5 Cosmetology Color Wheel Ideas for Beginners
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 6 min read


  1. How to create a basic color wheel
  2. Ways to use a color wheel in hair coloring
  3. How to use a color wheel for makeup application
  4. Color wheel ideas for nail art
  5. How color wheel helps in picking the right colors for skin tones

Color wheels are not just for artists anymore; they've found a special place in the world of cosmetology as well. Whether it's hair coloring, makeup, or nail art, understanding the color wheel can take your beauty skills to a whole new level. This blog post is all about cosmetology color wheel project ideas for beginners. Ready to dive into the world of colors? Let's go!

How to create a basic color wheel

Creating a color wheel is the first step to understanding color theory. Don't worry, it's not as complicated as it sounds. We're going to keep it simple and fun. Here's how to create a basic color wheel.

Materials You Need

  • Paints: Start with three primary colors - red, yellow, and blue. You can buy them from any local craft store.
  • Palette: You'll need a palette to mix your colors. It could be a professional artist's palette, or even a simple plastic plate will do.
  • Brushes: Get a few good quality brushes for different types of strokes.
  • Paper: You'll need a canvas to create your color wheel. Any heavy, good quality paper will work.

Creating the Color Wheel

Start by drawing a circle on your canvas. Divide it into 12 equal parts, like you would a clock. Now, we’ll start filling in the colors.

  1. Primary Colors: Paint red, yellow, and blue at 12 o'clock, 4 o'clock, and 8 o'clock positions. These are your primary colors.
  2. Secondary Colors: Now mix equal parts of two primary colors to get your secondary colors. Red and yellow make orange, yellow and blue make green, and blue and red make purple. Paint these between the primary colors.
  3. Tertiary Colors: Finally, mix a primary and a secondary color to get your tertiary colors. For example, red and orange make red-orange. Fill these in the remaining sections.

And voila! You just created your first basic color wheel. This will be your guide for all your future cosmetology color wheel project ideas. The world of color theory is now open to you—let's explore it together in the world of hair, makeup, and nails in the sections to follow!

Ways to use a color wheel in hair coloring

Now that you know how to create a basic color wheel, let's see how to apply this in the world of hair coloring. A color wheel can be your secret weapon in creating stunning hair color transformations. Here's how.

Understanding Hair Color Tones

When we talk about hair color, we often hear terms like 'warm', 'cool', or 'neutral' tones. But what do they mean?

  • Warm Colors: These are the colors that are on the right side of your color wheel, from red to yellow. They add warmth and brightness to your hair.
  • Cool Colors: These are on the left side of your color wheel, from blue to green. They offer a cool and refreshing look.
  • Neutral Colors: They're a balanced mix of warm and cool colors. Think of shades like chestnut brown or ash blonde.

Understanding these tones can help you choose the right hair color for your clients. Remember, the goal is to enhance their natural beauty!

Fixing Hair Color Mistakes

You've probably heard horror stories of hair color gone wrong. But did you know a color wheel can help fix these mistakes? Here's how:

  1. Neutralizing Unwanted Tones: Look at your color wheel. The color directly opposite to a color is its complementary color. They neutralize each other. For example, if your client's blonde hair has turned too yellow (brassy), you can use a violet-based toner to neutralize it.
  2. Color Correction: Did the hair turn out too dark? You can add highlights of a lighter shade. Is it too light? Add lowlights of a darker shade. You can use your color wheel to find the right shades.

So, the next time you're working on a hair coloring project, don't forget your color wheel. It can be your best friend in the salon!

How to use a color wheel for makeup application

Let's step away from the salon chair and move towards the makeup vanity. The color wheel isn't just for hair color—it's also a great tool for makeup application. Let's see how you can use it to create balanced, beautiful makeup looks.

Choosing the Right Foundation

Choosing the right foundation is all about understanding undertones. Everyone's skin has an undertone, which is either warm, cool, or neutral. Sound familiar? Yes, it's just like hair color tones!

  • Warm Undertones: Look for foundations with a yellow or golden base.
  • Cool Undertones: Choose foundations with a pink or blue base.
  • Neutral Undertones: Go for a balanced mix of both.

And here's a tip: look at the veins on your wrist. If they appear blue or purple, you have cool undertones. If they appear green, you have warm undertones. If you can't tell, you probably have neutral undertones.

Creating Eye-Catching Eye Makeup

Who doesn't love a dramatic, eye-catching eye makeup look? That's where your color wheel comes into play. Here's how:

  1. Complementary Colors: These are colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel. They create a vibrant contrast. For example, if you have blue eyes, try an eye shadow in a warm orange tone to make your eyes pop.
  2. Analogous Colors: These are colors that are next to each other on the color wheel. They create a harmonious, blended look. For example, for green eyes, try a mix of yellow and blue shades.

Remember, makeup is all about creativity and expression. So, feel free to experiment with different color combinations and have fun!

Color wheel ideas for nail art

Let's leave the makeup table and saunter over to the nail station. From a French manicure to a vibrant nail art design, the color wheel can inspire some truly stunning nail creations. Curious? Let's dive into the colorful world of nail art.

Gradient Manicure

Ever seen those beautiful gradient manicures that seem to blend seamlessly from one color to another? That's the magic of the color wheel in action! Here's how:

  1. Choose a starting color: For instance, let's say you start with a bold blue.
  2. Pick the next colors: From blue, you can move to green and then yellow, creating a cool gradient effect that looks like a rainbow across your nails.

The key here is to choose colors that are next to each other on the color wheel. This will ensure a smooth, gradual transition from one color to the next.

Complementary Color Designs

Want to create a bold, striking nail art design? Try using complementary colors. Remember, these are colors that are directly opposite each other on the color wheel. Here's an idea:

  • Blue and Orange: Imagine a royal blue base with intricate orange designs. It's bold, it's vibrant, and it's sure to turn heads.

Complementary colors create a stunning contrast, making your nail art pop. So, next time you're planning a new nail art project, why not pick up your cosmetology color wheel and see what exciting combinations you can come up with?

How color wheel helps in picking the right colors for skin tones

After mastering nail art, let's move on to another fascinating use of the cosmetology color wheel—matching colors to skin tones. It might sound complex, but don't worry, the color wheel makes it a whole lot simpler. Let's explore how.

Understanding Undertones

First, we need to understand skin undertones. They're subtly present beneath your skin and can be warm, cool, or neutral. Here's a quick guide:

  • Warm undertones: If your skin has a yellow, golden, or peachy tint, you have warm undertones.
  • Cool undertones: Blue, pink, or a red tint signals cool undertones.
  • Neutral undertones: Not particularly warm or cool? You've got neutral undertones.

Now, how does the color wheel help? Here's where it gets interesting!

Picking the Right Colors

The color wheel can guide you to the most flattering colors for your skin tone. Here's how you can use it:

  1. Warm undertones: Colors on the warm side of the wheel—think reds, oranges, and yellows—will enhance your natural glow.
  2. Cool undertones: For cool undertones, opt for colors on the opposite side of the wheel like blues, greens, and purples.
  3. Neutral undertones: You're lucky—you can pull off colors from both sides of the wheel!

So next time you're shopping for clothes or choosing makeup, bring your cosmetology color wheel along. It's a simple but effective way to elevate your style and accentuate your natural beauty.

If you're just starting out in the world of cosmetology and looking for more guidance on color theory, check out the workshop 'How to Pick a Colour Palette' by Jauni (tofublock). This workshop will provide you with essential tips on choosing the right color combinations for your cosmetology projects and help you create stunning looks with ease.