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Clear Winter is cool and bright and shares characteristics with winter and spring in the 12 season system of color analysis.
Are you features bright and cool with dark hair? Are you a contradiction with neutral skin and cool eyes? Do you love the clear colors of a warm winter day?
If this sounds like you, you might be a Clear Winter!
The is a comprehensive guide to clear winter in the 12 season system of color analysis. Keep reading to learn the physical characteristics, the best makeup, a beautiful color palette to wear, wardrobe staples, and how to create your own custom palette.
The 12 Seasons
In seasonal color analysis we look at the skin, eyes, and hair to find a common color family. The 6 main color components are warm, cool, deep, light, soft, and bright.
The winter color family is cool and includes deep winter, true/cool winter, and clear winter.
- Deep Winter
- True/Cool Winter
- Clear Winter
Today we’ll be exploring the bright beauty of clear winter.
Cool and Bright
Clear Winter is classified in the following ways: cool hue, medium value, bright chroma.
- Cool hue
- Medium value
- Bright chroma
Clear winter differs from its fellow winter seasons in that chroma is the primary characteristic. Although there is definite coolness, there is an overall brightness to the features.
The skin is likely to be creamy porcelain or gentle beige. The eyes will typically be a bright blue color, with some green or gray. Occasionally the eyes will be a light amber color.
Hair is the in the brown color family, from medium to dark, and may have a touch of white gold highlights, but no red.
The features are very high contrast if if taking a grayscale picture, the hair and skin would be very different. There is a clear striking quality to the entirety of the clear winter features.
Makeup for the Clear Winter Woman
To emphasize the features of clear winter, makeup colors should be both cool and bright as well.
For the eyes, choose light neutrals such as silver, mauve and gold, or charcoal and pewter. Accent colors could be purple, soft teal, and aegean.
For the cheeks, neutral warm shades of rose, deep pink, and coral are wonderful to bring out a bright glow for clear winter.
Nude lips are out for clear winter, as they are underwhelming next to winter contrast. Stick with bubblegum or rose for a natural look, along with cranberry. For a bold lip choose sangria, ruby, or deep red.
Avoid warm tones like orange or brown lipstick, warm pink and orange eye shadows, and bronze cheek colors. Clear winter should also stay away from light lip colors.
Clear winter is known for it’s brightly saturated cool toned primary colors. Think of the brilliant colors of rainforest creatures. Since it’s in the cool color family, its heavy with blues, purples, pinks, and greens.
Here we see some different elements where clear winter is naturally found. The 6 color rainbow depicts the truest, most neutral form of colors, but the clear rainbow is cooler and highly saturated.
If you’ve ever been to a clear mountain lake with the teal and jade of the unspoiled water, then you’ve experienced the colors of clear winter.
The brilliance of sugar rock candy display the purples and pinks, while new life on an underwater reef displays the blue tones.
A decadent berry desert shows the types of red seen in the clear winter palette.
Clear Winter Color Palette
In creating a palette for clear winter we start with neutrals, and work through the major color families.
Black and white make a central appearance in the winter color family, as do most shades of dark and light gray. Midnight navy, nude, and ivory are also flattering neutrals for this bright season bordering spring.
Reds are wonderful for clear winter so long as they are close to true red, along with neutral and blue based pinks. Yellows are difficult, but lemon line, lemon, and marigold can be worn . Many greens with a hint of blue are amazing on clear winter. Blues and purples should be brilliant, and make up the core of the palette.
There is usually a version of every color that can be worn by any season, but some may be more difficult to match and find. Pinks can easily become too muted, reds can be a bit orange, and greens may be too yellow.
There are some colors that clear winter should always avoid. Gray is a very difficult color to wear as it is naturally muted. Soft pastels are not suitable for the clear winter woman as they create a washed out look. Cool brilliant colors, especially jade and fuchsia, are the best colors in the palette.
Wardrobe Essentials for Bright and Cool Coloring
No matter your style or personal aesthetic, there are a few items that every woman should have in their wardrobe.
The basics of any wardrobe should be neutrals, and you could certainly choose the same neutrals. Layering similar shades of the same color will create a rich luxe look.
