with credit back to the web page you copied and pasted them from. If you mix up my meaning and get the message wrong, feel free to omit any reference back to me.



The Right Sweater For Dark Winter Men

Seasonal Colour Analysis for clothing absolutely applies to men. The Dark Winter way of wearing colour extends to the Dark Autumn, who has enough intensity in his personal colour palette and the Winter trace that allows him to wear clothes in a Winter way.

That way is as follows. It is expensive, smooth, poised, and formal. Patterns, and prints are balanced and repeating, not random. This is an image of wealth and luxury, of tailored clothing and timeless design.

The Dark Winter is reserved to the point of being serious. This group communicates a quiet mood with dark colours. There is nothing playful or youthful here.

What does the Autumn hint bring in? First, it brings in a little brown, which warms and mutes the colours. They seem less distant and cold than the True Winter cold. Autumn also looks right with a bit of texture, as Merino, without getting into rugged cable knits that are too functional and not polished enough.

I also like a ribbed sweater, like this one at Banana Republic. It respects the impression of the Winter style, so repeating and balanced, but introduces a little texture. The rough surface is the bridge to Autumn.

Zip-neck sweaters are great if worn in a formal way. A full-zip feels to me too much like a hoodie, too juvenile or casual, almost sloppy.

Horizontal stripes are too sailboat or rugby shirt. This group expresses serious best.

Argyle comes in every colour. Does it work if the colours are Winter? To my eye, the styles do not mesh. All those zigzags in argyle are too animated, and look hectic on Winter formal energy.

This is a beauty at LLBean, in the colour Mountain Red, shown in the catalog with a white shirt and looks sharp. Notice that the colour (in the catalog, much more accurate than the website) is a very intense, strongly pigmented red. If the colour reads as heathered, it is not the best choice. The intensity of his natural colouring will not be well balanced by the colour he wears. With a charcoal pant, casual or formal, this guy is getting noticed for all the right reasons.

V-neck, crewneck, and turtleneck all feel good on these men (only my opinion). The choice of shirt is important. The aim is simple drama. An iceberg has simple, quiet drama. A circus does not, it has complicated drama. A day on a sailboat has no drama.

The colours should contrast strongly (very light with very dark). Dark charcoal, eggplant, or ruby, with a crisp white shirt. An icy grey shirt and a midnight blue sweater. Have a read through the article Icy Colours and Pastels for a reminder of what to buy (and not buy) as a shirt.



Colour, Complements, Clothes, and Cosmetics

You met Louise in Louise and Stevan Are Light Springs. This is a closeup of her eye.

Louise's eye.

Every human being is a colour story. The eyes are indeed the window of the soul because the colour story resides in them.

Your Season is present in the colours and patterns of your iris design. Sometimes, the Season can be read from the eye, it is so classic. The eye might also contain traces of several seasons, not all of which will matter in how colour affects the skin in the colour analysis.

Colours and line patterns

Here, the iris is predominantly blue or blue-gray. All the webbing radiates out likes waves. This is a Summer-based eye.

The skin at the inner corner and outer corner is yellowish. We see a yellow sunshine around the pupil, though separated from the pupil by a space. These are Spring traces.

Eyelashes are brown, indicating a lighter season.

Louise is a Spring, but she tends towards the cool side, close to Light Summer.

OK, so what good is all this information?


Since yellow and purple are complements on a colour wheel, meaning they are located opposite one another, each colour is intensified in the presence of the other. All the violets and orchid colours look beautiful with soft yellows. When Louise wears these colours, that yellow circlet around the iris looks like a garland of sunshine beaming out of her eyes. It illuminates the entire eye area, which looks healthy and youthful.

There is the slightest touch of green with the blue here. Turquoise, very much a Spring colour, looks remarkable on Louise. All 5 Spring-influenced colourings can do a version so incredibly well. The right shade of turquoise, which she finds in her personal colour swatches, will detect and repeat the precise shade in the eye. The eye colour can become extremely powerful simply by repeating it exactly in clothing.


