Have you ever noticed that one foundation shade looks perfect on you, but another one that appears to be the same shade doesn’t work either? It might be because of your skin’s undertone.
The shade that works for you matches your skin’s surface tone and undertone, while the other shade might have the wrong undertone, making your face look dull, muddy, or ashy. Knowing your skin’s undertone can help you choose the makeup that looks best on you.
Here’s How to Determine Your Skin Undertones
To determine your skin’s undertone, hold a white item up to your face in bright, natural light and observe the color of your skin in comparison. Check out the color of your veins or use the white cloth test, where warm undertones will appear yellowish and cool undertones will appear pink or rosy.
Once you know your undertone, you can find the perfect foundation shade match.
How do I know my undertone?
To determine your undertone, look at your wrist veins in natural light. If they appear greenish, you likely have warm undertones, while if they appear blue or purple, you likely have cool undertones. If you can’t tell, then you may have neutral undertones.
Skin undertones chart
Skin undertones are categorized as warm, cool, and neutral. To identify your skin undertone, you can use a chart or look for signs such as whether your veins appear blue or green.
Knowing your skin undertone is important when choosing makeup products, as it helps you to select the best colors and shades for your skin tone.
Here is a chart for determining the underlying tones in your skin.
What’s the difference between surface tone and undertone?
But what’s the difference between a surface tone and an undertone? Your skin’s surface tone is the color you see on the surface of your skin, like light, medium, tan, deep, etc. Your skin’s undertone is the color underneath the surface.
You can have the same skin color as someone else but a different undertone. Undertones are categorized as cool (pink, red, or bluish undertones), warm (yellow or golden undertones), or neutral (a mix of warm and cool undertones). Some people also include olive as a separate fourth category, but most consider it neutral because it has a mix of warm and cool undertones.
Undertones are in the categories of:
|Cool:||Pink, red or bluish undertones.|
|Warm:||Yellow or golden undertones.|
|Neutral:||A mix of warm and cool undertones.|
So undertones are usually divided into three categories: cool (pink, red, or bluish undertones), warm (yellow, or golden undertones), or neutral (a mix of warm and cool undertones).
Some people also include olive as a separate category, but most consider it neutral since it has a mix of warm and cool undertones.
Here are some facts and myths about undertones:
Hey, so here are some facts and myths about undertones:
- Pale skin is often described as having pink undertones, but it’s possible also to have yellow undertones. The palest skin tends to have pinker undertones and more yellow for darker tones.
- Celebrity makeup artist Bobbi Brown states that most people have skin with a yellowish cast and that pink undertones are rare.
- People often assume that Asians have warm undertones because many have a yellowish cast to the skin, but they can also have cool-based undertones.
- Typically, dark skin has undertones that are yellow or red, with yellow being more common on the lighter end and red-blue being more common on the darker end.
- Dark skin can sometimes have blue, red, or olive undertones. Light and dark olive skin tones can be within this range.
Keep in mind that this is just a generalization. Undertone is determined and can be affected by several factors.
“According to celebrity makeup artist Aliesh Pierce, the colors in the skin (called chromophores) are made up of melanin, hemoglobin, dietary carotene, and collagens. “And our undertone is influenced by diet and overall health,” says Pierce, who wrote the book Treating Diverse Pigmentation.
The skin’s surface color can change due to sun exposure, which is why some of us are lighter during the fall and winter and get darker during the spring and summer. But the undertone stays the same, even if it looks like it’s changed.
“Each of us has a certain balance innately,” says Pierce, “but when skin cells are exposed to UV light, the veins and capillaries widen to accommodate immune cells trying to fix the damage.” We could get a false reading on our undertone.”
There’s no one way for everyone to determine their undertone. It depends on the person, but here are a few tests that might help:
So, how do you figure out your undertone? No one way works for everyone, but here are a few tests to try:
- Vein Test: This is easy to determine your skin’s undertone, although it only sometimes works for some. Just check the color of your veins. If they look blue, you have a cool undertone. If they look green, you have a warm undertone. If you can’t tell, you’re neutral.
- White Fabric Test: To determine your skin’s undertone using the White Fabric Test, start by pulling your hair away from your face or covering it with a white towel. Next, drape a white towel or cloth around your neck and shoulders. Make sure your face is freshly cleansed before beginning the test. The white color of the fabric will reflect your true skin tone. If your face looks more yellow when you do this test, you have a warm undertone. If your skin appears to have a blue tone, you have a cool undertone. Remember that lighting can affect the results, so try this test in natural or incandescent light to get the most accurate reading.
- Clothing Test: Observe how you look in opposing colors like blue-green (cool) or yellow-green (warm) and blue-red (cool) or orange-red (warm). This test is probably better than white towels or fabric, especially if you have darker skin.
- Silver/Gold Test: You’re cool if you look better in silver. If gold looks better on you, you’re warm. If both look good, you’re neutral.
- Jewelry Test: Same as the silver/gold test, but with jewelry. Do silver or platinum pieces look better on you, or do you prefer gold or bronze?
Video: Dress For Your Skin Tone
Read this for more ways to use your skin tone to look great.
Other factors can influence your skin’s undertone, like diet and overall health, but these tests should give you a good idea of your undertone. Once you know your undertone, you can choose the makeup that will look the best on you and make you look radiant!