All the secrets about skin undertone

“This foundation matches your tone but not your skin undertone” or “A yellow/pink undertone suits you better”. How many times did you hear this type of statement when choosing your makeup, especially foundation or concealer? I already mentioned it when I posted about how to choose the right foundation.

Most of us are very clear about our skin tone, but can we say the same about the skin undertone? You will know after reading this post.


Skin tone and skin undertone

We need to identify both skin tone and undertone to choose the right makeup products. Everybody is familiar with the term skin tone. The skin tone is the surface skin colour, it is related to the colour intensity, which means, the amount of melanin present in our skin.

The skin tone is not always the same. It may change from one season to another, as our skin gets more tan during the summer (at least in countries where you can see the sun, unfortunately not in the UK).

The skin tones can be dark, medium, fair or light. The Fitzpatrick Chart is the tool we use to measure skin tone.

The skin undertone, however, refers to the hue colour underneath the surface of your skin. It never changes, irrespective of how tanned we are. There are three different skin undertones – warm, neutral and cool.


How to determine your skin undertone

It is very easy to determine your skin tone. As I mentioned earlier, it goes from fair to dark, but can be anything in between, very light, very deep, medium, etc. If you want to know your skin tone, check your cleansed jawline. It should be light, medium, or deep.

However, it is not that easy to determine your skin undertone. There are some tests you can do to know it.

Vein Test

Look at the colour of your veins in your wrist under natural light. If they look greenish you may have a warm undertone while if they look blue or purple your undertone should be cool. However, if the colour of your veins is unclear you may be a neutral undertone.


Jewellery Test

Wear gold and silver accessories and check which ones make you feel more comfortable. If silver accessories fit you more, your undertone may be cool. However, if you feel gold jewellery fits you more, your undertone may be warm. If you feel that both fit you equally, you may be a neutral undertone.

Neck Test

Wash your face and neck properly. Wait 10 minutes and take a white towel or piece of paper. Put it beside your neck. If your skin looks yellowish your undertone may be warm but if your skin looks pinkish you may be a cool undertone.

Eye and Hair Test

I think this is the least accurate test. Normally, blond people or people with ash-colour hair and blue/green eyes have cool skin undertone while people with brown hair and eyes are normally warm undertone.

Sun Test

How does your skin react to sun exposure? Does your skin become golden or bronze colour? Then your skin has a warm undertone.

Does your skin become pinkish or red? In this case, your undertone is cool.

If some areas of your skin become red and others become brown, your skin may show a neutral undertone.


How skin undertone may influence my outfit and makeup

There are no hard and fast rules which say what you can or cannot use. You can use anything you feel comfortable with. But there is some advice on what can suit you more depending on your skin undertone.

Cool skin undertone

The skin of people with a cool undertone does not get tan easily, however, can easily get burnt. The best colours for people with cool undertone are blue, pink or red.

For this undertone, try to choose a foundation with a pink, porcelain, or sable undertone. Eyeshadows in blue, purple, silver or grey will suit you well. Go for a pink or reddish blush and choose lipsticks on the fuchsia, mauve or pink with a blue undertone.

Warm skin undertone

You will get tanned easily but you will have dark circles under your eyes. Therefore, your ideal colours are brown, earthy tones, yellow or golden.

Choose a foundation with a beige, ivory, or peach undertone. A foundation with a pink undertone will look orange on your warm undertone skin. For the eyeshadows, go for brown, taupe, earth, orange, or even green tones. Your ideal blushes are in coral or orange hue shades, as well as your ideal lipsticks. For the lips, you can also choose pink or nude with a brown hue.

Neutral skin undertone

You are a mixture of cool and warm undertones. If you are in this group, you are really lucky, as any combination will suit you.

Your undertone provides some insight into what suit you better but, in the end, it is your personal preference, what you like or dislike and what you are comfortable with, will dictate what you use.

Did you know about the undertones? Which one is your skin undertone? Do you choose your makeup matching your undertone? Let me know in the comments.

Bear in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.

I love beauty and skincare, try new products, and share my opinion with you. All my knowledge comes from years of experience and reading articles. I have dry skin, Fitzpatrick type IV, warm undertone, and my main concern is hyperpigmentation. Keep in mind that what works for me may not work for you. We are all different and products can have different results on your skin. Want to talk? Email me at

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