Do you notice that certain colors look better on you or elevate your mood?

The colors that surround you affect your confidence, mental stamina and well being. 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?

Color analyses help uncover the specific colors that appeal to you. Many color analysis methods exist, and they vary in approach and outcome.

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

What Is a Color Analysis?

A personal color analysis is a test designed to identify colors that complement you by observing a number of factors.

Following an assessment, you typically receive a palette or spectrum of compatible colors to guide you through color based decisions. Ideally, your color spectrum or palette should include colors you will forever enjoy and aid in all your purchase decisions.

When buying clothing or furniture, for example, you can make purchases you truly love and will actually use (and eliminate post purchase regret). This approach can save you thousands of dollars in the long run while helping you live in a radiant environment that genuinely appeals to you.

4 Color Analysis Methods

Color analysis methods tend to fall into two camps: Externally focused and internally focused. Most external color analysis methods use similar criteria to determine your optimal color palette, including hair, eye or complexion color.

Here are the top 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 popular 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. Determine whether you’re a “warm type” or “cool type.” You can test this by applying yellow based (warm) foundation and pink based (cool) foundation on your skin and observing 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. Use your skin undertone to test whether you’re a “light type” or “dark type.” In this method, your skin undertone determines 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

Because this technique is simple, many individuals prefer to use this analysis while shopping, applying makeup or doing other activities.

2. The 12 Season Color Analysis (Flow Analysis)

The 12 season color analysis provides more specific results 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.

To find your season, 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 narrows down your optimal colors even further but uses a more complex system. Because this test is largely subjective, your results can vary.

3. The Element Color Analysis

An element color analysis conveys your optimal 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.

Element analyses offer a unique perspective on nature and color harmony. However, these analyses are not as widely available or popular compared to seasonal analyses.

4. Internally Based Color Analysis

Most color analysis methods are primarily based on external features and limit your color options to a small palette. But these frameworks do not account for your innate preferences and ignore the millions of hues that exist.

The C Color ideology bases color recommendations on your innate preferences. C Color has categorized millions of colors into four distinct C Color Spectrums to give you a wider color selection that enables you to look, think, feel, act, learn and heal your best.

c color spectrums

By taking the C Color Quiz, you determine your intrinsic color preferences and unique C Color Spectrum.

Then, using the C Color App, you can photograph items and see whether or not their colors fall within your C Color Spectrum.

By utilizing the C Color App in your everyday color decisions, you can help improve your mood and wellbeing, stimulate learning and thinking and promote healing.

Ready to discover your C Color Spectrum?

Receive your free C Color Personal Analysis and download the C Color App, once available!