A Deep Winter with a valuable lesson for me

A few months back I draped a truly fascinating Deep Winter. She didn’t look at all like your stereotypical Winter, with her light brown hair and hazel eyes. When I started to drape her I felt a small sense of panic when the metallic drapes didn’t tell me anything. I really struggled to tell whether the gold or silver worked best; the more muted metallic drapes didn’t help me either. Afterwards, of course, this made sense – in the Sci/Art colour analysis system a Deep/Dark Winter is a neutral season and they can wear both silver and gold. Metallic drapes are not as useful when you’re dealing with a neutral season.

Her hair looked quite soft in colour, in fact she appeared to have the same colour hair as her Autumn friend (whose draping I’d witnessed years ago). Their eyes appeared to be very similar too; brown and khaki. I’d have described them as a pretty green-y brown, and the typical eyes of an Autumn.

I started with the Summer and Autumn drapes, the two more muted seasons. Something about the deeper Summer drapes was working (turned out it was the coolness). Something about some of the Autumn drapes was working (turned out to be the depth) and of course there are Autumn / Winter “crossover” colours (colours that are very similar in both seasons). It was all very disorientating at first.

It was only when I stared to compare the Autumn and Winter drapes that things started to make more sense. The deeper (as opposed to brighter) Winter drapes were superb. Pine green, aubergine, deep fuchsia, charcoal, navy and burgundy were perfection. Interestingly she’d arrived wearing one of Winter’s palest neutrals, a silvery grey, and a navy scarf with a deep fuchsia pattern.

After establishing she was indeed a Winter I tried the metallic drapes again and I could see that the bright silver drape was indeed the best of the four although it was in no way obvious and I think that at the start I couldn’t get my head round Winter as a possibility so I couldn’t see the subtle difference. This is why I try hard not to guess a season before we start; it can really get in the way of seeing what’s really there. It’d seen my client’s eye colour in other Winters before but not her soft hair colour – that threw me. Any season really can have any hair colour.

From left to right: Winter, Autumn, Spring.

Remarkable, isn’t it? Of course, looking at her hair again now I can see she’s much ashier than her Autumn and Spring friends, there’s a greyness there that’s typical of cool season hair. It’s interesting how the Spring hair appears to have a red / ginger-ness in it that I hadn’t spotted in real life. The colour of the Autumn’s hair reminds me of a bronze statue.

Before I sent my client home I did a quick mental recap for my own sanity, just to reassure myself that she was indeed a Winter who suited the deepest colours of that palette. Summer drapes: greyness / softness underwhelming. Autumn: warmth made her look slightly sick (I’ve seen True Winters look worse though). Spring: brightness and warmth utterly jarring. Made my jaw feel tense just looking at her. Winter: the very brightest drapes were too bright. Deepest Winter drapes were perfection. Neutrals – useful. Black / white were good. True red / blue / emerald good but the deeps were amazing. In the Colour Me Beautiful system she might be a ‘Deep & Cool’.

Winter lipsticks looked great on her (especially the deep fuschia) which is always the ultimate test. Winter lipsticks are so uncompromising in that they look comically bad on the wrong season. My client mentioned she finds it very difficult to buy foundation and this didn’t surprise me; I think anyone who is really cool struggles with foundation. Winter foundation can look grey in the bottle, bizarrely. The cosmetics world seems to struggle with people who have really cool undertones.

The draping provided such a valuable lesson for me regarding hair colour; I’d always known that any season could have any hair / eye colour combination and it was thrilling to see that played out in real life!

