December 18, 2014

Figuring Out the Best Colors for Your Skin Tone

Sep13

Frugal Fashionista Wedding Style

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.’

via

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.

  • color analysis

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).
  • seasonal colors

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.)

  • CoolToneColors-Summer-Winter

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.

WarmToneColors-Autumn-Spring

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.


Comments

  1. Thank you for posting this! This post was so easy to follow and understand! :) Thankfully, my wardrobe colors coordinate with the palette…. except I love bright pink and I am “warm”… Whoops! LOL We all live and learn! XOXO

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  2. I’m a tad confused. Is the undertone separate from the season because I’m coming up totally opposite?

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    Jens Reply:

    @Cyndy, Yes, your undertone is not your season. The undertone is going to point you to whether you are a Warm or Cool, and then it breaks into the four seasons from there. So, if you have blue undertones – you are a cool and yellowish undertones – a warm. Does that help?

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    Cyndy Reply:

    @Jens,
    Yes, I’m a cool (with blue veins). I thought my season was spring (warm) because I have naturally dark brown hair and blue eyes. But maybe that’s a winter??

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    Jens Reply:

    @Cyndy, on just the tiny bit you’ve said, I would definitely think you were a winter. What looks better on you…white or off white? White would mean you are a cool.

    Cyndy Reply:

    @Cyndy,
    I don’t like off-white, so I don’t own anything that color. So probably, I’m a winter. One of my teachers in college was knowledgeable about color and said blue was my color; so this post confirms I’m a cool/winter. I never knew how to figure this out. Thanks a bunch!

  3. I found this very interesting. I am also a cool,
    ~Lona

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  4. I have always been very unsure of my season or even my undertone–I’ve been described as both as summer and an autumn! :-) I’d love to have your seat-of-the-pants opinion, Jen.

    I have hazel eyes (olive green, with some gold flecks). When I was little, my hair was strawberry blonde-ish, but it has settled into a light to medium brown–not especially golden or highlighted–and now that I am over 40, it is looking more and more “ash.” I think my skin is pinkish (pretty fair and freckled), rather than very peachy.

    I look horrible in hot pink or fuchsia, but also not especially good in orange, but I guess coral is better on me than true pink. I prefer muted brick red or rich berry/burgundy to true red. My best colors are teal and olive, and my closet is full of blue and green (aqua, turquoise, true blue, and so on). Black is not good on me, although I wear it sometimes, usually with other colors close to my face.

    Any opinions would be very welcome, as I do sometimes “strike out” with choosing colors, especially when I am thrift shopping! I’d like to wear some purple, for instance, but I am having a very hard time finding a shade that works.

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    Jens Reply:

    @Sheri, oh Sheri – this is going to be tricky and I hate to lead someone astray with out seeing. BUT, I can say that whoever told you colors must have had a hard time. Typically, people don’t get messed up between a summer and an autumn because they are complete opposites. It’s typically deciding between if someone is a summer and a spring because those are the two lighter /fairer complections. I was initially leaning toward you being a spring because of the hair color as a child, but pinky skin tone? For sure? That throws me. Still leaning towards spring because of the coral. I am going to do one more post on this diving into specific questions to ask to figure out your season, so we’ll see if that helps.

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    Sheri Reply:

    Thanks for trying, Jen!

    I think I may have passed for an autumn when younger, as I often used henna rinses or added warm-toned highlights. Now I’ve gone natural with my hair, with some gray coming in, and it’s just hard to sort out the dominant complexion color.

    I would believe “spring,” as ivory is better on me than pure white. I was married in a dress with a bit of gold shimmer to it . . . :-)

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  5. What if one vein looks green and the other blue? In the same arm? :)

    Glad I read the comments, because I was getting kinda stuck. But the bit about pure white vs. off white really cleared things up–I’ve always known that off-white makes me look like I’m about to puke. Between that, my first reaction, and colors I see in the cool-tone palette that I’ve received compliments on before, I’m pretty sure I’m a cool. Whew. Now to just remember that! :)

    P.S. I think I fit into winter because I have dark brown hair and dark brown eyes. But you said no highlights in our hair–mine definitely does have some red tints if the light is right. Any thoughts on that? LOVE this mini-series! :)

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    Jens Reply:

    @Diana, Glad you mentioned that. I went and added the white vs off white to the “color” test. What was your hair color as a child? Have your slightly reddish highlights just come as an adult? If yes, I would still say you are a winter.

