Have you tried on a blouse or shade of lipstick that just makes you look alive? Your eyes, your skin tone, and your hair just pop! Only to test another that’s almost the same color but now you look tired, washed out, and just EHHH?
There is a reason for that. It has to do with the surface color of your skin as well as the cool and warm undertones of your skin. Maybe you kind of understand this. Or have heard the styling buzzwords “warm” or “cool”, but don’t really know what it means… Join the club!
Let's talk about:
The difference between Skin Tone & Undertones
Why it’s helpful to know your undertone
And then I’ll give you a few methods to get figure out what your undertone is!
1. Difference between Skin Tone & Undertone
Skin Tone — Skin tone is your surface skin color. The color you see when you look in the mirror. We often refer to our skin tone as very fair, fair, medium, tan, dark, and very dark. Your skin tone changes in the sun— you may get “tanner” in the sun and lighter or more pale in the winter. That’s why we sample makeup on the inside of our arm; it’s least exposed to the sun, and you’ll get a better idea of what your natural skin tone is.
Undertone — Undertone, on the other hand, never changes. It’s the subtle hue underneath the surface. And if you’re not super familiar with color, it may be a little bit trickier to determine. It is known as either Warm, Cool, or Neutral.
- If you are Warm, your skin will look more peachy, golden or yellow. Basically you’ll look
more yellow or olive color.
- If you’re more Cool you’ll have hints of red, blue or pink
- If you’re Neutral you’ll have a mix of warm and cool undertones. Your undertone is
balanced, and it doesn’t lean one way or another.
2. Why is it helpful to know your undertone?
1. Helps you choose colors of clothing and jewelry that looks best on you.
2 You’ll know which foundations, lipsticks, and eyeshadow colors will look best on you
3. You'll understand what your most flattering hair colors are
Keep in mind, we want to match our undertones with the same tones of clothing— So we we have warm undertones, wear warm-toned clothing. If we have cool undertones, complement it with cool-toned clothing. When we do this, that is when colors will pop more and we will look more radiant. Or if you mismatch, then that is why you may look tired or even sickly. You might look in the mirror and wonder why your under-eye bags are so pronounced... That’s why!
3. Methods to figure out your undertone
VEIN TEST: For the first method, we’re going to look at the color of our veins. Go next to a window or any natural light and look at the veins in your wrist.
1. If your veins appear green on your wrist, then you have warm undertones.
2. If they look more bluish/purplish- then you have cool undertones
3. If you have difficulty telling the difference. Or if they look bluish-greenish, then you may
be neutral. And if you still don’t know, then let’s move onto the next test.
JEWELRY TEST: For this next method, go get a piece of silver jewelry and gold jewelry. Hold each color up against your skin to see which one compliments your skin the most. Not which one you LIKE the most, but which one actually looks best on you.
1. If you look better in gold, chances are you are warm toned
2. If you look better in silver, chances are you are cool toned
3. And if both colors complement your skin, then you are neutral
Note: You could also hold the gold and silver jewelry up against your NATURAL hair color to see which color goes best together.
MOST FLATTERING COLORS: The last method to help determine your undertone is to simply look at which colors you gravitate towards. Which colors fill the majority of your closet? And which colors do you feel the best in?
1. If you've watched a lot of my videos, you'll notice I typically wear a lot of mustards,
browns, olive greends and oranges. If you also lean towards Earth Tones, chances are you
have warm undertones.
2. lf you gravitate towards Jewel Tones— these are your emerald greens, blues, purple and
sapphire—chances are you have cool undertones.
3. If you can rock all these colors, then lucky you, you have neutral undertones.
Now run to your closet and practice with your own clothes. Which colors do you look fantastic in? Which colors help your features pop? And which ones make you look tired or ill? Comment below if you have any questions about your own undertones!