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Undertones – Is Your Skin Tone Warm Or Cool?

Concealers and concealer wands

Choosing a foundation is hard, especially making sure you get the right colour. If you’ve ever tried a foundation that isn’t too dark or light but somehow just isn’t right then it’s probably the wrong undertone.

Skin undertones can seem strange and confusing at first but they’re actually really easy to figure out. Once you know yours, shopping for foundations and concealers will be so much easier.

There are three types of undertone; cool, warm and neutral.

Cool undertones are pink, blue or ruddy.

Warm undertones are yellow, peach or golden.

Neutral undertones are neither and can have elements of both.

How dark or light your skin is has no bearing on your undertone. There’s a myth that light skin is always cool and dark skin is always warm but that’s not true. Here’s how you can work out yours.

Concealers in cool, neutral and warm undertones

Check your veins

By far the easiest way to work out your undertone is to look at the veins on the inside if your wrist. If they’re blue or purple then you have a cool undertone. If they’re green then you have a warm undertone. If it’s difficult to tell, then your undertone is neutral.

Try on some jewellery

Another easy way to tell is to try on some gold and silver jewellery. Aside from your personal preference, which looks best against your skin? If it’s silver, then your undertone is cool and if it’s gold then your undertone is warm.

Hand holding concealers in cool, neutral and warm undertones

Olive skin

Ok, so I may have oversimplified things just a little. There’s also fourth undertone that’s more unusual but still important to mention. If you don’t feel that you fit into any category, you could have an olive skin tone. Olive is yellowish but slightly green so more neutral than warm but not fitting into either camp.

Does hair and eye colour make a difference?

Some people say it does but I disagree. It’s true that you can make some sweeping generalisations, for example that ash brown hair means you have cool toned skin while if it’s golden brown your skin must be warm. But in my experience there are exceptions just like with any rule. They usually say that redheads have warm skin but I’m a redhead and my undertone is definitely cool!

Once you’ve worked out your undertone, you’re well on the way to finding your perfect foundation.

How to work out your undertone

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Makeup artist since 2006

Manchester, UK

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