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Know Your Skin Tones and Undertones to Look Better

Know Your Skin Tones and Undertones to Look Better

by Azka Munir · January 19, 2022

Your skin has a surface color and an undertone. The surface colors are the skin tones that give your skin a particular shade.

It can be fair, light, medium or dark.

The undertone along with the skin tone helps you to decide makeup, hair color and the clothes that look good on you.

If you want to style yourself better, learn about how to find out your skin tones below.

1.

What are Skin Tones?

These are surface skin colors that you and others can see.

You describe your skin color as olive-toned, or dark based on what you can see the color of your skin is.

It is determined by the amount of melanin, the pigment that gives skin its color, is present in the uppermost layer of your skin.

If there is more melanin, you probably have a dark tone, if less then it’s fair.

different skin tones

Different Skin Tones

Fair

The lightest skin tone is fair whereby you have less melanin.

Due to the lack of pigment, you probably get sunburn easily too.

Usually, people with fair skin have lighter hair too.

They may have blonde or red hair.

Light

This is a slightly darker tone than fair.

People with light skin tones have warmer undertones than those with fair tones.

Plus, unlike fair people, they can sustain a tan without getting a sunburn.

dark, fair, light and medium toned hands

Medium

People with medium skin have a warmer tone.

Thus, they look usually tan, or olive and have warm undertones.

Obviously, they also have more melanin.

Dark

The darkest and deepest of all tones.

Has the most melanin of all the others and are usually thought to be warm skin tones.

While these are the broader skin tones, each individual can have a different complexion.

The complexions could be very light or very dark and many more.

Moreover, external factors such as tanning, skin pigmentation, acne, rosacea, redness and dark spots can affect your surface color.

It can also be harder to differentiate between fair and light or medium and dark.

In order to find that out, you can carry out tests to determine it.

identifying skin tones

Identifying Your Skin Tone

Ask a Friend or Family Member

The person looking at you can more accurately tell you what’s your skin tone rather than yourself.

Mirrors and lighting can confuse you slightly, hence, your best option is to go for someone else’s opinion.

If they say that you look tan when it’s the summer and have pale skin during winters then your tone is possibly deep.

Plus, always tan skin could be medium-toned.

Taking the opinion of friends and family is especially useful when you are confused between two shades.

women of different complexions fair, medium and dark

Visit a Beauty Store

Some beauty stores offer matching foundation tests.

Plus, the people at beauty stores are usually well versed in identifying skin tones.

So if you need some extra help and also a matching foundation, that is the place to go.

See Your Jawline

Your jawline is usually the place that retains your surface color and is not that affected by skin conditions than the rest of your face.

Under sunlight, check your freshly washed jawline to identify your unaffected surface skin color.

These ways will find out your skin tones.

However, that is not the only important way to find out what suits your skin.

Another important factor is the hues underneath our skin.

They are known as undertones.

Let’s dive deeper into that below!

2.

What are Undertones?

The undertone is the color present beneath the surface color.

Unlike your surface skin tone, the undertone is unchangeable.

They are of three types only, cool, warm and neutral.

undertones

Cool Undertones

This is a perception that usually people with fair and lighter skin have cooler undertones.

Well, that is totally a misconception!

People with any surface color can have cool, neutral or warm undertones.

Having more pink, red and blue hues in your complexion usually signifies a cool undertone.

Most people identify it with a bluish undertone but it could be any of the three.

Neutral Undertone

People who neither have cool undertones nor warm toned ones have a neutral undertone.

For instance, people who have a dark complexion will have an olive hue underneath.

Warm Undertone

For a warm undertone, you will have golden, yellow or peach hues.

These colors are usually associated with warmth.

Hence, if you see any of these hues on your skin, go ahead with the right makeup suited for it.

However, only looking at your face is not enough to identify your undertone.

So now with the know-how of different undertones, let’s dig deeper into how you can find what’s your undertone.

vein test for finding undertone

What’s Your Undertone?

In order to find your undertone, perform these tests:

  • Test 1: Looking at Your Veins

The veins on your hand are usually a certain color, either purple, blue or green.

Look at the underside of your hand, what color do they show?

If it is blue and purple, that’s a sign of a cool undertone.

However, green veins represent warm colors or hues.

If you have bluish-green veins, a mix or you cannot identify the color, you have a neutral undertone.

This is one of the accurate measures to identify your undertone.

Next up is…

  • Test 2: Using a Paper

Place a white sheet of paper right next to your face in the sunlight or in a well-lit place with natural light.

