Warm (True) Autumn Color Palette: Makeup, Hair, & Fashion Guide

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Traditional autumn elements are symbolic just as they are comforting.

A brown haired woman woman smiling while holding her golden brown hat in a warm autumn background

To give you a visual tour of what warm autumn is all about, imagine this:

Gazing through the window while holding a cup of your hot pumpkin spice drink, you’re watching the last rays of the sun shining through the yellow leaves barely hanging on trees. Red maple leaves fall while the cold autumn breeze blows the yellow hay bale.

Yes, the dark, rich, and earthy essence of fall. If you’re drawn to these colors or if they bring an outstanding glow from you, then you’re a warm or true autumn!

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 natural color we have on our bodies gets highlighted and not drained out of the picture when we style ourselves. 

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

Warm Autumn Color Dimension

Your season is based on three factors: hue, which is your skin undertone; value, or the contrast between your features; and chroma, or the saturation of your features. 

In the seasonal flowchart, warm or true autumn sits in the middle of the autumn family; it’s one of the pure seasons and is the original autumn category. 

It is associated with warmth and softness, but at the same time, it slightly leans toward the darker side of autumn. 

To give you a better description, let’s get into the anatomy of its dimensions:

Hue

This is the temperature and the underlying or base color characteristic and is often distinguished by the warmth or coolness of the color.

Warm autumn is primarily warm, so this season’s palette inclines toward the warmest end of the hue scale. The colors of this season are naturally yellow-based or entirely have a yellow undertone and no hint of blue at all. 

Value

The color’s closeness to black or white is determined by its value. It’s the ratio of lightness versus darkness, and for the warm autumn palette, it’s just a bit over the middle, leaning toward the darker side. 

Chroma

Chroma is the intensity of the color, which is its final dimension.

Whether the color is soft/muted or clear/bright can be easily determined by how close it is to gray since this is the dullest and the most muted shade in the color wheel.

In the warm autumn palette, you can see the chroma slightly going toward the muted side. The colors aren’t saturated and have a medium-low level of this dimension.  

Warm Autumn Comparisons

An infographic featuring color qualities for warm autumn

This comparison isn’t just a way of confirming which sub-season you belong to; it should also help you explore the seasons outside your palette.

Is there any chance other color entries from the different seasons would suit you?

Thanks to your complementary palette and sister palettes, the answer is yes! 

Once you know what aspects you share with analogous and complementary seasons and sub-seasons, you can borrow some colors from their palettes and use them to add more flair to your style. 

The options are endless as long as you consider your sub-season’s necessary features and dimensions.

Deep/Dark AutumnWarm/True AutumnSoft Autumn
HueWarmWarmWarm
ValueDeep/darkLeaning to darkMedium
ChromaMediumMildly mutedMuted

Warm Autumn vs. Warm Spring

Even if they don’t stand next to each other on the seasonal color wheel, being opposite to each other has a relevant impact on these two seasons. 

They are the true shades of their seasons and share a primary color aspect and warmth, but they are set apart by their secondary characteristics. True autumn is muted, while true spring is bright or vivid. 

You can quickly tell this difference by looking at their respective features’ contrasts.

True autumns are more toned down, and their features complement and blend in low contrast. True spring, however, gives bright, saturated pigments that are highly contrasting. 

Generally, the colors on the autumn palette are milder, while the springs have it more vivid. 

Warm Autumn Vs Soft Autumn and Dark Autumn

On the seasonal color chart, for example, true autumn sits in the middle of the autumn family. It is the true essence of this season. Deep/dark autumn and soft autumn are your sister palettes. So despite your mere differences, you all share identical muted and warm aspects. 

If you’re looking into what you can borrow from soft autumns, their darker and brighter colors, such as fall leaf, cardinal, and olive night, will work for you. 

And if you want to dig into the dark autumn area, go for their lighter shades like mustard gold, butterum, and spinach green.

However, do remember that you can only borrow shades from similar dimensions of your sister palettes. Take note that warm autumn’s value is lighter than the depth of dark autumn’s, and warm autumn is far less muted in chroma than soft autumn.

Warm Autumn Characteristics

an infographic featuring skin, eyes, hair, and contrast ideas for warm autumn characteristics

Skin

A young woman with light brown skin tone is looking at the camera on a plain white background

Common skin colors: Fair with yellow undertones, light/ivory, medium, tan, light brown, and medium brown with golden undertones

The warm autumn skin tone is built on warm undertones. It can go anywhere from fair to dark skin as long as it has the yellows and golds beneath it and is far from the pink, rosy, and olive tones. 

