Dark Winter Blonde


Several months ago, I wrote a couple of posts on “Banning Black from My Wardrobe” (part two is here. Over the next couple of months, I went back and forth on whether I was a Light Spring. Many told me that I just had to be some kind of Spring. I have blonde hair, blue-green eyes, and pale, almost-translucent skin with a warmth to it. Spring, right?

So I got my Light Spring fan in the mail. When I began color-matching things to the fan, I could immediately tell that it was not where I belonged. I could go darker. Many colors brought out gray shadows on my face that didn’t exist otherwise. I didn’t tick any of the boxes of how a Light Spring person reacts to colors; I just fit the stereotype.

So this inspired me to do more drapes. Everyone agreed that Light Spring was as terrible as I thought. Soft Summer was brought up, but most agreed that I was Bright Spring. Kelly green was good. Coral had something good about it, but the shade (fan-matched to Light Spring) was a little off. Some even thought black was my best.

I went to the Bright Spring group on Facebook, and like when I thought I was a Soft Natural, I felt like I really didn’t fit in. Like my experiences with clothes among the Soft Naturals, I felt like I was having a different experience with colors than the Bright Springs were having. I look great in bronzer and a smoky eye. Bright Spring lipsticks leap off my face as if the color was photoshopped on. Tina has a great post on signs you might be a Bright Spring, but none of her points applied to me.

A little voice in my head began making itself heard. It brought up the handful of non-stereotypical Dark Winters I’d seen, ones who didn’t look like Kim Kardashian and instead had similar skin tones to me. Some of them weren’t even brunettes. Cate Linden posted a beautiful picture of a little blonde girl that she had draped as Dark Winter.

Then I found this post by Rachel Nachmias, on Dark Winters who people think are Bright Springs. Every point she makes in the post could be taken from my Facebook thread where I posted my drapes. (I take draping shots with messy hair and no makeup, so I’m not posting them on the blog for posterity. I promise, though, that when I do finally get draped professionally, I will post those pictures.)

The only difference between me and the theoretical light Dark Winter in Rachel’s post is that I love dark colors. Nothing makes my heart sing more than a very dark purple, which, coincidentally, has been my most flattering drape to date. Dark circles that require two different kinds of concealer? Gone. Skin? Looks photoshopped. Face? Totally in focus.

Finding out about the possibility of me being Dark Winter makes me feel like I did when I came home to Flamboyant Gamine. All of the disparate parts about my natural appearance that weren’t making sense feel like they are suddenly coming together. I can wear very dark colors and turquoise and bright green and coral, and I am never going to try to get rid of black again. I am going to continue to experiment with Dark Winter, and let you know how it’s going.

Did your season surprise you? Do you fit the stereotype for a person of your season?

12 Comments on Dark Winter Blonde

  1. Jayleen
    January 23, 2015 at 3:23 am

    My season definitely surprised me. For years I thought I was a Winter, possibly a Cool Summer with my brown hair and blue eyes. Black mostly ruled my wardrobe, but I didn’t know how to choose color. Since I couldn’t afford a draping, I went to my local Goodwill (a great place to find every season at once is in a thrift store!) and pulled colors from every season. Dusty colors made me look gray, Winter white didn’t do much for me either. I didn’t try Autumn, but Bright Spring won the day! I am now the proud wearer of colors like coral, chartreuse, mustard, poppy red, and purple.

    What cinched it for me was this theory of iridology. I have a “sunburst” spring eye according to this list. Supposedly the pattern of your iris indicates what season you are. Whether or not you believe it, the idea is fascinating.

    • stylesyntax
      January 23, 2015 at 4:59 am

      I’ve looked into iridology a little bit, but to be honest, I have a real problem telling the patterns apart. They all somehow look the same to me.

      That is great that you’ve managed to figure it out on your own. I never thought of going to a thrift store; I just ransack my house.

  2. Chiara
    January 26, 2015 at 9:50 am

    Now this, I think, feels like a more constructive direction! I can definitely see you in some of the gorgeous DW sea greens, reds and pinks. It would also tally with my impression that you can wear a much larger range of colors and darkness than LSpr typically can. Maybe a brunette L Spr has a wider range, but as a blonde, I don’t!

    • stylesyntax
      January 26, 2015 at 4:53 pm

      It was pretty much clear when I had the Light Spring fan in my hands that my range is much bigger. Plus the Light Spring colors that don’t turn me gray turn me pink. People who do color by body color, eye pattern, etc. still tend to put me in Spring, especially Early Spring, which doesn’t fit with my style at all but does go darker than Sci/art Light Spring. I think Caygill/Zyla Early Springs often end up in Light Summer, which is entirely possible but Lightness is super obviously not my TMIT.

      I don’t think hair color would affect how dark you could go, though. I guess your hair couldn’t go darker than the fan because then it would look too dark and harsh on you, so even brown-haired Light Springs have pretty light hair.

      I LOVE the Dark Winter palette, and it definitely has much more variety than people give it credit for. Understanding my need for darkness, rather than lightness, has given me some new direction in my seasonal color analysis journey. The only thing I’ve 100% taken off the table is Light Spring, because I have the fan and have been able to accurately match colors and understand what it does to my skin. Besides DW, I’m looking at BSp (a fan is in the mail), LSu, SSu, SA, DA, BW… I still have a long way to go, but I feel I have a slightly better understanding of how I relate to colors now.

  3. Ann
    January 26, 2015 at 10:59 pm

    I don’t recall where I read this, but the best test for dark winter is whether or not gothic makeup makes you look goth (i.e. intentionally artificial). If gothic colors are really natural on you without people calling you Morticia, then you’re probably a dw. But your coloring sounds quite vivid for a dw; have you ruled out the other winters?

