Best Makeup Colours : Bright Winter

The Bright Seasons would not be as perplexing as they are if someone had not made an allusion to clear eyes. Suddenly, they became indefinable. Who has clear eyes? Who doesn’t? Analysts run a little scared of pronouncing someone Bright Winter.

In 12 Season Personal Colour Analysis, this group belongs to the Winter category. Colours are dark, highly saturated, and cool.

Bright Winter is a Neutral Season, so Winter with a Spring infusion. Spring does do some fascinating things when it mixes with Winter, maybe part of what makes this colouring so consuming of our attentions and imaginations. Maybe it is the relief we have evolved to feel when warmth returns to tell us that we survived another cold spell.

When pure and clear colour energy mixes with Winter power and scale, the effect is arresting. When the sweet innocence of Spring flows into Winter formality, it feels almost heartbreaking.

Some of the True Winter cold is substituted for the Spring pale yellow warmth. Not buttercup yet, not even daffodil. More like snowdrops. There is a trace of the delicate in these people, unlike True Winter that neither looks nor acts delicately ( or if they do, you soon learn it’s pretend).

When the 2 True Seasons of highest color saturation mix, this color sings with clarity. These are the highest color notes.

Spring also lightens the colours, compared to True Winter darkness. Only a bit. This is the lightest of the Winters. The person can look too light for the cliche of how a Winter looks, often living as Light Summers.

Some Bright Winters react to their palette with Obviously, the happiness with which most people greet their colors. The great David Weinberger said, in the cluetrain manifesto, that laughter is the sound knowledge makes when it is born. Colour analysts see it every day, in the laughter that people almost have to suppress when they see their palette. They are joyful and peaceful. Often, they feel a bit confused by the strength of their reaction.

Some Bright Winters react with Oh, heavens, I could never do that. One piece at a time. Let yourself do this. Being safe when you know more is like visually dumbing yourself down. Why knowingly be less than everything you can be? Buy a bright tank and wear a yellow one underneath. Wear dangly silver earrings. Wear a sheer bright gloss.

These are the Colour Analysis cosmetic colours that work so perfectly with this skin tone.

The eyeshadow in icy violet is incredible. Merle Norman makes Freesia and it is gorgeous for a reason. The icy is Winter. The violet is the complement of yellow, a component of all Spring skin.

The other hilite is yellow, or creamy, but still quite neutral champagne. Everyone can do neutral champagne. Just avoid brown, beige, buff, gold, and pastel.

Eyeshadow for the Brights is my biggest search challenge. You can do a clean light grey and deeper charcoal (left column). You can add in a bit of brown and get to taupe (right column) but barely any. Will you be able to find 2 separate products? You might, but you would not need to.

Shimmer in makeup is a definite possible, though never necessary. The industry just makes so much of it that it’s easier to find. Winter has a still polish. Spring expresses dazzle and movement. Merge the two and the shimmer works. One facial feature at a time.

Eyeliner is charcoal, or black-brown. Purple can be great, but certainly more playful. It is lighter than True Winter’s bluer colour and will look purpler. Spring allows imagination, energy, and fun, but still very contained in this group. Winter sapphire can also work. These eyeliners might be better as accents, rather than for surrounding the entire eye. You might just do an inner rim of the upper lid, or the outer section of the upper lid, merging with the charcoal. Just because you can look great in circus gear does not mean you should.

Lip and blush usually take time to get used to. Start light or sheer with makeup. Your Colour Analyzed swatches give you lighter choices too. The lip often has a fair bit of natural colour. The rest of us would love it on you immediately, but I get that it is you who has to wear it. Ask someone you trust. Sugarplum gloss is lovely.

As for the clear eyes thing, it sure would not help you pick a Bright Winter out of a line-up.  Everyone’s colouring is perfectly balanced in their face. You would notice the clear eyes in a second if they suddenly appeared in an Autumn face. They are often black-brown (see Jocelyn Is A Bright Winter). They can be Virginia turtle eyes, which become OMG with charcoal eyeliner. They can be Asian black and wolf-yellow.

