True and Bright Winter Landscapes

Imagine leaving the house at 6 am and walking along a street where you live on a freezing cold morning. What kind of things might you notice?

1. Tightness. Your skin, the ground beneath your feet, your emotional range, and every texture around you is compacted. As that happens, things becomes smoother, shinier, stiffer, harder. Fabric is smooth, not rough. It can go from uniformly smooth for True Winter to so slick it looks wet for Bright Winter, like patent leather, shimmer, a wet seal. Dark Winter was crocodile (textured danger) and its best black was matte. True Winter is shark (monotone danger) and its best black, its best everything, is featureless, constant, and even. Seals are the least dangerous, the most cute, and the most quirky. Makes sense, Spring is on its way.

In 12 Tone seasonal colour analysis, True Winter represents the natural colouring of people whose inborn pigments are

  • maximally cool, without the slightest heat from yellow, gold, orange, beige
  • quite dark to black
  • icy light to white
  • highly saturated pure colour, not foggy or dusty, not even a speck

The colours that pre-exist in Bright Winter‘s skin are similar to True Winter and influenced by the mixing in of a small amount of Spring’s yellower, lighter pigments. They are

  • not max cool; the earliest sunbeams of weak pale yellow shine on them, so it’s a Neutral Season, with a warm and a cool version of most colours
  • quite dark to black, but that sun lightens them a bit
  • icy light to white
  • highEST saturated pure colour, powerfully pure pigment

2. Darkness. When you started your walk, light was absent. For the most part, you couldn’t see colour at all so the shape of things became really important, like the shack on the frozen lake. This is True Winter. Form matters. This person looks good in solid blocks of single powerful colour set off by neutrals, especially black and white.

To see a colour, it had to be brilliantly strong. Often, it appeared alone, like the last leaf on a tree, the single red berry on the shrub, the blue deck chair left out after the snow fell. Use one colour whose importance is amplified by its aloneness and empty surrounding. This colour doesn’t go ping, it’s not a series of taps, it’s one solid punch to the gut. The wind is knocked out of you. You’re pushed back hard, you have to react strongly, the colour’s violence gives you no other choice.

3. The night is the constant in a world that keeps changing. Regardless of species or century, we are forced to pause and submit to life’s right to balance light by letting darkness pour through and around it. Like state and ceremony, True Winter is timeless which is why trend looks so odd on True Winter, even the young ones. These are old soul types, for whom mermaid hair, beach hair, and mapped hair were not intended because they are defined by a specific moment in time. True Winter doesn’t heed time or any other man-made thing. Mind, the shape of the haircut is very important.

4. Dark colours recede. They seem out of reach. You behold but you don’t come close, like the Ave Maria. True Winter is the single star, glory only known from afar. Like Cher, she was probably a grownup even as a kid. Elizabeth Taylor was probably a Bright Winter, from the delicacy of the bone structure and clarity of her colouring,  though certainly the Winter was dominant. She was so timeless, so untouchable, old world glamour, not at all cute.

Bright Winter is the star shower, or maybe the shooting star, still Winter’s oblivious indifference, still unto itself alone, but a friendlier feeling. More approachable, maybe it cares about you just a little. The carefreedom of sprinkles is still far, far away in the Spring group, but there’s a distinct lightness of being coming in. Let sweetness creep into clothing but with a lot of control. That’s what Winter likes best, even over power.

Mod can be more of a Peace&Love Spring esthetic, but Winter can fake it really well if their character takes them there because colourblocking looks so good. It reminds of the glamour of old James Bond movie stars. Bright Winter can be incredibly cool, the white tuxedo jacket, the black pant with the sequin stripe down the seam, the choker with the red rose pinned to it. These are people who hold a lot of red and a little of Spring’s magic and movement. Below, the BW undertone (as I see it) and why the palest golden gloss in lipstick looks so good.

5. The sun is rising as you make your way home. Your lashes are still frozen together and every attribute of coldness still applies but you feel less guarded, more expectant. Stop reading and think about what the faintest sunrise feels like compared to the complete darkness of night. Have you ever watched the sun come over the horizon or anticipated seeing it as the horizon began to lighten? Every living thing turns towards that light and feels the surge of hope down to their bones. Energy skyrockets to fuel the day. The colours around you take on that faint yellowness. The styles you wear express that optimism. This is Bright Winter.

