What Does Neutral Look Like?

This lady below has a very neutral look. And people with this type of coloring can be very tough to color analyze.

Why? Because they are a blend of warm and cool. Almost a 50/50 blend of temperatures creates the hard-to-determine undertone.

Virtual makeover on Neutral Soft Autumn woman.

Even when one seems to have a perfect blend of temperatures, one is usually more dominant than the other. The key is to figure out which is dominant, even if it is just a tiny bit.

I originally thought that she would be a soft summer because her eyes were so cool (or not warm, at least). But I did what I suggest to clients who are debating between undertones: test very cool and very warm colors on you and see which is better, or at least not the worst. I did it virtually on Photoshop.

I found that the warm colors edged out the cool. So I assessed that she is a Dusty Soft AutumnWhy not a Smokey Soft Autumn? Because she is somewhat in the middle range of value, I chose the lighter soft autumn for her. But the Smokey Soft Autumn would have worked, too.

I could have used very neutral colors for her makeup, and she would have looked great. But because I knew she was an autumn, I warmed up the neutral makeup slightly with soft brown eyeshadow and peachy lipstick.

She also would have looked great in olive or warm-grey eyeshadow and nude lipstick. All those pale, neutral colors that wash most people out, like warm beige, taupe, and other pale neutrals, look fantastic on those lightest soft autumns.

Here's a few more examples of what neutrals look like


This woman can be called neutral. She has blended temperatures. I see a little coolness in her skin and eyes. Her hair has a touch of warmth but is also pretty neutral. I would label her a Sunlit Soft Summer

Neutral Woman with blended undertones

This woman, too, is what I would consider neutral. I see hits on coolness and warmth. I think, though, she is more warm than cool, but only by a small amount. I'd label her a Dusty Soft Autumn

Note: there is at least one color analysis system that calls anyone with blended temperatures "neutral".  In these photos above, this concept fits. But they also will label, for example, a Deep Winter "neutral" because she has both warm and cool undertones. 

I don't really care for this label. They mean to say that season is neutral in temperature only. But that is just one aspect of one's coloring. When most people think of the term neutral, they usually think of something not very saturated or bright. 

These examples above are not very saturated or bright. They aren't the lightest or darkest. They are sort of right in the middle of three of traits of chroma, value, and temperature. They are true neutrals. And they are  found most often in the soft seasons,  Soft Autumn or Soft Summer. 

Not surprisingly, they are the ones who come alive in neutral colors of tan, grey, beige, taupe, etc. These colors have the power to drain other saturated seasons. But on true neutral persons, their coloring is amplified and they look naturally elegant.

Return to HOME page