Everyone has amazing eyes. Once we notice them, we all find it hard to stop looking. It is so important to get rid of the distracting clutter. Calm down the skin, the hair, the over-makeup, and let your eyes leave an echo.



36 thoughts on “Best Makeup Colours : Bright Winter”

  1. Thanks for this. It is really interesting. Here are some MAC shades (I tend to stick to MAC though I’m interested in Illamasqua now too) which might be worth trying out. One thing I have noticed is that Bright Winter is much pinker/redder than True Winter.

    Digit (though still a tad too blue- could do with being more pink-violet)
    Blanc Type – a wonderful cream colour (or Schroom which is frostier)

    Scene- a soft blue grey
    Electra- a silvery grey (frost)
    Print- a mid grey
    Typographic- a darker grey

    Omega-muted greyish taupe
    Coquette-darker taupe
    Concrete-darker taupe

    Blooz- a navy – could do with being slightly more purple – try MAC ‘Contrast’ eye shadow
    Phone number- Charcoal
    Smoulder- black
    Still looking for a nice purple – MAC only has a brownish aubergine.

    Lipstick: (Red-pinks and Pink-reds)- avoiding purple or blue pinks & reds
    Revlon Cherries in the Snow (fabulous)
    MAC Lustering (Sheer pink)
    MAC Lickable (Bright pink)
    MAC Speak Louder (Bright pink)
    MAC Chatter box (Red-pink)
    MAC Utter Fun (limited edition very Bright pink)
    MAC Ruby Woo (Bright red)
    MAC Russian Red (Softer bright red)
    MAC Brave Red (yellowed red- not orange)
    MAC Lady Bug (Sheer yellowed red)

    In addition:
    I find that instead of icy violet I prefer to use an icy pink shadow (such as MAC yoghurt or Pen n pink) as that flatters my skin tone- though I sometimes use an icy violet to go with the plums. I also suit Mulberry and plumy browns (that I borrow from Deep Winter) for a softer smoky eye- such as:

    Plums: (slightly more purple)
    MAC Shadowy lady
    MAC Blackberry

    Mulberries: (Slightly more pink)
    MAC Signed Sealed or Deep Damson (Limited Editions)
    MAC Sketch

    On Blue tones:
    I found (through expensive experimentation) that if I’m going to wear a purple shadow (for fun) that I really don’t suit blue-toned purples- the pink-type of purple suits me much, much better as it connects with the pink and warmer yellow tones in my skin. Bright winter is closer to Bright spring than it is to True Winter. I found that blue toned lippies are tolerated less well than pink and yellow toned ones.

  2. For blush:

    MAC Breezy (Deeper pink)
    MAC Pink Swoon (light bright pink)
    MAC Dollymix (Bright pink)
    MAC Frankly Scarlet (Bright yellow red)- it’s really really lovely for snowwhite cheeks

    Or MAC blush creame in posey

  3. Thank you for the great article!

    Would you say that Estee lauder stay Plumberry, swatched here:
    belongs to the true winter palette or to the bright winter one? I ask it because it clears my skin instantly, despite looking such an odd colour!

  4. forgot to add that the photo showing the effect of “stay plumberry” is the second, not the first one!

  5. Thank you :)

    I’ve been waiting to read an article about Bright Winters (mostly because I suppose I am one). I haven’t been PCA’d, though. Nevertheless, I think that the colours would work for me. Even if I’m not a Bright Winter, I still love these.

    I know that eye colour is irrelevant in Sci\ART analysis, but you often mention things like “it’s a Spring eye”. Mine are somewhat similar to the cliche clear eyes. There’s an image of a Winter eye in the “Wall Photos” section of your Facebook profile. The iris pattern look just like mine, although my colouring is different (dark blue around the iris, which is cool blue-grey with bright green flecks, no brown at all). Sorry for asking so many questions, but there are no Sci\ART analysts where I live. I’m a theoretical sort of person, too.

  6. Can a cool winter wear the ‘freesia’ too? Would taupe and ‘freesia’ be good?

  7. Wow…the difference between Bright winter and True winter was not as noticable until I put them side by side…I really see the difference now. Mostly lips/cheek color.

