Wednesday, August 31, 2011

64. Rainbow Colors--Comparison Between Two Palettes [First Edition]

Here, we have an interesting comparison between a sampling of Cool 1, and Warm 8 palette colors.  Both sets contain representative colors from every hue ("color") of the rainbow.  They differ, primarily, in the amount of contrast available within the palettes.  There is more contrast (difference) between the colors in the Warm 8 palette than there is within the Cool 1 palette.  By contrast, I mean there's a greater range available between the lightness and darkness of colors (value), and the intensity and dullness of colors (chroma). Darker skinned people can wear much more contrast than can fair skinned people.

 However, if a fair-skinned person has very dark hair, eyes or eyebrows, then their natural coloring allows for additional contrast.  To provide for this, the lightest palettes include some strong colors that are marked with an asterisk. These are to be added into the palettes when more contrast is allowed and desired.

63. Rainbow Colors--W7 Palette Colors [First Edition}

Look at this gorgeous array of color!  All colors are from the Warm 7 color palette.  And all are perfectly (mathematically) harmonious.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

60. Example of a Square Color Scheme [First Edition]

Not only is this lovely model wearing her correct colors, but she is also wearing her correct contrast range.  Her very dark hair, eyes and eyebrows require her to wear at least a dab of her lightest and darkest colors (along with whatever other correct colors she wishes) in order to make her appear "focused."                  

59. Example of a Split-Complementary Color Scheme [First Edition]

The three color swatch pages (above) come from this model's correct color palette. Colors found in the image, either on the model or in the frame, have a black frame around them.  Notice the two darkest color swatches that have a white asterick.  Had they been used on the model, they would have commanded too much attention.  They would have overpowered her image.  The asterick-marked color swatches should only be used if the person has eye, eyebrow or hair color that is at least that dark.  In such a case, at least a touch of one of the darkest colors would be needed to balance her contrast level, and make her appear "in focus." 

    People with very dark skin and hair should wear contrast colors that span from one of the lightest to one of the darkest colors in their palette, even if  just a touch of color.  It will balance their overall appearance. 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

58. Example of a Triad Color Scheme [First Edition]

The three color swatch pages come from this model's correct color palette.  Colors found in the image, either  on the model or in the frame, have a black frame around them. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

55. Square Color Scheme, N1 Palette Colors [First Edition]

With color palettes, combined with the use of suggested color schemes, you will find beautiful and perfectly harmonious color combinations that you could never have found using any other system.

Friday, August 12, 2011

54. Notes on the System

[The following pertains to the First Edition color palettes.  Thirty-three new palettes of 380 colors each will be released in 2012.]
I had to select a makeup brand that offered a wide range of skin tones, AND that was easy for people to access for testing. It was a tall order. There was no perfect solution because no makeup brand has products that match to every single person’s skin tone. I had to work with that fact.

The system IS precisely correct, but you must identify the CLOSEST skin tone match. I could not create a different palette for each individual. There had to be a method to categorize skin tones. I chose L’OREAL for its range of skin tones, and for its accessibility for onsite testing. [L'OREAL skin tones will not be used in the Second Edition color palettes which will become available in 2012.]

When selecting colors online it must be remembered that computer monitors differ in how they show color depending on how they are calibrated. Most people don’t know about and/or can’t afford the equipment to obtain an accurate reading. Also, as you’ve probably noticed, the images on monitors are brighter than the actual item is. Nonetheless, respected makeup brands allow purchases online as well as at the retail level where a customer can test the makeup first hand. The most accurate method is to test yourself with the liquid makeup.

 “Neutral,” “Cool” and “Warm” are relative terms. Cooler than what color? These are simply the categories that L’OREAL uses. To avoid confusion, I named the colors and categories the same. These categories have no bearing on how the color palettes are created.

This new method requires that the precise Hue, Value and Chroma numbers of each of about 3 million colors be run through complex mathematical algorithms to arrive at a single contrast number which can then be measured against the precise Hue, Value and Chroma numbers of a particular skin tone. For our purposes, those skin tones are preselected by L’OREAL.

We mathematically select thousands of color notes that appear in 3-D space (see the Munsell system) in very close relationship to that particular skin tone. “Coolness,” “Neutrality” and “Warmth” have no place in this calculation—only the Hue, Value and Chroma numbers matter.

Now, if I were to present you with all of THOSE colors, you still would not have color harmony. Think of it this way. There are 88 keys on a piano keyboard. If you were to sit a small child down at the piano and let him hit notes at random to his heart’s content, the sound would be very obnoxious. Instead, music is created with scales, rhythm, rules…

Likewise, color must be controlled. The computer software does that by mathematically selecting  just the color notes that appear at precisely 5, 10, 20, 40 [+60, 2012]and 80-88 contrast levels from the targeted skin tone. The progressive doubling ranges NOW give you color control which translates to true color harmony.  You may mix-and-match this final selection of 620 [380, 2012] colors or, better yet, use one of the suggested color schemes.

