How Autumns Intensify Eye Colour Thumbnail

How Autumns Intensify Eye Colour

How Autumns Intensify Eye Colour

access_time 2010/09/13 account_circle chat_bubble_outline 59 Comments
I went into the drugstore yesterday. The cosmetician was very pleasant, very helpful, but who hired her for this position? Her makeup was so dark and severe that it would scare children.

I am no better at impartiality when it comes to my own face than anyone else, but there was nothing more this woman could have done to detract from her appearance. Her eyes never get noticed, lost in the pharaoh effects and dark burgundy lip. She might be a Soft Autumn, so it feels a bit of a tragedy to look at her.

Every step of our makeup should intensify eye colour. The first reaction to a good blush should be that it strengthens the colour of the eye above.

In 12 Season Colour Analysis, Autumn’s colors are warmed by gold, hover around medium on the light/dark scale, and  are muted to soften them to some degree.

The Autumn challenge is to find colour of the right degree of warmth in a colour that is neither too dark or intense. If the colour is too red or dark, the rims of the eyes irritated and the eye smaller.

Colour in cosmetics can compete with eyes. One reason is that the colour intensity of cosmetic pigments can overwhelm human colours. The second is that the cosmetic version of the colour neutralizes or is in conflict with the eye colour. The cartoon effect of blue makeup can get away from you, but your taste may be different from mine and that is fine. Colour is big enough for many opinions. I would suggest you wear your blues in clothing to accent the eye colour. As a larger colour area that the viewer sees within the same field as the eyes, it is more effective than makeup for this purpose.

Soft Autumn

The principle of the Season, the radiance, the special look that nobody else can pull off so realistically may the akin to the idea that the Earth is our cradle. She feeds us and protects us. She is gentle, warm, and generous in her abundance. Even her light is moderate, kind, welcoming.

Who would put black eyeliner on that? Or cool foundation and fuchsia lips? It would feel like a ski jump in a September cornfield. Avoid overwhelming the eye with makeup, especially darkness. Better to underwhelm the eye with makeup. A little goes a long way on the Soft and Light Seasons.

The hair is butterscotch and brown, like peanut butter fudge. Make the eyeshadow toffee. Every Autumn has the ability to repeat her hair color in her eye colour.

This is a Soft Autumn eye. The orange at the center repeats the freckes.

Soft Autumn orange eye colour

Make this the hair.

Soft Autumn hair colour


Notice too that there is a lot of Summer in this eye, where the outer half or more is gray-blue-green. Soft Autumn is a Neutral Season and a neutral gray-brown eyeshadow can work as well.

Among the test drapes that are used to identify Season, there always seems to be one that connects powerfully with the eye colour. For Soft Autumn, the olive drape is the best eye colour intensifier. Interestingly, for the other Soft Season, the Soft Summer, the best eye colour drape is the soft pine green. The drapes are finding something in these eyes that is not immediately obvious.

True Autumn

Autumn says to the world, “I am gloriously warmed with gold, and I am also safe and strong. I am what I appear to be and honor truth above all.”

These eyes have a very particular property. They contain the colour of metal. It might be copper, flame, or a darker greener bronze color. This effect is only seen if they wear their own clothing and cosmetic colours.

Hair colour should repeat something in the eye colour for the instant lift of the eyes. The colour is very warm, usually, a medium warm chestnut brown that may have a red tinge or not. A coppery highlight can be beautiful (don’t go too light).

A metallic dot of antiqued gold eyeshadow just over the iris, and under the matte shade that covers the whole lid, is sublime. The viewer sees a flicker of flame in the vicinity of the eye. Keeping shimmer in attire and cosmetics to earthy colours is especially flattering.

Dark Autumn

This is the image of this Season that resonates with me (minus the singing).

Pocahontas Dark Autumn

Copyright Walt Disney 2005.

A strong and practical princess.

These eyes are gingerbread brown, chocolate cake, liquid bronze, or a green-bronze colour. The eyeliner is dark brown, also possibly with a slight green tinge. Mascara is black-brown, possibly black depending on the darkness of the person and hair. Many persons of darker complexion belong in this group and the hair may not indicate the true degree of warmth.

Eyeshadow highlight is darker than most other Seasons, as are the light wardrobe colours. M.A.C.  The other Dark Season, Dark Winter, will wear Winter icy light tones, but not this group. They turn the skin to ashes.

These are exotic colours, such as chilli pepper, wasabi, and nubuck tan. Autumn is nothing if not sensible. Once they see the obvious improvements and potential for their own great beauty, they implement their palette faster than perhaps any other group.

Play up the hair and arrange it around the face. It repeats the eye colour exactly. If it is worn too flat or skinned back, you lose a huge eye intensifying opportunity. Do everything you can to make it gleam. Avoid anything too red, wine, magenta, or burgundy. It looks more natural as warmer brown, like redwood, mahogany, dark chestnut. Port wine is the reddest you’d go.


59 Thoughts on How Autumns Intensify Eye Colour

  • "; ?> luana

    Thanks Christine for this post, I do like it.

  • "; ?> Rachel

    ” “Our Earth is our cradle. She feeds us, protects us, and never does anything harsh or unexpected that might harm us. She is gentle, warm, and generous in her abundance. Even her light is moderate, kind, welcoming.’ ”

    This Soft Autumn feels validated!

    David Zyla, in The Color of Style, proposes six archetypes within each season. (I think he’s using a variation of Caygill’s typology.) One of his Summer personae, which may correspond to Soft Summer, is “Earth Mother”.

    I related to everything in his description of that woman – yay, flowing fabrics – and was sad to be stuck with his Autumn types. I am definitely not a Sexy Librarian, a Stylish Beatnik, or a Sensuous Backpacker!

    Here’s to claiming the gentle Earth Mother archetype for earthy, mellow Soft Autumn. 🙂

  • "; ?> Jo

    Hi Christine,

    Thanks for this. It’s v useful to see the three Autumns laid out side by side to show their very clear differences – and similarities. It makes me realise that mistakes I have made in the past were because I veered into True Autumn territory (or even Spring).