  8. To all,

    Thanks so much to anyone who contributed specific products. Believe me, readers thank you.

    MN Freesia is beautiful for both True and Bright Winter.

    Taupe – which taupe? You know me well, Jean. We might have 2 different colors in our heads. Can you find me a swatch/link? In general, yes it could work well. Generally like grey better on these 2 Seasons, but a grey, clean taupe could work.

    Very right, Jean, they are different palettes. Also very hard to find makeup because the industry produces little of this clarity, coolness, and intensity. Many women have to compromise between the 2. So, they might wear the same lipstick but the rest of the palette will direct the overall look either to True or Bright.

    Stay Plumberry could be True or one of Bright’s cooler choices. When I swatched it, it seemed a fair bit darker than the photo.

  9. @ Trish and Christine (or anyone else familiar with the MAC shades mentioned)

    Would Pink Swoon and Dollymix be a bit too cool for a neutral season? They both look cool to my eyes (though Pink Swoon works on my warmish skin because it’s so sheer — but only in the summer when I have a bit of color). Fleur Power, recommended on A Greener Tea for a Bright Spring, is slightly warmer, but still bright and saturated.

    Revlon’s Sugar Poppy was namechecked on the Facebook page. Got it, love it, but I can’t deal with the scent of old-school Revlon lipsticks. I prefer gloss anyway, and found a cheapie from Wet ‘n’ Wild called “Candy Apple” that’s pretty close. Revlon’s Strawberry Suede is good, too, maybe more bright spring than bright winter. (And no funky taste.)

    I’m still not certain what season I am, so all this is relative. I’m confident that I’m a bright, just not sure which one. I think I’ll have a better idea when I color my hair a more neutral shade. I know haircolor is irrelevant, but when you haven’t seen yours for nearly a decade, it’s easy to forgot what your god-given coloring is.

  10. Hi Kathy

    I have both Pink swoon and Dollymix and I don’t find them too cool- compare Pink Swoon to Coygirl and you’ll see the cooler lilac tones in Coygirl. The main thing about the blush I use for my bright winter skin is that is clear and bright (but still natural)

    My sister is Bright Spring and she really suits Fleur Power, more than me.

    I was looking at Strawberry suede yesterday and I came to the conclusion that it would look better on a Cool Summer as it has the soft pink tones to it. I adore Revlon’s cherries in the snow and thier Matte eyeshadows are almost perfect dupes for MAC Matte2 collection (some of which are now discontinued):

    Revlon Vintage Lace = MAC Blanc Type
    Revlon Pink Innocence = MAC Pen N pink
    Revlon Lucious Lime- MAC Sunnyspot
    Revlon Venetian Blue= MAC Clarity (Discontinued)
    Revlon Riviera Blue= MAC Prussian
    Revlon Aubergine= MAC Fig
    Revlon Rich Sable= MAC Handwritten

    For reference I’ll decsribe the slight differences between myself and my sister

    Skin- her skin shows a tiny bit more yellow and mine shows a tiny bit more pink
    Eyes- almost identical in colour- a green, blusih gery with a yellow halo around the iris. Her eyes are lighter than mine though.
    Lips: Her lips are naturally peachy red in tone where as mine are more pinky red- both quite pigmented.
    Hair- We both have dark brown hair but she has definate auburn tones in her hair and some bright golden highlights in the summer where as my hair is more ashen in tone- my summer highlights go more grey.

    To look at us though you would’nt notice the difference till it was pointed out. We often comment on each others clothes for exmple she had a deep teal cradigan on the other day and we both noticed that it was more my colour than her’s – she still suits teal but just a tad lighter. When I put on her cardi my skin sparkled where as the depth of colour drained her slightly. In a lighter shade her skin glows.. .. it’s really quite interesting.

  11. Love the article and comments. I’m a bright winter and I like Revlon’s Fire and Ice lipstick and Nars Cactus Flower blusher. I also find the Dolly mix blush suits me very well.

    I prefer creams to powder for eyeshadow. I use Clinique’s creams in lavendar, cream and grey colors. If anyone knows of other cream eyeshadows in Bright Winter colors, I would appreciate the names!