Master Colors, the creator of the software system that uses, has contracted with Pantone (the most respected authority on color in the world) to apply its Hue, Value, Chroma contrast harmonics methodology to the Pantone system. Pantone is utilizing this unique technology to aid designers in creating perfectly harmonious color schemes.

So, you see, the method of personal color analysis is completely different from anything that has preceded it.

To their credit, many smart people have TRIED to "get it right," but the technology simply wasn't available until just recently.

There's still a lot to learn from others, though. provides exquisitely beautiful color harmonies, but we are not personal stylists. Books such as The Science of Sexy, The Pocket Stylist and Color Me Beautiful's Looking Your Best, among others, pick up where we leave off.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

53. Square Color Scheme, W7 Palette Colors [First Edition]

With color palettes, combined with the use of suggested color schemes, you will find beautiful and perfectly harmonious color combinations that you could never have found using any other system.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

52. Dark Skin and Hair Create a Strong Contrast

Color contrast for this model ranges all the way from white to black.  It's the strongest possible contrast.  In order for her to look well focused, she must wear at least a little white, and at least a little black, along with any other colors she chooses to wear.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

51. The New Color Analysis Method Illustrated (Reprint)

The following illustration
 using concentric circles will make color quantification easy to understand. Think of your skin tone as the center color, the color all the other colors closely relate to. Next comes the ring of colors that differ from the skin tone by a 5% contrast (difference) as measured by hue, value and chroma. Then we step out to the ring of colors that vary from the skin tone by a contrast level of 10%. In turn, the colors at 20%, 40%, and 80-88% contrast levels are identified.
All colors inside the largest circle closely relate to the skin tone color, but only those colors that fall on the pink line (at exactly 5,10,20,40 [+60, 2012] and 80-88%) will be accepted into that skin tone's unique palette of colors.

This carefully measured selection gives your personal palette of 620 [380, 2012] colors true harmonic structure. Hues, values and chromas differ, but they differ with a precise purpose. Just as there are rules for creating musical harmony, there are rules for creating color harmony.

Until now, color analysis was more of an art than a science. Now, we can KNOW what colors harmonize, which leaves us free to trust our colors, and to confidently enjoy them.

The illustration...
is a 2-dimensional image depicting how different skin tone palettes relate, though in reality the space is 3-dimensional. As you see, the color palettes may overlap a little, depending on how close two skin tones are in color, nevertheless, each palette is cohesively harmonious, and only relates well with the other colors within that palette.

49. What's Wrong With Seasonal Analysis? (Reprint)

The phenomenal seasonal color analysis system originated in the 1920s through home economics university classes. In the 1970s books began to appear about how to identify the most flattering colors to wear, and in 1980 Carole Jackson released Color Me Beautiful. Her seasonal color analysis method set off a firestorm of excitement about personal color. Interest in personal color analysis has since settled down, but it has never faded away. Wonderful, older and newer books on seasonal analysis are still available at Barnes & Noble and Borders book stores.

People can become very passionate about color, and if they've invested time, energy and money into exploring the 12-palette seasonal color analysis method, they can become strongly opinionated, so we might as well jump into the deep end of the subject.

First of all, let me say I don't view seasonal color analysis as the definitive solution... A recent quote by Anna Villaruel of The Chic Fashionista reported one of the flaws, "because ethnic women have less variation in hair and eye color, the Carole Jackson system often leaves out Latinos, Asians, Africans and Mediterraneans," In walking her readers through seasonal analysis, Anna begins by stating, "Seasonal color analysis can be a little bit tricky to understand..."

I found that to be an understatement. In fact, I find the process to be impossible. There can be no certain conclusion. Words that came to mind as I read through the analysis process were "ambiguity," "opinion," "subjectivity," "complexity," "imprecision," "uncertainty," "guessing," "frustration," "undefined terms" and "maze." (Yes, some of these words are redundant, but they came to mind, nonetheless.) I believe that reasonable people could very easily arrive at different conclusions about an individual's proper category placement with the seasonal approach to personal color analysis.

Look at some of Anna's phrases which are designed to guide a person in deciding whether she/he is a Light, Clear or Warm Spring: "if you're a Spring you probably have..." "warm in complexion, but...brighter with light to medium color intensity" "light blond, medium brown, golden or reddish highlights" "golden or peachy undertones" "your colors are hard to find because they can never be muted or too dark" "you should choose colors that are 'alive' with a hint of gold--meaning balance between muted and dark" "if you get tanned you can wear the lime green and sometimes some of the Autumn colors" "the same thing happens if you dye your hair darker" "lighter or darker eye color" And to help identify Clear Springs, look for skin tone that is "bronze, deep warm brown, brown-black, light peach or porcelain."

A gorgeous color fan of "accurate quality color swatches" is available for purchase once a person has identified their proper seasonal category. My question is, accurate by what standard?

48.Complementary Color Scheme, W3 Palette Colors

Color harmony need not be a mystery. With color quantification computer technology 
and the simple system of palette organization provided by, you
can know for yourself what colors create a true harmony.  This frees you up to
enjoy color, focus on style, and shop with renewed confidence. [The colors below are from a First Edition palette.]