The Best Skin Finish on Winter Colouring

In any change you want to effect, three questions matter:

1. What do I want?

2. Where am I now?

3. What am I willing to do to get what I want?

 

What Do I Want

Very hard question. Most of us are schooled in what we don’t want. You might want to develop the full edge and potential of your appearance. If your idea of great makeup is to take what’s already there and make more of it, as mine is, Winter’s best makeup might have your redefining your position. The colours in the face are a lot and now we’re going to add a lot more. Adding just a little more doesn’t move Winter very far from the start point, or nowhere close to the max point, but maybe you just want to know a nice eyeliner and gloss and that’s all. There is no right or wrong answer.

There is nothing wrong with being a Winter without makeup. The important thing is to channel what you do towards the outcome that you want. Too often, we’ve never identified either what we want or what we do to help or hinder that. If you’re a Winter, the time has come. No face is more altered with makeup. As in life, the good and bad are equal. As in all things Winter, they are also simultaneously at both outer limits. Other types of colouring tend to look more similar with and without makeup, which is a definite good thing. But it’s the Winters who can go miles from where they started, and that’s good too.

I like a lot of colour on Winter, a lot of makeup, a lot of drama. The face is that way already. I want every woman to be all they could be. Would our 80-year-old selves excuse us for having been less than that? Would our reasons have been good enough? Hint: no excuse or decision based on fear or negativity is ever good enough.

This is good.

Shiseido banner

 

 

I know it’s hard. This is the group whose language is power, a currency that women have been un-trained to deal in by every force in their lives. Power is not second nature to us.

 

Where Am I Now

Even harder question. Unpacking our own luggage and seeing what’s really in there can be scary, especially if the zipper has been jammed for awhile. Lots of people can’t admit their height and weight and those are facts. As the oft-heard quote states, Reality is an acquired taste. And slowly acquired at that.

All those Winters from the 80s, which seem to have been in the majority, are very seldom Winters, which is fine because they’re usually wearing Summer colours. The real Winters are buried among every other type of colouring. Their road back is a longer one for the Tone you might think would be the easiest to analyze and dress. They don’t see it coming unless they are very dark of hair and eye to begin with.

Once, I’d love the Winter to walk in who is overdone in her Winterness. The young ones are, even without makeup. They’re bringing it. More eyeliner (that we remove), thigh high boots (brown, but they’re trying to be bigger and it’s good), cape flying, doing something luscious with the hair, more ME-ME-ME. In our fifties, we women have toned ourselves so far down that we can lose our discernment of what is just normal and right.

Especially in our later years, when our faces finally carry all the power that took 50 years to build, isn’t it time to stop being so careful? I get that not everyone wants to present a heavily made up, dramatic face, but it’s not even about drama in makeup. There is so much caution to shake off. Drama and glamour haven’t been added for a long time and yet, this is where they are most at home, most normal.

Personal Colour Analysis is a gateway to Here’s Who You Are.

 

What’s In A Winter Face: both extremes at the same time.

To be more specific:

1. Contrast. You saw this coming. It means that there is a lot of distance between everything and everything else, such as:

Features from skin. The skin is very even, smooth, and quiet. Insert into that landscape a mouth, cheeks, eyes, and eyebrows whose colours create a big and sudden jump from the background. That Shiseido banner up above.

Light – dark levels of contiguous colours. Eyeliner is dark (it contains more black than any other group). The eyeshadow next to it, the lid colour, is a fair bit lighter (lid colour is medium on the other groups). The next band, the eyeshadow contour, is quite dark by comparison (more about that later). The eyeshadow highlight is icy light, nearly white (not the case for pastel on Summers and creamy on Warms). The brow is quite dark (but not darkened more than Nature designed on anyone), very sharply defined, and dramatized extra (crisp, arched, lengthened, whatever works on that face, which is simply to see what’s there and make more of it). For sure, any particular face might need these adjusted a little, but this is the generic look.

