Know Your Skin Tone and Undertone – Shop For Makeup Like a Pro

Know Your Skin Tone and Undertone - Shop For Makeup Like a Pro
Skin Tone

The key to finding out your Skin Tone and Undertone is not the color of its surface, but the undertone. Roll up your sleeves and check the color of your veins on the underside of your wrist. If they look blue, you have cool undertones; if green, you have warm.

You can also use your hair and eye color as indicators, though there are plenty of exceptions to this rule.

Cool Undertones

Know your undertones, and you can shop for makeup like a pro. “Undertone is less important for eye makeup, but it’s very helpful to keep in mind when shopping for complexion products — foundation, concealer, blush,” says celebrity makeup artist and Catrice brand ambassador Robert Sesnek. “When choosing a shade of foundation or blush, cool undertones tend to look best with blue-reds and rosy pinks; warm undertones typically do well with peachy-orange or golden hues.”

One of the easiest ways to determine your skin tone is to hold a white piece of paper next to your face in front of a well-lit mirror (natural lighting is key). Your skin should appear yellowish in comparison if you have warm undertones; pink, red, and blue-ish shades are more indicative of cool undertones. Another easy way to tell is to look at how your skin reacts in the sun: If you tan easily and rarely burn, you’re likely a warm-toned gal; if you burn initially but turn into a tanner, you have cool undertones.

Warm Undertones

You can identify warm skin tones by observing your skin’s reaction to sun exposure. If your skin burns easily, you’re likely a cool tone, while if it tans readily or never burns, it suggests a warmer undertone.

Another way to determine your undertone is by examining the color of your veins. If they appear blue in hue, you’re likely cool, while if they look more green or teal, you’re probably a warm tone.

Even pale skin can have a warm undertone, with celebs like Nicole Kidman and supermodel Alex Wek falling into this category. Navreet Josan, national makeup artist for M.A.C Cosmetics India, says that while a person’s skin shade may change seasonally, their undertone can remain constant. With these expert-approved hacks, you can discover your undertone for easier shopping and makeup application. And remember, it’s OK to mix and match! Just be sure to choose the formula that best complements your undertone.

Neutral Undertones

Whether you’re a cool, warm, or neutral toned person, understanding your undertone is essential to getting the right makeup shades for your skin. To help, we got a few pro makeup artists—including Robert Sesnek and Daniel Martin—to share their best hacks for determining skin undertone.

One of the easiest ways to find your undertone is by looking at how your skin reacts in the sun. If you burn easily and turn bright pink, you have a cool undertone. Skin Tone and Undertone on the other hand, if you tan easily or quickly and have a peach or gold-colored complexion, you have warm undertones.

Another way to test your undertone is by holding a white cloth or piece of paper up to your bare skin in natural light. If the skin looks yellowish, you have warm undertones, and if it looks pink, you have cool undertones. Also, if the shade of your eyes is green, you have warm undertones, while blue or grey eyes usually indicate cooler undertones.

Pale Undertones

While it can seem like skin tone and undertone are the same thing (and they do influence each other, just differently), it’s important to differentiate them for skincare, makeup and clothing. Knowing whether you’re cool, warm or neutral can open up a whole new world of flattering shades!

Pale complexions with cool undertones can be enhanced with pink and red hues, bringing out the rosy and bluish hints in their skin. Neutrals and soft beige colors can also look great on them, as long as they avoid any shade that’s too close to their skin color.

To figure out your undertone, try the vein test or hold a piece of white paper or a light-colored T-shirt up against your jawline in natural sunlight. If it looks yellow against your skin, you have a warm undertone; if it appears blue or purple, you have cool undertones. You can also check how your skin reacts to the sun — if you get tanned easily, you’re probably warm; if you turn golden brown, you have a neutral complexion.

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