    After reading this article, I tried a brown black eyeliner which I loved. It brings out my eyes and makes them dramatic looking and gives balance to the bright lipsticks. The other question I have is about purple eyeliner. I use an Almay purple amethyst eyeliner and I think it looks neutral on me rather than circus like. It may be because it’s a greyed down color, but I wondered if on a bright winter a color like purple would look more neutral than on another season.

    Great fun reading the article and comments!

  12. Christine,

    What would you recommend a bright winter do about coloring her hair? Mine is a dark brown black. I’ve never colored my hair and it’s graying now. The color isn’t bad but it isn’t good either (certainly not glamorous!). What should I tell my hairstylist? How to explain the concept of neutral?

    Thanks for any advice you have!

  13. Denise,

    Color it 2 shades lighter than the natural color is usually my best advice. The hair you had when you were 25. Gray works very well on Winters, because it’s inherently cool, stately, and dramatic, so consider whether you want to deal with roots and upkeep. If you do, as I do, then color it. Most colorists seem to say that hair color needs some warmth to cover gray, which is fine since you’re Neutral and can carry some warmth. Ask for the least amount of heat to cover gray, minimum red, as close to natural as possible but a bit lighter (seems a little softer on the complexion).

  14. “Everyone’s eyes are amazing. Once we notice them, we all find it hard to stop looking. That’s why it’s so important to get rid of the distracting clutter. Calm down the skin, the hair, the over-makeup, and let your eyes leave an echo.”

    I love you, Christine. When I look at eye colour (say when someone says, “These are my eyes, what season am I?”), I immediately think, “How can I make this eye look captivating? What is the most inspiring that this eye can look?”
    I adore the way you worded this :)

  15. Rachel,
    I’m not sure how a Virginian would describe it. When I saw it, it was a turquoise green, quite light for a Winter, even amounts of blue and green, and as clear as glass. Absolutely no cloudiness, it was like an utterly transparent bottle.

  16. Christine,
    Here are a few more recommendations. When I get bored of charcoal eyes (liner/crease), I do black brown. Please post if you find clear champagne/snowdrop eyeshadows (matte and/or perle). Thank you.

    Revlon Fuchsia Fusion
    NARS Jungle Red
    eyeshadows (black brown/dark taupe–alone or mixed with greys/blacks):
    MAC Brun
    NARS Coconut Grove
    eyeliner (black brown):
    Lancome Black Coffee
    nude lip for BW: clear gloss w/spf (mid-high shine finish)

