Cool Summer: Colour Analysis Guide

Light, muted and gentle, Cool Summer has one of the prettiest colour palettes of the 4-seasons. Imagine an English country garden – everything is soft and blended with delicate washes of colour.

When Cool Summer (also known as True Summer) skin tones match this natural colouring to their wardrobe they look younger, healthier and more vibrant. But how do you know if you’re a Cool Summer?

Do you radiate and glow when you wear pastel colours, like baby pink and blue, lilacs and soft beiges? If you do, then you could be a Cool Summer (also known as a True Summer). Dressing for your natural colouring is absolutely crucial and a real game-changer when it comes to your confidence boosting wardrobe routine. Wearing the right colours will make your skin look healthier, features more defined and imperfections minimised, the right colours can also have a huge impact on your energy levels. So, it pays to get your colours right.

In this post, I share my quick guide to Cool Summer skin tones: what they are, how to know if you’re a Cool Summer, their best colours and celebrities who share this season.


Use Pinterest? Pin and save for later.

Defining Characteristics of a True Summer 

If you’re a Cool Summer, the first thing you’ll notice is your overall cool and muted, delicate appearance. Your hair, eyes and skin have cool blue and pink undertones. You’ll also have quite muted features – meaning you have a low to medium level of contrast between them. Cool Summer hair usually has an ashy, muted tone with a noticeable absence of warmth. Although, there are really are no hard and fast rules regarding hair, eyes and skin contrast – its ultimately about what colours work in harmony with your natural features that matter most.

Hair

Summer types can vary in hair colour from light to medium ash blonde hair, mousey brown to cool brown hair, or even light red hair if they have very pale skin. For those with darker skin, for Asian and Black complexions hair colour will vary and can be medium brown, dark brown to black.

Eyes

The eyes will be blue, hazel, grey or green. It is rare but some summer/winter hybrid types will have light to medium brown eyes. Darker ethnicities will also have muted brown eyes.

Skin

Cool Summer skin is soft thanks to the low-medium contrast of features. It can range from very fair to medium (with ethnic skin types this must be considered within your race if you are fair or medium). The cool undertone can show up under the skin as pinkness or ashiness.  There is always a delicateness and gentleness to a Summer types complexion.

Dark haired women with cool skin, and lower contrast in features a soft overall appearance. An example of a black women who can wear cool summer colours
Cool Summer skin type with a lower contrast in features

In the images above and below, you can see how the hair is compared to the skin and eyes, the contrast isn’t too strong. Overall, the image is medium-low in value, and the features seem to blend in with each other.

Dark haired women with cool skin, and lower contrast in features | Cool Summer colour palette
Use Pinterest? Pin and save for later.

So, am I Cool Summer?

Woman standing on a rock by the sea | Colour Analysis | Are you a True Summer?
Use Pinterest? Pin and save for later.

Identifying your colours via online resources isn’t as straightforward as it may seem (due to the fact we’re all unique and the 4-seasons system relies on us al fitting neatly into one of the descriptions). Looking at how your skin reacts to certain colours is a great indicator of your natural colouring. If you’re a Summer type, you’ll find burnt orange, warm browns and yellow-greens look awful on you. And there’s a reason for that. 

The warmth of these colours clash against the ashy coolness of your skin – making you look dull and tired…and even ill. Yikes. Your muted appearance also makes it impossible to pull off black or other intense deep and highly saturated or overly bright colours without it overpowering you. As a Cool Summer you will come alive in muted greys and blues, delicate prints and patterns with low to medium contrast.

Cool Summer Worst Colours

Cool summer your worst worst colours example colour palette
Use Pinterest? Pin and save for later.

As I said, figuring out your season within the colour analysis system is tricky. Despite having very different colour palettes, each season can share similar characteristics. For example, Cool Summers and Warm Autumns both have a soft an muted appearance which can often lead to confusion. 

Cool Summer Vs Cool Winter

Cool summer best colours Vs worst colours example colour palette
Use Pinterest? Pin and save for later.

Your soft and gentle contrast and colouring means you look better in soft, muted colours. Cool Summer is better suited to delicate tones and should stay clear of any bright colours in the sister season Cool Winter as the intensity of these colours will leave you in the background.

