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5 Easy Ways to Discover Your Undertone

a woman using a beauty blender on her face, an olive toned woman using a makeup sponge on her face, asian woman, 20 something woman, 30 something woman, skincare, makeup, applying foundation on face

 It's critical to know your skin's undertone when trying to choose the correct base/foundation color for your skin. When we use makeup with the wrong undertones it can make us look ashy or gray, making the color look completely unnatural. Ideally, your base should match your skin so well that it doesn't change the color of your skin at all but does help cancel out any redness or discoloration you want to even out. For some people that may mean having to combine 2 shades of foundation to find the perfect match, however, make no mistake that there is a match out there for you. No matter how confused you may be at the moment regarding undertones, once you read these 5 easy ways to discover your undertone, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about and feel like a makeup expert!

As a makeup artist, I will let you in on a little secret. If you try to match from the center of the face down to the middle of the neck you will see any redness that needs to be canceled out in order to give you the most even, flawless base. Choosing the wrong foundation for your undertone and/skin tone will show a line that is often present when makeup isn't blended well, however this line is simply because it's the wrong color for your skin's undertone. Common makeup mistakes such as individuals with neutral or cool undertones wearing yellow or yellow undertones wearing neutral or cool tones create that line of demarcation (described above), making the skin look ashy or gray, and possibly oxidize the formula, making the color look even more unnatural. All things we're trying to avoid whether we apply makeup daily or for a special occasion.

As I discussed in The Difference Between Your Skin Tone and Your Skin Undertone, there are 3 types of undertones: warm, cool and neutral. I've put together 5 easy ways to discover your undertone so that you don't have to guess when matching your foundation to your skin any longer.

1. Put on a white shirt

Grab a pure white piece of clothing or even just a piece of white paper. In bright, natural light, hold the item up to your face. If your skin looks pink or rosy by comparison, you're cool toned. If your face looks more yellow, your undertone is warm. If you feel you look better in off-white or creamy hues rather than stark white, that's another telltale sign that you may be warm-toned. If you can wear both colors without feeling like you look washed out, you may have a neutral undertone.

2. Think about how your skin reacts to sun exposure

Sun exposure is very telling when it comes to figuring out your skin undertone. If you burn easily, you’re a cool undertone. If you tan easily, you’re a warm undertone. If you burn and then tan, you're likely a neutral undertone.

3. Use jewelry to help you decide

This is very subjective, but comparing how gold versus silver jewelry looks against your skin can be a helpful way to figure out your undertone. Some say gold jewelry tends to be most flattering on warmer skin tones while silver is mostly flattering on cool tones. If you don't discriminate between gold or silver, then you might have neutral undertones. Or you could be like me and love all jewelry, which is totally understandable.

4. Look at your veins

Look at the veins in your face and neck to see what color they appear to be. Your veins will appear blue if you have cool undertones. They will appear green if your undertone is warm, like those with olive skin tones. Have a mix? Well, you guessed it, you're neutral.

5. Let your features help you decide

Your eyes and/or natural hair color can be a tell-tale sign as to which undertone your skin has. Typically, those who have dark hair and deeper eye colors tend to have warm undertones, while those with fair skin and lighter eyes tend to have neutral or cool undertones.

Are you feeling more confident in choosing the perfect makeup base for you now that you know your undertone? Let me know which one of these tips helped you find your undertone in comments.


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