Each of the 12 seasonal color palettes, taken as a whole, is unique.
But if you compare color-by-color, some individual colors in neighbor palettes can look so similar to each other as to be almost indistinguishable.
Light Spring and Light Summer, for example, have several pinks, yellows, blues and purples that look an awful lot alike.
Light Summer and Light Spring palettes. Yikes! Which is which?
If you have narrowed yourself down to these two seasons, knowing a few colors that are inarguably unique to each palette can help you make a final decision.
Here are 6 colors, 3 from each season, that don't resemble anything in the sister season's palette.
1. Light Summer has a greyed wine neutral that looks something like this:
Nothing in Light Spring even remotely resembles this. If you're flattered by this color, rule out Light Spring.
2. Light Summer also has blueish greys, such as this one:
On a Light Summer, this color may harmonize with subtle tones in the eyes or hair. On a Light Spring, this color may create an unhealthy pallor in the face or emphasize undereye circles.
Light Spring's greys are more yellowed. (For a quick side-by-side comparison of warm and cool greys, check out this great Wikipedia image.)
3. Many of Light Summer and Light Spring's pinks and reds may seem to overlap. So we look at the extremes. Light Summer's raspberries get this blued:
Light Spring won't go that cool.
4. If we go to the extreme of warmth within Light Spring's pinks and peaches, we'll find light oranges:
A color like this may pick up delicate tones in a Light Spring's cheeks, but seem to turn a Light Summer's skin uniformly orangey or muddy.
5. Light Spring has a cheerful greenish gold that's not the least bit Summery. It looks like this:
This is a color many Light Springs have in their hair or eyes. There's nothing close to it in the Light Summer palette.
6. Light Summer's greens are neutral to blue-green. Some Light Summer blue-greens can be hard to tell apart from Light Spring aquas. But only Light Spring green goes the other temperature direction, into yellow-green:
Clear yellow-green is an especially fussy color. Not many people are fantastic in it. If you are, and you know you're Light Something, now you know you're Light Spring.
I hope comparing these six colors helps you Lights find yourselves. Let me know how it works. :-)
If you're having trouble diagnosing yourself, consider investing in color cards to drape yourself at home.
Originally published February 2013.
2/27/2013 10:01:46 am
Glad to see you back Rachel! I love your blog. Betty Nethery of "Uniquely You" analyzed me years ago as a light spring, but was a little unsure, since my hair was highlighted .I see by your color selection, light summer would not be as good! Thank you!
2/27/2013 06:17:27 pm
I'm so happy to see this flurry of posts you've written recently! I love learning about color analysis online, and this site is by far my favorite.
not Amy Poehler
2/28/2013 10:47:01 am
Interesting post! I've always thought of Amy Poehler as a Light Summer, and I saw you've got her down as a Light Spring elsewhere--I figured I could use this post to look into her some more.
2/28/2013 11:50:42 am
For some reason, the link brings me many pics of her but none in an orange top. Do you have another link? I could be wrong about her.
not Amy Poehler
2/28/2013 11:56:35 am
Sure! I think this link should work: http://tinyurl.com/cv7xn8a.
2/28/2013 01:05:10 pm
Hmm. She does look orangey there. But might the whole pic be tinted a little yellow? It looks that way on my phone.
2/28/2013 01:17:24 pm
This *does*look like a pretty LSu face, and natural on her:
not Amy Poehler
2/28/2013 01:39:29 pm
Right! I agree. I think this is the photo that sealed it for me: http://tinyurl.com/ckb9w25.
3/1/2013 03:05:54 am
Eesh, that *is* good. All right, tentatively revising my opinion. I'll look at some more pics and if I'm convinced, I'll switch her over. Thanks!
8/21/2018 03:07:09 am
I think Amy is a Spring. She looks great in red hair. I think she might be a natural redhead. I know, Summers can have red hair too, but I don't think she is muted like a Summer. And she looks primarily warm to me.
3/2/2013 09:28:04 am
As someone who has watched Parks & Recreation since the beginning, I've doubted Amy's seemingly LSu status as well. But then I figured out the problem isn't that she always goes too dark or wears black (that's lessened over time) but her makeup has almost always been too cool. It tends to be lighter than a TSu would wear but still just as cool & I think that's made her look a bit off. Her makeup has been better in the last season tho. More neutral & much more natural looking! We Light Summers ere on the cool side but the cool pink drapes in my analysis turned my lips blue. Neutral is definitely better!
