Dark Winter clothes1

Best Makeup Colours : Dark Winter

Personal Colour Analysis (PCA) has its origins in your soul. It reaches way down to the innermost part of your being and identifies the vibrational energy of the colours you project on the outside.

You are a being of light. Once you know the colours of your natural light, you can repeat them in everything you wear. It’s not just to look good, though you surely will. Words like wholeness, complete, unified, and aligned, inner with outer, may help you think about colour in a different way.

Without PCA, you cannot possibly know your own rainbow. Like most folks, then, everything you wear, every item in your makeup drawer, your jewelry, and your highlights all communicate something different. The result is like a visual white noise.

Your makeup colours are your clothes colours. Your clothes colours are your eye colours. Your hair highlight colour is in your skin’s pigments. A thousand questions answered when you know.

In 12 Season Personal Colour Analysis, Dark Winter is very much a Winter Season, the most less-is-more Season of them all. Winter’s cool and dark colours are here, as is the pivotal red-violet of all Winters. An element of Autumn is still present, so slightly dulling and browning the colours, as Autumn always does. I am a Dark Winter. Sandra Bullock and Winona Ryder probably are too, and so is a Canada goose and a bald eagle.

The person is not necessarily dark, but the colours that perfect their skin and eyes are dark, RELATIVE to the other Seasons. Browns are darker, corals are darker, greens are darker, and the overall look should be medium to dark. As Winters, some of the lights are very very light, as icy colours. Compare that to the Dark Autumn, who is not flattered by icy lights because they are primarily Autumns. Their light colour palette is very different from Dark Winter’s, though the darker colour palette has some similarities. (For more, see Icy Colours and Pastels)

You know that my idea of elegant eye makeup is in shades of grays and browns. Dark Winters are icy grey, pure grey, or browned dark-taupes. Eye makeup is much more grey than brown. Brown looks too hot, like beef stew on snow. No, that’s too awful. Let’s say gravy on snow instead.

Soft Summer began with True Summer’s very cool palette, and looked at it through a layer of fog. Dark Winter begins with True Winter’s very cool palette and looks at it through a layer of soot. Clinique Totally Neutral Eyeshadow trio is a great everyday palette.

Smoky eyes and nude lips is a look so many aspire to. There’s nothing wrong with it, except that I have yet to meet the regular woman who can pick out her colours and not look ghoulish. A better look to aspire to is the natural look, the one that could believably have happened by itself.

While many Seasons can manage that nude pink-beige lip in some version of flesh tone or other, Winter has the most difficult time with it. The one thing Winter needs to remember is to pair very lights with very darks, and have very clear dividing lines between the colour blocks. When the lips blend too much into the skin, it does not look healthy, natural, outdoorsy, or pretty. It looks like Snow White with lips the colour of concealer.

Many would say that we can’t go around with fuchsia, purple, or crimson lips at the office or the soccer game. In a heavy application, that may be so. A Winter going for a more natural look will stay true to their palette, as anyone does, but choose a more sheer or more brown product. Cherry skin, pomegranate juice, frosted cranberries, and ripe mulberries will be Winter’s best go-to 9AM lip colours. Try Merle Norman Stolen Kisses and MAC Scant (if you can find it) for day wear, and Elizabeth Arden Sugarplum Shimmer when you want more. If you’re 25 and want to work your icy fuchsia, icy pink, or light coral lip, that’s fine, because you still have the well defined lips of the young, but those colours are probably lighter than your natural lip colour.

Your colour analyzed cosmetic colour for the most natural, believable lip colour is mulberry, so a browned purple, in the lower right position of the lip/blush foursome.  Strong cool dark coral-pink is a brighter option. NARS pencil in Club Mix is good.

Eyeliners shown at the bottom are charcoal, blackened mulberry, and one could certainly use a black-brown too. I use MAC Photogravure or Clinique Black-Brown. MAC Grey Utility is a good smoky gray.

Your eye colour makes no difference. The makeup will work. The only thing you may need is a darkness adjustment. A dark lipstick will look lightER on a darkER person. I did that thing with cell phones that kids do to take endless photos of themselves so the picture below is odd. I’m wearing a purple-brown lipstick, which looks darker IRL, but not by much. It looks light on me and it would look lightER than that on Sandra Bullock, and lightER still on Oprah. So you take the Personal Colours Book of swatches shopping and match the darker colours, but always stay true to your palette.

