Determining your undertones is very important when looking into makeup –it will help you find complimentary colors and keep you from picking the wrong foundation color again and again. Blindly going and picking colors not having any clue is not wise! So take some serious time and figure it out.
Don’t get discouraged… it’s not always very obvious what type of undertones you have. Many people say that you can tell simply by knowing whether you look better with silver or gold jewelry.
Other methods include looking at the veins in your wrist (blue = cool undertones, green = warm undertones), but lots of people have more pigment in their skin and can’t see their veins at all!
The best way to figure out your undertones is to do some serious mirror-staring. Remove or replace bright-colored clothing or surroundings, and choose instead white or black clothes (or none!). Make sure you’re in good lighting (by a window is best), and tie your hair back. All of these competing colors can be distracting, so it’s best to be plain and neutral when mirror-staring.
If the jewelry test or the vein test are inconclusive, get some colored paper, pencils, or whatever you have handy. Grab a few warm colors (orange, red, yellow) and a few cool colors (blue, purple, green) and start holding them up to your skin. Completely disregard your personal preferences, and truly acknowledge which ones make your skin tone “glow”, so to speak. Certain shades will just make your skin look flat, and others will compliment. As I said, it will take a good amount of mirror-staring before you get it, but it’s worth it in the end.
Here’s a handy graphic that shows coloring by undertones, without having to post a bunch of pictures of people’s faces:
there is definitely such a thing as being “neutral”. People who have olive skin often have neutral undertones. This means that you are complimented both by cool and warm colors.
However don’t just give up from your mirror-staring and decide that you are neutral! Most of you are not. If I were to generalize, I would say that those with the lightest skin tones and the darkest often have cool undertones. Those in the middle normally are on the warmer side. Of course this is a broad generalization! It is worth it to really figure it out.
What’s the difference?
A yellow undertone is often found on people with sallow skin – e.g. Asian.
A pink undertone is often represented by pale skin that burns easily – e.g. Irish.
Here are the easy ways to figure out which you are.
Look at the color of the veins in your wrist. As a general rule of thumb if they are blue then you are pink toned. If they are green then you are yellow toned.
2. BURN TIME
If you burn easily your skin tone is probably Pink. If you tan easily chances are you are Yellow.
3. TRY BOTH – AT THE SAME TIME
Still not sure? Go into the shop with a makeup free face and apply a stripe of Pink toned to one side of your jawline and a Yellow toned on the other side.
“The colour that blends into your skin is the tone that most suits you, while the one that stands out should be removed faster than you can say ‘I’m yellow toned’ and never applied again. (Julie, Broken Blush)
Mineral makeup will often be divided into Cool and Warm tones too
What if my brand has no pink/yellow distinction?
Don’t worry about it. A lot of brands don’t tell you if they base their shades on cool (pink) or warm (yellow) undertones. Just do the jaw stripe test and pick the foundation that blends in best with your skin. Higher end foundation will more often distinguish between the two tones : Julie recommends MAC Studio Fix Fluid, MAC Face and Body and Jemma Kidd Light as Air while Andreea plumps for Lancome Teint Idole Ultra and for a cheaper spend Avon’s new Ideal Flawless Foundation.