6. With more light, you see more detail. Much of this world is based on frozen water and we become aware of the delicacy of ice. Frost looks like lace. The sun glinting off the snow blanket looks like glitter on fabric. Bright Winter is that, but the hardness is still here because we feel that words like shatter are appropriate.

True Winter’s ice is a solid block, very little detail. No taste, no smell, no motion, forbidding, uncomfortable, uncompromising. Minimally interactive, unforgiving, it just is, always has been, always will be.

5. You don’t go to the gala every day, or at least I don’t. But both these groups should dress like they might be.  Adding a shot of luxe only looks better. It’s hard to find this apparel on a budget, hard to find stuff you can throw into the washing machine, hard to find non-slouchy clothes in these powerful colours. So much is made to blend with the crowd, using textiles that don’t hold a dye. And then to find a shoe with some reason for being besides shredding sheets, explaining the delay for this post.

The Bright Spring and True Winter are the only Seasons where I will agree that shopping is a challenge, both makeup and clothes, unless you have significant disposable income and time, or you go to the opera every day of your life, or are willing to wear horizontal stripes till friends ask you to stop. What they have to suffer through to come up with one outfit… no wonder they all wear black or revert to Summer and Autumn. Dark and saturated clothes are made so flamboyant, like the designer couldn’t get stopped with the details and the stuff, the ruching on every seam, the bells and whistles, like life is a Christmas party, glitter required. This obsession interrupts True Winter’s unbroken, inviolate quiet.

6. Learn your purples and wear them. The Winter Season is based on red and darkened with a lot of blue, a lot. The result is a huge purple group. True is bluer because it’s darker, so more royal purple, blue purple, red purple, pink purple, and cold fuchsia. BW is a lighter Season with there’s less blue to darken it, so less blue purples, but much more red, red purple, and pink purple, sugarplums and candy canes. True Winter left, Bright Winter right.

True and Bright Winter daytime

7. Tailoring. Cozy on Autumn looks like schlumpy on Winter. It’s fitted and it’s perfect, period. Winter doesn’t compromise. This is for whom all those black, tuxedo, and dark pinstripe suits were made. The transformation of Anne Hathaway’s character in the movie The Devil Wears Prada is perfect illustration of True Winter’s potential and how I see that woman at her absolute best. This trailer shows the before. She’s everywoman. She is wearing jewelry, lipstick, clothing, but she might as well not be. The woman at the end is a unique entity who has heard the beat of her own  drum.

Always with the high contrast, the shirt is white or icy. One can never overdo contrast on Winters. Big, big, big distance between the lightness of the light block and the darkness of the dark block.  Not every colour is at the dark or light extreme, of course. That’s not the  most important thing. For True Winter, the crucial thing is to not see one degree of heat.

8. The superlative True Winter look remains black and white in a quiet, symmetric layout. Add one colour and consider that the lipstick is enough. Know when to stop.

9. More makes these two Seasons the same than makes them different. All Winter is very formal, but True the most. Leave raw edges to Autumn who does that better. There is no boppy feeling, no schoolboy/girl effects, no Peter Pan stuff, goodness mercy, Wonderland is Spring’s eternal youth playground.  True Winter is very grownup, no tiny pockets sewn here and there, no cutesy stuff, these bodies don’t move that way, nothing loose and falling off. What would the Ruler Of The Kingdom would show up for work in, even with the ruby silk-lined cape? Do I even dare say the word Dracula?

10.  True Winter faces don’t move much when they talk, no big eyes and big expressions. Jewelry and hair should be that way too. Keep your hair still, or at least don’t touch it all the time. It may look graceful and ladylike but that’s not your deal. It detracts from your power. True Winter is unspoiled, almost sacrosanct. Surfaces on the jewelry are smoother, though the facet of a precious stone isn’t out of place, like the face of the iceberg. The scale is unbelievably big. Much of the jewelry could go to both Seasons, but for True, I looked for glacial coldness and hardness first. Or do I have it backwards? Is this fire so hot it burns white? True Winter left, Bright Winter right.

