Skip to Content

What is a dark Winter skin tone?

A dark Winter skin tone is characterized by a deep, cool undertone that looks best in rich, jewel-toned colors. This skin tone is often seen in those with very dark brown or black hair and eyes. Those with a dark Winter complexion tend to have a high contrast between their skin, hair, and eye colors.

What are the features of a dark Winter skin tone?

Here are some of the key features of a dark Winter skin tone:

  • Very dark brown or black hair
  • Dark brown or black eyes
  • Pale or olive skin that can tan but doesn’t burn easily
  • Cool undertones with a blue or pinkish tint to the skin
  • High contrast between hair, eye, and skin color
  • Looks best in cool, jewel tones like emerald green, royal blue, and purple

While a dark Winter will typically have very dark hair and eyes, their skin tone can range from a pale olive to a medium-deep brown. The unifying factor is the cool undertone and high contrast. A dark Winter complexion is often mistaken for a dark Autumn, but the Autumn skin tones have a warm, golden undertone.

What colors look best on dark Winter skin tones?

Here are some of the best colors for someone with a dark Winter skin tone:

Jewel Tones

  • Emerald green
  • Royal blue
  • Purple
  • Ruby red
  • Sapphire blue

Cool Colors

  • Ice blue
  • Steel gray
  • Navy
  • Plum
  • Magenta


  • Black
  • Charcoal gray
  • White

In general, deep cool colors with blue, pink, or purple undertones will be most harmonious with a dark Winter complexion. Warm colors like orange, yellow, and terracotta can clash. Soft pastels and muted tones will also overwhelm the typical high contrast of a dark Winter.

How is a dark Winter skin tone different than other seasons?

Here’s a comparison of how a dark Winter differs from other seasonal color palettes:

Season Undertone Ideal Colors
Dark Winter Cool Deep, cool jewel tones
Dark Autumn Warm Rich, warm earth tones
Deep Winter Cool Bright, icy cool colors
Dark Autumn Warm Golden brown, terra cotta

The biggest difference between a dark Winter and other seasons comes down to undertone. While the dark seasons are all characterized by deeper skin, hair, and eyes, the color temperature varies. Dark Winters look best in stark cool tones while Dark Autumns suit warm earthy hues.

How can you determine if you are a dark Winter?

Here are some tips for determining if you have a dark Winter coloring:

  • Look at your veins – are they blue or purple? This indicates a cool undertone.
  • Do you look better in silver or gold jewelry? Dark Winters suit silver best.
  • How does your skin react to the sun? A dark Winter may tan but not burn.
  • Drape different colors against your face and look in the mirror. Cool jewel tones will make your face look radiant.
  • Ask a professional color consultant to analyse your coloring and make a recommendation.

The most foolproof way to ascertain your seasonal palette is to get color draped by an expert. They will take into account your hair, eye and skin coloring along with how different swatches interact with your face. This can help determine if you are a Dark Winter or a different season.

Examples of Dark Winter celebrities

Here are some famous people who exhibit the typical cool, high-contrast coloration of a Dark Winter:

  • Rihanna
  • Kerry Washington
  • Lucy Liu
  • Gabrielle Union
  • Gina Torres
  • Grace Jones
  • Lupita Nyong’o
  • Zoe Kravitz

Most of these celebrities have very dark features and favor bold cool hues in their fashion and makeup choices. Their strong facial contrast enables them to shine in icy, jewel-toned colors.

Dark Winter makeup tips

Here are some makeup tips to complement a Dark Winter complexion:

  • For eyes, use cool-toned shadows in shades of purple, gray, teal, and blue.
  • Try bold blue-based reds and berries for the lips.
  • Use an ash or plummy-toned brown eyeliner to define eyes.
  • Opt for cool-toned contour shades and highlight colors.
  • Metallic eye makeup looks striking against a Dark Winter complexion.
  • Aim for high impact – a bold lip with winged liner, for example.

The overall aim is to enhance your contrast levels with cool, bold color choices. Avoid warm browns and oranges and go for icy, vivid shades that flatter your complexion.

Dark Winter hair color ideas

Here are some flattering hair color options for Dark Winters:

  • Natural black or dark brown hair
  • Dark chocolate brown
  • Cool espresso brown with a subtle blue shine
  • Ash brown
  • Charcoal with purple undertones
  • Dark auburn with burgundy tint
  • Icy black with blue shine

The unifying theme is aiming for dark shades with cool undertones. Avoid warm tones like chestnut brown or honey blonde as these will clash with your high-contrast features. Any highlights should stay in the cool blonde, silver, or ash brown family.

How can Dark Winters add color to their wardrobe?

Here are some guidelines for Dark Winters looking to liven up their wardrobe:

  • Look for rich, jewel-toned pieces in sapphire, emerald, ruby and amethyst
  • Incorporate bright pops of fuchsia, royal blue, and magenta
  • Add patterns and prints in icy shades of blue, gray, and purple
  • Try winter white, black, pewter, and charcoal as neutrals
  • Aim for cool metallics like silver, platinum, and nickel
  • Throw on a bold cobalt blue coat or emerald green scarf

Dark Winters look mesmerizing in striking colors that play up their contrast levels. Don’t be afraid to make bold statements by wearing vivid icy jewel tones from head to toe.


A dark Winter has gorgeous contrast between their fair or olive skin and their dark eyes and hair. This high-contrast coloring enables them to shine in stark, cool-toned colors with blue and purple undertones. By wearing icy jewel tones and playing up their dramatic contrast with makeup and hair, Dark Winters can glow in shades that would overwhelm other seasons.

Identifying your seasonal color palette can give you the confidence to enhance your natural beauty. While being a Dark Winter can feel limiting at first glance, embracing icy rich colors allows your inner radiance to shine through. So don’t be afraid to add pops of emerald green, sapphire blue and fuchsia to your wardrobe – leave the warm earth tones to the Autumns and embrace the cool drama of your Winter beauty!