How To Determine Your Skin Tone

color palette

If you ever put on a foundation that looks like your exact shade but seems off, you're probably having an undertone issue. Your shade and skin tone are two different things, and you need to match both when choosing makeup. 

Are you unsure of what your skin's undertone is? You're not the only one who runs into this problem. While makeup professionals know all about undertones, everyday makeup users may have no idea what undertones even are. Your undertone may not be immediately obvious and can take a little investigating to discover. 

We will go over the main undertones, why you need to know your skin tone, and how to identify your undertone. You will be able to select the perfect products to fit your skin. 

Shade vs. Tone

Your skin shade and undertone are the main things you need to focus on when selecting a foundation or concealer. If you don't understand these two things, you may end up returning the product after discovering it doesn't match. Save yourself the hassle and figure out what your shade and tone are before making a purchase. 

Your skin shade is the color of your skin on the surface. You may have light, tan, or dark skin. Generally, people can usually guess what shade they are by comparing the product to their skin. Your shade can change over time or as you tan.

However, what about the color within the color? Your undertone is the color under the surface of your skin. It remains the same even if your shade changes. Your undertone is not just a given based on your skin shade. There are unlimited skin shade and undertone combinations. 

Why You Need To Know Your Undertone

If you wear makeup, it is important to choose products that will blend flawlessly with your natural complexion. When you know your undertone, you will be significantly better at identifying the right products for your skin. 

Think of your undertone like a passcode to unlock your perfect match; your shade is the first two digits, and your undertone is the last two. If you just know your shade, you're close to what you need, but you're locked out of finding an exact match. 

When applying your foundation and concealer, you're creating a smooth base to build off of with the rest of your makeup. You want your base to look as close to your skin as possible, and you will get the best results if you're using the correct undertone. 

Knowing what undertone you have is extremely useful for your foundation and concealer and when it comes to selecting which eyeshadow, blush, bronzer, and lipstick will be most flattering. 

Certain colors complement specific skin tones, and others just don't look as good. Undertones are why people have different red lipstick shades they think look best on them. Some people lean towards a bluish red, while others favor an orange-red based on their skin. 

The same rationale also applies to the color of the clothes that you wear. Some colors just seem to fit certain people more than others. So even if you don't wear a lot of makeup, learning your skin's undertone can be useful. You might as well take the time now to understand your skin because it will pay off down the road. 

What Are Undertones?

There are three primary undertones, and everyone falls into one of these categories: warm, cool, and neutral. These tones are the color just beneath the surface of your skin. They show through but don't change when your skin shade changes. 

When you are warm, you may have golden, yellow, or peach undertones. However, if you. have pink, red, or bluish undertones, you are on the opposite side, with cool undertones. 

Undertones that are almost the same color as their skin tone are known as neutral undertones. You can typically get away with using colors for both warm and cool undertones if you have neutral undertones. However, it is ideal to find products with neutral undertones as cool and warm-toned products may not always look the best. 

It's critical to recognize that your undertone differs from your natural skin tone. Even if you tan, your undertone will remain the same. There aren't specific skin types attached to certain undertones. 

Another common misconception about undertones is that people with light skin can never have warm undertones, and people with dark skin can't have cool tones. This fallacy couldn't be more untrue. So don't rule out a certain undertone just because you don't feel like it could be your tone. 

How To Determine Your Skin Tone

There are several methods for determining which of the three undertones you have. You don't need to see a makeup artist to figure it out. There are several helpful tips and tricks to discovering your undertone by yourself. Once you do a few of the following tests, you should know your skin tone.  

Examine Your Veins

You may have never paid too much attention to your veins before, but now is the time! They may just hold the key to discovering your undertone. 

Look closely at the color of your veins. If they look greenish, you may have a warm undertone. People with cool undertones have a blue or purple hue to their veins. 

If you don't have noticeable veins or if you can't decide if they are more green or blue, you probably have a neutral undertone.

Eyes and Hair Color

Your hair and eye color may also give away your undertone. 

Cooler undertones work better with platinum and ash-colored dyes, while warmer undertones work best with chestnut and golden hair dyes. 

Cool undertones usually have blue, green, grey, and deep brown eyes, while warm skin undertones have green, amber, or hazel eyes with golden flecks. 

Consider How the Sun Affects Your Skin

Understanding how your skin reacts after sun exposure can help you determine your undertone. If you know you're likely to become burnt and are always lathering on the sunscreen, you may have a cool undertone. 

On the opposite side of the spectrum, you likely have a warm undertone if you tan rather than burn. However, you should always apply sunscreen regardless of your skin tone. The sun can be very damaging to your skin, even if you don't burn. You may end up with more wrinkles and age spots down the road. 

Neutral Colored Clothing

Put on some neutral-colored clothing to help you determine your undertone. 

Generally, people with cool undertones like pure white and warm undertones lean more towards off-white. Warm undertones also look better in brown, while cool undertones look best in black. Neutral undertones may like wearing all of the neutrals. 

Look at Your Accessories

The color jewelry you think looks best on your skin can be very telling when it comes to your undertone. People usually have a preference between the color gold or silver that they wear. 

A lot of people with warm undertones gravitate towards yellow gold because it looks good on their skin. People who like silver, platinum, or even rose gold may have cool undertones. 

As always, neutral undertones fall somewhere in the middle, with gold and silver fitting their skin type. 

Choosing a Foundation

You can pick out a foundation after you've determined your undertone. You may want to select two different shades that are in your skin tone range. You can test them out to see which one blends best with your skin or mix them together to create your own custom color. If one shade is a little too light, you can save it for the winter when you're getting less sun!

When looking for a foundation, look for ones that mention shades and undertones. For example, HIDE Premium Foundation comes in various shades in each of the three main undertones. You should be able to find one that flawlessly fits your skin. 

To test out a new foundation, apply a patch to your jawline, neck, or chest area and look at it in natural lighting. If it still blends into your skin once it's dried, then you've found your match. If it stands out on your skin, then you may need to try out a different shade. Once you’ve found your foundation shade, you can get a concealer that’s either a match or one shade lighter for areas like your under-eyes

There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it: finding the perfect foundation shade for your skin shade and tone may take some work. However, once you know what you're looking for, it will become so much easier. It will be worth it in the long run to have a foundation that makes your skin look naturally flawless!

In Summary

Discovering your undertone is essential if you want to find the perfect makeup products that fit your skin. Once you know your undertone, you will be able to find a foundation that actually matches!

HIDE  has a shade finder to help you select the right shade and undertone combination for you!



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

Sun Damaged Skin: Sunburn, Melanoma, Carcinoma, and More | Web MD

Wrinkles | Better Health

Related Posts

How To Apply Foundation With a Sponge
A makeup sponge is an essential tool everyone should have in their makeup bag. You can use it for many things, from a...
Read More
CC Cream vs. Foundation: What’s the Difference?
All of the best makeup looks have one thing in common: a perfect base. There are a lot of products you can use to ach...
Read More
Foundation for Dry Skin: 3 Best Dry Skin Foundations
The wrong foundation on dry skin can be a disaster. It can cling to dry patches, cake, and settle in the worst areas....
Read More