Soft Autumn is one of the three Autumn seasons and sits between Soft Summer and True Autumn on the seasonal flow chart.
Unlike Soft Summer, this season is warm. However, both sister seasons are a blend of Summer and Autumn. And while Soft Summer leans more towards the Summer palette, Soft Autumn leans more towards the Autumn palette.
I. Natural Appearance
A Soft Autumn's appearance is typically very gentle, and the colouring unsaturated and somewhat greyish. Due to the lack of saturation, the contrast between the features is low to medium. While brightness adds to contrast, muted colouring takes away from it.
To achieve a harmonious make-up look, you will need to mimic your natural characteristics with your make-up.
So remember, a natural look on you is a very gentle, understated look. 'Nude make-up' in its original sense is what the two soft colour seasons wear best.
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II. The Colour Palette
If you want to learn more about the Soft Autumn colour palette, please refer to the comprehensive guide.
Soft Autumn's primary colour aspect is muted, and its secondary aspect is warm.
Thanks to this season’s secondary aspect, the colours lean towards the warm end of the scale but are not very warm. This means they contain more yellow than blue undertones. Consequently, you will find fewer shades of blue (which is the coolest colour of all) on the palette. And you will only see warmer shades of blue, like turquoise, that have a tint of yellow. Instead, there are more yellows, greens, and warm browns that are naturally yellow-based.
The colour palette is medium in value; meaning neither light nor dark colours dominate it. While there are lighter and darker colours, most of the colours cluster around the middle of the value scale.
Due to its primary colour aspect, this Soft Autumn has the least tolerance for brightness. Consequently, its colours are low in chroma and are not saturated at all.
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III. Make-up Colours
Soft 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 typically be taken from the neutrals palette.
Foundation & Concealer
Soft Autumn skin is neutral-warm and ranges from fair to tan. 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 a satin finish - not too shiny, not too matte, and have light yellow undertones.
Avoid dewy and radiant foundation finishes; these don't go well with your muted colouring.
Bronzer & Highlighter
Bronzer is a great product for all Autumns, as it brings out a healthy, warm and golden glow in their complexion.
However, as a Soft Autumn, you cannot handle too much shimmer and warmth. So avoid the orangey tones destined for True Autumns and the burnt red tones intended for Dark Autumns. Soft Autumn bronzer is a pinker, dustier bronze or a golden peanut shade.
Instead of bronzer, you can also use a slightly darker powder than your foundation.
Make sure to blend your bronzer in really well. Harsh lines can be obvious on the two soft colour seasons.
Apart from the overly warm and dark shades, avoid bronzers that are too shimmery. These can easily overwhelm your gentle colouring.
Eye make-up colours are also taken from the neutral area of the Soft Autumn palette except for eyeshadow colours. Highlight eyeshadows come from the complementary and accent colours areas on the palette.
Due to their lack of saturation, Soft Autumn colours lend themselves particularly well to neutral eyeshadow colours. Consequently, you have a wide variety of beiges, taupes, khakis and browns to choose from.
But there are also plenty of highlight and accent options. Soft reds, pinks, purples, blues and greens are great colourful options.
When selecting eyeshadows, opt for a matte or slightly shimmery finish. Some shimmer is good, but too much can easily overwhelm your gentle, muted appearance.
Avoid black and icy colours, which are too harsh and too cool for your appearance. The same goes for overly bright colours; these will make you look clownish.
As a muted season, black is too harsh on your appearance. Instead, choose mascara in soft brown or warm grey tones. Make sure the colour is not too rich.
Your eyeliners come in brown shades as well as various green and blue shades. However, you have to be careful here. A lot of eyeliners tend to be too rich or too warm for your gentle appearance. Choose one that doesn't stand out too much.
You can also use eye powder if you can't find the right shade of eyeliner for you.
Lip & Cheek Make-up
Blush and lip colours come from the pink and plum areas of the Soft Autumn colour palette.
Blush colours need to reflect the softness of your natural colouring. Choose warm, gentle colours like peachy pinks or russet. It might take some trial and error to find the right shade for your complexion. Since Soft Autumn lacks saturation, the wrong colour can be very obvious.
Look for blushers with a light shimmer, but not too sparkly.
Since your colouring is quite gentle, make sure to blend your blusher in really well. Harsh lines can quickly become very apparent.
Soft Autumn colours lend themselves incredibly well to neutral lipstick colours. That's why there is a wide range of warm, golden colours to choose from. Opt for a lipstick similar to your natural lip colour for a very subtle daytime look.
For a more dramatic lip, choose one of the more reddish, brown colours.
Opt for a matte finish, as shiny finishes, lipgloss and shimmer can overwhelm your muted appearance.
Avoid very bright as well as overly cool colours, which will make you look clownish.
IV. Make-up Looks
Soft Autumn make-up is at its best when it is gentle and understated.
A natural make-up look is one that will mimic the characteristics of your natural appearance. For a Soft Autumn, this means first and foremost gentleness. Bright, opaque and heavy make-up will make this colour season disappear.
'Nude' make-up looks is what Soft Autumns excel at. The beiges and browns on your palette lend themselves well to create gentle, natural looks. As long as you keep your make-up matte and understated, it will frame your face beautifully.
Choose a lipstick that emphasises your natural lip colour, keep your eye make-up to a minimum, and lightly bronze your face to bring out your complexion.
For dramatic looks, the same principle as above applies. Keep your make-up gentle and understated, and avoid heavy make-up and bright colours.
You can use the darker colours of your palette. Try a brown smoky eye or soft, deep berry lips.
As a muted season, you don't want to add more than a subtle sheen for your daytime make-up. At night, when the light is dim and cannot reflect so intensely, shimmers become more wearable for you.