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 and 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 include 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. It all depends on the levels of tone and variable saturation, the difference of hues and the volume of each contrasting colour quality.

The most common natural high contrast occurs between people with light skin, dark hair and dark eyes.

High contrast of the skin, hair and eyes

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

High tone contrast generally has more than 5 levels of tone difference between juxtaposed characteristics.

High Tone Contrast Scale

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 can also add to the level of contrast.

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

There are always exceptions with human beings, and 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 creates 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, the natural contrast of people 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 ladies’ rosacea has created exceptional colour contrast within her colour characteristics

Colour expression highlights

Highlights of a person’s colour expression are created from highlight colour qualities. Not all people have colour expression highlights.

The highlight blue green eyes create high contrast on this woman

Colour expression highlights have light tone, 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.

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

They are bright and attract attention, enliven or transform the colour characteristic and most often create high contrast.  

The clear whites of the eyes create highlight contrast, juxtaposed to the dark pupil and skin, and the black niqab

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

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

Highlight colour characteristics rarely dominate a person’s overall colour expression, like 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.

The eyes of this man are cool light and clear, creating high contrast to his warm caramel 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.

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

The natural blonde hair highlights, blue eyes and vibrant pinkish skin tones, create varying levels of contrast. They are a dominant feature of this man’s colour expression

It is worth noting people with light low contrast - light 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.

The white hair of this woman 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 its clear, light, pink hue

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