Cool Winter: Colour Analysis Guide

Deep, bright and icy, Cool Winter has the most vibrant colour palette of the 4-seasons. Picture a winter scene – everything is clear, crisp and lacking any real warmth. Winter colouring is intense and high contrast – which is why Winter types shine in black and jewel-like colours. Think bold scarlet, bright white, emerald green or hot pink.

Do you shine in these colours? Then you could be a Cool Winer (also known as a True Winter). Dressing for your natural colouring is absolutely crucial and a real game-changer when it comes to your wardrobe routine. Wearing the right colours will make your skin look healthier, features more defined and imperfections minimised. So, it pays to get your colours right.

In today’s post, I share my quick guide to Cool Winter skin tones: what they are, how to know if you’re a Cool Winter, their best colours and celebrities who share this season.

Cool Winter – White Skin
Cool Winter – Brown Skin

Defining Characteristics of a True (Cool) Winter

If you’re a Cool Winter, when you look in the mirror the first thing you’ll notice is your cool and bright appearance. Your hair, eyes and skin have cool blue undertones, which can show up as pinkness. You’ll also have dark, and medium to high contrasting features.


Winter types typically have dark hair – or dark hair that has gone grey or white. These tones can be blue-black to medium brown but they will never have red or golden tones (but this doesn’t mean a little warmth may not be present from natural lightening from the sun). A cool winter can have a range of hair colours and eye colours, which includes natural platinum blonde hair and blue eyes.


The eyes will be brighter shades of blue, green, hazel, brown or black. Again for a cool winter there is an absence of warm, gold tones here.

Women with Black Hair and High Contrast in Features | True Winter Skin Tone Example in Colour and Black and White
Cool Winter skin type with a high contrast in features


Cool Winter skin appears bright thanks to the high contrast in features and for lighter skin it is likely to burn just as easily as it can tan. It can range from very fair to dark (with ethnic skin types this must be considered within your race, if you are fair or very dark). A cool winter have a dominant coolness and varying ranges of brightness.

In the images above you can see how dark the hair and eyes are in comparison to the skin. There are no grey areas in the image. They are dominated by high-contrasting areas of light and dark.

so, am I a cool winter?

Woman wearing grey winter coat in snow | Colour Analysis | Are you a True Winter?

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Identifying your colours via online resources isn’t as straightforward as it may seem (due to the fact we’re all unique and the 4-seasons system relies on us al fitting neatly into one of the descriptions) but looking at how your skin reacts to certain colours is a great indicator of your natural colouring, and if you’re warm or cool.

If you’re a winter type, you’ll find earthy colours, golden browns, muddy greens and oranges don’t look great on you. That’s because the warmth of these colours clash against the icy, coolness of your complexion – making you look washed out and tired. Unless you’re a Bright Winter (more on that soon) you’ll also find the neon brights from the Spring palette too much for you as well.

Cool winter worst colours
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As I said, figuring out your season within the colour analysis system is tricky. Despite having very different colour palettes, each season can share similar characteristics. For example, Cool Winters and Warm Springs both have a bright, clear appearance which can often lead to confusion. 

An easy way to distinguish these two seasons is to look at your undertone. If there’s a yellowness to your skin, you’re likely a spring type. While a blue or pink undertone indicates that you’re likely a winter type. If you’re a True Winter you can wear deep blues and rich purples effortlessly – while a Warm Spring will find these colours harder to pull off without looking washed out.

Cool winter bright colours Vs warm spring bright colours
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Your intense colouring means you look better in bright, vivid colours. (Fun fact: Cool Winters are the only season that can rock black and white!). Whereas Cool Summer, your sister season, is better suited to delicate tones and should stay clear of these bold colours. 

Because these sister seasons share the same cool undertones they are also often confused – which can wreak havoc on your wardrobe’s colour palette. So it’s important that you complete a thorough colour analysis.

If you’d like to complete your own DIY colour analysis and discover which colours make you shine, then my online personal styling course is a great option for you. Or if you’re in London and would like to enquire about my next availability for in-person analysis, please get in touch.


Discover the best way to get started on your personal style journey     

Roberta Lee - The Sustainable Stylist sits in a chair laughing. She wears a hat and black blazer with cream skirt .

Cool Winter Colour Palette

Example cool winter colour palette
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Winter colours are intense and icy. Think back to the winter scene – it’s full of black, bright whites and the coolest blues. Unlike Cool Summers, your high contrasting features mean that pastel colours will wash you out. Instead, stick to more vivid colours such as: fuchsia, bottle green, icy blue or cherry. nAnd, of course, steer clear of warm colours. 

