High Contrast

High contrast means there is a considerable difference between the juxtaposed colour qualities of the skin, hair and eyes.

There is clear, even, high tone contrast, between the skin, hair and eyes, plus a low hue contrast, between the underlying orange skin tone, red orange 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.

The rare skin disease vitiligo has resulted in three different levels of tone across this man’s colour expression, plus hue and variable saturation 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 contrast between this woman’s skin, hair and eyes is very high, because of her highly saturated, clear, even variable saturation colour characteristics

The greater the volume/area of a high contrasting variable, usually hair, the greater the overall contrast will be.

High contrast of the skin, hair and eyes

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.

High Tone Contrast Scale

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.

This woman’s eyes are a dark blue tone, which creates high hue and tone contrast with her skin, high hue contrast with her hair and low tone contrast with her hair

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.

The different levels of tone in this man’s hair produces moderate to high and low levels of contrast with his skin. He has highlight blue grey eyes, which also create a high tone and hue contrast

High contrast can be enhanced or reduced, naturally or superficially.

The natural contrast of this man's colour characteristics have been superficially increased by facial tattoos and hair colour

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.

The change in this man’s hair has changed his colour contrast from low to high

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.

This lady’s rosacea has created exceptional colour contrast within her colour characteristics

Colour characterstic highlights

A person’s colour characteristic highlights are created from highlight colour qualities. Not all people have highlights.

The highlight blue green eyes create high contrast on this woman

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.

The light hazel eyes surrounded bythe whites of the eyes, create a highlight. The pink lips can also be seen as a colour expression highlight

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.  

The clearness and brightness of the eyes and teeth are highlights of this woman’s face, and create high contrast against her dark skin, hair and pupils

Colour characteristics with a highlight contrast such as green or blue eyes, rosy cheeks or pinkish lips are a focal point.

This man’s vibrant lips are a highlight, and create natural hue contrast

Highlight colour characteristics rarely dominate a person’s overall colour expression, in the way that overall high contrast can.

The hair of this Melanesian boy is a highlight, but only creates moderate contrast

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.

This man’s eyes are cool light and clear, creating high contrast to his warm skin tones and dark hair

The greater the difference in hue of the highlight characteristic to its juxtaposed characteristics the higher the contrast will be.

The high contrast of hue, tone and variable saturation on this man's skin has created highlight areas

Most often this occurs between cool coloured eyes and warm coloured skin and hair, which create a harmonious high contrast complementary colour combination.

The natural light/bright blue eyes and vibrant orange-based hair 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.

The white hair and blue eyes of this man are considered 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.

This woman’s white hair is a highlight, given the contrast to her orange-based skin, dark eyes and eyebrows. The highlight white hair co-dominates her colour expression, together with her other colour characteristic qualities

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.

This woman’s highlight pink coloured hair and lipstick creates harmonious contrast through it’s clear, light, pink hue

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