Everyone has key color characteristics.

Discovering your key characteristics is easy and will help you to be confident when choosing colors and color combinations for your clothes and makeup too!

This is part one in a series on seasonal color analysis tips. In this post, we will go through each of the key color categories to help you find your best neutrals.

Knowing your best neutrals can help you to create a wardrobe that you love and enable you to have endless options for mixing and matching. In the next post, we’ll look at your main characteristic and determine whether you are warm or cool to find your fine tuned seasonal palette. Knowing your best colors can help you save time and money by only buying clothes and makeup that you know will look amazing on you.

Because who wants a closet full of clothes that makes them look tired, washed-out and sick? And wouldn’t you love to know that you’re buying makeup that brings out your best features instead of having a drawer full of makeup mistakes?

Everything in this post is adapted from Color Me Beautiful’s Looking Your Best and Color Me Confident. {These are affiliate links. See my disclosure policy for more info.}

Key Color Characteristics

  • Light
  • Deep
  • Warm
  • Cool
  • Clear
  • Soft

How to figure out which characteristics your coloring falls under:

1. Do you have light hair and light eyes?

  • Is your hair naturally blonde or very light brown?
  • Do you have pale blue, gray, or light green eyes?
  • Do you have pale eyelashes and indistinguishable eyebrows that need to be penciled in?
  • Do you have delicate, porcelain skin that burns easily?

If you answered yes to all of these, you are Light.

2. Do you have dark hair and dark eyes?

  • Is your hair dark brown to black?
  • Do you have dark eyes?
  • Do you have dark eyebrows and lashes?

If you answered yes to all of these, you are Deep.

3. Does your hair have prominent red tones?

  • Is your hair any shade of red from strawberry blonde to auburn?
  • Do you have green, brown, or blue eyes?
  • Are your eyelashes and eyebrows reddish in tone?
  • Do you have porcelain skin with an abundance of freckles or darker-toned skin with a golden glow to it?

If you answered yes to all of these, you are Warm.

4. Does your hair have prominent gray (ashy) tones? 

  • Does your dark brown, blonde, white, or gray hair have ashy tones?
  • Do you have gray, blue, green, or clear brown eyes?
  • Do you have pink or bluish undertones to your skin?

If you answered yes to all of these, you are Cool.

5. Is your hair dark but your eyes light?

  • Do you have bright, striking eyes that are blue, green, or topaz?
  • Do you have dark eyebrows and dark eyelashes?
  • Is your coloring contrasting between dark and light?

If you answered yes to all of these, you are Clear.

6. Are you a mixture of all of these?

  • Do you have mousy dark blonde or light brown hair?
  • Are your eyes a soft and muted shade of blue, brown, hazel, or green that change color often?
  • Is there little contrast between the color of your hair, eyes, and skin?

If you answered yes to all of these, you are Soft.

Here’s a mini guide to help you sort the six types at a glance:



If you are a Light, this means that you are either a Light Spring or a Light Summer.

You probably love pastels and look elegant in soft, light colors and medium tones. You can make the most of your features by wearing light colors near your face. When you wear a dark color, balance it with a light color. You can wear two light colors together with great results, but two dark colors at a time will be more likely to wash you out.

When it comes to buying investment pieces, look for stone, taupe, cocoa, and pewter instead of black. These are your neutrals.



If you are a Deep, this means that you are either a Deep Autumn or a Deep Winter.

You probably already know that pastels are boring on you and you most likely prefer primary colors and a particular preference for black.

To make the most of your features, wear strong, dark colors near your face. You can contrast these with lighter or brighter shades. You can wear two dark colors beautifully, or a light and a dark color together, but two light colors will make you look dull. If you have to wear light colors near your face, balance your look with deeper lipstick, blush, and eye makeup shades so that you don’t look washed out.

When shopping for investment pieces, look to black, black-brown, charcoal, and dark navy. These are your neutrals.



If you are a Warm, this means that you are either a Warm Autumn or a Warm Spring.

You probably already know that fuchsia, burgundy, and black don’t suit you, but you look amazing in shades of gold, green, and salmon. You will always look best in colors that are medium in depth instead of very light or very dark shades.

Don’t be tempted to wear baby blue or pink, or icy violet as they will make your skin look gray. When wearing darker neutrals, balance them with lighter shades. Always keep your makeup colors warm. Salmon and peachy shades of blush and lipstick will make you come alive.

For your investment pieces, look for chocolate, pewter, moss, and bronze in place of traditional black pieces. These are your neutrals.



If you are a Cool, this means that you are either a Cool Summer or a Cool Winter.

You probably can’t stand wearing any shade of brown or orange and instinctively prefer pinks. All of your colors should have a cool undertone since warm colors will make your skin look sallow. Medium to deep shades are best on you.

If you do wear browns, make sure they have a pinkish tone to them. Balance darker neutrals with lighter and brighter shades. Beware of brown based lipsticks, especially pale nude shades.

When you shop for investment pieces, look to grays, navy, spruce, and teal. These are your neutrals.



If you are a Clear, this means that you are either a Clear Spring or a Clear Winter.

Your eyes are jewel-like and contrasts strikingly with your hair. Blended or muddy colors can make you look tired. Your colors should be bright, never dusty. A contrast of light and dark colors will always look best on you. When you wear black, pair it with a lighter shade or white. And when you wear white, pair it with a darker shade, or black.

When it comes to your investment pieces, turn to black, black-brown, navy, and royal blue. These are your neutrals.



If you are a Soft, this means that you are either a Soft Autumn or a Soft Summer.

Your look is blended so you look best in colors with little or no contrast. A monochromatic look suits you beautifully.

If you want to wear bright colors, choose tone on tone combinations like blue and green or red and purple.

For your investment pieces, look for charcoal, light navy, pewter, and rose brown. These are your neutrals.



These are very generalized neutrals selected for the most textbook version of each type. You may need to play around with these to find your perfect, unique-to-you neutrals.


Would you like personalized color advice?

I can help you to determine your best colors with a virtual custom color consultation. Find out more about the services I offer here