Autumn Color Palette – 4 Season Color Analysis


The origins of seasonal colour analysis date back to the 1980s with Carole Jackson’s infamous bestselling book, Color Me Beautiful. Considered the original bible, it is what the 4 season colour analysis and all subsequent seasonal color analysis systems are based on. The philosophy of this analysis is that when you wear the best blend of colors that complement the natural tones of your features, it will emphasize and highlight your appearance and how you are viewed by other people. This gives you a cohesive look that helps you find your best self and make you feel great. Each person is classified into a season based on your hair, skin, and eye color which have a corresponding color palette. You can be either cool or warm-toned. Autumn and Spring are warm seasons and Winter and Summer are cool seasons.

The colors of Autumn are warm, soft, and deep. Those who fall into the general Autumn season can also look to the 12 Season Color Analysis system which further refines your personal color palette. You will be either a Warm Autumn (true autumn) with classic warm and deep color tones, Soft Autumn with a more warm muted color tone or Deep Autumn with rich vibrant shades depending on your specific coloring and varying degrees of contrast. Read on to find out more about where you fit into this season’s color analysis.

Autumn Color Palette Characteristics

Are you a classic Autumn? Check to see how many of the following characteristics match your natural coloring.

The original Color Me Beautiful theory is broken into the following color types:

  • Spring: Warm and Light
  • Summer: Cool and Light
  • Autumn: Warm and Dark
  • Winter: Cool and Dark


Autumn skin tone is warm with yellow-based undertones and overall rich coloring. Skin coloring can range from those who have fair skin with ivory, beige or peach complexions to more caramel, copper, and golden brown for deeper skin tones. Pasty skin with freckles and those who are natural redheads most often are Autumns.


Autumn hair color is warm and can often have gold or red highlights. Those who have golden brown, warm brown, auburn, red, strawberry blonde, golden honey blonde, and even some with ash or dirty blonde hair all fit into this season.


Autumn’s eye colors are warm and glass-like in appearance. They can be hazel, amber or golden brown, olive green or green with brown or gold flecks in the iris, and shades of blue with a distinctive aqua or turquoise color along with teal or steel blue.

The most important thing to remember if you are an Autumn is that your overall look is always warm. The coloring within Autumn can range from soft and warm to deep and warm. The specific differences in the Autumn types fall into 3 categories. Warm or classic Autumn described here. Soft Autumn with soft muted less intense shades and deep Autumn which has stronger deeper hues.

Autumn Colors Palette

When reflecting on Autumn think about its place in nature. The Autumn shades pulled from their season are soft, warm, and deep. Think of green forests, earthy woods, red leaves on trees, fields of golden wheat, and even turquoise water. The Autumn colour palette contains those warm, golden, and earthy shades incorporated with rich, deep, and soft warm muted colors.

Autumn’s colors are warm and yellow-based which are opposite to Winter and Summer’s that are cool and blue-based. Autumn and Spring are both yellow-based however, warm autumn colours has more of a golden deep hue where Spring’s are yellow. Spring’s colors are also more clear and bright with a freshness to them. Seasons can flow into each other. Autumn’s sister season is Spring whose overall characteristics have vibrant colours so depending on where you fall, you may straddle that season and be able to borrow from it but Autumn colours palette will look best on you.

Autumn’s should avoid wearing cool colors or those with blue undertones. Stay away from pastels as they can make you look pale and washed out. Taupes, rosey-beige, and pinks are not in this palette. Darker shades or colours and lighter colors are reserved as winter colors to steer clear of them but you can opt for a creamy white that will be much more balanced against you.

Best colors for those who are in the autumn palette are oyster white, earthy beige, and dark browns like chocolate and coffee. Shades of blue such as teal, deep periwinkle, and turquoise work best. Tones of yellow-green, lime, olive green, moss, forest, and jade are for you. This season wears the orange color family quite well using terra-cotta, pumpkin, burnt orange, rust, peach and even salmon along with more orange reds like tomato. When choosing yellows, look for those with a gold tint such as mustard. Some Autumns can even wear a deep warm purple.

Keep in mind to use the same concept when shopping for prints and patterns for your wardrobe. They should be part of your color family and in the same warm autumn palette. Look for ones that have the golden yellow undertones that are in your coloring. Generally, the Autumn woman can wear all the soft, rich, and muted shades of her season. Tonal prints can also play up your best features. There is a wide array of choices to pick from. Look for paisleys which look great on autumns.

Another option perfect for this season is animal prints in earth tones like leopard or giraffe which are always a fashion staple. Classic plain prints are also in your wheelhouse and a natural choice with their rich intensity. Taking inspiration from the roots of your coloring, nature prints will also be a winner. The same goes for a good camo print. Florals work too, just select one that has your color tones so they are flattering colors. If graphics are more your style, check out chain link or tribal prints. A good rule of thumb to remember for autumns is to stick with grounded prints. They are best suited for you. Anything too abstract or wild is a harsh contrast to your down-to-earth coloring.

A good tip when playing with patterns and prints is always to balance them. Mix them with solids. Use the dimensions of colours either on top or bottom. A head-to-toe print or pattern can be overwhelming unless it’s on a one-piece garment such as a dress. In that case, the scale of it is important.

Don’t forget accent items and accessories. Bags, belts, and shoes in your color palette are other additions to your closet. You can also use these as the statement piece of your outfit. If a monochromatic look is your thing, then this is an opportunity to dress in layers with varying intensity of hues in your spectrum. The earth tones of your season work well together and you can combine the soft autumn, warm autumn, and deep autumn shades.

Complete your outfit by selecting the right jewelry. Gold and yellow metals which are warm toned depth tend to be most flattering with your coloring and look best on Autumns.

Autumn Makeup

Your Autumn seasonal color shades should also be applied to the makeup you wear to accentuate the look and pull it all together. The goal here is to choose colors that have a yellow base to them and enhance your natural beauty and overall warm look.

Autumn skin has a warm tone so choose a foundation and concealer that has a yellow base to match your skin color. Using a cool base containing blue undertones will not compliment your skin and blend in. If you are unsure, use one with a neutral undertone. Selecting blushes in the orange family is the way to go to bring out your natural tones. Choose a brown mascara which is warmer and more consistent with your hair coloring instead of black that is too strong for you.

If you want to add some warmth to your face, try using bronzer that has a yellow base. Apply it sparingly to the apples of your cheeks and forehead. This will give you a healthy glow without looking washed out. Adding a bit of blush to your cheekbones will help define them and make them pop.

The best colors for lipstick in the Autumn palette are:

  • Brick reds
  • Orange or orange-red and coral
  • Peach (choose one that is more orange than pink)
  • Rust and terracotta shades
  • Mocha and brown tones

The best colors for eye shadow in the Autumn palette are:

  • Beige, brown, or copper
  • Peach
  • Golden shades
  • Muted or olive green (best for green eyes)
  • Some blues and teal (for blue eyes)

In conclusion, now that you know what season you belong to, use the colors in the Autumn seasonal color palette to unify your appearance with your clothes, makeup, and jewelry. This analysis creates a total complete look that enhances and highlights your natural features so you look and feel your best.

For more information, to dive deeper and get your Autumn sub season analysis, go to the 12 seasons color page to find out if you are a Warm AutumnSoft Autumn, or Deep Autumn.

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