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Page 2 in the conversation "Tonal or Seasonal: Color Analysis yet Again" by Ginger
This approach is so interesting. I have pored over the 12-season sites and kept going back and forth about what I might be. I landed on soft summer for a while, then decided I was a cool summer. But I wasn't convinced. I took the quiz you linked to, and found I am cool, period. That result makes a lot of sense to me, because it's the one thing I could identify on other quizzes. I can see that I am more cool than warm. There are the outlier warm-ish colors that I feel I can wear and enjoy wearing (bright coral is one; okay maybe it's the only one), and I gravitate to some lipstick tones that are not the coolest reds or pinks in the lineup. But cool I am; I can't argue with it.
Hmm interesting - I was specifically 'diagnosed' as a 'Deep & Warm' within the 'Deep Autumn' spectrum. But I think that, as many here have also noticed, outfits that are ALL dark tend to look a bit 'heavy' on me - even though that's what's recommended to me (e.g. I asked my consultant for interview appropriate nail polish/ makeup colours & she told me to go darker, which I didn't really feel comfortable doing - because it just looked more like a 'vampy' costume than actually blending in with me, which I think should be the goal of formal workwear?)
I feel happier in bright but warm colours, but don't know whether they're 'supposed' to suit me - e.g. the fiery reddish orange that I like isn't listed in deep & warm DA palettes...
Part of me wonders whether there's a racial issue here - all of the examples I would see were either white or black people. My skintone is nearly always diagnosed as 'warm' at makeup counters, but I've given up on such foundation because it usually looks too yellow on me. Anything darker (like contour) tends to pull red instead. I think I might be 'in between' skin tones here as a neutral olive, but it's really difficult to tell...
Zaeobi- I do think that many of the color theories do not work the same way on all ethnic groups or skin colorings. There is an innate bias to systems designed with one or two ethnic groups in mind. It's another reminder of the eurocentric beauty standards we are still fighting against, and a model of how people of color are many times erased or not represented/considered. I guess this is one of the reasons that color theories are continuing to change and evolve over time, and that's a good thing.
This does seem more along the lines of how I think about colour - all reds are not warm, right? Every season has some form of red. And so forth.
But I think I have real trouble thinking about colour in the abstract and taking that theory straight into the real world. I think I think colour is an experience and not a thought. Stores don’t have ‘Winter Colours section here’ signs…
Rachy, I completely agree with your comment ... this is why tonal has worked for me ... because it's enough to find a 'cool' red, if I start trying to find a 'cool, somewhat soft, moderately deep red', well shopping trip over ... one variable is more than plenty to narrow things down imo - especially when you then layer on fit, personal style, etc. as other factors to be considered.
Firecracker, Pamela explained to me that often cools need to go slightly warmer with lipstick because our lips themselves are so cool-toned ... if I wear a really cool lipstick, my cool-toned lips will turn it even further towards to blue side, and let's face it, that's not natural on anyone ... whereas if I go for a neutral lip colour, my lips will 'cool' it just enough that it works ... if that makes sense? This was a massive a-ha! for me when she explained it (mysteries of the universe, lol) Maybe the same for you?
Ginger, thank you for starting this wonderful rabbit hole
Oh gosh. Wow. I think that just explained the clown-makeup look I’d get all the time at the cosmetics counters in the late 80s, Helena…! Where the ladies would keep declaring me cool and giving me a fuchsia lipstick!
The Cat, I'm glad to hear that this approach helped you. To me it feels freeing and justified at how I choose so many colors.
Kate, it sounds like we've got a lot in common. There are some colors I really dislike (orchid purple is one). And I'm also not 100% warm; I'm pretty convinced my skin is in the middle or cool. Rose gold is by far the best metal, not yellow gold and not silver. It's fascinating.
Have fun, Jaime! I can see you being a Winter and yet with a little touch of warmth. My warm hair and cool skin/eyes are also at odds.
Absolutely so, Sal! I think we wear a lot of the same colors.
Fun, Suz, I didn't know you were a cool redhead! Interesting how the coolness was there despite your warm/changing hair color. I'm rather envious of those of you who've gone to such a clear silver; it seems to make the colors so simple. I rather suspect I'll eventually just go sandy!
