Dark Winter

Dark Winter is sumptuous and evocative, wild and mysterious.

The most earthy of the Winters, this palette is reminiscent of sharply scented pine forests, berry coulis, ivy-covered Gothic ruins at twilight and meadows tipped with frost.



Dark Winter is cool-neutral, with a ton of darkness and some high-chroma brightness.

Autumn’s influence adds a little warmth and softens the colours ever so slightly.

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Depth and richness are central to this luxurious palette.

The extreme low value also makes it lead-heavy.

These are splendid, serious colours; cavernous and chthonic - like the dim, bejewelled magnificence of an underworld palace.

Black and white are important influences but there are a range of far more fascinating neutrals including deep navy-slate, battleship grey, silver gull, granite, carob, asphalt, gunmetal and Prussian blue.

Dark Winter is the fruit of the forest season, so crimson red is an essential presence in how pinks and purples are expressed.

Revel in shades of black cherry, sloe, boysenberry, plum, mulberry, cranberry, blackberry, blueberry, currant and deep grape.

Accents include bottle green, petrol, blackened blue-teal, wasabi, purpled burgundy and frosted versions of sage, blush, spruce and clouded sky.

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Being a neutral season, both warm and cool metals will suit a Dark Winter.

In reality, your warm metals are mostly limited to deep yellow gold and some brass.

Bronze is too brown, rose gold too light and copper too warm.

Team gold with cooler-tones stones or use as an accent in a predominantly cool outfit. That touch of warmth is all you need.

Dark Winter is interesting because it is simultaneously high chroma and low value.

The combination of bright and dark means both shiny or matte finishes will suit you.

However on the dimension scale, value presents as more extreme than chroma for this season.

This means that metallics with depth are particularly well suited so do consider tarnished, oxidised, antique or textured finishes.

No one can wear marcasite like a Dark Winter. This blackened metal composite is like dull bling - a most perfect concept for this season.

Silver and pewter are amazing.

Titanium, white gold and platinum are premium options.

Paua - or abalone shell - with its oil slick blues and greens, was made for Dark Winters.

You can choose from both faceted or raw cut gemstones, just match up colours with the palette.

Pebbled or clustered gems add texture and look interesting on this season.

Swarovski crystal and stones with dim sparkle are lovely - just be careful you don’t go too vivid and translucent or you risk losing your all-powerful darkness.



Black is great. It doesn’t look boring by itself on a Dark Winter.

Navy, bitter chocolate, blackened slate or dark grey will look natural and balanced. Also consider burgundy or dark purple.

Cooler metals with a heavy, matte or powdered finish work well. Some shine is ok too for this season.

If you like gold, avoid really bright yellow versions and balance it with something cool and dark. Plain gold frames are likely too warm.

Patterned or print effects can look terrific, provided there aren’t too many colours at once which can become distracting on a Dark Winter.

Beware of rimless or even some partially framed styles. Depending on the face they can be ok but more than any other season, Dark Winters do well with density.


Wardrobe basics

The right black is particularly magical on a Dark Winter.

Although a core neutral for all Winters, only Dark Winter can wear all-over black and still look finished - especially when building a mix of textures into the outfit.

However, a touch of warmth is key to your beauty so think about the quality of the black you’ve chosen.

To be very precise, Dark Winter’s ultimate version is molasses - black with a drop of dark brown - and very opaque but most commercial blacks are fine.

Watch out for how some black dyes change over time. Many turn brownish, greyish or greenish with wash and wear. If the black is even a little faded it will look shabby on you.

Keep white clear and vivid. It will make your eyes and teeth look bright and clean.

Your blue denim is a very dark navy without fade.

Suiting is a breeze with black, navy and steel or oily greys as a base. Burgundy, plum and forest green also make terrific corporate colours.

Dark Winters were born to wear classic houndstooth.

Along with black in leather goods, watch out for pine, silver grey, petrol blue and midnight slate which make for unexpected but equally flattering neutrals.

Because these colours are both bright and dark, most leather finishes from patent to suede will work.

Like all Winters, this season needs contrast, even if kept contained to a tie, lipstick or accessory.

An accent in a warmer colour from your palette or some gold detailing is a sophisticated way to balance an outfit.

Despite your “black is good to go” reality, do try to step outside its safe zone and explore the other neutrals in your palette.



Dark Winter is an extremely low value season. This translates into deep, rich hair colours and no high value light ones.

Natural red and blonde are unlikely. Don’t even bother trying to manufacture the look.

Apart from naturally occuring grey, any fairer colours will destroy you.

Instead, respect the beauty of lush black or deep chocolate.

Lowlights are particularly flattering.

There is already something otherwordly about Winters so fake hair colours can actually look pretty great.

There are plenty of palette-friendly fashion colours available - they won’t look natural but they’ll suit you.

Try cool red-violet, black-violet, blue-black or burgundy as an all-over cast, accent or feature in ombre and balayage styles.



You can handle the weight and the darkness of black on your face.

Black mascara and eyeliner are accessible basics.

You have a touch of warmth in your colouring so experiment with very dark black-brown or bitter chocolate liners.

Charcoal, navy, cool teal or any of the other darker neutrals from your palette make great liners if you want a change.

Low value seasons love shadows which means a little contouring will suit you.

Be careful with bronzer. You have a touch of Autumn so don’t rule it out but use sparingly, it can get too warm very quickly.

Sparkly or glittery effects are particularly nice if they’re dulled or heavily shadowed.

Matte is spectacular but you can also carry a little shine, just don’t go overboard.

As a Winter, contrast is important so try teaming black with a touch of silver eyeshadow in the inner corner of your eye, some white liner or a sweep of lighter taupe across the lid.

Lip and cheek colours are taken from the deep berries and plums in the palette.

Keep reds crimson or carmine.

You might find you look quite changed with makeup on. This is because the right colours add weight and definition to your face.

You can load up on heavy looks without compromising the structure of your face and still look perfectly normal. Others would be swallowed by darkness.

These are colours that make everyone else look Gothic. Not so a Dark Winter. This palette is your natural habitat.


Loving your look

Dark Winter is striking and enigmatic.

Simultaneously passionate, seductive and regal - but with powerful edge like an unpredictable fairytale queen.

You come alive in the shades of evening.

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