Eye Patterns and Color Analysis

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.

Confused yet?

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.

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:

  1. Pigmented epithelium – double layer of brown cells.
  2. Posterior membrane – muscle layer.
  3. Connective tissues layer.
  4. Stroma sheet – the colorful part of the iris.
  5. 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.

Base Layer

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.

spring eye pattern

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.

summer eye pattern

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.

autumn eye pattern

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.

autumn eye pattern

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.

winter eye pattern

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.

winter eye pattern

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.

diy color analysis with 12 season color drapes

Once you start to see these patterns it’s truly fascinating! Please tell me what you find in the comments!


Related color analysis articles:

eye pattern color analysis

Eye Patterns Have an Enormous Impact on Color Season


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  1. Hello – I see my eye exactly! PLEASE what season is the eye on the right hand side, second from the bottom, or 5th down from the top right hand side????? Regards, Jan

          1. Hello Stacey, in looking closer I find more cloudiness, smokyness and looks more like the one at the very top of that row, in the light spring eye I believe, but with the colors of the one I asked about. Is it possible that a soft summer eye be close to any of these – Appreciate your help, you are a Godsend – Jan

          2. My eye doesn’t seem to meet any of these descriptions or fit any of these pictures…. perhaps a mixture of a couple of them? I can’t tell if I have a sunburst, Aztec sun, or spring flower structure hugging the pupil, as mine (brown) takes up about one third of the iris, followed by yellow, fading to grey at the rim of the iris. the inner brown structure around the pupil is definately not a swirling or crypt filled structure. Brown spokes radiate out from it, in mostly straight lines, but they don’t extend to the outer rim of the iris. I’m assuming age has faded them. also, I have neutral skin tone that utterly confuses me…… so that can’t help me decide what I’m seeing either.

            lovely article though. food for thought.

        1. Hi Stacy,

          My eyes are just like the eye in the 1st column and 5th down. I am having a hard time figuring out which season it is?

          1. what is the 3rd row 4th down and 2nd from right? my eyes look similar to both..but more bright green.

      1. How peculiar. I have the exact eye of a spring, but according to every other site I’ve seen, I am a summer or winter. I am a mix of medium ash brown hair with golden reddish highlights. And my skin has no signs of warm or cool. Fair but neutral.

        1. Hey Tina!!!

          Most people (about 68%) are a blend season, so it’s entirely possible to be a winter or summer with spring influence. These would be clear winter or light summer. Or potentially clear spring/light spring depending on undertone! However, I almost always see the eye patterns as a primary or secondary season 🙂

          1. My eye is very very close to the left hand side second from the bottom although very slightly bluer. What season was this person please?

      2. This is all very interesting. Obviously, we won’t all find exact matches from the sample eyes on the title picture but I feel like my eye is a combination of the eye in column 1, row 3 and the eye in column 4, row three – the darker grey-blue shade with the white burst, no other colors and no ring around the outside. Now to combine that with the underskin of my arm having a more pale apricot color compared to my partner who has a clearer pale pink color. I feel like I have some autumn leanings but am never fully certain. Gives me more to consider.

    1. What season is the fifth eye down all the way on the left side? Mine looks like that except just a bit more seafoam green!

  2. I’d love to see more pictures of eyes for each season. I enjoyed the post, but it would be easier for me to understand with pictures or diagrams.

  3. The eyes in first column, last and second last, what seasons are they? The last One I think was spring but the one above, what was that season? Thanks in advance

      1. Oh, wow! I bet the first colour consultant I visited actually was right about me being “warm spring” then. Later I was called “autumn” in another IRL analysis but I think I am spring. My eyes are a combination of those two eyes that I asked about.

        Thank you very much for your answer and for a very interesting page!🏵️

        1. Interesting. I always thought I was a light summer. I KNOW ai am a cool for sure. Im pink toned, burn easily and look horrible in all yellow and orangey colors. I have winter blue eyes and the white wheel like your last example, but my eyes are DEEP blue. I always wondered about this. Most summers seem to have very light eyes. I never matched that, but all winters were shown with dark hair. So I was confused. I am still a bit confused. Am I a summer or a winter? I look great in deep blue. Its my best color. I like color and I actually think I look good in black which most people say summers cant wear. Im rethinking all of what I thought I knew. Ive never been draped, but I thought being blue eyed reddish blonde hair I could figure it out. Apparently not…LOL.