Textures, ultra matte to ultra shine. Quiet skin. No special effects. Snow White’s face isn’t contoured (which sets up lowlights for Autumn), dewy (sets up highlights, best on Spring), or cottony (sets up fluffy, just right on a dreamy Summer). On a Winter face or a winter landscape, those look muddy, busy, and trivial, a million miles from Winter. You want foundation whose coverage is opaque enough to make a very even blanket. Powder the whole face evenly. Add lots of eyes, lots of mouth, more blush or less (both can be good). Done.

The Best Skin Finish on Winter Colouring is: Even.

 

2. Drama. It’s like a deficiency when drama is left out of a Winter eye design. Not wrong. There is no wrong, no answer that works across the board, even within a Season. Winters I’ve seen, they not only balance drama, they are enhanced further with it. It doesn’t look even dramatic, exciting, stimulating, theatrical, or otherwise extraordinary. It looks normal.

 

Photo: Krappweis
Photo: Krappweis

Would the image above make sense with a soft and gentle eye colour or shape (expression)? Winter’s is not a gradual, blended, or soft face.

When Summers buy cosmetics, look for products that have a gentle application. Remember when we applied your makeup and we divided the foundation with moisturizer, as I do on every Summer and Spring, because heavy and matte products look like a mask on your delicate skin texture and softened colouring? The same principle applies to all your cosmetics. Having said that, we also showed you that when a colour is correct, you can apply almost any amount of it and it just blends believably into the skin. That’s true, but these are two different ideas. Summer begins with a product that swatches like a watercolour. Winter is looking for oil paint.

 

3. Keep the number of cosmetic colours low. 1 is good. Colour is subtracted from winter landscapes. Many steely dark grays, many icy grays or icy colours (means nearly white). Very little colour activity. And suddenly, a deeply flushed cheek. A red or purple mouth. The colours in the face are shocking enough on a still and quiet energy.

Remember how on Lights, dark colour takes over? On Winters, it’s colour itself that becomes too much too quickly.

Photo: pixaio
Photo: pixaio

Would this be more effective if we added a buttercup, a bluejay, and a lilac? No, the red would lose its voltage. There are thousands of these photos out there because they make sense to humans by reinforcing something we already know and recognize.

 

Photo: Nossirom
Photo: Nossirom

 

4. Intensity. Don’t leave any features behind. Enhance each one to the same degree. Thou Shalt Not Be Wimpy. Apply a lot of colour to each feature and don’t blot any off till the whole face is done. Each part looks like too much on its own but it all works together when all the pieces are in place. Blend nothing till every part is done or you’ll overblend that feature back into cautious and unbalance the face.

Thou Shalt Not Be Wimpy applies equally to concealer as lipstick. The blues and purples in the skin are so saturated that a sheer concealer won’t hide them nearly as well as a product with good opacity. I like  NARS Radiant Dreamy, MAC ProLongwear, and Arbonne for that reason. They stay where applied, last amazingly well all day, and dry fast so I can apply foundation over top immediately without overly diluting it or smearing it everywhere. I am very fussy about where concealer goes but I use a lot of it.

 

What Are You Willing To Do

Look very different to yourself? Exchanging a plaid duffel coat for a black and white herringbone is a step. Wearing bigger jewelry than all your friends? Be the only one of the girls to wear a fuchsia red mouth?

Draw a lot more attention to yourself? Stand out and apart? As many have discovered, getting noticed for being different isn’t easy, even is it’s a good different.

Wear your real true This Is Who I Am hair colour?

No right or wrong, just questions. Everything looks easy from the outside. Try it, you may find it takes some effort. What are the conditions on what you’re willing to do?

Would you wear twice as much makeup as you wear today? Most Winter women accept the eye makeup fairly easily. Lips can always be sheer. Winter’s sheer is Spring’s Oh, dear Lord, too much, wipe it off, start again.

Winters, pick sheers with a lot of colour or save your money and buy Chapstick. Where you hear the brakes screech is with the blush. They feel like clowns for a week. What everyone else sees is a pulled-together face. Not in how much, which you can decide, but in how red. Blood on snow, right?

