I’ve seen a ton of ways of figuring out your skin tone and advice on dressing for your particular coloring. Some are good; some are bad. It’s a whole lot of misinformation, so I’ve compiled here the best resources I’ve come across for determining skin tone and corresponding color palettes.
Let’s take a look at the basics.
3 Categories of Skin Tone
Warm toned skin tends to have a golden or apricot undertone. Their hair tends to have hints of orange, yellow, red or gold. Eye color tends to be amber, dark brown, hazel, or green.
This is the most common skin tone to have, and the easiest to dress because of it. Cool toned skin has a pink or rosy undertone. Hair often contains blue, blue-violet, silver, drab, and ash undertones. Eye color tends to be light blue, gray-green, blue green, turquoise, gray-blue, black or cool brown.
People with neutral skin tones are able to pick and choose from most colors of the spectrum and wear them without any adverse effect on their looks. Neutrals can have combinations of the coloring and features of warm and cool tones.
These fall into the following scale of skin tones:
…with the following descriptors:
|Type||von Luschan scale||Also called|
|I||1–5||Very light or white, “Celtic” type|
|II||6–10||Light or light-skinned European|
|III||11–15||Light intermediate, or dark-skinned European|
|IV||16–21||Dark intermediate, also “Mediterranean” or “olive skin”|
|V||22–28||Dark or “brown” type|
|VI||29–36||Very dark or “black” type|
Side note: Who the hell is as light as #1???
Color Analysis or Color Seasons
Within these three color families, there are color seasons from the skin tone color matching theory:
Winter is, along with Summer, one of the two cool (i.e. blue-based) palettes. This means that a person who is a Winter should wear colors that have blue undertones. Winters differ from Summers in that their skin tends to contrast dramatically with their hair and eye color, and therefore seem intense. They look best when dressed in colors that contain relatively sharper contrasts than would look best on a person belonging to the Summer season.
Summer is, along with Winter, one of the two cool (i.e. blue-based) palettes. A Summer person should wear colors that have blue undertones. Summers differ from Winters in that their skin tends to contrast gently with their hair and eye color, and therefore seem softer and less intense. They look best when dressed in colors that are also relatively softer or less intense, and that contain less dramatic contrasts, than the colors which look best on a person belonging to the other Winter season.
Spring is, along with Autumn, one of the two warm (i.e. yellow-based) palettes. A Spring person should wear colors that have yellow undertones. The main difference between Spring and Autumn color palette is that the Spring’s colors are based on yellow such as yellow sparkling gold, in contrast with Autumn’s colors which are based on deep gold. As a result spring’s colors are intense, often bright and playful.
Autumn is, along with Spring, one of the two warm (i.e. yellow-based) palettes. An Autumn person should wear colors that have yellow undertones. Generally the autumn colours are warm, soft, and deep. Some of the Autumn colors are brick, coffee, caramel, beige, tomato red, and forest green.
Color Choice Effects
Wearing Complementary Colors
-Skin will appear luminous and radiant.
-Eyes will appear bright.
-Hair will appear multifaceted and reflect more highlights.
-Teeth will appear whiter.
-You’ll tend to receive more compliments on your appearance.
Wearing Detracting Colors
-Skin will appear tired and drained.
-Eyes will appear shadowed with dark circles.
-Teeth can appear yellowed, gray, and stained.
-You’ll tend to receive comments such as “You look tired.”
#5. Check out this link for Seasonal Color determination.
There are always exceptions, and this is not a hard and fast rule to live by. I have a warm skin tone, but I can pull off jewel tones of green and blue. According to the color theory, I shouldn’t be able to… but eff that. In short, this post is to better inform your color choices. You like wearing purple even though it’s not in your color palette? Wear purple! Just be aware of how you can mold your color choices to best present the assets you already have.