[Happy July 4th holiday, American readers! I'm re-running one of my most popular posts from several years ago. I welcome your opinions and insights in the comments section!]
This Indian model and actress is both incredibly beautiful and (to me) incredibly difficult to type. There's no agreement on the 'net, that's for sure. But after much study, I think I've figured it out. Here, I'll walk you through the process I used and share my conclusion.
Aishwarya is Indian. If I believed that non-White women are always Autumns and Winters, I'd have it narrowed down to six seasons based on that alone. If I was a particularly rigid thinker, I might have already decided Deep Autumn or Deep Winter.
But ethnicity doesn't determine season; it's based on how the skin reacts to color. So I'll keep the Autumns and Winters in mind, but not limit myself to them.
Let's look more closely at her.
Aishwarya is probably most famous for her beautiful and unusual eyes. If you believe that eyes determine season - or at least point to it - you're probably thinking Summer. You might even have narrowed it down to Soft Summer based only on these amazing eyes.
I'm going to make a mental note that the eyes suggest Summer, but I know that any season can have any eye color. So I'm moving on to the next step: finding well-lit pics of Aishwarya in a variety of colors, and noticing what the colors that look most - and least - harmonious on her have in common.
I find it easiest to start with makeup. When does Aishwarya's face look natural and balanced, and when does it seem that color is just sitting on her face?
This face looks pretty natural. In the eye shadow, blush, and lip, I see warmth, and I see mutedness - as opposed to clarity.
Most seasons have warmth or softness or both in them. But I’m tentatively ruling out Bright Winter. Very tentatively ruling out Cool (True) Winter and Bright Spring.
And maybe penciling a star next to the Autumns (soft & warm) and Soft Summer (soft with a smidge of warmth).
Nothing’s certain yet; let’s keep looking:
A well-lit pic, though not a flattering one: this lip and cheek look a little too bright and too pink to me. The color seems to be sitting on her face in a way that it doesn’t in the previous pics.
(And those silvery, icy jewels seem to have nothing in common with her.)
The most obvious thing I'm noticing at this point is that coolness and Aishwarya don’t mix. So, again, several seasons could be indicated, but I’m leaning farther away from the Winters, and starting to lean away from the Summers as well. Despite those eyes.
Ouch. That lip is too, too purple. Further confirms my growing sense that coolness is not for Aishwarya.
I'm feeling pretty sure she's a warm season. So the scientist in me says I must try to prove the null hypothesis:
Can I find her in makeup that looks both cool and natural?
Here, I’ve certainly found coolness – at least around the eye - but it looks all wrong: too sparkly, too blue. The lip and cheek here aren’t bad. But they’re more warm than cool. This isn’t disproving my theory; it’s confirming it.
Let's try more pics.
My first thought: nice, natural face, and a pinkish lip. OK, maybe we're on to something.
I'm looking closer at the makeup. The eyes look quite harmonious to me, and, well, I see warmth in the colors there. I see warmth in that nice, natural cheek too.
I start to notice that something's bugging me about that lip. I ask my gut: what’s wrong? My gut tells me: warm it up and darken it a smidge.
Yeah - I step back and look at the whole face again, and that lip is just too light and too pink for the rest of the face.
(Warm it, darken it… could Aishwarya be an Autumn? Hmm... maybe. Maybe. Nothing's impossible, despite the eyes.)
Let’s look at some more pics.
Here's the pic from the top of the post.
Apart from the requisite but totally silly super-black liner, this face looks natural as well.
And again, I see warmth in every part of the makeup.
At this point I think I’m prepared to commit myself to the idea that Aishwarya is a season known for warmth: Autumn or Spring.
Because I’ve also been noticing softness, I’m going farther now, and asking: do I see Autumn warmth specifically?
Are the flattering makeup colors that I’ve seen so far Autumn’s, and not Spring’s? That is, are they relatively muted and deep, rather than bright and light?
I think so.
Now I’m looking back at every picture I’ve seen so far, and asking this question: does anything in any pic rule out Autumn? Have I seen her looking natural in a super-cool, super-light or super-bright color that no Autumn could possibly wear?
Well, I’m going to proceed with a tentative theory that she’s an Autumn, while staying open to evidence that might suggest any other season.
So here's another picture with natural-looking makeup.
Are these colors consistent with Autumn? Yes - they're warm, soft, and deeper rather than lighter.
Are they completely inconsistent with another season?
Hard to say… I can imagine a Soft Summer or a Deep Winter possibly photographing this way, if the light was right.
I think I've exhausted the usefulness of makeup analysis. I have some ideas. Now I'm moving on to clothing colors, and noticing what doesn't look right.
Oh, certainly not.
My brain tells me she looks pale and harsh. My gut doesn’t tell me anything – it just cringes. Beautiful Aishwarya, where are you?
So this is a deep, cool color, and it’s not doing her any favors. Duly noted. Moving on…
Hmm… This just seems so, well, weird. As in strange, foreign. Unconnected to her.
I see Aishwarya. And I see the light, cool colors. But I don’t see anything joining them together.
Still thinking Autumn is likely. More colors:
My gut has a mixed reaction to this very un-Autumny pink. Something’s working, something’s not.
I pick apart my reaction:
If yes, I can probably rule out Soft Autumn.
But Deep Autumn and Warm (True) Autumn are still in the running. Their colors are muted in the context of the full 12-season spectrum, but considered in themselves, they can read as rather bright.
Now that I think I'm closing in on an answer, I'm ready to look at this problem from another angle:
What are Aishwarya's best colors?
What pics show her in glorious, fantastically harmonious colors?
And, oh my gosh, yes, this one, absolutely. I can’t stop staring. Incredible. Glorious golden goddess.
So... whose colors are these?
Warm (True) Autumn’s.
But she has those Summery eyes…
Yeah, I know.
But she’s Indian…