 

The Nature of Reflected Light

The Spring, Summer, and Autumn articles preceding this one are linked in their names. The idea is that our natural colours have a way of reflecting light. Beyond just the colours of the reflected light, the wavelengths have properties that reach our other senses, as texture for instance. In Chinese medicine, our fingers are entry and exit points for energy. Of course. How could they not be? They touch everything. They’re up and down-loading who we are all the time. Each of our sense organs is doing the same. Each of the 12 Tone colour collections speaks a certain language, is evocative of certain emotions, reminds of certain landscapes, and makes sense if consistent in colour and touch and sound and scent and taste. It’s all happening at once. The knee bone is connected to the neck bone.

Summer soft, gentle, serene, muted colours don’t make sense in leather pants. Skin with that colouring has reflective properties truer to the surface of an opal, not a mirror or an elephant’s hide. Soft Autumn skin reflects light like felt and its colours are more beautiful in that texture than done up in Mr. Freezies. Do colours bounce light in certain ways that tell us texture? Or is it that skin painted in certain colours also carries other qualities that bounce light in a way that impresses texture?

The True Winter surface is smooth and hard. Dark Winter is smoother than Dark Autumn but not 100% smooth; it’s also thick, and not quite as hard as True Winter. Bright Winter is very smooth, shinier, and semitransparent – Dr. Sheldon Cooper, as opposed to Autumn’s Magnum P. I. Though some will cringe, I’m still going with rubbery for Winter skin by comparison with the other Seasons.

So far, we’ve said:

Bright Spring: glass

True Spring: persimmon

Light Spring: petal

 

Light Summer: peach

True Summer: cotton

Soft Summer: flannel

 

Soft Autumn: suede

True Autumn: velvet

Dark Autumn: leather

 

Dark Winter: Vinyl

If we start at Dark Autumn and move along to its cooler side, we arrive next at Dark Winter. These are both Neutral Seasons. Dark Winter has more in common with the True Season parent of True Winter, but does share the most important dimension of colour, darkness, with the Neutral it’s paired with and whose descriptor it shares, that is, Dark Autumn.

We begin with Autumn’s canvas, which is strong and textured. As Winter settles in, the skin texture smooths out. Dark Autumn leather is transitioning.

Dark Winter skin throws light back like vinyl.

 

Photo: RAWKUS
Photo: RAWKUS

 

Not just record vinyl, but inflatable products, dominatrix gear, and tarps. Maybe even a car. Industrial, tough, shiny, smooth, waterproof, and useful. Good Dark Winter words. Not bad words for their jewelry and belts either. Dark Winter takes Dark Autumn’s gypsy/Rustic Opulent and shifts it to gladiator. A sweater in black or dark grey metallic looks like chain mail. Stud, armor, and heavy link effects are a natural fit here, scary elsewhere.

Dark Winter is mysterious. Christmas Eve, the dark jewel-toned ornaments, the fireplace, the night, the lights in the windows. Very nice, but there’s something bigger going on. The feeling of waiting for something. Waiting for the reason behind the pretty. Deeper, even darker. Sinister.

Nude lips on Winter looks tired and old. Dead lips, a good friend calls it. My new favourite lipstick is Shiseido RD 305. It is just pink enough to not be red-lips. It is beautifully saturated with the touch of brown that Autumn adds to make your colours less cold and more natural than True Winter. That brown is essential to create the encompassing harmony that only a colour analyzed appearance can give. You are coloured with a little of that brown, where brown is dark orange, and your hair, skin, and eyes have some gold-amber-orange tones. If your skin is light to medium, this colour may be your best natural lip. It’s not dark, often the case with Dark Season lip colours. It’s fresh daytime believable natural lip colour. Not ready for it yet? Top it with clear gloss.

