Close your eyes, and imagine it's spring. Spring like from the story books. Bright, colorful, pleasantly warm. Do you see the colors? These are Spring colors.
Now do the same for winter, autumn and summer. You'll notice how you imagine blues, whites and blacks for winter, rusty muted colors for autumn and blues and cool yellows for summer.
As you start to look around, you'll find more and more color patterns in nature. Some colors occur together naturally and looks like they are in perfect harmony - almost completing each other.
What does this have to do with makeup, you ask? Read on...
THE (SHORT) HISTORY OF COLOR SEASONS
German philosopher Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) realised this relationship between colors and human perception and developed "color phycology". Johannes Itten, a Swiss color and art theorist then extended color phycology and went on to becoming the "Founder of 4 color season theory". He associated different color pallets to 4 types of people mapped out on an array of Warm-Cool and Light-Dark. Eventually, Carole Jackson developed the 12 color season theory as we know it today and made it more practical for designers and artists to apply color theory to their body of work.
BUT, WHY ALL THE FUSS?
If you're wondering, what's the point of all this color science when I can just pop into a store, buy whatever I like, and be done in 5 mins? Well, for one, if you're not sure about the colors that work for you, there's no way you're walking out of that store in 5 mins (and let's not even talk about all the money you waste in the process). Secondly, you won't need to second guess your decisions anymore. It's actual practical information that'll help you not just for choosing the right makeup colors, but also for you wardrobe. It's a life skill, trust us.
OK, LET'S GET DOWN TO IT THEN
So as Ms. Carole theorised, there are broadly 4 "color seasons" that each of us can be categorised into based on our undertone, skintone, hair color and eye color. Each 'color season' is further classified into 3 sub-seasons based on the overall contrast of our feature.
We won't get into the nitty-gritties of it, but if you fancy learning more about color science, then checkout this wonderful article by The Concept Wardrobe.
Here are a few basic cues to look for while determining your Color Season (or simply take this 2 min quiz). We've also included a handy makeup cheatsheet for you to downloads for each of the color seasons.
If you are a cool-neutral undertone (silver jewellery looks better on your than gold), with medium to light hair and eyes, then you're likely a Summer. Within Summer, you could be a
a. Cool Summer - if all your features including hair and eyes have a cool undertone. Think ashy hair, blue-grey eyes, blue-purple veins.
b. Soft Summer - if your features are muted, have a low contrast and almost merge into each other.
c. Light Summer - if your overall features are light and cool. Not greyed out, but light. So think fair skin, light blond/platinum hair, light blue or green eyes.
If you are a warm-neutral undertone (gold jewellery looks better on your than silver), with medium to light hair and eyes, then you're likely a Spring. Within Spring, you could be a
a. Warm Spring - if all your features including hair and eyes have a warm undertone. Your contrast is bright. Think golden or honey hues in your hair, warm golden skintone and warm green-brown eyes.
b. Bright Spring - if your features are bright and have a high contrast, there is no greyness in your features, your hair is golden, copper or brown, and your eyes are clear and sparkly.
c. Light Spring - if your overall features are light and warm. Not greyed out, but light. So think fair skin, light golden to light golden brown hair, light blue, green or brown eyes.
If you are a warm-neutral undertone (gold jewellery looks better on your than silver), with dark to medium hair and eyes, then you're likely an Autumn. Within Autumn, you could be a
a. Warm Autumn - if all your features including hair and eyes have a warm undertone and your overall colors are muted. Think rich golden, red or auburn hues in your hair, brown eyes, and all your features blend into each other.
b. Soft Autumn - if your features blend into each other, have a very low contrast and have a warm undertone. Your features are toned-downed, hair has golden, pink or brown hues, and your eyes have a bit of grey in them.
c. Deep Autumn - if your overall features are dark, with high contrast, and with warm undertones. So think dark hair and eyes with warm brown hues. Your features are striking and contrast against each other.
If you are a cool-neutral undertone (silver jewellery looks better on your than gold), with dark to medium hair and eyes, then you're likely a Winter. Within Winter, you could be a
a. Cool Winter - if all your features including hair and eyes have a cool undertone and your overall colors are bright and contrasting. Think dark hair and cool blue to black eyes. Your skin color could be light or dark, but your features are brilliant and contrasting (with dark skin, your white teeth and eye create the high contrast).
b. Bright Winter - if your features are clear and bright, have a high contrast and cool undertone. Your features are saturated with color and not greyed out or muted, hair is dark and your eyes are your brightest features.
c. Deep Winter - if your overall features are dark, with high contrast, and with cool undertones. So think dark hair and eyes with cool ashy hues. Your features are striking and contrast against each other.
There you have it! A crash course on the 12 Color Seasons.
You're now a trained Color Scientist. Well, not really, it'll take a whole lot of practice, patience and persistence to actually be able to tell one skin season apart from another, but this basic guide will help you make at least a few right decisions.
That said, do not get fixated with the complexities of Color Seasons. Fashion, and more particularly colors, is supposed to be fun. So let us figure this boring stuff out while you go play with you colors!
If you don't already know, our hyper-personalized DIY lip color kit - LIPSKIT 2.0 - is in production and almost ready for shipping. The LIPSKIT 2.0 is custom assembled with bullets matching your skin's undertone. You also get access to our web-based app that recommends colors specifically catered to your Skin's color season, and you can make these colors in less than 20 seconds with the LIPSKIT! Now this is personalised, on-demand and sustainable makeup of the future.
Pre-order your LIPSKIT 2.0 now at discounted prices now and never go wrong with your makeup!