The Complete Guide on How to Find Your Skin Undertone

Discover how to find your skin undertone and choose the right shade of foundation and other makeup and fashion products to take your beauty game up a notch.

Dr. Jaishree Sharad
Reviewed by DR. JAISHREE SHARAD , Cosmetic Dermatologist | Written by Chhavi Puri , Skincare Coach & Makeup Expert
Updated on Sep 11, 2023 | 12:33 PM IST | 165.1K
How to Find Your Skin Undertone Easily?
How to Find Your Skin Undertone Easily?

When it comes to choosing a foundation or lipstick, people usually take note of their skin tone. But, knowing your skin's undertone is equally important as it can make or break your makeup look. According to Dr. Jaishree Sharad, Founder and Director of Skinfinitii Aesthetic Skin and Laser Clinics, Mumbai, “Knowing your skin tone helps you select the right shades of foundation, concealer, and other makeup products. Wearing makeup that matches your skin tone enhances your natural beauty and provides a more polished look. The wrong foundation can make the skin look grey.”

How to Find Your Skin Undertone: 4 Different Types of Undertones Explained

How to Find Your Skin Undertone

In general, there are four different of skin undertones, as explained below:

1. Warm Undertones

Warm skin undertones typically include peach, golden, or yellow undertones. People with warm undertones have traces of red and gold on their skin. A few people with warm undertones tend to have sallow skin, which is characterized by paleness or yellowish skin color. People with warm undertones should protect their skin from the sun as photoaging is known to manifest in the form of deep wrinkles, and sallow yellow color (1). Celebrities with warm skin undertones are Beyonce, Claire Danes, and Jessica Alba.

2. Cool Undertones

Cool undertones include cool hues such as blue, red, or pink. People with cool skin undertone burn more easily under the sun. Celebrities with cool undertones include Anne Hathaway, and  Jennifer Hudson. 

3. Neutral Undertones 

As the name suggests, people with neutral undertones have a mix of warm and cool undertones. People with neutral undertones get sunburnt and tanned easily. 

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Celebrities with neutral undertones include Sandra Bullock and Kerry Washington. 

4. Olive Undertones 

Most people have warm, cool, or neutral undertones, but there is another unique undertone — an olive undertone. Dr. Jaishree Sharad shares, “Olive undertones can be found in individuals with various ethnic backgrounds, including Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and some Asian too. It usually looks a little greenish in certain lights”. People often confuse an olive undertone with a neutral one, but in reality, both are quite different. Olive undertones have a yellow and green-gray hue.

How to Find Your Skin Undertone?

There are a few effective measures to help you answer the question 'what is my skin undertone?' explained below in detail:

1. Assess the Color of Your Veins

Assess the Color of Your Veins

One of the best ways to know the skin's undertone is to carefully examine your veins. 

  • If your veins are purple or blue in color, it means you have a cool undertone. 
  • If veins appear greenish, you have a warm undertone. 
  • Do you have a mix of the two? It's simple — it means you have a neutral undertone. 
  • If the color of your veins matches your skin color, you may have an olive undertone. 
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2. Observe How Your Skin Is Affected by the Sun

Observe How Your Skin Is Affected by the Sun

Knowing how your skin is affected by the skin can help you determine your skin's undertone. 

  • People with cool undertones get sunburnt easily. 
  • People with warm and olive undertones get tanned but don't get burned. 
  • If you burn and then get suntanned, you have a neutral undertone. 

On this note, we would also like to say that one must always wear sunscreen before stepping out in the sun to prevent skin damage (2). 

3. Take Help of Jewelry

Take Help of Jewelry

How to find your skin undertone? It's simple — pull out your jewelry and you'll know all about it! You can use earrings or a necklace to know your undertone. 

  • Gold jewelry generally looks good on people with warm and olive undertones. 
  • If you look more glamorous in silver jewelry, it means you might have cool undertones. 
  • If both gold and silver look ravishing on you, then you may have a neutral undertone. 
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4. Grab Something White

 

Grab Something White

One of the easiest ways to find your undertone is to grab something white. You can take a cloth or even a piece of white paper, then take the cloth/paper in bright, natural light and hold it up to your face. Observe your skin — 

  • If your skin looks pink, you have a cool undertone. 
  • If your face looks yellowish, you have a warm undertone. In addition, if you feel that off-white and creamy colors suit you more, that's a sign that you may have a warm undertone. 
  • If you look gorgeous in both off-white and stark white without looking pale, you may be neutral-toned. 
  • If white color doesn’t look that great on you, you may have an olive undertone. 

