When it comes to the eyes, the pattern is far more important to color analysis than the color.
When you look at your eyes, what color do you call them? Many people can easily classify their eyes are blue or brown, but the eyes (specifically the iris) are actually comprised of patterns that are as unique as fingerprints. These eye patterns are so unique that even identical twins have differences!
When doing color analysis for clients, once of the first things we examine is the pattern of the eye. Although there are always outliers that don’t fit the mold, there are a set of patterns in the eye that point to seasonal correlations. Some patterns like the Aztec sun are strongly indicative of autumn seasons, while crypts are linked to summer seasons.
Keep reading to learn about the common base layer and overlay patterns that display in the eyes and how these relate to seasonal color analysis.
Table of Contents
The Eye is Made of Layers
The portion of the eye we are concerned with during color analysis is primarily the iris, or the colored portion surrounding the pupil. Other aspects of the eye, such as lower eyelid and vessel colors in the sclera can have minor indications as to season.
When it comes to the anatomy of the iris from a scientific perspective, we are actually discussing five layers, from base to the front layer they are:
- Pigmented epithelium – double layer of brown cells.
- Posterior membrane – muscle layer.
- Connective tissues layer.
- Stroma sheet – the colorful part of the iris.
- Outer layer of fibroblasts and melanocytes.
For the purposes of color analysis we are not considered with the physiological back layer of the iris, only the outer layers of the iris.
The base layer of the eye is the one that sits below all the others. When we talk about the eye for color analysis, it’s important to note that all eyes are inherently blue. We can easily show this by remembering that all babies are born with blue eyes. Some change very rapidly, but it is the deposit of pigment in the form of melanin that accounts for this change.
Some brown eyes show a portion of the blue beneath in the form of green, but others have heavy melanin deposits and appear brown all the way through. At times it can be difficult to determine the base layer because of heavy pigmentation in the overlays discussed later.
For color analysis we are looking at four options for the base layer eye pattern: a blue summer base, blue winter base, brown winter base, and blue-green spring base. Notice that there is no base layer for autumn types, usually autumn eyes have a blue summer base or brown winter base.
Blue Summer Base
The blue summer eye pattern is quite distinctive and relatively easy to identify. The primary characteristic of the summer eye pattern are what’s know as Fuch’s crypts. Often called crypts for short, or petals, these are diamond shaped structures that resemble uneven petals. The eye may appear to be blue, or a shade of green/hazel/amber, but the petal shape wills will be distinctive and slightly darker than the rest of the iris.
While this petal like pattern is recognizable in the summer eye, care must be taken not to confuse the summer base layer with a winter overlay with similar characteristics. The difference lies in the value: the winter overlay is bright and white when compared to the summer base.
Blue Winter Base
The winter eye pattern is also fairly distinguishable. Known in Rayid terms as the stream pattern, the blue winter base has lighter wavy structures extending from the pupil to the edge of the iris. It is similar to parts of the summer pattern in the wavy structure, but will be lacking the crypts specific to summer.
Winter eyes usually have a lot of white in the iris pattern, and these wavy lines are often lighter in contrast to the base color. The pattern may be so heavy that is appears as though the wavy lines are coming together for form large groups.
Brown Winter Base
The brown winter eye pattern is typically heavily pigmented and there will be no blue or green showing below. The pattern is marked by thin spokes of darker colors that touch the other rim of the iris. These spokes are thicker than the individual lines of the winter eye, but lack any waviness in structure.
The brown winter base is quite similar the the spring base described below, but has different coloring.
Blue-Green Spring Base
The spring eye pattern has a nearly duplicate spoke structure as the brown winter base above. The difference lies in the coloration, mostly being found in the blue-green family. The spring base also has a defining feature that distinguishes it from the winter pattern.
There is a structure in every eye that surrounds the pupil. In many cases the shape and pattern are insignificant or fade into the rest of the iris. In the spring eye this pattern is unique. It often forms a heavy flower like shape that is reminiscent of a the small petals in a daisy. The spring base contains this floral pattern and covers the spokes connecting to the pupil.
Although there are only four bases, and autumn is excluded, the eye pattern in this layer often has heavy correlations with the overall season. The next step of identifying the overlays gives us more information to determine sub-season.
Overlays are features that sit above the base layer. There is always one overlay, and sometimes two or three other featured patterns. Here is a quick rundown of the possible overlays and their descriptions. We’ll see some of these in action in the next section.
- Olive opaque overlay – this is a solid green overlay on top of a blue base. Typically this is seen when there is an autumn influence in the person.
- Spring green ring – Yellow colors in the eye, including greenish yellow are indicative of spring seasons. This design shines from behind a floral pattern hugging the pupil.
- Winter white burst – The winter white burst is similar to the summer base in that it also features crypts or petals, but there are mixed within a white pattern that forms a geometric ring around the iris. These crypts are usually lighter than the surrounding iris.
- Thick brown spoke – If there is a thick brown section that contrasts with the rest of the eye, this is typically a winter trait. There may be elements of autumn in the person as well.
- Freckles – Small deposits of color in the brown/rust/orange color range are indicative of a warm color season, usually autumn but also sometimes spring.
