How To Choose Your Best Colors

Do you have a certain outfit that always results in lots of compliments? It may be because of the color. Most of us can name a couple of colors that we look good in, but knowing what colors suit you best can be a game changer! Today I would like to show you how to choose your best colors. It’s called color analysis.

What is color analysis?

Color analysis is not a new concept, yet it is such a valuable tool in learning how to choose your best colors. Color analysis is a method for determining your best colors by taking into consideration your complexion, eye color, and hair color. It is commonly broken down into four categories which correspond to the seasons of the year, such as Spring, Fall, Summer, and Winter.

Most women will fall into one of the four categories, and some are a blend of a couple of different shade ranges. Most importantly, this is a tool to help you find the colors that are most flattering and complimentary to your own unique characteristics. This includes clothing and makeup color choices.

Warm Tones vs. Cool Tones

The first step in choosing your best colors is to understand warm tones vs. cool tones. If you have read any of my fashion or makeup related posts, you may notice that I refer to warm and cool undertones a lot. This is very important and is the first step in determining what season you are. Our outer skin tone can change with sun exposure and other factors, but our undertone is genetic and never changes. If you have cool undertones, you will look better in silver and warm undertones are complimented by gold. With the right color, your skin will blend in and look even. With the wrong color, your skin will look uneven.

Another way to determine your skin undertone is to look at the veins in your wrist. If they look more blue, you have cool undertones, and green indicates warm undertones. If you determine that you have cool undertones, you are either a Winter or a Summer. Warm undertones mean that you are either a Spring or an Autumn.

Light vs. Dark

Now that you have narrowed it down to two possibilities (seasons) based on your cool or warm undertones, you need to differentiate between light or dark by looking at your eye and hair color. If you have grey hair or color your hair, go by your natural hair color.

This is where it can get a little tricky. Winters have darker hair and eyes than summers, even though they are both cool tones. Autumns have darker hair and eyes than Springs, yet they are both warm tones.

I’m fairly sure that I am a winter. I look best in colors that are sharp and clear. For lighter shades, I should stick with icy tones rather than pastels. I should avoid beige, orange, gold, or coral. Here are some side by side examples. These pictures are about a year old, but they prove the point.

Jewel Tones vs. Muted Tones

When learning how to choose your best colors, consider the different shades and undertones of the colors.

If you have cool undertones, like myself, you will look best in jewel tones rather than the muted tones. Blush pink is one of my favorite colors, but it is not the best color for me as you can see in the picture below.


Pastels are not off limits for me, but I look much better in cool icy tones like the lavender on the left when compared to the pale muted pink on the right. The light pink just washes out my complexion.

Fall Colors

Fall is my favorite season, so I do wear fall colors. In general I should stay away from orange, gold, or coral. You can see in these photos that I do not look terrible in the orange and gold, but the teal and red are more flattering.


Yellows are probably the most tricky. I have heard people say that they just can’t wear yellow. That’s probably not the case, but finding the right shade of yellow is the key. For a Winter like me, the cool undertones of the buttery yellow are more flattering than the warm gold tones in the dress on the right. This goes to show that it is not always a matter of light or dark colors that matter as much as the undertones.


This concept also applies to makeup colors. Have you ever wondered why some people look so pretty in a peachy pink lipstick and you don’t? It’s because of the warm undertones in the lipstick color. Or maybe you want to rock a vivid berry color and it does nothing for you? It’s because that color probably has cool undertones.

When choosing foundation this is extremely important! Cool tones need a pink based foundation and warm tones look better in yellow based foundation. This is the base layer of your whole makeup look, and if your foundation has the wrong undertones, it will work against you.

Two of my favorite eyeshadow palettes are by Colour Pop are the Stone Cold Fox Palette and the Bare Necessities palette. You can see in the photos above that one is a cool toned palette and the other features warm tones.

If you are unsure about makeup, I suggest asking for help at the makeup counter or a retailer such as Sephora, or Ulta. They are usually very knowledgeable and can point you in the right direction. Once you develop an eye for it, you will have an easier time picking out makeup for yourself, especially at the drugstore. Try both if you are not sure. You want the one that blends into your skin instead of looking painted on.

If you would like to read my post on some other makeup tips, click here.

I found this color palette on Amazon for my Winter colors. It is small enouogh to fit in my purse. I don’t always wear things “in my color wheel”. If I really like something, I will break the rules, but it’s fun to know what colors really compliment your unique features. I will link the color palettes down below if you are interested in having one for yourself.

I’m reminded that all of us were created with characteristics that no one else has, so let’s not try to look like anyone else. Stay with what works for you!

Here are a few more examples of how the right colors make a difference.

These are not my best colors. They don’t look awful, but they do not flatter me like the colors in the next set of photos
These are all cool colors. Notice the difference between the kelly green in this group of photos and the mint green in the above photos. They are both pretty colors, but the darker green is much more flattering on me.

I hope this is helpful as you learn how to choose your best colors to look your best every day!


  1. Terri | 24th Jul 20

    Such an interesting post, particularly with the side-by-side photos of you in cool and warm colors. I’ve never had my colors done but have always felt I was an autumn. My veins are green, and gold looks much better on my skin, even though I wear plenty of silver as well. I love wearing orange, gold, and olive green.

    • The Scarlet Lily | 24th Jul 20

      Glad you enjoyed the post. I’ve always found color analysis interesting. Sounds like you are either an Autumn or a Spring…I would suggest taking a look at both color palettes and see which one looks the best!

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