How to Pick the Undertone of Purple


Violet (technical name for purple) is a colour like teal that can be worn by both warm and cool undertone colouring.  The difference is that cool undertones can wear all violets, and warm undertones can only successfully wear the warmer end of the violet spectrum.

So which is which?

Consider the Colour Wheel

As violet is in between blue and red on the colour wheel, and blue being the base of cooler undertone colours, it stands to reason that blue-violets are cool and red-violets are warmer.

How to pick the undertone of violet or purple


Cool Violets Have More Blue

So you can see below, the cool violets/purples have more blue in them

How to pick the undertone of purple or violet - this is a cool violet
This cardigan is a cool blue-violet

Warm Violets Have More Red

Whilst the warmer ones have a pinkish appearance and are more closely related to red than blue.

How to pick the undertone of purple - this top is a warm red-violet
This top is a warm red-violet

Picking the Undertone of Purple

How to pick the undertone of violet or purple

Because those with a cool undertone can wear both red and blue easily this is why they can wear all purples (though should stick the the ones that are also related to their best intensity, aka brightness or mutedness of the colour,  and value aka lightness or darkness of the colour, as well of course!).

Picking the Undertone of Colours

Red and Burgundy




Blue and Turquoise



Get to Grips with Understanding the Properties of Colours

Understanding Basic Colour Terminology

Understanding Colour – Tints, Tones and Shades

Discover Your Colours – Warm or Cool?

Understanding Colour Properties

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  • Thank you for this Imogen. I am going to revisit your cool v warm colouring for other colours too. I am currently in a predicament with my colouring. My dyed hair has gone brassy and orange and is making me look decided yellow!!.My normal hair is dark brown with some silver/white. I am planning to grow out the colour and need to get through it dressing wise the best I can. How long would it be before I could be colour analysed for my normal hair via the 7 Steps please?

    • Anne I’d suggest that you use some of the purple shampoo/conditioners available and also ask your hairdresser to do an ash toner over your hair to try remove some of the brassy while it’s growing out! Once you have about an inch of regrowth I can do a colour analysis – would just need to pull your hair back so all I see is the exposed natural colour/regrowth, not the dyed.

  • Plum is one of my signature colors. I am a summer in coloring. I was thinking it would fall in your purple category, but doesn’t and it isn’t quite in your red/burgundy category. I guess it must be a mix of the 2? My other signature color is teal.



  • I guess what I mean is that teal (and peacock blue) are the color of my eyes and plum is the color that intensifies my eye color. I also enjoy wearing lighter versions of these colors and my neutrals, but they are the main “color” I have in my closet. So, I have teal, peacock blue, rose, plum, mint, cool red and neutrals. I also have a couple pieces in other colors that are in my colors, but that I don’t wear as much. Thank you for your reply. I have left off wearing purple. I thought it was supposed to be best to focus on a few favorite colors in the color wheel so I dropped purple…though I do love purple and grey together,

  • I am asian my skin color is tan and my hair is natural raven black… I am warm… What are the colors suits me best??? Thank you…

    • Hi Aje, there will be a variety of colours that suit – I have 3 different palettes which are all warm and deep and which might suit – if you’d like my professional opinion you can get it in a personal colour analysis – and you can have this in my 7 Steps to Style program – there is not one “right” answer (which is why I have a variety of different palettes) for all Asians!

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