You should be bare-faced.

Hold the sheet in front of a mirror and see what color your skin looks on the sheet.

If it is pink, that represents a cool tone, whereas yellow represents a warmer tone.

Seeing no undertone on the white paper is indicative of a neutral undertone.

  • skin undertonesTest 3: Checking Your Jewelry

Gold and silver jewelry do not look flattering on everyone.

Silver tends to suit people who have a cool undertone whereas good looks better on those with a warm undertone.

If you are lucky, both silver and gold jewelry tones will look fine, in that case, you have a neutral undertone.

  • Test 4: Checking Colors

It’s time to have some fun.

Bring out all the clothes in your wardrobe and try them in front of a mirror one by one.

Make sure the room is well lit.

Categorize the clothes in cool, warm and neutral undertones.

If blue, purple, black and white colors suit you more that indicates a cooler undertone.

On the other hand, if brown, yellow, peach, orange and olive look more flattering, that shows a warmer undertone.

People with neutral undertones have the best of both worlds situation, they look good in every color.

  • Test 5: Performing a Sun Test

People with warmer undertones, tan easily.

They do not feel any burning sensation when they are getting sun exposure.

Warm undertones will turn skin into olive, peach, caramel and golden while getting enough sun exposure.

However, those with cool undertones can feel the burn.

Their skin will turn red, rosy or show deep cinnamon shades immediately under the sun.

Not having a predominant shade under tanning but if the skin burns and tans equally then that’s a neutral undertone.

  • Test 6: Eye and Hair Color

Besides the colorful clothes you wear, your eye and hair color can help determine your undertone.

Generally, people with lighter hair color and eye color(blue or gray) have cool skin tones and undertones or sometimes neutral undertones.

Similarly, those with darker eyes (such as green and brown)and hair color are through to have a warm undertone.

However, this is not the most accurate way to determine the undertones.

There are exceptions whereby people with darker skin tones have a cool undertone.

Now that you can identify your undertone, you may be wondering what’s the use of knowing this anyway.

It has several uses in styling.

3.

Importance of Skin Tones and Undertones

When you know your undertone and skin tone better, you style better!

It can help you in picking the clothes with colors that look good on you.

Moreover, you can apply the right makeup and dye your hair accordingly.

using skin tones

Use in Selecting Clothes and Hair Colors

You know your skin undertone and tone well by now.

If you have a warm undertone and medium or dark skin, go dor warmer colors.

For instance, olive green will suit you more.

On the other hand, if you have a cooler undertone, turquoise can suit a person with the same complexion.

People with cool undertones wear cooler colors and the same for warmer undertones.

The lucky neutral ones can wear whatever they want.

Choose the colors of your clothes in accordance with your undertone.

However, the opposite is true for hair color.

If you have a warm undertone then your hair color should be of a cool tone and vice versa.

The rule is reversed here.

Therefore people with medium to deep skin and warm undertones have black hair colors rather than golden.

Similarly, people with cooler skin undertones and fair skin will look more vibrant in red hair.

using right makeup

Use While Buying and Applying Makeup

Choosing the foundation, eye color and lipstick

Foundations keep both your skin tone and undertone in mind.

Hence, you need to know before buying any.

Use a skin tone chart for more accuracy.

Getting the right foundation is absolutely necessary otherwise it looks ashy on the other skin undertone.

Similarly, eyeshadow and lipstick need to match according to your undertone as well.

Otherwise, you will realize some shades do not look flattering on you at all.

 

Achieving a Natural Look Through Makeup

The nude makeup or no-makeup, makeup look is in trend these days.

You can only achieve that when you are fully aware of your skin undertone and tone to get the right foundation and concealer.

Complement it with natural shades that look good on your lips, eyes and cheeks.

When you have full knowledge of your tones, you can achieve a natural makeup look.

Achieving a Smooth Makeup Look

Harsh makeup lines and an ashy look may result if you are not wearing the right foundations.

These intense makeup lines appear on the jawline.

It disconnects your makeup from the rest of the face and does not look good.

Some people think that covering all the face and neck can solve this problem.

But actually, choosing a foundation of your undertone and tone is the solution.

You will achieve a smooth makeup look after performing your skincare routine, without any harsh lines only if you have the right product.

Finally

Knowing your skin tones and undertones is important for you to look better.

Hence, before you purchase makeup and clothes next time, check your undertones to style in a way that flatters your complexion.

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