Understanding Colour – Tints, Tones and Shades


colour properties

Would love it if you could show us some samples of color that you describe in this comment…”Plus, once you’ve gone through the grey stage to the all white stage – you can start to brighten slightly again (though not the really bright colours, usually those with a high tint (lots of white added)” What colors are bright with lots of tint added?

There are some simple terminology used when describing colours.

Pure – straight out of the rainbow – bright and clear

Tint – adding white to a pure colour

Tone – adding grey to a pure colour

Shade – adding black to a pure colour

So if you compare the Tint examples with the Tone examples above, you can see there is much more brightness in the colours that have had white added as in comparison to grey added.  These highly tinted colours look great on those who are very fair or whose hair has gone white and they have more translucent skin and brighter coloured eyes.


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  • When considering what colors look best on a person, (I look best in tinted colors) should one go outside that range for contrast…say a tinted blue blouse with a chocolate brown suit….or should one try and stay with in their best range a tinted blue blouse with a mint suit?

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