- Aztec sun – This is a startling design of rust or orange which fans out around the pupil like a flame. This design is strongly associated with autumn seasons. When this pattern is barely discernible the person may have a spring influence.
- Rust ring – Although this is a warm rust/brown color similar to the aztec sun, this pattern hugs the pupil and contains the wavy lines of the winter base. This person has a winter influence.
- Heavy flower – Similar the floral pattern found in the spring base, this is a strong flower like structure similar to the textures of daisy petals. Winter may be the primary season with a heavy spring influence.
Putting Them Together
When we consider the possible combinations of 4 bases and 8 overlays we get a ridiculous number of possible combinations. Below I’m sharing some eyes from my own color analysis process with their combinations and ultimate seasons.
Spring Eye Patterns
Spring eyes are typically bright and can come in any color, although usually they are lighter blues and greens. The most common indicator of spring influence in the eye is the appearance of green or yellow/gold. This coloring is specific to spring only, but can occur in any combination.
The spring eye pattern may also have a large value difference between the outer rim color and the rest of the eye. The spring eye overlays are most commonly found on the winter base, summer base, or spring base.
This is an example of an obvious spring eye. It’s bright and colorful with an obvious green ring around the pupil. This woman draped as a light spring, which is supported by the bright blue summer base full of crypts. You can also see upon inspection the flower shape around the pupil consistent with spring.
Summer Eye Patterns
The summer eye is typically the most simple of all the eye patterns. It is the only season that lacks any overlay specific. The summer base is very noticeable in blue eyes and you can easily see the crypts or petals formed. Be careful of winter/summer mixed eyes in which the white overlay creates its own set of petals.
Most summer eyes are green or blue on the base. Because of the overlap with spring on one side and autumn on the other, the variations are quite large. It’s common to see the spring green ring on a light summer, the winter overlays on a cool (true) summer, and the various autumn overlays on a soft summer.
This eye is quite a confusing contradiction, but has some qualities that are specific to summer. Upon first inspection this appears to be an autumn eye with the green color. But notice the clear cool quality of the green, consistent with summer coloring. The base layer displays qualities of both summer and spring, and the very faint aztec pattern supports a spring versus autumn influence. She ended up draping as a light summer, with these cool crystal clear eyes.
This autumn eye is everything you expect to see in a classic autumn type. A blue base with an opaque olive green overlay. Also the Aztec sun pattern is heavy and strong here, consistent with an autumn season. She draped as a true warm autumn, and looks fantastic in the entire autumn palette.
Autumn Eye Patterns
Autumn eye patterns are the most common to have 3 patterns in the eye. These are widely varied and come in all colors, including blue, green, hazel, warm gray, and deep brown. The most common base for autumn eyes is either summer or autumn/winter spokes.
In dark eyes it can be difficult to see the patterns. You may need to take a photograph and adjust the brightness and contrast to get a hint of whats inside the eye. If you eyes appear hazel from a distance, look closely to see if there is a blue or green base layer peeking out.
Here is a different take on an autumn eye. Many times we assume that a blue eye has no place in the autumn season, but this client had never considered herself to have blue eyes. Overall we would call these hazel with the various color inflections, but the base layer is a blue summer base. The crypts are definitely there, and there is freckling indicative of autumn influence. She draped as a lovely soft autumn, surprised and ecstatic with her colors.
Winter Eye Patterns
Winter eyes are quite unique as there are two options for the base layer. The stream pattern occurs in blue eyes and looks similar to summer without the crypts. The spoke pattern always occurs on a brown base in autumn/winter.
The winter overlays are most common on the winter eye, but can occur on other base layers. Be careful not to confuse the winter rust ring with the Aztec sun.
Here is a classic brown winter eye, showing the influence of autumn. Many times a deep winter such as this client will struggle with their neutrality between the two seasons. Her eyes actually display consistently winter traits, between the brown winter base with spokes and the thick brown spoke of winter.
Finally a blue winter eye to show as contrast. Many times these light blue eyes are found the the spring end of the winter seasons, as this client draped as a clear winter. Her eyes also display strong winter traits, from the blue winter base with wavy lines to the bright white winter burst with its crypts differing from those of the summer base.
Learn More About Eye Patterns and Color Analysis!
Ready to look at your own eyes and see the patterns and how they relate to color analysis? If you have a magnifying glass you can go look in a mirror and check out your own patterns. If you have one eye with more detail than the other, use that one. Pretend that you are peeling off layers to see what lies beneath.
If you are struggling with this, I teach it in depth in the DIY Color Analysis Course. You’ll use various modalities to determine your color season, including in depth training on eye pattern analysis.
Once you start to see these patterns it’s truly fascinating! Please tell me what you find in the comments!
Related color analysis articles:
- Explore the 12 Seasons at Radiantly Dressed
- Benefits of a Wardrobe Color Palette
- Discover Your Color Season
- Color Analysis Products
Eye Patterns Have an Enormous Impact on Color Season
Stacey is the owner and creator behind Radiantly Dressed. She is a certified image consultant and AICI member focusing on creating simplicity in wardrobes via color and style.