11 thoughts on “A Deep Winter with a valuable lesson for me

  1. Her coloring sounds Similar to mine. More so than the majority of the examples of winters anyway. I felt I had no place in the seasonal charts until Soft showed up. I live in Florida so I am usually a little tan. My hair is naturally a medium auburn brown… A couple shades “browner” than strawberry blonde, which is my sister’s natural color. I am brown girl, even when I am not tan I am brownish bronzish. Sounds like autumn right?? I dyed my hair dark when I was in my 20s and 30s. My favorite was black ruby, a red-black that faded to a light auburn. I pulled off blue-black pretty well too. I had to wear at least, mascara and darken my brows a bit though, for it to flow perfect. I have some white streaks now in my 40s. Dark colors are too high maintenance for these roots, so I keep it a neutral dark blonde like the lady on the left in your pic. I use light neutral beige foundations. I tan easily, and my cheeks and shoulders get what I perceive as a red violet. If I mix bronzer and a too bright rosey blush it fakes my tan really well.. I lose my tan as quickly as I get it. I don’t sun bathe but I love being outside in the winter… Florida remember. In the broiling summer, my outside time is either at night or early morning. My skin is definitely neutral with green, blue, and red-violet veins. My favorite natural-but-better lip color is a red violet stain. Red or coppery browns, medium-dark roses or corals arent too bad either. I havent found a light lip color that looks good. My eyes are dark hazel or brown. They are a medium gray-green-brown with a few dull rusty red flecks near the pupils. They have a gray rim that flashes a dull navy in the sunlight, but they look regular solid brown from afar. They are kind of drab, but in a good way, of course. I have always worn silver. Gold doesn’t look bad, so I am told. It just Feels gaudy to me in comparison. Copper, pewter, rose gold, antique brass and bronze also look good on me. I am medium. I look light in the light, and dark in the dark. Medium. I never would have placed myself as a winter because I don’t have the contrast that I consider winter’s most obvious trait. Proably because I am usually a little tan though, i guess… I have, however, always thought I looked Right in jewel tones… I was a little jealous of winter’s colors, but I still preferred them more muted than bright. I get compliments in most pinks, and medium gray-green… Army green. My wardobe is predominantly soft deep winter palette without knowing the season! I admit I stopped wearing pink because it seemed so trendy, but I started adding it it again when I borrowed a friend’s pink shirt and got compliments. I assumed I was soft autumn or soft summer because most of the medium and of course, dark colors in those pallets were what looks good on me. Also I noticed that the colors “not to wear” for soft deep winter are the ones I avoid. Most browns, earth tones, all oranges, (except some darker rusts), and most yellows make me look Orange… Oompa Loompa orange. I don’t have any issues with light colors, except for light browns, and beiges. I haven’t found one that looks banging yet. Most of the light colors I have worn are “icy” as described though. Sounds like a winter type, except the bright colors. I look great in most greens, blues, and mixtures of the two.. Especially, but not exclusively if they are grayed. I have a good color eye. I mixed paint for a long time, and am able to match exisiting paint colors by eye quite well. I can’t believe I never considered being a winter, even though I obviously sub-consciously knew I was.. Yay! I recently found a color palette called Toasted Winter that suits me well. I was excited to find it and wanted to learn more about winter colors, which is how I found this feed. Thank you very much for this post.

    • I loved reading your comment, Brenda. I’m so glad, after much searching, you’ve found a palette that feels right. I was astounded when my client turned out to be a Winter, but there really was no other palette that worked and she glowed in Winter colours. I learn something from every draping!

      • I get very upset when my beautiful cool undertone skin looks yellow. I am a winter. I don’t know if i am deep winter but black, white and burgandy in addition to a very particular blue that i don’t even know the name of look great on me. Magenta is awesome on me really beautiful and makes my skin look porcelain white. So does any cool lipstick. My true color skin is porcelain cool white but it can look yellow at times and that really annoys me it is sick looking in my opinion. Why do we look yellow sometimes?

      • If we’re wearing the right make-up and clothes, then sometimes it’s just a case of lighting not being very flattering, sadly!

  2. I find it really difficult because my eyes are warm brown like a foxes they are bright orange and yet i have to stay with cool tones do my skin doesn’t look jaundiced so i feel like i can’t play up my eyes. Help! Maybe i can play them up with eyeliner but i use black eyeliner, when i was younger they really popped with azure or violet eyeliner. I just feel so limited now that color is draining from my face in my mid forties. 😦

    • Definitely try the coloured eyeliners, but also don’t be afraid to experiment with things that might not necessarily fit neatly into the Winter palette. It sounds as though you’ve got an excellent eye for colour.

