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| A Foundation for Dark Winter

A Foundation for Dark Winter

access_time 2019/08/12 account_circle chat_bubble_outline 9 Comments

Evenly coloured facial skin is one reward of wearing our own colours, for all complexions of every depth.

Wear colours belonging to someone else and next thing you know, colour and shape illusions appear in our face that do us no favours. Next after that, we’re buying product to fix problems we don’t even have.

In our own colours, our toes touch our real Start line, rather than floating around somewhere ten feet behind it. Foundation moves us forward for a still more smooth and even canvas for those interested in using the product.

It happens often that women of similar complexion depth in same Season wear the same or close foundation colours. This is because they react to colour in the same way. That’s the whole point of Seasons. It doesn’t matter what clothes look like on hangers or in tubes if the colours fall apart under our face.

The search for foundation is a patience (and possibly caffeine) commitment compared with any other cosmetic product. Nowadays and knowing our Season, finding coloured product can be near automatic.

Colour is my #1 goal. Application and cost are further down the priorities list. The first is adjustable and the second, I figure if I use it all up, it’s cheaper than anything in the used-4-times drawer.

Dark Winter is among the more difficult finds, more so since Merle Norman changed the colours of their formulations (without changing the product names, in one of those who-decided-this corporate moves.) Can you tell, I’m still not over it.

For any colouring, foundation requires attention to red-green balance, neutral and believable skin colour, and a version of yellow compatible with the skin. The olive tones in Winter skin are different from Autumn’s, where Winter’s green-beige appears grayer and bluer (cooler yellows and greens) and Autumn’s product lines up with gold-tan-orange. Not only does Dark Winter combine both, it goes on to request the surprising lightness of foundation for Caucasian Winter skin.

Mildly anxious and irritable, I carry the Merle bottle around in stores for weeks, in case I can carve an hour out of a morning.

Darkest before the dawn, Rimmel Lasting Finish, 103 in True Ivory appears before me.

As I live and breathe, this just might work.


The Facts (since good or bad may be matters of opinion):

Excellent colour.

A thick and highly pigmented formulation that can double as concealer to save time. It is as opaque as a light-medium weight concealer or close enough to cover and create a uniformly coloured face. This is no tinted moisturizer, and neither is it a no-makeup look, however exact the colour match.

Thick enough to be harder to blend with fingertips. Great, grand, and fast with a moist sponge, which also thins the application to mesh better with skin. Fills in pores really well.

Sets quickly. Oily skin will want powder in the T-zone and a reapplication of powder fairly soon if skin is oily and it’s warm outside. With Paula’s Choice Shine Stopper as the final step, you’ve got hours.

A little sticky. Powder before applying coloured powder products (blush, contour, eyeshadow, etc).

Wears well, Indeed, almost glues itself to skin. A great cleanser with either a mild silicone sponge, or toner on cotton pad, are needed to remove it all.

Smells like insect repellent, the candle variety rather than Deep Woods Off, in another example of odd corporate moves. If they insist on scent, is rose proprietary? Being outcome-driven, I ask myself, what were they going for? I picture someone at Rimmel testing the prototype and thinking, “Excellent! Herbal, lemony, and a little sharp. Let’s go with it!”

Rimmel tests on animals.

Cleans up eyeliner nicely for those of us whose style directive for eyeliner is crisp and close and pencil insists on smudging. The pencil I use is Urban Decay 24/7 in Zero. I never use powder under the eyes, too much puff, where 2mm is too much. A thin layer of this foundation covers the escaped liner effectively, returns sharpness to the line, stays put, and does not bother eyes.


Cannot be tested before purchase in Canada.


9 Thoughts on A Foundation for Dark Winter

  • Alyson

    What is your reaction to “true match” [sic] L’Oreal Classic Ivory N2?

    • Christine Scaman

      I have a funny relationship with the True Match shades in that in 10 years, I have not found any of the 6 or 7 shades I own to be the best match for any skin tone. The funny part is that I find the colours and consistency excellent for mixing or adjusting other colours. I often ask myself why they don’t work for me right from the bottle when they look like they would. To be fair, the shades I have are maybe 4-5 years old and the company may have changed to colours so that your N2 is different from mine.

  • Melina

    FWIW, I’ve never really found a good match in Rimmel foundations – my skin doesn’t like their formulas, and the shades are always too cool for me, not yellow enough (not sure if that’s the same thing, actually). In L’Oreal foundations, my closest match is usually W3, i.e. warm level 3 shade – would that kind of skin tone be possible for a Winter, or is one likely to be another season..? Just wondering. 😉

    • Christine Scaman

      You could never tell from foundation, Melina. Foundation has to match overtone and undertone and some folks have more surface melanin in the same Season.

  • Melina

    Thanks for reply, Christine; yes, I know, I guess I was just hoping it could give *some* pointers 😉 Oh well, at least I know what shade foundation is good for me and what’s not, that’s something at least 🙂

  • Abir

    Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation in 213 is an amazing light true olive shade for winter skin. It’s light to medium coverage and looks beautiful on the skin. It looks perfect on me (dark winter) as it does on my mother (true winter).
    I’ve never found a foundation that has the green tint of the KGD.
    I am curious about buying the NYX color correcting liquid in green (or blue) and adding it to foundations that I like but don’t match.

  • Christine

    Thank you for this recommendation, Christine. I look best with very sheer coverage… Have you found any good BB creams for DW with similar skin lightness to yours? Not super matte preferred. I have tried many that turn pink or gray or orange on me.

    Thank you!

    • Christine Scaman

      I’m sorry, Christine, I have nothing to suggest.

  • Alyson

    I found a tube of the Rimmel, and I like it! thanks for the idea.

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