If you’re struggling to tell the difference between warm and cool colours, then check out my cool colours blog for a step-by-step breakdown.

Best Colours for Cool Winter Skin Tones

True Winter Colour Palette | Best Colours for a Cool Winter Skin Tone
Cool Winter Colour Palette
  • Icy or vibrant pinks (carnation pink, deep rose, hot pink)
  • Clear reds
  • Bold purple
  • Blues
  • Greens (jungle green, bottle green and emerald)
  • Bright white
  • Black

This is just a small selection of your most flattering colours. If you’d like to learn more about your go-to colours…and which ones to avoid, then enrol on my course to access my bespoke winter colour wheel and handouts.

Cool Winter best colours

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Cool winter best neutrals

Cool Winter Best Neutrals
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True Winter Celebrities

Looking to other Cool Winter celebs is great for style guidance and inspiration. There are plenty of celebs who you’d expect to be a winter type – and some that might come as a surprise. Contrary to what you might expect, Naomi Campbell is a great example of a Cool Winter and pulls off bold colours, black and silver exceptionally well. 

At the opposite end of the spectrum, you have Katy Perry with her jet black hair and icy blue eyes. Then the more tanned and almost warm looking Brooke Shields. Other famous winter types include: Anne Hathaway, Lucy Liu, Helen Mirren, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Demi Moore.

Do you think you’re a Cool Winter? Not sure? Let me know why in the comments below and I’ll pick one of you to win a virtual colour consultation with me.

Think you might be a different season? Read my other posts to find out:

16 thoughts on “Cool Winter: Colour Analysis Guide”

  1. Michelle Jones

    I think im cool winter but my indecisiveness makes me doubt myself! I know that hot pink suits me and I know yellow really doesn’t. My skin is pale and burns easily, my eyebrows are dark but my natural colour is brown (not that I’ve seen that in many years as I dye it!). I have lost my confidence since my health changed so exploring these colours might just be the way back to finding myself. Thank you for this and all the examples, it’s been really helpful!

    1. Hi – yes grey works well for winters.Make sure it’s a cool grey, either light or charcoal work well – it should have a bit of blue in it to cool it down. Grey makes a nice alternative to black, and pairs well actually with the popular neutrals for a winter. Black, white and grey can add some contrast and make an outfit look quite chic! It also helps to wear more grey near the face as we start to age. Hope that helps 🙂

  2. Thank you so much for putting notes for people of colour in your content. It made figuring out I was a cool Winter so much easier than other blogs that didn’t include more ethnicities.

    1. I am pleased this was helpful for you. I plan to create more resources that show broader ethnic groups because colour analysis is for everyone, yet many people still only use white people as examples.

  3. Shaunna McCormack

    Hi Roberta,

    What hair dye colours would you recommend for cool winter palette?

    1. It really depends on your natural colourings as cool winter (which I am) can vary a lot in appearance. For cool types, generally (but not always) its better to go for cool browns, black, or ash blonde. Without seeing you I can’t say for sure. I have found that as cool winters age, they prefer less of a high contrast between their hair and skin. Not sure if that’s helpful enough for you? 🙂

  4. I was colur coded years ago by a professional colour coder and she spent hours trying to get me right.In the end I was definitely a cool winter but also a spring which is warm Go figure An inbetween so I can wear spring or winter But I love Winter with jet black hair sometimes blue black or indigo black,I have bright light green eyes and fair skin which is transparent .Love your blog Rose

  5. My eyes are hazel with the middle half of the iris being warm and outer half being cool. My skin has neutral undertone but seems to lean slightly more cool. My hair used to be dark brown but is now neutral-cool grey. When I hold up colour palettes to my photos the Cool Winter definitely looks the best. I thought I was Deep Winter but I’m now thinking I’m Cool Winter because when I compare the “sister palettes”, the Cool Summer looks better on me than Deep Autumn. I can wear some colours from the soft seasons (Autumn and Summer) and the deep ones (Winter and Autumn) but when I hold up the entire palette only the Cool Winter & Summer are fully harmonious. I’ve also always looked good in black and white together. I’ve never had a professional analysis done and only found out about these seasonal colours a few months ago.

  6. Thank you so much for the information and swatches of color. It is the best I’ve seen in a long time and great thoughts on how different even the winters are.

    1. Hi Judith,
      Thank you so much. I have been working on evolving my content especially the guidance related to colours, we are all so unique so colour theory does require a lot more variety in the examples of people who match the profile 🙂 – More content around the tonal system is coming soon. Roberta x

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