The Flesh Tone Color Wheel by Terri Tomlinson

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One of the highlights of my Makeup Show Dallas Experience in September was meeting and speaking with professional makeup artist Terri Tomlinson about her Flesh Tone Color Wheel! Tomlinson’s color wheel transposes traditional color theory into flesh tones.

Traditional Color Wheel

In the world of makeup things are all about color. A significant part in learning about makeup is color theory. Color Wheel Pro defines color theory as a set of principles used to create harmonious color combinations. Color relationships can be visually represented with a color wheel -the color spectrum wrapped onto a circle



There are a variety of color schemes supported by the color wheel: primary colors, secondary colors, tertiary colors, monochromatic colors, analogous colors and complimentary colors. 

But when we think about colors in reference to flesh, the color wheel isn’t quite accurate. Well, I found out about something that is too good of a deal to miss out on. The Flesh Tone color Wheel by Terri Tomlinson! Tomlinson’s Flesh tone color wheel hit the market in June of 2017 and was inspired out of frustration and a lack of having something to reference.

Flesh Tone Color Wheel

“As much as you explain color theory and primary colors, it doesn’t translate to skin and what we do as makeup artists. Everything we do is in flesh tone.”   -Terri Tomlinson


Tomlinson went on to explain, “We don’t have blue under our eyes, we have blue toned flesh tone under our eyes. So, color theory tells us, for example; you correct blue with orange. But if you put orange on our skin it turns orange. You need an orange toned flesh tone. And so the more I started thinking about correction, and flesh tone, and custom blending, and matching foundations in flesh tone I realized that we needed color theory in flesh tone so that we can visually see our skin. And so the wheel, it’s a traditional color wheel, but instead of green you have a green under toned flesh tone [Ok]. So it allows you to see your skin but also what you would need for correction, for highlight, contour, in flesh tone.”

The flesh tone color wheel has three rings.  A traditional color wheel, with hues on the outer ring. The second ring has those same hues lightened, as a tint. The third ring is shades, hues that have been deepened all to the same degree. And each pie represents the prominent undertone of the hue.

In closing, Tomlinson expressed that, “I think this is a tool for makeup artists. But, also, any women who does their own makeup. I’ve also sold it to people who do tattoos. I’ve sold it to graphic designers, special effects artists and photographers. Anybody who works with skin or recreates skin can use this as a guide. Everytime I work with it I find something new I can do!”

Order your Flesh Tone Color Wheel at


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