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Tonal Colour Analysis

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between seasonal colour analysis and tonal colour analysis?

As a Personal Stylist in Geneva, I am fully qualified in both methodologies. You will probably have already heard about the 4 Seasons Colour Analysis: Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter (along with all of the sub categories), but you may not have heard about Tonal Colour Analysis to the same extent. Let me explain, my favourite method of Colour Analysis: Tonal Colour Analysis.

Tonal Colour Analysis is a unique methodology for Colour Analysis using the Colour Theory of Mr Albert Munsell.

Munsell categorized colour with three elements:

1) Value 2) Hue 3) Chroma

Diagram showing Albert Munsell's Colour Theory
Munsell Colour Theory

1) Value or depth of colour refers to how light or dark a colour is. You can have a light pastel pink or a deep magenta pink for example.

2) Hue refers to the undertone, simply speaking whether a colour is warm-yellow based or whether it is cool-blue based. For example, you may have an orange-red or a raspberry red.

3) Chroma refers to the clarity of the colour, whether it is a soft muted colour or whether it is bright and saturated. For example, you may have a soft sage green or a bright emerald green.

In the tonal colour analysis system, we will analyse your hair colour, eye colour and skintone to determine your Dominant, Secondary or Tertiary Colouring.

Dominant Colouring Types

There are 6 dominant colouring types: Light, Deep, Warm, Cool, Clear and Soft.

In fact, overall there are 24 different combinations in the Tonal System and so everyone’s colour palette will be comprised of one of the six dominants plus a secondary and tertiary colouring.

Tonal Colour Analysis will review your hair colour, eye colour and skintone too. In comparison, a seasonal analysis will typically only consider your skintone, which is a shame as we have a lot of colour in both our eyes and our hair which will either harmonise or clash with the colours that we wear.

The aim of Tonal Colour Analysis is to identify those colours that harmonise best with your personal colouring so that you look healthy, fit and youthful. In fact, you shouldn’t need to wear a lot of make-up if you’re wearing the right colours near to your face as the light reflected up onto your face is in perfect harmony with your colouring.

A word of warning: the aim is not to identify your favourite colours, but rather to identify the colours that like YOU the best. Meaning that the colours in your palette will be the ones that reflect a beautiful harmonious light up onto your face and will draw attention to the colour of your eyes in particular. The colours you wear shouldn’t detract attention from yourself in anyway: if you are receiving many comments about the garment itself, then the colour may not be harmonious with your personal colouring. The best compliment you will receive after Colour Analysis will be something to the effect of “wow you look really well, have you just been on holiday?”.

As you will mature through the years, you will find that your colouring may change:

  • The whites of your eyes will become more “milky” or “creamy” and less of a bright white;

  • Your skin tone may become more pink based, and you may become more sensitive to the sun; and

  • Your hair colour will inevitably turn grey or white if left natural, and will effectively “cool down” your colouring.

Here is a wonderful example of this with the iconic Barbara Streisand who has gone through a dramtic change in her colouring as she has matured:

1) As a young woman, Barbara Streisand had very bright blue eyes surrounded by very crisp whites, while she now has a more muted blue eye colour surrounded by creamy/milky whites;

2) Young Barbara had a very golden skintone which was prone to tan, whereas her mature skin has become more delicate and pink based (suggesting that it is much cooler now, and perhaps more sun-sensitive too); and

3) Finally, young Barbara had a dark golden blonde hair colour which complemented her sunkissed look perfectly, but now she has more of an ashy colouring, reflecting the natural grey/white hair that comes with ageing.

You will find that your colouring may change quite dramatically over time and so a refresh will be necessary to check whether your palette is still the same or has changed.

After a Tonal Colour Analysis consultation, you will receive your personalized colour palette with 42 fabric swatches included that you can use to check the items you already own as well as take it with you whenever you go shopping. If you’d like to find out more about Colour Analysis consultations, please sign-up to receive the link to book your free 30 minute discovery call here.

Best colourful wishes,



Hi, I'm Charlotte, International Personal Stylist in Geneva, Switzerland. I help women like you to feel special everyday by building a unique and colourful signature style that suits your personal colouring, body shape, lifestyle and budget.












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