Soft Summer is one of the three Summer seasons and sits between True Summer and Soft Autumn on the seasonal flow chart.
Unlike Soft Autumn, this season is cool. However, both sister seasons are a blend of Autumn and Summer. And while Soft Autumn leans more towards Autumn, Soft Summer leans more towards the Summer.
I. Natural Appearance
A Soft Summer's appearance is typically very gentle, and the colouring unsaturated and 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 Summer colour palette, please refer to the comprehensive guide.
Soft Summer's primary colour aspect is muted, and its secondary aspect is cool.
Thanks to Soft Summer’s secondary aspect, the colours lean towards the cool end of the scale but are not extremely cool. That means they contain more blue than yellow undertones. As a result, you will find fewer shades of yellow (which is the warmest colour of all). And you will only see cooler shades of yellow that have a tint of blue. Instead, there are more blues, pinks and greys, which are naturally blue-based and thus cool.
The colour palette is medium in value, meaning neither light nor dark colours dominate it. And while there are lighter and darker colours, most of the colours fall somewhere in the middle of the value scale.
In line with this season’s primary colour aspect, Soft Summer has the least tolerance for brightness. Consequently, the colours have low chroma – meaning they are very desaturated, muted or simply greyed-out.
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III. Make-up Colours
Soft Summer 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 Summer skin is neutral-cool with an ashy appearance. It ranges from fair to tan. However, it's not possible to give recommendations on complexion make-up - such as foundation and concealer. These are be colour-matched to your individual skin.
Generally, though, foundation and concealer are best matte and smooth.
Avoid shiny and dewy finishes with warm undertones, as these will clash with your naturally cooler complexion.
Bronzer & Highlighter
Thanks to the warmer Autumn influence, Soft Summers can handle small amounts of bronzing and contouring.
A medium pink-gold powder is a great bronzer. For contouring, choose a cool, matte colour or a powder foundation that is two shades darker than what you would normally wear.
Make sure to blend your products in really well and apply them in gentle swirls. You don't want to create any harsh lines that will be very obvious on you.
Eye make-up colours are also taken from the neutral area of the Soft Summer palette except for eyeshadow colours. Highlight eyeshadows come from the complementary and accent colours areas on the palette.
Your neutral eyeshadow colours are the creams, browns and greys on the Soft Summer colour palette.
For highlight eyeshadows, opt for the muted, cool pinks, plums, blues or greens from your palette.
When choosing eyeshadows, opt for a matte finish. This will gently complement your muted appearance. Stay away from any sort of shimmer or glitter, as it will make you look like a clown.
Avoid overly dark, bright colours and those with a strong yellow undertone. The former will make you look clownish, and the latter will drain you.
As one of the most muted colour seasons, your colours are non-saturated. That means that any colour too bold or too bright will stick out on you like a sore thumb. The same is true for black mascara. It's far too harsh on you.
Better options are cooler browns and dark grey shades.
Eyeliners come in browns, greys and more colourful purple or navy colours. Helpful tip: choose an eyeliner colour similar to your eyes; this will make them pop.
As mentioned before, as a soft season, your colours are non-saturated. That means that shifts in colour are less obvious than if the colours were saturated. So when you are selecting an eyeshadow-eyeliner combination, it's often better to select an eyeliner in a different colour than the eyeshadow instead of a darker colour. But make sure the eyeliner is not much darker than the eyeshadow to avoid creating an obvious line.
Lip & Cheek Make-up
Blush and lip colours come from the pink and plum areas of the Soft Summer colour palette.
Soft Summer has lots of pinks on the palette, so there is a large variety of blushers to choose from.
Opt for matte finishes; anything sparkly or shiny will look off on you. And make sure to blend your blusher in well. Harsh lines can look very obvious on a Soft Summer.
Avoid blushers that are overly warm, like oranges and reds. Those will clash with your cooler complexion.
There is a wide variety of rose-coloured lipsticks to choose from.
But make sure to opt for matte finishes. Anything else will stick out on you - particularly glossy and sparkly finishes.
IV. Make-up Looks
Soft Summer make-up is at its best when it's very subtle and understated.
A natural make-up look is one that will mimic the characteristics of your natural appearance. For a Soft Summer, this means first and foremost gentleness. Bright, heavy make-up will make a Soft Summer not only disappear but look like a clown.
Natural looks, on the other hand, are what Soft Summers excel at. As long as you keep your make-up matte and natural, it will frame your face beautifully. A nude lip combined with minimal eye make-up works perfectly for daytime.
For dramatic looks, the same principle as above applies. Keep your make-up gentle and understated, and avoid heavy, bright colours.
For example, the darker berry and purple shades can create captivating lips. Smoky eyes also work for Soft Summers, although in a gentler composition than the classic black smoky eyes.
For your natural looks, keep your make-up as matte as possible. At nighttime, though, you can wear some shimmer because there is less light to reflect the sparkle (but keep it to a minimum).