True and Bright Winter jewelry

11. Hold on to the most important thing for your colouring to look its best. Bright Winter’s is purity of colour, colour taken its most extreme possible level, blinding colour. The blues are bluer than even True Winter’s. Pure white pants are too blingy for anyone but the Bright Winter, and every other item should be dark.

12. Bright Winter also has Spring’s youth and irregularity. Patterns are more random, colour shots are added more spontaneously, though in small areas because Winter’s muscle is still strong. One line of purple eyeliner is plenty.

Spring is younger than Winter. Where Winter was never a child, Spring is always a child, the magnificent paradox of the Bright Winter. Youth brings in the modern. True Winter is classic glamour, Bright is modern glamour and textile but still formal and way more serious than frolic. Bright Winter’s jewelry is not crystalline or bead, it’s still sharp enough to hurt you, we draw points on stars for a reason. That bejeweled snake only looks pretty.

13. Spring brings in more fun. The dazzle, the glitz, the ruffle. True Winter is the crowning ceremony, Bright is the party after. Bows and bells can work and should be all-out fabulous, not prim, sweet, small, fussy, or anything else Winter isn’t. The Stars and Stripes is the magnitude we’re after.


14. If Dark Winter is the Russian empress, then Bright is the Manchurian empress. Asian effects look good on many, especially with those with that eye shape and colour. Chinese Dragon colours.

Those with transparent bottle green and turquoise eyes will work other effects. In a discussion on facebook about how Winter faces look good when all the features are very distinct on the face to respect the enhancing power of contrast on this colouring, we thought that bold lips with lighter eyes is another way to introduce that contrast. Bold lips could mean dark, to work the light-dark contrast. It could also just mean vivid and bright, the Bright Seasons being the natural home of the colour pop.

Note that we visit here because we all agree that it is more beautiful and more relaxed for everybody if your work with yourself rather than against. If you have pale brows, be grateful for the gentleness and flexibility this gives your overall look. If you feel crazy in scarlet lips, get to know Dior Addict or the  many other sheerer lines of lip colour. Karla Sugar comes through with one of the  most accurate photographic representations of Addict lipsticks, or any makeup, that I know, here. You might try Perfecto and Fashion for True, New Look and Rose Shocking for Bright. Wish there were more violet purples, please do share any with us that you love.t

For those new here and hoping for more on seasonal cosmetic colours, you may be interested in the recent post How Winters Intensify Eye Colour.

15. Mechanical stuff looks good on all Winters, silver better. Zippers, snaps, jewelry. Really, nobody does this as well. It’s too hard and cold for the Lights, Softs, Warms. Consider that the Darks and Trues wear orderly items better, like zippers. Bright has more hip, more flash, they’ll wear aviator glasses, heavy silver wire, grey to black lenses, an extra wire across the bridge for weight, and a black bar.

16. Last words : all black outfits = shooting blanks.


29 thoughts on “True and Bright Winter Landscapes”

  1. Wonderful, Christine. Crocodile, shark, seal – night, sharpness, cold tight, in control. I like it. I also see how much I am not a winter – though I’m close. I learned a lot. These articles where you bring in so many senses and pictures and descriptions are really good. Thank you.

  2. A small tip for all you delighted readers – have a look at the pictures in the Consistent Bright Spring article in comparison to those in the article above … ;-) See the difference? The light, the yellowness, the transparency …

  3. Really lovely article, thank you! It’s the associations and images that help so much in getting a clearer concept, seeing the slight difference between one tone and another, and it’s making me more aware of ‘real’ colour in the landscape, in the weather, in the naturally growing plants at the time, and its a far realer education than walking through a department store when shopping, which is one of the few times I consciously THINK about colour. Reading this article in conjunction with the imagery and word choices of the Bright Spring article is also very interesting, I had to read the two back to back and could see then the movement from one category to the next and get the different ‘feel’. I’m having a huge rush of colour confusion this weekend having been a bright winter since my HoC pca, and now having been told through a sci/art pca that I’m a light spring…..(er what?!) and my colour identity is hiding somewhere under a table with a bag over its head, but this series of articles is a real pleasure to read.

  4. I agree with Rachel… I would love to see Soft Summer landscapes. I’ve loved seeing all the seasons interpreted in this way. The photographs are so beautiful and the writing is brilliant. The Soft Autumn was especially lovely. So, I’m hoping Soft Summer is next on your list!