Bronzer can play a tiny part because Autumn has left behind the slightest texture or roughness. Contour carefully, with powder that has enough red to disappear into the skin (eleablake‘s Miss November is great). Follow the 3 shape at the sides of the face and down the sides of the nose bridge, using a small amount, more to carve more geometric drama into the face than to warm it up.

Soft Summer’s darker foundation trick to contour is too wishy-washy here. More colour is required to be noticeable and achieve the outcome. It’s not a bad option as you learn or if you want a very subtle effect, just be sure the darker powder is as cool as your foundation or you’ll look yellow. It takes a lot of colour to make any difference on the intensity of this inherent colouring. A few shades of beige this way or that will make less difference on Winter skin. Carefulness is plain pointless.

Darkness works. Smoke is natural, like the Autumn muting in the skin. Smoked eyes make sense. The lighter lid eyeshadow can equally well be fairly dark. Any Season can do smoked eyes, but it’s most at home on the Darks. Even the other two Winters are best to exercise caution in darkness so it doesn’t look heavy. They look better in clean and silvery.

 

True Winter: Ceramic

Even smoother and even harder.

True Winter: ceramic. Like a white sink. Impenetrable, tough, and enduring.

 

Photo: nade
Photo: nade

 

Clean. Picture the makeup colours from your palette painted right on that white sink. Dark eyes, red-violet cheeks, red-violet lips. No fuss, no frills. Not smoked (Dark Winter) or clear, as in translucent (Bright Winter). Can you tell this before they’re draped, by looking at them? Absolutely not. True Winter is always the draping surprise for me, even more so than Bright Spring.

For True Winter, that very quiet blanket of skin without a lot of cheek colour, or with an icy light cheek, is excellent, like the picture at the top. For Bright and Dark, colour on the cheek is better, I find. It adds to Bright liveliness and Dark intensity.

Eyeliner is dark. Eyeshadow is quite light and silvered. Under brow highlight is near white or some icy (near white) colour. Contour and back corner eyeshadow is quite dark. Darkening the outer back corner of eyes looks good as a way of adding drama. Use a dark gray/black eyeshadow. Go over the eyeliner to fill in holes. Drag the dark shadow out past the crease. Turn around and start pulling in inward above the crease, not in the crease. This enlarges the apparent size of the eye and recedes the skin above the crease that can close in. On eyes where the upper half of the lid is smaller than the lower half, the crease is shallow, or the eye prominent, you would omit this effect. Deposit some dark shadow at the outer lid corner.

Other Seasons will use a darker shadow that isn’t much darker than the lid colour or skip the effect altogether. On a Light Season, where dark colour takes off, the eyeshadow contour can just be the medium lid colour packed on a bit more heavily. On a Soft Season, the liner, lid, and contour are quite close in darkness level, as in medium, with contour only slightly darker. They distinguish their roles by being of different colours in similar darkness levels, rather than Winter’s variations on one colour (gray) in extremes of darkness levels. On a Winter, light means really light and dark means really dark. You are it already. So be it, as P. said so cleverly.

I do not know how bronzer can improve this face but I’m willing to see it if anyone has good products or ideas. You wouldn’t want to dull that spectacular opposition of The Purity and The Darkness that only this colouring incarnates.

Winter’s sheer is Spring’s almost-opaque. The best Winter gloss I can think of comes from Lora Alexander at Pretty Your World. The texture, finish, and amount of colour are excellent, with good clarity. Glama and Hot Lips lip colours and Fast Track blush are great (I own them). From this compare page of the Cool Winter selections, Diva looks super good too.

Though True Winter is very red-based and looks great in blue-based red apparel, I find their most natural fit for blush and lipstick is somewhere in the pink-fuchsia-purple spectrum. That may be because true red lips are like true black eyeliner, somehow harder and more dramatic than human faces really are. Dark Winter’s burnt rose red and Bright Winter’s strawberry or pink red alleviate the pure redness. True Winter does the same by using violet, meaning clear purpled pinks. Arbonne’s Raisin gloss is a very impressive purple. Lauder’s Raspberry Pop is good but gentler, as is Merle Norman’s Raspberry on Ice.