Eyeshadow hilite should be cream with a tinge of soft pale yellow. This will repeat the yellow crown in the eye design more effectively than a cooler shade.

If you look at the yellow wreath in the iris, it has a light tan colour. From the 2 to 5 o’clock positions, it is a darker and less yellow shade of brown. This is very similar to the hair colour. If opportunity allows, matching eyeshadow to a brown or gray in the eye accentuates the eye in a way that appears very natural and blended. Colours diffuse, repeat, connect, and the whole flow feels very pleasing.

When you plant a garden, you repeat the same colour over and over. A garden made up of one appearance of ten different plants requires more visual effort, like a flea market. When the mind sees balance and repetition, it sees harmony, and so beauty.

I like light peach, pink, light gray, and light gray-brown eye makeup best on Louise. The article The Mystery Of Brown, the second of the 3 posts in this series, explained how different Spring and Autumn browns are from one another. If your mind says dull, earthy, heavy, brown-peach, brown-orange, gold-orange, muted, or drab gray, do not buy it. If it looks like a metal (copper, gold), do not buy it. If it looks like Autumn leaf colours, put it back. Better feelings for Spring are tropical seashells, blonde wood, icing, and pastels.

Finding complementary colours

The web is loaded with free, small, simple downloadable programs to help you work with colour more precisely.

If you Google digital color meter, you can find lots of choices that tell you the precise web codes for whatever colour your mouse is hovering over.

I like simplicity. Too many bells and whistles are like cell phones with 1000 menus. Who knows how to use more than 10 of them?

I like this tool for finding complementary colours. The page features all kinds of colour picking tools, in the right margin. Play with them, they’re easy and interesting.

Type cdd87e into the box under the left square. That is close to the yellow colour in Louise’s eye. See the purple show up opposite? Cool, hey?

Less is more. It looks expensive and organized. Begin by understanding what you are. The rest is easy.



Soft Summer Jewelry 1

It always begins with the same question. What does this person feel like?

How we decorate what’s INside authentically on the OUTside?

The Soft Summer person

These people are very True Summer in most ways. They are not reclusive, shy, or introverted. They do not need to be the boss, though they could be good at it, nor do they require center-stage attention. Theirs is a more subtle, serene, quiet productivity.

The trace of Autumn puts a different spin on things. The Soft Summer is usually more physical, with faster and more focused energy. They have a cut-to-the-chase practicality that gets the story told and the job done sooner, without True Summer inclination to pause and think through details.

I love this Petal and Pearl necklace at J.Crew. Love it in charcoal too.

To speak for them, their jewelry must follow the same tendencies. The pieces are less lacy and swooping than True Summer. There is a feeling of more solidity, but by no means chunky. Autumn and Summer combined can make for a very headstrong individual. The jewelry should not feel retiring or lightweight. These can be among the most persistent, immovable personalities so a persevering quality in the jewelry is appropriate.

The metal is often better silver unless they lean to their warmer neighbour of Soft Autumn quite closely. Theoretically, as a Neutral Season, gold could be worn in small proportions. It would be the deeper, more mellow gold of Autumn, rather than the Spring very yellow gold that risks looking cheap on anyone else. A brushed finish and antiqued expression in jewelry, as pewter perhaps, is very becoming.

Good behaviour and personal restraint are the hallmarks of the Summer personality. What better jewel to define that sophitication than pearls? I think they suit the Soft Summer colours as well as True Summer. They feel as the colours of a misty morning with the light of day coming through, as can a seashell- coloured pearl. Creamy pearls would even work well, as would gray,  just not too yellow.

Soft Summer colour code

Just as clothing colour combinations can venture further from True Summer best monochromatic look (several shades of the same colour), so can jewelry. Different colours can be combined, as long as they all remain true to the personal colour swatches in the Colour Book.

