Do you have a couple of makeup products that are just your go-to? They just complement your skin, bring out your features or complete your looks in all the right ways? Among other important qualities, such as their finishes or how long they last, the products might get their success from their colours and tones (and to be exact, how they match yours). Learn more about undertones with our guide!
What is skin undertone?
Extending from very fair to very dark shades, we’re probably already familiar with the concept of skin tones. Less so with the subtler underlying colours of our skin, however, that is the undertone.
The skin undertone is the hints of colours and hues that your skin tone casts. If skin tones lie on the spectrum of very dark to very fair, undertones usually fall in the categories of cool, warm or neutral hues.
- A cool undertone has hints of blue and pink.
- A warm undertone leans more towards peach, golden or yellow shades.
- And neutral undertone is a mixture—or neither—of the two.
How to determine your skin undertone?
Trying to figure out your undertone can be much harder than trying to find your skin tones. This is because unlike skin tone, which is often the first thing you see in the mirror, undertones are subtler and less obvious.
It might take close inspections, or even hours in front of the mirror and under different lightings to finally understand whether your undertone looks more blue/pink or peachy/yellow (makeup-free + natural lighting combo is the best!).
Still find it hard? We have these key questions that can make it easier for you:
- What colour are your veins?
Flip your wrist and try to look at the hues underneath your skin. If your veins tend to look blue or purple, you probably have a cool undertone. If they look rather green, then you probably have a warm undertone.
If you have a hard time identifying the colour, or they look somewhat in-between, you probably have a neutral undertone.
- Which white looks better on you?
Which shades of white do you look better in? If you feel that bright-white outfits match your skin better, you probably have a cool undertone. If you feel like glowing in cream, off-white or ivory whites, you probably match with warmer whites better because of your warm undertone. If you can’t really see a difference, then neutral it is!
- Slick in silver or glam in gold?
You can do the same thing with your jewellery pieces! Silver jewelleries tend to suit cool undertones better, while gold can complement warm undertones more. You can also opt for neutral if you can’t see much of a difference between the two.
- What does your complexion look like?
You can observe your undertone as a part of your whole complexion. People with cool-toned brown, black or blonde hair and blue, grey or green eyes are likely to have cool undertones.
While those with warm-toned red, brown, black or strawberry blonde hair and darker brown or hazel eyes, would probably have a warm undertone. There’s also a chance that you have a neutral undertone if the contrast is not that clear to you!
- What colour are your nail beds?
Lastly, you can look at your natural nail beds closely. Do you think they look more peach or more pink? If you see them as more pink, it’s likely that you have a cool undertone. And if they seem more peach, you can go with warm! You can also consider neutral undertone if they still look unclear to you.
There is no single, ultimate indicator for determining your undertone, so it is best that you consider as many qualities as possible. You should take all of the answers above as a whole to have a better picture of what your undertone might be.
How to wear makeup that suits your undertone?
With the countless makeup looks and styles you can create, you might wonder, “what makeup actually suits me?” To begin with, there are no clear rules in creativity. Makeup should be about having fun and having the freedom to experiment with your arts.
At the same time, we also want you to look your best and we can give you some tips on where to start! Especially for complexions, the key is to match skin undertones with product undertones—cool with cool and warm with warm.
- Choosing complexion products
For cool undertones, it is best to use products that have hints of pink. While for warm undertones, products with some yellow or golden hues might work better.
Which is why highlighters and blushes with silvery finishes, cool pinks and plums usually look great for cool undertones, while bronze, orange and coral shades work great for warm undertones.
We also got an interesting hack that you can try when picking foundations! If you got foundations that match your skin tone but are still unsure about the undertones, dab one of each undertone and try to squint your eyes and blur your vision. The foundation with the right shade and undertone should blend in much better than the others!
- Choosing eyeshadows
For eyeshadows, cool shades in blue, white, grey, mauve or cool pastels will complement cool undertones well. And warm, sunset-like shades like bronze, gold and brown usually enhance warm undertones just right!
- Choosing lipsticks
If you have a cool undertone, you can opt for blue-based reds, berries, rosy pink or fuchsias to complete your makeup look! If you have a warm undertone, you can go for peachy pinks, orange-toned reds and warm browns for a gorgeous finish.
Any eyes or lips colour will probably look good for neutral skin tones—lucky you! In this case, you might want to match the colours with your eyes, hair or looks instead.
Regardless of your skin undertone, know that your makeup will look best when you actually like it! Don’t feel pressured to ditch your favourite colours because they’re not classified as cool or warm. Rather, experiment with whichever shades and looks you like, because in the end, makeup should be about expressing your creativity and flair!
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