Clear or Soft - how can we compare?

by Ing-Marie


How can we compare a Clear person contra a Soft?

I always thought it easy to distinguish between the two - Clears have jewel type eyes and a sheen to their skin and Softs with ashen hair, muted eyes, matte skin. Ashen haired Softs would be Summers and Soft Autumns would have hair more golden than ashen I guess.

Now I've seen in "Colour Me Beautiful" a photo of Taylor Swift with hair like mine, warm with a shining cast, blue green eyes and she is presented as a Soft! Why not a Clear? Is that because her hair is not dark? But I've seen women presented as Clears, even if they are not dark-haired.

As I understand the two categories:

1. The matte muted type should wear clothes/makeup on the softer side. Autumn.

2. The clear type should wear clear to bright colors. Spring.

I also see a discrepancy in a photo of Sarah Fergusson argued to be a Warm Spring but her skin is warmly tanned. So, even though her skintone is darker - is she still Spring not Autumn?

My own coloring is fair and Clear colors don't enhance my own subtle coloring at all, but rather compete with it! So how do you see someone with obvious Clear Chroma but wanting/needing to wear Softened coloring to emphasize my looks.

Is there a third category: Clear chroma/pale skin needing Soft colors????


Wow! Ing Marie you certainly have studied your colors! You are absolutely right in much of what you say. I'm sorry I don't have access to this particular book to look at the photographs.

We all love to look at celebrities, follow them as style icons, and love to compare the colors they wear with ourselves.

However, I'm very aware that as color professionals sometimes we stick our necks out when we refer to color direction. Look at the 2 images of Taylor Swift above, they show two very different girls and depending on which one you are looking at ..... etc. etc.

Although Taylor Swift looks beautiful in the second image, whatever the lighting, I don't think this is true coloring and cannot imagine her wearing these soft muted colors. I maintain that she is Spring, that is Light, Bright and Warm. Her eyes have complete clarity.

This brings me to the fact that Color Analysis may well be a Science and there are definite 'rules' to the game, but the whole idea is finding colors to complement the woman and suit the individual and we are all different.

An analysis takes personality into account, lifestyle and how the individual feels about herself.

You have found that you feel and look better in softer shades rather than the brighter shades which you 'think' you should be wearing. And that is exactly what it's all about.

Color Analysis (in my opinion) should offer a wide color direction but with your 'best' colors highlighted. Within your color palette you will have or develop your own favorites but there should be sufficient choice for experimentation. Mood and occasion will also dictate the colors you choose to wear - even a deeper skin tone at holiday time.

The main rules of Color Analysis will always relate to yourself and should never be dictatorial.

A great question!!

kind regards

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