Dark Winter is one of the three Winter seasons and sits between Dark Autumn and True Winter on the seasonal flow chart.
Unlike Dark Autumn, this season is cool. However, both sister seasons are a blend of Autumn and Winter, with Dark Autumn leaning more towards the Autumn palette and Dark Winter leaning more towards the Winter palette.
I. Natural Appearance
A Dark Winter has prominent dark features. The eyes and hair typically stand in high contrast to either the light skin or the whites of the eyes and teeth. This creates a high contrast in a Dark Winter's appearance.
As part of the Winter family, a Dark Winter appearance is generally quite harsher and icier than a Dark Autumn's.
To achieve a harmonious look, you need to mimic your natural characteristics with your make-up. So remember, a natural look on you is a dark, intense look.
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II. The Colour Palette
If you want to learn more about the Dark Winter colour palette, please refer to the comprehensive guide.
Dark Winter's primary colour aspect is dark, and its secondary aspect is cool.
The colours lean towards the cool end of the scale but are not extremely cool. This means they contain more blue than yellow. So even if you choose yellow (which is the warmest colour of all), you will find only cooler shades that have a tint of blue. You will also not find many shades of yellow-based colours but instead more shades of blue and grey, which are naturally cool.
In line with this season’s primary colour aspect, the overall palette is dark. And while many of the colours are very light (white and the icy pastels), there are many more dark ones. This mixture in value is required to achieve the high contrast a Dark Winter needs.
Typical for Winter colours, the palette is slightly higher in chroma, meaning the colours are somewhat saturated and bright. However, they are dark rather than very bright.
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III. Make-up Colours
Dark Winter make-up colours are taken from the same colour palette that is used for clothing.
Complexion make-up includes foundation, concealers and bronzers. These are taken from the neutrals area of the palette.
Foundation & Concealer
Dark Winter skin is neutral-cool and ranges from fair to deep. However, it's not possible to give recommendations on complexion make-up - such as foundation and concealer. These are best colour-matched to your individual skin.
Generally, though, foundation and concealer are best when they are smooth and silky.
Avoid strongly yellow-based foundations which will clash with your cooler complexion.
Bronzer & Highlighter
As a cool colour family, bronzer looks unnatural on Winters. And even though Dark Winter flows from the most bronzy season - Autumn, this isn't a make-up product that will improve your appearance. It's best to skip the bronzer altogether.
If you want to frame your face, apply a little of highlighter to the cheeks. But don't overdo it, as it can look unnatural.
Eye make-up colours are also taken from the neutral area of the Dark Winter palette. Highlight eyeshadows come from the complementary and accent colours areas on the palette.
Neutral eyeshadow colours are the taupes and greys on the palette. As a Winter, you are also able to use black for a more dramatic look.
For highlight and accent eyeshadow colours, opt for the purples, blues and greens on your palette. Greyish greens work well, and dark purples work especially well on brown eyes.
Avoid completely matte finishes, and opt instead for a slight shine. But keep off the glitter.
As a Winter, you can comfortably wear black mascara.This colour would be too harsh on any other colour family, but Winters can handle it easily. Another option is a cool, dark grey.
Eyeliner colours are similar to mascara with the addition of blues, greens and purples. Helpful tip: choose an eyeliner in a colour similar to your eyes to bring them out.
Lip & Cheek Make-up
Blush and lip colours come from the pink, red and purple areas of the Dark Winter colour palette.
The right blush colour for you will depend on how dark your skin tone is. If your skin is lighter, opt for the lighter pinks. Darker skin tones will look nice in the darker reds. Some trial and error might be required here to find your perfect shade.
Blusher is not the most interesting make-up product for a Dark Winter, so make sure not to overdo it.
Avoid peachy and other yellow-based colours that will clash with your naturally cool complexion.
Lipstick is the most exciting Dark Winter make-up product! This colour season can get away with deeply intense colours that would make other seasons look like vampires. But Dark Winters generally look best when they let their lips take centre stage in deep red or purple shades.
Even if you want to create a natural make-up look, avoid a nude, skin-coloured lip. This would simply look strange on your otherwise intense appearance. Don't be afraid of going for a darker, more intense shade, as this is what will look natural on you. If you find those lipsticks too intense, apply them with a light hand, or opt for one of the lighter shades.
Avoid overly warm, orange-based lipstick colours, as they will dull your complexion.
IV. Make-up Looks
Dark Winter make-up is at its best when it's dark and intense. When we think of a natural make-up look, we often think of nude, skin-coloured or bare lips and very little eye make-up in neutral colours. However, this type of 'natural' look does not work on Dark Winters. It will just make them look dull and washed out.
A natural make-up look is one that will mimic the characteristics of your natural appearance. For a Dark Winter, this means depth and intensity. What is required here is a bold lip. On a Dark Winter, such a lip does not appear overdone or dramatic. It's what harmonises with them naturally.
Make your lips take centre-stage with a deeper lipstick. How deep you can go in your natural look will depend on how deep you are naturally. If you are on the lighter side of the Dark Winter spectrum, stick with the lighter lipstick shades. If you are on the darker end, reach for the deeper shades.
Since your lips are the main focus, be sure to keep your eye make-up to a minimum. Dark Winter is not made for playing with different colours within the same look. A taupe eyeshadow and some black mascara will keep your eyes intense and your lips in focus.
Since Dark Winter is naturally intense, keep your make-up colours to a minimum of one or two colours per look. Since your make-up colours are also quite bright, too many different colours could leave you looking like a circus clown.
For dramatic looks, the same principle as above applies. Don't mix and match too many different colours. Just take your natural look a bit further with an even deeper lip and slightly more eye make-up.
Classic options for the Dark Winter are smoky eyes, best in a black and grey combination. The other option is the pin-up look with light eyeshadow, winged black eyeliner and a dark red lip.