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How Winters Intensify Eye Colour

How Winters Intensify Eye Colour

access_time 2011/09/10 account_circle chat_bubble_outline 13 Comments
How the other Seasons intensify eye colour has been discussed in previous posts (Spring, Summer, Autumn).

Previously, we said you can emphasize eye colour, or any colour, by repeating it, by using the complementary colour, or by using contrast.

For All 3 Winters

1. Coloured eyeliner. Sometimes repeating your eye colour works, sometimes it doesn’t. When it doesn’t, it’s because there’s conflict with your inherent pigmentation, skin and eyes being usually made of very similar pigments.

Stick with the personal colour palette. Once you get a perfect colour for your skin, it will automatically be perfect for your eyes and hair. At what point obvious colour in eye makeup becomes too young is your decision, and might depend on your age, your taste, where you live, and what kind of day it is.

You have darkness, so very dark pure plums, violets, and sapphires can look like a softened black if obvious colour isn’t to your taste.

2. Wearing your eye colour in clothing, more effective than eye makeup since the colour block is bigger.

3. Wearing makeup. No group looks more heightened with makeup than Winter.

4. Generic brown eyeshadow is nowhere for this group. They are far more silver charcoal gray people. It looks cleaner and sharper. The Darks will wear iron and diesel smoke. The Trues and Brights wear stainless steel and coal.

It becomes essential to learn your right greys, the colour that is most challenging, yet also the most modern neutral colour.

For Winter, grays are densely pigmented, like a heavy layer of paint, not gauzy or watery or dilute or sheer. The gray is mostly black and white, with barely any colour component.

6. These eyes can be black brown to the point that no detail can be seen in the iris and the intensity of the colour doesn’t seem much affected by colour. What is strongly affected is the crispness around the edge of the iris. In wrong colour, it blurs and fuzzes, which, of course, is happening to the whole face. The same colour suggestions apply regardless of eye colour in all Seasons.

7. Complementary colours exist opposite each other on the colour wheel. Together, they set up a current, almost a pulsation.

The usual pairs are,

Blue if brown eyes.

Brown for blue eyes.

Purple for yellow.

Red for green.

Be careful. You need the right complement. It’s not just low-lying fruit. Choose the closest colour from your palette. If it would not be appealing  in eye makeup, yellow for example, wear it elsewhere.

Play with your eye colour and this tool (enter Complimentary under Scheme and play with the Sat and Brightness sliders.)

Green eyes will not choose red eyeliner; place it on the face as lipstick.

8. Contrast. The eyeshadow palette goes from very light to very dark.

9. Mascara is blackest black and lots of it.

Dark Winter

In 12 Season personal colour analysis, Dark Winter is the group whose natural colouring is mostly composed of the Winter palette pigments, incorporating an Autumn portion that will darken, mute, and warm the colours as though a few drops of darkest chocolate were mixed in.

Eyeliner is black brown or dark gunmetal.

Teal matters. As a repeat to teal in the eye colour or to complement the orange tones in brown eyes, whether in makeup or clothing or jewelry, this is an important colour for everyone with any Autumn in them.

Eyeshadow is medium to dark silver gray, with an icy highlight under the brow.

Dark brown (which looks more purple than brown for Winter) is excellent to repeat the Autumn element.

True Winter

Eyeliners are black brown, coal, black sapphire, and dark purple.

True Winter is often colour-neutral. Shape and outline are as important as colour. A perfectly lined eye using white and mid to darkest gray, that would look no different if seen on B&W TV, has beauty and impact.

Of all the Winters, True adds the fewest colour elements. They are perfectly defined and refined by B&W alone, in symmetric but strongly defined shapes. One colour should stand alone, like one leaf left on a frozen tree, one red berry on a bush.

Bright Winter

Bright Winter describes the natural colouring of the person who is primarily Winter, with the faintest yellow light shining on the colours, making them lighter, clearer, and a bit warmer than True Winter.