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    Diana Reply:

    @Jens, Not sure on that one, quite. I went back and looked at a few old pictures, and it looks like maybe they’ve gotten more pronounced as I’ve gotten older. But it’s not like anyone would look at me and think I had auburn hair or anything :) Thanks for your help! Looking forward to the next installment :)

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    adriana Reply:

    I also have drak brown hair and eyes but my hair seems tto be getting darker and my eyes a little golder my skin is pelish i m pretty sure imma winter but ii dont know

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  6. Wait till my kids hear that I AM cool!!! LOL!
    Seriously, I had my colors done about 20 yrs ago, and was designated a cool winter. Your test confirmed that. Although people seem to love me in brown. Weird.

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  7. What a great post, Jen! I haven’t ever really paid attention to what undertones I have, but I know I look good in deep purples, chocolate, and black. I think that makes me a dead-of-night! HAHAHA! Just kidding…gotta go find a white towel now….

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  8. Great post! I just wanted to point out that there are some exceptions to prove the rule. If you went by hair tones and eye color, I would be wearing shades that looked terrible on me. ;) I have medium-brown hair with golden/reddish natural highlights as well as natural streaks of blonde that show up especially in the summertime. My eyes are hazel (olive green with golden tan rings). You’d think I’d be an Autumn, right? At least, that’s what I used to think! But I am definitely a Winter. Orange, yellow-tinged greens, and cream look nasty on me, and I shine in snow-white and clear, vivid jewel tones. Go figure! I’m glad I took the time to get it right – wearing “my” colors gives me such a boost on a daily basis.

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    Rachel R. Reply:

    @Elizabeth,
    you sound like me! I’ve determined that I’m a Clear Winter – Clear Winters can have hazel eyes and chestnut hair. (Or, if your coloring is REALLY deep, you could be a Deep Winter – ‘though that’s probably not the case if you look great in jewel tones.) My very best color is hot pink. I also look good in traditional winter basic colors, but am best in the brightest ones – for instance, royal blue rather than navy.

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    Elizabeth Reply:

    @Rachel R., I’ve never heard of Clear vs. Deep Winters! Thanks so much for the info. It does sound like that could be what’s going on with my coloring! :)

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  9. This is such a great reminder Miss Jen! I remember when it was ‘the thing’ to have your colors done and figure out what looked best on you – it was quite a fun and eye-opening endeavor! I was and Autumn back then and I guess I would still be, but a lot of the time when my liver and I are not having a good day, I am slightly jaundiced (yellow) and pale – on those days I try very hard to pick colors that perk me up (even though I don’t feel perky). I try hard not to look ‘sick’ because well meaning friends often comment on how tired or drawn I look and suddenly I feel worse! Better a bright smile and a bright blouse than dragging through the day looking and feeling gloomy and have everyone worry over me!
    Where I really need help is in choosing makeup colors. I suppose I should have my make-up done professionally on a day when liver disease is taking it’s toll, but I never have the energy on those days or the $! Any hints? I usually wear very little make up, but find it is necessary to add a bit of color now that chronic illness is my daily hurdle.

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  10. For those of us who are “blended” seasons (Clear Springs/Winters, Deep Winters/Autumns), the cool vs. warm question is actually not the best place for us to start. (That always messed me up, and left me going, “Huh?” Usually immediately followed by the question of, “Are you light or dark?” to which I typically responded, “Um…neither?”) I can wear gold AND silver. I have hazel eyes and golden undertones to my brown hair – but slightly COOL undertones. The only thing that helped me was PrettyYourWorld’s quiz that starts by asking which of the following is your dominant characteristic: warm, cool, light, dark/deep, CLEAR, or MUTED? I’m a Clear Winter, so although I am a winter, I have some not-so-winter-dominant characteristics – and they’re the ones that always threw me for a loop, because they make me not obviously cool and deep!

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    Jens Reply:

    @Rachel R., yep, you are one of those “exceptions” that if I tried to fit into this one post, people would have to take a nap before they finished. Thanks for chiming in on those that don’t fit clearly. I am going to touch on it in a later post, but appreciate you giving your expertise. :)

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  11. Oh, I’m MUTED–maybe this method would work for me, Rachel.

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  12. What if your hair color was light brown as a child – then as you got older it darkened. My hair is now black (and gray). My eyes are hazel. I tan easily and my veins look greenish. I also look better with silver jewelry. I believe I’m cool ?

