Women of Color (and Men, too)

Color Analysis works for everyone, including women of color and men, too, of course. 
But over the years, I've heard a lot of feedback from women of color who say that Color Analysis was just for 'white women.' Indeed in the old 4 season color system, anyone who had darker coloring was put into the Winter category automatically.

While, of course, people who have darker coloring probably will not be a Light Spring or Summer (though there are always exceptions), they certainly should not automatically be relegated to Deep Winter either.

A skilled Color Analyst will first determine the client's undertones first.  What is most important, and I discuss this in my book, is to determine the client's coloring relative to her ethnicity. There is a wide range of color characteristics within any ethnic group. One needs to look at that person's unique characteristics and see where he or she falls within the Seasons.

Both women below have deep coloring with dark eyes and dark hair. But the person on the right clearly has yellow or warm undertones. The one on the left, not so much.

Women of Color and Undertones

woman of color cool skin makeover

Cool Skin

I would label this woman above as predominantly cool with some slight warm undertones. Just to make sure, I tried warm colors on her and she disappeared. Because she doesn't have the need for bright colors and high contrast, I would say she is a soft winter, specifically a Toasted Soft Winter. 

For her virtual makeover, I just used black and charcoal eyeshadow, reddish plum blush and a wash of pinkish plum glass. 

Woman of color warm skin before and after

Warm Skin

This woman has clearly warm skin. Eyes are dark and hair is dark so I would assess her as a Deep Autumn. In fact, because her skin has strong yellow undertones, the Hot Deep Autumn would work, too. I think, though I would advise this only if she colored her black hair with strong warm tones or if she work a wig that was deep auburn in color, which would really warm her up even further. 

Dark brown eyeshadow with a light hint of yellow highlighter, warm brownish red lipsitck and matching blush and is what I used for her

Determining these women's undertones was crucial in her analysis. Then you just play up their unique coloring with gorgeous results. 

Not all women of color are DEEP

Woman of color with soft eyes

This woman is a Toasted Soft Autumn. While her coloring is still dark, compared to the Deep ladies above, her eyes are lighter and more muted.  Playing up her muted quality makes her already beautiful eyes glow even more.

Note: You will definitely find more Deep seasons with women of color than you would, for example, analyzing most Scandinavian women. But I realize there is always exceptions and lots of diversity among every type of ethnicity so be aware of that. What is most important is to determine undertones first.

Then look at eyes for traits like a unique softness in the eyes as the woman above. Or sharp high contrast among the iris, lashes and eyebrows. That is when you can look at the hair color for any out of the ordinary traits and color.  

And what about Men of Color?

Man cool undertones

Cool Undertones

Man warm undertones

Warm Undertones

There is no difference with men of color as with women, not matter what the ethnicities, when it comes to color analysis. 

As with women, undertones will be crucial. The men above are great examples. Some people have skin that seems very cool, like the man on the left. As I've mentioned before, sometimes "cool" simply means "absence of warmth." I think I would label him a Cool Winter, not necessarily a Deep Winter, though he can certainly pull off that season.

You can see the warm, yellow undertones in the man on the right. Deep Autumn for him, or possibly even the Hot Deep Autumn, since the warmth is so dominant.

One last virtual makeover

Smokey Soft Autumn warm undertones makeover

After testing warm vs. cool test colors on her, warm won over the cool. This will eliminate all Winters and Summers as possibilities immediately.

Since she is not light or bright enough to be a Spring, the only other warm seasons would be the Autumns. 

While she has depth, I didn't feel it was her dominant trait. Plus, there is not a lot of dark lashes and eyebrows that one often sees with truly deep seasons. I chose the Smokey Soft Autumn for her (a Soft Autumn that is deep and is slightly cooled down). I think she looks amazing!

Bottom Line in analyzing men and women of color: 

The rules are pretty much the same as you would any person.

  1. Determine undertones first by testing warm vs. cool colors. 
  2. Then look at eyes for traits related to clarity/chroma.
  3. Look at the hair color for additional clues. 

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