Determining your ideal winter color palette can seem daunting, but it’s actually quite simple when you know what to look for. Your skin tone, eye color, hair color and overall coloring are key factors in finding the winter palette that complements you best. Read on to learn more about the different winter palettes and how to tell which one harmonizes with your natural features.
What are the winter color palettes?
There are three main winter palettes: True Winter, Cool Winter, and Bright Winter. Here’s a quick overview of each one:
|True Winter||Very cool-toned, high contrast between hair, eyes, and skin. Black, true red, icy pinks, and jewel tones.|
|Cool Winter||Medium to high contrast, cool undertones. Icy blues, emerald greens, fuchsia, red-browns.|
|Bright Winter||Medium to high contrast, cool undertones with clarity. Clear, bright, icy colors like hot pink, ruby red, royal purple.|
As you can see, all the winter palettes lean cool rather than warm. But there are subtle differences between them that make one more suitable than the others depending on your complexion and natural coloring.
How to determine your winter palette
Figuring out which winter color palette you belong to involves looking at the tones of your hair, eyes, skin, and contrast level. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Does your skin have pink, red or blue undertones? Winters have a cool undertone.
- Are your eyes light blue, dark blue, gray, green or brown? Eye color for winters is usually cool-toned.
- Is your natural hair color in the black, dark brown, chestnut brown or ash blonde range? These hair colors go well with winter palettes.
- Is there high contrast between your hair, eye and skin color? Winters typically have higher contrast.
If you answered yes to most of those questions, you likely fall into a winter color palette. To determine which one, drape various winter colors against your neck or face in natural lighting and look in the mirror to see which are most harmonious.
You are likely a True Winter if:
- You have very fair skin with pink or red undertones
- Your eyes are icy light blue, dark blue or gray
- Your natural hair color is black, dark brown or ash brown
- You look best in very cool, high contrast colors like icy pink, true red, royal blue, emerald green
True Winters have high contrast between their coloring. Black is a go-to shade that looks striking. Combining black with icy cool pastels like icy pink and mint green creates a gorgeous high contrast look. Avoid warm browns, oranges or yellows, which can make True Winters look sallow.
You may be a Cool Winter if you have:
- Fair skin with pink or red undertones
- Eyes in shades of ice blue, violet, gray or green
- Hair that’s dark brown, black, or ash blonde
- A preference for cool blues, jewel tones, fuchsia and emerald greens
Cool Winters are a bit less extreme in their contrast than True Winters. Deep blues, emerald greens and cool purples bring out the pink undertones in their skin. They shine in true red, magenta and shades of wine red. Warm muted colors make Cool Winters look tired, so stick to cooler shades.
You may be a Bright Winter if you:
- Have fair to medium skin with pink undertones
- Have bright cool blue, violet, gray or green eyes
- Have dark brown or black hair
- Look best in icy cool, bright colors like fuchsia, ruby red, royal purple, icy pink
Bright Winters look amazing in pure, vivid shades. They have a high tolerance for brightness without colors looking garish. Combinations like bright white, hot pink and emerald green pop against their cool pink skin. Muted tones wash Bright Winters out, so go for those clear, icy colors to really make your features shine.
How to build your winter wardrobe
Once you’ve zeroed in on your specific winter palette, use that to guide your wardrobe selections. Here are some tips:
- Base your color choices off the specific hues in your palette. Wear them close to your face.
- Add neutrals like black, charcoal gray, navy and icy white as base colors.
- Incorporate winter metallics like pewter, platinum, and nickel silver.
- Choose icy pastels as accent colors to add a pop of brightness.
- Look for cool-toned prints and patterns featuring leaves, snowflakes, birds.
- Accessories like scarves, bags, and shoes should follow your winter palette.
Finding your most compatible shades allows you to look radiant all winter long. With some guidance on the winter palettes and determining your own coloring, you can breeze through picking ensembles that enhance your natural beauty.
Identifying your unique winter color palette is simply a matter of observing your natural features andexperimenting with draping to see which cool, icy shades make you glow. While all winters share some similarities like a cool undertone and high contrast, the specifics of your eye, hair and skin color will point to True Winter, Cool Winter or Bright Winter as most harmonious. Use your seasonal palette to guide clothing, accessory and makeup choices for a stunning and cohesive winter look.