Have you ever tried a foundation or bb cream that is supposed to work for your skin tone, but something just looks off about it? The shade probably doesn’t match your undertone. Finding the undertone of your skin can be the key to success when finding makeup that looks amazing and compliments your unique skin tone.
Finding your undertone will take your makeup game to the next level, and it doesn’t have to be difficult! In fact, knowing your skin’s undertone will actually make foundation shopping much easier. We’ve simplified all you need to know about undertones and how to find yours!
What is skin undertone?
What you might not know is that there’s a huge difference between skin tone and undertone. Skin tone is what you first see when you look at your skin. It can be anywhere from light to dark or anywhere in between. Your skin tone will change throughout the seasons. For example, it may be a little tanner in the summer and lighter in the winter.
But, the undertone is the shade within your skin tone. In other words, it’s the tone underneath the surface of your skin.
A common misconception is that fair skin can only be cool-toned and dark skin can only be warm-toned. This is a huge myth and it causes a lot of confusion in the makeup world. Having fair or dark skin (or anything in between) only describes your skin tone – not your undertone. Your undertone is a whole different playing field.
Types of Undertones
There are only three undertones: warm, cool, and neutral.
Warm undertone: Skin casts a peachy or golden hue
Some celebrities that have warm undertones are Kim Kardashian, Jessica Alba, and Viola Davis.
Cool undertone: Hints of blue and rosy pink
Some celebrities that have cool undertones are Anne Hathaway, Mindy Kaling, and Adele.
Neutral undertone: Both warm and cool values
Some celebrities that have neutral undertones are Jennifer Aniston, Selena Gomez, and Kerry Washington.
Why is it good to know your skin undertone?
Knowing your skin’s undertone helps so much when finding makeup and clothes that compliment your skin tone. Here are some of the ways knowing your undertone will help you look your best!
Finding a foundation shade: Shopping for that perfect foundation shade can be quite the task. But, you can make it way easier on yourself by knowing your undertone! Most makeup brands have their foundations range from light to dark. But, a lot of the time, they include different undertones as well. For example, they’ll have “light-warm” vs “light-cool” or “deep-warm” vs “deep-cool.” So, understanding your specific undertone will help you pick out your exact shade.
Choosing jewelry: Believe it or not, your skin’s undertone influences whether a piece of jewelry looks good on you or not. If you have a cool undertone, silver jewelry is what you want to go for. If you have a warm undertone, stick with the gold jewelry. If you have a neutral undertone, you can pretty much go either way!
Choosing a hair color: Have you ever wanted to change your hair but didn’t know what would look best? Well, your skin’s undertone might be able to help you out. Here’s what I mean. If you have a cool undertone, you’d look best with black hair, platinum blonde, bright red, or anything with ashy tones. If you have a warm undertone, you want to go for shades like honey blonde, caramel, golden brown, or anything with warm tones. If you have a neutral undertone, you can pull off anything!
Choosing a lipstick: Knowing your undertone is going to help you choose the right makeup that compliments your skin. Specifically, undertone plays a huge role in choosing the right lip color. If you have a cool undertone, go for a blue-red, pink nude, or mauve shade. If you have a warm undertone, you can pull off orange-red, coral, terracotta brown, or any warm nude color. If you have a neutral undertone, you’ll probably look great with any lip color!
How To Figure Out Your Undertone
We’ve gone over what undertones are and why you should know yours. So, you’re probably wondering how to actually find yours! Here are some of the best ways to do so.
The Vein Test
The vein test is one of the most popular ways of finding your skin tone. You’re going to want to look at the veins on the inside of your wrist. If they look very blue, you probably have a cool undertone. If they have a green hue, you probably have a warm undertone. If it’s somewhere in the middle, you might have a neutral undertone.
The White Paper Test
Hold up a white piece of paper of pure white clothing item next to your face. If your skin looks good next to the white color, you probably have a warm undertone. If your skin looks washed out with the white, you probably have a cool undertone. If you really can’t see a difference, there’s a good chance your undertone is neutral.
The Sun Tan Test
When you are out in the sun for a long day, do you tan easily or burn easily? If you tan easily, there’s a good chance you have a warm undertone. If your skin always burns in the sun, you likely have a cool undertone. But, if you both tan and burn equally, you probably have a neutral undertone.
The Jewelry Test
We’ve talked about what jewelry looks best on you. If you notice you tend to gravitate towards a certain type of jewelry, that may give you a hint as to what your undertone is. If you tend to only buy gold jewelry, you might have a warm undertone. If you gravitate towards silver jewelry, it’s probably because you have a cool undertone. If you can rock both gold and silver jewelry, there’s a good chance you just have a neutral undertone!
Now that you know the undertone of your skin, it’s time get out there and put this knowledge to good use. You’re now able to find the perfect foundation match, choose a great hair color, wear the right jewelry, and ultimately look and feel your best!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you change your skin’s undertones?
No, you cannot change your skin’s undertones. Unlike going to get a tan, you cannot make changes to the undertone of your skin. But you shouldn’t want to change it! Each undertone is unique in its own way, and none of them are better than the other. Embrace the undertone of your skin, and choose the makeup that makes you look and feel your best!
What if the foundation doesn’t specify whether it’s for cool or warm undertones?
Even though foundations often make foundations for each undertone as well as all skin tones, they sometimes don’t label it on the product. If the undertone is not specified, try using your best judgment. If the foundation looks slightly pink, it’s for cool undertones. If the foundation looks slightly yellow, it’s for warm undertones. If you really can’t see any pink or yellow hues, it’s probably for neutral undertones.
What is the most common skin undertone?
Overall, more people have warm and neutral undertones to their skin. This is not saying that cool undertones are any less. It’s just that warm and neutral undertones are far more common throughout the world.