More on Understanding Colour Contrast with Celebrity Examples


As many readers are curious about what their colour contrast levels are, I’ve posted these celebrity examples to give you some clues on your colouring.
 Understanding Colour Contrast - Celebrity Colour Contrast examples

Monochromatic – Low Colour Contrast

Monochromatic means one (mono) chroma (colour) – so, in essence, means just one colour at a time.
Gwen Stefani with your brown eyes and platinum blonde hair has monochromatic colour contrast
Penelope Cruz with her brown hair and brown eyes has monochromatic colour contrast.
So both have low colour contrast – and they both high-value contrast and:
  • Penelope Cruz has dark eyes and dark hair with fair skin.
  • Gwen Stefani has light hair and fair skin with dark eyes.
The difference is in their ideal value:
  • Penelope Cruz has an overall deep or dark value because of her dark hair, so is better in overall dark colours
  • Gwen Stefani has an overall light value because of her light hair

If you’re best in monochromatic colour schemes – read how to make a monochromatic outfit more interesting.

1 Colour – Low-Medium Colour Contrast

Next, let’s consider what adding one colour to the equation does – it creates a need to wear a colour with any neutrals you may choose.
  • Oprah with her brown hair and brown eyes but golden bronze skin has one coloured element – so looks good wearing one colour with her neutrals.
  •  Courteney Cox Arquette with her blue eyes and black hair and beige skin also has one coloured element – and ideally looks great wearing a colour with her neutrals.
The difference between them?  Oprah has a lower value contrast, whilst Courtney has a high-value contrast.

2 Colours (Analogous or Triadic) – Medium Colour Contrast

  • Kate Winslet with her more golden blonde hair (yellow) and blue eyes is has a 2-parts of a triad colour contrast.
  • Whilst if she had green eyes with her golden blonde hair – this would be an analogous colour scheme.
  • Her value contrast is medium as her eyes are a medium value, whilst hair is a light value – so she doesn’t want to wear high-value contrast outfits, but does look great wearing a 2 colours together in an outfit – particularly 2 colours from a triad (or even an analogous scheme – 2 colours next to each other).

2-3 Colours (Triadic or Complementary) – High Colour Contrast

  • Now when we add in either a third coloured element (such as Madonna’s pinkish skin and very obvious pink lips) to the combination of yellow hair and blue eyes – this adds an extra colour element and raises the colour contrast.
  • Alternatively – Amy Adams with her blue eyes and orange hair – is naturally complementary in her colouring and so looks great in complementary (or split-complementary – which means one off a complementary scheme) in her outfits.

Both Amy and Madonna only have a medium value contrast, their contrast comes from their obvious need for colour – replicating their natural high colour contrast.

Discover Your Colour and Value Contrast

If you’re still not sure which camp you fall into – you can find out more here with my downloadable 3 step process to finding out your ultimate contrast levels.   Alternatively, if you’d like my professional opinion on your contrast levels (both colour and value) you can get this in my 7 Steps to Style program (which also includes discovering your ideal colour palette from my 18 directional Absolute Colour System).


I'm not sure if it's for you but how would you feel if you learned all about the colours and styles of clothing that suit your individual personality, shape and style? Just imagine what it would be like when you can open your wardrobe and pull together fabulous outfits that make you look and feel amazing every day? If you'd like to stop wasting money on the wrong clothes and accessories plus join an amazing bunch of very special women also on their style journey - then my 7 Steps to Style program is right for you. Find out more here.

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  • Okay, I have blue eyes and (dirty) blonde hair…which I see is similar to Kate Winslet…but I think she’s cheating because everything looks better when you’re holding an Oscar, right?

    No fair.

    :^) Anna

  • I get it. I am Amy Adams only not a talented actress, singer, and I don’t sparkle with youth, optimism or charisma. Other than that Amy and I share only hair colour and eye colour.

  • I am currently working on getting my hair back to brown from fried out red. My eyes are a murky green. I feel torn between Amy Adams and Courteney Cox. Is this right? Or would you say Angelina Jolie? Please say yes.

  • Belette – you sparkle with talent my friend!

    Tessa – I think Angelina has blue/grey eyes, definitely not Cournteny Cox – I’d think more Amy Adams.

  • Clearly I’m Gwen Stefani. And I still want it to be pronounced “Stephanie”, that would be so much cooler!

    (Must go darken my eyebrows …)

  • So I just discovered your blog and have fallen in LOVE. I've learned more about personal style in the hour I've spent perusing your blog than from any other source. I know this post was from forever ago, but I was reading all posts tagged with "color guide," and this caught my eye. I am Asian, with black hair and brown eyes. What color contrast would you call that? If it helps, my eyes are very dark. Thank you!

  • Hi Imogen – thank you for a very helpful website.
    I have dark hair and green eyes – I think that would be a triadic colour sceme, right? Would you perhaps sometime put together some outfits for analougous, complementary and triadic colour contrasts? I found the one you did on value contrast very illustrative and easy to hold in my mind.
    Thank you.

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