 

Bright Winter: Silicone

How about Bright Winter? That amazing special blend of innocence with a dark, brittle edge. The geisha could span the Bright Seasons. Once the delicacy feels almost too rare to conceive on this Earth, the hummingbird, a membrane-thin gold foil, we’re into Bright Spring.

Spring has a hand in Bright Winter. Therefore, we need a sugar coating, shiny, fun, and ornamental. Pink frosting on lids, cheeks, and lips, lilac highlights, more play (more colours at once), more theater (cat eye, a few false lashes, fine winged brows, bright lips, hats with veils, cloche hats with beautiful ornaments, because hats and earrings are face accessories). Below, the haircut, the dress print and line, all awesome.

 

Shiseido2

 

Definitely a lighter palette than the other Winters.

The skin’s reflectance had me searching for an analogy. Fine china with that near-transparent edge? Thinking, thinking,…mostly Winter, therefore rubbery and even, but a little softer with a transparency in the outermost layer… oh, you’re going to love this, jellyfish! Not good? Soft boiled egg? Maybe. Yes.

But jellyfish is so good. Stay with me here.

 

Photo: drakemata
Photo: drakemata

The flamenco dancer.

 

 

Photo: bofft
Photo: bofft

Heavenly and magical.

 

 

Photo: zoel
Photo: zoel

You see where I’m going?

 

How do we translate this to makeup? You don’t have to do a lot, you have this smooth and rubbery (all Winters) clarity (Brights) already. Clear silicone skin. Increase it with intensely coloured products, pigments so pure, you would swear they’re transparent. Brush powders with the slightest finest shimmer effect on all exposed skin. Don’t stop at the jawline. It’s a sprinkling of fairy dust, that sugar topping, an overall crystalline effect.

Bronzer? A little icy gold uplight, sure. Baby peach, always good on Brights. Very little. We feel no bronzer per se here:

 

Photo: Andreius
Photo: Andreius

 

Chanel Glossimer in Jalousie is nice. Bagatelle is a light, pretty peach, Clarins Crystal Violet and Revlon Lip Butter in Raspberry Pie could be shared with True Winter. Stila Lipglaze Raspberry Crush is very good.

 

Recap: The skin is calm and even in colour and texture. By using strong lines, bold colours, intense pigment deposits, and big distance between light and dark, both adjacent and separate, we create very clear feature definition. There is no question about where one ends and the other begins.

For Summer, we said: The skin is soft and dry, setting up gentleness and gradual muting. The features are blended into the skin with colours that create a soft flow or diffusion instead of sharp definition. As colours flow into each other as hazy mists, it feels difficult to tell where one feature ends and the next begins.

For Autumn: The skin is contoured, setting up lowlights. The features are defined from the skin by colours that are warm and velvety and the judicious use of metallic glints.

This was Spring: The skin is dewy, setting up highlights. The features are fresh, lively, distinguished from the skin by being very colourful, moist, and vibrant.

 

——

14 thoughts on “The Best Skin Finish on Winter Colouring”

  1. I’ve been looking forward to this post! And it was worth waiting for! LOVE it and recognize myself in every word. Thank you!!

  2. I recognize myself in every word too Emma! This article was pure joy for this bright winter. I feel truly validated. Ever since my early teenage years, I have felt that I looked “deficient” without makeup but at the same time due to outside pressures felt that in order to be more spiritually mature, that ultimately one day I would comfortably brave the world bare faced. Thankyou Christine, through your work I have come to realise that the way I choose to decorate myself is a validation of who I am – someone who will decorate anything that stands still, who loves to create exquisite and dramatic beauty all around me. That’s me and it’s OK. By the same token, I will add that since I have stopped bleaching/foiling my hair (did it for over 30 years) I no longer think I look horribly ill without my makeup, just not “finished and glamourised” which is a very different feeling. I’m no longer embarrassed to be seen “in the raw” by those who don”t love me, just prefer my “decorated” image of which I also will NEVER again feel slightly ashamed. Thankyou, Christine, you’re awesome (as my boys would say)!