While you mix different colours from your personal colour palette, such as antique rose and jade green or pearl with orchid, how beautiful would that be, all the colours themselves are of low saturation. The whole look of this season revolves around that concept. We saw in What Are Clear And Soft Colours? that these colours are all closer to gray than in the clear Seasons. Are they dull and drab? No way, just relatively a little grayer. Think of the beauty of willow, sage, and spruce, not grass.

From JCrew, love this bracelet. The bracelet is gold, but there’s not much of it. The colours are of low saturation. This mauve or brown-tinged gray is basically your eye shadow. The weight is heavier but there’s a classic and understated feeling.

These earrings are adorable.

The Pearl Twisted Hammock necklace is stunning.




Emily is a True Winter

Emily has passed the milestones of her first 20 years. The next 20 years will involve marriage, career, and family, often all at once. In these years, women have the least amount of time to spend on themselves, both inside and out. The demands can be overwhelming and once we emerge on the other side, many of us still look like the students we were when we last bought age-appropriate makeup.

Emily 1.

Like so many women, in every age group, Emily does not wear makeup. Easy to understand. Very few women can accurately choose what cosmetic colours suit them best. Many have tried but the result does not speak for them, so they felt like impersonators; or the sales pressure was too intense, and the upsells too mind-boggling to honestly express uncertainty. We have all seen, or been the woman at the makeup counter looking completely overdone. You can feel her thinking, Get me home before someone sees me.

Emily would like to know what clothes look best and some help choosing makeup that does not make her feel painted. She has the sense and good taste to want to be noticed for the right reasons.

When the cosmetic colour is wrong, you can never achieve the magic, no matter how lightly or heavily you apply it. When you start hearing, Just apply a thin layer and blot it to a stain, forget it. If you need all those shenanigans, the colour is wrong and besides, it would not last 10 minutes. We all know what makeup- sitting-on-top-of-skin looks like. When the colour melds with the skin, you can apply quite a bit before it starts looking fake.

Emily 2.

Put a light, wishy-washy colour on a True Winter and unattractive things happen. Their eyes are dull, almost empty. The person so dominates the colour with their inherent colour intensity, that all you see is a face that appears ill. The skin is dull and shadowed. What happens to the skin happens to the whites of the eyes. As they yellow or grey, the crispness of the eye colour is terribly diluted. It makes you  feel sad to look at that face.

Emily has colouring so strong that she wore many of the Bright Winter drapes well, the most brilliant colour there is. Bright Winter requires a little heat in the skin, which Em does not have. That heat will not harmonize with her. As a result, the Bright Winter drapes drained the colour from her face and turned her skin grayish, like the walls of the room.

Though I have often said eye colour is not relevant to Season, I want to clarify that. Any Season can have any eye colour and that remains a fact. But just as the drapes are looking to make a connection with the skin, so are they searching for the like colours in the eyes. They are astonishingly and precisely coloured to create a reaction in the skin, and to detect an exact colour match in the skin. When the association is made, it can be electrifying, as if the drape colour is coming right out the eyes, a true mirror for the natural colouring. Em has navy blue in her eye. Watch it come out when like colours find one another.

Emily 3.


1. If you are not used to lipstick, use sheer colours but stay true to your swatches. The blue-eyed winter with a soft feeling about her may do better in soft fuchsia than red, but too much colour would be outside Em’s comfort zone. We used Cover Girl Amazemint in 615 (Cozy Plum) and it’s lovely.

2. Even young people should use shimmer makeup carefully. It has as much to do with facial anatomy as age because the lightness advances. The upper eyelid may be too prominent. Classy makeup is your supporting cast. It does not scream, Look at me!! Let your makeup be a diffusion of your own colours floating over your face, but let people look at your eyes because they are the shine in your face.

