top of page
  • Writer's pictureImage Innovators SA

Understanding the Intricacies of Colour Analysis

This is fundamental in finding our clients' perfect colour direction. However, navigating these complexities requires a keen eye and a deep understanding of various elements that can influence the outcome.


Let's delve into some crucial components of colour analysis and how they can sometimes lead to unexpected results:

1. Overtone and Undertone:


Overtone refers to the surface colour of a person’s skin Some people have a predominant undertone of either Cool (blue) or Warm (yellow), and this will be discovered during the draping process. The skin, however, can be deceptive and may be one undertone but appear as another. Your client’s undertone and overtone need to be taken into consideration when you are draping a person.


Undertone is the subtle hue beneath the skin's surface. Identifying undertones correctly is essential for pinpointing the right colour direction. However, overtone can sometimes be deceptive, if influenced by factors like sun exposure, makeup, artificial lighting or shadows. An individual’s genes determine their natural colouring. Three substances influence the skin's colour:

  • Melanin

  • Haemoglobin (red)

  • Carotene (yellow/orange)

The, most important and impactful of the three is melanin. Melanin is a brown pigment that resides in the epidermis and is the main element responsible for the colour of a person’s skin, hair, and the coating of the retina.  It is essential to embrace natural light whenever possible for accurate assessments. Conduct analyses near windows or invest in daylight-simulating lamps to replicate natural lighting indoors. Be mindful of how artificial lighting can distort colours, and adjust accordingly.

2. Skin Intensity

The surface of the skin itself can be seen to be Clear or Muted according to the surface’s ability to reflect light. 

CLEAR skins are those that appear to have a regular reflection, high definition and clarity to them. COOL Clears and WARM Clears also tend to have larger pores. As they age their skin may become drier and often appear more matt. CLEAR is also reflected in a general glossiness, which is also found in the hair and eyes.

The MUTED person has an overall softness to their appearance. Together their hair, skin, and eyes do not overwhelm or draw undue attention. There is a level of subdued impact on their appearance. Their appearance is quiet and reserved. Their muted skin has an airbrushed, gentleness to it and tends more inclined to be sensitive.


Clear colours are vivid and vibrant, while muted colours are softer and more subdued. Determining whether an individual leans towards clear or muted hues can be challenging, as personal preferences or temporary factors like lighting can skew perceptions.

3. Clarity between Hair, Skin, and Eyes:

The harmony between hair, skin, and eye colours is crucial in colour analysis. However, variations in lighting conditions or the presence of makeup can create an illusion of harmony that may not accurately reflect an individual's natural colour palette. The variants in definition and clarity that appear between the hair, skin and eyes will impact the colour direction you select for your clients. We want to create harmony for our clients giving them the best contrast levels and colours for them. We want to ensure our clients are wearing the colour rather than the colour wearing them. 


4. Warm vs Cool Colours:

Determining whether someone suits warm or cool colours involves understanding the undertones and overtones present in their skin, hair, and eyes. Warm colours have the presence of yellow to them and cool colours have the absence of yellow to them / a blue undertone. While colour analysis provides valuable insights into selecting flattering hues, it's essential to acknowledge the potential pitfalls that can arise. 

Finally, approach each analysis with patience and attention to detail. Take the time to observe subtle variations and conduct thorough evaluations to ensure precise results. By using credible resources that assist you with accuracy you can navigate through challenges effectively and provide clients with invaluable insights into their personal colour direction.

For more information on how to become an internationally certified colour consultant, contact and enquire about our training. Image Innovators offers In-Person, Virtual and Online Training Options. If you would like to receive a colour analysis, please visit our consultants page and get in touch with an Image Innovators consultant near you.




bottom of page