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  13. I just purchase a wardrobe of completely black clothes…that fixes this problem, right? ;)

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    Jen Reply:

    LOVE THAT!! I just got back from a conference and everyone wanted to know how I could come with only a carry on and no checked luggage. I said , “pack tons of great black clothes and accessorize like crazy.” :)

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  14. Jen, you must have accessorized REALLY well, because I don’t even remember seeing you in black!

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    Jen Reply:

    :) Black with turquoise cardigan. Black leggings, black shirt with turquoise scarf. Black T-shirt with Green long wrap. See, I could have worn the same black shirt and black pants , but added in the accent colors/jewelry and no one would have been the wiser. :) Such freedom in that.

    My FF post tomorrow is about accessories, but next week, I am so using your comment – it’s inspired a new post. :)

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    Jen Reply:

    Oops and there are far too many smiley faces, now that my comment has shown up. :)

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  15. Hmmm…I’m a cool – my veins are blueish. My hair used to be blonde, but has gradually gotten darker, and is now, naturally, more of a dirty blonde/light-medium brown (but I color it blonde). My eyes, though, are brown. Is it possible to be both a summer and winter? LOL

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    Jen Reply:

    Summer and winter are both cools, so you are all good. :) I lean towards thinking you are a winter with your brown eyes, but in knowing you are a cool, you can really wear most of the colors in that palette, or so I am telling you since I wear winter colors all the time and I know I am a summer. ;)

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  16. I am new to your blog, just found it today through Heavenly Homemakers. This is an old post, but I am interested in what you have to say. I am a bit confused about my coloring. I am fair skinned with blue or pink undertones(I believe). I have very dark brown hair with caramel high lights and I have green eyes. Going by my hair and eye color that makes me an autumn but a cool with my skin tone. Autumn cool? Is that right? I definitely prefer white over off white and I know that most pastels do not look good on me. Orange and yellow aren’t my colors either. I tend more towards bright colors, black, blues, and reds. Thanks for any input. Looking forward to browsing your blog.

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    Rachel Ramey Reply:

    @Alicia, winters can definitely have green eyes.

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    Jen Reply:

    Alicia – it sounds like you are a winter. Rachel is right. Cool tones can have green eyes. In fact, I do, as a summer. The white vs off white is usually the single biggest factor that determines it, so it if I had to guess from colors that you like, I’d guess a winter.

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  17. Based on what I read I think I am a neutral weird one that is both spring and summer but could I have your opinion? I have cool undertones, hazel eyes with gold flecks, and blond hair with highlights and lowlights of almost every color. My hair does have a red tint in the sun as well. I have been known to wear silver and gold jewelry and been complimented on both although I prefer silver. I can also wear both white and off white. I have several everyday shirts that are pure white but my wedding dress was offwhite and I have some offfwhite shirts as well. My closet looks like I have clothing in both the cool and warm spectrum. Help?

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  18. I tried this color analysis, but I’m confused over my eye color– I’m pale, cool-complected, with naturally ash blonde hair, but hazel eyes. I also have some light freckles (which always made me think I was an autumn, but I think I’m much too cool-toned for that). I find that clothing that matches my eyes tends to look good on me, which is usually a deep green, and I also tend toward deep blue, black, and relatively intense cool reds. Cool lavender and jewel tones also seem to look best, though I’ve heard that summers should avoid bold color. Maybe I’m dressing like a winter, but am actually a summer? I currently color my hair to a lighter blonde– if I dyed my hair darker, would I be a winter, or is this all about natural coloring?

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    Jen Reply:

    Yes, it’s all about natural coloring, so colored hair doesn’t have a basis. As long as you are dressing in your cool tones, you are good. I am a summer, but I do love to wear many winter colors as well. Even though pastels might look better on me, they aren’t always what I gravitate towards since I like the bolder colors. :)

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  19. I find it really difficult to determine my season as I have dark brown hair, pale /pinky skin and light torquoisey blue eyes with orangey flecks in …I also have green and blue veins so the vein test doesnt really tell me much..:/ I know I look good in teal and forrest green but I find it difficult to know which other colours to go for! any help would be great!?

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    Rachel Ramey Reply:

    @Natasha, I bet you’re a Bright Winter or Bright Spring (AKA Clear Winter/Clear Spring). They’re neutral seasons, and a bit trickier to identify than the “true” seasons. Bright Springs (like me!) can be especially tricky, because we initially look like Winters, but need warmer, lighter colors than Winter’s colors. Google those seasons and see if what you see looks right to you.