    As a fair skinned, blue eyed Dark Autumn I find Brule rather too dark for me. I spent ages trying to find a gold-toned light highlight. The best yet is Mally’s Luminiser in Heavenly. It goes on incredibly sheer but adds luminosity to my natural skin. It can also be used over (or under) ANY eyeshadow, to make it gleam.

    Do you have any additional tips for intensifying blue eyes using Dark Autumn makeup? I love the effect of moss/swamp greens (done subtly) on the skin tone around the eyes , but never feel that it helps with intensity of the blue…

    Would plum (brown-plum, or warm-plum NOT a blue-plum) be an option for the eyeshadow for DA blue eyes, do you think?

    And I completely agree with you about avoiding excessive warmth in eyeliner. I have ended up looking red-rimmed quite a few times! Now I stick to bronze, black-brown, gunmetal or that deep plum, all of which seem to work.


  • "; ?> Christine Scaman

    Thanks, all 🙂

    You know, Jo, I don’t really alter makeup based on eye color. By the time the Season is right, and the clothes and hair and lip and blush are right, the eyes are plenty intense with the same makeup I use on every other member of the Season.
    Blue eyes are uncommon, makes me think you might be on the cool side of the Season, nearing Dark Winter-perhaps a bit like my coloring. I do alter makeup for individuals who veer distinctly on the cool or warm side of their Season, though the standard makeup also works well.
    Magazines often say that warm brown is the complement of blue, so one would think that might intensify the eye, but if the skin is coolish, I usually find most browns look too hot.
    I quite like the idea of plum, since deep raisin/eggplant is a favorite of mine on this Season. Do you know the name of the warm plum, bronze, and grey liners you have found to work? I think all 3 colors would be quite beautiful.
    As an eyeshadow, would warm plum work? I can’t think why not as long as it doesn’t come off purple, but you must have searched long and hard for the product – unless you’re just using it on a small area, or mixing with a brown and a plum?

    RE: Sigourney Weaver as a Dark Autumn – I don’t know her Season till she’s draped, of course. She has sharpness and might be Winter, but I see her more in deep russet lips than coral plum. Who knows?

    RE: the Soft Autumn hair color above. The natural color of this woman, and most members of the Season is warm ash brown. If you prefer to leave most of your natural color showing, and only add a few highlights, that’s great. Less upkeep. Just be sure the highlight is toffee tawny, not yellow or ash.

  • "; ?> Denise

    I would also love the names of plum eyeshadows that work, as well as moss/swamp green shadows. My eyes are green (with bronze and yellow and teal) and my skin is on the cool side of the dark autumn season. Browns make my eyes look red and my skin look dull. I look good in clinique greens but I’d rather something that looks more natural – plum sounds just right.


  • "; ?> Betty

    In the video with the Red Hat ladies, you metioned wearing your hair color for basics like shoes and pants. Is that for all 12 tones, or just Winters? Also since “Fall” is upon us, could you help us get the “Fall Feeling” from our color palettes? I have seen where you have warned Winters not to purchase items that are too bulky such as heavy cable knits. Any other suggestions?? I’m a true Winter who lives in Central Calif. (with a casual life style) and I am married to a very casual Summer. So I wrestle with the feeling of being too formal (as my hubby would say “Untouchable”). So whats a girl to do?? LOL!

    • "; ?> Christine Scaman

      Repeating hair color in shoes, pants, belts, any big color block applies to everyone.

      A True Winter won’t convey an Autumn feeling. The rule remains ‘To thine own self, be true’. You’ll wear knits that look expensive (cashmere, smooth silks), not rugged or bulky. The brown chunky sweater that looks cozy on an Autumn looks like Sunday’s workwear on a True Winter. I’m not quite sure what the question is – can you ask it in a different way?

      Believe me when I tell you that hundreds of women thank you for all that typing, myself among them.


      Yes, Autumns certainly can have yellow and gold in the eye.


      Hm. Can’t think of the Dark Autumn eye connector drape, haven’t done one in awhile. I think it’s the dark tobacco green. Dark Autumn is a Neutral Season, so has a cooler offering among makeup, as well as a warmer one, but they usually fare better in the deep brick and bronze reds if the hair color is correct. If you have a Facebook page, do look at the Fan Club, there is probably more discussion among Dark Autumns than any other, except perhaps Light Spring. All Heart is Bright Spring’s color, too clear and light and cool for Dark Autumn. Try Lancome LaLaque TechnoBrick or MAC Strength or BrickOLa, and Clinique Fig blush.


      Are you a True Autumn? Are you certain?

  • "; ?> Denise

    Jo, I’d also like to know what blusher colors work for you as well.


  • "; ?> Jessica

    Do Autumns ever have yellow in the eye, rather than orange? Or would that suggest another season entirely?

  • "; ?> Jo

    Hi All,

    I just popped upstairs and grabbed a clutch of Deep Autumn makeup, so I’ll list what I have (for those who wanted to know):

    N.B. I live fairly far from the centre of things, and do most shopping by mail (eBay is my friend), but I think a lot of these are available from QVC as well, or over the counter in the US.

