What Are Neutral Undertones?

hand with small drop of liquid foundation

When it comes to figuring out what makeup shade to choose or what color shirt to wear, you may usually pick what you think looks best. However, you may not be considering your skin's undertone when selecting what you’re wearing. 

If you feel like your makeup doesn't quite match, it's time to discover your skin's undertone. You may have the same skin color as your friend, but you could have two completely different undertones. Some people have it easy, and their undertone is almost the same as their actual skin tone.

We are going to go over how you can discover your skin's undertone and if you're in the neutral group. After, you will feel comfortable picking out things like a foundation shade for your skin!  

The Different Undertones

There are three main undertones that people can have: warm, cool, and neutral. These undertones are the color within the color. Your skin shade is your skin's color at the surface, and your undertone is the color beneath the outer layer. 

Warm undertones include peach, yellow, and golden hues. People with sallow skin, which is when skin loses its natural complexion, usually have warm undertones. 

People with cool undertones have red, pink, or bluish coloration to their skin. However, just because you have redness on your face doesn't mean you have a cool undertone. People with neutral and warm undertones can still have redness in their skin. So instead of focusing on your face, examine the skin on your neck and body. 

People with neutral undertones have nearly the same hue as their actual skin tone or are between warm and cool. If you have neutral undertones, you can usually get away with using colors for both warm and cool undertones, although it can sometimes not be a perfect match. 

It's vital to understand that your undertone is not the same as your natural skin tone or skin color without foundation or other cosmetics. You can get a tan and still have the same undertone. Warm undertones can appear in people with very pale complexions, and cool undertones can occur in people with darker skin.

Not knowing your skin's undertone can make it difficult to find the right foundation. You may have selected the correct shade but still experience it not blending with your skin perfectly. The foundation isn't an exact match because you chose the wrong undertone.

How To Figure Out Your Undertone

There are many different ways you can figure out which of the three traditional undertones you have. You can also visit an aesthetician or even a makeup expert if you want professional guidance. However, you can discover your undertone without leaving the house!

There are tests you can do on your own to help you figure out your undertone. 

Consider How Your Skin Reacts to the Sun

First, it's critical to use sunscreen regardless of your skin tone. However,  understanding how your skin reacts to the sun might help you figure out your undertone. People with cool undertones are usually more prone to becoming sunburned and apply sunscreen more frequently. Meanwhile, people that tan instead of burn usually have warm undertones. 

Look at Your Veins

If you can see your veins, you might be able to figure out your undertone by looking at their hue. If your veins seem like they have a greenish color, you may have warm undertones. People with cooler undertones usually have blue or purplish veins. If your veins appear colorless or match the color of your skin, you may have neutral undertones.

Examine Your jewelry

You may have already been making decisions based on your skin's undertone. Do you find yourself liking silver or gold jewelry more than the other because of the way it looks on your skin?

A lot of people with warm or olive undertones like the way yellow gold looks on their skin. People with cooler undertones may be drawn more towards silver, platinum, and rose gold jewelry. 

People with neutral undertones may like the way they look in both silver and gold. If you have neutral undertones, you can pick jewelry to match your clothing instead of your skin!

Try on Neutral Colors

Wearing neutral-colored clothes can also help you discover your undertone. Cooler undertones appear better in true white clothing, whereas off-white suits more people with warm undertones.  People with warm undertones also look good in brown, while people with cooler tones can pull off black better. Those that have neutral undertones can wear any color without it affecting their overall appearance, just like jewelry.

Consider the Color of Your Eyes and Hair

Your natural eye and hair color may give some insight into your undertones. Platinum and ash-colored dyes appear best with cooler undertones, while chestnut and golden dyes look best with warmer undertones. 

People with blue, green, grey, and deep brown eyes, usually have cool undertones. Meanwhile, people with green, amber, or hazel eyes with golden flecks generally have warm undertones. 

Picking a Foundation Based on Your Undertone

Once you know what your undertone is, you can select the perfect foundation and concealer to match your skin. There are usually a lot fewer options once you select shades for your undertone. You will probably only have a few shades to choose from in your skin color range, and from there, you should be able to make a pretty good guess. 

The foundation you pick should be able to blend in with your face as well as your neck. HIDE has multiple shades for every undertone, so you can find one that works for your skin. When you have selected a foundation shade, you can test it to see if it's a true match before wearing it all day. 

Test Swatch

Do a test swatch on your face and on your neck to see if it matches. You can also test it on another area, but keep in mind your arm or wrist is not always the ideal place since it can be a totally different shade. 

Instead, do a test swatch on an area like your neck. A foundation that doesn't match the areas closest to your face will look off. Also, remember to allow your foundation to dry since wet foundation can be a slightly different shade. 

Test the Lighting

When swatching the foundation, look at it under different kinds of light. Your foundation will seem different outside in natural light than it will when you are inside under artificial light.

Different Shades in Different Seasons

 While your undertone won't change, your shade can throughout the year.

Many people have a lighter skin tone in the winter when they aren't in the sun as much. When summer rolls around, people can have much tanner skin and need to use a different foundation shade.

How To Apply Your Foundation

Once you've gone through all the steps to find your shade and undertone and you're confident in your foundation selection, it's time for the real test. You're ready to use it in your makeup routine and wear it for at least a few hours to see if it's still a perfect fit. 

Let's go over how to apply your foundation to achieve a flawless finish. 

The first step is to prepare your skin for makeup. You want to moisturize your skin. You may also want to use a primer to create a smooth surface. However, not everyone necessarily needs a primer. It's more about personal preference. Primer is not needed when using HIDE Premium Foundation since our formulation is made for all-day wear. 

Once your skin is prepped, start with a small amount of foundation in the center of your face. Using a foundation brush or a damp beauty sponge, begin to blend and work the foundation outwards until your face and neck are covered. 

This method helps you avoid looking cakey by giving your a very natural-looking finish. If you're not satisfied with the coverage after the first application, apply a second thin coat of foundation. 

It's ok to still see a few imperfections peaking through your foundation. You can cover these areas with concealer for a full-coverage look without as much product. HIDE Premium Concealer can completely cover your blemishes and dark under-eye circles. 

Blot and set your face after you've applied your foundation and concealer. Grab a tissue or blotting paper and gently dab any areas of your face that get oily or any creases or wrinkles where excess makeup can settle. Next, apply a thin layer of translucent setting powder to lock your makeup in place all day. You can also use a setting spray if you have dry skin and don't need a powder. 

In Summary 

Knowing your skin's undertone is key when trying to find the right foundation shade. There are three traditional undertones you could be. People with neutral undertones are neither warm nor cool. 

Remember that your undertone and your skin shade are not the same. Once you discover your skin's undertone, you will be able to select the right makeup shade with ease. 

HIDE offers different foundation and concealer shades for the three main undertones. We also have a shade finder if you need a little extra help!



Skin Undertones Chart: Warm, Cool, Neutral, Pink, Yellow, and More | Healthline

What Is Sallow Skin And How Do You Treat It? | Women’s Health Mag

Acne Treatments That Work | Web MD

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