The benefits of color have spawned entire industries, designed to help guide people’s color choices in fashion, home decorating, office design and beyond.

So how do you discover the colors that will benefit you most?

Many color analysis methods exist, and they vary in approach and outcome.

Understanding each color analysis method will help you select the one that produces the best results and guides you in making smarter, lasting color decisions.

What Is A Color Analysis?

personal color analysis is designed to identify colors that appear to complement you, based on the analysis employed.

Following an assessment, you typically receive a color palette to guide you through color-based decisions. Ideally, your color palette should include colors that you prefer and choose to include in your color decisions.

When your optimal colors are identified through a proper color analysis, you can make purchases you truly love and will actually use. The right approach can save you thousands of dollars in the long run while helping you live in an environment that genuinely appeals to you.  

4 Color Analysis Methods

Color analysis methods are typically externally focused. Most external color analysis methods use similar criteria to determine your optimal color palette, including hair, eye and complexion color. However, one revolutionary color analysis method employs DNA to determine your genetically preferred colors.

Here are the common color analysis methods used today:

  1. The 4 Season Color Analysis (Tonal Analysis)
  2. The 12 Season Color Analysis (Flow Analysis)
  3. Element Color Analysis
  4. Internally Based Color Analysis

1. The 4 Season Color Analysis (Tonal Analysis)

The 4 season color analysis (or tonal analysis) was developed by psychologist Carole Jackson, author of the 1980s publication “Color Me Beautiful.”

This concept was distilled from color theorist Suzanne Caygill’s 16 season theory, which states that the colors of your external features (skin, hair, etc.) synchronize with your color preferences and personality traits.

Here is how to conduct a 4 season color analysis:

  1. The directive is to determine whether you’re a “warm type” or “cool type.” The 4 season color analysis directs you to apply a yellow-based (warm) foundation and pink based (cool) foundation on your skin and observe which shade blends better. You can also drape gold and silver fabrics against your skin to see which color blends more smoothly with your complexion.
  2. Your skin undertone is used to test whether you’re a “light type” or “dark type.” This method also directs you to evaluate your skin undertone to determine which season you are:
    • Warm Undertone:
        • Dark eyes and dark hair = Autumn
        • Light eyes and light hair = Spring
    • Cool Undertone:
        • Dark eyes and dark hair = Winter
        • Light eyes and light hair = Summer

You can complete these steps quickly to determine your season.

2. The 12 Season Color Analysis (Flow Analysis)

The 12 season color analysis has more categories, than the 4 season color analysis.

Also known as “flow theory,” this method incorporates Albert Munsell’s color theory about hues, tints and shades to offer three variations of each season.

This method directs you to assign your dominant characteristic (most notable external feature) and secondary characteristic (the shades that look best on you) into one of these groups:

  • Deep
  • Light
  • Warm
  • Cool
  • Clear
  • Muted

Based on these combinations, you can be assigned one of 12 seasonal colors:



















A 12 season color analysis uses a more complex system to narrow your colors. Because the seasonal analysis tests are largely subjective, results can vary.

3. The Element Color Analysis

An element color analysis defines your colors based on the elements of nature: wind, water, earth and fire. In this color analysis method, you can be made up of a single element or a mixture of two elements.

Proponents of this method point out that seasons look and feel different in other places around the world. Elements, however, are universal no matter where you are located.

The element color analysis offers 16 palettes that express the essence of one or more of nature’s elements. In this method, the consultant analyzes your body colors to define your palette.

Element analyses offer a unique perspective on nature and color harmony. However, these analyses are not as widely available as seasonal analyses. Similar to seasonal analyses, the element color analysis is based on external features and limits your color options to a small palette.

4. Internally Based Color Analysis

C Color is the only ideology based on a color gene that focuses on your innate color preferences.

C Color does not take external features, such as hair colors, eye colors or complexion colors into consideration, as they do not aid in determining your innate color preferences. Additionally, each of these features contains a myriad of colors, so it is impossible to distill them to only one color.

The 5 minute C Color Quiz, which is part of the C Color App, assists you in determining your C Color Spectrum.

The C Color App is programmed to your C Color Spectrum and in a sense embodies your color palette, to utilize the terminology of existing color analysis theories. That palette consists of hundreds of thousands of colors.

To utilize the C Color App, simply take a photograph of the item that you desire, adjust the lighting and temperature of the photograph and choose the color you wish to match. The C Color App will identify whether or not the color is within your C Color Spectrum.

With C Color, memorizing colors and palettes is unnecessary because the C Color App is a self-contained and comprehensive system. The C Color App serves as your personal Color Consultant at your fingertips, on your mobile device.

Ready to discover your C Color Spectrum?

Download the C Color App and take the C Color Quiz. Free for a limited time, a C Color expert will verify your results.