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  20. I also have freckles so I dont think I’m a cool winter…

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  21. Thanks for the advice! I’ve had a look and I’m pretty sure I’m spring/winter as jewel bright colours dont tend to suit me, and cream looks better than white so I’m not a definite winter but a mixture of the two :)

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  22. I am hoping that you can give me advice on how to tell if I am a bright winter or a cool winter. Is there a color comparison test that I can do to tell? I’m sure I’m a winter. I look great in black and pure white and other saturated colors like hot pink, bright purple and royal blue. I have cool undertones to my skin. I have dark brown hair, medium brown eyes, and I have fair skin that freckles in the sun. I have ruled out deep winter because I can’t wear any gold and olive green washed me out. Can you help me decide between the bright and cool winter palette? Unfortunately, there are no color analysis companies in my area or I would go for a draping. Thank you!

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  23. I still don’t know what i am. I have blue veins, hazel eyes, light brown hair and darker under eyes. I thought cool but then my eyes are hazel. Please help. I know I’m light skinned lol

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    Jen Reply:

    It definitely sounds like you are a cool, but hard without seeing. Hazel eyes can definitely be a cool tone. My big indicator is if you look better in pure white or off white. Off white makes a cool looked washed out. Pure white looks better.

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  24. I think I’m a cool winter but not really sure I have dark brown eyes and medium brown hair and a light skin tone most of the year. I have a blueish hint on my veins as well but am a little unsure about the colors since olive green and some orange hues seem to look really nice on me as well as some creamy off whites, but I do prefer a brighter white. I’m I just not wearing the right colors?

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    Jen Reply:

    Based on what you are describing, I think you are definitely a cool winter, but when you say some orange hues look good on you, I bet they have a tinge of red in them which would also work on your skin tone. A few of those colors, based on their hues, can cross over between the two, but it definitely sounds like you are a cool.

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  25. This is such a great site :-) I am finding it really difficult to figure out my season. My hair is a mixture of dark blond , brown and with white and silver underneath as I am getting older. Under artificial light it can look warm but in the natural light much cooler ! My eyes are hazel blue – very dark around the rims, blue and with a brown sunburst around the pupil – when I was younger they were dark grey. Skin is fair, slightly pinky with some freckles on my face and arms in the summer.
    I look good in both silver and gold but prefer silver, tried the white towel test and my skin looked more blue undertone but I have both blue and turquoise veins. Get lots of compliments in both clear red and raspberry, can wear both warm and cool pinks, look yellow in yellow apart from lemon and hate camel, and orange . My best colors seem to be clear like royal blue, turquoise and violet.
    Please cab you help as I am would love to know my season . :-)

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  26. Any of ya’ll that are struggling might want to check out 12blueprints.com Christine’s writing is excellent for illustrating the 12-season system of color analysis. (Generally those who are struggling to figure out where they fit in are one of the “added” 8 seasons; the “basic” four are typically fairly easy to identify.)

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  27. Christina says:

    Um I’m still bit confused my skin color is autumn, i get tanned really easily, but my hair and eyes, really deep brown but mostly looks black hair and deep brown eyes, are clearly winter and gold looks better with only my skin tone but not hair. Any idea what colors? In my opinion red goes pretty well and only some bright and light colors go well with me and some dark ones.

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  28. I’m confused with my colouring. I have very dark hazel eyes (brown in the middle, dark olive and greyish dark olive rings). As a child my hair was very light ash blond/golden blond and about my twenties it darkened and now (I’m 29) it is mousy light brown with some golden highlights. My skin is light beige, I think it’s pretty neutral. I have freckles in my nose and cheeks (at summer) I tan pretty an doesn’t ever sunburn. Also gold and silver jewellery fits me and veins in my wrists are green and blue, or purple? I like to wear muted colours. I have always thought that I’m an autumn, but I’m not sure. Deep beach colour looks weird on me. I still think that I’m more warm than cool? Could I be a soft autumn?

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  29. Im a little confused to.. I have blue veins and silver looks best on me so I get the I have a Cool undertone. This is were I get confused, I have
    strawberry blond hair (mostly light brown, red blonde natural highlights)(My hair gets darker in the winter and very light in the summer) ,
    Hazel eyes (Dark green rim on the outside with light green and light brown and small orange spurts in the center)
    and a nice amount of light brown freckles (mostly on my nose and upper cheeks but also have them everywhere just more bunched together there)..
    Soo like i said im a little confused. I see with the spring vs. summer i’m spring due to the strawberry blonde hair part and that makes me warm… but in autumn vs. Winter i’m Autumn which is also warm… So i have a cool undertone and a warm skin tone?

