Expert Advice

How to Identify Your Undertone and Why

Finding the perfect foundation, concealer, blusher, lipstick, and every other beauty product in-between can be tricky. It all comes down to finding the best colour for you, and this depends on your skin tone – but more importantly, your undertone. Your skin undertone affects what blusher shade brings out the best in your complexion, what lipstick makes your lips pop, and what foundation will flatter your features.

What’s a skin undertone?

Let’s start with the basics. Your skin undertone is not to be confused with your skin tone, even though it frequently is. They are two different things. Your skin tone is the surface colour that can be seen when you look in the mirror, whereas your skin undertone is the hue underneath the surface of the skin, it’s the shade within that colour. Skin tones are usually described as light, medium, or dark (and anything in-between), whilst skin undertones are classified on a spectrum ranging from cool to warm to neutral. There are three undertones within all shades of skin.

Cool: If the base tone of your skin is pink, red or blue, then you have cool undertones. When looking for base products, choose shades that look pinker.

Warm: If the base tone of your skin can look a bit yellow or gold, then you have warm undertones. When looking for base products, choose shades that look more golden.

Neutral: Neutral undertones are a mix of the cool and warm tones. To find your perfect match, choose a base that contain both tones, evening each other out to flatter your skin’s natural shade.

How to Find Your Skin Undertone

There are various different ways of identifying your skin undertone, from the vein test to white or off-white test to the sun exposure test. There is no right or wrong way, so it just depends on which one you prefer.

The Veins Test

The veins in your wrists can also help you tell which undertones you have. Simply look at them under natural light, and they’ll guide you towards your undertone. If they look green, your undertone is warm, if they have a blue or purple tint, your undertone is cool, and if you can see a mix or find it hard to tell, then you have neutral undertones.

The White or Off-White Test

Hold a pure white and off-white piece of clothing up to your face and see which colour flatters the most. If you look better in pure white, you have warm undertones. If you look better in the off-white, you have cool undertones. If you look good in both you have neutral undertones.

The Sun Exposure Test

If you tan easily and rarely burn, you have warm undertones. If you burn very easily and tan minimally, you have cool undertones. If you both tan and burn, you have neutral undertones.



No7 Beauty

No7 Beauty

Writer and expert