    • stylesyntax
      January 27, 2015 at 3:45 am

      The only thing I’ve 100% ruled out is Light Spring, since I have a fan and can see the effect of fan-matched colors on me. I am definitely considering the other Winters and mainly winter-influenced seasons. My coloring is odd; some people see vivid and am convinced that I am a Bright, and then others think I am a Soft. That is actually partially what leads me to Dark; DW has the clarity that all Winters have, but it is the most muted, comparatively. I have also found that if I’m wearing a bright color, it looks better if I throw a black jacket over it. I could be reading too much into it, but in Christine Scaman’s article on Dark Winter makeup (http://www.12blueprints.com/matching-the-swatch-book-coral/), she writes: “Your eye colour makes no difference. The makeup will work. The only thing you may need is a darkness adjustment. A dark lipstick will look lightER on a darkER person.” As a very light person, in non-Sci/Art terms, I probably wouldn’t be able to wear Revlon’s Black Cherry with no other makeup on my face, but I can wear it as a stain (my mom didn’t look at me and tell me I looked goth, as I was in my tween years, so that’s always a good sign), or I can wear it with a full eye makeup look, or I could wear a mulberry pinkish color like in this pin: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/359584351473835340/. If I am DW, I think I’d be able to wear the darks, but I’d pair them with the lights/brights from the season, and temper the makeup color to fit the fact that I am a lighter person. If you look at the model in the picture I paired with this post, she has the lip color with just enough eye makeup to balance it, and then the dark green with an icy pink turtleneck. I think on a light Dark Winter, if that is what I am, that is probably the way to go. Combining lights and darks is Winter’s thing in general, though, so I could very well be one of the other ones. I’m not ruling anything out besides Light Spring until I have a thorough professional analysis!

      • Ann
        January 27, 2015 at 7:23 pm

        In lay terms, descriptions like “soft”, “bright”, and “vivid” are very subjective, which is probably why people give you such contradictory assessments. To help you narrow it down, cross out SS, SA, and LSum. I’m certain you can rule out SS and SA, just based on this sentence alone:

        “I have also found that if I’m wearing a bright color, it looks better if I throw a black jacket over it.”

        They can’t pull off strong contrasts (ex. bright against dark) – these season need graduations of color, not contrast. And black itself is just too strong for their coloring. If you’ve ruled out LSp 100% because you can handle a darker palette, its sister LSum won’t do you any favors either. I’m skeptical about TSum based on your descriptions so far, but can’t rule it out entirely. Look forward to learning more about your color analysis journey; with my coloring, it was far easier to self-analyze, because all but three seasons are obviously wrong on me.

        • stylesyntax
          January 28, 2015 at 5:34 am

          People tend to think “soft” or “light” as an initial impression because I have light hair and light skin and light-seeming eyes. But people who have been following my color journey for some time don’t usually see it, because if you put a picture of me in black and white, my natural contrast is much higher than it seems at first glance. LSu goes darker than LSp, but I guess it’s still pretty low-contrast, so I think you’re right that I can probably cross it off. And I can’t picture myself in SSu or SA, so I’ll gladly cross those off!

          You’re lucky that yours has been relatively simple; mine has been going on for nearly a year already.

  4. Chiara
    January 26, 2015 at 11:32 pm

    Well, in learning to use the palette, I’ve found that skin vs hair color (by that I mean hair on head, eyebrows and eyelashes) and eye color were important because of what they say about the level of contrast you can work with. Realising that I have a (relatively) lower level of contrast led me to realise that when I use the LSpr palette, I need to use it with blended effects and not clear contrasts. Again, not something you see on Pinterest! Whereas, if I was a LSpr with darker hair/eyebrows, more colorful eyes and skin that seemed fairer, I could probably use the palette with more contrast.
    The only other color palette I would really encourage you to try out is True Summer… I know you’re sticking with the neutral palettes, but I think it would be one to try (see here for some interesting points on DW vs TS http://www.12blueprints.com/matching-the-swatch-book-coral/)

    • stylesyntax
      January 27, 2015 at 3:27 am

      I think that since Light Spring is naturally a low-contrast palette, a person with more contrast in their body would probably end up somewhere else, like Bright Spring. It was pointed out to me today in the color group on Facebook that I appear light and low contrast, since my hair and skin are both so light, but I also have a dark ring around my light eyes (which Kentner sees as something found mainly in Winters) and eyebrows that are much darker than my hair, especially the hair around my face. So that’s why Light Spring seems to flatten me (not to mention make me pink). I sound far less contrasting than the theoretical Light Spring you’re describing, and yet the effect that LSp’s low contrast has on me is very obvious.

      TSu is a possibility for me, since it does have darkness. I have found that burgundy and medium-to-dark warm purple are some of my best colors, and these two are found in all of the winters and the other three winter-influenced seasons. I am getting a Bright Spring fan next week, so I should be able to either find my home or objectively rule out Spring altogether. Sometimes I think my best bet would be to take the light colors from DW and the dark colors from BSp and put them together in a custom fan, or add a drop of black to BSp… which may just be BW 🙂

  5. Michaela
    January 31, 2015 at 8:08 pm

    I think you can be blonde dark/bright winter as well as bright spring. You can be whatever. Today, I’ve just analyzed a girl who looked like perfect autumn but she was true summer. Without drapes, nobody knows.

    • stylesyntax
      February 1, 2015 at 1:11 am

      Exactly. Truly, no draping result would be unexpected for me except for Light Spring, and that is only because I own the palette and can see what the colors do for my skin, and it’s nothing good 🙂 When you get into color groups as someone with coloring that is seen as light and delicate, you’re immediately told to go look at the lights, but really, I could be anything, like your autumn-looking True Summer.


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