MsMaven, I hope you find some guidance. Being in the middle is so tricky.
Firecracker, that does sound really helpful. And I love what Helena shared about lipsticks; it does make sense!
Zaeobi, I completely understand not liking the season you're "supposed" to be in. Looking at your WIW's, I agree that you look best in brighter and warmer colors. The Autumn palette has a lot of similar colors but overall it's too soft and dark. Maybe cherry-picking the "Warm" and "Bright" palettes for the colors that fall into both would get you closest. Or for another approach, how do you feel about the Spring palette? Is it too light, or does it have more of the right ? I'm with you and Chewy; these systems reflect the experiences of those who drew them up, and I'm glad they're continuing to evolve (even like this minor issue with the tonal system helping me) and expect it to continue.
Also, this reminds me I've seen some discussion in makeup circles about the olive undertone/overtone, and how although it's often categorized as warm, it's really more of a cooler tone. Would you say your skin tone leans olive? If so, that might help explain why recommended foundations are too yellow for you, since you need a cooler color.
Rachy, I love colors but it really is a gut instinct for me. I can say precisely why I don't like a color or why it clashes with another. (Like grays: so many are brown, or purple, meaning they have orange or blue in them.) It's harder to say why I do like a color... but I know it when I see it. And I can't imagine taking a palette with me to shop. The way color changes on a textile as opposed to printed paper, just for starters.
Helena, I am loving what you're sharing! Still fascinated by that lipstick tip. I've noticed that most red lipsticks get a decidedly pink tinge once I put them on. I have to go almost orange or brick red to get something that looks like true red to me. And pretty pink lipsticks tend to turn more hot (and pop a lot more) once I put them on. I wonder if that's a similar thing.
Rachy again - oh, no! I hate fuchsia lipstick on me, since the blue jumps out and clashes so badly. But it's definitely the default for cool complexions. And it sure was popular in the late 80s - my mother is a true Winter and it's definitely one of her colors.
Helena, what a great tip about the lipstick! I am pretty sure that's what is going on with me and my not-super-cool lipstick shades. They do look cooler on me than they do in the tube.
Finally managed to do your quiz this evening. I was a bit stuck on the hair though. My original brown hair had reddish highlights so I picked that. It seems to have gone cooler as I got older though, and not just because I am going grey. The actual colour of brown went cooler.
Using the original brown, I came out Warm also. Originally thought I was Spring and later Clear and Warm in an updated system (updated Colour Me Beautiful) but all self-diagnosed. I do like the Bright palette in this new site you have found as well. It seems to overlap with the Warm somewhat and is colours I like and get compliments on?
Thanks, I always feel more energised in bright colours - even the ones that aren't supposed to suit me (like pink)! I do like some of the shades in the spring palette, like fiery orange & chocolate brown, but those coincidentally seem to overlap with Autumn! The pastel shades of the Spring palette & the murkier earth tones of the Autumn palette both seem to wash me out though, whereas I can *technically* get away with some of the darkest Winter shades (like black & navy) but they often feel too heavy on me. I took that quiz you posted though & still got 'Deep', but it seems like that just refers to intensity rather than darkness - it still includes shades like a creamy yellow, so maybe I'll explore that palette further.
You're right - it can be frustrating to feel like you've been 'forgotten' in the middle. As much as my colour consultant meant well, when I told her that foundation often pulls too yellow on me, she just said 'that's interesting' & continued to diagnose me as warm - lol! I do suspect I'm olive toned (my veins seem neither solely blue nor green) but need to get back to testing that out - I honestly fell off the makeup wagon here because most undertones aren't available for me to test in-person (even the bigger, internationally recognised brands often don't have my skintone in stock). And we all know how in-store lighting can look very different to the finished product at home - agree with the others re: lipstick colour, since even if I find a model with similar skin depth to me, the lipstick can still look different due to the slightly purple tint of my natural lips.
