When it comes to choosing the most flattering makeup hues (and especially when finding a concealer or foundation shade), it’s important to consider your skin’s undertone: are you a warm, cool, or neutral? How it works is basic color theory: picking the right colors based on your hair color, eye color, and natural skin undertones will accentuate your features and make you glow.
Still, how to find your exact undertones isn’t always the easiest task. Unless you’re a professional makeup artist, it can be tricky to tell if you’re actually warm-toned or cool-toned (or somewhere in between). Luckily, there are hacks to make it easier — and they don’t include paying a visit to a makeup counter. We created an easy quiz below to help you uncover more about your complexion. By answering just six quick questions, you’ll be matched with the undertone of your skin, putting to rest the question you’ve been asking yourself once and for all.
If you have a warm undertone, it typically means your skin tone has hints of yellow, gold, and peach in it. This means makeup with brown, gold, and copper-toned shades look best on you. So if you’re feeling stumped on eyeshadow colors to try, those are always a safe bet. It also means foundations that lean more yellow and golden will complement your skin color. With the latter, you can also look for the letter “W” before a number in the shade name.
If you have a cool undertone, you probably have hints of blue and pink in your skin tone. Equally cool colors, such as jewel tones in the blue, purple, and green color family will look especially flattering on you. Your best foundation match will also have a bluish or pink tint to it. To make it easy, some brands add the letter “C” before a number in the shade name.
A neutral undertone is neither warm nor cool — it’s right in the middle. This means that you have options in terms of colors. Every shade, no matter if it’s warm or cool, will complement your skin tone. With foundations, specifically, you’ll be able to choose either undertone family or go for the neutral category, which many beauty brands have started adding to their lineups in recent years.
How to Find Your Skin’s Undertone
This test will help you determine if your skin undertones are warm, cool, or neutral — plus, we’ll offer helpful tips on making your makeup color selections a breeze. Note: it’s best to do the following test in natural light (so move toward a window or go outside) with a freshly washed face. Also, pull your hair back and keep your shoulders bare so you get a true sense of your natural coloring.
Look at the inside of your wrist. What color do your veins predominately appear?
Picture yourself (or better yet, actually do it) in a yellow or orange shirt. How do you look?
What metal jewelry do you prefer on your skin?
Place a piece of white paper next to your bare face. How does your complexion look?
What happens to your skin when you are out in the sun without sunscreen?
What color flecks are in your eyes?
If you fall into this category — like Billie Eilish, Anne Hathaway, and Lupita Nyong’o — try sticking to jewel-toned makeup and clothing, including blue, purple, blue-green, green, magenta, and bluish-red shades. For foundation, you’ll probably look best in formulations with a bluish or pink undertone. And be sure to reach for the black, dark blue, or purple mascara when it comes to eye makeup: it’s sure to make your eyes pop.
Click over here to discover the makeup to buy and wear for cool undertones.
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