Soft (Muted) Autumn Color Palette: Makeup, Fashion, & Hair Guide

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As nature sheds its abundant brightness and the temperature drops, soft autumn reminds us of how gentle and subtle the earth can be after summer. 

Autumn leaves

Like the beautiful golden hour peeping through the last flowers, the hazy glow of fall enchants you with a peaceful warmth. 

Reminiscing the enchanting fall mornings, with the chirping and the sound of baby animals and the thought of fairies dancing around — this softness of autumn can take you back to your childhood days and innocence.

But what does it take for you to belong to this season?

Seasonal Color Analysis

You might be used to hearing about the traditional colors of autumn, but there’s another chart you should look into if you want a more personalized style. 

The seasonal color analysis gives a great sense of color harmonization and coordination so that each feature and color we have on our bodies gets highlighted and not drained out of the picture when we style ourselves. 

It uses the natural colors of the skin, hair, and eyes to determine which color palettes to avoid and choose in terms of the different aspects of styles we choose, like hair color, jewelry, clothes, and even living spaces. 

Soft Autumn Color Dimension

soft autumn color qualities infographic

Your season is based on the combination of three distinct color characteristics of your natural physical features: hue, value, and chroma.

Since soft or muted autumn sits on the gentlest and most subtle side of its family and right next to the summers, it has a muted primary aspect, followed by the autumn trademark: warmth. 

Those under this season have the following dimensions:  


Hue is how warm or cool your features are.

Hue is determined by the temperature of your base color. Red, orange, and yellow hues are considered warm, while blue, green, and violet are considered cool.

Despite being on the boundary of two different seasons, soft autumn clings more to its autumn family. 

The features and colors are anticipated to be warm, but because of soft autumn’s closeness to summer, it isn’t unusual for some shades to slightly fall on the cooler side.

But despite that, a naturally distinct yellow or brown undertone is dominant. 


The ratio of lightness versus darkness among your features is considered to be the value. This is easier identified if you consider how close your colors are to black or white.

For the soft autumn palette, it’s just a bit over the middle, leaning toward the lighter side, but most colors have medium value. 


Look at your features and check how close it is to the most muted color:  gray.

The saturation of your features is determined by how soft/muted or clear/bright it can be. This is what you call chroma in seasonal color analysis.

The primary aspect of soft autumn is its dullness. It has low chroma as the palette isn’t saturated. 

 Soft Autumn Comparisons

Ever wondered how the other seasons influence your own season? We’ll introduce you to your sister palettes!

Like how sisters stay by each other’s side, the seasons and sub-seasons next to you can help you explore a more extensive palette.  

Once you know what you and your sister palettes have in common, you can then borrow the right colors from other palettes!

The options are endless as long as you consider your sub-season’s main characteristics or dimensions.

True/Warm AutumnSoft/Muted AutumnSoft/Muted Summer
HueWarmLeaning to warmLeaning to cool
ValueLeaning to darkLeaning to lightMedium
ChromaMildly mutedMutedMuted

Soft Autumn vs Soft Summer

Although soft autumn and soft summer come from different seasonal families, they are incredibly linked by their color placement and similar color palettes and features.

Apart from their varying hues, the rest of their dimensions are relatively alike. And because of this relationship between the two seasons, some cool summer tones are soft enough to fit the soft autumn categories.

But because they both sit at the border of two seasons, it’s pretty reasonable to mistakenly identify soft autumns as soft summers, especially If you’re new to seasonal color analysis.

By looking at their dimensions alone, both their chroma and value are very much at the same level: muted and with medium contrast.

The difference enters when we look at their hues. They both carry the specific distinction of their families: soft autumn is warm, while soft summer is cool.

Colors from the soft autumn palette tend to be soft and muted, but all carry a hint of brown or yellow and more earthy tones. As for soft summer, the colors are more grayish or olive, which are generally cooler.

Soft Autumn vs Winters and True/Warm Autumn

The next sister belongs to the same season, which is true autumn. They are within the range of an almost similar hue and chroma, but because soft autumn is the gentlest, soft autumn appears lighter and less warm compared to true/warm autumn.

To hint at how far your relationship goes, you share some shades with each other, like golden apricot, muskmelon, and fern.

If you want to explore the season next to you (i.e., winter) without necessarily stepping outside the autumn perimeter, you can try the shades you have in common with winters, such as powder pink, garnet rose, and oxblood red.

Do remember to steer clear of the icy tones of the winters when borrowing from their palettes.

Soft Autumn Characteristics

An infographic featuring the skin, eyes, hair, and contrast soft autumn characteristics

The seasonal colors require a more detailed assessment of your natural features — like your skin, eyes, and hair — and their colors against one another. 

So before you claim that you are a soft autumn, let’s double-check your features in the simplest way.