3. Here is an example of Winter who might deepen her hair to match the brows, but always remaining true to the base shade. Nature will never colour you wrong. Her hair is the right colour but Emily could enhance the dark brows/milk skin effect more by deepening her own shade a touch. It will look real because the brows are dark, but more dramatic (not necessarily better, just a stronger visual effect).

Emily 4.

4. This is also a place to think about how bad it looks if a Winter were to lighten her hair. The dark brows become more prominent, and look severe, which may read as aging or masculine.

5. As a Dark Winter, my eyeliner is browner and lighter (MAC Grey Utility). Em will wear a crisper darker gray (Graphiti). I have never seen anyone of lighter complexion than Frieda Pinto can wear black eyeliner as their best choice, at least in the daytime. True Winter’s gray consists of black and white. It’s a pure, true gray.

Emily 5.

It takes a certain courage to step up to a personal colour analysis. Like having your fortune told, as empowering as it is, you may hear some things you are not ready for. I have been told that I read palms. What I really read is potential. To see yourself as you never have, both inside and out, takes endurance. It also brings the responsibility of answering the question, What are you going to do with it?

Em will travel her own colour journey. It will be unique, unlike mine or yours or anyone else’s. Some of it may not gel for years. You have a lifetime to refine it. She can feel confident and beautiful wearing makeup and know that people see the real Emily. It takes more time to convince yourself of all that it can be, and how powerful the final effect is, when every element meshes.

Once you get to the makeup counter and are told that you do not really need to follow your personal colour swatches, you really have to dig deep and find some fortitude. Why would you not use them? Why would the sales assistant not use them? If they have never had a PCA and watched the process, they cannot understand why you are holding the book you have, or what the other Books look like. They’re tremendously good at what they do, but colour analyzed skin tone perfection is a key that can only be turned one way.



Use of Images

The images contained in this article are of private individuals, not celebrities. I consider the permission for me to use them as a privilege. It is my intention to protect these women’s privacy and generosity. If you use any of the photos without permission, I will seek legal counsel. I do not want to have to reduce the beauty and detail of the photographs with watermarks.

This is a learning site. Please do use my words with credit back to the web page you copied and pasted them from. If you mix up my meaning and get the message wrong, feel free to omit any reference back to me.



True Summer Jewelry

True Summer often embodies traditional femininity and classic designs. That said, there are many other versions of femininity.

True Summer word pictures

I find True Season personalities more faithful to their Season than are Neutral Season characters, who show far more variability.

True Summer is deeply decent, sensitive, and so civilized that they put the rest of us to shame. For Summer, the word pictures are flowing, the most beautiful blues and roses, pastel, still water, hazy, graceful, precise, detailed, refined, fine, and understated.


Just as Summer colours are soft, so is the feeling and reflection of the jewelry. Nothing moves or changes quickly. Matching elements and pieces are in keeping with the monochromatic scheme that suits Summer best.

Multiple different styles feel too much like a miscellaneous assortment on the Summer soothing ambiance.

Sparkle, dazzle, and movement are excessive energy variation, feeling inexpensive and random.

Summer is quiet, focused, and particular. The message on their answering machine is slowly and clearly enunciated. Ask for directions, and you will be awhile listening, but you will get there on the first try. Ask a Spring and you may be lucky to see each other the same day.


The metal is certainly silver, though you could veer towards the warmer white gold if you approach the warmer Soft Summer (like Jennifer Aniston), or rose gold if your 12 Season colour analysis showed your skin tone to drift the other way, towards Light Summer (Princess Diana gave that impression). If you have a Wintery air, you can harden the metal to platinum.


Stones from your personal colour palette always work. Sapphire in pink or blue are perhaps the best. This brooch was custom-created, but it perfectly represents the rarity, the investment piece (as Searcy said) quality of this Season.

Pink Sapphire Breast Cancer Awareness brooch.