    Goldspell Eye Rimz by Laura Geller – Black, gold and white swirled together, can be both eyeshadow and liner, can be applied wet or dry. The gold warms the black, the white softens it.
    Gunmetal Eyeliner by Mally Beauty – exactly like the name – gunmetal grey liner

    Swamp/Moss Green
    Chicory mineral shadow by Bare Escentuals – LOVE this stuff. It looks dull green in the pot, but against my skin it becomes a chameleon, depending on lip and clothing colour.
    Macchiato/Fruit Tart eyeshadow by Laura Geller – half the pot is a warm golden brown, the other is a combination of purple, yellow and green. On the skin they are soft gold/green and gold/brown (maybe a little soft for a DA, but I spice it up with a bronze or ivy green liner)
    Ivy gel liner by Bobbi Brown – dark enough that you don’t immediately realise it is green

    Tuscan Night eyeliner by Laura Geller – another eyeliner so dark you don’t realise it is actually plum, but it definitely looks nicer than black!
    Plum Glow eyeshadow by Mally Beauty – it looks purple in the palette, but against my skin it is another chameleon (current fave colour)

    Bronze Evercolour Shadowstick by Malley Beauty – fantastic as long lasting eyeliner AND smudged as shadow

    Heavenly Luminiser by Malley Beauty is the best hilighter I have ever used (pale gold)

    Christine gave some fantastic suggestions for blushers on her Greener Tea site, and of them I use Nars Taos and Lovejoy, but Laura Geller’s Down to Earth is my ultimate favourite (even though it looks awful in the pot). I also use Sugar Free Raspberry by LG occasionally.

    Twelve Bluprints Facebook has some FANTASTIC discussions on lipsticks for Deep Autumns, but I always somehow end up wearing one of the following 4:
    Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay Mocha (with Lovejoy blush)
    Estee Lauder Autumn (with Down to Earth blush) – this would be my desert island combo
    Estee Lauder Stay Ruby (with Sugar Free Raspberry blush)
    Dior Brun Tumulte (with Lovejoy blush) Nude lips look dreadful on me, but this is the nearest I can get and still look good.
    I still haven’t found that PERFECT red lipstick, so I won’t recommend any.

    Hope this is what you wanted to know.

    The only thing I will ask you to bear in mind is that I am not really a ‘typical’ DA.
    I have seen other DAs GLOW with a gorgeous inner golden light with a wonderful skintone (bronze-coffee-gold see the pics of Valeria’s draping on this site). I am more of a cream-brown-blue DA, so maybe my makeup choices won’t be ideal for you…


  • "; ?> Jo

    And Jessica,

    Yes, I have pale yellow in my eye (and soft deep teal, and muted mid blue, and a fleck or two of tan).
    Having blue eyes (with yellow) was one of the reasons I was originally diagnosed a Spring, but DA colours work best, so here I am… grin.

  • "; ?> Sarah

    I laughed out loud when I saw the pictures accompanying the soft autumn discussion. I never see my hair color anywhere, but there it is, exactly (although it lightens in the summer). My eyes have a little orange by the pupil but are mostly gray-blue-green. My sisters and I did a for-fun color draping this summer, and when I held up an olive green shirt, they all said “Wow! Look what happened to her eyes!” I even have a square jaw like the young woman in another post that you suggest has a soft-autumny look. I know you can never tell until you’ve been draped, but I think I’ve got a pretty good guess . . .

  • "; ?> Denise

    I’ve newly realized that I’m a dark autumn, so I’m finding this discussion very interesting. Christine – 3 suns – intellect, opulent beauty, leadership ability – and an appearance when done right that is dramatic is quite a lot to manage. No wonder dark autumns are hard to get a handle on.

    Jo – thanks for the makeup suggestions. I look dramatically different with makeup and I’m looking forward to trying some of your ideas. Meanwhile I’m experimenting with what I have. I like Clinique Merlow for lips, and Revlon Ripe Raisin and Spicy Cinnamon lipsticks. Although I do tend to want to lighten them up a little!

    I have a few questions: 1) Christine – What is the drape that connects with eye color for most dark autumns? 2) The lip and cheek makeup Sigourney Weaver is wearing looks on the plum or berry side on my monitor. Are there dark autumn colors that are plummy or berryish? Is there makeup you would suggest that would approximate her look? 3) A few of my makeups that I wonder about – do these fall in the parameters of dark autumn – Clinique All Heart and Clinique Apple Brandy for lips, Revlon Berry Flirtatious creme blush, and Nars Exhibit A blush (applied lightly)?

    I love the poetry of your writing Christine. It makes me think it’s fun to be a dark autumn!

  • "; ?> Ashley

    If I recall correctly, All Heart is Bright Spring, and Berry Flirtatious is Summer, either True or Soft.

  • "; ?> Jes

    It’s interesting that my natural hair colour is almost a hair colour given as an example of True Autumn best hair. It’s really very “in the middle”, not light, but not too dark…
    Trying to find metal in my eyes (though my eyes are really bright and quite clear).

  • "; ?> Jes

    Christine, unfortunately I’m not certain at all (I’m almost certain only that I am some type of Autumn, though – who knows…) I would like to be analysed in person of course, but it looks like colour analisys isn’t too popular in our city. 🙂
    May I ask you two questions? Is the colour on the picture of Soft Autumn colours, that is marked as “From inside the eye”, warm or cool? (It looks very close to my strange eye colour). And the second question: is antique gold in big colour blocks good for True Autumns (or it’s good for all Autumns)?

    • "; ?> Christine Scaman


      Because it contains elements of warmth and coolness at once, as does the Soft Autumn Season, it would probably be called neutral.
      Antique gold in, say, a blouse, will be True Autumn, certainly if it’s metallic. When I’m asked about a color, I’m never certain that we have the exact same shade in mind, but generally antiqued means darkened a bit, so it feels more True or Dark Autumn to me.

  • "; ?> Jes

    Christine, thank you very much!
    So, my eyes are probably neutral, not cool, as I used to think.
    As for antique gold – yes, I mean a colour of gold, that is darkened a bit! I always describe it that way. Once I stumbled upon a top in that colour. I put it next to my face and I was really shocked, because it looked so natural next to me. I thought actually that it’s hard for anyone to look good in a colour like that. 🙂 (Unfortunately that top was not of my size. 🙁 ) Also I see antique gold in my hair sometimes.

  • "; ?> Jo


    I just realised – the bronze Mally shadow stick I mentioned as being a good DA eyeliner/shadow is called ‘Topaz’ NOT bronze.
    Sorry for the error.


