Terri Tomlinson Flesh Toned Color Wheel


Color Theory and Makeup with Terri Tomlinson


Colors evoke emotion and when you intentionally know how, when, where, and why to use certain colors over others — you’ll live a far more empowered and confident life. Learning about color theory and especially color theory and makeup, is going to elevate your look to the next level. You’ll never be unprepared or second-guessing your choices. Yes, seriously!

When it comes to color theory for makeup artists, there’s one name in the industry every working professional artist knows and that’s Terri Tomlinson.

In today’s latest Be Your Own Makeup Artist podcast episode, I ask go-to expert Terri Tomlinson all about color theory for for makeup — and ya’ll, it’s not just for makeup artists but for 𝘢𝘯𝘺𝘰𝘯𝘦 wanting to learn how to wear makeup and understand color in a powerful way.

Listen  Apple | Spotify | Find Your Platform

About Terri

Terri Tomlinson is a working makeup artist, global educator and creator of The Flesh Tone Color Wheel™. She has worked in the beauty and production industries for 30 years and opened Makeup Training Academy in 2010. Terri currently travels the world teaching her new method of color theory in neutrals, works with cosmetic brands on color development and trains professional makeup artists.

Terri Tomlinson headshot



Her mission is for The Flesh Tone Color Wheel™ and color theory in neutral to be the standard by which all makeup artists learn and work with color theory.


As a working makeup artist, Terri began her career working with lines like Bobbi Brown and Prescriptives. Later after studying makeup for camera at Makeup Designory (MUD) she began working in the production industry. There she created super natural camera ready makeup for all mediums, focusing on HD and commercial print.


In 2010 she opened Makeup Training Academy in order to share her experience and offer professional makeup education to north Texas. Makeup Training Academy focuses on “old school” application, technical skill, theory and a strong understanding of the industry.


In 2017 Terri created The Flesh Tone Color Wheel™ for her students to use while in class. The wheel was an instant success and changed the way Terri worked with color theory. Color Theory in nuetral brings the principles of color theory to life for the working makeup artist. It is brilliant! The success of the wheel and Terri’s method has led to working with brands, schools and artists all over the world.


Her flesh toned color wheel is a staple in my kit and something I take to almost every job — and I know it’s a staple for so many of my colleagues.


#1. How did you come up with the concept of the flesh toned color wheel? [05:32]

#2. What are some of the biggest misconceptions and challenges when it comes to teaching color theory? [13:50]

#3. Can you suggest any exercises MUAs can do to hone in on their color theory skills during this time? [23:55]

#4. Do you have any exercises or advice on how makeup lovers the world over can train their eyes better when it comes to color theory? [29:52]

#5. Can you walk my listeners through how to approach color correction? [34:23]

#6. [Listener question] Zana, a makeup artist based in Barcelona asks “What are your thoughts on foundation adjusters and which ones do you recommend?” [41:25]

#7. Your favorite makeup hack? [48:01]


Color Theory In Action

Do you notice how the eye color responds to the different eye makeup color themes? Which one do you prefer? What color are the model’s eyes? Let’s get the conversation going in the comments.


The Flesh Toned Color Wheel, A Must Have Tool!

If you have a copy of my book, Be Your Own Makeup Artist (which is totally unsponsored by outside brands by the way), you’ll find that I recommend very few items to purchase, let alone specific brand-names. The Flesh Toned Color Wheel is one tool that I not only recommend specifically but devote an entire page to! I have two in my professional


Memorable Words

Terri Tomlinson quote color theory

“If you understand color theory and you can work it in your clients’ skin, then you know what colors look good on them.”

Terri’s Resources:

If you want to know more about  or connect with Terri, you can check out the following links:
makeupclassonline.com – consumer and professionals

In Person Education:

Additional Reading

If you really want to nerd out and learn more about color theory specifically for makeup artists, in addition to investing in Terri’s courses and masterclasses, Color Theory For The Make-Up Artist has become a go-to resource for me. Not only is it fun reading (fun is subjective here), but you will learn so much the more and more you read and refer to it! This book is also listed in my My Top 10 Makeup Books posts, should you want to learn about other makeup books.

makeup books color theory for makeup artists


Be Social:

TerriTomlinsonMakeup (Facbook | Instagram | TikTok)

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  1. […] tone. If you don’t know, ask a professional (not necessarily a sales person, ok?). Check out this amazing interview with Terri Tomlinson, the founder of the Flesh Toned Color Wheel, where she […]

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Beauty is about perception, not about make-up. I think the beginning of all beauty is knowing and liking oneself. You can't put on make-up, or dress yourself, or do you hair with any sort of fun or joy if you're doing it from a position of correction.

kevyn aucoin