Back in 2011 I trained in the fascinating science and art of colour analysis! Here I’ll share how it works – in the formal way as I was trained. But elsewhere, Ill talk about colour in a more casual way!
The Munsell Colour system is one of the most useful and universally recognised systems because it arranges colours into a logical order.
Using three terms to describe colour, the Musnell system was developed in 1903.
- Value (Depth – Light or Deep)
The value of a colour is how light or dark a colour is. There is a scale from 0-10 where white is 10 and black is 0. During colour analysis we use the terms LIGHT or DEEP.
- Hue (Undertone – Warm or Cool)
Each colour (red, blue, green etc) can be described in more detail by its yellow or blue undertone. For example a blue-red or orange- red, a blue-green or yellow green and so on. For undertone we will use the terms yellow-based for a warm undertone and blue-based for a cool undertone.
- Chroma (Clarity – Clear or Soft)
Some colours are bright and clear, others are soft and muted.
Hue (Undertone – Warm or Cool )
- Yellow or Blue undertone eg blue-red, orange-red, blue- green, yellow-green etc
- Yellow Base – WARM undertone
- Blue Base – COOL undertone
Value (Depth – Light or Deep)
- Scale 0-10
- White – 10
- Black – 0
- Value – depth/measure of lightness or darkness of colour
Chroma (Clarity – Clear or Soft)
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- Pureness or clarity of colour
- Bright/Clear or Soft/Muted
- Chroma – softness or clarity
We use Munsell’s Colour System when identifying a person’s colour characteristics, and when we select clothes and make up to flatter and enhance a person’s natural colouring.
By following Mother Nature, we ensure that colours appear together in a harmonious manner, with order and balance. The human eye responds positively to harmony and balance and it is more pleasing to the eye when colours are arranged in a logical order.
Understanding colour analysis allows us to create balance and harmony with the colours we wear and our natural colouring.
By wearing colours that have the same or similar characteristics to our own colouring, we achieve balance and harmony. The depth, undertone and clarity should all be within a similar range.
To determine you dominant colour characteristic you must look at your physical characteristics – hair colour, eye colour and skin tone – and how they work together.
- Naturally blonde hair
- Light blue, grey or green clear blue eyes
- Delicate, pale skin stones
- Lighter eyebrows and lashes
- Overpowered by dark colours worn on their own
- Strong, rich colouring
- Dark hair, dark eyes, dark eyebrows and lashes
- Black, dark brown, medium brown, olive or porcelain skin tones
- Pastels and light colours worn on their own make a DEEP look tired
- All shades of red hair from deep auburn to strawberry blonde
- Green, brown or clear blue eyes, lashes may be blonde
- Normally fair with freckles
- Overall golden look with warm tones to eyebrows
- Grey or ash toned hair from blonde to dark brown
- Grey, blue, green or dark eyes. Can be ‘clear’ brown
- Rosy or sallow skin, black or coloured skins with a blue tinge
- Will look yellow in warm colours
- Dark brown hair
- Clear blue, green, dark ‘clear’ brown or topaz eyes
- Dark eyebrows and lashes
- Porcelain to black skin
- Must be a strong contrast between hair and eye colour
- Light brown (mousey) to blonde hair tones, often highlighted
- Hazel, soft green, brown or blue-grey eyes. Often change colour
- Peachy, porcelain or olive skin tones
- Little contrast between hair, skin and eyes
- Confusing, unrelated charteristics
Want to know more about colour and what each one symbolises and represents? Read about the secret language of colour.