 

 

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32 thoughts on “Best Makeup Colours : Dark Winter”

  1. Thanks Christine, I have been waiting for this article for my mother in law, she keep asking me what colors to use. For a cell phone picture it really looks good, it is amazing how much different you look in Dark Winter colors vs Dark Autumn, it seems like a minor change but really isn’t. Like Jennifer Butler said, ‘it is either in the socket or it isn’t’. :)

  2. Oh how you glow Christine! Your eyes radiate such beautiful color, even the oddness of cell phone photos can’t hide the radiance that comes from a woman harmoniously wearing her perfect colors… So glad you finally did a “Best Makeup Colors” for your own season!

  3. Hi Christine: I know this has probably been answered somewhere on your site, so please forgive me for asking it again….you mention above that ‘your clothes colors are your eye colors’. I am having trouble understanding how this can always be true if the color of ones eyes do not play into the draping process. thanks.

  4. It’s been mentioned on the Facebook page, but Benefit’s Good to Go lipstick may be a good alternative for Scant.

  5. Christine,

    This is a beautfiul post – so resonant with dark winter’s energy. Thank you. I’m wondering if people who could never decide between winter and summer in the old 4 seasons system might be dark winters – more clarity of color than true summer but more toned down (?) than true winter.

    Do you prefer silver or gold for jewelry for dark winters?

    Can you recommend some Clinique or Revlon lipsticks for dark winters?

    Thanks so much!

    Denise

  6. Denise,

    True Summer is so variable that I can imagine many, many people placing themselves there.. Bright Winter, Bright Spring, Light Spring, and possibly Dark Winter too.

    I usually prefer silver or pewter for this Season. The Neutral Seasons really are variable in their ability to wear gold and silver. It is important for anyone to go beyond and silver though, and incorporate the shiny-ness of the metal, the option of other metals, and the use of stones. Light shiny gold is not so good for this group.

    I can’t recommend a colour in the lines you asked about. EArden Sugarplum Shimmer is good.

    Ashley,

    That colour is so on my list to try.

    lategates,

    Your Colours Book is an exploded diagram of the precise colours in your body. There are 60 colour tones there, every blue, green, brown, yellow, and orange you are made of. Your eye colour will be among those, or be composed of some mixture of those exact shades. I have never once seen it not be the case, in any Season. Having said that, the hair color may not be in the Book. There is such huge variability in hair color among Seasons, and less correlation between hair pigments and skin. Your hair is still perfect for you skin, just less predictable. I have a red-haired True Winter husband and daughter with the same warm amber eyes as Catherine Zeta-Jones. None of these people will wear those warm browns in clothes or makeup or hair dye, but these unexpected elements are the gifts of uniqueness we sometimes see.

    Tiara and Jeannie,

    Appreciating the power of subtlety to make huge change, especially when reinforced by level-after-level repetition is one of the most difficult concepts. I know that you ladies both understand the difference of seemingly small changes.

  7. lategates,

    I had the same questions as you about eye colour. Then I read how you can identify several different colours in the eye.

    My eyes have always been ‘blue’, but when I stand next to a window (north facing for indirect light), and hold a mirror up close, I can find a deep soft teal (sea blue/green), a soft blue (WWII British Airforce uniform blue), vanilla/soft gold, a touch of autumn leaf brown and a hint of warm slate grey.

    The first time I did it, it blew me away.

    What made even more of an impact was when I compared those shades to my Deep Autumn palette, and found each and every one of those shades matched on the swatches.

    However, the vague ‘blue’ that people see when they stand 4 feet away and look into my eyes is a mush, like mixing several paints together – and is no indication of Season at all.

    Hope that helps.

    (try the mirror thing – you will see what I mean, unless your eyes are so dark they seem black!)

  8. Christine, thank you so much for these articles. Going from thinking you are an autumn to knowing you are a winter/autumn blend is crazy, but knowing what colors to try helps so much. Even the picture of your clothes inspires me!

  9. Hi Christine,

    I’m still trying to figure out my season… Today I bought a blush that is excellent on me, it’s just like the color of my natural flush. It’s Estée Lauder’s Signature ‘Fresh Plum’. Is this a Dark Winter color, or rather True Winter Color? Or could True Summer get away with it? I also bought Clinique’s Buttershine lipstick as ‘Lilac Dream’ and I looks nice and natural on me, I can pile it on as much as I want but it still looks very natural. It’s not a very dark color though, but I wouldn’t say it’s light either.

    Thanks for this excellent article,

    Maija

  10. I really need to get my analysis done. I think I’m a Dark Winter, although the argument could be made that I’m a Soft Summer. I’ve been told I’m an Autumn just because I have reddish gold natural highlights (even though I have pale skin and blueish undertones). People at makeup counters have a hard time with me because of the aforementioned skin tone, one eye is dark brown with blue green, the other eye is predominately greyish green with dark brown around the iris. Oh, and I was born with black hair and black eyes, although then my hair turned ash brown until I hit high school. LOL. I’ve loved black since I was a child though. The first piece of clothing I remember loving was a black corduroy romper.

