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Colouring Over Time: how does our colouring change as we age?

As we mature, signs of ageing will appear in our personal colouring. In Tonal Colour Analysis, we are particularly focused on the changes that you will observe in your hair colour, eye colour and skin tone.

The above images of Barbara Streisand (Copyright Getty Images) illustrate beautifully how our personal colouring changes over time as her value, hue and chroma have matured with her.

What is Tonal Colour Analysis?

Tonal Colour Analysis is a unique methodology for Colour Analysis using the Colour Theory of Mr Albert Munsell who categorised colour with three elements:

  • Value,

  • Hue; and

  • Chroma.

In Tonal Colour Analysis, we are looking to identify the types of colours that will illuminate your face, enhance your best features and correct any imperfections when worn nearest to your face. The “right” colours will enhance the colour of your eyes, give you a healthy glow and will help you look your best regardless of whether you’re wearing any make-up. Check out my blog article here if you'd like to find out more about Tonal Colour Analysis and how it works.


What changes will you see in your personal colouring as you mature?

You may find some or all of the following changes appear in your skintone, eye colour and hair colour as you celebrate more and more years around the sun:

1) The once pure white sclera (the white outer layer of your eyes) becomes more ivory, creamy or milky in appearance;

2) The vivid colour of your iris may become softer and more muted, losing some of its saturation;

3) The appearance of grey or white hairs; and

4) The skin tone on your cheeks in particular may appear pinker, especially if you develop rosacea (a common skin condition which typically affects the over 30’s).

In the first example, the chroma or clarity of the sclera (white outer layer of the eye) goes from being bright to being muted. In Tonal Colour Analysis terminology, this means that you can go from “Clear” to “Soft”.

In the second example, it is again the chroma or clarity which is impacted by the colour of the iris going from bright to muted. In Tonal Colour Analysis terminology, this also means that you can go from “Clear” to “Soft”.

In the third example, it is the value which reduces and the hue which cools off. The grey and white hairs will bring more lightness to your colouring and therefore reduce the value (depth: e.g. dark vs light colours) of the colours you should wear closest to your face. You may already have a cool undertone in which case this won’t be a big change but for those with a warm undertone, this will drastically change their colour palette. If you recall, warm colours are yellow based whereas cool colours are blue based. If someone with a cool undertone wears a yellow based colour near to their face, a yellow shadow (the “jaundice-look”) will appear on the face casting an overall unflattering light onto your face.

In the final example, it is again the hue which typically cools off taking someone who may have had a warm or neutral undertone to a cool undertone. Colours with a warm undertone (such as oranges, tomato-reds, corals, mustard yellows etc.) will intensify the rosacea in the cheeks making it appear even more pink or even red. Someone with rosacea who has a cool undertone will typically look their best, healthier and more vibrant with blue-based colours.


What does this mean for your Personal Colour Palette?

These changes may mean that your personal Colour Palette will change over time too!

For example:

• if you used to have a CLEAR dominant, with very dark hair and clear, contrasting bright eyes, your colouring will likely change when your dark hair goes grey or white (suggesting less depth and more coolness), your clear bright eyes become more muted (suggests softness) and your skin tone appears pinker (also suggests coolness);

• if you used to have a WARM dominant, with rich auburn hair and clear brown eyes, your colouring will likely change when your hair goes grey or white (suggesting less warmth and more coolness), your clear brown eyes become more muted (suggests softness) and your skin tone appears pinker (also suggests coolness).

This said, if you decide to dye your hair colour, to a colour which is within two shades darker or lighter than your natural colouring, then the signs of ageing will be decelerated, and potentially less prominent or even non-existent.

Were you already aware that personal colouring changes as you mature?


If you’d like to discuss your own colouring journey, especially if you think something has changed in your personal colouring over time (e.g. since the date of your initial colour consultation), please click here to organize your Free 30 Minute Discovery Call.


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