If this is your season, you’re probably used to having skin that gets tanned easily or gets freckles in the sun, but without a doubt, possess a golden goddess glow. 

Eyes

Common eye colors: Golden brown, light brown, warm chocolate brown, amber, olive green, dark hazel, medium brown

Autumns generally have a distinctively warm color in speckles or starbursts around the pupil and/or on the iris. 

In true autumn eyes, warmth and richness prevail; this is why most from this sub-season have eye colors ranging from golden brown to dark green. There are also unusual instances when some have deep blue mixed with teal.

Hair

Common hair colors: Golden blonde, caramel, golden to medium auburn, ginger-copper shades; light, medium, or golden brown

To bring out more of the golden goddess glow, true autumn hair looks best in auburn, coppers, and gingers to caramels and golden browns. 

The golden or rusty undertone will always be present, depending on the base shade. Still, under the sun, you’re likely to have very obvious natural caramel highlights that add warmth to your appearance. 

Contrast

The seasonal color analysis works on all skin colors, and to guide you further, you can evaluate your features’ contrasts in color. 

Warm autumn sits in the middle of its seasonal family; therefore, it has a medium contrast associated to it. Since the entirety of your coloring is ruled by softness, warmth, and muteness, your features appear to be more blended than opposing.

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? 

The Warm Autumn Color Palette

an infographic featuring worst colors, best colors, and best neutrals ideas for warm autumn color palette

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

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

Deep, golden, and earthy, just like how you’d remember rusty metals, autumn leaves, the golden autumn sunset, and the cozy drinks and desserts during the fall season — that’s what warm autumn is all about.

Your color palette is likely to be a season of muted colors. Still, the overall true autumn color palette is rich and vibrant, and the softness is only likely to appear when compared to the season opposite.

Worst ColorsBest ColorsBest Neutrals
BlackBrickEcru
Sky blueCrimsonIvory
FuschiaFireCream
Deep blue greenCarrotCamel
Bright silverSalmonTawny
Icy gray GarnetPecan
Icy blueMustardCognac
OrchidHoneyDark olive
WhiteSunshineMidnight navy
Lemon yellowArmy
Pastel blue greenJuniper
LavenderEmerald
RaspberrySeed pearl
Straw
Coffee
Cedarwood
Bison
Deep depths
Wineberry
Twilight blue
Deep teal
Split pea
Treetop
Eden

Colors to Avoid

Warmth and richness are true autumn’s primary attributes. The colors opposite to these, those cool and bright, are the worst ones to wear. 

To better understand what you should avoid, let’s present it in terms of hue, value, and chroma and discuss how they affect your season:

  • Hue — Cool tones or cool-neutral tones shouldn’t be on your list because they drain out the warmth from your complexion, leave a gray tint to your face, take away the golden glow of your eyes, and make the color of your lips look sickly.
  • Value — Colors going to the other end of the value level or into the light spectrum oppose the dark-leaning value of warm autumn. Choosing these colors can make the facial features lack definition.
  • Chroma — Bright colors don’t really go well with true autumns. Instead, they belong to the season opposite to it. So aside from creating a mismatch, bright colors overpower and eat away the colors of true autumn. 

To be more specific with the colors, black and white are also too stark and high-contrasting for your season. And those with blue, icy undertones should be avoided, as well as neon, solid, and pastel tones. 

Neutrals

Telling whether the color is dark or light can be too broad for classifying the appropriate shades in this kind of autumn. 

Let’s break your best neutrals into two:

  • Dark neutrals — dark browns and coffee shades to dark, slightly olive greens including pecan, cognac, and dark olive
  • Light neutrals — yellow off-whites warmer than true whites like beige, cream, and ecru

Best Colors and Combinations

This kind of autumn’s warm color palette can go for monochrome, analogous, or contrasting color combinations but shift away from complementary colors as it clashes with the contrast. 

But don’t be confused; you can handle medium-level contrast. Your best neutral shades often balance this. 

Your palette is also filled with fun colors you can use as accents. They’re not as overwhelming as you imagined, but they can make every aspect pop with the right colors. 

Example color combinations to try are dark neutrals such as russet and brown and pairing it with maroon as the accent color. Or if you want to go lighter, you can try saddle brown and accent it with gold. 

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

  • Red, orange, or pink — brick, crimson, fire, carrot, salmon, garnet
  • Yellow or green — mustard, honey, sunshine, army, juniper, emerald
  • Purple or blue — plum, mulberry, rhubarb, cerulean, tiffany, ocean 

The best colors for a true autumn are rust red, mustard yellow, medium olive green, and mid-browns and camels.