For those that enjoy a more colorful look, the basics are still appropriate, but fun and funky accessories in the pink, red, purple, and blue families will add interest.
Frequently Asked Questions about Clear Winter
Can I still wear black?
Of COURSE you can still wear black. I personally believe that black is a staple in any wardrobe. Any season can wear black, but some may find it is overwhelming. Black is likely to be much more harsh on soft autumn than some other seasons. Fortunately that isn’t the case for winter women, so happily continue wearing black. You’ll have an easy time creating a capsule wardrobe based on black!
I hate these colors, could my season be wrong?
Yes absolutely, it could be true. But I want to challenge you, what is it that you hate? Is it the neutrals that you don’t like? Perhaps you don’t like white? Refer back to my statements above about wearing black. Is it one of the color families, pink or green perhaps? Don’t wear them! Just because a palette includes all these colors doesn’t mean you should wear them all. I dare you to look at your closet and see if you naturally gravitate to any of these colors. If the answer is no, and you still feel this is completely wrong, let me know! I can help!
Should I wear all of these colors?
Well, that depends on you and what you consider minimalism! If you like a lot of variety, then go for it! However, when building a small capsule, you’ll find that limiting your color options is the best idea. I recommend the following:
- Black base
- Dark neutral
- Light neutral
- Main color
- 2-3 Accent colors
Can I only wear these colors?
No way! You should wear what you love! If you want to wear lavender, then go for it! You may find, however, that learning your season affects how other colors make you feel. If you feel confident rocking a color, then it’s yours to own. But if you don’t, feel free to leave it to the seasons that wear it well. If you’re looking to expand your palette, you can also consider sister seasons.
The following are sister seasons for clear winter:
Related Color Analysis Articles:
- Explore the 12 Seasons of Color
- Color Theory for Color Analysis
- Eye Patterns and Color Analysis
- Personality and Color Analysis
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about the lovely attributes of clear winter. These individuals are truly beautiful in their strikingly cool brilliance. They can wear highly saturated colors that are unflattering on most others.
Ready to create your own color palette based on your season?
Are you a Clear Winter? If so, say hello in the comments!
PS <– I am a clear winter and this is my season! Some of my favorite colors are cobalt, turquoise, jade, and fuchsia! Fun fact, clear winters are one of the rarest types at only 5% of the population!
Clear Winter sits on the cusp of winter and spring and is cool and bright.
Stacey is the owner and creator behind Radiantly Dressed. She is a certified image consultant and AICI member focusing on creating simplicity in wardrobes via color and style.
20 thoughts on “All About Clear Winter: Explore the 12 Seasons”
Having trouble deciding if I am bright winter or bright spring. Are there any tell tale signs that differentiate them? As a kid I was golden blond, aqua eyes but darker brows. Dont look good in muted tones and come alive in brights. As I’ve gotten older, golden hair color looks wrong. Should I be flowing into winter as I age?
It’s uncommon to change out of the 4 seasons unless you were typed wrong initially. Golden blonde suggests clear spring is prob accurate. If your hair is getting lighter you may benefit from some of the lighter bright colors of Light Spring! Hope that helps!
Yes. That’s exactly what happened to me. As I aged I moved from Clear Spring to Clear Winter.
Yes. That’s what I did. I was a Bright Spring in 1985, and after menopause came yellowish graying light brown hair. I tinted it back to the glossy medium brown of my youth, switched to Bright Winter, and got nonstop compliments.
I’m also having a hard time trying to decide between Clear Spring and Clear Winter. I know positively that I look drained of all life in gray, with the exception of a very dark charcoal. I love bright pure pigment colors on me, but the cooler colors are better. My hair when I was younger was a very dark burgundy auburn and I have white Irish skin, with no true undertone. My eye is totally cool having both gray and brown colors, looks like a winter eye to me, but I could be wrong.
Hi Myrna! Clear seasons (like all the crossover seasons) have a bit more trouble landing on the cool or warm side. Colorless qualities in the skin are definitely a winter quality! And hating gray is assuredly a clear attribute (I’m a Clear Winter and agree on the gray!)