Diamond, fine cut

If you once thought yourself a Winter, as do many Summers that I see, you can integrate a Winter element. Jaclyn Smith and Farrah Fawcett gave that impression. Both dramatically weakened their impact when they chose yellow in their hair over ash browns. Use diamond, but choose one that is more delicately cut. You can also use blue sapphire with diamond, but choose a piece that is exquisite and detailed, rather than heavy or bold. Summer is not an attention-seeking presence.


Tourmaline is not a single mineral, but a group with similar properties. There are many perfect colour options among these stones.

For green-eyed summers, there are some uncommon options among these stones. Watermelon Tourmaline is a rare and beautiful gem.

Rose Quartz

For the lighter women in this group, rose quartz is very beautiful. It is perfect in its soft lustre and very compatible with your colour palette.

Rose Quartz earrings.

Look at the purple amethyst while there.


What if you shop at Sears? Circular silver hoops are a staple. Where the classic shape of the oval defines Winter jewelry, Summer’s circle is associated with childhood and grace.

Silver hoops.

These hoops are silver. I like the wavy lines. They feel flowing and smooth, but have more substance if you prefer something less delicate. Lacy filigree is lovely for Summer.


Opal, of course, must belong in this group, as do cool turquoise and aquamarine. The Shades Of Blue wire necklace feels right to me. The colours look at little yellow, probably due to the lighting. These are made upon request by the artist, Janine Antulov. Follow the link to read her description of the creation of this piece.

It need not feel like ultraconservative Grace-Kelly jewelry. The rules are guidelines, intended for you to add your own spin. That is how we speak for ourselves subconsciously. Design something unique that resonates most strongly with your True Summer colouring and personality.

Shades of Blue at FineArtAmerica.



The Mystery of Brown

This article is the second of 3 connected posts. The first one was What Are Clear and Soft Colours?

There, we talked about muted colours belonging to Autumn and Summer. They are lower intensity. Brown appears in Summer as lighter, softer grey browns, as mushroom colours, or with a blue or mauve tone, as pigeon colours. Autumn browns are span light to dark as latte or browned creams to coffee.

Spring and Autumn Browns

Spring has true brown colours too, just like Autumn. When you shop for clothes or makeup, how do you pick Spring’s camel coat from Autumn’s?

Left, Spring. On the right, Autumn.
Left, Spring. On the right, Autumn.

These colours are not rendered precisely. If you own a Colour Book for True Spring or True Autumn, you may notice that. It doesn’t matter. This illustrates the point well enough.

A color like camel can be very soft, or low saturation, or it can be very bright, or high saturation. It depends on how much gray is in the mix. Look at the two camel browns in the middle row. The Autumn one appears more golden, darker and heavier, even opaque.

The Spring brown feels closer to you because of it lightness. Light colours visually advance. It almost feels more transparent, though transparency is not one of the ways in which we define colour.


The Springs have a yellow undertone, while the Autumns have a gold undertone.

All of the Spring colors have yellow added to them, and all of the Autumn colors have gold added to them. So, the difference is between yellow and gold. Gold is a deeper, grayer, and darker shade of yellow.

Spring colors feel light and bright. Autumn colors feel deeper, richer, darker, lower in saturation.

Autumn browns are of lower saturation than Spring because there is more grey in the mix. If they were musical notes, Autumn would resonate far more deeply. The register feels lower. Autumn colours are more golden, but a golden color has more gray in it than a yellow based color. Gold is a darker version of yellow and it is of lower saturation, hence its place among the Autumn colours.

The color brown is actually orange that has been darkened. A dark orange is a brown.

Shopping with knowledge

When we get to 12  Tones, as opposed to 4 Season Color Analysis, the differences are slight, but do make a huge difference in the additive final result. The key to having your entire wardrobe work as one, within itself and with you, is for every item to follow your inborn synchrony. For those who have been draped, you saw that your runner-up Season was not the same as your best.

Below is an example of how to apply this information. It is easier with clothing than cosmetic colours. This is a Laura Mercier palette.