  4. Hi! Thank you for letting me know. Looks just like my eye and i have been wearing summer colors forever, but everyone keeps telling me I would look better in autumn colors but I just dont know..but since reading your information here and seeing that eye pattern that is autumn I may have to try different colors. This was very interesting. Thank you, i think this could help alot of people learn more about themselves.

  5. Hello Stacey, in looking closer I find more cloudiness, smokyness and looks more like the one at the very top of that row, in the light spring eye I believe, but with the colors of the one I asked about. Is it possible that a soft summer eye be close to any of these – Appreciate your help, you are a Godsend – Jan

  6. Hi Stacey, I enjoyed your articles very much, the one about deep winters and, of course this one on eye color analysis. I was unable to see patterns in my eyes very much, but what I can describe is as follows:
    My eyes are brown with a grey ring around the outside. They change from medium to dark brown, depending on my hair color! So I think I would call them hazel brown. The hair color that looked best on me in my youth was dark ash brown. (I’m 73 now & wear it dark ash blonde.). My skin tone is fair with cool undertones. I have identified myself as a deep winter. Any advice would be welcome.

    1. Hey Gloria!

      I’m so glad you found them helpful! Once you’ve got your season, the next step I recommend is to narrow down all the color options and create a wardrobe palette that you can use to create cohesiveness in your closet. You can download this free resource to create a palette right here. Since your hair is on the lighter end now, you can probably also borrow some of the colors of cool and clear winter as well!

      Best wishes and let me know if I can help you further!

    2. wow…what kind of green hazel eyes should look like to belong to the deep dark autumn season? thank you

  7. Well…I seem to have a rust aztec sun but I also have yellow rays in between the spokes of the sun that can read green from far away and extend to the end of the iris. Mine don’t resemble any of these eyes but I think you said yellow in the eye was spring. I’m guessing warm spring? The spring colors do suit me.

    1. Hey Karla!

      Yellow is definitely spring influence. With a rust pattern, be sure to double check if its the aztec sun or more of a winter ring hugging the pupil. They’re quite similar and can be easily confused. I go into this in a lot more depth in my DIY course 🙂

  8. Hi Stacey. I was analyzed online as a Soft Autumn and that seems to fit. My eyes are warm autumn patterned and my hair is a deep brown (was golden medium brown in my younger days). My eye color is olive green (not deep). Deep autumn washes me out makeupwise etc so that rules out deep autumn. Can I border warm autumn and soft autumn? Thank you in advance.

    1. Hi Eileen!

      For each season there are two sister seasons which sit on either side. For soft autumn it is soft summer and warm autumn. A soft autumn is usually more autumn with soft influence, or more soft with warm influence. You can read the post on soft autumn learn more about this!

  9. My eyes are two different colors both a grayish green one with some yellow coloring over most of the green and one with a blue spot and a half rust brown star. The green is kinda olive. Also some petals. I feel I’m a soft autumn but that just might be a desired preference. I cant quite nail down my undertones or skin color either. Help!

    1. Hey Kelly! That does sound like a lot of warmth which could definitely point to a warm season. I have several options for discovering your season, from doing it yourself to a full deluxe package, all are listed here: color analysis. Please let me know if I can answer any questions for you!

  10. Hello Stacey, how are you? I would like to know from what season is the eye from the fourth column that is located in the third line, it is a combination of dark blue and brownish ring around the pupil…. My eyes are a mix of green, blue and gray (the color ´´changes´´ according to the weather or light), they also have a yellowish and brown ring around the pupil, from what season are they?

  11. Hello Stacey, how are you? I would like to know from what season is the eye in the third row in the top right. My eyes are similar to that one, they´re like a mix of green – gray – blue with a heavy aztec sun that is like caramel – brownish.
    Could you please help me?

    1. Hey Sofia!

      The first you asked is actually an unusual deep winter. It seems you’re describing fluctuation eye colors and a pattern that is much like autumn! I would start there! Best wishes!!!