  • "; ?> Krissy


    Just curious why the Sci\Art Soft Autumn fan does not contain any oranges or even apricots. Of course they would need to be muted & softer oranges/apricots to tone in with the rest of the fan. Thanks.

    • "; ?> Christine Scaman

      Krissy – I expect that it’s because orange per se, even muted like squash or pumpkin, is too warm (more gold and red needed). Soft Autumn has the terracottas, so muted apricots and salmons in those forms. The Colours Books don’t represent the only possible colours for the Season, there would be hundreds of possibilities. They give you a range, but many in-between tones would work too. A muted apricot sounds very nice to me on Soft Autumn.

      Trisha – Not sure how much I can help. The color of foundation you wear has nothing to do with Season. I can be the same Season as Mrs. Obama. Season has to do with how skin reacts to color, which color parameters make the skin most perfect. Now, Lora may disagree and that’s fine. If you really are a Dark Autumn, then the swatch book you got with your analysis should be right, for clothing and makeup. I’m afraid your eye picture only opens to the tiny size of the avatar, so hard to see – but it would not make a difference. Your eye color is not relevant to Season, IMO. I’d be happy to answer the question, but I’m not just sure what the Q is. Have you tried wearing the new colors and asking for opinions from people who will tell the truth and innately understand what color communicates? I find children under 15 and the occasional husband good.

  • "; ?> Trisha

    Thanks for all the lively discussion on and around Deep Autumns folks! Fascinating to read. Like one or two other ladies who comment here, I have been diagnosed several times (including once with Lora Alexander online- excellant) as Deep Autumn. Still having some residual sticking problems with fitting into it though. Interesting Christine, when you say the colours are not seen as “feminine” and can be quite hard to live up too. I think this is partly my problem, that lack of femininity (although I don’t obvious pink girliness exactly). In make up I know I need a touch of brown to make things work, by instinct and just looking in the mirror over years I found fuchia, bright pinks, anything with blue tones just so wrong for me. I need some depth and some warmth in face colours, although strangely I am amazingly pale – the lightest tone- 01 in the new Lancome Teint Miracle foundation for instance. A lot of pictures of Deep Autumn have females with very golden skin tones which I find confusing. A lot of browns still look too warm on me, although I know that black is not looking so good as I age. I would love a handbag that matches hair colour (somewhere between mid and dark golden brown) but always chicken out and buy black, as feel the brown is so dull and stodgey looking, although I aim to get over this one!I used to buy a lot of things in my eye colour, very dark olive green (with dark gold blodges) but find this green now washes me out next to skin as it pales even more with age; I am in my fifties. I love the way that Italians dress in all those browns and earthy colours, but although I have inherited the hair and eyes from Italian ancesters on my fathers side, they have golden skintones which seem to make it work, whilst I have my mothers Irish pale skin, albiet its yellow or neutral tone, not pink. Anu suggestions to get over these hangups would be most welcome – by anyone please!

  • "; ?> Trisha

    Here is a close up picture of my eye, hopefully attached. Look darker than this normally as seen from a distance. Note strange pink eyeshadow makes me look like a rabbit, put on by cosmetic counter assistant, who also took photo for me (difficult to do myself, so talked her into it at the price of her applying this strange colour!). Why do they assume, as others have said, that pale skin equals cool skin?

  • "; ?> Trisha

    oops, have to try again!

  • "; ?> Trisha

    Here we go again, sorry folks, I guess if it appears suddenly, it will appear against all comments?

  • "; ?> Trisha

    Still working on the photos unfortunately, they were up and then they disappeared, my IT skills are still obviously sadly lacking. In the meantime, here is the best pic I can find of a beautiful woman (not me alas) who has my colouring (although my hair is a tad lighter now). Cut and paste it in for acuracy as its a long one!

    I have been emailed by three friends around the country telling me they have seen this pic and the colouring is just like mine! I have a strange feeling looking at it, as does see this combo so much – the eyes are same olivish green-brown, the exact hair colour and the pale but ivory skin, not so pinky-blueish like blonds tend to have. This is why I have a problem still with Deep Autumn colours, the golds and really warms are too warm on me, need a bit of green in the mix to cool it down. Am I actually neutral then, what are your thoughts Christine? One colour consellor said she thought I was the cool side of warm, does this make any sense? I had a jacket like this I made years ago, wore it too bits and loved it!

    • "; ?> Christine Scaman


      Yes, ok, I see the issue. So, I have no idea what Season you are, or this model either, or if you both are the same, or your friends are focusing too much on hair and eyes as most people do. Dark Autumn, Dark Winter, and Bright Winter, AND Bright Spring can all seem rather similar. Sometimes, I play with lipstick in my head. If that model is Dark Autumn, she’ll look best in a red-orange. Dark Winter will be mulberry. Bright W, strawberry red. Bright Sp, warm strong pink. Honestly, I don’t place any of them on her with perfect ease. Her skin has been made up and digitally altered. What she’s wearing has dulled her eyes ( or might be her hair), but the eye makeup seems ok. Her lip color is flat relative to the hair intensity. I just cannot do this from photos, because as you see, there are too many variables.

      You’d have to dismantle all the elements she’s added to herself and start fresh. The draping is the most certain way I know, and there will never be any uncertainty. Dark Autumn is not a warm Season, it’s neutral. The browns are greying to a dark taupe for eyeshadow. These should be in the color fan Lora sent. The cool side of warm might still mean warm, in that True Autumn colours are still better, or you might have moved to a cooler Neutral Season, like Dark Autumn, or even cooler Dark Winter (which is more the warm side of cool). Maybe Lora can help?

  • "; ?> Trisha

    Christine, your last posting must have come in just as I was composing the comment above, timing was really synchronistic!