Anyway, enough complaining lol! I recently culled all black from my current closet (it's been packed up for a UK capsule) & this is the palette I've settled on instead, from recent trial & error. I'll do my best to stick to the fiery, chocolatey, petrol, plum & golden shades in 2022, but I already find myself side eyeing the khaki & mustard shades lol - depending on the exact tone, I can sometimes look 'naked' in them. So I will leave room to tweak this palette this year - if I can try more intense versions of the greens & find they suit me better (I'm thinking chartreuse or bronzed moss), I'll add them. Here goes nothing, lol!
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In the end, use what works best! I have been categorized as a Spring, an Autumn, a light Autumn, and Light Summer (twice) (LOL). My non-seasonal palette created using swatches of mineral makeup and watching whether they turned cooler, warmer or stayed the same against my skin tone…much like the lip color described above is the most accurate and includes the widest range of warm and cool colors. I also like the light summer palette because it provides a narrower range with which to create a coordinated wardrobe.
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Another analyst once remarked that she had a CMAS drape set and a SciArt drape set. She had compared the drapes and noted that not one of the spring CMAS drapes was replicated in the SciArt set, all the CMAS spring drapes were to be found in the Autumn SciArt sets! My point is not that this wrong- just that all systems are based on fairly subjective decisions about what colour goes in what group, so it’s not surprising they result in different outcomes.
My personal theory is that you’ll have colors where you can fit a big range (from soft to bright, light to dark) and colors where maybe 1 or 2, or no shades will work. So my range color is green- lots of options, but I have to be v specific about blue. My son (prob soft summer) can wear almost any shade of blue successfully. My DH (soft autumn) can wear an amazing array of red (from terra-cotta, to coral, plus crimson and over to burgundy). My mother (soft summer) looks great in a range of teals and lavenders (the latter on my ‘do not buy, ever’ list, thereby explaining many childhood arguments over clothes!)
This is a more complicated way of approaching things in terms of items matching. That’s where shopping to a swatch is so handy- different items will tie together easily.
Two days later, I'm still intrigued by this, Ginger.
I did the quiz and was designated a Light. Horrors—I hate that palette and wear none of those colors bar one. I realized when choosing my hair color for the quiz, I went with what it looks like now, as it's growing progressively lighter thanks to the silvery-white that is moving in. My natural blonde is very warm, akin to the ruddiness in my skin. I reckon if I'd gone with that, I'd have ended up with a warm palette. However, while the palette didn't fit me at all, other components of Light did. Like other light ladies, I tend to avoid strong, bright colors, which do me no favors. They compete with my skin rather than flatteringly highlight it, and my face is the loser in that competition.
The tones of the neutrals I choose are sometimes faded, like a worn-in black, which I tend to think of as a warmer version of black rather than a deep, almost brilliant black. Sun-washed blues or a mid-tone faded denim, are the blue shades that have the most appeal to me. Jewel colors are beautiful, and I'm especially fond of teal, but those don't work well for me, unless mixed in a scarf, a plaid, or worn as an accessory. I have a grand passion for all olives but especially the dill pickle greens—both the interior and exterior of the pickle. In fact, I'd like a dill pickle right now!
In looking at the some of the examples of people who fall into the Light category, Cate Blanchett is definitely the one who stood out as almost a dead ringer for my skin, though I don't think she has my ruddy undertone or high lip color.
Also count me in with all those whose lips can turn any red lipstick bright pink. It's such a pain! I have confounded makeup salespeople from Niemans to Nordstrom and beyond. Finding a beautiful brownish-red or orangey-red I like that actually stays that way on my lips is an exercise in utter frustration. My lips can also turn neutral lippies darker in an often unbecoming way, and render gentler pinks very bold.
Anyway, thank you for posting this; it's given me much to enjoyably ponder!
@Chiara, it seems my experience with color typing reinforces what you have described. I can wear a wide range of both green and blue.
Jenni, those are some really interesting quiz results. Pure speculation: Since your hair color has cooled, maybe your dominant characteristic is now Bright. But while you've moved away from the Warm end of the Warm/Cool spectrum, you're still on the Warm side. So maybe the Bright palette is your best bet, and just avoid colors that seem too Cool to you. Or, a custom blend of the Bright and Warm palettes. I agree, though, that you're probably not a full seasonal blend. Since you know what colors you like, and which get you compliments, I think you're in a good place.