The lips should be in contrast with the skin just like every other feature. On a young girl, fire engine lips can look like playing dress up. She’ll wear clear fuchsia pinks, sheer reds, and purple glosses. Lip colour doesn’t have to be dark, especially if lips are thick or thin, but the lips should not look like they’re wearing concealer or be chalky. Choose a sheer plum. Wear a nude look, but your nudes won’t be in the same tube as Soft Autumn’s.


13 Thoughts on How Winters Intensify Eye Colour

  • Anette Henriksen

    Hi Christine
    Great artikel about the Winter types colours. Just one question 🙂 When Liz Taylor died was she still a Bright Winter in your opinion ?
    Best regards Anette Henriksen Denmark

  • AC

    Wonderful article, Christine. They are marvellous those winters. What an amazing black brown eye, and the sharpness of the rim, the blueness of the white – just beautiful.
    Though I can’t match that kind of drama I found your article very helpful also for me as Bright spring. Especially it made me see how the idea of earthy natural look is ridiculous on a winter and it is on me too. It also brought new attention to lip colour for me.
    I identify very much with the winter trace in my season – and your comment that the winters need their make up and can do a lot, makes sense to me. I don’t look all that striking without make up. My striking green eyes, which are actually hazel, look kind of soft brown without make up.
    I have read your article on how springs intensify eye colour before, but this made me read the comments too, including a Bright winter who felt she learned a lot from reading about her neighbour palette Bright spring. If you ever again get questions about what a bright spring who is not Asian or has dark eyes might look like, you are more than welcome to point them to my website, if you feel that could be helpful.
    ( ) (oh, yes another Dane – hello Anette 🙂 )
    The tool for playing with complementary colours was fun. It made me try to detect my eye colour with the colour book again, and to my surprise the large light section that I couldn’t figure out is actually a glassy pale version of Bright springs Icy Mint. My green eye colour is an illusion. There is no proper green in them at all. The are brown at the centre, then yellow, then there is a broad band of mint and then a dark grey rim.
    Icy colours are hard to replicate with the colour tool.
    What would be the complement of Icy mint, would you say? I know from experience that fuchsia brings out the mint, but there might be others worth trying. Thank you!

  • Helen

    Wonderful! As a new bright winter this was fascinating reading, I so often find myself in shops now talking myself through what I learn from your articles, is that true winter, is that dark winter with the browning to the colour, what’s the difference if I want to know if something really is bright winter, and that often helps me avoid making mistakes I can make even with my swatches in badly lit stores. It’s always hard to balance the need for contrast with as you say, tipping so easily over into cartoon, or in sliding into the dignity of deep winter colours without the colouring to be able to pull it off.

    • Christine Scaman


      I’m not sure she was even a Bright to begin with. Not saying she wasn’t, it’s just that I don’t find photos of celebrities very reliable. The eyes certainly made it seem possible, and the intensity of her colouring, but I don’t really buy into that whole clear eye>must be Bright convention. As for when she aged, that’s even harder. The amount of makeup made it hard to see skin.


      You’re right, that tool doesn’t allow icy colour well. Try this one

      and type AAFFC8 into the Hex code box, click Set, and set the box below for Complementary. You’ll get many colours and many versions of those colours.

      I appreciate your comment that one really doesn’t know one’s eye pigments any better than one can evaluate those in the skin. Even if eyes are brown, so are many Autumn and Spring eyes, but it’s not the same brown at all. If you ever pixellate a picture of your eye, you’ll be amazed at what colours it really is composed of. As you so brilliantly put it, our eye colour is an illusion…because all colour is an illusion. It just becomes more fascinating all the time to wrap a mind around it.


      I’m glad to see you’re getting into very discriminating and sophisticated colour territory. Sometimes the DW browning is hard to see. Some items could be worn by all 3 Winters. And it’s all just my opinion, not all of which will resonate with who you are. But when you look back in a year, decisions that seem challenging today will be almost second nature, as you discover not only correct colour and also as you use colour as the language that tells the world who Helen is, and who she isn’t.