A woman smiling while touching her face

Common skin colors: Warm ivory, rosy beige, tan to pale tan, medium, almond

Although it’s hard to pinpoint a person’s exact skin tones, soft autumn skin is classified as neutral-warm and goes from fair to tan.

Because of the gentleness in this season’s dimension, the complexion of people from this season isn’t too rich or vivid.


Common eye colors: Soft blue, soft blue-green, hazel, soft amber hazel, light brown, medium brown

Soft autumn eyes can be anywhere from green, brown, or a combination of both, which is hazel. The muted quality of this sub-season makes these eye colors look hazy or grayish, even in the rare cases of blue soft autumn eyes. 


Common hair colors: Strawberry blonde, golden blonde, light golden brown, medium golden brown, and mousy brown

Soft autumn hair is generally on the soft brown side, but it can also be found on the blonde side. While dark blonde is more atypical, having red, gold, or auburn highlights is pretty natural. 

Some soft autumn hair holds a natural sun-kissed highlight, but these colors are fainter due to the palette’s low contrast. 


Seasonal color analysis serves all skin colors. To guide you further, try evaluating your features’ contrasts in color. 

Soft autumn is the softest and gentlest autumn sub-season, and with that, soft autumns possess a low to medium contrast between their features. 

Soft autumn hair, skin, eyes, and hair can be light or dark toned, but there will be an evident blending among them. Plus, the hair and the eyes will most likely complement instead of standing out in stark contrast.

The best way to assess this is by converting your picture to black and white. How much does the contrast in colors stand out, or how much gets washed off? 

If most of your features look close in the same shades of gray than black and white, you must be a soft autumn.

The Soft Autumn Color Palette

An infographic featuring worst and best colors, and best neutrals in the soft autumn color palette

Scanning through those different characteristics, some of you may have just discovered that this is the season where you belong. 

Soft, muted, and warm, like the enchanting and nurturing lightness of fall — that’s what soft autumn is all about. You’re in it for a softer transition, a delicate, misty vibe. 

Before you decide to declutter in search of a new signature style, let’s explore this season further.

Worst ColorsBest ColorsBest Neutrals
Lemon limeFlaxMocha
Hot pinkBrassBeige
PurpleRoseSoft olive
Sky blueGray violet
ShamrockSoft plum
Deep teal
Soft teal
Green tea

Colors to Avoid

Warmth and low chroma are soft autumn’s primary attributes. This sub-season is the most muted among the autumns. The colors opposite to these, those cool and bright, are the worst ones to wear.

To better understand what you should avoid, do another breakdown of the color dimensions, but this time we’ll see how each one affects your season. 

  • Hue — Cool tones or cool-neutral tones shouldn’t be on your list because they drain out the warmth from your complexion, takes the golden glow out of you and leave you looking pale and sick.
  • Value — Colors that are too light or too dark are a no-no because they are too stark and strong for your soft-colored features and will also make you look pale.
  • Chroma — Bright colors aren’t in the muted autumn color palette. Instead, they belong to the season opposite to it. Bright colors overpower and eat away soft autumns.

As such, wearing flat black and white is also too high-contrasting for your season. Meanwhile, pastels pass the criteria for soft autumn color analysis. Still, it would be best to be mindful of their brightness and undertones. 


The neutrals come in a wide array of colors, and each season has default shades of neutrals. 

For soft autumns, you can’t go as dark as black and as light as true white. These colors are too harsh and can make your color look subdued and sickly. But there’s still a wide variety to choose from!

Let’s break your best soft autumn neutrals into two:

  • Dark neutrals — Instead of black, go for warm and dark shades of grays, browns, taupes, and greens. The darkest you can go for is a dusty warm dark gray.
  • Light neutrals — Keep your light neutrals warm and yellowish; off-whites, light tans, beiges, and sands are within your range.

The neutral staples for the soft autumn palette color are olive, blush, and camel.

Best Colors and Combinations

Each color has a specific version to align precisely with each sub-season. For those with soft and gentle elements, bright and saturated colors aren’t in your color palette. Instead, make way for warm pastels. 

Identify which soft tones have the right hue — in this case, warm, not cool. This will be your border between autumn and summer shades.

In honor of the low contrast that reigns your season, the best color combination for soft autumns is the ones that blend rather than contrast. That’s why going monochromatic is your number 1 option.

But analogous autumn color combinations are also right up your alley. 

High contrasting combinations might eat your features away, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make any bold combinations. You can comfortably pair your neutrals and accents as long as they have equal value. 

Allow us to give you a preview of your best colors based on the literal aspect of this season:

  • Red, orange, or pink — burgundy, redwood, squash, peach, rose, pastel pink
  • Yellow or green — brass, flax, marzipan, glade, fern, green tea
  • Purple or blue — gray-violet, soft plum, thistle, dark teal, opal, jade

Some of the best colors for soft autumn are sage green, oyster white, pale gold, and warm gray.