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  30. Frustrating that everyone doesn’t fit into these specific slots though.

    What about natural dark brown hair, fair skin (blue veins w/occasional pink cast), medium brown/goldish eyes. Jewel tones great.

    Now that hair turned gray on top, I color and highlight in honey. Anyting highlight that turns strawberry looks bad. (Hard to get the right shade of brown and the right shade of highlight.)

    I’m thinking other babyboomers would like to address their adopted hair colors or highlights.

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  31. I am looking for the follow up post… and can’t find it! Can you point me in the right direction, please!

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  32. This is a nice post!

    I’m having confusions on whether I fall into Spring or Autumn. Also hair color leads me to think if am a Winter person!
    I see green veins ; and gold looks best on me rather than silver. which means am a warm toned person; but my hair is black and have dark brown eyes.

    I look good on yellow, green and red shades.. soemtimes hot pink also works out well on me.

    I’m from India – so as to let you know that I’ve a wheatish skin color. Please guide me through!

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    Rachel Ramey Reply:

    @Sudha, might I suggest you take a look at Bright/Clear Spring? http://12blueprints.com/the-brown-eyed-spring/

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  33. Hi, I am a bit confused because I have blue veins but I tan really easily and really nice.. I would think I’m a cool skin tone because the cool colors seem to look better on me, but when I tan my whole skin tone changes. As a child I had medium brown hair with a lot of gold, now as an adult it has gotten darker, but I still see gold with the sun…my eyes are a medium to dark brown… Please help!

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  34. Hello, I am confused as well, my hair is a dull sandy brown with golden blonde highlights in the summer (as a child at least) i have blue eyes with dark denim rim lighter blue in middle and a hazelish green sunburst in the middle, my veins look green except the wrists look blue. I look terrible in orange, and bright white, i look good in a smoky brown, almost hazelnut, but bad in yellow, my skin looks yellow to me and my face very red, I am thin skinned, but tan ok, no freckles but lots of skin tags and moles. . I am an irish/german mix. My mom is warm and dad is cool. I am just confused. I look good in silver and gold but nothing bright colored. I stick to greys, charcoal’s and blues. Very confused about what color highlights to get with skin tone as I feel they always look harsh or to yellow/ orange. Help:) Thank You.

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  35. I am totally confused. I have brown eyes, but cool skin tone (ie blue veins). So I have no clue what type of ‘color/season’ I am. I have always had light brown hair but never colored it ash as it never looked good on me. I put a white piece of paper up against my skin and it did not look very good at all. I used to be a summer they told me when I was younger, but now I am nearing 50 and am not sure what colors are best for me.

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    Jen Reply:

    I would think, based on what you are describing, you would be in the cool family, but more of a winter. White doesn’t always look great on all cool toned people, but it better than offwhite?

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  36. I am not sure, as I put a light beige up against me and it looked good, but I also look good in purples, some pinks, and some of the winter colors. My eyes are more of a light brown, not dark brown. I can’t see if there are any specks in them but they are light golden brown. My eyelashes and eyebrows are black, and I appear to on closer inspection, have both blue an blue green veins. My skin is light, not olive, and it burns/and or tans. I was told once I was a summer, but I don’t think I am a summer any longer. So I’m confused……

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  37. Hi I had posted on here earlier with no response, please if you can help I have a natural dark blonde light brown hair, i think its ash, but sometimes see golden highlights naturally. I look best in nude, or a light cocoa, terrible in orange or anything bright. I have veins on my wrist look blue, but everywhere else green. My \eyes have dark denim blue rim on outer ring, faded to lighter blue in middle, with a light hazelish green sometimes yellow sunburst around the middle. I am torn between soft summer, light spring? or summer? thanks Amanda

    [Reply]

    Jen Reply:

    It’s so hard to know Amanda without having your colors done, but my final question is always asking about white or off white. Which looks better on you? If you can wear white, then you are a summer, off white – spring. I would see if there’s someone in your area that does colors. They will wrap varying shades close to your face and you will get a more professional opinion.

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  38. This is very curious. I’m trying to figure out what I’d be. I have very pink cheeks, but my skin tone appears to have an orangey or gold tinge. I also have freckles all over my face. I have medium, deep brown hair, and dark brown eyes. I have the blue veins, so I suppose that means I’m cool? There are so many factors…I’m confused!

