undertones

How to tell if your undertones are warm or cool

Find the colours that suit you the most by figuring out your undertone.

Knowing your undertone may not be at the top of your things to do, but it can really help when figuring out colour schemes. Choosing the right colours for your hair, foundation, clothes and even lipstick can all be influenced by the undertone of your skin.

Undertones are much trickier to pinpoint than your actual skin colour. Luckily we've gathered everything there is to know about skin undertones and even how to find your own. Keep scrolling to find out.


What is skin undertone?

Undertones are the colours that come through your skin from underneath the surface to affect its overall hue. The actual lightness or darkness of your skin does not affect undertone. People of all skin tones, from very fair to deep, can have cool, warm or neutral undertones.

The most likely time you'll hear about undertones is when you're shopping for foundation. You'll come across the terms "warm", "cool" and "neutral", and we really can't blame you if you have no idea what anyone is talking about. These terms refer to the undertone of your skin and will determine what shades suit you best.


Types of undertones

Knowing which of the three different types of undertone you are allows you to understand which colour schemes are right for you.

Warm undertone: This means your skin consists of yellow, peachy, golden undertones.

Cool undertone: This means your skin consists of pink, red or bluish undertones.

Neutral undertone: This means that your skin is actually a combination of both warm and cool undertones.

Again, it's important to note that your undertone has nothing to do with your actual skin tone. Even those with the fairest skin can have warm undertones and those with deep skin tones can be cool as well. Nicole Kidman is an example of someone with fair skin and warm undertone.


Five steps to finding your undertone

1. Blue or green veins?

Looking at the colour of your veins is one of the most common tricks when finding your skin undertone. Your undertone will alter the appearance of your veins.

a. If the veins under your skin look like they have a blue or purple tone then you're cool toned.

b. If your veins seem to have a greenish hue then you are warm toned.

c. If they look like a mix of both then chances are you could be neutral.


2. Gold or silver?

Jewellery is another one of the best ways to discover what your undertone is. The idea isn't to work out which one is your preference but what suits the overall hue of your skin. When testing this, try to remain as objective as possible when shopping for jewellery or trying it on.

a. Gold jewellery will tend to look better on those with warm undertones.

b. Silver jewellery will suit those with cool undertones.

c. If it really is too hard to tell or they both suit your skin, you could be neutral.


3. Burn or tan?

In the sun there are usually two types of people: those who lather on five layers of sunscreen because they burn like crazy and those who look like they have a tan 24/7.

a. Will the sun give you a gorgeous glow instantly and make you look like you came straight back from a European summer? Yep, you're warm toned.

b. If you need to pack on the sunscreen and limit your time under the sun or you'll burn to a crisp then you're definitely cool toned.

c. If you're one of the rare humans who can tan slightly but will burn if out in the sun for too long then you're neutral.


4. Blue or red?

The colours of clothing that suit you are a pretty good indication of whether you're warm or cool toned.

a. If you look better in earthy tones like reds, oranges, yellows and olive greens then you're probably warm toned.

b. If you are more suited to gemstone colours like blues, purples and emerald greens then you're most likely cool toned.

c. If you suit both colour schemes then you're not only lucky but probably have neutral undertones.


5. Yellow or orange shirt?

Personally, I think this is the easiest test when figuring out what the undertone of your skin is. The idea of wearing yellow or orange will make most people either excited or wanting to crawl into a hole.

a. Those with warm tones will look like they have a glow or look more tanned in a yellow or orange shirt.

b. Those with cool tones will look washed out and flat in the colour. If you know you know.

c. Those with neutral skin tones will probably feel like they can take or leave the colour.

Shopping for your undertone

Best foundations for cool undertones:

Fenty Beauty Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation
Fenty Beauty Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation

Sephora

Skin Long-Wear Weightless Foundation SPF 15
Skin Long-Wear Weightless Foundation SPF 15

Bobbi Brown

Best foundations for warm undertones:

Kat Von D Beauty Lock-It Liquid Foundation
Kat Von D Beauty Lock-It Liquid Foundation

Sephora


Best lipsticks for cool undertones:

Jeffree Star Cosmetics X Manny Mua Velour Liquid Lipstick Daddy
Jeffree Star Cosmetics X Manny Mua Velour Liquid Lipstick Daddy

Princess Polly

Best lipsticks for warm undertones:

Jeffree Star Cosmetics Lip Ammunition Allegedly
Jeffree Star Cosmetics Lip Ammunition Allegedly

Princess Polly

Fenty Beauty Stunna Lip Paint Longwear Fluid Lip Color 4ml - Uncensored
Fenty Beauty Stunna Lip Paint Longwear Fluid Lip Color 4ml - Uncensored

Sephora

Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick
Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick

Sephora


Best dresses for cool undertones:

Scarlet Jay Mini Dress Forest Green
Scarlet Jay Mini Dress Forest Green

Princess Polly

Dark Mauve Rib High Neck Long Sleeve Open Back Midaxi Dress
Dark Mauve Rib High Neck Long Sleeve Open Back Midaxi Dress

PrettyLittleThing

Best dresses for warm undertones:


Best shoes for cool undertones:

Marthea Silver Tube Strap Heeled Sandals
Marthea Silver Tube Strap Heeled Sandals

PrettyLittleThing

Fuchsia Strappy Barely There Ankle Tie Sandal
Fuchsia Strappy Barely There Ankle Tie Sandal

PrettyLittleThing

Best shoes for warm undertones:

Orange Coloured Clear Strappy Heel
Orange Coloured Clear Strappy Heel

PrettyLittleThing

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Alexandra Hourigan

Alexandra is a shopaholic by nature, make up lover by heart and writer by passion. If you can buy it she'll probably be interested to know what it is. If it's on sale then even better! If she isn't at a Sephora sale she is probably writing about it.

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