Ooh, Zaeobi, I just read up on the Deep description and you're right - it's intensity, not darkness! That's why that spectrum is Deep -> Light instead of Dark -> Light. (I'm right in the middle so just didn't study that one before.) It sure does seem to fit your preferred colors better; I've felt similarly about being spread across Spring and Autumn, with a few from Winter that I liked. Your custom palette is gorgeous! If you feel drawn to colors and they're available to buy, try them!
LOL Staysfit, you really have been all over the map! Sounds like everyone who did your colors picked up on the Light but didn't know where to go from there. For contrast, I would call you light... but that's because I'm comparing to myself. I love how you've worked your palettes. The mineral makeup is a new approach to me, but seems a terrific way to focus just on skin tone. Maybe your skin is a little warmer than your hair/eyes are, so that's why Spring and Autumn colors that in theory should work end up not the best. (My skin is cooler and my hair is warmer, so I get that tension.) Blues and greens are shoe-ins for me, too. I think I have a little more leeway with reds, but pinks and purples I'm also super careful with. Maybe you need to keep them from going too warm or intense.
Chiara, I've heard similar things before about different company palettes looking wildly different from each other. It's discouraging for those who want definitive answers! This is a hugely subjective thing. It's beneficial as a tool to guide color selection and shopping, and to give confidence. I think it's wrong when it gives a box that feels limiting or uncomfortable. (Which is why I've kept poking at it for myself.) That is a fascinating theory you have, and I can see how it works. For me it's both blues and greens that have wide range. Green in particular, where everything from from yellowish pea green to a softened emerald blue-green works. They all make my hair look very red. Yellow is pretty limited, since it needs to be in the true yellow from butter to yellow mustard/school bus, but absolutely not browner or oranger than that. Purple even more limited! That does explain why a lot of us end up with closets very dominant in a single color family; it's easy to find and buy across the years, as opposed to that single special shade.
Right, Kate? I don't think I'll ever lose my fascination with this topic. I love colors too much.
Ugh, you definitely don't want a quiz that puts you in a palette you hate! The quiz is geared specifically to give you your dominant of the 6 characteristics, but it won't diagnose a three-way blend like the season are. Hmm... you said you like softened neutrals. I wonder if you would like a Light & Soft/Muted palette? That way there's room for both warm and cool colors, while avoiding brights that wash you out.
Hah! Another pink lip sister! It is WILD. Especially the gentle pinks turning Barbie Jeep Pink out of nowhere. And I'm afraid to try mauves because those are so cool and purple.
I am drawn to colour theory - it is fun to think about. I also agree that some colours are harder to get right. Burgundy/wine/plum would be one that can go from right to wrong easily on me- too cool are very unflattering. Blush pink is another. Greens are easier.
That's a good point, Sal. Those purple-reds can be tricky, depending on how much blue is in them. I can wear quite a few, but they are also on the edge of being too dark and/or intense for me. I prefer a more reddish/wine color to the plum end. Orange is even harder; the only two I'm okay with so far are melon and burnt orange. Most of them are too bright and too warm.
Chiara, that's such a smart way of thinking about it! Blue would most defintely be in my 'any shade words' category (many pinks, as well), while orange and yellow are no go's (there is probably some specific shade of yellow but I'm not that committed to finding it hehe)
So I did the Style Yourself test and came up with Deep and I have to say this may be the best description of my colors I have found. Like Zaeobi I have olive skin that is not warm and yellow foundation (and most yellows) do not look good on me. I also have both cool and warm colors in my eyes and skin and find that, unlike conventional wisdom, do best equally emphasizing my eyes and lips. Thanks for this discussion!
Jaime- I also got Deep and have both warm and cool elements in my coloring. It does seem a better fit than the seasonal colors.
Thanks, @Ginger - it was a bit of a lightbulb moment for me too, since I always assumed the spectrum was 'Dark > Light' too.
Thanks for this thread discussion - it helped me to hone in on my 2022 word/ colour/ style goals (have always said I should do it, but usually didn't find the motivation at the start of years past lol!)
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