  5. Another very descriptive and helpful article full of images to get the mood and details for a particular type. Hope to see groups of photos of clothing and accessories for True Summers like what was done here for Winters. So looking forward to your book.

  6. Another insightful and thoughtful analysis. I know you are so busy, but I’d like to echo Rachel and Cathy, and hope you can provide a description of true autumns. Also for those of us who are somewhat older, a discussion of how to assess whether we segue into a softer season, if we remain in our original season but make some changes.

  7. Amazing post! Thank you. Uniform smoothness – that’s most of my wardrobe right there. The pieces that can’t be described as uniformly smooth get the least wear. I just hadn’t realized it.

  8. First I just wanted to make sure you know you’re an amazing writer ;). I’m a newly analyzed winter myself, probably bright as I’m an contrasting winter in the BFAS system. There is a lot of info on your website, which I love. But, I’m hoping you could give us some more info on the bright winter personality, as it’s all a bit confusing.

    so could you please clarify the difference between a bright winter and a bright spring PERSON?

    It seems on the one side as though we’re all about fun, but then on the other side the bright winter is mostly a winter-person, and therefore more formal.

    So it seems as though we’re supposed to be the fun winters? I hate to say it, but I’m really not fun.. I can have loads of fun as long as I’m not in a social setting, of course. perhaps the point is that we’re slightly less up-tight than the true and dark?

  9. Hey Helen, I don’t know if you are happy with the LS discovery, but I just wanted to say good luck to you in your new season. I hope you are able to find success in the new colors!

  10. Beautifully written, as always, Christine. I enjoyed reading about True Winters, because my husband had a PCA this summer and is a TW. Since he’s a TW and I’m a TSp, I got a kick out of reading, “Where True Winter was never a child, Spring is always a child…” This is a brilliant and pithy summary of our relationship! Oh dear.

  11. Thank you Melinda, how kind! I’m confused about how it happened that one analyst decided cool and another decided warm, (er, shall we go with really neutral?) but I can see they were both identifying light, clear and bright. Thanks for the good wishes :)

  12. Hey Helen, I’m sure Christine could answer your question much better than I could, but my thoughts on it would be that it could be a dozen of different reasons. One reason of course being that anyone can make a mistake. Another reason could be that because you may be very neutral perhaps colors from both pallets look good on you. The idea of having a sister season comes into play here. It may be that one analyst thought your skin looked perfected in either season so they went to a secondary element such as how your eyes reacted to the colors. I like the idea of relying on how your skin reacts though. To me it seems the most important part. Perhaps you weren’t feeling well and that affected your skins appearance, perhaps you had a light tan that affected it. So many reasons. In the end though, which colors did you prefer on you, and how did you feel about the analysis? That is probably what masters most.

    This is of course just my thoughts. I am not an analyst at all. Again good luck and have fun with it!

  13. RK,
    I once added a series of observations about the funny (as in funny-peculiar) side of each Season on facebook. I don’t recall them all, but Bright Winter’s was “Life is a party. Why am I not having any fun?”
    I think you described it really well. The impression is certainly of formality, quiet, and reserve, but this character can lighten up better than the other Winters. I think that they see themselves as quite outgoing, but they appear to others quieter than they feel inside. Bright Winter can be very dramatic and funny at times, they like to laugh, and can have bigger gestures and facial expressions, but it lasts about 2 seconds, till they get themselves back under (Winter’s) control. I also find they fidget a fair bit during a PCA compared to most Winters who are perfectly still, in deep analysis mode.

    Melinda answered your question beautifully. I have never seen the drapes that other analysis companies use, but they’re the measuring instrument, so if warm-neutral in one company looks like cool-neutral in another’s, you’ll get a different conclusion. I’m not sure I can really help with this because there are so many variables in the equation.

  14. Thank you for the personality descriptions. I find this the most fascinating part of PCA.

    After living as a winter for about a month I have come to realise that I’ve probably been misdiagnosed. Even though one’s skin is supposed to be cleared by the winter colors, it’s not supposed to make you look like a ghost (at least I hope not). My face sort of disappears, and all you notice is my clothes. Hopefully it just means that my analyst’s second best choice, summer, was right. This would also make sense as I identify with the introvert side of winter profoundly. And I understand traces of this is common in summers too. But I cannot relate to the drama or the more dominating sides of the winter personality. I hate arguing. So hopefully I’m a true or light summer (as I look awful in faded colors, so soft summer’s out).

