Dark Autumn is one of the three Autumn seasons and sits between True Autumn and Dark Winter on the seasonal flow chart.
Unlike Dark Winter, this season is warm. However, both sister seasons are a blend of Winter and Autumn, with Dark Winter leaning more towards the Winter palette and Dark Autumn leaning more towards the Autumn palette.
I. Natural Appearance
A Dark Autumn has prominent dark features. The eyes and hair typically stand in high contrast to the relatively lighter skin. The skin does not have to be fair, it's just lighter than the prominent dark features. This creates a high contrast in a Dark Autumn's appearance.
As part of the Autumn family, a Dark Autumn appearance is generally quite warm and rich. Instead of icy frostiness, a warm glow comes from your features.
To achieve a harmonious look, you need to mimic your natural characteristics with your make-up. So remember, a natural look on you is a dark yet warmly glowing look.
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II. The Colour Palette
If you want to learn more about the Dark Autumn colour palette, please refer to the comprehensive guide.
Dark Autumn's primary colour aspect is dark, and its secondary aspect is warm.
The colours lean towards the warm end of the scale but are not extremely warm. This means they contain more yellow than blue undertones. Even if you choose blue (which is the coolest colour of all), you will find only warmer shades, like turquoise and greenish blues that have a tint of yellow.
In keeping with Dark Autumn’s primary colour aspect, most colours have a lot of depth. However, there are also lighter and medium colours on the palette. These are required to create highly contrasted outfits.
The colours are medium in chroma; meaning they are neither extremely soft and muted, nor extremely bright and vibrant. They do, however, appear rich due to their warmth.
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III. Make-up Colours
Dark Autumn make-up colours are taken from the same colour palette that is used for clothing.
Complexion make-up includes foundation, concealers and bronzers. These are taken from the neutrals area of the palette.
Foundation & Concealer
Dark Autumn skin is neutral-warm with golden undertones and ranges from light to deep. Often, it has a bronzy glow to it. However, it's not possible to give recommendations on complexion make-up - such as foundation and concealer. These are best colour-matched to your individual skin.
Generally, though, foundation and concealer are best when they have more of a matte or satin finish. Dewy or shiny finishes will look off on you.
Avoid pink- and blue-based foundations that will clash with your warmer colouring.
Bronzer & Highlighter
Bronzer is a great product for all Autumns! It brings out a healthy, golden glow in your appearance.
The best bronzers for Dark Autumn are neither too orangey nor too muted. They can go quite deep - especially if your complexion is on the darker side. Some trial and error may be required here to find your best shade.
Autumn is about low lighting. On a face, that means contour. Shadows go dark in Dark Autumn clothing, and so they should on the face.
You can use bronzer both as contour and brow bone colour. Instead of bronzer, you can also use a slightly darker powder than your foundation.
Interestingly, you can go quite a bit darker than you think and create bold shadow emphasis and once blended, it still looks natural.
Avoid overly shimmery bronzers, though. Some shimmer is desirable, but too much can be overwhelming.
Eye make-up colours are also taken from the neutral area of the Dark Autumn palette except for eyeshadow colours. Highlight eyeshadows come from the complementary and accent colours areas on the palette.
Neutral eyeshadow colours are the beiges, golds and olives on the palette.
For highlight and accent eyeshadow colours, opt for purples, blues and greens on your palette.
When choosing eyeshadow, opt for a more matte finish. You can also wear metallic eyeshadows - particularly in the deeper colours. Beware of lighter colours, though, as they might have an icy finish, which will look unflattering on you.
Avoid glitter finishes as well as cool, blue-based eyeshadow colours.
Your best mascara is brown-black, not true black. A very dark, warm grey or green will also work. Most black mascaras available are blue-black, which would be too cool for your appearance, so you might have to do some mascara hunting to track down your best shade.
Eyeliner colours are dark purple, olives, greens and blues. Helpful tip: choose an eyeliner in a similar colour to your eyes to bring them out.
Again, avoid black since it's too harsh on you. Your darkest colour here is hot fudge.
Lip & Cheek Make-up
Blush and lip colours come from the peach, red and plum areas of the Dark Autumn colour palette.
The right shade of blusher for you will depend on the depth of your colouring. So some trial and error may be required here.
Keep it natural-looking with lighter browns and pinkish reds if you are on the lighter side. If you are darker, you can try some of the darker reddish and brownish colours.
Avoid pink-based blushes, which are too cool for your appearance. Select a blusher with a matte or slightly shimmery finish. Too much shimmer can be overwhelming.
Depending on the depth of your colouring, choose either the lighter lipsticks - the pinks and burnt oranges - or the darker lipstick colours - the dark reds and browns.
Opt for matte finishes or ones with some shimmer. Stay away from lip gloss and too much shine.
IV. Make-up Looks
A natural make-up look is one that will mimic the characteristics of your natural appearance. For a Dark Autumn, this means depth combined with glowing warmth. A typical 'natural' or nude make-up look won't work on this season.
Dark Autumn make-up works best if it is deeply intense. But instead of plunging your whole face into darkness, the focus should be on just one area of your face.
For a daytime look, keep your lips in the background. Focus on highlighting the eyes with some mascara and perhaps an earthy eyeshadow instead.
You can apply a small amount of bronzer or blusher to your cheeks to define your face.
For more dramatic looks, you have two options: either intensify the smokey eye look and keep your lips nude. To create dramatic smokey eyes, use deep, metallic eyeshadows.
Your second option is to put your lips centre stage. Keep your eye make-up clean and simple with neutral eyeshadow and some mascara. But your lips can be dipped into one of your dark lipstick options to make them the focus of your look.
One more thing to note is that highlighters are an absolute no-go for Dark Autumns. Autumn is all about lowlights. To frame your face, use bronzer and contouring.