Warm Autumn Hair Dyes

As discussed, natural warm autumn hair is basically dominated by warm shades with gold undertones. You can go freely from reds to browns, but this factor shouldn’t be left out when dyeing your hair a new color.

A beautiful blonde woman in a white top posing for a photo on a light gray background

On some rare occasions, blonde can suit you too! Ginger blondes and golden blondes can make your golden warmth stand out, but make sure you consider the color restrictions regarding lightness and darkness. 

Blondes can also be presented in caramel highlights or bleached tips

Deep brunette and black aren’t the colors for warm autumn fair skin tones. If you really want to tune up your autumn hair, don’t go far from its natural depth and warmth.

Warm Autumn Makeup

An infographic featuring complexion makeup, eyeshadow, mascara and eyeliner, and cheek and lip ideas for warm autumn

Complexion Makeup

Complexion makeup builds your base. Foundations, concealers, and bronzers are the usual products that are likely to cover the larger surface of the face, and the shades, therefore, are taken from the neutral side of your warm autumn palette. 

True autumn skin is naturally warm with a golden glow. 

So choose a foundation and concealer that’s just the same shade as your skin for your base. You would want to avoid anything with blue or pink tints colliding with your natural color.

Eyeshadow

For the eyes, you can go from a simple to a dramatic look. Stick to your neutrals if you want light and natural-looking eyes that complement your natural shades. 

Colors like beiges, khakis, olives, and golden browns are suitable for an overall lid color or transition and definition shades.

You can step out of the basic colors and try on the rich and fun ones for accent and highlight. Colors in the range of oranges, reds, purples, and greens are okay as long as you keep the warmth within your palette.

Best eyeshadow shades for true/warm autumn are seed pearl, straw, iced coffee, cedarwood, bison, deep depths, wineberry, twilight blue, deep teal, split tea, treetop, and eden.

Go for the mattes and shimmers. Metallic highlights are okay, but don’t go overboard.

Drop the blue-based shadows if you want eyes that stand out.  

Eyeshadow tip: For a sultry, neutral, smokey eye look, use true browns, muted true oranges, and muted browns with a hint of shimmer to bring out your rich undertones. 

Mascara and Eyeliner

True autumn is warm and muted, but when choosing mascaras, there’s no way true black and charcoal shades will suit you.

Instead, explore the depths of brown, coffee shades, and ginger or auburn browns. Olives are also an excellent substitute for black if you want to go that deep. 

Other mascara shades to try are slate black, mulch, and peat. 

The same goes for eyeliner, but you can explore more shades here. Your darkest coffee shades or dark forest greens can bring an unexpected pop to those eyes. You can also explore the red side and try deep burgundy and cabernet shades. 

For mascara — Dark brown and dark gray shades are your best option

 For eyeliner — Dark coffee to dark green shades would look best, but you can also explore the deep reds and plums

Eyeliner tip: If you want to play with colors apart from the browns, you can opt for a fern or moss greens and teal blue. Choosing an eyeliner shade close to your natural eye color can highlight them.

Cheeks

For these areas, we’re bringing out the warm oranges, reds, and browns from the warm autumn color wheel. Keeping it warm and glowing is the key to making those cheeks pop.

As far as the makeup finishes are concerned, make sure that your blush is neither too matte nor too shimmery. We’d still want to see the natural glow from within. 

Avoid anything with blue undertones; that’s a rule of thumb for this sub-season, and we’re taking that to the blushes.

Pink shades are a no-go. But warm and lighter pinks with a hint of orange or orange-red shades work for warm autumns. And as the skin goes darker, the blush color inclines to brown shades.  

Best blush colors for true/warm autumns are peach, salmon, cedarwood, henna, terracotta, orange rust, summer fig, picante, peach echo, coral, amber, and porcelain rose.

The perfect combo for hugging the natural golden hue of your complexion is a good matte bronzer. Once you’ve found the right base, it’s easier to find a subtle bronzer.

If you want a more dramatic look to go with your blush, you can try darker shades of bronzer, but you’ll have to make sure they’re adequately blended so they won’t interfere with your sub-season’s low contrast.

Best bronzer shades for true/warm autumn are peach blossom, iced coffee, golden apricot, cedarwood, and henna.

Lips

The lips best compliment your features when they’re matte or have slight dust of gold shimmers. 

