As August progresses, retail stores are already into the depth of their autumn lines. So that means we all get to start seeing the fabulous new boot styles, light cool-weather jackets, and fashionable scarves.
Heading into a new season with cooler weather means new wardrobe pieces and with new wardrobe pieces it means reevaluating your palette and adding some new colors! I’m a person that feels that if you like that color wear that color! I also think determining your palette, undertone, or “season” is usually driven towards white women and generally excludes people of color. So I am about to throw some real shit down.
The whole darkness or lightness of your skin does not determine what you can or can’t wear. Your hair doesn’t either. This doesn’t mean you won’t look brighter and fiercer in one color or another. It means the exclusionary methods by which people say “redheads can’t wear this” and “black women can’t wear that” is total crap. Don’t let anyone tell you what you can’t wear. However, here are a few ways to determine your skins’ undertones that can help you find the best palettes for you no matter how pale or dark you are.
The simplest way to tell your undertone is to look at your veins in natural light. If it looks greener, you are warmer toned. If it seems bluer, you’re cooler – cooler than cool, probably ice cold. And if you’re not really sure, you’re probably neutral. Another test is the white shirt test. Put a pure white shirt on and look at yourself in a mirror, in natural light. If your skin seems peachy, you’re warm. If it seems icy, you’re cool.
Also know that undertones can turn with the seasons (you can bet you’ll probably lose some tanning in the winter and you’ll get cooler tones, opposite for summer) and also with age. Account for how your freckles look too, if they seem sepia-toned you’re probably warm. If they appear darker brown, you may be cool.
Keep in mind how you feel in certain colors. I used to absolutely loathe gold and beige colors but now it makes me feel confident because it complements my red hair and the freckles.
Based on the upcoming trends for autumn I’ve put together some palettes to give you a head start. You can take just one or mix several. Remember, you’re the one who makes it work, be confident in whatever you choose! You got this!
The Sugar Palette
Base: Any pastels and white colored pieces. Go with light beige boots or flats and light gold or bronze jewelry. An ivory peacoat will ensure this look will last through the winter.
Who: This palette is literally best for anyone and it’ll be great for going into winter where fashion generally goes to a snowy or dark-night palette. You can use whichever pastels that suit you.
Mix: the Ringleader palette. With care it may mix with some of the colors on Autumn Leaves palette.
Makeup: Lean toward less saturated and white eyeshadows and pink or nude lips. Minimal on all else but use lighter brown mascara and liners. To jazz it up add some smokiness to your eyes by blending in some dusty rose color.
The Autumn Leaves Palette
Base: Colors of the fallen leaves and some muddy earth. Some groundbreaking stuff, but it’s classic! Don’t be afraid of being earthy with this palette. Get an orange double-breasted jacket and some army green boots.
Who: This palette does lean more toward people who tend to have warm undertones into autumn, but the addition of gray means people with a neutral to cooler undertone can make it work for them.
Mix: These colors will saturate most retail stores so it can stand alone. It can easily be added to any existing cranberries or eggplant colors in your wardrobe.
Makeup: Dark brown liners and mascara create a smoky eye-effect with darker-shimmer browns and tan colors. Be bold and add bright orange to your lid, and create drama by using cranberry toned lipstain.
The Gemstones Palette
Base: Extremely saturated colors are the base here. Use silver, bronze, black or gold metals in your jewelry—any work well with the depth. Black can be your main neutral with this palette.
Who: Given the saturated colors it would work really well with neutral tones, but if you lean warm stay with the warm deep colors and vice versa. If you like bold colors, go girl! This palette is similar to what Joan Halloway wears in Mad Men.
Mix: Any jewel tone works with this palette. If you want to tone it down a bit though add in some lighter neutrals.
Makeup: This is the most flexible, I feel, you can really go natural because the wardrobe colors are loud enough or go fiercely dark and scream “awesome!” Go with dark brown to black mascara and liners. Just remember if you go bold eye makeup go subtler lips.
The Ringleader Palette
Base: Aptly named for the fact that this palette makes you an awesome bad-ass able to lead a revolution. Ochre colored shoes, navy coats, khaki skirts or slacks will be your base.
Who: Almost anyone can pull this off. If you lean cooler and don’t feel comfortable with browns, add blacks in instead while still keeping the ivory/sky blue/pinks. If you lean cooler you might avoid the pinks, but adding those in with some blues can even you out to a neutral.
Mix: This palette is pretty lenient, it’s my favorite because it can be the pinnacle of your wardrobe while still incorporating the other palettes pretty seamlessly. Also, add in more teals, more dusty pinks, corals, and seafoams.
Makeup: Use a soft blush, a light lip (add some liner if you want more drama), and a soft sandstone eyeshadow.
Hopefully these will get you started on creating your own kick-ass palette! Have fun, good luck on creating your awesome autumn look!