Perform Your Own 4 Season Color Analysis
Ready to discover your color palette? First let’s take a quick look at the history of color analysis.
The seed of color analysis was planted when German philosopher Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) realized the connections between different colors and created “color psychology”. But that was just a beginning, there was no mention yet of the connection and reaction between the color of clothes and skin tone.
Between 1919 and 1933, Johannes Itten (Swiss painter and professor at the Bauhaus University in Germany) took things a step further when he concluded that portraits look better when certain colors were used in conjunction with specific hair and skin tones. He then created four different color palettes corresponding to the four seasons, each of which included four different complexions. These made it much easier for students to paint more attractive portraits.
California-based color theorist Suzanne Caygill (1911-1994) took the next step by combining Itten’s “season theory” with Goethe’s “color psychology”. Her own theory asserted that humans carry information about their personality and style in their natural coloration, and that through personal traits such as skin, hair, and eyes we can relate personal colors to those found in nature. This theory proved to be extremely popular and became the foundation for many color professionals.
Finally, psychologist Carole Jackson wrote the book “Color Me Beautiful”, which became wildly popular in the 1980’s. In it, she simplified Caygill’s seasonal system (which used sixteen different personalities per season), and reduced it to a single personality per color season. This made it vastly more straightforward for everyday women to shop for appropriate clothes, accessories, and makeup.
Making 4 Season Color Analysis Work For You
Thanks to Carole Jackson’s simplified theory, discovering your season is pretty straightforward:
Step 1. Determine whether you are a COOL or a WARM type
The first step is the hardest. Basically, it involves looking beyond your skin color (or overtone) to discover the undertone that gives definition to your looks.
Skin undertone is determined by three elements: hemoglobin, carotene, and melanin. While skin overtone can change based upon factors such as sun exposure, illness, or blood pressure, your undertone is defined by genetics and will never change.
Determine your undertone using one of the following three tests:
- Foundation Test
The easiest and most accurate method involves putting dab of pink based cream foundation on one cheek, and a dab of yellow on the other. Then spread the foundation evenly on each cheek until they form a very thin layer. Finally, look at which one blends in vs. which looks painted on. The one that blends is your match.
Pink means COOL, yellow means WARM. It’s as easy as that.
You can buy cream foundation at any drugstore, or you can buy a cool/warm tone foundation test kit here for just $14.95 including shipping. The kit includes both pink and yellow based foundations with more detailed instructions on how to conduct the test.
- Gold/Silver Test
Take one silver-colored and one gold-colored piece of fabric or paper. Place one hand on the silver-colored piece and the other hand on the gold-colored piece. Also try the inner side of your wrists or another part of your body that gets rare sun exposure. You will notice that with the right color your skin color will blend in well with the color of the paper or fabric, and your skin will look even. With the wrong color your skin will look uneven and speckled.
Silver equals COOL, and gold means WARM. Once again, pretty easy.
There are a couple of things you can do to make the test more accurate. Make sure that you’re in a room with natural light, artificial light can ruin the test. And you will need pieces of paper or fabric that are large enough to cover a good amount of skin. If you use drapes, make sure they cover the shoulders. If you use paper, make sure it’s large enough for both hands to fit on the paper.
- Vein Test
This one is pretty straightforward. Simply look at the veins on your inner wrist and determine whether they look more blue(ish) or green(ish). Once again, make sure you conduct the test in natural light. And don’t use this test right after tanning or if you have a deep tan as it makes it more difficult to determine the color.
Green veins mean WARM, blue mean COOL.
Whether you use just one test or try them all, you’re now only one step away from knowing your season. At this point:
- Cool undertone means that you are a SUMMER or a WINTER type.
- Warm undertone means SPRING or AUTUMN type.
2. Determine whether you are a LIGHT or DARK type
Define the brightness (light or dark) of your eyes and your natural hair color.
Eyes and hair = DARK –> Winter
Eyes and hair = DARK –> Autumn
Finding Your Season Is That Easy !
It may be a bit tricky when you have a mix of light and dark. In that case the most dominant character will determine your type. In case of doubt, let me help you define your “season”.
If you know which “seasonal type” you are, keep reading and find your best matching colors.
The best part of the 4 season color analysis is discovering your personal matching color palette! Scroll down and find out what garment colors should be in your closet from now on. Once you know your color palette, shopping for apparel, accessories and make-up will be a breeze !
Winter types should wear colors that are sharp and clear. White, black, navy blue, red and shocking pink all go well with winter complexions. For lighter colors, wear icy tones rather than pastels. Avoid subdued tones like beige, orange and gold.
If you want to see and “feel” the best colors for your type, consider getting a full set of sample fabrics with your best colors and use them for shopping. Check out the convenient “Winter Color Swatch” that you can buy right here. It includes all your winter type color samples in one convenient wallet.
Use a maximum of 3 colors for your outfit.
Dare to wear contrasting colors like black and white. You are the only type that looks good in black and pure white, use these colors!
For jewelry, silver is your color. Don’t exaggerate with jewelry and accessories.
COLOR PALETTE SUMMER TYPE
Summer types should choose pastels and soft neutrals with rose and blue undertones. Lavender, taupe, powder pink and powder blue suit summer types very well while black and orange do not.
If you want to see and “feel” the best colors for your type, consider getting a full set of sample fabrics with your best colors and use them for shopping. Check out the convenient “Summer Color Swatch” that you can buy right here. It includes all your summer type color samples in one convenient wallet.
Wear a lot of jewelry (silver), try different accessories.
For a relaxed and friendly look, choose pastels.
Fall types should select colors with golden undertones, like camel, beige, orange, gold and dark brown. Avoid colors with blue tones, like navy.
If you want to see and “feel” the best colors for your type, consider getting a full set of sample fabrics with your best colors and use them for shopping. Check out the convenient “Autumn Color Swatch” that you can buy right here. It includes all your autumn type color samples in one convenient wallet.
Use many colors, experiment with jewelry, be daring! The best color for your jewelry is gold.
To convey creativity, mix colors. Make sure to combine colors that match and complement each other well, such as green and red.
Spring types can wear warm colors like camel, peach, golden-yellow and golden brown. Avoid dark, dull colors. Do not wear black and white.
If you want to see and “feel” the best colors for your type, consider getting a full set of sample fabrics with your best colors and use them for shopping. Check out the convenient “Spring Color Swatch” that you can buy right here. It includes all your spring type color samples in one convenient wallet.
Don’t exaggerate with jewelry, wear gold (colors).
Light colors look best on you.
Wear reds for all of your personality traits. Blue-red conveys assertiveness. An orange-red would be worn by someone who is lively.
Tips for ALL Types
- Black makes you look slimmer but is only recommended for winter types, all the other types, choose other dark colors.
- To convey authority and power, wear your dark colors: black, dark grey and navy blue. (Why do you think the police and other authorities are wearing navy blue or black uniforms?)
- Clear colors can be used to make your breasts look bigger.
- If you are a sales woman: do not use contrast, like black/white or blue/white, use harmonizing colors. The contrasts look too aggressive.
Experiment with these new findings. After you found your personal palette, try to analyze your friends and/or family and check if they are wearing their matching colors. If they are not, tell them about your new gained wisdom about color analysis, they will appreciate your advice !
Don’t forget to color your day !