    [Reply]

  39. Please help! I have tried and tried for years to understand my skin tone and season but I am completely lost. Currently I have dark brown hair that has never been colored. I was born with black hair and by the time I was one years old it was very very blonde…almost white. It stayed blonde for 8 years then started getting streaks of brown and auburn. It was golden in the years between. By my 8th grade year I had my dark brown hair with auburn throughout and stayed that way until about 20 years of age. Now its just dark brown( I am 27). My eyes are a medium brown from a speaking distance but look like liquid gold in the sun. However if you look closely its not brown at all. There are more green’s and yellow’s and just spec’s of browns throughout with a bland olive green ring surrounding it. I feel I have a pinkish/red tint to my skin. My veins are more purple or blue i think. GRRRR! I tried the white and off-white test and I look fine in both. Neither made me look washed out. However I have always gravitated to pure white more just as a preference on color. I have always felt silver looked best on me but my husband just bought me my first gold necklace and I have received so many compliments on gold looking great on me. And now I find myself changing my opinion to gold as well. I have been told many times I am cool skin toned but the make-up people at Dillard’s have had a hard time matching me to cool or warm. Finally settled with cool just because. I have also been told I’m a Winter but I cant understand that part at all. I’m light skinned in the winter but in the summer I tan very well. Not easily sunburned. I am mistaken as Greek often by those who don’t know me. I gravitate towards the colors in the cool palette most but I also love the pink lemonade colored pinks, some oranges, olive green and yellows in the warm palette. I have been complimented in olive green and red shirts often. I love olive green against my skin and with my eyes. Am I the dreaded Neutral that no one can figure out?

    Also you mentioned you would be going into more detail on a later post about this spectrum but i cant seem to find anything related to this. I realize this is an old post but i hope you can help me fix my confusion and frustration when buying clothes and not being satisfied.

    [Reply]

    Jen Reply:

    From everything you’ve described, it definitely sounds like you are cool toned. You would not be able to pull off pure white well as a warm skin tone or even silver jewelry.

    EVen though I am a summer, I wear a lot of winter tones because I enjoy them, so as long as you know you are a cool (vs warm) you can go with any of those palettes.

    [Reply]

    Ronda Reply:

    @Jen, I think you mixed them up. I think you meant that Siera is warm-toned. Warm skin tones cannot pull off a white well or wear silver jewelry.
    Cool wears white and silver; Warm wears ivory/cream and gold.

    [Reply]

  40. @Jen, Thank you for your quick response! Could you help me with the season? That part throws me! Also did you ever do another post going more in depth on the seasons as was mentioned? If so, could you paste the link to it. Thanks so much! :-)

    [Reply]

  41. I am a little confused i am very very pale with pink and blue undertones which would make me cool, but I can’t work out my season as I have strawberry blonde hair but very dark brown eyes. Any help would be great as I am getting married and unsure what colour wedding dress I should be buying. Thanks

    [Reply]

  42. I am slightly confused as to which season I am. I have been told in wearing make up that my undertones are cool, and I naturally have medium brown hair and hazel eyes.

    Although, I’ve always been told that browns and reds look good on me. Red particularly. I also only wear silver jewellery as I believe it looks better on me than gold does.

    I thought that I would be a Winter, but the colours seem to be bright for cool tones. Although, it says that Winters have dark brown to black hair. My natural hair colour wasn’t that dark to be considered dark brown. I also had small tinges of medium dark auburn in my hair in some reflections from the sun.

    Does that mean that I would look better wearing brighter, more vibrant colours? Or am I a warm?

    [Reply]

  43. Just might add, I also have pale skin. But if I go out in the sun, I will get a nice, light tan, and won’t burn as easy or go read as most pale people do.

    My Dad has olive skin and my Mum has very pale skin.

    Thank you for the post, though, it has helped me understand better what colours suit which tone more! :)

    [Reply]

  44. Latrisha says:

    Well im still kinda confused but i also look good n summer and winter /warm and cool colors . And also my veins appear to look kinda blueish and greenish colors on different days . I do look good n red blues and whites and dark colors . Maybe im warm/and cool colors.

    [Reply]

  45. Ugh! This doesn’t help me:( I have no idea what under tone or season I am :( I can tell you I’ve had darker hair since I have been young. My veins look both blue and green depending on where they’re located and I’m not sure which looks better(orange v.s. pink and white v.s. off white). I have a bajillion freckles. Not just like 5 on my nose I mean like you could spend days playing connect the dots on my face:”(
    Can someone please save me?!?!?!?!?! :”"”(“”"
    Also on my opinion my hair is a darker brown but it almost looks like what some would call ashy???
    HELP!!!!!!!!!

