How to Elevate Your Color Skills With the Color Analysis Wheel

a circular wheel - Color Analysis Wheel
a circular wheel - Color Analysis Wheel
a circular wheel - Color Analysis Wheel

Dante Kim

April 16th, 2024

Unlock the secrets of the color wheel and revolutionize your wardrobe! Our latest blog covers everything from color analysis wheel basics to advanced color analysis types. Say goodbye to mismatched outfits and hello to a stunning, coordinated look that makes you stand out in a crowd. Dive into our guide and learn how to select the perfect hues for your skin tone, eye color, and hair shade. Don't miss out on the chance to master the art of color analysis and watch as your style game reaches a whole new level!

Table of Contents

Overview of Color Theory & Color Analysis

different colors - Color Analysis Wheel

In the personal color analysis space, understanding color theory is crucial. Different colors have unique characteristics that can affect how they look on an individual. For example, warm colors like red, yellow, and orange can make someone look more vibrant and lively, whereas cool colors like blue, green, and purple can have a more calming effect. 

By understanding color theory, experts can analyze an individual's skin tone, hair color, and eye color to determine which colors will best complement their natural features. This process is essential in beauty and fashion to help people find the perfect color combinations to enhance their appearance.

Using the Color Wheel for Personal Color Analysis

The color wheel is the foundation of color theory and personal color analysis. It consists of primary colors (red, yellow, blue), secondary colors (green, orange, purple), and tertiary colors (yellow-orange, red-orange, red-purple, blue-purple, blue-green, yellow-green) that are created by mixing primary and secondary colors. 

The color wheel is used to identify different color schemes that can be flattering for an individual based on their skin tone, hair color, and eye color. For example, someone with a warm skin tone may look best in colors like orange, coral, and mustard, while someone with a cool skin tone may look better in colors like navy, lavender, and emerald green. By using the color wheel, experts can determine the best color schemes to help individuals look their best.

Importance of Knowing Your Personal Colors

Knowing your personal colors is essential for looking your best. The right colors can bring out your natural appearance, enhance your skin, eyes, and hair, and create harmony with your face. When you wear the right colors, your skin looks rosy and glowing, your jawline appears narrower and lifted, your eyes bright and sparkling, and your hair shiny and intense. 

On the other hand, wearing the wrong colors can make you look tired, washed out, and emphasize shadows on your face. By understanding your personal colors, you can ensure that you always look your best and feel confident in your appearance.

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What is the Color Analysis Wheel?

fireworks with differet colors - Color Analysis Wheel

I would like to take you on a journey through the evolution of the color wheel. Our adventure begins in the late 17th century with Sir Isaac Newton, the physicist known for his groundbreaking work in physics. Newton decided to map the color spectrum into a circle, creating the color wheel. This geometric representation of colors allows for an easy visualization of color relationships, from primary to secondary and tertiary colors.

Components of the Color Wheel

Let's delve into the components of the color analysis wheel that are used in modern color analysis. The traditional RYB color wheel includes primary colors such as red, yellow, and blue. By mixing primary colors, you can create secondary colors like orange, green, and purple. For instance, red mixed with yellow produces orange, while red mixed with blue creates purple.

Tertiary colors come from combining secondary and primary colors. Tertiary colors on the color wheel include red-orange (vermillion), yellow-orange (amber), yellow-green (chartreuse), blue-green (teal), blue-purple (violet), and red-purple (magenta). With many iterations of the color wheel available, the color relationships are beautifully represented in a dozen shades.

What Is the Color Wheel Made Up Of?

woman in a park - Color Analysis Wheel


When we talk about hue, we're really talking about color. This is the primary characteristic that makes up a color. All the primary and secondary colors are hues. Comprehending hues is crucial when mixing two primary colors to produce a secondary color. The resulting color depends on the hues of the primary colors combined. 

If you mix two primary colors with additional tints, tones, and shades, you're effectively adding more than two colors to the mix. For instance, mixing red and blue hues yields purple. On the contrary, blending a red tint with the blue hue results in a slightly tinted purple hue.


Shade typically refers to dark and light variations of the same hue. Technically, a shade is the outcome when you introduce black to any hue. The varying shades denote the amount of black added to the hue.


Unlike shade, tint refers to adding white to a hue. The outcome is a different hue from the original color. Every hue can have an array of shades and tints.

Tone (or Saturation)

By incorporating both white and black to a hue, a tone is produced. Essentially, tone and saturation imply the same thing, but individuals use saturation when discussing colors intended for digital images. Tone is more common when referring to painting.

Seasonal Colors

Seasonal colors closely mimic the hues observed in nature's four seasons:

Winter Colors

Winter colors are cool and icy, exhibiting shades and tints achieved by adding white and black to pure colors.

Spring Colors

Spring colors are bright, warm, and tinted, achieved by adding white to pure colorful hues.

Summer Colors

Summer colors are soft, muted, and toned, achieved by adding grey to pure hues.

