How I Found Out I Was A Deep Autumn (Colour Season Theory)


   I was asked:
"I follow you on pinterest I have noticed your interest in deep autumn colours lately and the whole thing about colour harmony came back to me. I never had a colour analysis and I don't quite trust myself for a self-made one, so I was wondering, if you went through an online analysis  if you could share your experience and maybe write a post about it? I'd love to hear your take on the subject!"

   First, a few words about why finding your colours can be so important: the right colours will make your skin look great and flatter your face (which should be the focus of every outfit). Your best colours will make you look vibrant, healthy and awake and make you eye and hair colour pop; whereas the wrong ones will sap the colour out of your face and make it look dull or sick. Here are some celeb examples of right and wrong colours.

   Colours and how they work with your skin is a complex thing. Every person can wear almost any colour -- when they find the right tone for them. I used to think I can't wear orange, because I thought that orange was a colour. It's not, it's a name for a group of colours. Orange can be cool (pinkish) or warm (yellowish), each of those comes in depths from light to dark, and each one of those combinations can be clear/saturated or muted (mixed with grey). Chances are only a certain kind of orange works on you and another shade looks terribly. Here is a lovely explanation of it all.

   The season theory is a very helpful guide to finding your colour. Now, the season theory used to be a rather clunky thing until it evolved and subdivided each season. Do read about it, it's fascinating! I recommend this site for a quick overview and this blog for extended reading.

My colour journey

    Now, I am pretty horrible at seeing myself objectively and identifying my skin tones. I couldn't decide whether my veins were greenish or blueish or if I looked better in silver or gold. I'd have liked to "get my colours done" professionally, but I chose to scrimp and go the DIY way instead.
    I think I started out by asking on a forum which shade I was. I have dark brown hair and eyes and I remember that they fought bitterly over whether I was a deep autumn or a winter. I leaned towards winter myself, mainly due to the pinkish colour the broken capillaries gave my skin. I'm quite bad at judging colour swatches next of my skin, so I found a photo of myself where the colour of my skin looked close to that in real life and painted over the background in photoshop Gimp to a cool green on one copy and warm green on another. I then asked friends on Facebook which green made me look better (they went with the warm).
   The breakthrough came when I started shopping around for mineral makeup and ordered samples of warm and cool foundation from Lumiere Minerals. I was clearly warm, a discovery which has made dressing and makeup much easier! And it clearly meant I am a deep autumn. Another breakthrough came when watching Gossip Girl -- I realised that Leighton Meester's skin, hair and eye colouring was almost exactly like mine -- both paler and tanned. And she's a deep autumn. I really recommend finding a celeb that has the same colouring as you have (even if she is dyed, like Leighton). I have bought several shades of blush based on what Leighton uses, and they have worked well every time.

   Another thing that works pretty well is draping fabrics (anything in your wardrobe and linen closet) around your neck like a bib and taking photos with self-release in good natural light. When reviewing the photos later, you will recognise your "good" colours because they will make your eyes come alive, and the face will be the first thing you see (not the fabric).

   Now I am busy with making a colour palette that I can take shopping with me. I have a poor visual memory so I have a hard time remembering visual shades. If you have a nice printer, I really recommending printing off several colour palettes from your season. If not, you can do it like me -- I asked for a colour chart from a hobby supplies store and cut out the colours I needed and glued them together. You can also use paint samples or fabric swatches, if that's what you have handy. Of course you can also buy ready-made swatches too, some of them look really good.
    I thought that basing myself on my season's colour palette would restrict my choice of colours, but in fact the opposite happened -- I have opened up to a lot of colours that I haven't even thought of trying on before, like mustard, camel or silver pine. I also have another rule: I obey the colour looks only on the top part of my body (where they make my face look brighter and healthier), and on the bottom half I can wear whatever colour I want.

   I know that one's best colours can differ a bit from the standard colours of one's season. That's why I'd love to get a proper colour analysis done some day. And by some day I mean when I can afford it / find something affordable, because right now I have other spending priorities.

   Another tip: colours that already exist in our body are the ones that flatter us the most. Your eye colour, the line around your iris, the colour of your moles, your hair tone(s) and your lip colour are shades that will flatter you when worn. Make use for them, even if they are not in your season's palette.

Explanation of the 16 seasons

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