  11. I like doing smoky eyes with a subtle pop of color – what colors would you suggest? Eggplant? Navy? A certain kind of purple?

  12. Thank you so much! I’ll try the iced lavender – I saw it in your “3 great colours for Dark Winters” post and thought “What, really?” – I know the navy, the battleship grey and the brown-purple-plum as obvious choices, but icy lavender?

    Then I remembered when I was an early teen trying on formal dresses, and the ones that popped on me were Dark Winter red, and an icy purple one with very simple black ribbon touches. Aha!

    I’ll keep my eye out for an icy lavender highlighter shade, since its tough for me to buy cosmetics from overseas when I’ve never been able to try them in store. If any Dark Winters reading this know of a good one in an international brand I’d love to know!

  13. I can not stop thinking about the “beef stew/gravy on snow” reference.
    I have stopped wearing warm brown eyeshadow for maybe 3 days – and the image of what I used to wear everyday – makes me think of that reference every time.

    I’ve been enjoying Clinique Totally Neutral trio —

    I’m wondering if you have an updated favorite makeup list for Dark Winters? Or even any info on where you found a foundation that worked with your neutral cool skin?
    I’ve seen the Luminosity lists – - but since you are a Dark Winter and so thorough – I take your word – even though I know each Dark Winter is different within the range we are given.
    I’m going to order somethings from EleaBlake – too. :)

  14. Katie – now that my book is in publication and the makeup lists are on facebook, I try to reserve something for my own clients, and all that’s left are my own makeup lists. They’re really nearly identical to Luminosity’s, but I’m less permissive about what I include (for all the Seasons). New favorite lipstick: Givenchy Mystic Pink. New favorite eyeliner: Smashbox Indigo Ink. The foundation I wear is Merle Norman Sesame. Comes in Timeless and Long Wear depending on your skin. Excellent colour. I adore the eleablake blushes, all of the colours. I also love Kooky eyeshadow.

  15. Thank you for the recommendations – I really appreciate it. I wish I could have made it to Canada for you to do my PCA.

  16. Christine,
    Do you ever find that the midtone color in the totally neutral quad (the one on the far right) ever looks to yellow or some similar effect on your skin? I think it’s even labeled as a khaki on the back. The other two colors are fantastic – but I find that one tricky sometimes.

  17. I’ve been told I’m a soft winter, so would I look at true winter and look through a layer of soot?

  18. Kaetlin, the person who would answer your Q is the one who told you Soft Winter. I don’t use a category or designation that combines the Winter groups and softness of colour. Good Q though :), True Winter through a layer of soot is my Dark Winter. Is that what they meant by Soft Winter…well, I don’t know. It’s possible.

  19. Hi Christine! Congratulations on your wonderful site; it has been very helpful in determining my best colors. I absolutely love my look in Dark Autumn colors during my tanned summer months and my Dark Winter look in the pale winter months. My question is about my makeup during those pale winter months. I seem to sit on a thin autumn/winter line during those months and the browns and golds of autumn makeup look like they’re just sitting on my face, but the dark greys and blues of winter dull my most recognizable trait: yellow-brown, tiger-like eyes (I’m often told I look like one). My issue in the winter becomes that I have cool black hair, those yellow-brown eyes and “coolish” skin and I can’t seem to find colors that make these three things harmonize. Do you, or any of your wonderful readers, have any suggestions?

  20. My own take, Jerica, is that some piece of information is missing from the puzzle. Your tan doesn’t influence your Season or your colours. You may have more melanin in your skin but it’s still the same colour as the rest of the melanin your genetics create. It’s hard to answer without seeing you but in my own experience with Neutral Seasons, nobody sits on that thin a line. Yellow-brown eyes appear easily and often in any of the 5 Winter influenced Tones. Seems to me that only a draping will find the true and sustainable harmony in your colouring – which sounds completely fascinating, by the way.

  21. Your colouring sounds like Catherine Zeta-Jones look, even the eyes. Perhaps the right colours for her are the right colours for you.

  22. Christine, I think I may be a dark autumn or a dark winter.I am having difficulty choosing between them because I can wear makeup from both. I have dark brown hair, brown eyes with some green, and medium olive skin. I can wear mac wood winked lightly mixed with other colors and blue liners on my top lid with dark brown on bottom. Clinique a fig blush looks better on me than lancome aplum. Fig jam lip butter by revlon can sometimes look too brown, and revlon’s rose velvet looks good on me. Red is my best color in clothes, as well as navy. Is there a makeup look or a lipstick I could try to determine the best fit? I think I am either on the warmer side of winter or the cooler side of autumn. I recently wore a deep cherry red dress to a party and so many people commented on how great I look in red, and that red is my color. There are similar reds in both palettes. I can also carry most, if not all, of the reds from both palettes. Also, maybelline’s cream shadow in Bad to the Bronze looks great on me, as a Mac makeup artist complemented my eyeshadow recently. Can a dark winter wear that? I love Keira Knightly’s makeup looks, and I think I look good in similar colors. What would you suggest I try?

