Are you new to my Frugal Fashionista series? Find out how I dress in designer clothes for less. Yes, for mere pennies on the dollar, my designer outfits are less than $15, and did I mention…all second hand?)
We’ve all done it.
We see that “must have” shirt hanging on the store rack, and just have to buy it. Yet when we get it home and put it on, we realize something is not quite right. The style is perfect, but hmm…it makes us look a little tired, washed out, pasty even.
The problem? We’ve chosen the wrong color for our skin tone.
Color affects appearance, and regardless of how “in” a color scheme may be for the year, if you do not know how to identify the colors that look best with your tone, a lot of money may be wasted choosing outfits which just aren’t meant for you.
By taking a few minutes to break down the color categories, one can save so much money when it comes to shopping for clothes, accessories and even a new hair color. Once you understand color, it’s so much easier to create a wardrobe that will work, yet not waste.
A deal is no deal at all if you don’t want to wear it.
Seasonal Color Analysis is actually a little bit of science mixed in with a whole lot of smart thinking.
Colors are divided into pigments. Color Analysis takes your natural coloring based on true hair color, skin tone/undertone and eye color, and then breaks your colors into four seasons – Winter, Summer, Spring and Autumn (and then even takes you further by breaking into 12 spectrums).
Sometimes it can be a little tricky to determine, especially if your hair color is highlighted or colored, but once you have, it’s the cheapest “face lift” you’ll ever receive.
The first and most important step is figuring out if you have a Cool or Warm Undertone.
Once you determine your undertone, then you can figure out which of the four seasons you are. No one is just one season; they are a mixture of two – a dominant and a secondary season. For example, I am considered a Summer, but I love wearing colors within the complete spectrum of cool colors.
Let’s ask ourselves a few questions to determine where you land. This is going to seem odd, but when I did color analysis there were three first steps to determine whether someone was Cool or Warm toned.
Realize that when we mention undertone, we are referring to the color that’s right beneath your skin. Often, I use the word skin tone, but that can change based on a tan in the summer etc, where as your undertone will not change.
Remove all make up and pull your hair back in a ponytail.
We do not want hair color to get in the way of making the decision because it’s about finding our skin’s under tones, and colored hair can get in the way of that. Use a white towel (or material) and wrap it around your neck. Pure white will reflect your undertones. If blue, rose, pink, or purple undertones are reflected against the white towel, you have a cool skin tone. If yellow, beige, or golden undertones are reflected, you have a warm skin tone. It is not your surface skin color that determines your color, it is your undertones.
The above picture of my sister in law, myself and my mom is a perfect example of how three women can be blond, and look very much a like, but have different skin tones. My mom’s undertone is noticeably yellow, where as ours are blue (rosy, pink.) You would have never noticed that if I hadn’t pointed it out, would you? Go back and look. Now, you’ll see it much more acutely. Since my mom has a yellowish undertone, she is a warm, while my sis and me are both cool.
If you still can’t determine, flip over your arm and look at the veins.
Veins that appear greenish indicate yellow undertones, which means that your skin tone is warm. Veins that appear to be more blueish indicate blue undertones, which means your skin tone is cool.’
Another tip is to ask yourself if gold or silver jewelry looks best on you.
Gold looks best with warm tones which would make you a spring or autumn, where as silver pops on cool tones, making you either a winter or summer. Again, this confirms that I have a cool skin tone.
So, have you figured out if you are warm or cool toned yet?
Don’t worry if you are still a bit confused.
There is a small portion of people who are neutral, but just a few of you, so don’t get hung up on that.
Two more color tests are as follows. Do you look better in pure white or off white? I look horrible in off white, it makes me look So tired and washed out. That is because I am not warm toned, but put some white on me (especially in the summer) and I am all set (again, confirms that I am cool toned.) Next, if you were to wear a orange or pink scarf right around your face, which would look better. If you immediately say orange, you are warm toned. Pink would be cool toned.
This post is getting awfully long, so I am not going to go into detail yet about the four specific seasons or you would have to take a break to shave your legs before finishing this read. I’ll deal with that at a later time, but let’s take one more step by looking at our eye color and hair color, and it will help narrow it down.
Spring vs. Summer with medium to light eyes.
- Springs (WARM) have hair color that ranges from light brown to medium dark brown, red, strawberry blond, or golden blond. Your hair has lots of warm highlights. Your eyes are blue, blue green, blue gray, aqua, green, or turquoise.
- Summers (COOL) have naturally blond, ash blond or ash medium brown hair. Ash means void of any highlights. Your eyes are blue, blue gray, or blue green. (This is me).
Autumn vs. Winter with medium to dark eyes.
- Winters (COOL) have black or dark brown hair. Your hair is void of any highlights. Your eyes are dark brown, dark blue green, or deep blue gray.
- Autumns (WARM) have red, auburn, light to dark brown hair, or dark blond with warm highlights. Your eyes are hazel, green, brown, or deep teal blue.
If you are fairly certain that you have cool undertones, the colors below will be within your palette. Some of these will be better than others based on if you are a summer or winter (I’ll break them up next time.)
If you identified your skin tone as Warm, then the following colors will work well in your wardrobe. Again, we will break this down even further into what is best, but any of these colors will be complementary.
So, after this bit of detective work, do you think you know what skin tone you are?
What about your season? Identifying your colors take so much guess work out of the “does this look good on me” decision.
I hope this helped, and if you’d like to dive deeper into figuring out your best colors then I recommend looking into some books on Color Analysis.