    I apologise for being so muddled in that message, and will try to clarify things. Sorry too about the size of that pic, it was very small, but it does not appear on my screen in any form still! Yes, the shade name of a foundation is not relevant, I was just using it to indicate I am very pale. And you’re right of course, specific eye colour is not relevant. I don’t disagree with being a Deep Autumn, most certainly are on the warm side and quite deep in eyes and hair so must be, but my paleness means some colours in the season are too warm still. I think I mean to ask – are there graduations of warmth or coolness (of a person’s colouring) within each group still? Orange looks appaling on me, for instance, I look hot and flustered in it, its far too warm, but its supposed to be in my group of colours to wear. I fear I may have annoyed you, so will leave it at that.

    • "; ?> Christine Scaman

      No, Trisha, Neutral Seasons will have warm and cool choices, but look fabulous in all of them. A person might be closer to their cooler neighbor Dark Winter, and if they cant’ find an item in a perfect shade, they’d veer that way, but their own Season will always capture the magic best. I don’t even find light/darkness of clothing matters with paleness of skin, except in the darkness of makeup.

  • "; ?> Trisha

    Thanks so much for that Christine, I really do appreciate it! I think its probably very hard to do this sort of thing by distance and photos as you say. Lora had some not so good photos to work from and it must be difficult. I keep coming back from all consultations virtual or real (with CMB) as Deep Autumn, but the CMB confused me as she said I was definately warm, not neutral, which instinctively I feel. I have tried to wear the oranges and pumpkins in the swatchs but no one agrees they look any good on me, and looking in the mirror I have to agree with them, which I found disappointing. The lipstick is an interesting one, as no, I look awful in the orange-red; my best shades are warmish berry ones, that is plums with a lot of brown in them, or red with a quite a lot of brown too, and a touch of pink, as in a deep ruby red, never any orange tones. I will go back to Lora though and ask her again. Thanks once again, I feel I may have unwittingly imposed upon you too far. Take care.

  • "; ?> Trisha

    Thanks also to you Krissy, again your comments came in as I was typing mine! But so kind of you to reply so quickly!
    Interesting that you say colours can be too dark on you – I never have felt this, only that they are sometimes too light, too warm, too bright, again never too soft. I am beginning to think that I am quite neutral in colour. I think I do have a bit of a problem with not fitting into the pink girly colours, as like to feel feminine. Also I was beaten by a mother when I was young, who told me I was ugly as I was dark haired with strong features, not blond and beautiful and cute like her. She made me walk on the other side of the road to her when we were out together, so it didn’t do a lot for my confidence, which I’ve been trying to build up ever since and why my work involves helping others (through the arts). I read a report once at college that said women who consulted image counsellors had problems with confidence and maybe that’s true, or maybe not for younger ones? All we can do is try, not sure there is a difinative way of getting it right, just enought to feel OK within ourselves would be good though. Many thanks again, take care.

  • "; ?> Krissy

    Christine thanks for your explanation about orange and orange shades in relation to Soft Autumn. I feel orange is a shade a lot of people run from (funny I feel it suits me). I do wish there the Sci\Art fan did have some muted apricots at least. Squash in Aus is pretty yellow rather than orange. Also pumpkin, is that a shade for Autumn or Spring (ie True Spring) as thinking about your article on understanding colour, pumpkin seems more yellowy than rust? Not important, just curious. Also out of curiousity can I ask your opinion on this orange. Is it for Autumn or Spring, and is orange only for the True warms. Orange seems to be a fashion trend at the moment for spring/summer.

    Trisha my understanding is Deep/Dark Autumn is a neutral season, like Soft Autumn is for me. Perhaps you are closer to neutral, but still enough on the warm side whearas I love the really warm colours. I don’t think I’ve ever put on something and thought that is too warm but I have with it being either too dark, too light, too bright and sometimes even too soft. Being Deep/Dark Autumn your colours should reflect this which will enhance your colouring. I also guess it depends what you think as feminine colours. No dark autumn doesn’t have the typical barbie pink feminine colours. But I personally love the exotic look of a Dark Autumn in her colours. Perhaps you need to note what it is about the Deep Autumn fan you don’t like for yourself and then ask yourself why. But perhaps another Deep Autumn can help you better, or Christine of course.

  • "; ?> Adriane

    Christine, the Rimmel e/l in Sable: is the one that you use Rimmel Soft Kohl Kajal Eye Pencil in Sable Brown, Rimmel Exaggerate Full Color Eye Definer in Sable, or Rimmel Exaggerate Waterproof Eye Definer in Sable? I’m thinking of retrying this one, but (at least in the US) Rimmel has three options for this shade. Thanks!

    • "; ?> Christine Scaman

      HI, Adriane! The print on mine is so rubbed off that I can’t read it, but I’m almost certain that it was the Exaggerate. It’s a twist-up if that helps. Milk chocolate color.

  • "; ?> Adriane

    Thank you kindly, Christine. 🙂

  • "; ?> Samantha

    I totally appreciate this article and especially the Soft Autumn eye part of it. My b/f’s eye looks quite similar to the eye of the Soft Autumn woman (except that he doesn’t have the freckles around his eyes like she has), and his hair (albeit slightly cooler) looks very similar as well. I want to say that this post has confirmed my suspicions that he is a *Soft* season (either Soft Summer or Soft Autumn as the *only* season he could be), with absolutely *no* clarity in his coloring whatsoever.

    With that said, what about the redheaded Deep Autumn with nearly *no* warmth to her deep brown eyes (Lora ‘diagnosed’ me as Deep Autumn just over four months ago with a q I asked her then) like me? Do I treat my colors the same way as the Deep Autumn who *isn’t* a redhead?

    • "; ?> Christine Scaman


      Color analysis is all about what colors make the skin its most perfect. If the Season is correct, and the swatches are correctly colored, every color will look beautiful on you. Your hair and eye color make ZERO difference. Once the skin is “diagnosed” correctly, the hair and eyes are automatically 100% dead on. There is always variability in hair and eye color among members of the same Season. You still wear the same palette of colors.

