Putting It All Together

Now that you've been able to determine whether you have high, medium, or low contrast and warm, cool, or neutral undertones you should be able to eliminate two of the four color seasons. The last determining factor to look at is light or dark/deep and soft or bright colors.

Winter is deep and bright

Spring is light and bright

Summer is soft and light

Autumn is soft and deep

A soft or bright color is describing the appearance of the color, how richly saturated it is. If a color is soft it has more gray tones and will therefore be a less saturated color. Bright colors are very saturated and highly pigmented.

Autumn and Spring both wear warm colors but Spring wears a lighter and more saturated version of the color palette where Autumn wears a darker and softer version of the color palette. Summer wears a softer less saturated version of the deep, highly saturated version of the Winter color palette.

For example: Winters look amazing in deep bright purple where a Summer would be more flattered by a lavender tone.

An Autumn might wear a soft rusty orange while a Spring shines in a bright tangerine.

For people who enjoy lip color pick out a dark and a light shade, take a photo wearing each then compare the photos side by side. If the lipstick looks like it's wearing you more than you wearing it then that is the wrong color for you.

Spring and Summer's lighter features will be flattered by a lighter shade while the dark will be overpowering.

Winter and Autumn's naturally higher contrast will look balanced with darker shades but washed out by the lighter color.

Similarly you can pick out two items of clothing one in a soft shade and one in a bright shade of the same color, hold them up under your face to see which looks more in balance with your features.

If it is difficult to decide whether you are a Spring or Summer, Autumn or Winter look at the warmest colors: true orange, tomato red, and true yellow. If those colors cast a yellow or muddy appearance on your face then you are in a cool season. Equally very cool gray, true black, and pure white will be overpowering on the warm seasons.

So how do you find a cohesive color palette for a group of people who all have different color seasons?

Choose a variety of dark and light colors that can be mixed and matched. Wear the color that is the most flattering close to your face.

Choose neutrals that can be worn with contrasting colors.

Choose a mix of warm and cool colors that balance with each other.

So does this mean you can never wear colors outside of your palette? Absolutely not! With a few tricks you can wear colors outside of your palette seamlessly. If you are a high contrast season wearing light colors you can add a darker lip color or eye make up to balance your look. If you are a light season wearing a darker color accessorize with lighter jewelry or bring up your contrast with dark lip color or accessories. For men you could wear a tie in a color that matches your palette or collared shirt in your color palette so the color that compliments you best is close to your face. Glasses with dark or light frames can also provide the needed contrast.

Understanding color seasons can help you choose outfits that will compliment your family and make everyone look and feel their best! Which in turn will create beautiful family portraits that you will love to display in your home!