  3. Although I’m not a Winter I’ve found this fascinating. I am so pleased you included the Shiseido image. As I was reading this I was thinking of Serge Lutens and his work (he founded the Shiseido make-up line and look of the brand which endures to this day). I would recommend taking a look at his images. I should think he must be a Winter himself as he’s clearly drawn to this season.

  4. Hi Christine,

    Another riveting and much anticipated post! I’m so grateful to you for writing these, I love to be able to have such an incredibly detailed picture of the feeling for every single one of the seasons, and finishing with Winter was the incredible Grand Finale. THANK YOU!!!!

    “Reality is an acquired taste”: how I love that statement, I should make it my daily mantra. Because it’s incredible how many little white lies we tell ourselves on a daily basis, just like those we tell others. And it’s perfectly innocent, but so very revealing of all that “baggage”! But I also realise that we need these tools, such as colour analysis, in order to understand the true beauty of this reality that we’re so desperate to sugar coat because we fear that our real self is either too little or too much. The Summer in me always found myself not enough, especially in comparison to my Winter sister, who (to my great confoundment) always found herself (and still does) TOO MUCH! So I overcompensate and she undercompensates and the result is the same: a false uniformity, and certainly not the smooth, lovely skin finishes that you refer to, whose inherent uniformity is of the radiant kind- whatever that skin finish may be.

    I’d like to add that the message that really comes through quite clearly, with all of your posts, is that this colour science is a highly accurate one, and we just CANNOT second guess it- only a draping will do. You’ve made me a bit of a purist now- and there’s no turning back. I want to see reality, because the truth is, reality is a million times better than that strange delusion that we have of ourselves.

    Thank you so much once again for everything you write!

    Nirmala :-)

  5. Once again you hit the nail on the head Christine!

    As a Bright Winter its like you are describing me- , cat eye, false lashes, fine winged brows, bright lips, hats with veils, cloche hats with beautiful ornaments, earrings, snow white & geisha influences (tick, tick, tick!)

    Quiet skin: no contouring or highlighting, not cottony. Opaque coverage with a powdered face and defined, evenly accentuated features- lots of eyes, lots of mouth, more blush

    This all rings true to me, which is reassuring. Thanks so much for this.

  6. THOU SHALT NOT BE WIMPY. Amen, sister Dark!

    I went through this article and just went YES, YES, EXACTLY to the screen, you’re absolutely, dead-on RIGHT. I LOVE that you compare our colouring to a car. Its completely true.

  7. Thank you. I’ve been waiting for the winter article and I think “rubbery” is a good analogy. (I don’t think I’m rubbery — more see-though, like, literally, you could map my veins out, they’re that noticeable. I think I’m one of the neutral spring seasons.) Sheldon is a good reference for a male BW, but I also think of skater Johnny Weir. This is BW personified, I think.

  8. When I tried to guess my own season, I ruled out Winter because I thought I was bad at black clothes. Now I know more, things turn more complicated, not that simple: my eyes are flattered by black. Undenieably. Black eyeshadow, black mascara, and they turn black and intense. So… may I start to consider Winter again?

  9. Yes, at least one of the 5 Winter types. DA and BSp eyes will connect with black.

  10. Thanks for the answer! How puzzling is human colouring; the TMT I have learned from this blog is that things are never what they appear. Perhaps one day I´ll return to my natural hair color.

  11. ” Black eyeshadow, black mascara, and they turn black and intense. So… may I start to consider Winter again?”

    Interestingly enough, this is what made me tentatively rule out winter, although my eyes are a fairly dark shade of brown — or so I thought. Black liner and mascara just makes my eyes look “punched out” and sort of red-rimmed.

  12. Hi Christine!

    You mentioned Shiseido RD305 – is it the “fleshtone” Lacquer Rouge (Nymph) you’re talking about? What’s the name of the shade?

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