Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Are You a Soft Autumn? Seasonal Color Analysis for Women of Color

Deciding on Soft Autumn

This post is the second in my series about how to decide which autumn you are, written for women of color, but likely to be applicable to all women having a hard time identifying their season.

You might be a soft autumn woman of color if…

(1) Your overall coloring is warm and golden. Skin color can range from cafe au lait or cappucino to bronze to a darker chocolate brown. It's not about light coloring but minimal contrast.

(2) Your natural hair color is a dull brown or charcoal. Many soft autumns highlight their hair for exactly this reason.

(3) There are no sharp contrasts between hair and eyes and skin; they kind of all blend together. 

“On Soft Seasons, there are no big jumps from one colour to the next. Transitions exist, but as the eye moves from the skin to hair to eyes, it doesn’t encounter anything bold or sudden in the colours themselves or how they are combined.” –Christine Scaman, 12 Blueprints

The Soft Autumn Color Palette

(photo credit: Jane Rekas)

The Soft Autumn Personality: Is This You?...

This quote from Christine Scaman is so beautiful and poetic that I wanted to include it here as part of the discussion of soft autumn. See if you relate to the way she describes soft autumns.

“You find yourself telling this person your dreams. They integrate Autumn’s open minded acceptance of new personalities and ideas and Summer’s gentle kindness. Autumn’s very natural disposition, completely without airs or pretense, is still here but tempered to lessen the more abrupt honesty. One feels so comfortable in this presence that our own masks and guards fall away. There is no threat, no tension, and no judgement. Though they certainly look more Autumn, their nature is nurturing. Rather than the soothing feel of Summer, this trait is more about fostering and encouraging the growth and happiness of those they love, very womanly aspects.” 12Blueprints.com

Soft Autumn Celebrities

 (Melissa Harris-Perry)

 (Tamera Mowry)

My Own Soft Autumn Dilemma...

You may remember from last week's post that I have talked about my struggle to determine, for sure, whether I am soft autumn, warm autumn or deep autumn. I really really think that women of color are harder to pin down.

And I wrote about that struggle in several other places...

The truth is, there is a very good argument for landing on soft autumn...

That's me with no makeup. Mousy hair. Not a big contrast between hair and eyes and skin. My skin and eyes are warm, but my hair really is not. When I was a child, I had much more contrast and would have been a deep autumn, but my eye and skin color have softened over the years.

However, when I dress like a soft autumn, those colors don't seem to support my own coloring enough.

Is "Soft" the Dominant Characteristic?...

Color Me Beautiful in Europe does seasonal color analysis based on identifying your dominant characteristic. If it is soft, but you are also warm, you get 30 soft colors in your seasonal color palette, 6 warm ones and 6 light ones. If it is warm, you get 30 warm colors, 6 soft ones and 6 deep ones. If it is deep, and you are also warm, you get 30 deep colors, 6 warm ones and 6 soft ones.

So here's what I did. I looked at each palette and identified the colors I know I can wear well under my face from each palette.

If I were going to order swatches based on those colors, I would order warm autumn because I identified nearly 10 separate colors I know I wear well, and only 2 or 3 from soft and 1 from deep that was a sure thing. Now, there may be some I can wear that are okay but not spectacular, but those were the ones I knew of that make my skin come to life.

(photo credit: Jane Rekas)

From that, I conclude, that though I am soft, it might not be my most important characteristic. Perhaps I need those warm colors but softened a smidge? I do know that anything bright overwhelms me. So maybe we need a soft/warm category...

And maybe that is true for many, or most, women of color. Maybe wherever they land, they will need the warmer end of the spectrum, at least in color choice. Many women of color are autumns, but what's the breakdown for the subcategories?

Seasonal Color Analysis for Women of Color...

Why don't you tell me, lurking women of color? :)

Let me say this, though. I am not suggesting that all soft autumn women of color should wear warm autumn colors. My mother is a soft autumn who looks fantastic in soft autumn colors. Her skin and hair and eyes are all lighter than mine, however, and her once hazel eyes are now blue.

What do you think? Are you a soft autumn? Tell me in the comments section.

Having trouble deciding which season you are? I'd be happy to help!
Head over to my virtual color analysis page
and we'll start the process of finding your season. ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Warm Autumn:“This woman never pretends. She won’t say something just to flatter you unless she believes it to be true. She cries harder than anyone at a funeral. She is fiercely loyal to her family but will not spare them hard work or spoil them with extravagance. She may seem to absorb a lot of demands but when she draws the line at enough, everyone knows it.” ~~Christine Scaman, 12 Blueprints

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