  17. Hello friends!
    I feel I should share this. But first of all I should tell you that I have NEVER posted on a web site before (although I’ve lurked on a few for a long time) and that I stumbled upon this site through stumbling on A Greener Tea less than a week ago.
    I’m not sure how I found A Greener Tea, but it may have been through searching for recommendations for a peach blush. Last week I came across Robert Jones’ book, Looking Younger, Makeovers that let you look as young as you feel at the public library and decided to check it out. I think he has many good suggestions for applying makeup and so forth but he is very big on bronzer and uses warm colors, especially peach for lips and blush and brown tones on the eyes. After reading this I got excited to try peach tones, something I’ve probably not used in almost 30 years!
    I should now add that back in the mid-1980’s in the heart of the Color Me Beautiful frenzy, my mother gave me a color consultation for my birthday. I was analyzed as a Winter and for quite a while was strict to those suggestions for clothing and makeup colors. Forward about 10 years and the Spillane/ Sherlock book comes out, Color Me Beautiful’s Looking your Best. I bought that, and decided I was most likely a Clear Winter but really made no major changes in my approach to color. Somewhere along the way in the late 1990’s I got off track with worrying about makeup colors. I kind of “got into” the Bobbi Brown approach of more toned-down (brown) colors. I appreciated her “natural” approach to makeup-up and the idea of just being yourself. I had a couple of Bobbi Brown makeovers at their counter where more subdued colors were used, and so forth.
    Anyway, after coming upon this site my whole interest in color theory was renewed. I would like to be analyzed to see if I am correct about “Bright Winter” but there are no Sci\Art consultants anywhere nearby. In fact I can’t raise their web site at all. But, I dropped my plans for peach blush and lipstick !!! and took to heart the suggestions I found for Bright Winter makeup…… Today I went out an bought a few things.
    First of all I went to a MAC counter and bought Dollymix blush, Lustering lipstick, and Copperplate eye shadow. Then I went to the Clinique counter and bought Raspberry Rush. Finally I steeled myself and went into a Merle Norman (that’s like a time warp!) and bought Freesia for highlighter. Oogled Dior’s Mystic Smokies at Sephora, but decided to try what I have first!
    Well, I got back to my car, and haven also eaten a frozen yogurt I needed lipstick so I whipped out my new Raspberry Rush. Put it on in the parking lot, car mirror, looked at myself and thought it has been years since I’ve looked so good!!! Ladies, that color turned my face around! Everything but my lips was the same: Bobbi brown foundation, her Sand Pink blush, a wash of a taupey eyeshadow and warm brown-black eyeliner.
    The effect was instantaneous with just that small change. Later, at home I added a pop of the Dollymix blush over what I had on, and also tried the Lustering lipstick, all with equally positive results. Tomorrow I will try the Copperplate shadow and the Freesia highlighter and also, following Christine’s review of MAC Studio Sculpt foundation, I scored a trial sample of that which I will apply. I am amazed once again how well this works!
    Obviously as I said above, I would still like to reananalyzed because I do know it is impossible to be objective about yourself. One thing that is interesting about my personal analysis as a Bright Winter, is that all those years ago when I first had it done, and was told Winter, in conversation I told my mother I was a Winter, and she responded that she would have guessed Spring! So maybe I really do have that Spring bit in there.
    I live in Lexington, Kentucky so if anyone knows of a Sci\art consultant, please let me know. And sorry if this is posted at the wrong place.

  18. –just found a good pale yellow eyeshadow highlight colour:
    Laura Mercier Luster Eye Colour in Starfruit

  19. This is a follow-up to my Feb. 23, 2011 posting.
    Peach blush? What was I thinking? There is no color that looks WORSE on me than peach! I was finally able to arrange a Sci\ART color analysis in Columbus, OH about 3 1/2 hrs from here. Would not have been bad but it poured BUCKETS most of the way there. I was proclaimed a True Winter which would have been my 2d personal choice; I thought I could be Bright or True. Robin, my analysist, kept going back and forth between Bright and True color swatches and said I was really hard to pin down, but in the end decided I was True. So I wasn’t too far off but now have to “blue” my makeup a little more but I love my colors and will have fun trying to find them! Several are really spectacular on me but I have doubts I will ever find them in clothing. I love all the pinks and purples too which may be easier since there are so many. Many thanks to you, Christine, for this wonderful site and to the many other women who have posted color suggestions on the various “winter” pages.

  20. I just found this site while using google to see if there are any color analysis companies in my area in Indiana. I didn’t find any but love this web site. Looks like I’m a bit late on the commentary but I was wondering if anyone could help me with the differences between Bright Winter and Cool Winter. I have ruled out Dark Winter since I have very fair skin, can’t wear olive green or rust well and just don’t seem to fit as well with that category. I have dark brown hair and medium brown eyes, look great in black, hot pink, and royal blue. I have very cool undertones to my skin and have to use foundation for cool toned people. I think that I’m probably a cool winter, as my hair would be salt and pepper if I didn’t color it but I feel like I can wear bright saturated coral, which falls into the Bright Winter category. I’d love to have myself draped but found nothing in my area. Does anyone know a good way to help me decide if I’m a Bright vs. Cool? I don’t wear green that has yellow in it well, which may mean I’m the Cool. Any help would be much appreciated. I’d love to order some swatches but want to get the correct ones. Thanks.