Because these sister seasons share the same cool undertones they are also often confused – which can wreak havoc on your wardrobe’s colour palette. So I always recommend you complete a thorough colour analysis. If you do find yourself going between a summer and winter palette, try and stick to soft muted colours near your face and avoid harsh contrasting colours on the lower body.

Discover Your Perfect Colours

If you’d like to complete your own DIY colour analysis and discover which colours make you shine, then my online personal styling course is a great option for you. Or if you’re in London and would like to enquire about my next availability for in-person analysis, please get in touch.

BOOK YOUR FREE DISCOVERY CALL 

Discover the best way to get started on your personal style journey     

Roberta Lee - The Sustainable Stylist sits in a chair laughing. She wears a hat and black blazer with cream skirt .

Cool Summer Colour Palette

Cool summer example colour palette
Use Pinterest? Pin and save for later.

Summer colours are all about softness. Think of an English country garden – it’s full of pinks, blues, mauves and lavender purples. These cool, light colours perfectly complement a Cool Summer skin tone and a person with low-medium contrast! Warm or intense colours are a big no-no here.

If you’re struggling to tell the difference between warm and cool colours, then check out my cool colours blog for a step-by-step breakdown.

It’s worth noting that although your colours are light and cool, this doesn’t limit you to pastels. The lightness simply refers to the intensity of the colour. For example, deep raspberry, plum and dark blues all look great on summer types. They key to wearing harmonious colours for those with cool and soft features is the intensity.

 Best Colours for Cool Summer Skin Tones

Cool summer example colour palette
Cool Summer Colour Palette
  • Soft white
  • Rose beige and cool browns (taupe, rose brown)
  • Pretty pinks (berry, fuchsia, orchid)
  • Clear watermelon red (makes a great lipstick shade)
  • Mint green/ blue greens
  • Almost every shade of cool blue from the lightest powder blue to a deep navy blue – and whilst grey isn’t featured below, grey makes a great alternative to black.

This is just a small selection of your most flattering colours. If you’d like to learn more about your go-to colours…and which ones to avoid, then enrol on my course to access my bespoke summer colour wheel and handouts.

Cool Summer best colours

Cool summer best colour - example colour palette
Use Pinterest? Pin and save for later.
Cool summer best neutrals - colour palette
Use Pinterest? Pin and save for later.

True Summer Celebrities

There are plenty of Cool Summer celebs out there who know how to wear their colours well – and you might be surprised by how different they look. First up, you have the classic English Rose Kate Middleton who always looks elegant, effortlessly switches between pastel and dark, sultry shades. Then you have ashy-blonde celebrities like Kate Moss who look amazing in cool greys and blues. Rhianna shows that she can still demand attention in soft white, and Zoe Saldaña is simply stunning in cool, soft and muted colours.

Do you think you’re a Cool Summer? Not sure? Let me know why in the comments below and I’ll pick one of you to win a virtual colour consultation with me.

Think you might be a different season? Read my other posts to find out:

13 thoughts on “Cool Summer: Colour Analysis Guide”

  1. Hi,
    I just finished reading this very interesting information about cool summer season.

    I did an online assessment with a stylist, I’ve been analyzed as a Cool Summer, cool, muted, soft.

    Why do I find myself looking dull in soft pink and mauve colors? Even on my skin when putting on eyeshadow or lips in those colors, it just looks dull on me.

    Can it be the intensity of the colors?
    I can pull off a top in very light Olive green and that actually looks nice on my very pale skin tone, and Olive greens isn’t really a color of choice when it comes to my season and all the info I read.
    I have grey/blue eyes and my natural hair color is pale light brown and now starting to grey.

    I need to get my hair done and sort out these grey regrowth… can you give me a few tips please? Im so confused about going light or staying dark.

  2. I have quite dark brown hair, brown eyes, black eyebrows and very pale skin and today I found out via an app that I could be a cold summer. I spent my whole life until now believing I have to be a winter type. Is it possible that I’m cold summer with really pale skin and black eyebrows? When I’m looking at the colours in this article, I think they would be really good for me. I feel like today I finally found my real colour type.

