What are the 12 Color Seasons?

What are the 12 Color Seasons?

Have you heard of the twelve seasons? Maybe you thought there were only four! The truth of the matter is that there are twelve color seasons, based off of the actual four seasons. But what the heck are the 12 color seasons?

The color seasons refer to a color palette, commonly used in fashion and cosmetics. The color seasons help you establish your "natural" colors, those that most compliment your skin tone and style.

The twelve seasons analysis breaks the four seasons into subsets, three in each. Determining which one you fall under can help you prioritize what colors and shades will fit you best. Like anything with fashion, there are no hard and fast rules. We're all unique and all have our own style. They're just guidelines to create a flow.


Spring is the season for starting over, when eye-popping colors start to emerge from the depths of winter. This means that spring colors are warm and bright. This season is dived into:

  • Bright Spring (Bright+Warm)
  • True Spring (Warm+Bright)
  • Light Spring (Light+Warm)

 Which One Am I?

Bright Spring

Is the primary aspect of your overall appearance bright, but your secondary aspect warm? You're likely a bright spring. It means that warm colors suit you better than cooler ones. Your skin tone has a warm tone to it, meaning that gold flatters your more so than silver.

Bright's eyes are clear with a high contrast to the whites of the eyes and a fair to tan complection. Hair, likewise, is warmer and tends toward medium golden to dark golden blonde.

True Spring

Between Bright and Light falls True Spring, characterized by warm, bright colors. A True Spring is warm, with no cool tone or quality in your appearance. Skin tones fall in the golden to honey, with a fresh and clear appearance in skin and eyes. Eye colors range from light brown to topaz, contrasting skin and hair, though not vibrantly, as in a Bright Spring.

Light Spring

On the other end of the spectrum from Bright Spring is Light. A Light Spring in the light to warm range, meaning there is little contrast between skin, eyes and hair. All features are similarly light. Hair color, eye color and skin tone all fall on the light end of the spectrum, such as light blondes with pale blue eyes and pale skin. Skin tones range from fair to medium, while eye color falls between light blue to light brown.


Summer is a season for sun, characterized by long days. Summer colors are light, muted, and gentle. The summer season is divided into:

  • Light Summer (Light+Cool)
  • True Summer (Cool+Muted)
  • Soft Summer (Muted+Cool)

 Light Summer

Emerging from spring, the Light Summer palette is characterized by a light overall appearance with a cool secondary, meaning cool colors suit better than warm ones.

Similar to Light Spring, the Light Summer person has low contrast between skin, eyes and hair, but features have a cool (blue and gray) coloring. Eye color ranges from light gray to light green, while skin tones run from fair to medium.

True Summer

True Summer has a cool undertone, blue or beige, with no warmth in the features. Muted colors with blended features, rather than contrasting, characterize a True Summer look. Eye colors fall from gray to gray-brown, while skin tones are in the fair to tan range. A True Summer has a bit of a pink tinge, so silver will look very nice with it, but gold will stand out strangely.

Soft Summer

On the other end of Light Summer lies Soft Summer, those with a muted appearance and a cool secondary. Looking in the mirror, the first thing that stands out is a blending of skin, eyes and hair. Instead of bright, vibrant colors, features are toned down or "grayed out".

In a Soft Summer, there is a low to medium contrast  with cooler undertones. Eye colors tend toward grays to gray light brown, almost hazel. Skin tones are generally fair to tan.


Autumn is a season for harvest. The days shorten, fog and chill roll in, and the earthy colors start to emerge. Greens and blues fade, to be replaced by rich golds, browns and splashes of red and yellow. Autumn is divided into:

  • Soft Autumn (Muted+Warm)
  • True Autumn (Warm+Muted)
  • Dark Autumn (Dark+Warm)

Soft Autumn

A muted and warm appearance generally characterizes a Soft Autumn, meaning that warm colors will suit you better than cool ones. Skin, eyes and hair all blend, but have a muted tone, soft. Eyes range from blue, to green, to medium brown, while skin tones retain some of those summer aspects, like fair to tan. Soft Autumn hair color is strawberry blonde, golden blonde, light golden brown or medium golden brown.

True Autumn

True Autumns are characterized by a warm appearance. Warmth radiates from every feature and features blend together seamlessly. A True Autumn's eyes will tend toward dark colors, such as hazel, olive, amber or golden brown, with a skin tone to match and hair colors that remind one of fall leaves. Golden blonde, auburn, or golden brown hair colors are most common.

Dark Autumn

Dark Autumns are, as the name implies, dark and warm, meaning everything about your appearance has a darker cast with warm undertones. Unlike the True Autumn, though, there is a sharp contrast in features, especially the whites of the teeth against the skin, or contrast in skin tone and hair color.

Eye colors of the Dark Autumn range toward the darkest colors, such as hazel, dark green, dark brown or warm black. Skin tones, likewise, range from light to deep colors. Deep browns to warm blacks, or auburn colors are likely in the hair.


Winter is a season of contrast, when snow rolls in and nature hides. Winter colors are cold, bright and dark. Winter is divided into:

  • Dark Winter (Dark+Cool)
  • True Winter (Cool+Bright)
  • Bright Winter (Bright+Cool)

Dark Winter

Winter colors lose the warmth associated with summer and autumn, tending toward cooler coloring. The Dark Winter's primary characteristics (eyes/hair) are dark, while secondary aspects, like skin tone, are cool. Features for this season have a high contrast, such as dark eyes or dark hair against pale skin. 

Dark Winter eyes are, like those of Dark Autumn, hazel, olive, dark brown or black. Skin tones can range from fair to deep, usually contrasting with other features. Hair color, similarly, will range in those colors that are darker than Dark Autumn, such as black to very dark brown.

True Winter

True Winter is the ice queen, everything about her is cool and dark. There is no warmth in their features, though there is brightness. True winter colors are crisp and clear, with blue undertones. Eye colors fall in the cool color range of blue, hazel, brown, and black, with skin tones ranging from pale to dark. Hair is, likewise, dark browns or black, even pure black. Think icy blue eyes with dark hair and pale skin, and you'll be in the right area.

Bright Winter comes before the emergence of spring, retaining the same cool qualities of True Winter, but giving way to come color. Typically, the eyes of Bright Winter will be the most striking feature, contrasting sharply with the other features. Eye color falls under the blue, cyan, cool brown or black colors, while skin tones range from fair to deep, as the Dark Winter. Like it's darker counterpart, hair color, also, retains deep browns or blacks.


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