Unearthing the secrets of seasonal colouring

Spring... almost here! Photo by Dean Ward (promanex on flickr). Used under Creative Commons license.

Spring... almost here! Photo by Dean Ward (promanex on flickr).

Most people have heard something along the lines of, “I’m a winter skin tone!” before. It may have been said as a joke, or it might have been serious, but either way you had no sweet clue what they meant.

I know I didn’t. That’s I why I recently decided to stop the ignorance and finally follow up on the idea of seasonal colouring.

After quite a few failed Google searches, I finally came across a site for Carol Thompson Cosmetics. This web page gave me the answers I had been waiting for.

To summarize: The seasons refer to our skin tones, which dictate what colours will or will not look good on us. The “cool” seasons, winter and summer (please don’t ask me why summer is classified as “cool”, because it makes no sense to me, either), should wear colours with a dominant blue undertone, while the “warm” seasons, spring and autumn, should wear colours with a dominant yellow undertone.

So now that you know what the seasonal colour system is essentially about, it’s time to find out what category you belong to. There are different variations of each season, and even though this all seems ridiculously complicated, it may just be worth it.

I was very pleased with the suggestions I was given, and the great part is, they work for both make-up and clothing!

Here’s a little cheat sheet, according to Carol Thompson’s seasonal rules:


  • Dark Winter – Black hair, dark brown eyes and olive skin.
  • Best colours: True red, burgundy, royal blue, royal purple and emerald green.
  • Cool Winter – Black hair and medium blue or green eyes with light, but not olive skin.
  • Best colours: Hot pink, fuchsia, true red, burgundy and hot turquoise.
  • Bright Winter – Black hair and dark blue or blue green eyes with porcelain skin.
  • Best colours: Hot pink, fuchsia, true red, hot turquoise and royal blue.


  • Light Summer – Ash blond hair and blue eyes.
  • Best colours: Pale pinks, pale blue, soft violet and periwinkle.
  •  Cool Summer – Medium ash brown hair and blue grey eyes.
  •  Best colours: Pink (light to medium shades), blue grey, teal blue, blue green and blue reds.
  •  Muted Summer – Medium ash brown hair and green eyes.
  •  Best colours: Mauve, blue red, burgundy, plum and dark blue green.


  • Light Spring – Light blond hair and pale blue, blue green or turquoise eyes.
  • Best colours: Peach, peachy pink, salmon, aqua, periwinkle and warm turquoise.
  •  Warm Spring – Red, strawberry blond, golden blond, light and medium brown hair and green, amber or blue green eyes.
  • Best colours: Camel, warm medium browns, coral, salmon, peach, periwinkle and warm turquoise.
  •  Bright Spring – Dark brown, medium brown hair and blue, blue green, green or turquoise eyes.
  •  Best colours: Coral, bright warm red, periwinkle, violet and warm turquoise.


  • Dark Autumn – Very dark black-brown hair and dark brown eyes.
  • Best colours: Dark chocolate brown, off-white, olive green, forest green and tomato red.
  •  Warm Autumn – Blond, red, chestnut hair colour with medium brown, hazel, amber or green eye colour.
  • Best colours: Golden brown, camel, beige, moss green, yellow green, lime green, orange, gold and pumpkin.
  •  Muted Autumn – Light brown, medium brown hair colour and hazel, medium brown or green eyes.
  •  Best colours: Salmon, dark coral, rust, tomato red, dark periwinkle, teal blue, olive and jade green.

So now we know! You can go ahead and talk about your seasonal skin tone—seriously or otherwise.


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