  3. Oh thank you! I’ve always been categorized into deep/cool winter because I’m a brunette, but for some reason black, deep and saturated colors always make me look old and sick, I suspected I was a cool summer, and now I know I’m one 🙂

  4. So happy to see this article and see a dark skinned black person example as a Cool Summer. I too am a dark skinned black person and I feel like I’ve only ever seen us analyzed as every category of Winter and sometimes Autumn. I always felt like bright oranges, greens, and yellows were just too harsh against my skin tone. And equally black looks terrible on me. I was just professionally analyzed as a Cool Summer and it makes more sense to me. I’ve never been a blue person though other than denim, so I’ll have to lean into that more when shopping.

  5. Hi Roberta – thanks so much for this helpful blog. Seeing the comparison between true winter & summer, as well as seeing example colors has been quite helpful, I’ve spent a ton of time researching seasonal color palettes after never having a personal style and years of not feeling confident in my clothes. I believe I’m a cool/true summer… Silver jewelry looks better on me than gold and I have fair skin with brown eyes and brown/golden brown hair. Neons and bright colors definitely overpower me and as much as I would love to wear warm autumn type colors, they’re just too much against my skin. I’m so eager to get this sorted out and start buying clothes that I actually look good in!

  6. I have been analysed as cool/true summer with neutral-cool undertone but my hair is light so I thought I would be light summer. I do have rather dark bluegrayish eyes which contrast a bit with my hair and skin. My hair was almost white into adulthood but is darker now but but should I dye my hair darker?

  7. For me my hair color is the problem. While my skin is really pale with basically no yellow undertone at all my hair is quite coppery depending on the light. My eyes are brown, but have a bit of green/gray, so they’re also cool toned. It’s really confusing.

  8. Kathy ONEILL

    I am struggling with colour, i don’t know weather its the grey hair thats made it harder. I think i am a cool summer, but some of the shades i’ve tried in the range look ghastly on me. I have always lived blue but anythjng teal seems to wadh me out.

    1. Hi Kathy,

      How does the grey hair look on you? Are you embracing it? Cool summers tend to look good in muted blue and pinks, and tend to look great wearing grey too. Please note, not everyone will look good in all of the colours of a seasonal palette – its completely normal. You can pick out several colours that don’t work, and just avoid those and embrace the ones that do. It’s very common for us to have different results, our DNA is unique – and results will reflect that 🙂

  9. Ooff!! I’ve color analyzed my face a dozen times over the past week and I’m coming up with Soft Autumn, Cool Summer and Soft Summer. The majority of the scans are coming up Cool Summer. I’m fair skin with blue eyes. I have pink on my cheeks and a slight yellow on my other skin. I believe my natural hair color is medium/dark brown dyed a golden French roast right now. Mabeline foundation scan is saying I’d use porcelain which is warm and the other colors Classic Ivory and Natural Ivory are both neutral. I look good in navy and almost all blues, burgundy and purples plums. I’d never wear pink except on my toe nails as it’s the only color I like on them. I use to dye my hair dark red and even a plum however I need to use eyeliner when hair is red. I get pink and red blotchy in the face and neck a lot. I’d love to find the right hair color and experiment with different eyeliners like navy , plum, yellow, nude and white.

  10. As a pale-skinned redhead I always thought I must be an autumn rather than a summer, but in fact the colours I like and believe suit me best are the true summer shades. I often wear blue, and a baby or periwinkle blue tends to be the colour that others compliment me on. I’m puzzled, however, by all the pinks in the cool summer palette because I don’t think pink suits me at all. I would love to find a pink shade that does suit me.

    1. I am struggling with this too. Naturally a light redhead and definitely fit into summer, but pinks only work for my makeup, not for any clothing options.

      1. Hi Melissa,
        It is very possible that pinks is just not your best colour, there will be a perfect pink for everyone – however not everyone loves how they look in every colour within a season. I have many clients who rule out several colours within a seasonal palette. My advise is to stick to core colours that they know look amazing, and they leave all the ‘meh’ colours. Nobody suits every single colour in a season, we are all unique, so the best colours will vary on each person even if ‘on paper’ they seemingly have very similar traits. How are you with blues and greens? 🙂

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *