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What is the difference between deep and cool winter color palette?

Determining your best color palette can make a huge difference in how you present yourself. Finding colors that complement your natural skin tone and hair color will help you look vibrant, healthy, and put together. Two popular seasonal color palettes are deep winter and cool winter. While these palettes share some similarities, there are key differences between them as well.

What is a Color Palette?

A color palette refers to a selection of colors that work well together and complement each other. In color analysis for wardrobe and makeup, palettes are determined based on a person’s dominant skin undertone, eye color, hair color, and contrast level. The goal is to identify colors that enhance someone’s natural coloring.

There are four main seasonal color palettes: Winter, Spring, Summer, and Autumn. The Winter palette contains cool, deep, jewel-toned colors. The Spring palette has warm, light, clear colors. The Summer palette includes soft, muted, cool colors, while Autumn features rich, warm earth tones.

Within the Winter palette, there are three sub-palettes: Bright Winter, Cool Winter, and Deep Winter. Determining whether you are a Cool Winter versus a Deep Winter can help refine your color selections even further.

Cool Winter Color Palette

The Cool Winter palette contains icy, cool-toned colors like icy pinks, blues, mauves, and plums. These colors have a blue undertone and may appear slightly muted. If you have very fair, porcelain skin with pink or red undertones, ash blonde, platinum blonde, or black hair, with blue, icy blue, or grayish blue eyes, you are likely a Cool Winter.

Here are some key characteristics of the Cool Winter palette:

  • Contains cool, muted, soft colors
  • Features icy pastels with blue undertones
  • Ideal for people with very fair skin and blonde or black hair
  • Brings out the pink or red undertones in fair skin

Some examples of Cool Winter colors are:

Cool and Soft Colors
Icy blues
Dusty pink
Jade green
Soft teal
Light sage green
Light gray

Deep Winter Color Palette

The Deep Winter palette contains rich, saturated, jewel-toned colors with cool undertones. These colors may appear almost icy or icy but are darker and deeper than the Cool Winter palette. If you have medium to olive skin with neutral to cool undertones, dark brown hair, and deep blue, green, or hazel eyes, you are likely a Deep Winter.

Here are some defining features of the Deep Winter palette:

  • Deep, cool, jewel-toned colors
  • Features bolder, darker colors than Cool Winter
  • Ideal for medium or olive skin tones with cool undertones
  • Brings out depth and contrast in skin and eyes

Some examples of Deep Winter colors are:

Bold, Cool Colors
Royal blue
Emerald green
Deep purple
Navy blue
Forest green
Charcoal gray

Key Differences

While both are cool-toned color palettes, there are some notable differences between Cool Winter and Deep Winter:

Cool Winter Deep Winter
Very light, icy colors Bold, jewel-toned colors
Soft, muted tones Rich, saturated tones
Pastels with blue undertones Dark colors with blue undertones
Enhances very fair skin Complements medium to olive skin
Ideal for blonde and black hair Ideal for dark brown hair

While Cool Winters suit pale, icy pastels, Deep Winters are complemented by bold emerald greens, sapphire blues, and wine hued purples and berries. Cool Winters have a delicate frost-like coloring, while Deep Winters have higher contrast features.

Best Colors for Cool Winter

Here are some of the best clothing, makeup, and hair colors for someone with a Cool Winter color palette:

Clothing Colors

  • Icy pink
  • Pale blue
  • Lavender
  • Baby blue
  • Periwinkle
  • Seafoam green
  • Silver gray
  • Pale sage green
  • Dusty peach

Makeup Colors

  • Pink blush with blue undertones
  • Mauve lipstick
  • Light gray eyeshadow
  • Navy blue eyeliner
  • Berry toned nail polish

Hair Colors

  • Platinum blonde
  • Ash blonde
  • Silver gray
  • Jet black

Best Colors for Deep Winter

Here are some flattering colors for someone with a Deep Winter color profile:

Clothing Colors

  • Royal blue
  • Emerald green
  • Deep purple
  • Burgundy
  • Navy blue
  • Charcoal gray
  • Forest green
  • Wine red
  • Rich turquoise

Makeup Colors

  • Deep berry lipstick
  • Forest green eyeliner
  • Navy blue mascara
  • Eggplant eyeshadow
  • Mauve blush

Hair Colors

  • Dark brown
  • Black
  • Dark burgundy

Tips for Finding Your Palette

Finding your optimal color palette takes some trial and error. Here are some tips:

  • Take photos in different lighting wearing various colors next to your face and assess which are most flattering.
  • Drape fabric swatches in cool and warm colors against your neck and check the mirror to see which tones compliment you.
  • Try on lipsticks, blushers, and clothing in both warm and cool shades to test which flatters you most.
  • Ask a color consultant for an analysis if you are still uncertain.
  • Be patient – finding your colors is a process!


Both Cool Winter and Deep Winter are stunning color palettes for people who suit cool, icy tones. Cool Winters shine in pastel icy pinks, blues and grays, while Deep Winters dazzle in bold emerald, sapphire and amethyst colors. Determining which sub-palette of Winter is right for you can elevate your style and flatter your natural beauty. The key is identifying whether soft icy pastels or deep jewel tones make you radiate.