    [Reply]

  46. Brittany says:

    I’m SO confused…some of my veins are blue (hands and some on wrists), some of my veins are green (my arms) and some are purple (wrists). White looks HORRIBLE on me. I look blotchy. Red tones in my hair look good and so do gold. Some blue clothes look good, like electric ones..turquoise ones.. pastels, Peach/salmon looks good, orange looks good, red looks good, Olive looks good, sometimes even purple.. My skin’s like white on top and orange underneath I think. It’s kind of weird and see-thru. That’s all I know. Can someone help me and email me please? Am I neutral??? <3

    [Reply]

    Brittany Reply:

    @Brittany, oh, I also have naturally mousey brown hair. and my eyes are redish brown with gold rings (like a tree stump)

    [Reply]

  47. Is so hard for me to pick the right haircolor..I am super pale skintone
    Pale no color at all..I have red intense i like itbut it washout fast after that i wrnt allitle bit dark brown people said i look younger.but then i went blue blackalot of people like it but they said ilook olderbut i love black can someone tell me do i should go dark haircolor or light

    [Reply]

  48. Kimberlee says:

    So I am slightly confused… I am thinking that I am a cool winter. I have averagely dark brown hair and hazel eyes (green brown). I think for the most part my veins are bluish but in some areas it seems that they are green. I seem to look better in brighter colors…

    [Reply]

  49. Im still not sure of my skin undertone. i think i have a warm skin tone. i personally think i look good in red, orange and yellow colour i think they brighten up my skin and i also wear pink like dark but not reaaaly dark kind of pink and not really light either. i dislike white and off white and black, grey and brown because i think they make me look darker. i use like red lipstick really red, corals too but i dont look good in pale pink, orange and nude lip colour. so what kind of skin do i have?

    [Reply]

  50. hello! I know this is an older post but I see that someone commented just about a month ago so I have hope!

    I, too, am having trouble figuring out my color scheme. (sorry if my explanation is tmi or something, haha)

    I have always had very pale skin and burn easily. I used to have freckles but they are not very prominent now. I was born with strawberry-blonde hair, which then changed to a bright-whitish blonde that eventually darkened to a dirty blonde. I have blue-grey eyes, blue veins, and I think?? I look better in white rather than off-white?

    I sound like a summer, right? But here is the thing! My hair is definitely golden. Silver looks better on my skin, but then I will get compliments on how gold jewelery echos my hair color. I never know what to do about that!

    In general, I think I look best in blues and greys, which go with my eyes. However, sometimes I think I like a rather bright red, or even black (which makes me look a tad pale but can be very dramatic! )

    I bought a book called “Life in Color,” which divides color schemes by the titles: Sun, Moon, Earth & Star. It was very interesting (I was definitely a moon, by the way) but their system has not really caught on so I cannot find any information like it outside of the book. :/

    Anyway I would appreciate any thoughts! Thank you!

    [Reply]

  51. I love this! Most people don’t even know what skin tone they are… they just assume they are warm in they’re tan and cool if they’re pale, but that’s not true. I actually wrote a blog article that has some great tricks and tips. Check it out and let me know what you think! http://www.weartostandout.com/blog/dress-for-your-skin-tone
    xoxo, WearToStandOut

    [Reply]

  52. adrienne says:

    This is the best break-down of color I’ve ever read. Thank you!!!!!

    [Reply]

  53. Im very confused about my skin color undertone. my veins look green but also blue and some tiny ones look purple. i was born with medium/ light brown hair, i have olive green eyes. ive always used to think that my skin looked yellowish, but my face looks pink. i use all kinds of clothes colors. mustard yellow makes me look whiter. i use silver and gold jewelry and i think both look good on me. people tell me i look good with black hair better than blonde when i have dyed it in the past. i burn and tan, i look good in black, purple, olive green (make my eye color pop) and i think i look good in any other color. am i cool or warm?

    [Reply]

  54. I’m confused on what skin tone I am. I have a fair skin colour which is usually quite rosy and I can see bluish colour under my eyes therefore I thought I had a cool skin colour. However neither summer or winter fit my description. I have medium brown hair with highlights and brown eyes. Can you help me?

