There's good news and bad news in the word of ski gloves. The good news is there's something for everyone and everyone sport, activity and weather condition. The bad news is technology has developed in such a way that one pair of gloves no longer covers you for winter.
You could open a small boutique glove shop with what I have in my closet. I have spring gloves, snowboarding gloves, mountaineering gloves, driving gloves, Deer Valley gloves (chic ones that match my outfits and look better than they function), powder gloves, and mittens for the brutal -0 temp days. This, of course, is overkill, but I'm the first one to admit my winter fashion sense far outweighs any summer or spring style. I horde gear the way a Beverly Hills housewife covets shoes and handbags.
Pick a spring and a winter glove if you can only have two pairs and plan to ski all season.
Cold weather gloves are designed for warmth in temperatures primarily ranging from 10 to 40 degrees. Swany uses a triplex insulating system in many of their cold weather styles like the NFX-1 Bad boy which uses a ComforMax Radiant Shield Heat reflecting membrane that reflects your radiant heat back to the hand. It's also windproof, breathable, and non-bulky.
Almost all cold weather gloves have a waterproof/breathable bladder for added comfort and dryness. The outer shells can be leather or fabric but both are built for durability and warmth. The key is finding a glove that fits, flexes, and allows you to feel the pole in your hand (if you're a skier) and isn't so bulky that there's play between your palm and the grip.
You snowboarders and pipe and park dudes will want something with a high cuff and seriously bombproof palms and fingers like the Level Super Pipe Pro with GoreTex XCR breathable waterproofing, Outlast insulation, breathable system, removable liner, knuckle protection, goggle wipe, and removable wrist guard.
I also keep a pair of mittens handy for days when I know I'll be cold. The Hestra Heli Mitt tackles angry weather. Your fingers feel like they're vacationing in Maui. It's time for charcoal heat packs made by the Heat Factory or battery-heated gloves when just a straight glove or mitt still won't keep you out all day enjoying the powder. Therm-ic has a new redesigned heated model I can't wait to test. I have mediocre circulation at best and, though expensive, they can be life savers.
Most cold weather gloves can be worn in most conditions, just make sure they are breathable as you'll quickly go from active to sedentary over and over again. Once your hands start to sweat and you sit on a lift, they'll chill if there's no way for moisture to escape.
No amount of breathability will keep sweaty hands dry when late March - April rolls around. It's time to shed the insulation. Spring gloves are lighter in weight while sporting water-resistant technology for those wet spring days. They are generally shorter in the cuff for easy on and off, and fit under a jacket or can be worn without a jacket. The palms are traditionally leather for added durability and grip. You'll often use a spring glove as a work glove- putting on chains, belaying rock climbers, shoveling dirt in the summer, so look for ones with a respectable warranty. The non-itchy, wool-lined Outdoor Research ExtraVert Glove is great for crossing into spring but then opt for the lighter Kombi Shifty or Swany Pro II once the snow corns.