Every product on the True Winter makeup list has been swatched to match a color-accurate True Winter palette book.
If you're a True Winter, these are your best makeup colors. They look natural and healthy on your skin.
These colors are very vivid and very cold (bluish). Even the yellows are as cold as yellow can be -- you can't detect a bit of orange.
On the makeup list, which has over 400 precisely matched products, you tend to see the same color names appear over and over. That happens on every list, because each color season represents a very specific section of color space.
Here are the most frequently-occurring color words on the True Winter makeup list:
Last week I said I love Dark Autumn because it's so complex. This week I find myself thinking that I love True Winter because it's so focused! (I guess I love all 12 palettes. :-) )
Above, compare True Winter, which is in the center, to True Summer on the left. They're both cool-toned, but see how important grey is for True Summer, while black is True Winter's biggest makeup neutral. Red is also very important for True Winter, but only shows up for True Summers as shades of berry.
Also, compare True Winter to Dark Winter, on the right. Notice how Dark Winter stays intense, but brings in warmth with colors like brown, chocolate, moss, coral, and cinnamon.
On True Winter skin, this makeup doesn't look shocking or extreme; it looks natural and healthy. Looking at these faces, you'd never guess how saturated and cold the makeup appears on a piece of white paper.
If you're not sure of your color season, consider trying the home draping cards.
Where I live, the trees are still an Autumny orange and red, but the nights are cold, and it's dark more of the day than not. It's the perfect time of year to talk about Dark Autumn, one of my favorite seasons.
Dark Autumn is Autumn verging on winter. Still Autumn, but darker and colder.
Dark Autumn colors are mostly warm and rich, because it's an Autumn season. But they have a bit of added coolness, and they're also very dark. In fact, these colors are dark first and foremost; their warmth is a secondary quality. (Hence the name: Dark Autumn, sometimes known as Deep Autumn)
(The light colors you see in Dark Autumn's palette actually make sense as darks as well: they're deepened versions of what would be a tinted white in another palette. Dark Autumn gets a white too; it's an ivory, though, not a pure white.)
When you're a Dark Autumn, your makeup colors all come right from your color palette.
For years now, I've been keeping a list of makeup products that are precisely matched to the Dark Autumn color palette. If you want to spare yourself the trouble of rubbing makeup on white paper and comparing it to the Dark Autumn palette, my list is a good investment. It has hundreds of products on it.
Because this palette (like all seasonal palettes) occupies a very precise section of color space, we see the same color words appear over and over on the makeup list.
Here's the Dark Autumn makeup word cloud, which shows the most common color words. The size of the word indicates how often it appears on the list.
What I love about Dark Autumn is its contradictions. Somehow, it seems more complicated than other neutral (not purely warm or cool) seasons. How do you put together pink, rose, and violet with brown, red, and chocolate? Dark Autumn, that's how. I love seeing gold, cherry, and plum right next to each other. Or amber, ink, and fig. So unexpected, yet Dark Autumn makes it work.
Last week, I did the True Autumn makeup word cloud, and I did Dark Winter a while back. Here is True Autumn on the left, Dark Autumn in the middle, and Dark Winter in the right. (I actually redid the Dark Winter word cloud in font that's consistent with my more recent clouds.)
I find it really interesting how Dark Autumn represents a middle place between a season that's very rich and warm, and a season that's coolish and very dark. Autumn foliage plus jewel tones!
I had fun making this graphic showing how Dark Autumn color words combine important words from both True Autumn and Dark Winter.
Isn't that fun to look at?
This season makes more sense when you see it on a human being. These Dark Autumns beautifully combine warmth and coolness. You see greys, blacks, navies, and purples with oranges, browns, olives, and rusts.
You who are Dark Autumns, do you enjoy the contradictions of your palette? Or do you even experience your palette that way? Maybe this is your normal! :-)
This was one of the few makeup word clouds that came out more or less exactly as I would have predicted. Maybe that's because the True Autumn palette is such an intuitive palette; it's very easy to explain. I mean, it's right there in the name.
True Autumn's colors are somewhat saturated, a bit on the darker side, and very, very warm.
If you're a True Autumn, your best colors are also somewhat saturated, a bit on the darker side, and very, very warm. Your least flattering colors are probably very cool and very light -- True Summer and Light Summer are probably really bad for you. You avoid white, pale blue, and light pink for your face.