Could you help me? I am of Scottish and Irish descent, with naturally fair skin with freckles and rosy cheeks. In the summer, my arms do tan a Mauve. Say peachy..and my face gets extra color, but that’s not my baseline..my legs stay super white! I have eyes that range from bright blue to almost a soft blue gray, depending. When I was a small child, I had Strawberry Blonde hair, leaning more towards the red than blonde. And it gradually darkened, until at the age of 5 it was so deep brown that it was almost black. When I hit puberty, it lightened up just slightly to a deep brown with auburn glints in the summer. I feel my aura is winter, but I’m one of those who due to my contrast, could fit in multiple seasons. Definitely cool or clear. I feel best in deep purples, teals, truer classic reds (containing no orange), charcoal, black and white. I always choose either Mauve or rich reds for lips and nails. I felt shades of brown looked best for eye shadows, but as I age, I’m leaning more towards just lighter, brighter ivories, golds, or slight hues of browns or mauves.
It’s common for those in the overlap seasons (clear/soft/dark/light) to experience some discrepancies in their skin such as picking up a slight tan. You’re describing high contrast, which is most at home in winter and the clear seasons! The only way to know for sure is to test drapes!
Hi Stacey — like the other commenters, I have always had trouble determining my color. I do generally have high contrast between hair, eyes, and skin, but I have quite a few freckles on my face and arms and will get a light tan in the summer. My eyes are a bright blue-green but contain large flecks of gold/hazel around the iris, and my natural medium-brown hair definitely has more of a reddish tint than a black one.
In short, I have fair skin with freckles and hair/eyes that contain traits that are both distinctly warm and distinctly cool. I look best in brighter jewel tones, but orange is also one of my best colors and this has always made me think maybe I am not a winter. Any thoughts on other colorings to consider? Or would I overall be a clear winter?
Orange is a pretty specific color to the warm seasons! Most winters won’t gravitate to it or look great in it. A coral is about as close as a clear winter will get! Clear Spring might actually be your best season!
I was typed as a bright winter but I feel like I was typed wrong. Hot pink does make me pop and I haven’t given too many bright colors a chance BUT I feel like I come to life in rich deep colors like wine/burgundy and deep green. Could be personal preference taking a hold of me though. I saw that the rich colors are in the deep winter category. Can the winters basically pull off each other’s color palettes pretty well?
Hi Manda! A winter should be able to wear the entire range!
Thank you for this comment. I had super high contrast when I was young – black hair and very fair skin. Now that I color my gray hair, I go to dark brown. I seem to wear the bright, clear colors best, but I don’t have “sparkly bright eyes.” They are a warm hazel, which puts me in the Dark winter category. But those colors look heavy on me. Any ideas?
You don’t have to have bright eyes, although it’s more common. Your skin ultimately decides what you need, and if it’s clear colors then it’s clear colors 🙂
Hi Stacey! I’m so torn between my coloring. I have a neutral skin tone with yellow and pink undertones (I burn in the sun) My natural hair color is an ashy brown but truly I have been able to wear any hair color but lean more to golden brown. I get the most compliments when I wear royal blue and red but doesn’t my yellow based skin make me more a spring? Help! A confused maybe clear winter or spring 🙂
Hey Jennifer!! There is always a fine line between the neutral seasons. For these two in question, it probably comes down to whether or not black is overwhelming, but also if you an handle orange (spring) or not (winter). Obviously it’s always more complex, but those are pretty quick ways to see which way you’re leaning!
I really appreciate the ‘colors for the whole year’ section. As a winter, I often have a hard time seeing the lightness in the palette. I know it’s there but when I’m trying to put together an outfit for Easter or a summer vacay, I get depressed at all the black and darker blues and purples. That spring palette is gorgeous and blooming with wearable colors, and the summer one is as lustrous as the jewel tones of winter.
Hi Stacey, I have really enjoyed your information. I am still struggling to find my season, like many of the other commenters. My hair was dark brown as a girl and young woman. Now it is slowing changing to a bright white/silver which I think is making this very hard to decide. My skin has always been rather pale but I do tan after burning first. I cannot determine definitively whether my skin is warm or cool but neutral seems rare. My eyes are green. Any help is appreciated!
Hey Gaelyn, I have a really affordable DIY color analysis course that you can use to find your season. It teaches you how to analyze using multiple areas plus draping. Hope this helps!