  3. P. S. I was born with darkest brown hair with red highlights but that made my skin look yellow and i look much better with neutral darkest brown or black hair which i have colored since age 17 my skin looks porcelain with these colors so why was i born with red highlights that make my skin look jaundiced? The only time my skin looks yellow is if i get any sun. The least bit of sun and horrible the next day-yellow – where i am not burned i guess it’s the melanin coming out to protect my skin. I feel like my hair was right for my eyes but not my skin. It bothers me that people say you are born with the right hair color for you-i wasn’t- i had to neutralize the red for my skin to look its beautiful best. Am i the only one who was born with the wrong haircolor for my skin? I feel bad when stylists say everyone was born with the best hair color for them. Please tell me there are others out there with my dilemma, janine. I am black haired irish and i think all irish tend to have red in their hair which can’t be good for everyone!

    • My hair is a reddish brown in the sun (which suits me), but adding red to it wouldn’t work at all because I can’t handle that kind of warmth. The natural warmth I have in my hair is virtually impossible to replicate, which makes me wonder if you had a similar thing and tried to enhance or colour your hair to match? My skin can also look jaundiced after sun – a tan doesn’t suit me, I look dirty with one. You’re not the only person I’ve heard of who is dissatisfied with their natural hair colour, and I do think it’s possible to dye your hair a colour that enhances you as much as a natural hair colour might. I keep trying to persuade my Spring friend to dye her hair a bright gingery red!

  4. It sounds a bit like me. My hair is dark brown with a little blond and auburn reflective tones, and my eyes are dark brown. Most deep autumn colors fit relatively well, as I seem to have a warm skin tone. I thought at first I was deep autumn. I am still pretty confused right now, but fuchsia fit me incredibly well, and the rest of the Deep Winter color palette does fit.

  5. Greetings from another naturally blonde Dark Winter and thank you so much for this article! My hair looks so much like this girl’s hair that every time I see this photo I’m convinced it’s me. My skin is more pale olive, though, very pale gold and untannable, and eyes some complicated grey-green-blue-yellow color… I also have quite contrasting eyebrows, which I’ve heard Winters usually have.

    I haven’t been officially draped – can’t afford it – but so far, I came to the conclusion I can only be a Dark Winter, the only other options being Dark Autumn, True Winter or Soft Summer.

    Everyone would guess me to be some Summer or Spring type, but the reality is that my skin hates those colors. Light + bright looks like children’s candy on me. Light + soft makes me look like a ghost.
    I can pull off darker or more saturated Soft Sumer colors, they make me look more soft, but they’re quite nice.

    I react weirdly to Autumn colors. Anything soft and pale is an automatic NO, the neutrals are meh, but their reds and blues are amazing imo. I also love orange (my husband doesn’t agree), but I’m yet to find any yellow that looks even remotely okay. My favorite palette is the Dark Autumn one – it’s so sexy and exotic.

    And the Winter… Bright Winter is too bright. True Winter… I don’t think I’m contrasted enough for pure B+W, but it’s not bad either, and jewel colors make my skin look beautiful and alive. I feel like a queen!
    Dark Winter is the safest bet, I think none of these colors looks very bad on me, and the palette in general feels comfy – dark and saturated enough to support my skin, and not bright enough to make me feel too visible.

    As for the lipstick test – I guess your client also had unexpected reactions to makeup. I look like someone who should wear light pink lipsticks, but there’s nothing worse for me, makes me look like a clown. I can only wear darker shades – both brownish and purplish – and pure reds. Saturated dark mauve also looks okay, my version of “nude”.

    Sorry for the long text, but I hope it might be helpful to some other light-haired girl who has been driven crazy by the stereotypes she can’t fit into!

    • Thank you for your comment, Nina, I really enjoyed reading it! I bet you’d have issues with the online colour analysis tools too – I put myself, my Autumn friend and my Spring friend through one once. We all came out as True Summer! Obviously not correct.

      Blonde hair often trips people up when it comes to colour analysis. I’m glad you’ve been able to experiment and find what works for you 🙂

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