    – RK

  15. RK,
    It sounds as though your doubts are well founded. On a Summer wearing Winter colours, the clothes will be too demanding. True Summer is quite similar, just more muted and not quite so dark. For both, the most important thing remains the same, that being coolness.

  16. What’s the chance of someone being a Bright winter who leans a little closer to spring then others. Would that equal a a look of less contrast,and less contrast in general.

  17. If a Bright winters natural haircolor was kindof a glassy light brown with red. should she dye her hair black or dark brown to amplify the winter appearance. Would the fushia lipstick look great on the person but clash with the hair?

  18. JKitten,

    Yes, a BW could be quite warm and close to BSp. More contrast or less – sometimes but not always. Not always at all. Lots of variation (which is why I don’t think about contrast till after I know the palette that perfects the individual). I’m not someone who thinks dyeing natural hair darker ever really works, it’s too hard on the skin. If you were given a gorgeous and lighter hair colour, quite common in BW, show it off and enjoy how unexpected it looks with the BW palette. Why darken it to look ‘average’? No colour in your palette will ever clash with any other or with your natural colouring (because that’s what your palette really is). Once you start messing and adding chemical colour, there’s no telling what will flatter or clash. Dark hair, fuchsia lips, on a person that Nature painted a bit more fair than that, I don’t see it as a beautiful look. Spring always has something delicate, even in BW, but that look sounds hard.

  19. Thank you very much =D your so helpful and I really trust your knowledge and advice on this. How common is it for a BW to have ashy/glassy hair comparable in some ways to True summer? I was also wondering what Emma watson was? I hear mixed things.

  20. Christine, I was color analyzed two weeks ago. I looked at your SciArt Analyst Directory to see if one was in my area. I was so excited to see that Km Impressions and Makeup Studio was here in my city, north of San Antonio, Tx. I always thought I was Soft Autumn or Soft Summer. Green eyes w/golden brown around the iris and gray rim on the outside, neutral skin, medium brown hair. It was interesting to see the drapes come and go and see what colors were best with my complexion. In the end I could’t believe it but the drapes don’t lie. I’m a True Winter.

  21. Jennifer, it’s very hard to figure yourself out, especially when you have it narrowed down to neighbour Seasons. No photos would ever help me. I see 20 photos, same woman, same clothes, same light, and she looks different in all of them. And I can’t tell what’s right. In real life, our brain readjusts constantly so we think we see white when we seldom do, but the other way too, by telling us what’s real and what’s just locked in a photographic image.

  22. ” I could never see Elizabeth Taylor as a Bright, one, because I could never see any heat, but secondly because she was so classic, so untouchable, old world glamour, not at all cute.”

    Hey could you clarify what you mean by not seeing any cuteness in her and the old world glamour part. Are you saying BW cannot be classics and such?

  23. Hi Christine, Late comment on this post ;) I just watched Anne Hathaway in The Intern and she is as stunning as she is in The Devil Wears Prada. I see her as TW as I see you have her here as well, but she is often typed as DW. Possibly stereotypical due to dark eyes? Do you still see her as TW and if so, could you elaborate on why? Many thanks, Emma

  24. With Anne, I’m not sure about any of the 3 Winters, Emma. Same thing with Kim Kardashian. The idea that we can know celeb Seasons from their pictures is just a game. I don’t believe it can be more than that, a guesstimate. TW crossed my mind for these women because of the long face primarily, and I don’t see smoke or sun strongly in either one. TW is a solid, substantial looking colouring, which Kim reminds me of. In the past, these women got placed in Dark Winter for their dark hair and eyes, to which my questions was always, “OK, then what does a TW with dark hair and eyes look like? How about a BW?” because hopefully these days, we all understand that this colouring descriptions can appear in any Winter. Not rare in Dark Autumn either.

  25. Thanks for commenting, Christine. Love the description “don’t see smoke or sun…” You’re right of course that we can only guess and they are beautiful whatever season.

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