Looking only at the brown eyeshadow quad, do you notice that it is not gold or orange? The colours feel bright, lit with a pale yellow light. The musical note would be high and clear. These may be browns but they are not earthy, which gives a much heavier feeling.

That’s the easiest rule of thumb: Spring browns have no orange in them. Is it fail-safe? No. There are other Seasons with non-orange browns. This just helps you exclude a few of the wrong ones.

Laura Mercier eyeshadow quad at Sephora.

The no-fail guide

But you know, with your Colours Book, you have few worries. You might think that the camels and honeys and light browns are quite similar between Seasons. When you actually look at the swatches in the Books, they are obviously different. Match your personal colour palette as closely as possible and you will succeed. Colour is always best understood when compared to another colour.

Try not to shop from memory. Your success rate will drop to 50%. You do not remember colour as well as you may think. Always, always shop with your Book so you can meet our goal, which is to never, ever have you buy the wrong thing again.

Do your matching in natural, slightly overcast daylight. Take the article up to a window to check the color, or be sure to ask the sales clerk if it can be exchanged if the color is off in natural light. Stores usually use the cheapest lighting possible, which is the worst for viewing true color.

I scribble the product on a piece of white paper because the swatches are painted on white cotton canvas. The sales assistant is standing there watching and possibly feeling quite irritated, but at least it’s not unsanitary.  Then, I flip the pages of the whole swatch book past the cosmetic and decide if they look right together.



What are Clear and Soft Colours?

Let us say that every colour begins as grey. Drop by drop, you add a colour pigment. As you increase the amount of pigment, so do you increase the saturation. The colour is becoming more clear and intense. Finally, there is no grey left and what you have is a pure colour.

Understanding saturation in 12 Season Colour Analysis is key to using your colour analysis swatches correctly for selecting clothes and makeup.

Colour Saturation

In the progressions below, you can see how the grey lessens while the pigment colour becomes more dominant in the final colour. We began with a soft, muted, dusty colour of low saturation and ended with a more pure, vivid, brilliant colour of high saturation. Another word for saturation is chroma.

Muted colour is heathered. Clear colour is pure. It is very far from gray. It is closer to full saturation.

Here is another comparison chart. The colours on the right are not becoming darker, or warmer, or cooler. They’re just clearer or brighter, relative to gray.

Playing with colour parameters

You could darken a colour without removing the gray. Gray goes to heather mist, then lilac, lavender, and mauve. We’re playing with a different aspect of colour, namely the lightness/darkness. The saturation is not changing so much. These are all soft, muted colours.

You could equally change two parameters of colour at once. Wedgewood blue to sky blue to sapphire raises darkness and saturation at once.

Colour has a third parameter, that being warm/cool. Personal Colour Analysis is determing exactly where your colouring stands in terms of all three criteria. All the colours you are made of, your teeth, your freckles, your veins, eyes, teeth, suntan, they all have the same setting on these three scales. That’s the unifying thread that keeps your colouring in perfect harmony.

True and Neutral Season colour saturation

Summer and Autumn colouring wears muted colours. Though Autumn is more golden and Summer is mauve, both are softer than the clearer Winter and Spring shades.

The Neutral Seasons are born with a personal colour palette that is clear to some degree. It is in the particular combination of the degrees that you arrive at the 8 Neutral groups.

The saturation of gray

Can gray itself be more or less clear? It sure seems crisper and sharper in the Winter than in softer Summer.

Winter’s grey is pure. That means that it is made of black and white. That’s it. It can read a little blue or red at times. The feeling is of ice, stainless steel, or coal.

Summer’s greys have blue and pink in them, as pigeon colours. Spring’s have yellow, as sunlight on pebbles, and Autumn’s have brown, as elephant or asphalt.


How about a pure vs. muted yellow? Daffodil to butterscotch.



