High contrast means there is a considerable difference between the juxtaposed colour qualities of the skin, hair and eyes.
Considering the colour diversity of the human race, there are examples of people who have high contrast between one, two or three colour qualities, across either or all of their colour characteristics.
High contrast between some colour qualities of the skin, hair and eyes does not mean the person’s colour expression will have overall high contrast.
High contrast can dominate, co-dominate or have moderate influence on a person’s colour expression.
How influential a person’s contrast is will depend on the level of tone, variable saturation and hue difference between each colour characteristic, plus the area of each contrasting colour quality.
The greater the volume/area of a high contrasting variable, usually hair, the greater the overall contrast will be.
The most common natural high contrast occurs between people with light skin, dark hair and dark eyes.
High tone contrast on humans generally has four or more levels of tone difference between juxtaposed characteristics.
The distinction between people with moderate or high tone contrast will vary, depending on the tone of the skin, hair and eyes, the volume/area of hair, facial hair, and any blemishes, shade, shadow, moles, freckles etc.
The difference between moderate and high tone contrast is imprecise, considering the organic nature and multifarious range of human colour qualities.
It’s not imperative to know a person’s precise level of tone contrast in order to gain a general understanding of what clothing or make-up will create balance and harmony.
The level of contrast is enhanced if the light skin, dark hair and dark eyes are clear, even and highly saturated. If there is a contrast of hue this will also add to the overall level of contrast.
There are always exceptions with human beings, with many examples of different highly contrasting colour characteristics.
High contrast can be enhanced or reduced, naturally or superficially.
With the reduction of intensity in skin, hair and eye pigmentation as people age, their natural contrast changes.
The changes occur to the tone and hue contrast between skin and hair.
People who had low dark contrast between their skin, hair and eyes will change to high contrast with the aging process, as their hair starts to grey and turns silver.
There are also examples of exceptional hue contrast which are developed from the biological effect of health, illness and lifestyle choices.
Colour characterstic highlights
A person’s colour characteristic highlights are created from highlight colour qualities. Not all people have highlights.
Colour characteristic highlights have lighter tone than their juxtaposed characteristics, the variable saturation is most often clear and even, and the hue is any natural characteristic colour.
Highlights can be part of the skin, hair or eyes or the complete eyes. The whites of the eyes or teeth can also be categorised as highlights.
They are bright and attract attention, enliven or transform the colour characteristic and most often create high contrast.
Colour characteristics with a highlight contrast such as green or blue eyes, rosy cheeks or pinkish lips are a focal point.
Highlight colour characteristics rarely dominate a person’s overall colour expression, in the way that overall high contrast can.
However, there are some people whose highlight characteristics may dominate their colour expression, such as people with a lot of hair highlights, pinkish lips, rosy cheeks and blue eyes.
The contrast level of a highlight colour characteristic depends on the juxtaposed colour characteristics.
The lighter and clearer the colour characteristic is, and the darker and duller the juxtaposed colour characteristics are, the higher the contrast will be.
The greater the difference in hue of the highlight characteristic to its juxtaposed characteristics the higher the contrast will be.
Most often this occurs between cool coloured eyes and warm coloured skin and hair, which create a harmonious high contrast complementary colour combination.
It is worth noting that people with light low contrast skin, hair and eyes can still have highlight tone and hue contrast, through highlight colour characteristics.
With the aging process, white or silver hair can be considered a highlight, especially if the juxtaposed colour characteristics are significantly different.
Make-up, hair colouring and facial paint can all be used to create superficial characteristic highlights.
If the underlying hue qualities, tone and variable saturation of a person’s characteristics are taken into consideration, harmonious make-up and hair colouring highlights can be applied.