    [Reply]

  55. Virginia Gomez says:

    Can someone help me? I can’t figure my colors out! I was born with auburn hair and blue eyes. Then my eyes turned brown with minty green specks) and my hair blonde. Then later it turned brownish. As a teen I had long hair to hips and it was ash brown with dark blonde. Veins on top of hands are blue/green underneath wrist are bluish lilac. For years I used auburn to color my hair because people said I “needed color”. I always struggled with the “sickly” look….I look bad in stark red or tomato red yet always told it would give me color! Yet I still struggle with the dark circles and shadowy complexion. Peaches and yellows make me look ill.. So because I have a bit of freckles (supposedly this a warm trait) yet I can wear stark white and have cool hued veins… I can wear pinks wine and greys look great on me -should I consider my slight freckles and baby era hair? Silver looks better on me too.

    [Reply]

    Kristina Reply:

    @Virginia Gomez, I read another article that said freckles should no longer be considered because they can go either way. You sound very cool to me, especially since warm colors make you look “sickly”. Sounds like you already know what colors look good, so stick with them regardless what others tell you! Good luck!

    [Reply]

  56. Virginia Gomez says:

    I forgot to say – Thank you for your website and the “share your thoughts”.

    [Reply]

  57. Hello Jen,
    I am confused as well…..
    I am light skinned with freckles. I have dark brown almost black eyes. I think maroons and purples look good on me as well as turquoise. My natural hair color is ash brown/blonde. My skin seems to have a yellow tint but my veins look blue so I am not sure. I think that anything off white and white both wash me out. Thank you for your help.

    [Reply]

  58. I am so stuck. I have read articles, books, but can’t figure things out conclusively. I can’t tell what my undertones are but when I asked my husband if I was blue or yellow he said “pink” so I guess that’s a Cool? And my veins are definitely blue, so that means Cool. Everyone says I look great in red & in navy, which would indicate I’m a Winter. My eyes are blue (slightly grayish). Here’s where it’s tricky – my hair is dark brown, but it is NOT devoid of highlights – it’s got a lot of reddish & some gold. So I’ve always thought I should go for brown as a neutral instead of black. I mean, if my hair is naturally brown, why would that color make me look bad?

    Is it possible to be a Winter but still look good in brown?

    [Reply]

  59. mary fitzsimons says:

    i have cool skin, blue veins, very pale in winter with a raspberry and cream tone to my face when flushed, but i have brown hair with natural reddish highlights and hazel eyes and i tan to a golden colour in summer. so what does that make me? i prefer to wear greens and blues, olive green and kelly green look equally good, cool pinks look good as does burgundy and purple and brown and black.

    [Reply]

  60. Kristina says:

    I know this is an older article, but I am completely confused. Somehow I’m a mixture of everything, I think. My veins are a mixture of some blue, some green, my hair is a dark drown with red highlights in the sun, my eyes are hazel, but here’s where it gets more complicated. I burn very easily; cannot tan at all. In drape tests, cream looks better than white, and gold jewelry looks better than silver, but pink looks much better than orange. But dark pink seems to be the only color that looks any good on me. Any help would be much appreciated!

    [Reply]

  61. Melissa says:

    Hello,

    I wont make it too long as the others go wayyy into detail.

    Naturally dirty blonde hair (its highlighted light ash blonde), dark blue eyes, blue veins at wrist. cool – cool – summer – cool yes I understand. BUT my skin tone is a yellowy pink tinge? (green in elbow, blue at wrist) I suit navy, pure white, pinks… but when I went brunette I suited reds, purples and blacks? I can always pull off gold but prefer rose or silver.

    I have to mix my two foundations (yellow tinged and pink tinged) to get the right shade or I look odd. too pink or too yellow. obviously this changes in summer when I’m tanned but I stick to the navy-pinks-whites which suits me best. Can I just be a Cool Summer with yellowy skin :/

    [Reply]

  62. stephanie says:

    I am so confused because my veins look blue, but my hair is dark brown and so are my eyes. also, I look better wearing gold. so am I warm or cool?

    [Reply]

  63. I am a mix of two seasons are spring and autumn. I have golden blonde hair and green with brown eyes. My skin is warm. I have light freckles on my skin.

    [Reply]

Trackbacks

  1. [...] at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam wrote a great article about Figuring Out the Best Colors for your Skin Tone. I think I’ve decided I’m a cool which is why I look good in maroons and all shades of [...]

  2. [...] The Art Of Style or Beauty and Bedlam [...]

  3. […] Figuring out the Best Colors for your skin tone | Beauty and Bedlam This is a very good article and I read it for what felt like a hundred times trying to figure out my coloring… I finally gave up and paid for a professional consultation and found out why I didn’t fit. Apparently i’m both warm AND cool… (???) If you are not in the “unusual” category, you will probably be able to figure out your color scheme here. […]

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