Brown is a little complicated. Brown is dark orange. Low saturation brown implies gray plus orange. That reads as earthy, tan, tawny, toffee, desert, SantaFe, and so on. High saturation, clear brown as you’d find in Spring, looks like the various colours of beer.

It is quite important to get it right because it is such a wardrobe neutral and cosmetic colour staple. The Mystery Of Brown is the topic of the next article.



Dark Autumn Jewelry

As in any of the 12 groups in Seasonal Colour Analysis, the variability is enormous. My Dad is a Dark Autumn. Here we are, the proud parents of our first pie. As a younger man, he appeared to have black hair. It wasn’t black in the sense that Asian people have ink blue-black hair, but it was blacker than the blackest coffee. His eyes are dark hazel. It would have been very easy to confuse him for a Winter, but the sleek shiny Winter look was all off. His character is practical, not emotional or theatrical. Like most Autumns, he had a sense of what suited him, but wore far more brown than anything else.

Me, Dad, and our pie.

Halle Berry could be a Dark Autumn, with her bronzed colouring.

My friend Gina is too. Her skin tone has an olive quality and her overall colouring is vivid and dramatic. She has all the fiery sparkle in her character that she has in her appearance.

Gina 1

These are the Autumn individuals who integrate a trace of Winter darkness, coolness, and formality. The colours are exotic, spicy, and more warm than cool. They are also dark.

The jewelry is strong and metallic, with heavy touches of copper, gold and bronze. The weight of Autumn jewelry is found but the regal touch of Winter calls for more simplicity, fewer pieces worn at once.

The look is expensive, rare, and precious. The feeling is of age and extreme value, as in heirloom pieces and vintage reproductions. The colours are deeply glowing embers. Just as there is weight and luxury to the fabric that suits Dark Autumn, so is there a strong essence to the jewelry. Flimsy fabrics belong to another Season, as does dainty silver filigree.

Dark Autumn jewelry 1.

Diamond is a classical Winter stone, as might be Ruby and Sapphire, but worn in warm metal settings, they add drama and opulence. The proximity to Winter certainly allows silver settings too, depending on the clothing being worn. Any cut stone in your personal colour palette will be perfect and with the tolerance for warm and cool, there are many to choose from.

The 1928 Jewelry company pieces always come to mind. The antique aspect gives the feeling of ancient treasure. The metals are a little darker and more heavily textured than the standard gold strand. The chains and links are usually considerably heavier than the delicate fixtures of most jewelry. The richly luxurious colours lend a precious and ornate feeling. The ambiance is of great wealth, of a library in glowing evening light, burning coals in the fireplace, touches of gold and and deep greens in the room, plush velvet and satin fabrics, and a dark burgundy wine.

Dark Autumn jewelry 2.

With the personal colour palette of fiery, spicy, passionate colour and the unique ability to wear striking and vivid contrast, this group comprises many of the more exotic shades and prints. Far-off spice markets and bazaars are evoked by paprika, cinnabar, and bay leaf. There are numerous lighter shades and neutrals, including black, but the defining terms are darkness and heat. Likewise, unusual and original jewelry looks custom-made and one-of-its-kind, adding to the impression of affluence.

Frivolous effects, casual clothes, and youthful touches are not in keeping with this strong bold energy. This Season delivers a serious visual impact. Clothes and accessories are important, creative pieces. Of course, the size of jewelry is always in keeping with the size of the person wearing it, so the pieces need not be enormous.

Dark Autumn jewelry 3.

These people may be capable, often forceful, organizers and leaders. Potent personalities need to be reflected in an exterior that is equally powerful. Anything soft or moderate just becomes a person wearing someone else’s clothes. The bridge that links the inner to the outer being, and translates into a compelling presence, will not be made.

The target is always to perfectly harmonize your inner core and exterior self. Your colour heat, your body size, your personal vitality are all expressions of the same energy form that came together as you. Learning to listen to the language of your soul creates a visual communication that just feels so right.



Science, beauty, truth. Transformational results.