This is a very important aspect of beauty. Knowing your skin tone will save you time and money when buying makeup and sometimes even clothing. Knowing what works for your skin tone and what doesn’t is what is actually key. But, to understand that, you must first identify your skin tone and learn what types of colors and products will work best for you. So, let’s start by learning the basics of all basics… What is skin tone?
Skin tone by definition
“Your skin tone, or undertone, does not refer to the shade of your skin (light, medium, dark)–that is your complexion or the surface color of your skin. Your skin tone is determined by the amount of melanin, or pigment, in your skin and does not change from sun exposure or skin conditions like rosacea or acne.”
So, even if you tan during the summer and become paler in the winter- your skin tone will remain the same. Your skin tone will be one of the following: cool, warm, or neutral.
Now, you are probably wondering, “how do I know which I am?”. Begin by cleaning your face and wrist. After, wait about 5-10 minutes for any redness to disappear from the scrubbing. Natural lighting is the best for determining your natural skin tone since different lighting will cast a different shadow over the skin. To be most accurate sit next to a window or try going outside.
Use a piece of white paper to determine skin tone
Take a white piece of printer paper and hold it up to your face. Using a mirror try to determine if your skin casts a yellow, pink, rosy, bluish-red, green, or gray undertone.
If your skin appears yellowish than you have a warm skin tone.
If your skin appears pink, rosy, or blueish red than you have a cool skin tone.
If your skin appears gray than you have an olive complexion with a neutral undertone. This means you can play around with neutral and warm tones since you fall in the middle.
If you can’t determine any casts of color, you most likely have a neutral skin tone. You can play around with cool and warm colors.
Use your wrist to determine your skin tone
Now, referring to the guide above, determine what color your veins in your wrist are colored. If you have blue or purple veins that would indicate that you have a cool skin tone (undertone). If you have greenish blue veins that would mean you have a warm skin tone. Lastly, if you do not have purple-blue or greenish veins that would mean that you have a neutral skin tone.
Use your skin tone to determine the best clothing palette when shopping
Remember, this guide is not set in stone. They are merely suggestions of colors that are known to complement different skin tones. Feel free to wear any colors you feel comfortable in. However, if you would like to know the suggestions, read along below:
Warm undertones should try Neutrals (beige, cream, orangey-coral, mustard, off-white, yellow, orange-brown, warm red, and yellow-green)
Cool undertones should try blue-red-blue, purple, pink, green, plum, navy, magenta, and blue-green.
Neutral Undertones can draw from both groups.
Use skin tone to shop for makeup
Again, this approach is merely a suggestion as to what makeup colors you really should buy. However, refer to the picture above for a few suggestions on what colors look best based on your skin.
If you fair or light skin try light pinks, corals, nudes, and beige. For cool undertones look for raspberry or mocha nudes especially. For warm tones try out some reds with blue undertones, coral, and peachy nudes.
If you have tan or medium skin, go for cherry red, rose, mauve, or berry. If you have warm undertones focus on tangerine, orange-red, copper, or bronze. If you have cool undertones look for deep red, wine, or cranberry shades.
If you have dark skin, search for browns, purples, gold, plumb, and deep reds. If you have warm undertones try copper or bronze. For cool undertones search for shiny reds.