  12. Hi, wonderful post! Most descriptive and comprehensive in regards to eye pattern that I’ve found thus far. It gave me a better insight on what to look for in others, yet I’m still unable to identify my own patterns. I would love your opinion. If you have time please let me know and I will email pictures, both my own and if you are interested my son has quite unique pattern and coloring as well. We are of mixed heritage ( Hispanic, Germanic, and Possibly Jewish descent ) which I think my be responsible for the unusual mix of both very warm and cool hues in thee iris? Curious as to how common this is as well. I thank you in advance for any response.

    Sarah Alvarez-Welk

  13. Hi there! My eyes have me confused. I have a rust Aztec sun and very fine yellow filaments branching spoke- like from the “sun”. I have a black freckle. I also have dark rims around the outside of the iris. I’ve been told I’m autumn but also told I’m Spring. All I know for sure is that I’m warm!

    1. Hey Karla! It sounds as if you have both spring and autumn influences. The only way to definitively tell is how your skin reacts to different colors via draping. Here’s a DIY option you can try to settle it once and for all!

  14. This is so interesting!
    My eyes are nearest to the picture in the far right column fourth one down.
    What season and tonality do you think I would be please?

  15. Hello Stacey! I would like to know from what season the third eye (brown eye) in the first row is. My eyes are an exact match!

  16. Hi!! Thank you so much for this interesting post. I have the eyes quite similar to the fourth eye (from the top) of the first column to the left, but my brown is slightly reddish. Could you tell me please what season is this eye? My eyes, as this of the photo, are quite even in color and details.
    I’ve always thinked I was autumm, because my hair ir brown with copper reflects and my eyes have a reddish undertone, I have very pale skin and freckles too. I’m confused hahaha

  17. Hi, I’ve been wondering about the rusty sunflower that hugs the pupil and has a pine green background that gets muddy when the rust covers it more as the pupil expands. It has lots of crypts/petals making it look like a sunflower. I have good pictures, but don’t see a way to post. I don’t see one in the one’s you already have. I have been told different things, so naturally I’m still confused about it!

      1. Hi Stacey,

        Is it possible to have a white sunburst/Aztec sun pattern?

        My eye has:
        – Dark blue base with defined border
        – White/gray overlay extending from pupil with wiggly lines and a few crypts
        – White overlay becomes dense in around pupil (sunburst?) and touches it. Can look very pale green in some lights

        Any idea what that would indicate?

  18. Hi, I have grey or grey/blue base layer. With faint petals. and overlay is streams coming from the pupil. I have grey/ brown halo or faint sunburst around pupil. What season I might be? My eyes look blue or grey depending what I’m wearing. I have blonde hair.

    1. Hi! I’m almost exactly the same! My hair is light to mid brown. My skin is neutral and fair, with freckles. My eyes are the same as you describe. I think I’m a soft autumn but I’m not entirely sure!

  19. Hi Stacey
    This is so interesting.
    In your opinion is it possible for your eyes to change colour and/or pattern as you get older or if you have illnesses?
    A picture about 10 years ago showed a thick orangey brown circle (Aztec sun or donut?) round the pupil followed by a yellowy beige ring with petal shapes and some greenish parts too. Then there was a circle of brownish grey followed by a dark grey rim.
    Now it’s dark brown with a darker circle around the pupil where the orangey brown was. No other colours or shapes except for some thin spokes which in places seem to go just beyond the very dark rim into the white.
    I was typed warm autumn about 25 years ago, with light neutral skin and dark golden hair with a noticeable amount of red in it. I liked the brighter colours of the palette best and wonder if I was actually clear spring as I could wear some bright cool colours too. Yellow has been awful.
    Now I am 69 and my hair is light due to white hair combined with some blonde and almost all of the warmth has gone, although it gets darker and warmer as you go from front to back . Im finding it so hard to work out my colours, there is not much said about light hair and skin with dark brown eyes. The nearest to my eye is the one in the bottom right corner but that’s warmer than my eyes are.
    Any ideas? Thank you for the article, it’s given me things to think about.

    1. Hey Judi!

      Yes! It’s possible! No one ever talks about it though lol. I find it usually happens to those with spring influence. The green ring usually becomes amber/rust. Sounds like spring could be your answer!

  20. I loved your post. One question, my eyes are exactly the same as the brown eyes of winter, but they have freckles. These eyes can also be of a summer girl?

  21. What is the pattern in the first column, third row – first position? (far L on third row, first column?) Thank you!

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