When it comes to selecting the right beauty products, there’s more than what meets the eye. Before impulsively picking anything up at the makeup counter—aside from choosing the right shade—you’ll need to assess what your skin tone is because the right colour match can really make or break a look.
If you don’t already know what an undertone is, it’s the colour that comes through from beneath your skin tone. And while you can tan or grow paler, your undertone always stays the same. And despite what you may think, it’s actually more important to match things to your undertone than your skin colour.
Undertones can be cool, warm, or neutral. If you pick the right colour, it’s going to compliment you, but doing the opposite will either completely wash you out or make you look too pink or too orange.
To master the art of undertones, we have to dive a little deep into colour theory. Think of your skin as a canvas you’re painting on, and in order for a colour to work—it has to blend well with its base colour and not fight it.
If you’re cool toned, that means that beneath your base colour lies pink to bluish undertones (that includes anything within the purple/violet spectrum too). So, when choosing a beauty product, the colour has to compliment these colours rather than counteract it.
If you’re warm toned, your tones are more-fiery—they’re golden/yellow and could also be green-ish. Whether you’re picking a foundation, lip colour, or eyeshadow, you need to make sure they’re warm in tone as well.
Some people can have a little bit of both tones—and if you fall in this category that means you’re neutral—which is great because it means you have a lot more room to play with in terms of colour.
A lot of the time finding out your undertone can be difficult, but it’s not as complicated as it might seem. There are a few tricks out there to figure out your undertone, and lucky for you, we’ve made it easy:
You’re cool toned if:
Under natural light, your veins look blue.
You’re more likely to burn than tan.
Wearing white clothes doesn’t wash you out.
Vibrant blue, green, purple clothing compliment your skin tone.
You look better in silver than gold jewellery.
You’re warm-toned if:
Your veins look green in natural light.
You tan easily.
You look better in gold than silver jewellery.
You look better in off-white and beige clothing than flat whites.
You lean towards bright yellow, orange, or red clothing.
You’re Neutral if:
Your veins are neither too green or too blue.
You can tan, but if you stay too long under the sun you burn.
You look good in both gold and silver jewellery.
You can wear both white and off-white clothing and still look great.
Most colours compliment your skin tone.