Here's the word cloud showing which color words appear the most often on a list of over 400 cosmetics matched to the True Autumn palette:
Brown, bronze, gold, copper, spice. No surprises here, right? I think this is what we all picture when we picture True Autumn.
Except maybe that "fuchsia" floating over on the left. True Autumn does have a pinky red that edges into "hot pink" territory. But you know this fuchsia is "spiced fuchsia" or "golden fuchsia" or some other version that warms and deepens the color enough to make it True Autumn.
Isn't it funny how so many of the food names -- which you find in lots of cosmetics -- are warming foods? Coffee, tea, paprika, ginger...?
Last week, after remarking on pink's importance for Soft Autumn, I predicted we'd see much less of it, and in fact pink's role in True Autumn makeup is small. By moving from Soft Autumn to True Autumn, our palette becomes both darker and warmer. Add enough warmth to pink, and you can't really call it pink anymore -- you have peach or coral instead. In True Autumn makeup, the role played by pink -- mainly lipstick and blush -- is often played instead by earthy reds and oranges.
Here are pics of beautiful True Autumn makeup. (Minus, of course, some obligatory black liner and mascara; when will Hollywood make-up artists give this up? Years from now, we'll look back at pictures from this era and see a sea of faces with tiny black eyes. True Autumns are better in brown liner and mascara.)
Based on sales of my makeup lists, I believe True Autumn is actually the rarest season. Are you a True Autumn?
- - - -
I want to take a moment to talk about something unrelated to True Autumn makeup, but absolutely related to empowering women: life coaching. In particular, a life coach named Alexandra Gould.
I want to brag on her for no other reason than that she is a rock to me, and I would love for every woman to have her in their life as well.
Alexandra is, hands-down, the most positive and inspiring person I know. She is wise, practical, results-oriented, and endlessly patient. If you feel stuck, Alexandra can help you get unstuck.
She's on Instagram and Facebook -- check her out! :-)
Today, I'm happy to continue my series on makeup list word clouds by writing about my own season, Soft Autumn.
Like Soft Summer, which I wrote about last week, Soft Autumn is a very muted, faded palette. While Soft Summer is faded and cool-toned, meaning the colors lean bluish, Soft Autumn is faded and warm-toned, meaning the colors lean orangeish.
Neither its softness nor its warmth is necessarily obvious when you look at the palette without any other context. Here are Soft Autumn color cards: you might not describe these, taken by themselves as particularly warm or soft.
It's only when you compare Soft Autumn to very saturated, very cool season, such as True Winter, that the warmth and softness of the Soft Autumn colors become apparent.
Above, you see True Winter color cards. Wow! See how much more vivid they are, and how much colder?
It's particularly easy to see the hue difference when you look at True Winter's reds and pinks, which are violet- and purple-tinged. Soft Autumn's reds and pinks are warm and dusty.
Color is context. On a Soft Autumn, these very muted colors look plenty vivid. If Soft Autumn colors look faded on you, you're not a Soft Autumn.
All of the makeup products on the Soft Autumn makeup list have been matched to SCi/Art - accurate color books.
What are the color words that appear the most often in these product names? Let's find out.
If you've read my posts from the last few weeks, you may remember that pink and rose (which just means pink) are important for the light, cool Summer seasons, and that this makes sense because pure pink is, by definition, a light, cool color. (Pure pink is a light red that leans toward purple.)
So you may be surprised to see it feature so prominently among Soft Autumn's makeup color words, given that Soft Autumn is a warm season.
The fact that it's here, though, reflects that Soft Autumn, unlike its neighbor True Autumn, is not purely warm; it's just warmish. In the same way that Soft Summer's color words include a few that suggest warmth (such as moss), you'll see that some of Soft Autumn's color words suggest coolness. Mauve is up there, as is berry and raspberry.
Above, you see Soft Autumn's makeup word cloud on the left and Soft Summer's on the right. Weirdly similar, right? Pink, rose, and brown are important for both of these gentle, neutral-leaning seasons. (Do keep in mind that Soft Autumn pinks are mostly brown-pinks and peachy pinks -- light reds with only a hint of coolness. )
When colors are this faded, it can be hard to distinguish them with nomenclature, and that's part of why so many women with muted coloring can't decide between these two seasons.
You have to dig deeper into the words to see the hue (warmth-coolness) differences: Soft Autumn has no "blue," the coolest color; no "mint" or "aqua"; no "gray," "stone," or "slate." And Soft Summer lacks "fig," "ginger," "brick," "chili," and "paprika."
