Tickled by the latest beauty trends? Before you try them out, consider your skin tone. It’s so important to ensure that you’re wearing colours that make you glow instead of wash you out.
If you’ve ever tried a new foundation colour or funky tee only to look in the mirror and feel a self-esteem plunge, the problem isn’t you but the shade of the item. Everyone has a skin undertone that plays a big role in the colours you can wear.
Top tip: Don’t confuse your skin tone with your skin type. While the latter is the colour of your skin and can change a bit, such as if you get a tan or lighten your skin, your skin tone is the hue beneath the surface of your skin and it never changes.
The Three Skin Tones
There are only three skin undertones: cool, warm, and neutral.
You can find yours with some clever tests.
One of these is to hold a white paper up to your face in front of the mirror. Make sure you’re in a well-lit room and aren’t wearing any makeup. If your skin looks pinkish or even a bit blue-hued against the white, you have a cool undertone. If your skin looks yellow or gold, you have a warm undertone.
You can also check your tone by looking at the veins on your wrists in daylight. Do they look green? You have a warm tone. If they look blue, you’ve got a cool-toned skin.
Another test is to see what metals in jewellery look good on you. If silver or platinum complement you, you have a cool-toned skin. If gold makes you glow, you have a warm-toned skin.
A neutral skin undertone means that you have cool and warm elements. So, you might have both green and blue veins, or suit both silver and gold jewellery. The great thing about neutrals is that they can pick colours from both cool and warm categories.
How to Find the Right Colours for Your Tone
Now that you know your tone, it’s time to have fun choosing the colours that make you dazzle. The good news is that this doesn’t have to be a science. The same temperature of colours will suit the temperature of your tone. So, a good rule of thumb is this: if you have a cool tone, cool colours tend to work. These include colours such as blue, green, purple, and grey. A good way to think of them is to think of colours evoked by sea and sky.
Warm colours, on the other hand, are associated with earth and suit warm-toned skin. That’s why we might refer to them as earthy colours. Red, brown, gold, yellow and orange are examples.
If you’ve got a neutral skin undertone, colours from both cool and warm categories will suit you.
Hot tip: be daring! If you love a colour that doesn’t really work with your skin undertone, you can still make it work by tweaking it. For instance, if you have a cool skin undertone and you love red lipstick, choose one with a blue hue to it. Voila! Perfect match! Likewise, if you like violet eyeshadow but you have a warm skin undertone, blend it with richer jewel shades to give it an earthy, sumptuous colour that will glow with your skin.
Image credit: Kassandra / Dollar Photo Club