  21. Hi, Kellee,
    You’re very colour perceptive in your descriptions of which colours would belong to which Season. As you say, your observations seem to contradict enough that we won’t be able to do this from verbal descriptions. Accurately calibrated drape colours will be the only way to sort this out that I know. I find reds a good colour to notice skin reactions, so TW is blue-based while BW is strawberry. You’ll see articles here about TMIT, 3 Best Colours for each Season, and several in the Winters. Hover the cursor over More Topics in the top L area. Look under Winter and For All Seasons.
    Hopefully you saw the Analyst Directory. True, nobody in Indiana. Most women work this into a business trip or holiday.

  22. Thank you so much for your comments, Christine. I ended up doing an on-line color analysis since there is no draping in Indiana, and after a lot of photos and debate, I was deemed to be a Bright Winter, which I do believe is true. I got the 12 tone fan which I love having. Taking it along to shop makes things so easy. I bought some of the makeup as well. The Bright winter blush is wonderful for me. I have one question about one of your comments. I’m not sure what TMIT means. Thank you for your tips on where to look on your site for some great winter information!

  23. Hi Christine,
    Im a Bright Winter and finding the makeup-hair color aspect very easy and intuitive. But Im stuck on hairstyle. Do you know of any information that provides clues to Bright Winter on hairstyle?

  24. Could a BW wear benefit’s “posie tint”? (The light pink version of benetint). Or does the lip always need to be med to dark?

  25. Probably it would be fine, Jez, though I haven’t seen the colour. For sure, the lightness would work. A Winter looks better when the lip has definite presence on the face, but as the lightest of the Winters, the lip need not be dark. I love peach myself, but to show up against the saturation of this natural colouring, the cosmetic has to be very saturated or it will look like clear lip gloss. I also love strawberry reds. This colouring does funky very well too, as icy violet glosses.

  26. A few recommendations:
    Eyeshadow Lancome “gris fumé” 5 colours in one box (charcoal to very light, slightly yellowed grey + icy peach) I know “gris fumé” means smoked grey, but this is not a DW choice I think. The greys are not browned in any way, but slightly yellowed.

    Clarins Joli Rouge Brilliant 13, Cherry – a nice transparent strawberry red.

    I would be grateful if anyone would post their BW favourite brand for foundation – I can’t find a good one.

  27. Thank you for this great post; your blog is so helpful! I have been having a hard time finding BW makeup colors that don’t overwhelm (I am youngish, very fair, very neutral and look like a light), but these are a few products that I find are very flattering on me. Some of these also flatter BSp.

    -Tarte blush in Natural Beauty
    -Clinique Chubby Stick in Chubby Cherry and Two Ton Tomato
    -Revlon ColorBurst lip gloss in Strawberry
    -Benefit Benetint and BeneBalm (I like the Posie and ChaCha versions too – pink and coral – especially when mixed)
    -MAC shadows in Copperplate, Gleam, Jest, Urban Decay Virgin and Stila Kitten (lean warm)

    I would love to hear more of your thoughts on the “ice princess” and “girl next door” types of Bright Winters in a future post if you have the time please. :)

  28. Thanks, Erin, for your suggestions. About your request for ideas for those images, can you be more specific about what you’d like to know? I can ramble on and on and still miss what you wanted to know.

  29. Dear Christine,
    I live in Poland. A few years ago I was analysed in the old 4-season system but I don’t feel right with the result. Therefore I would like to have another try. Is the girl from Prague, that you introduced some time ago still available? Or maybe another analyst in central Europe?

  30. Corinne – may I have your permission to forward your email address and have her contact you? I believe she is seeing clients. Could you reply to my by personal email, and I’ll connect you both if you are agreeable.

  31. I don’t know if I’m a bright winter. I have pale, clear, pinkish with a hint of gold skin. My eyes used to be pale, clear and translucent aqua like the Caribbean sea. They now have some yellow/brown in them making them more green. My hair is med. brown on the ashy side. With my eyes changing I am questioning if I’m a bright winter. Thank you!

  32. BW is the lightest Winter, Kelly. Your colouring could easily fit. That said, you could also easily be several other Seasons. The only way to know is by draping in real time. Even from photos, I couldn’t say more. Your Season is not really about what you look like. It is about how your skin will react to colours, very surprising and unpredictable in most people.

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