Soft Autumn Hair Dyes

An infographic featuring different hair dyes for soft autumn

Out of all the autumns, this is the season where we’ll see more blondes.

From dark or light blonde to strawberry blonde, soft autumn hair color ideas are filled with a wide range of browns and ashy tones that can be paired with lowlights and highlights for added glow.

You can have them in the shades of barley, hazelnut, sand, antique gold, soft bronze, and copper, which mimic soft autumn hair’s natural sun-kissed highlights. 

Soft autumn’s softness and monotonous muteness are washed out when surrounded by louder colors. To maintain its stunning subtleness, avoid dyeing your hair with disharmonious colors. 

Soft Autumn Makeup

An infographic featuring complexion makeup, eyeshadow, mascara and eyeliner, cheeks and lip soft autumn makeup

Complexion Makeup

When creating a makeup look, your base or your foundations and concealers are likely to be taken from the neutral side of your soft autumn palette.

Soft autumn skin is neutral-warm, which means the golden undertone of autumn is still there but it’s also possible for their complexion to have a hint of coolness. 

When choosing your base, always look for the shade that “chameleons” to your skin tone.

And because of your muted aspect, you can opt for a satin finish, which isn’t too matte or too shiny. Avoid going for dewy foundations and concealers so your facial features do not get overpowered.


Your eye makeup will be the most captivating part of your look. It makes your eyes stand out and defines how powerful your smize can be.

Just like your autumn sisters, refraining from black and icy colors and sticking to the neutrals reasonably go well with your features.

But for the highlights and accents, it’ll never be wrong to go for those with a hint of soft reds, pinks, purples, blues, and greens. If you’re afraid they’ll be out of your alley, remember to keep away from shades that are too vivid.

Best eyeshadow shades for soft/muted autumn are sweet corn, overcast, lemon, champagne, apricot, peach, brown, bronze, khaki, gray-green, moss, smokey olive, aloe, warm gray, sand, sepia, mineral red, velvet morning, high tide, Bristol blue, ocean wave, fairway, and purple. 

In terms of the eyeshadow finish, matte and shimmers are spot on, but too much shimmer can make your gentle, muted appearance look off because it overwhelms and destroys the delicate balance between your features. 

Eyeshadow tip: Subtle smokey eyes or smudge eye makeup using earthy pinks, coffee browns, siennas, and olives are superb when matched with a nude lippie.

Mascara and Eyeliner

The makeup look won’t be complete without defining every part of it. And for the mascara and eyeliner, we’re keeping it a rule to shun the blacks.

Instead, reach for soft browns, darker taupe, and warm ashy tones that aren’t too bright or dark.

Playing with warm greens is also a good option for eyeliners, especially if you have naturally light eyes. Honestly, there’s a diverse shade of eyeliners to choose from if you’re a soft autumn!

Mascara shades: Volcanic ash, beluga, chestnut, espresso, cedar, cacao, dark taupe, umber, rose taupe

Eyeliner shades: Army green, beluga, chestnut, hot chocolate, olive night, trekking green, skipper blue, estate blue, pacific, dusty jade green

Eyeliner tip: When choosing the color of eyeliner, ensure it won’t outshine the rest of your eye makeup.


A cheek product can make or break your soft autumn glow. 

Contours and bronzers are a stunning addition to bringing out your delicate colors. However, it would be best if you were cautious of the shade and application technique since we don’t want to mess with your gentle, muted tones.

And since your features don’t go well with too much warmth and shimmer, you’d want your bronzer to look as natural as possible. Peachy pinks or muted tan shades are enough to bring a definition and depth to your makeup look. 

Best bronzer shades for soft/muted autumns are lobster bisque, new wheat, dusty bronze, and sand.

Don’t close your stash yet; blushes can do magic in bringing out your natural softness. 

Because saturation is absent in soft autumn skin, it might take a few tries to find the right shade of gentle tones of peachy pinks or russet. But these are the shade ranges you should dive into. 

However, if you have a darker complexion, you can refer to the shades ranging from dusty mauves to mauve-taupes. 

One trick to always remember is to stay gentle and keep them blended. Embrace your natural glow and avoid the shimmers. 

Best blush shades for soft/muted autumns are coral almond, tea rose, crabapple, apricot blush, lobster bisque, murex shell, faded rose, peach, cinnamon, salmon, puce, tiger lily, and light or dusty deep mauve.


Lip colors are the most crucial part of the soft autumn makeup look. Generally, you can find your shades within the reds and pinks of your sub-season’s palette.

Also, nude lippies can make soft autumn lips look phenomenal! Meanwhile, inclining more to the reds and browns builds a more dramatic effect.