Finding the exact lipstick shades for your warm autumn skin may require a few tries, but it can go anywhere from warm pinks, corals, rust shades, merlot, and even some berry tones. 

Best lip colors for true/warm autumns are orange rust, summer fig, brick red, coral, porcelain rose, crimson, merlot, henna, auburn, burgundy, barn red, caramel, caramelody, and picante.

Warm Autumn Nail Polish

An infographic featuring nail polish ideas for warm autumn

The nails are often neglected when choosing colors. Is it because they don’t occupy a large body area and are least likely to get attention?

Whatever your reason is, we can’t deny that well-manicured nails can make us feel confident and empowered.

To top off your pamper days with a nail session, get your nails done with the most flattering colors! 

You can go anywhere from the peaches, oranges, and rust colors. Keeping the colors in sync with a gold undertone can emphasize your glow. 

The best nail polish shades in the warm fall color palettes are beige, light brown, warm brown, mustard, orange, tangerine, copper, wine, fern green, olive, uniform, and forest.

Warm Autumn Style

An infographic featuring wardrobe, prints and patterns, jewelry and accessories, and shoes for warm autumn style

Warm Autumn Wardrobe

We’ve discussed the appropriate colors for you prior to this category to help you with your wardrobe. And now that you have the color reference, we can mix and match them.

To start, some wardrobe basics you can keep in your closet are medium indigo types of denim or teal ones. It can be on any piece of clothing, whether for the tops or bottoms. 

Different types of golden brown clothing in a light background

However, It’s a hard pass for overly faded denim since they have a higher value that isn’t suitable for your warm autumn color palette.

Leathers seem to don’t go out of style, but when opting to add a touch of it into your outfit, make sure to drop out the overly polished leather belts, shoes, or bags.

Warm Autumn Prints and Patterns

When you want to let those creative juices flow a little extra, playing with solid colors won’t be enough.

But then adding prints and patterns to your wardrobe is tricky because you can’t just grab pieces and hope they’ll complement your colors’ attributes.

Warm autumns have low to medium contrast, so for the patterns and prints, we wouldn’t want to outshine them. 

To know whether or not your desired print or design coordinates well with your season, the first thing to check is if the colors present are within the warm autumn palette. Or use your natural color to see if it washes out your glow or adds to it. 

The print likely has an off-color if it has one or all of these:

  • Neutral shades
  • More prominent colors from other autumnal subsets
  • Has a blended watercolor effect
  • Has small design elements

Prints with earthy elements that aren’t too geometric such as flowers, wood shapes, and leaves are excellent for your season too!

But here are other print ideas to incorporate to your next outfit:

  • 70s retro print
  • Florals
  • Giraffe prints
  • Soft shapes that aren’t too sharp or geometrical

Warm Autumn Jewelry and Accessories

Accessories are the perfect accents to your true autumn outfits. You would want to curate pieces that would make everything look together. 

Since your skin shows more of a golden undertone, we need to take note of that. Gold, copper, brass, and bronze are the best metals to invest in. Anything cool like silver, white gold, and platinum can be off-key to the harmony of your style. 

And like your autumn sisters, you watch out for their reflectiveness. Matte or less reflective metals complement your season best, as well as the antique, oxidized, and hammered types. Overly shiny ones can create strong contrasts. 

For your matching stones, amber suits you best among all the others. But you can also try those with an earthy feel, like agate, topaz, quartz, raw stones, tiger eyes, and muted turquoise.

Warm Autumn Shoes

If you think shoes don’t matter since they’re less likely to be noticed, think again.

People see us from head to toe, and adding complementing shoes may seem irrelevant, but topping your look off with well-coordinated shoes is like the inverted cherry on top of a true autumn look.

Since your fall color palette works beautifully when styled monochromatically or analogously, you can pick your shoes depending on your mood and tone. as long as they’re in your palette. 

But you should be careful when wearing leather. The polish and deep gloss isn’t for your type.

FAQs

Can you cheat your palette?

Yes, and this calls for the help of your sister palettes — your neighboring sub-seasons. The trick is to find the closest shades with the best matching colors, or at least those you can disguise to fit your attributes.

Is there a makeup trick you can share with true/warm autumns?

Earthy metallics aren’t banned from your season. If you’re opting for the shimmers, it is a good idea to have it on the lids or the lips. But make sure you only apply it one area at a time. 

Can autumns have blue eyes?

All seasons can have blue eyes. For the autumns, they come in warm blue shades (turquoise, deep blue, or dark teal).

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

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Author

  • 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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