5. Observe Your Hair Color

Natural eye and hair color can give you an insight into your undertone. Generally, 

  • People with deep hair and eye colors have warm or olive undertones
  • Those with lighter eyes and hair color tend to have cool or neutral undertones. 

Why Is Knowing Your Skin Undertone Important?

Why Is Knowing Your Skin Undertone Important?

One of the major benefits of knowing your skin undertones is that it helps you choose the right shades and colors and level up your skincare and makeup game. Many times it happens that we choose a lipstick or foundation shade at a store that looks great, but when we try it at home on our skin, we feel like it's not complimenting us at all. Much of this is because of choosing products that don't pair well with our skin tone and undertone. So, knowing your undertone is the key to choosing the right shade of makeup product. 

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If you want to have an all-natural look, then keep choosing makeup tones that compliment your skin tone and undertone. If you want to experiment with your look, then you can choose products from the opposing color family. For instance, people with warm undertones can choose blue or red lipsticks for a bold and glamorous look. 

All in all, it is important to know your undertone to choose the right makeup product and up your skincare game.

How to Choose the Right Foundation for Your Skin Undertone?

Now that you know all about how to find your skin undertone, let's take a look at different foundation shades designated for each undertone. 

1. Cool Undertones

People with a cool undertone should avoid foundations with a yellowish tint as it may make their skin look pale. You can go for a slightly pink-colored foundation or an ivory foundation. 

2. Warm Undertones

Warm undertones look great with a yellow foundation. People with warm undertones can even opt for foundations with a golden tone.

3. Neutral Undertones

People with a neutral undertone should avoid using a foundation that makes their skin golden, red, yellow, or pink. If you have a neutral undertone, you should look for a peach foundation. In addition, you should opt for a foundation that's neither too yellow nor too pink. 

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4. Olive Undertone

People with olive undertones generally have a greenish-gray hue, so they should select a foundation that leans towards golden. Make sure not to use a foundation shade that makes your skin look yellow, pink, or cool red. 

Before choosing a foundation, apply it on your cheekbones, around your nose, and near your jawline. Check how it looks under natural light. If the foundation blends easily into your skin and doesn't leave any residue, it's the one for you. 

Conclusion

 Be it cool undertone or olive ones, all skin undertones are beautiful. You just need to know about yours to slay the look. Identifying your skin undertone will help you choose the right makeup product and seize the day. Finding your undertone can be really easy if you know the right way - take a closer look at your veins, use your jewelry, and see how your skin reacts to the sun. More importantly, it doesn't matter what your skin undertone is, don't hesitate to mix and match colors and experiment with your look. Remember, with confidence, you can rock every look and outfit. 

 

Sources:

1. Neuroendocrine Aspects of Skin Aging

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6600459/

2. The efficacy and safety of sunscreen use for the prevention of skin cancer

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7759112/

FAQs

Are there any apps that help you identify your skin tone?
Yes, there are a few apps, such as My Best Colors, Skin Tone Booth, and so on that can help you determine your skin tone.

What is my skin undertone if I have green veins?
If your veins appear green, it may mean you have warm undertones.

Can I change my skin tone?
You can get an even skin tone with a few treatments and home remedies, but it may be impossible to change your natural skin tone permanently.

Does skin tone change with age?
Aging makes your skin more prone to wrinkles, dark spots, and fine lines, but your original skin tone remains intact.

What hair color suits cool skin undertones?
People with cool undertones can use hair colors like brunette, burgundy, platinum blonde, red, ash blonde, rose gold, taupe brown, and much more.

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About The Author
Chhavi Puri
Chhavi Puri
Skincare Coach & Makeup Expert

Chhavi is a certified Skincare Coach and she's also certified in Makeup Artistry. Her fascination with skincare

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