Autumn Colors

Autumn colors are golden and earthy, displaying shades and tones achieved by adding black and grey to pure hues.

Universal Colors

Some colors and neutrals known as "universal colors" can be worn by anyone. These colors feature neutral undertones with moderate value and intensity, making them ideal for most individuals. These colors are not unflattering but may not be the most flattering for one's complexion. Universal colors include: charcoal brown/taupe, navy, watermelon red, jade green, turquoise, teal, cobalt blue, deep periwinkle, medium purple, warm pink, stone gray, and soft white.

Unlock Your Colors and Transform Your Style

WhatColors helps you discover the ideal colors to wear based on your skin tone. Determine your season based on your skin tone with the help of our patented color-match technology. Get the perfect colors based on your season, avoid definite no-colors, and find the perfect nail colors based on your skin, eye, and hair color with WhatColors Nail Color Generator. 

Unlock your colors and transform your style for free with the WhatColors’ AI Personal Color Analysis app. Download our app for free on the App Store or Google Play store.

How Do We Use the Color Analysis Wheel

bright lights - Color Analysis Wheel

Monochromatic Color Scheme

The monochromatic color harmony is the easiest to create. I can take a single base color from the wheel and use various shades, tones, or tints to build a group of colors. This harmony results in a simple, cohesive, and organized look.

Complementary Color Scheme

The complementary color scheme is about selecting two colors from opposite sides of the color wheel. For instance, red and green or blue and orange are complementary colors. This harmony is excellent for generating strong contrast in any image.

Split Complementary Color Scheme

The split complementary color scheme is much like the complementary color scheme. In this case, one color is split into two nearby colors. This type of harmony retains the high contrast of complementary color schemes while adding more variety.

Triadic Color Scheme

I can create a triadic color scheme by selecting three colors evenly dispersed around the color wheel, shaping a triangle. These color combinations are typically bold and vibrant.

Tetradic Color Scheme

Tetradic colors are four colors arranged in a rectangular shape consisting of two sets of complementary colors as one palette. These palettes work best when focusing on one primary color and utilizing the other colors as contrasting accents.

Analogous Color Scheme

An analogous color scheme brings together 2-4 colors adjacent on the color wheel. This type of scheme is simple and attractive, ideally utilizing one dominant color and the other colors as accents.

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How Can You Do Your Own Color Analysis

different colors - Color Analysis Wheel

To pick the right harmony that works well for you, it's essential to understand your personal colors. Knowing your perfect colors can be achieved through various methods, such as DIY color analysis or using a color analysis app. Let's explore how each method helps determine your personal colors.

DIY Color Analysis: Skin Undertone Detection and Color Testing

To begin your DIY color analysis, you can start by determining your skin undertone. There are mainly three undertones—cool, warm, and neutral. Understanding your undertone helps in identifying the colors that look best on you. Below are the steps to determine your skin undertone and find your most flattering colors

Skin Undertones - Cool, Warm, and Neutral

Cool Undertone

If your skin has pink, red, or blue hues, you likely have a cool undertone.

Warm Undertone

If your skin has golden, peachy, or yellow hues, you likely have a warm undertone.

Neutral Undertone

If you have a mix of both warm and cool undertones, you likely have a neutral undertone.

Find Your Most Flattering Colors

Cool Undertone

Colors like blues, purples, pinks, and jewel tones are flattering.

Warm Undertones

Colors like reds, oranges, yellows, and earth tones tend to look striking

Neutral Undertones

People with neutral undertones can often wear a wide range of colors.

Color Testing and Metal Suitability

  • Test out colors by trying different fabrics in natural light.

  • Pay attention to how your skin looks in different colors.

  • Determine which metal suits you best: cool tones in silver, warm tones in gold, and neutral tones can wear both.

Use a Color Analysis App for Effortless Results

Using a color analysis app can simplify the process of determining your seasonal color palette. These apps work by analyzing colors present in an image to identify shades that complement your skin tone. Here’s how a color analysis app operates:

Image Capture or Upload

  • Take a photo or upload an existing image to the app for analysis.

Image Processing and Color Identification

  • The app breaks down the image into pixels and analyzes color values.

  • It identifies unique colors and dominant shades present in the picture.

Color Analysis Results

  • The app provides a color palette, swatches, and recommendations based on your skin tone.

  • WhatColors helps you identify the right colors to wear and avoid colors that don't suit you.

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Try AI Personal Color Analysis For Free Today

WhatColors uses a patented color match technology to help you identify the best colors to wear based on your skin tone. By determining your season through your skin, eye, and hair color, you can discover the ideal colors that complement you best. With WhatColors, you can learn which colors to avoid and pick the most flattering nail colors with the Nail Color Generator.

Unlock your perfect colors now and transform your style with WhatColors' AI Personal Color Analysis app by downloading it for free on the App Store or Google Play store.

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