  • AC

    Christine, thank you for providing the new tool and the codes. The complementary of Icy mint is one of the many pinks that I haven’t dared try yet (have never ever in my life worn pink, which I perceive as very girlish, but I will find a way to work it). Then I looked for the triadic, which seems to be how my own colouring is put together – the result had me smiling big time. The triadic of mint green is the colour of the drape I felt most beautiful in: the Icy purple 🙂

  • Jenny

    AC I just had to comment on your description of your eyes. I have something similar. To look at me, you’d think my eyes are a brownish green (is that hazel?) But, shine a light on them, and they, first of all seem to have two layers to them, and second of all don’t have a speck of green, anywhere. They’re brown spokes radiating across a gray background. And I once took a picture of my eye and then used a program I found online that picks all the individual colors out of a picture and shows them along with their codes – again, I had grays and a couple browns, but no greens. Not ONE speck of green actually in my green eyes……

    Now to find that program again, so I can input the numbers it gave me for the colors in my eyes into the tool Christine posted.

  • AC

    Jenny – I am glad I am not the only one with illusionist eyes. Yours must be quite intriguing.
    I looked up hazel – it means greenish brown when speaking of eye colour.
    I guess figuring out colours for me is a bit similar to riddles and mathematics. I realize that for me there is an egocentric risk of staring at myself endlessly. Which isn’t where I want to go. However, solving some of the mysteries of why certain colours connect so well with my skin, eyes and hair, makes shopping easier and it saves me money. The exercise of observing the difference between what you think you see and what is actually there is very important – and applies to much more than colour, make up and clothes.

  • inge

    Jenny: There is the free graphic programme gimp ( Also, there might be some “Paint” programme already installed on your computer, and it does the same thing.

    For me, this does not work very well. I have dark bluish-green eyes, not grey. However, all I get from photos is grey, with almost equal amounts of red, blue and green in the RGB scale. I am afraid that some red eyes effect is almost always present in my dilettantish digital photos, and thus a bit of red is added to the blue and green, thus the grey.

  • Sarah

    I have been matching all my makeup to the 12 tone fans (I have all of them) and I just wanted to mention that MAC Smut matches the SA fan. TW and BW are fairly close, DW not so much.

  • Mary

    I am a BW with grey/green/hazelly eyes and I just learned that not only is green the rarest eye color (maybe excepting true violet, which is almost unheard of), but they do not actually contain green at all. They are a brown pigment and they scatter light the same way the sky does (there is a specific name to the effect that’s escaping me right now). In the sky it has to do with the blue wavelength, in eyes the green.

  • Rosesred

    Your comment about being an INTJ with brightly colored liner made me smile, your kids are funny! As a fellow INTJ, i appreciate the sentiment.

    Also illuminates the charicteristics of the different seasons: as a spring (and kibbe Soft Dramatic, that is a factor as well) I wear purple and turqouise eyeliner, and it looks natural and elegant. To create an effect of too much or too colorful, I’d need to use neon eyeliner or a crazy amount of glitter!

    Part of it is personal taste, but another part is definitely the amount of color a spring can balance before things look weird or childish!

  • Victoria

    I am a high contrast BW and I have the most difficult time with eye shadows! My deep-set eyes only tolerate light to medium shades of shadow anyway, but finding neutral shadows that suit my palette is a real challenge. I have fair olive skin with a very strong green/yellow undertone and I find that grey, even my BW grey looks horrid on me. It’s a no in eyeliner, no in clothing and certainly no in shadow. It turns my skin greyish-blue and casts dark circles under my eyes. Likewise, I always wear gold jewelry as silver is so bad on me (though white gold is fine). My coloring just calls bs on any and all greys. I belong to a draped BW Facebook group and I have found there are a fair number of us ladies who similarly cannot tolerate any grey…and we all seem to share green/yellow undertones. Any thoughts as to what is going on there? My shadows are basically champagne colors and the odd medium taupe, but I long for a few more more to play with!

  • Danusa

    “These eyes can be black brown to the point that no detail can be seen in the iris and the intensity of the colour doesn’t seem much affected by colour. What is strongly affected is the crispness around the edge of the iris. In wrong colour, it blurs and fuzzes, which, of course, is happening to the whole face.”
    So accurate! I thought I was an Autumn for over a year, because I though my eyes were “soft” or muddy. Until I came across your website. It turns out, I was just wearing the wrong colors.

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