Figure out your season with these tips

analyze yourself

I created these three steps to show you how to analyze yourself using the 12-season system. I used this system for years.

But now I'm using a much more advanced system. But you know what? These steps are a good way to begin any analysis. I will show you how. However, be aware that sometimes a person's dominant trait is not obvious. At all. So then you must follow my alternate method, at the bottom of the page.

Note: Sometimes this method is called the "Tonal Method".

To begin, study yourself without makeup, in the best light possible (preferably daylight).

1. Determine your dominant characteristic.

Read "Color Theory" first.

Deep: Strong, rich, dark coloring

Light: Very light and delicate

Warm: Yellow based colors, no blue undertones

Cool: Blue based colors, no yellow or golden undertones

Clear: Bright, clear colors, nothing muted or dusty

Muted: Soft, dusty colors; nothing bright and overpowering; often quite neutral in temperature

2. Determine secondary characteristic

Once you’ve determined your dominant characteristic, next decide if the warmer or the cooler colors look better. For example, if your dominant trait is "Deep", decide if the deep cool colors look best on you or the deep warm colors.

For those whose dominant trait is already "Warm" or "Cool", decide your chroma next. For example: if your dominant trait is “Warm”, and your chroma is clear and more delicate, then you are a Warm Spring but if your chroma is muted, you are a Warm Autumn.

Deep, Cool Colors = Deep Winter

Deep, warm colors = Deep Autumn.

Light, warm colors = Light Spring

Light, Cool colors = Light Summer

Clear, cool colors = Clear Winter

Clear, warm colors = Clear Spring

Soft, warm colors = Soft Autumn

Soft, cool colors = Soft Summer

Warm, light colors = Warm Spring

Warm, medium colors = Warm Autumn

Cool, medium colors = Cool Summer

Cool, darker colors = Cool Winter

3. Test Drape Key Colors

If you have determined your dominant trait and are still a little unsure whether you lean toward cool colors or warm colors, then test these colors against your face with a swatch, a scarf or sweater.

While most seasons share colors from their “sister season”, there will be certain colors which will look best for one season over the other. Below are some of those colors for each dominant group:

Deep Autumn vs. Deep Winter

Salmon Pink vs. Fuchsia

Light Peach vs. Icy Pink

Terracotta vs. Burgundy

Light Spring vs. Light Summer

Bright Coral vs. Deep Rose

Camel vs. Cocoa

Light moss vs. Aqua green

Warm Spring vs. Warm Autumn

Light Mango vs. Pumpkin

Medium Blue vs. Jade

Clear Red vs. Rust

Cool Summer vs. Cool Winter

Soft White vs. Pure white

Lavender vs. Royal Purple

Raspberry vs. True Red

Soft Summer vs. Soft Autumn

Blue Green vs. Olive Green

Soft Fuchsia vs. Salmon Pink

Burgundy vs. Mahogany

Clear Spring vs. Clear Winter

Warm Pink vs. Magenta

True Green vs. Pine Green

True Blue vs. Royal Blue

click to learn more about hue chroma value

Alternate Method to Analyze Yourself

The alternative method for analyzing yourself is to simply determine your undertone. This is actually how most systems start an analysis but I wanted to talk about the 'dominant trait' method since it is easiest if your dominant trait is super obvious. Because who needs to complicate things if it is not necessary?

Some color systems insist one has to be draped (very often at a high price) since someone can turn out to be any season at all. (I busted that myth in my "15 Myths of Color Analysis" Report).

While I agree there can be some small surprises in a draping, like someone turning out to be a Deep Autumn rather than a Deep Winter, or a Light Summer is actually a light soft summer, these are not radically different seasons. The Deep Autumn and Deep Winter share the same dominant trait and are sister-seasons. The Light Summer and Soft Summer light are both Summers whose value is quite light. Fine tuning it is great and is what we do in the advanced ColorBreeze system, but simple observations should get you to one's dominant trait or at least her main season.

But back to determining one's undertones: the way to do this is to use at least one, but more can be helpful, set of test drapes to draw out one's undertone. By "set" I mean two colors. Start with a hot pink and a clear bright orange. If you have really light, soft coloring, you could use pastel pink and pastel peach.

The purpose of test drapes is simply to see which color looks better, or at least not the worst, under your face.

Important: Neither drape may be your best color, or maybe both look pretty good. But one should be better or worse than the other one.

training-orange and pink drapes checkmark

Can you see how the orange drape harmonizes with the model's coloring? The pink drape isn't awful (some wrong colors can literally make one look sick), but it doesn't harmonize or blend in with her naturally coloring - skin, hair, and eyes.

Here are some more things to look for when you analyze yourself.


Looking at natural hair color



Examining Eye Color

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