  • "; ?> Molly

    I really like your approach to all of this stuff! Interestingly, I have almost the same exact eye color as the Soft Autumn in this post. The only difference is that my eyes have a muted dark olive green rim. Also, my skin and freckles are Exactly the same. The thing that always throws me off is that I have much darker hair than Soft Autumns and too much warmth in my overall coloring to be a Soft Summer. When I was a very little girl I had honey/very pale amber colored hair. As an adult it is a medium to dark brown with all sorts of red, chestnut, amber highlights. You have mentioned elsewhere that it is the skin that determines the season. I feel that Warm and Deep Autumn colors are too much for me. Could it be that I am a Soft Autumn? I look good in soft + muted teal/turquoise/green-blue colors, soft red, and mahogany….

    • "; ?> Christine Scaman

      Soft Autumn does sound like a good fit, Molly. By adulthood, most SAs have hair that has deepened to a mid-brown. Hair colour, even if it is natural, is absolutely the most misleading determinant of Season.

  • "; ?> Molly

    Thanks for your response!

  • "; ?> Nynd

    I spent much of the 80’s trying to wear denim and blues when it was obvious that I couldn’t take the red/black/white/grey/cobalt/magenta winter palette of that era, but was always a little surprised and dismayed by how much better I felt in olive drabs and khakis. Lipstick? Forget it – everything was too pink, too orange, too red, too much – my lipstick, when I could be bothered, was a stick of concealer.

    It is interesting that most sites make much of the compliments people get when wearing their best colours – for a very soft, very difficult, almost-dead-centre-but-just-over-the-line neutral autumn (especially if darker, menswear tones are preferred), our best palette tends to elict the most inverted of praises: “You know, those colours are really awful, real compost-heap stuff, and they look hell on me, but they look great on *you*”.

    Getting our heads around “dull” sums it up so well.

  • "; ?> Stacey

    Hi Christine! Very interesting article. I was puzzled by one phrase though:

    “The natural color of this woman, and most members of the Season is warm ash brown”

    Could this be a typing mistake? I spent my life hearing that my ash light brown/dark blonde hair was cool, not warm. Actually I’ve been programmed to handle my hair colour choices around this principle: ash = cool. I’m talking about green-ash by the way.

    Thank you 🙂

    • "; ?> Christine Scaman

      Hair is very variable by woman and by Season. A lot of colours could be grouped under ash, or warm ash. What I should have said is warm neutral brown? I don’t know if that puts a colour picture in as many heads. Maybe warm medium brown would have been better? As you point out, they are not green ash, and not even the real grey brown that I think ash means. It’s a more velvety, rich brown. Good call.

  • "; ?> Stacey

    You know, the more I read your articles, the more I realize that many hair colourists out there may be excellent in technical terms (ie being able to deliver a colour without undesired undertones), however they seem disconnected from who the person is. That makes our beauty options unnecessarily complicated!

    I always thought that ash is being abused by hair colourists because it’s always associated with grey highlights and Linda Evans in Dynasty. I always sensed that my ash colour is much more than that but I was never able to put it in context with the rest of my body.

    I’ve never before thought about the colours in us being relative one to another, and the more I approach PCA the more things make sense to me.

    • "; ?> Christine Scaman

      I agree, Stacy. Hair seems to me the most trend-driven industry of them all, and often the hair masterpiece looks as though it’s been Photoshopped onto the woman because the two would never happen naturally together. To be fair, they are also doing what women are convinced they want to wear, and often, they can probably see very well that it isn’t the most flattering choice she could make.
      I am not a hair colourist but I understand that ash is complicated technically. Alone, the colour looks very flat, like stone. Controlling the degree of warmth seems the key. Frosting in ash highlights can look exactly like the woman is trying to age herself by adding grey tips. Every now and again, a True Summer is improved by highlights, but it’s not common to see. Usually, their true ash brown hair is the best one for their skin. Yellow in the hair is really not good, and so many of them do it.
      As you say, colour is only relative to its neighbours. Your best hair could be my worst because of the skin next to it. It’s so simple really, and so much in tune with who the woman herself is, has been from the beginning, and will always be.

  • "; ?> Mel

    So a friend who just started doing color analysis draped me three times and gave me two different results: True Autumn and Light Winter. The colors are ok I gues. I did some research of my own and suspect I”m a Dark/Deep Autumn. I can wear black well but look anemic in pure white. Super chunky clothing freak me out, I look like the Michelin man, not warm and eyes are red brown, hair is mahogany but looks black to t’s amazing how good one looks when proper colors are wore.

  • "; ?> Mel

    And the gravtar is me with a hellava tan from this summer. I’m pretty pale usually.

  • "; ?> Isadora

    Thank you for this post, very interesting!

    I’m a true autumn (I think) with natural, rather muted red hair. My eye color is very similar to the soft autumn eye you posted, but with a more blueish grey hue – so there is, for a true autumn, a lot of coolness in my eye color.

    I’m sometimes not sure if I’m more of a soft autumn, as I seem to have difficulties with the typical autumn yellows (they make me a bit pale) and can also wear some variations of muted blue. On the other hand I love nearly all browns, camel, mustard, terrakotta, brick red, dark olive, khaki, army greens and stuff like that. From the soft autumn pallette I have a bit difficulties with the lighter muted or greyish colors and the pinks as they clash with my hair color.

    So I feel a bit between true and soft autumn and my question is – do you know a certain drape that can help me to define my season? I think the olive drape you mentioned for soft autumn can help me a lot, but do you know a similar one (maybe also to enhance eye color, even though mine is not typical) for a true autumn?

    And can someone also be a true autumn leaning towards soft or are the seasons defining enough, so that a true autumn should always wear those vibrant colors whereas the very muted ones should remain with the soft autumns?

    Thank you so much for your help!

    • "; ?> Christine Scaman

      Isadora – between immediate neighbour Seasons, there is no particular drape or colour that will make the distinction. The colours are running very close together now. Certainly True Autumn will wear and require darker, richer, deeper gold, one that would cause SA to look tired and yellowish. A person’s colouring can be closer to their warm or cool side but their best colours, ALL their best colours, will always be together in one palette.