Like the rest of the autumns, sticking to the mattes is the way to go, as you wouldn’t want too much sheen to overwhelm your look.

Best lip colors for soft/muted autumns are coral almond, tea rose, holly berry, crabapple, cardinal, gossamer pink, apricot blush, lobster bisque, mineral red, brick red, crystal rose, murex shell, faded rose, baroque rose, Tibetan red, mandarin, sheer peach, rose taupe, etc.

Soft Autumn Nail Polish

Soft autumn nail polish infographic

What’s a better way to fully embody a soft autumn season than to have your nails match your palette? 

Keep the nails as warm and muted as possible. Less is more; even the neutrals can make those hands scream power and confidence as they blend perfectly with your soft autumn skin tone.

The best nail polish shades for soft/muted autumns are wheat, nude pink, rose gold, light brown, warm brown, mustard, marsala, berry, light blue, olive, matcha, and uniform.

Soft Autumn Style

Soft autumn style infographic

Soft Autumn Wardrobe

Seasonal color analysis is such a versatile reference when it comes to creating your signature style. Now that we’re done setting your palette, it’s time to grab pieces of clothing and mix and match your outfit.

If there’s one thing to take note of, a vintage adventurer and a shabby chic get-up are made for this sub-season. 

A balance between the earthy and metallic elements is best. Earthy browns are something to reach for when looking for the perfect shoes, belts, bags, and accessories.

If you’re the denim type, this is the aisle that won’t stress you much. Classic indigo is your best denim blue, but you can stretch that option to khakis, grays, and charcoal. 

Although you’re born for the suedes, you can also try snakeskin patterns or faded animal prints!

The option is limitless while letting your soft, muted, and warm features shine.

Soft Autumn Prints and Patterns

Going extra and choosing to wear prints and patterned outfits also have a series of rules to match the soft autumn criteria. 

Considering the low contrast between your features, the patterns you choose to wear should reflect the same. This is the perfect opportunity to slip in small to medium-scale prints and light-colored patterns.

You can explore earthy elements for the prints, such as flowers, wood shapes, and leaves that are curvy and don’t look too dense or sharp. 

On the contrary, geometric features and patterns in an ordered arrangement won’t be kind to your soft and gentle attributes.

Since you’re on the border of summer, small floral patterns with accents that are in your cool soft autumn side are also something to try.

Soft Autumn Jewelry and Accessories

You’ve guessed it! The best jewelry and accessories for soft autumns are still soft and muted. 

Shifting from gold to silver isn’t a problem for the season with neutral to slightly warm features, but be careful not to go overboard with the yellows and golds.

Silver, pewter, bronze, white gold, rose gold, and soft gold yellow would take you far, but not the coppers.

Aside from the colors, the best characteristics of metal that will work for you are brushed, matte, antique, and textured.

Avoid the bling and the shiny metals; the least effect we want is to overwhelm your color’s beautiful subtleness.

Curating wood and other jewelry with natural pieces brings out your season’s essence!

For the stones, choose the rounded ones rather than the faceted ones as they form a softer-looking appearance without too much shine and contrast.

Yellow and grassy green stones and pearls in brown, cream, or pink undertones can now be paired with your favorite soft autumn outfits.

The best stones for soft autumns are labradorite, rhodochrosite, smokey quartz, jasper, soft jade, light turquoise, citrine, and light coral.

Soft Autumn Shoes

Now, let’s top it all off with the perfect soft autumn shoes. 

Without a doubt, soft autumns can rock the suedes but never the shiny, lacquered leathers. And always remember that you’ll never go wrong with the touch of yellow tones.


Can I shift from one Autumn season to another?

Technically no. Your season is determined by the features you were born with, which will be a representation and guide for you to express your true self while bringing out the best in your features. 

Forcing a change destroys the essence of this color theory.

But there are seasons considered to be your “sisters,” which means your placement on the seasonal color wheel influences the attributes you may share with other seasons. 

Is there a makeup trick you can share with soft autumns?

Don’t be worried if you’re often told that less is more. Your season stands out the best with nude and neutrals, and no one else can rock these more than you! 

Why does soft autumn have to avoid the shiny and the bling?

Remember, this season is ruled by gentleness. You should keep that in mind when choosing the different aspects of your style, they should all blend, and nothing should greatly overpower your natural features. 

What did you learn from this guide? Let us know in the comments!

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  • Stephanie Martin

    Stephanie Martin blends her beauty industry background with expertise in communications to lead in the fashion and beauty world. As a fashion and beauty editor, she is known for engaging and informative articles. Her lifelong passion for fashion, makeup, and hair shines through her work, earning her widespread respect among readers and clients. Stephanie's style, a mix of classic and contemporary, makes her a dynamic and influential figure in the industry, inspiring others with her knowledgeable and approachable insights.

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