(Without having made it yet, I predict that the True Autumn word cloud will have a lot less pink than Soft Autumn. True Autumn is just too warm, and perhaps too dark as well.)
Soft Autumn is the lightest Autumn palette. Let's look at it next to Light Spring, which is another palette that's light and warm. Light Spring is both lighter and more vivid than Soft Autumn -- popsicle colors versus desert colors -- but many women get stuck between these two seasons.
Here's Soft Autumn's makeup on the left, and Light Spring's on the right. You can see that Light Spring's makeup is more pure and clear because of the relative prominence of words like "coral," "peach," and "guava." You have more basic color words too, such as "purple" and "orange."
Wait -- let's get back to brown, though! Because brown is obviously the most important word in Soft Autumn makeup.
Do you remember Christine Scaman's article, "Three Great Colors on the 12 Seasons"? She didn't assign every season a neutral as one of its best colors, but she identified brown as a top color for Soft Autumns. No coincidence there.
If you look at the smaller words in the Soft Autumn word cloud -- the words that occur less frequently on the makeup list -- you'll see other versions of brown: chocolate, sand, taupe, tea, coffee, caramel, mocha, fudge. Brown is exciting on Soft Autumns.
Here are some gorgeous Soft Autumns in gorgeous Soft Autumn makeup. The makeup doesn't look washed-out, right? It just looks balanced. That's what happens when you put Soft Autumn makeup on Soft Autumn skin.
If you're not sure of your season, but you recognize your best makeup in the Soft Autumn word cloud, you may be a Soft Autumn. (In-person color draping is the best option for determining your season accurately, but if that's not practical, consider home draping cards. )
If you've been following my blog recently, you know I'm trying to complete my series on color words in the 12 makeup palettes.
Last week, I wrote about True Summer's makeup, which is somewhat light, a bit faded, and very, very cool-toned.
This week, I'm writing about True Summer's neighbor, Soft Summer.
As we move from True Summer to Soft Summer, our colors become
- a bit more dark,
- even more faded,
- and a bit warmer.
Soft Summer's colors are still light, cool, and soft relative to the other seasons, because Soft Summer is Summer first and foremost.
Soft Summer and Light Summer, its near-neighbor on the other side of True Summer, have in common that neither palette, unlike True Summer, is completely cool; Light Summer adds a bit of Spring's clear warmth to its palette, and Soft Summer adds a bit of Autumn's toasty warmth.
The Soft Summer makeup list currently has about 650 products on it, every one of which has been matched to original the Sci/Art Soft Summer palette.
(You'll find many versions of the Soft Summer palette online, but only those that derive from Sci/Art palettes are truly accurate.)
Here are the color words that appear most frequently on the Soft Summer makeup list.
I'm not surprised to see pink appear so often: pink is light, cool red, and as such it is a defining color of all three light, cool seasons. And rose is just a synonym for pink.
But notice the supplemental colors: brown, plum, mauve. The importance of these colors to a Soft Summer's makeup reflects this woman's need for slightly deeper and warmer colors on her face.
If you look at the less-frequently-appearing color names, you'll see some that hint at Soft Summer's move toward Autumn richness: bronze, moss, spice.
Compare the warm colors in Soft Summer's makeup to the warm colors in Light Summer's makeup. Both Summer subtypes have a touch of warmth, but Soft Summer's hint of warmth is deep and rich, while Light Summer's warmth is light and bright: peach, floral, and flamingo.
Soft Summer on the left, Light Summer on the right.
It's also interesting to compare Soft Summer to its lighter, cooler neighbor, True Summer. Blue, the coldest hue, is more important for True Summer. Brown, which is warm, is much more important for Soft Summer.
Soft Summer on the left, True Summer on the right.
Soft Summer women can have any hair color, any eye color, and any apparent skin tone, but they are united by the fact that their best colors are mostly (but not completely) cool, a bit (but not a lot) on the light side, and very, very faded. These are cool pastels that are smudgy and smoky.
Check out Soft Summers Leona Lewis, Carmen Electra, Emma Roberts, and Emilia Clarke looking like the most beautiful versions of themselves. No masks here.
If this makeup is your makeup, you may be a Soft Summer. You might consider trying the Soft Summer makeup list; compared to expensive in-person color draping, the list is a steal at $15. It could confirm your season.
You might also consider home draping cards; they are Sci/Art color-accurate, and at $24 or $48, much more affordable than in-person draping (which costs hundreds.)