Cool Winter wears the rainbow.

All About Cool Winter: Explore the 12 Seasons

Are ALL your features cool with an icy quality? Are you drawn to dark primary colors like cobalt blue and ruby red? Do you love the colors of a snowy winter day? 

If this sounds like you, you might be a Cool Winter!

The is a comprehensive guide to cool 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 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 clear winter, true/cool winter, and deep winter.

  • Deep Winter
  • True/Cool Winter
  • Clear Winter

READ MORE: Seasonal Color Analysis: The Ultimate Guide to Beauty

Today we’ll be exploring the icy beauty of cool winter.

Cool, Leaning Dark

Soft Autumn is classified in the following ways: warm hue, medium value, muted chroma.

  • Cool hue
  • Medium/dark value
  • Bright/neutral chroma

Cool winter is cool, leaning dark.

Cool winter is one of the pure seasons, and as such all the features are cool. It is distinguished from the other true cool season of summer in value only, with cool winter leaning dark.

The skin is likely to be porcelain or medium beige. The eyes will typically be brown, blue, or gray, somewhat dark and bright. Winter eyes will typically have white spokes as a pattern overlay.

Hair is the in the brown color family, from medium to very dark, and will have no traces of red. Silver gray hair is in the cool winter family as well.Cool winter eyes and hair.

The features offer a high degree of contrast, typical with all winters. Cool winters are striking with dark hair, piercing eyes, and clear skin, and look amazing in bold cool colors.

Icy aurora colors.
Snowy mountain scene colors.
Icy sunset colors.
Red christmas colors.


To emphasize the features of cool winter, makeup colors should be cool and clear as well.

Best makeup for cool winter.

For the eyes, choose light neutrals such as silver, icy pink, and dusky blue, or dark colors like charcoal, pewter, and navy. Accent colors could be purple and teal. 

For the cheeks, cool shades of soft pink, rose, and deep pink are wonderful to bring out a rosy glow for cool winter.

Winters should avoid nude as a lip color, because it downplays their natural contrast. A natural lip could be mauve or pink, while rose and sangria are a bit deeper. For a bold lip choose deep red or plum.

Avoid warm tones like coral or orange red lipstick, brown and orange, and bronze cheek colors. Cool winter should also stay away from light lip colors.


Cool winter is known for having deeply cool primary colors and the iciest of pastels. Winter mountain scenes with snow covered peaks offer make opportunities to see cool winter in nature. Since it’s in the cool color family, its heavy with pinks, blues, greens and purples. 

Cool winter wears the rainbow.

Here we see some different elements where cool winter is naturally found. The 6 color rainbow depicts the truest, most neutral form of colors, but the cool winter rainbow is cooler and slightly darker.

The auroras over an icy mountain display the blues and purples that are key to cool winters colors.

The bright pink flowers against a snowy mountain illustrate the contrast of winter, while a frozen tundra under baby pink sunset show the pastels of cool winter.

Finally, Christmas ornaments represent the deep seasonal red and silver for cool winter.

The Palette

Cool winter color palette.

In creating a palette for cool winter we start with neutrals, and work through the major color families.

Black and white find their home in the winter seasons, and go well with dark and light shades of gray. Navy and soft white are also staples in the cool winter wardrobe.

Reds and pinks for cool winter are typically along the bold spectrum, with the exception of icy pink. Yellows can be worn carefully as lemon and chiffon. Many greens can be worn along the medium to light spectrum, all with a hint of blue. Blues and purples are some of the best colors for cool winter and this type can wear most of them.

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 coral, yellows can be too orange, and gray can be underwhelming if medium in value.

There are some colors that cool winter should always avoid. Orange is one of the worst colors for a cool winter. Muted colors with gray overtones are unforgiving on a cool winter woman. Bright bold colors, specifically cobalt and eggplant, are some of the best colors.

Outfit Ideas

Here we see some outfits for deep autumn. I’ve included two outfits for each season, one with a dress and another with skirt separates.

Deep Autumn dress and skirt outfits.

When putting together outfits, low contrast options featuring mostly darker colors in the palette will be best. Using light neutrals is still a suitable outfit, however.

Patterns should feature mostly dark colors with a hint of light, such as traditional leopard. When choosing other patterns such as florals, plaids, and stripes, look for options that have a dark background with smaller elements as contrast.

Dark wash denim is preferred over medium and light wash. Leather should be in the brown family, like mocha or cognac. Yellow and rose gold are great metals for deep autumn.

Closet Staples

No matter your style or personal aesthetic, there are a few items that every woman should have in their wardrobe. 

Here are 10 core pieces for the Soft Autumn woman:

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 yellow, orange, purple, and blue families will add interest. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I still wear black?

Of COURSE you can still wear black. Black is a star in any winter type wardrobe. Feel free to create your closet based on black as your primary neutral.

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 gray or white? Is it one of the color families, yellow or pink 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

Get Your Free Color Palette

Ready to create your own color palette and simplify your wardrobe?

Can I only wear these colors?

No way! You should wear what you love! If you want to wear bright orange 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 cool winter:

Nighttime winter colors.
Deep Winter
Mountain scene colors.
Clear Winter

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about the lovely attributes of cool winter. These individuals are truly beautiful in their bold icy beauty. They can wear deep primary colors that are arresting.

Are you a Cool Winter? If so, say hello in the comments! 

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