  • "; ?> Helen Levine

    Regarding the warm ash brown-if you are a neutral – for some, this is perfect. Ash and warm is neutral. Now that my hair is graying- a warm ashy brown. It’s long and looks great actually. Being a SA but possibly a Soft Autumn Deep, very neutral. So many of us get frustrated because we never knew there was a neutral season. I’ve learned so much from all these websites over the years. I enjoy the layering of the same color now more than ever before
    and having my wardrobe be wearable. It’s looks like I had a professional come in and do my closet. You need less clothing this way. Makes me feel like my money is not wasted. As my hair grays, I’m wearing slightly cooler browns. Mid-tones are very good. But a black-brown is a great accent and grounding color as well as the lovely olive. I can actually cross over to some of the soft muted spring colors which is fun. Makeup: My best brown eye shadow is Cafe Au Lait from Trish MacEnvoy. Powersurge eye pencil from MAC(I like wearing this color in my rim of my lower eye, it does not overpower me and lining the lower eye in general) and MAC’s eye pencil Coffee is great. I like Frisky blush from Tarte and Clinique’s Aglow blush. Mac’s Face & Body Makeup. Just beautiful. I wear NC2. Lips: Try Tarte Lip Pencils in Hope and Exposed. Mac’s Siss, Hug Me and Pink Plaid(let it set awhile). Mascara’s: Guerlain (Gold packaging) volume mascara in Plum and Clinique’s Extreme Impact mascara (this one is very good for making lashes look like you might have added flasies). Oh, and I sometimes like to line my inner lower rim (in addition to the Powersurge by Mac) with either, a silver color – an eyeliner twist pen from Sephora – waterproof and Urban decay’s 24/7 eye pencil in their orange color. You never know. Someone might find some of these colors perfect for them.

  • "; ?> Melissa

    Hi Christine,
    I’m wondering what neutral eyeshadow color you would recommend for a soft autumn with “round” or “prominent” eyes. Warm shades enhance the colors in my eyes, but they also make the prominence seem even more prominent. Cool colors make my eyes recede, but make the color in my eyes look dead. Is there a soft autumn neutral that would get my eyes to recede back a bit or at least not make them advance and still enhance the color? I’ve tried everything I can think of with no luck. Love your way with words and posts like these are so helpful!

  • "; ?> Amy

    What a great article! I’ve been struggling with the decision of am I a soft autumn or a soft summer? I recently tried to figure out my best colots by using the Zyla technique and could not pin down my Energy and Tranquil color. After reading this article I did an experiment and took a very close up picture of one of my eyes did a side by side with the suggested colors and noticed for the first time that the color around my pupil is the same color as the reddish brown eyeliner and the lightest matched the kahki on the right. I had no idea! Having the world’s most neutral skin tone has made it extremely difficult to establish warm or cool tendencies. What I knew for sure was I have very soft muted coloring. I’m excited because I havery all the suggested makeup colors and plan on trying them out for a week. Thank you!

  • "; ?> Makeup Eve

    I can agree that putting on liners that are too dark is fashionably iffy. It makes you really stand out with your make up, on the other hand for some faces it really works well.

  • "; ?> Tanja

    I am very confused about my coloring. I began as a True Summer, then went to Bright Spring, then Dark Winter and now I am thinking of Dark Autumn. Unfortunately, seasonal draping (with 12 seasons) is hardly popular in my area. I’ve tried the Draping Cards from Truth is Beauty. My mother and I both agreed, that Dark Winter looks right on me, but Dark Autumn was definitely an option too. I’m afraid, that we were a little biased for the cool season, because my mother is familiar with the 4-seasons-system based alone on typical characteristics and I grew up believing, that I’m a summer. (My mother was convinced, that she’s a summer too, but I’m pretty sure, that she’s actually a Soft Autumn).

    I have skin, that varies strongly throughout the year. In winter I’m super pale. But in summer I easily take on an olive summer tone (that must have descent from my Italian ancestors). My hair is dark brown. I often get asked if I come from the south-eastern part of Europe (Albania, Turkey), but I don’t. My eyes are of an indefinable color. People often get distracted by it and want to take a closer look. For the sake of simplicity I usually say, they’re blue, but the reaction is always the same: “Are you sure?”. The exact description would rather be: Blue-gray (like a medium-light denim), then a dark-green (somewhat olive) ring around the iris and golden-brown (like my mothers eye color) around the pupil. So, it’s quite a mix.

    I used to think, that orange is a no-go color for me, but I’m not so sure about this anymore. I think, it’s true for the Bright Spring orange (for example Korean Candy from MAC). But then I had to wear working clothes in a rich dark orange (maybe pumpkin orange?) and I received highly positive reactions for it. Even clients kept telling me, that I seem to be “aglow”. Would this be possible for a Dark Winter in a dark pumpkin orange?

    There seems to be no color, that intensifies my eyes. Dark colors overwhelm them right away, while light ones are hardly visible. The best color for my eyes seems to be some icy light blue (but I don’t like that too much as a color in my face). Also blushes on my cheeks easely get too strong (I tend to get a red face anyway). But the colors on my lips can’t be strong enough (even Bright Spring worked there!). When I put on neutral tones on my lips (for example Taupe from MAC), I feel, as if I’m washed out. I have the same effect in clothing, when I only wear neutral colors (especially medium navy blue).

    Do my descriptions make any sense, whether I belong to the Dark Winter or Dark Autumn season (or to none of these)? Sorry, honestly I’m highly frustrated about seasonal coloring currently… :-S

    • "; ?> Christine Scaman

      Tanja, your colouring and observations are very much like those of many colour-perceptive people. You know some things that work, some that don’t, and some that might. What is missing is the thread of reason that unites them. There is a thread, there is a colour that intensifies your eyes, and you do have neutral colours that would look fantastic. You might hit-and-miss your way to the right answers, maybe you have them already, but without having seen what makes right be right, you’re having trouble recognizing it. Same for wrong. Just a matter of an excellent draping system and an analyst who knows what to look for.

