I've had to start ignoring other people when they work out or discuss fitness for one simple reason. The things that some people do and say are enough to drive me batty sometimes. One of the things that just gets under my skin is people without half a clue talking about "muscle tone." It's really not a complex subject but some jerk in a marketing department somewhere has seen fit to completely muddy the subject for laypeople, and I think advertising is largely to blame for the confusion (though we are all responsible for our own ignorance).
First off, what IS muscle tone? Muscle tone is defined as: "The continuous and passive partial contraction of the muscles. It helps to maintain posture and readiness for contraction." A healthy muscle never fully relaxes, there is always a little bit of tension in it. This property keeps you standing upright, keeps you balanced, and helps your muscles react quickly when called upon to do so. Except in certain rehabilitation scenarios, it's not terribly desirable or beneficial (or possible) to increase this property in a muscle. Doing so would likely slow down recovery after exercise, cause a constant state of fatigue, and hamper flexibility.
Why would anyone think they want more tone? The tone of a muscle is the reason why it feels firmer than the fatty tissue around it, so it's not terribly illogical to think that increasing tone would make them feel firmer, a state many people desire. But the flabbiness people seek to remedy is not typically caused by too little tone, but rather by too much fatty tissue. What many people refer to as "toned" would more accurately be called "lean." How do you achieve that look and feel marketed as toned? Build muscle mass and burn fat. There is nothing mystical about it; more muscle and less fat leads to shapely, firm features.
More than a few times I've overhear people (typically women) say they want "to get toned, but don't want to bulk up." I want to throw things when I hear that because someone has misinformed these poor people and caused them to waste so much time perusing misguided goal. Most women (and men for that mater) simply wont be able to get "bulkier" (in terms of muscle mass) than they want to be, and next to no one ever does on accident. I have yet to talk to anyone, aside from VERY specialized athletes, who felt like they had too much muscle mass. To build more muscle, you need to lift heavy weights (heavy relative to your ability), and chances are you won't wake up looking like this overnight wondering what happened.