You may think that your skin tone isn’t that important when it comes to your makeup. But if you ask the most seasoned makeup artists, they will be able to tell you how important skin tone is to get the right look and the right kind of makeup.
When you begin your makeup routine, what is the first thing that you use? Besides moisturizer, the next set of important things include foundation, concealer and highlighter- all of which are heavily reliant on the kind of skin tone you have.
Imagine buying a foundation that is two shades darker than you- not a good scenario, right?
If you are wondering what are the shades that best suit your skin tone- be it lipstick, or nail polish or blush and foundation, you have come to the right place!
In this article we will talk about the common skin types, how to determine what YOUR skin type is and what’s the best way to buy makeup suited for your skin tone.
So let’s get started:
What are the common skin types?
Thankfully for us ladies, there are not too many skin types and determining which type you are is not that difficult. In the below section, we have broken down the most common skin types that are there in this world.
It is not necessary that the skin tones given below will definitely match yours, but these are the common ones and your skin tone may or may not look exactly like this. Understand these skin tones and decide which one you fall in!
But before you begin to choose your skin tone, here are two things that you should keep in mind:
- The surface of the colour of your skin – This is the colour that you see when you look into the mirror. This is usually what other people think your skin tone is and you might often hear them saying – you are pale, or fair or tanned etc. The best way to determine your skin colour is to look at the skin in your jawline. This is one of the areas that remain less affected than the rest of the skin.
- Your undertones – Undertones, as the name suggests is the colour of the skin that lies beneath your main skin surface. It may be understood as the shadow of the skin. Though the surface colour might change, the undertones always remain the same.
Now that you know how to determine your skin tone, let’s talk about the most common ones:
Pale, Porcelain or Ivory:
When you are extremely fair, and you might get freckles around your skin- you are pale. There is very little redness in your cheeks and you have a tendency to burn very easily when you go out in the sun. Your undertones may be cool or warm.
Fair, Beige or Cream Colored:
If your skin is fair, and you do have a little redness around your cheeks and your face, also if your skin is pale and deepens into a tan when you are exposed to sun, you can be said to have a fair, beige or cream-coloured skin tone. This skin tone too might have cool or warm undertones.
Light Brown, golden or Olive
One of the most popular and also the most versatile skin tone – consider yourself really lucky if you are blessed with a light brown, golden or olive skin tone. The biggest way to determine whether you fall into this category is to find out if you tan easily or not. If that’s a yes, but you do not burn when exposed to sun, you fall in this category. Your undertones in this case are warm or golden.
You are extremely blessed because almost any hair colour suits you, your lipsticks are of rich hues and nail polish can be dark too.
Your undertones are neutral and warm.
Caramel, Tanned or Medium Brown:
Another gorgeous skin tone, this one is next to the above skin tone in popularity and a majority of people might have this skin tone- especially Indians, Latin Americans and Colombians. You too tan very easily in summer, but the good thing is- you don’t tan. Your undertones will always be warm. Caucasians hardly have this skin tone.
Bronze or Rich Brown
Women of African descent mostly flaunt this skin. This type of skin tone doesn’t get burned in the sun and has a deep brown look. The undertones are again very warm, so you will need to choose makeup that will go with warmer undertones.
Mahogany, espresso or Black Skin
This skin tone commonly known as the ebony skin tone is one of the deepest colours among the skin tones and is again rarely found on people with Caucasian origins. Sometimes besides women of African descent, a few tribes from India too can be found with this skin tone. The best thing about this kind of skin tone is the fact that you never get burned!
Now that you know what your surface colour is, you will now need to determine what kind of skin tone you actually have. Depending on this, also known as the undertone, your makeup will be determined and you can decide better what will suit your skin better – this may include hair colour, makeup- foundation, concealer etc.
Types of Skin Tones:
Like we mentioned before, there are two main ways by which you can determine your skin tone- the surface colour and the undertones. The above section was all about determining your skin tone, and the section now will help you know what your undertone is. The undertone never changes even if your skin tone varies due to tans and other factors. Here are the three major undertones and how to determine it:
When we talk about warm undertones, the colours that should come to your mind include warm, peachy and golden tones. People who have a warm skin tone will usually have brown, green or hazel eyes and black, brown, red, auburn, blonde or strawberry blonde hair.
So people who will have a warm tone of the skin will mostly have yellow/peach or olive undertones and look best in gold jewelry and earth tones like browns, oranges, yellows, beige, yellow greens, cream, and off white. Think mostly of earthy colours and you will be able to understand this particular tone.