  • "; ?> Melina

    Tanja, it was really interesting to read your story, as I have a lot of the same experiences as you 🙂

    Though my own story would be far too long to tell here in detail, but shortly, I also grew up believing I must be some kind of Summer, especially in the old 4 seasons system (my natural hair colour being a fairly ashy dark blonde, though I’ve spent most of my life as a redhead); but mainly ignored seasonal colour systems, as it didn’t seem intuitively right, and dressed more or less like a Winter, especially a Dark Winter for years; then I really got into seasonal colours a few years back and went from initial belief of a Soft Smmer to a Dark season to Bright Spring (also as I seemed “too light coloured” to be a Dark, d’oh), and lived as that for a while, until this article opened my eyes to the possibility of Bright Spring being wrong… And my instinct for dressing up like a Dark Winter being right 🙂

    And then just recently I had a similar experience with pumpkin orange as you did – I had always thought orange as no-go for me too (one reason I began to doubt BSp), but the lovely pumpkin orange top I ended up wearing seemed (to my huge surprise) to suit me very well and make me glow… So now I’m considering Dark Autumn as a possibility. Also the olive green from the Truth Is Beauty draping card was by far the best green for me, but I thought it was just an anomaly… I do have dark olive/moss green in my eyes though, another recent discovery (as I’ve lately tried to figure out my Energy and Tranquil colours in the Zyla system). And even tough I now try to stick to the natural hair colour, the warm red/copper always suited me to a T… And cool reds in hair look ghastly on me, which does sound very Autumn-y, although I do love them in clothes. Oh well, or maybe I’m just on the cusp of Dark Winter and Dark Autumn; in any case, colours are absolutely fascinating! 😉

  • "; ?> Tanja

    Thank you Christine,
    for your answer. I think, I got the point and it’s true, what you say there. Funnily I’m pretty sure now, that I’m a DA. 🙂

    I was so happy to read your comment. What you describe, just brings up more similarities (the green of DA was also the best for me, but it’s so special, that I just didn’t dare to believe my eyes). As I wrote to Christine, I turned out to be a DA. As you have the draping cards too, I would like to tell you, how I used them to become as sure in my result as one can be by self-draping.
    Instead of sitting in front of the mirror, I’ve tried to stand some meters away from it and did the draping watching me from that distance. If I’m right, this makes sense, because it’s the first impression, that counts and when we meet someone, it’s not as if we beam ourselves right in front of them. We approach them from some distance. So, of course it’s nice, when your opposite notices the healthy glow in your skin or the sparkle in your eyes, but actually the “Wow”-Factor should already be there far before of all this. (And when it makes you stand out from a distance, then chances are the effect increases with closeness). At least for me, this method made it a lot easier. It made it more obvious, when it’s me coming along or when it’s the color instead.
    I began with the True seasons, for I’ve read somewhere (not on this page though), that if the true season is not working for you, then you aren’t within that season at all. It worked for me, as True Winter and True Spring couldn’t compete with True Autumn and True Summer. (Anyway I tried out all the neutral seasons as well). As I described above, I have typical summer characteristics. Summer didn’t looked wrong on me. I would say, the colors made me look sweet. In a preppy way. Proper and nice, but nothing special. I would feel confident enough to go on a date wearing those colors and that guy would say, that I look beautiful. Once he has found me! Because what I can also foresee wearing summer colors, would be the awkward situation, how I wave at him from a distance and there’s no way he would notice me, so I had to walk over to him instead of sitting perfectly on that wooden bench, while he approaches me.
    DA speaks another language. I don’t know, why I was so unsure about it. Looking at them and me with the said method, leaves no question open. If you’re a dark autumn, you’ll see, what I mean.

    The other thing, that made me come to the DA conclusion, is the article about DA make up here on 12blueprints. I read it again and it’s said, that DA make up might looks too bold and strong, but it all depends on what you are wearing below your neck. I’ve tried the make up again (products from the Truth-Is-Beauty-Make-Up-List), this time with a shirt, that must be DA and there wasn’t anything to complain about anymore. More the opposite.

    Hope, this helps a little. Have a wonderful day! 🙂

  • "; ?> Melina

    What you wrote was really interesting (again), and thank you for the tips 🙂

    Although I only do have the draping cards for 6 seasons, not all 12 (as that was obviously cheaper than getting all 12 ;)), and I chose the “most likely” seasons for me with almost no True ones, as I’ve always been pretty sure I’m a neutral season. (The only True one I got is True Summer, don’t know what I was thinking, I guess I just wanted to rule it out conclusively ;))

    Anyway, I have tried to make comparisons as best I can, but just couldn’t decide between Dark Autumn and Dark Winter – both are by far the best for me compared to others, but in a different way… Interestingly, Bright Winter has a similar very positive effect on my skin as DA and DW, and makes my eyes glow too, but the BW cards themselves under my chin look unnatural, kind of neon… And I know the right colour is not supposed to look like that 😉 Summers are all definitely too light for me and also mostly too cool, again unnatural is the word. But I will try also the “distance effect”, as in your tip 🙂

    As for lipsticks, I seem to be all over the place, but DA ones are mostly better than DW. Interestingly, many Spring lipsticks seem to suit me well, too (one reason I believed I was a Spring), but then again that may be because they are generally more suitable for summertime and daytime look… And I know this site has often warned against making any definite conlusions from lipstick draping 😉

    Have a lovely day, too 🙂

  • "; ?> Eylem

    My eyes is really dark brown but also they are not warm. I’m sure my eyes a bit ashy,muty and cold altought they are very dark. Same way, my skin color is “a bit” dark but i’m absoulty sure i am “soft autumn.” İt is possible, right? I know, soft autmn has mostly a light or medium skin and eyes color but this station is rare or something? And my second question, is it possible a black person is a soft autumn? Sorry my english not so well, i hope you will understand my questions.

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