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5 Tips to Find Your Skin's Undertone: Are You Cool, Warm or Neutral?
Wed, Apr 17, 24

5 Tips to Find Your Skin's Undertone: Are You Cool, Warm or Neutral?

What’s an Undertone? 

Knowing whether you are cool, neutral, or warm-toned plays a role in choosing the right foundation shade.

Your skin's undertone is the hue that lies beneath the surface, working in harmony with any makeup you layer on top. When matched correctly, your foundation, powder and concealer will seamlessly blend, creating a look that mimics natural skin. Achieving this harmony is the key to a flawless, natural appearance. However, a mismatch can lead you to become a cautionary tale of what not to do in makeup application.

In this guide, the beauty experts at Millies will provide 5 tips to determine your undertone and find your perfect makeup match. 

1. Try a swatch test 

When shopping for makeup in person, look for brands that categorise their foundations by undertone and shade, such as Sculpted By Aimee. Look for letters or words like cool/warm alongside the shade name/number. Then follow these steps: 

  1. Select a few foundations that look close to your skin tone but differ by undertone. For instance, pick one medium-light foundation with neutral undertones, another with warm undertones, and one more with cool undertones. 
  2. Apply these foundations by making three small patches in a row along the inside of your forearm (cool, then neutral, then warm).
  3. Check your swatches in both artificial and natural light. Don't worry about whether the shades look too dark or light but instead, focus on which two columns appear too pink, orange, or yellow against your skin, and which column is more difficult to identify as "too" anything.
  4.  The difficult-to-identify swatch will reveal your undertone.

2. Look at your vein colour

To determine your undertone quickly, check the veins on your wrist. Blue or purple veins indicate a cool undertone, green veins indicate a warm undertone and a mix of blue and green veins indicates a neutral undertone.

3. Assess your jewellery choices.

Are you more inclined towards gold, silver or rose gold jewellery? If you prefer wearing silver, you might have a cool undertone, whereas if gold jewellery suits you better, you will likely have a warm undertone. On the other hand, if you look good with silver and gold or if rose gold complements your skin tone, chances are you have a neutral undertone. 

However, remember that your personal preferences, fashion choices and budget will also influence your choice of jewellery.

4. Try the white t-shirt test 

A white T-shirt or dress can also help you determine your skin tone. For example, warm undertones may benefit from gold-toned or warm brown makeup, while cool undertones may look better with pink or blue undertones.

5. Pay attention to how your skin reacts to the sun

Or if you tan quickly and go golden, it could indicate a warm undertone. You may have a neutral undertone if you experience a slight burning, but tan quickly.

Cool, Neutral vs Warm Undertones 

The two most common undertones in Irish skin are warm and cool. Cool-toned individuals may have a pale or rosy complexion, and jewel-toned colours like blues, greens, purples, and pinks look best on them. Some celebrities with cool undertones include Taylor Swift, Scarlett Johansson, and Anne Hathaway.

Warm undertones have a yellow, golden, or peachy hue in the skin, while a pink, red, or bluish hue characterises cool undertones. Warm undertones look best in warm, earthy colours like oranges, yellows, browns, and reds. Some celebrities with warm undertones include Jennifer Lopez and Beyoncé.

Skin Undertones FAQs

How do I know my undertone for concealer?

When choosing your concealer shade, a general guideline is to match it with your foundation shade. At Millies, we'd suggest having two shades of concealer in your makeup kit - one lighter and one darker. This is because you can then use different shades of concealer to achieve varying effects - you can use them to brighten specific areas of your face, contour, or correct any discolouration.

How do you match bronzer to your undertone?

Typically, bronzer should be about a shade or two darker than your regular skin colour to deliver a flawless bronzed look. 

How do you choose a lipstick shade based on your undertone? 

Cool undertones look best in cool-coloured lipsticks, such as plum shades. Warm undertones will look flattering in warm shades, like red or orange hues, while neutral undertones can go with a broader spectrum of colours.

How to Test If Your Current Foundation Matches Your Undertone

If your foundation looks too orange or too yellow on your skin, it's a sign that the foundation is too warm for your undertone. This means that the foundation has more warm pigments that don't harmonize with your skin's natural colouring.

On the other hand, if your foundation gives your skin a greyish appearance, it may be too cool for your undertone. A foundation that's too cool can make the skin look ashy or washed out because it has too many blue or pink pigments that conflict with your skin's warmth.

Kash Beauty offers a vibrant selection of colour palettes ideal for all skin types and undertones. Their inclusive range ensures that everyone finds the perfect shades to enhance their natural beauty and inspire creativity in their makeup routine, making Kash Beauty a must-try for those seeking to complement their undertone with versatile colours.

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