The Best Way To Find A Palette That Suits Your Complexion
Writer: Farah Karim
Wildly popular in the 1980s, Carole Jackson’s book Colour Me Beautiful talks about how every woman has a certain colour that brings out the best in her. This helps you find a palette that suits your complexion. That way it’ll be wayyyy easier for you to figure out what clothes to buy, what shade of lipstick to get and what kind of makeup you should do.
Firstly, these colours are separated according to season: Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. To find out what ‘season’ you are, these are three main aspects you want to identify:
- Hue: Do I suit cooler or warmer colours? (Warm/Cool)
- Value: Do I suit bright colours or darker colours (Light/Dark)
- Chroma: Do I have high contrast and suit truly saturated colours (bright, pure yellow) or greyed out pastels? (Clear/Soft)
The four basic seasons
This is a basic run-down of the different seasons and what colours look best with you. While it’s not exactly a super accurate guide, it gives you an idea of what kind of colours to look for based on your facial features and hair colour. This is a very stripped-down summary of the whole process as the original Colour Me Beautiful is much more detailed and complicated.
While the four season typology sounds easy, there’s also a 12 colour type(!!) that blends the undertones with your natural features such as your hair and eye colour. It’s crazy complicated but don’t worry, we got this.
To further pin-point the specific kind of colours that suit you the best, it’s a good idea to take into account the following six characteristics.
Deep: You have dark brown or black hair and deep brown, green or hazel eyes. You look the best in deep, vivid shades of your palette such as deep terracotta (Autumn) or black (Winter). You’re either a deep Autumn or deep Winter.
Light: Your hair colour is light (blonde or light brown), your skin is light for your ethnicity and your eyes are either a light blue, green or grey. You look the best in soft, light and muted shades of your colour palette such as peach (Spring) or a pale lavender (Summer). You’re either a light Summer or a light Spring.
Warm: Your overall colouring has a distinctive warm undertone to it. Your hair is either golden blonde to brown, or strawberry blonde to deep auburn. Your eyes are green, topaz, hazel or light to medium brown. The colours that suit you are the mid-range colours that are neither too intense or pale such as medium tomato red (Autumn) or soft aquamarine (Spring). You’re either a warm spring or warm Autumn.
Cool: Regardless of whether you have light or dark skin/hair, your overall colouring has an underlying cool quality to it. Like the warm-type, the colours that suit you are the mid-range colours of your palette such as emerald green (Winter) or periwinkle (Summer). You’re either a cool Summer or a cool Winter.
Clear: Your overall colouring is high in contrast and saturation. Your hair is either a medium brown or black or a vivid, bright blonde, your eyes are blue, bright green, topaz, amber or turquoise. You’re either a clear Winter or a clear Spring. You look the best in saturated, clear colours such as bright pink (Spring) or hot pink (Winter).
Soft/Muted: Last but not least, there is little contrast between your skin, hair and eyes and your overall colouring is relatively close to neutral. Your hair is neither very light nor very dark. Your eyes are green, grey-blue, hazel or brown. You’re either a soft Summer or a soft Autumn where the colours in your palette that you look the best in are olive green (Autumn) or blue teal (Summer).
Did you find out what season you are? It’s alright if you think you’re in between seasons. There will always be exceptions and you’re most likely going to fall between two sub-types. With trial and error, you’ll be able to find out what colours work for you and what don’t.