Everyone has colors that look better on them than others. Some look healthy and rosy in yellow, whereas it makes others look sallow and gaunt. Some people love to wear dark browns, black, and grays; some gravitate naturally towards pastels.
These preferences for various colors are due largely to your seasonal skin tone. “Seasonal skin tone” doesn’t refer to the changing weather—rather, the system categorizes you based on what colors look best on you, how closely your eyes match your hair color, and whether you have pink, blue, or yellow undertones in your skin.
Once you know your seasonal skin tone, you can figure out what colors will best complement your skin, hair, and eyes to give you a healthy summer glow.
Finding Your Tone
The hardest part of analyzing your seasonal color is deciding if your skin tone is warm or cool. Once you know that, it’s easy enough to determine which category you fit into.
So, how do you figure out if you are warm or cool? Here are some of the most popular techniques:
Check Your Veins: The veins on the underside of your wrist can be a good marker. If they look bluer, you’re probably cool-toned. If they’re greener (blue veins + yellow skin tone), you might be warm-toned.
Jewelry: Do you look better in silver or gold jewelry? Which makes you look more alive and vibrant? If you look best in silver, you’re cool toned. Warm-toned people will glow in gold.
Neutral Color Test: If you think about neutral colors, which do you look best in? People flattered by bright white and black hues are most likely cool-toned. Warm skin tones will look better in ivory, off-whites, and browns.
Sun: When you tan, do you turn golden brown or pink? The first category is warm-toned, and the latter is cool (cool tones tend to burn before they tan, or not tan at all).
Once you’ve determined whether you are cool or warm-skinned, place yourself in a seasonal category.
Winter: Winter skin tones are cool, with darker hair color and a deep contrast between their eyes and hair. Eyes are usually amber, dark brown, hazel, or green.
Summer: Summer skin tones are cool, and usually the lightest complexions of all. Their hair color ranges from blonde to light brown, with eyes that are blue-gray, slate, or green.
Fall: Fall skin tones are warm, and hair is darker—usually dark red, dark brown, or black. Fall skin tones are usually paired with dark brown, blue, black, or dark green eyes.
Spring: Spring skin tones are also warm, and hair color is generally lighter than fall tones (blonde, strawberry, light brown). Eyes are usually blue, green, or light hazel.
Now that you know what season you belong to, you can start figuring out what colors will best flatter your skin, hair, and eyes. Take a look around some clothing stores or sites like Urban Peach and feel out what colors you naturally gravitate towards.
Do you feel drawn to dark blues, greens, true reds, and blacks? You’re probably a cool tone. If you’re more attracted to oranges, yellows, and warm reds, you’re likely warm-toned.
For summer, of course, you should be gravitating more towards lighter, neutral colors anyway—for warm-toned people, this isn’t a problem. For cooler-skinned people, however, avoiding black and dark blues and greens might be a little more difficult.
Winter/Summer: If you have cool undertones, wear these summer colors:
- Deep pinks
- Golden yellow
- Cool greens
- Eggplant or lavender
- Grays and tans
Fall/Spring: Warm undertones will look best with these summer colors:
- Orange and golden yellow
- Light greens
- Reddish browns
- Ivory and cream
- Light blues
- Peach or pale pink
Experiment a little with your color palette. Play with your makeup colors, and don’t be afraid to try on clothing in colors that you don’t have currently hanging in your closet.
Of course, if you have a closet full of browns, blacks, blues, and greens, you probably already know exactly where you lie on the spectrum; trying on yellows and oranges might be a waste of time. But don’t be afraid to try on some darker yellows or reddish-oranges, just to see. You never know—you might be surprised by what colors make your complexion come alive!