3/6/2013 08:39:49 am
I would love to see you do a comparison like this between Light Summer and True Summer. I was originally draped a True Summer, but I look terrible in mauve pink lipstick and I cannot stand to wear TSu dark colors anywhere near my face. Since I switched to Light Summer colors, I feel and look much happier. I love your blog...it is such a good resource for us coloristas!
3/6/2013 09:42:33 am
Thanks, Tina! :-)
Thanks so much for this comparison of Light Spring and Light Summer colors. It's good to know that blue-gray looks so much better on Light Summers than Light Springs, because that's one of my best neutrals. As for distinguishing Light Summer from True Summer, burgundy and soft fuchsia do not flatter me--make me look older and tired--while my best red is light and slightly blue toned.
3/10/2016 02:01:17 pm
8/20/2018 01:59:48 pm
I used to be in the same situation Dany!!! I am African American as well (mixed race), and I thought I was going crazy when I started looking into color analysis because there were absolutely noooooooooooo WOC spring examples! But I knew I had to stick to my gut and stay true to what colors I KNEW looked best of me which are Spring... despite the terribly closeminded and offensively non-diverse representatives and season descriptions/requirements. I have a medium skintone that seems to be rather versatile too- I think springs can handle a surprising amount of colors outside of their correct color season.
8/21/2018 03:50:42 am
The problem with this approach is that the palettes (i.e. seasonal fans) do not actually include *all* possible colours for each season, so even if the palette lacks a certain colour, that doesn't necessarily mean it can't flatter the season in question ;)
8/21/2018 08:37:35 am
I'd love a post like this about soft autumn and light spring, and how to tell those apart :)
8/21/2018 09:24:29 am
Lilac, both LSp and SA are primarily warm, but a LSp has a light value and a SA has a medium light to medium deep value. So A SA is much deeper in value. A LSP is a clear season and a SA is a muted season.
8/21/2018 09:00:26 am
If you don't know if you are a LSp or a LSu you can put your picture against the Light Spring palette and the Light Summer palette . I think you will be able to tell what colours relate to you better.
8/24/2018 04:41:18 pm
Great post! It was posts like these that helped me finally figure out my colors season. Each season has such a funny mix of colors you'd expect, and then outliers that almost look like they belong somewhere else. As LSu, that purpleish grey is one I found years ago -- and the blue-grey. So I thought I must be some sort of autumn or winter, because they seemed 'wintery' to me. Meanwhile, a lot of what the internet calls 'pastels' (winter's icy hues or the soft seasons' muted tones) wash me out like nothing else. My self-profiled stab at Bright Winter was at least in the right zone -- the right warmth-to-coolness and the right kind of warmth (spring). Again, Rachel, your draping cards helped me find a color home and it's so nice! I get so many compliments on the colors I wear, and it's hard to believe it all just comes from carrying around a pack of swatches with me in my purse.
10/31/2018 12:58:35 am
I was draped as a light summer several years ago, but something was off. I have been going back and forth between light spring and light summer since then, trying to figure it out. It has been helpful to have your makeup list from both of those seasons to compare, but I suit some colors from each of them. Finally, though, after a lot of experimentation I found that my foundation color that matches my skin-tone best is a mix of neutral and a small hint of gold. Okay then, I started to think that maybe I am so neutral that it has been really tough to see which side I lean, but it's definitely to the warm side. I have read this post several times and wasn't sure about the color at the beginning, the greyed wine neutral. I finally found a jacket in that color and bought it. Just like most things in department store lighting, it looked different on me in the store, but once I got it home I saw that it made me look....blah. my skin looked sallow...definitely an unhealthy yellow and my features just kind of became unfocused. Then it dawned on me that there have been several berryish colors that I tried to make work that just didn't. Not horrible, just not great. I also remembered that a long time ago I had a sweater that was a light moss green, definitely some yellow in it, and I loved it. I can also get away with orange, even if it is too saturated. It doesn't make me look muddy. Iam so neutral, though, that if I go too warm that it's overwhelming. This narrows me down to some pretty tricky colors to find, but at least I know what's up now. Thanks for posts like these.
10/9/2020 05:26:50 pm
Fantastic! I was totally on the fence wondering if I am light spring or summer, and this was a huge help! I am light spring, and I have always known that the last color (the yellow-green) was one of my best. The gold and peach are good on me also, and I have the gold in both my hair and eyes. The first three colors are definitely dreadful on me, making me look tired and sickly. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
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