  23. I don’t have suggestions beyond what you’ve tried, Nadine. You’ve used good comparisons. Once the colours get this close, it’s rare that a person comes to the right conclusion without an analysis. If I’m really confused between the 2 Dark Neutral Seasons, I’ll compare the DA and DW lightest colours. They’re very different. A DW is good in white, a DA isn’t.

  24. Hi Christine!

    I would love to find a lipstick for each lip colour in this post. Any recommendations?

  25. Alison, I pull those colours from my imagination as ideals. Although I have favorite DW lip products, none represents an absolute ideal as seen on a monitor. The instant it goes on a woman’s skin, it’s different. Put the same colour on two women, it looks different on both.

  26. Thank you Christine for this wonderful site! I learn new ideas each time I come back to read more. Today I tried Dark Winter makeup. I used Mac groundwork paint pot ( a taupe brown) with Mac smoke and diamonds on the lid ( which is a dupe for Urban Decay Pistol). I lined my eyes with a dark charcoal gray, which I smudged with a shimmery charcoal shadow. I darkened the crease with the darkest color from cliniques totally neutral trio. I used Lancôme Aplum blush. When I visited the Mac store, I tried on Fast Play lipstick and darkened my eyes with mystery eyeshadow. I continued on to shop for clothes. When I held up to my face shirts and sweaters in the Dark winter colors such as cranberry, rasberry, and wine, I noticed my face light up! I actually said wow! I I understand now! I always thought aplumb blush was too cool, but I think that was because I was pairing it with smokey bronzy brown eyeshadows closer to Dark Autumn. You mention Fast Play as a lipstick to use over other Dark Winter colors. My question is do you like it by itself on this season?

  27. There you go, Nadine. You’re seeing it now, I can tell from your writing. Aplum is OK, I wore it for awhile, but it’s softer/browner than what I wear today. Winter is better in a berry/cranberry/mulberry colour, but quite clear, even the DW. Fast Play…haven’t looked at that in awhile. I’ll be at a MAC counter in a week, I’ll get back to you. Do have a look at MaryKay Spice N Nice if you are closer to Dark Autumn. It’s excellent.

  28. What other blushes do you recommend I try? Mac breath of plum, Nars amour, Chanel plum attraction, clinique breathless berry or something other?

  29. I wore my Dark Winter makeup again today and headed to the mall. A sales lady who knew me said hello from a distance and asked if I had my makeup done? I told her “no, I did it myself”. She said “oh, it looks nice”. I’ve been wearing the same makeup as in the previous post, but instead of Mac smoke and diamonds, I used Bobbie Brown Rock shimmerwash (which you mentioned in a post to mix with the dark color from Cliniques totally neutral trio). It’s discontinued, but I found it yesterday at a cosmetic outlet store. I checked out Urban Decay’s Pistol at Sephora and it looks pretty much the same. Do you have both? Do you prefer one over the other for a Dark Winter? I was wearing Lancôme Aplum blush, and while in Sephora I tried a small amount of Nars Sin blush on top. It added some depth and a glow which I thought looked nice. Can a Dark Winter wear that? Maybe I’m closer to true winter. I’m on the hunt for a great Dark Winter blush! I have a sample of Aplum from a gift with purchase set. I thought Clinique berry delight was a bit warm for the look I was going for. Also, I tried Revlon Plumalicious lipstick yesterday, and it is the perfect everyday berry color!

  30. You do sound near TW, Nadine. I know a few who wear Plumalicious to perfection. I haven’t tried it on myself so not sure how a warmer DW would wear it. I went looking for Smoke and Diamonds, it was limited ed. and not carried here any more. Aplum is where I started (mixing with MAC Breath of Plum), the first being too muted, the second too pink. It took awhile to find great ones. As I recall, Sin was muted or something, it isn’t on my DW list. I do have NARS Turkish Red on there, but boy, you have to be careful with those products. A dusting is plenty. Berry Delight is warm and a colour I’ve never settled anywhere. Of all the Seasons, this is the hardest to find blush, maybe because I see how it goes on every day. I continue to find the eleablake selection probably top of this line – I have 3 and mix them, fabulous product. MaryKay Bold Berry is pretty good too. Did you ask about Fast Play MAC liptsick somewhere? Too muted, it’s S Su.

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