Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Deep Winter Soft or Soft Summer Deep?

I was having a little look around the internet for something (I can't even remember what) and I came across a post about seasonal colours. I remember this being a bit of a 'thing' in the 90s, having your colours done. Were you Spring, Summer, Autumn, or Winter?

Well it seems things have moved on a little bit since then, and now there are several systems, and up to 16 different seasons. 16! Each main season (the traditional 4) is split into 3 or 4 sub seasons, depending on the system. Things like Cool Winter, Soft Summer, and Deep Autumn.

To be honest, I'm utterly intrigued. I'm pretty sure I'm a Cool colour. My hair is ashy, my skin is pale and fairly neutral, and most yellows make me look ill. But am I a Summer, or a Winter? Or maybe a Deep Winter Soft, or a Soft Summer Deep? Typically Summer types are blonde and have a low contrast between their skin and hair, whereas Winter types typically have darker hair, or are completely grey haired. There are exceptions to this of course, hair colour is not the only determiner of which season you belong to.

Apparently some examples of Deep Winter Soft types are Ginnifer Goodwin and Jennifer Garner:

Doesn't she look fabulous!

Blonde winter types are really hard to find! Rachel McAdams and  examples of Soft Summer Deep, which is the complementary palette to Deep Winter Soft:

I am definitely drawn more to the Deep Winter Soft palette. My love of black is obvious, but often I prefer to soften it with grey taupe and beige, using jewellery and make up to add colour accents such as purple, teal and cream. Winter is definitely my favourite season, but is this something that reflects my understanding of my colour palette, or something that influences my colour palette?

For me personally the clear full toned colours of a typical winter palette are a little too bright for me now my hair is back to its natural hair colour, and the lighter colours of a Soft Summer Deep palette are too light for me.

This pin from demonstrates one of my perfect palettes:

Aside from navy, which is often used as a black substitute in this colour palette it seems (I will never bring myself to wear blue again, no matter how good it might look on me, as a result of 5 years in a navy and sky blue uniform), all the colours in this palette sit nicely with my personal style aesthetic of a combination of tough blacks and softer greys. I do still have to be careful that greys are more purple or taupe based than blue based as those are better colours for me. If I wore colours that is!

Also, unlike deep winters, or cool winters, I can't wear deeper shades of lipstick any longer. Which is a real shame as I have loads of them! When I had darker hair they were balanced out nicely but without that massive contrast between my hair and skin deeper lip colours just take over my face and look a little weird. Eyes though, done correctly, remain something that I can wear strong colours on, particularly if I stick to only tight lining my eyes rather than a more traditional eyeliner look.

My own outfit sets that I have created in the past certainly reflect my love of dark, rich but slightly muted colours:

Of course whether or not any of this is the right palette for me is unclear. I like to think I have a good eye for colour, but I could be totally misreading the whole thing! One of the colour consultants I was reading about (because she is a blonde winter type, which aren't common!) is based in Prague, so maybe at some point I'll combine a trip to one of my favourite cities with a colour consultation!

At the end of the day though, my own personal style aesthetic is dark, brooding and loves black. I can't see that changing at all. What finding out my 'colours' does help with is the make up choices I make to go with those neutral tones, and perhaps stop me feeling guilty for the vast amounts of lipstick in my drawer that I will probably never wear again. 

If you're similarly intrigued by the expanded colours system, try reading the following:


  1. Hello,

    Thanks for referencing my website ( The new 16 seasons is very advanced and it can be a very subtle difference between the Soft Summer Deep (officially called "Shaded Summer" and the Deep Winter Soft (called "Toned Winter) but essentially if you can wear a pretty good amount of the Winter colors but the sharp and bright colors aren't flattering and you need deep, smokey, muted colors more, you are probably a Toned Winter. Shaded Summers need a lighter touch and black usually looks too dark on them. Charcoal is a good alternative to black for all Summers. Thanks again :)

    1. Hi! Thank you for dropping by! And thanks for the extra tips :)


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