You will still find opinion pieces and product reviews, but makeup purchases and comparisons will now be in context with my coloring, since I buy only what I think might look good on me. Given my "season" is not in the majority, I realize this blog can't possibly sustain a readership worth my continuing on with it unless I branch out a bit.
Regular readers of this blog probably remember that I had a personal color analysis (PCA) 18 months ago, with a result of True (Cool) Summer, but I didn't talk about my color palette much beyond that post. In my recent activity, however, I've been expanding what I show in swatches, comparing the colors to seasonal palettes, and tossing around terms like "True Summer" and "Light Summer" and "Soft Summer." What do these terms mean to you, especially those of you who think you look best in cool/cool-neutral makeup that isn't too vivid?
I was preparing my next post in the Lipstick Series this morning (which includes colors that are definitely not good on me), when it occurred to me that I should first define what I mean when I say Light Summer, True Summer, and Soft Summer. I realize the vast majority of this blog's readers have not been through a Sci\Art (or any) in-person color analysis, but in giving context to the Summer seasons, I hope to help anyone who is trying to self-identify with one of the tonal seasons I discuss. See if any of this resonates with you. Given time and resources, I might address seasons outside my seasonal palette at a later date.
NOTE: The following descriptions are my understanding of the three Summer seasons, as defined by Sci\Art founder, Kathryn Kalisz. Any mistakes are solely this author's. If you see something wrong, please let me know so I do not mislead anyone. If you want more information about hue, value, and chroma, you can start with the post describing my PCA experience, which was read/approved by the woman who analyzed me. I do not (yet) know enough about the Autumn, Winter, and Spring seasons to write about them, but I hope to learn.
Light Summer (LSu)The Light Summer season rests between Spring’s clarity, warmed by milky, yellow sunshine, and the purely-cool, softly-greyed hues of True Summer. Because Light Summer borders the Spring season, LSu the brightest of the three Summers.
|Light Summer's lightness and sunny clarity|
(sources here, here, here, here, and here)
The predominant color dimension (the "most important thing") of a Light Summer tone is that of value—its lightness. Don't think dull or washed-out baby pink pastels; instead, think of glorious cool-neutral, sun-bleached, sun-kissed lightness that still manages to be higher in chroma (more saturated) than the other Summers. If you fall into the LSu season, you are very fortunate; your characteristics let you create a wide array of cool and warm combinations.
Some of a Light Summer's best colors include coral pink, soft teal, lilac, wisteria, light fuchsia, lavender, periwinkle, rose, pewter, taupe, clear salmon, daffodil, blue greens, such as aqua and emerald turquoise, sky blue, light grey, light navy, soft white, medium and slate blues, sand, stone, pebble, spruce green, warm pastel pink, and light lemon yellow. What won't flatter you are dark, somber colors, which will be oppressive to the complexion. Similarly, you'll disappear under bold or overly-dramatic prints or sharp contrasts.
A Light Summer's overall value is light, hue is cool-neutral, and chroma is medium (but higher than the other Summers). If Light Summer were a plant, it would be an apple blossom glistening in the morning dew.
True Summer (TSu)For many years after Color Me Beautiful was first published, all people with Summer-type coloring (cool, light, soft) were put in the single Summer category, which provided almost no flexibility for neutrals. The tone of the true True Summer is purely cool in that it handles warmth around the face in most unflattering ways. It is this Summer season that gets the bulk of the baby <insert color name> pastels, but against True Summer skin, there is nothing infantile about those colors. Instead, the overall impression is of cool serenity.
|True Summer's cool, muted hues|
(sources here, here, here, here, here, and here)
The predominant color dimension (the "most important thing") of a True Summer tone is that of hue—its temperature. The coolness should be obvious, and no cool can ever be too cool. If a color seems too cold on you, the issue is probably something else, such as the value (too light or dark) or the chroma (too muted or icy).
A True Summer's colors are softened by the blue-pink-grey of early twilight. Flattering colors include Wedgwood, greyed navy, and Chinese blue, along with muted shades of lavender, mauve, orchid, lilac, periwinkle, wisteria, grape, plum, cool strawberry and watermelon, briar rose, rugosa, soft fuchsia, clear blue-red, soft banana yellow, mushroom beige, dove grey, soft white, pearl white, white sand, cool sage, soft blue teal, turquoise, jade, burgundy, charcoal, aubergine, rosewood, clover and mint green. There is nothing golden, dark or bold within the True Summer tone, and both pure white and black can create contrasts that are too sharp for all but the highest-contrasting Summers.
A True Summer's hue is cool, value is medium, and chroma is medium. If True Summer were a plant, it would be Campanula, nodding in the shadows of late afternoon.
Soft Summer (SSu)The Soft Summer tone borders Autumn in its depth of coloring, which means the SSu palette inherits the rich, velvety, earthy tones from its neighbors warmth. From everything I have read, most people do not want to be (and have trouble accepting an analysis of) Soft Summer, probably because adjectives like "mousy" and "dishwater" have traditionally been used to describe this tone. Nothing could be further from the truth. When you think of the Soft Summer palette, imagine a color where misty tints of dawn embroider deeper, muted shades of post-twilight dusk. If you see a mouse in that vision, it's probably just nestling down for the night beneath the soothing, grey-green foliage of a hosta.
|Soft Summer's hazy colors|
(sources: here, here, here, here, here, and here)
The predominant color dimension (the "most important thing") of a Soft Summer tone is chroma—the saturation. Exceptionally low, its tone is velvety, soft, and richly elegant. The SSu wears a palette that is sultrier, darker, and more subdued than its neighbor, True Summer. In fact, a Soft Summer has pick of the line with Bobbi Brown eyeshadow products, colors that are predominantly too muted and warm for True Summers. The SSu also comes closest to wearing black successfully, as her skin glows in charcoal grey and deep rosy brown.
A Soft Summer's colors are cool, yet neutral enough to accept radiating golden warmth of Autumn. Flattering colors include ivory, stone, wheat, soft taupe, seashell pink, dove grey, pewter, grey-greens, cocoa (the only Summer that wears browns well), rose beige, rich burgundy, deep wine, antique turquoise, powder and dusky pinks and blues, pale yellow, heather mist, sea green, charcoal, dusty spruce, forest and pine green, deep periwinkle blue, raisin, aubergine, mauve, fuchsia, amethyst, violet, rose, sage, willow, warm pink, dusty and deep rose, watermelon, raspberry, true red, and wine. Soft Summer looks sublime in the pinks/roses and has the most of these rosy in her palette, compared to TSu and LSu.
A Soft Summer's chroma is low, hue is cool-neutral, and value is medium. If Soft Summer were a plant it would be Artemisia (Dusty Miller).
That pretty much sums it up.
Here are some other blogs discussing color theory and seasonal color. If you know of others, please let me know.
- If you are a Winter type, make sure you follow the explorations of London Makeup Girl, recently analyzed a Sci\Art Bright Winter.
- If you know or think you are a Light Summer, subscribe to Three Drops of Sunshine.