Trying to determine your skin’s undertone can be a serious challenge. The term undertone refers to the color underneath your skin tone that gives your skin an overall pink, yellow, or neutral shade. Even though everyone’s skin tone is different, they mainly fall into three categories of undertones: cool, neutral, or warm.
Knowing your skin’s undertone is essential in a lot of situations, such as picking out the right shade of makeup, figuring out what color clothing looks best on you, and whether to stock up on silver or gold jewelry. No matter your skin tone (whether you’re fair, medium, or dark), your skin can have any of the three undertones.
So how, exactly, do you find your skin’s undertone? Ahead we put together a list of 4 fool-proof ways to determine whether your undertone is cool, neutral, or warm.
How to Find Your Undertone
Finding your undertone doesn’t require any special equipment, just a few simple tricks you can do at home. Let’s get started!
1. Check Your Veins
When figuring out how to find your undertone, this is the first test you should try. All you have to do is flip your wrist over and take a look at your veins. If they appear blue or purple, your undertone is likely cool.
If you see more of a green or greenish-blue color, this typically means your undertone is warm. If your veins are a mixture of blue, purple, and green, that means your undertone is more than likely neutral.
2. Wear White
For this test, throw on a white (not off-white) shirt or grab a piece of white paper and compare it to your skin. If the white shirt complements your skin by giving you a rosy complexion, that means your undertone is probably cool.
On the other hand, if the color white makes you appear washed out or yellow, you likely have a warm undertone. If the white shirt or paper doesn’t make your skin appear obviously pink or yellow, you probably have a neutral undertone.
3. Put on Your Fave Jewelry
For another undertone test, gather up your favorite jewelry. Do you have more silver or gold in your collection?
Silver jewelry better complements cool tones, while gold jewelry usually looks best on warm tones.
If you think both metals suit your skin tone nicely, this is typically a sign that you have a neutral undertone.
4. Do You Sunburn or Tan?
For this final test, think about what happens to your skin when you’re out in the sun for a long period of time. Burn easily? That means you have a cool undertone.
However, if you tan easily in the sun, you likely have a warm undertone. If you burn first and then tan, you’re more than likely neutral-toned.
Skin Undertone Chart
If you’re still having a little trouble determining your shade, try comparing your skin color to the examples on the charts below.
What Shades Look Good With My Undertone?
Now that you’ve determined what your undertone is, let’s talk about what colors best complement your skin whether it’s cool, neutral, or warm.
If you have a cool undertone, a good rule of thumb is to look for cool shades and avoid anything too yellow or orange.
When it comes to clothes, those with cool undertones tend to look great in blues, pinks, and purples! These colors will really bring out your rosy complexion.
When it comes to picking out the perfect foundation, you’ll want to look for something that has a subtle pink tint to it. A lot of makeup brands will label cool-toned foundations with the letter C. Look for foundations labeled porcelain, shell, or chocolate.
As we mentioned above, silver jewelry brings out the best in cool-toned folks!
For warm undertones, earthly tones really bring out your natural golden color!
Warm undertones look fantastic in colors such as mustard yellow, burnt orange, and shades of brown.
Search for a color that has a slightly yellow tint to it, or something labeled with the letter W. Foundation terms you’ll want to look out for are beige, golden, honey, and sand.
Gold jewelry definitely flatters those with warm and yellow undertones!
Those with a neutral undertone tend to be able to pull off any color shade, but there are a few tricks that will really bring out the best of your skin!
If you want to really compliment your undertone, you can always look for colors that are on the muted side so they don’t overpower your complexion. Also, neutrals like black, gray, and off-white are your colors as well.
Your foundation shouldn’t have any obvious signs of pink or yellow, and are likely labeled with the letter N. The terms ivory, nude, and buff usually mean they are meant for neutral undertones.
Those with a neutral skin tone are lucky enough to be complemented by both silver and gold tones!
We hope this guide helped you figure out how to find your undertone! If you’re still having trouble, most beauty experts can help you determine your undertone and match you to a makeup shade. You should be able to walk into your local Ulta, Sephora, or other beauty store and find someone that can help you out.
Even though your undertone can help determine what colors best compliment your skin, that doesn’t mean you can’t wear certain colors or pick a silver necklace over a golden one. Whatever colors or shades make you feel the most confident is always the best way to go!
Sarah Nelson is a contemporary writer of women’s interests and trends, and a former writer of teenage-angst poetry.