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COLOR GUIDE (WHAT TO WEAR FOR YOUR HEADSHOT)

This is not a substitute for getting your colors done, but should serve as a general guide.
The best way to know what your colors are is to try stuff on. When you try something on, look in the mirror and see if it makes you look washed out or vibrant. Look to see if it makes your eyes look like they have bags underneath them or not. The right colors make wrinkles or flaws seem to disappear, and make your eyes, hair and skin seem more vibrant. Make sure you try the clothes on someplace where you are getting neutral light. Regular light bulbs have a yellow cast to them, and fluorescent make things look green. If you can, try things on in bright, natural light.

First figure out if you have warm or cool skin:

People with warmer skin tend to have a warm, peach, ivory, or orange undertone to their skin. Whether very pale or darker, they tend to look best in warmer colors. People with cooler skin tend to show a slight pink, blue or olive undertone. Don’t be fooled by a suntan! To know what your actual skin tone, try putting a piece of white paper next to the inside of your wrist. It also helps to look at it in natural light which is more neutral than a light bulb or fluorescent fixture. If your skin is warm, peach, ivory, or orange, you are either a Spring or Autumn. If it is cool, pink, blue or olive, you are a Summer or Winter.

Then figure out what you are:

Spring (warm)

Autumn (warm)

Summer (cool)

Winter (cool)

Skin Tone IVORY PEACH Creamy white or peach – rosy cheeks ORANGE Gold or peach undertones, even orangey PINK Pale and pink skin BEIGE Dark, beige, olive, or pale white skin
Skin Undertones Golden undertones such as creamy white or peach with extremely light, ivory skin color Golden undertones like a pale peach, golden beige or golden brown Blue or pink undertones Blue, olive, or pink undertones
Hair Straw-colored or strawberry blonde, Brunette with Golden Highlights, Sometimes Red hair Carrot Orange , Red to Deep Auburn Often natural blondes or brunettes Black, black-brown, gray, white, chestnut, ash brown, or natural white-blonde Brown without highlights
Eyes Pale eyes
Clear blue, clear green, topaz, brown or hazel
Dark eyes:
Sometimes Golden Brown, dark brown, dark blue/green sometimes
Pale eyes:
Blue, violet,
gray-blue,gray-green,
brown,hazel,
bottle green
Dark Eyes:
Black, dark brown, gray-green, gray-blue, royal blue, charcoal, hazel, deep blue
Contrast in coloring Little Contrast More Contrast Little Contrast Lots of Contrast
Examples Marilyn Monroe, Gillian Anderson, Lindsay Lohan, Evangeline Lily Barbara Streisand, Jessica Alba, Natalie Portman, Aishwarya Rai Paul Newman Denise Richards, Eva Habermann, Jeri Ryan Elizabeth Taylor, Cher , Liza Minnelli, Alicia Keys, Rosario Dawson, Kristin Kruek

So we have a general idea of what we are. Now let’s look at a color wheel to get a sense of the colors we should be considering:

Autumn and Spring complexions will look better in warmer colors because there is some of that in your complexion. Summer and winter looks better in cooler colors. Bear in mind that the season doesn’t have a whole lot to do with the actual time of year, it’s just a way of denoting what color families you should be wearing.

Let’s look at each of these in depth:

Spring Colors (warm):

Ivory / Peach skin
Gold or creamy undertones

Springs can wear very pale, soft colors, such as peach, camel, golden yellow, golden brown, and aqua. They also look good in ivory, bright greens, true reds, clear blues and coral. Avoid colors that are too dull and muted or too dark. Avoid black and white, which are also too contrasting.

Examples of people that are Springs (note that they often do not wear their correct colors)

Notice the warmth in their skin and overall lack of contrast

Autumn Colors (warm):

Orange Skin
Gold or peach undertones

Autumn profiles have a lot of depth to their warm skin tone. Rich golden, spicy, and earthy colors will accent the complexion. Autumns can wear both muted and rich warm colors that are seen in autumn leaves such as camel, beige, olive, orange, gold, and dark brown. They also look great in a rich warm grey.

Autumn and Winter people have greater latitude with what colors they wear, so long as they avoid pastels.

Examples of people that are Autumn

Notice their skin is also warm, but they are more contrasting

Summer Colors (cool):

Pink / Pale skin
Blue or Pink undertones

Summer is a cool tone with blue or pink undertones and a low level of contrast between their hair, eye color and skin tone. They need soft neutrals and pastels, as well as muted colors with cool undertones. Powder blue, dusty pink, mauve, lavender, plum, and pale yellow will complement them. Avoid intense, vivid hues because they will look harsh. Earth tones, black and orange will also drown out the skin.

Spring and summer people have the hardest time figuring out what they should wear for some reason. Quite often spring people think they are summers and summer people think they are winter.

Examples of people that are Summer

Notice the skin is cool and there is less contrast in their features

Winter Colors (cool):

Winter profiles have a lot of depth to their coloring and a lot of contrast between their hair color, eye color and skin tone. Winters need hues that are sharp, stark and clear to complement their skin. They look best in intense, rich colors, like black, navy blue, red, and hot pink. For lighter colors, wear bright white or icy pastels, such as cool blues, pinks and yellows. Avoid earthy tones and subdued colors like beige, orange and gold as they will make the skin look unhealthy.

Winter also looks good in black and white. Wintercan generally wear a larger range of colors because they are more contrasting. Pink, blue or green undertones are all cool, so cool colors will always work. Adding grey to a color also makes it work well for Winters.

Winter can also be white, blonde hair and pale, white skin if they have contrasting features.

Examples of people that are Winter

Notice the skin has cool undertones such as green, blue or pink, and they have stronger contrast.

Ok, well this is a rough guide. I hope to flesh this out a bit better in the near future, but hopefully this gets you started. The number one thing to remember is that you don’t want colors that take away from the face. Bright, saturated colors are almost never the way to go. If you try something on and it makes you look sallow or gives you bags under your eyes, it’s probably best to chose a different color. If the color makes your hair and eyes stand out and makes your skin appear more vibrant and flawless, that’s your color!