When we talk about cool undertones, you have to think of red, pink and bluish hues. People who have cool skin undertones will mostly have blue or grey eyes. The hair will usually be blonde but it can also be brown or black. Cool tones have a very definite blue and pinkish undertone and thus people with this skin tone will look best in silver jewelry and clothing colors such as blue, red, pink and purple, like those that match the deep colors of gem stones.
Think of neutral undertones and focus more on colours like olive and a mix of the above two undertones. This is quite a common undertone and most people actually have a mix of this undertone. Neutral undertones are also the easiest to style and people who have neutral undertone can have eyes of any color, hair and skin too might be any unspecified undertone and can include colours like as pink, olive or yellow. Gold or silver- any kind of jewelry will look good with this undertone.
Surface skin colour is very easy to determine, but it is the undertone that makes all the difference, in your makeup and the various items you choose. The following section will give you an idea on how to find out whether you have warm or cool undertones. The simple tests are very effective and before you splurge on all your makeup, the best idea would be to understand these tests and determine your undertones.
Are You Warm or Cool?
Like we said before, the warm or cool undertones are the most important things that will help you determine the kind of makeup shades you should be using. Here’s how to actually find out which tone you fall in:
Rely on the Sun:
And easiest way to determine whether you are warm-toned or cool-toned is to go under the sun. When you are exposed to sunlight, if your skin turns golden-brown you are warm toned. But if your skin burns and then turns pink, you fall into the latter category.
Check your veins:
Another easiest trick in the book is to check your veins. Just pull up your sleeves and check the veins on the inside of your wrist. If you are cool-toned, your veins will simply look blue. But if you are warm toned, your veins will tend to appear green. But the funny thing is, women who are warm-toned shouldn’t be worried that their veins are green – they appear green because you are looking through a yellowish and pale skin. So in technicality, your veins will appear green due to this: blue+yellow combination!
Rely on your Jewelry:
If you need an excuse to buy jewelry, then try this test to find out which tone you are. Wear a bunch of gold and silver trinkets and see which ones look better on you – does silver make you look awake and radiant or is it the gold jewelry? Silver and platinum colours look best on women with cool undertones and gold suits women with warm undertones. Either way, you will have to judge and not be biased on the gold or silver trinkets.
Eye and Hair Colour:
Your eye and hair colour are also easy ways to find out what your dominant undertone is. People who are cool-toned will have eye colours like blue, green or grey and will have hair colours like blond, black or brown hair.
Women who are warm toned will have brown, hazel or amber eyes. Their hair will mostly be strawberry blonde, black, red or brown. This is another easiest way to determine which undertone you fall in.
Did none of these tests work for you? You don’t need to worry, because this means that you are neutral toned and trust us, this is the easiest thing to be in! You will not need to focus on a particular kind of hair colour and makeup shade and it’s easier to rock both gold and silver jewelry!
Season for Your Skin:
Cool or warm undertones are also related to the season and depending on which category you fall in, you will either be a winter skin or summer skin.
- Warm undertone means SPRING or AUTUMN type
- Cool undertone means that you are a SUMMER or a WINTER type.
This is how you find your season- broadly, but if you want to be even more sure, here is how to exactly pinpoint your season.
For Warm Undertones:
Spring: Your eyes and hair are light
Autumn: Eyes and hair are dark
For Cool Undertones:
Summer: Your eyes and hair are light
Winter: Eyes and hair are dark
Phew, so that’s all we know about determining your surface colour and undertones and thus making informed decisions on how your skin should look like is now easier. Needless to say, your final undertone will help you look flawless when you choose that hair colour or invest in a foundation you always wanted.
General Color Shades to Look for: (Warm vs. Cool)
So starting from dresses, to hair colour and makeup, here are some shades to look out for when you are warm or cool toned.
Warm toned: Orangey-red, orange, yellow, peachy pink and peach
Cool toned: Deep-red with bluish hues, purple and violets, green, bluish-green and pink
This is a high level chart of the colours that will best suit you:
Finding your surface skin colour and your undertones might seem like a humongous task, now that we have given you tests to do and colours to match. It really doesn’t matter which skin tone you are, but these are just tools that will help make you a wee bit flawless- Your makeup will actually match and your apparel shades will not clash with your skin tone.
Hope this gave you a little more information about yourself and you will be able to make more informed decisions about various items in your closet and dressing table!