How to Know Your Undertone? A Full Guide for Your Skin Color

ow to know your skin undertone

If you’ve been to a make-up session or in a make-up shop lately, you’ve probably heard this question: what’s your skin undertone?

Not many women pay attention to this detail when buying make-up products or clothes. Yet, your skin tone and undertone are the first to consider when you dress up, put on accessories, and apply make-up. 

In this article, you’ll see:

  • Why is it important to know your skin tone;
  • What is the difference between skin tone and undertone;
  • How to know your undertone;
  • Some conclusions and precious beauty advice.

Why is it important to know your skin tone?

Because you have to know how to fit your hair color, clothes, accessories, and make-up. Did it happen to you to see a pretty woman, but something looked weird about her? This is exactly what I’m talking about. If you don’t determine your skin tone and just put on some items and colors that you think are “on-trend,” you’ll end up looking a little bit weird because not all colors look good on all people. 

Therefore, knowing your skin tone will help you create harmony in your look, making it easier to match your outfit and make-up. 

What is the difference between skin tone and undertone?


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The skin tone is the color at the surface of your skin. It is often influenced by exposure to the sun and UV rays.

Skin undertone is the subtle hue under the surface of your skin. It remains the same and is not influenced by weather conditions. 

According to specialists, there are four types of skin tone (light, fair, medium, and dark) and three types of skin undertone (warm, cool, and neutral).

Below, you’ll find how to know your skin undertone and choose your foundation smart next time. I’ll be referring more to the undertone in the upcoming paragraphs, as it is considered to be more important in determining what fits you best.

How to know your undertone

1. Look at your eyes’ color


A great way to determine your skin undertone is by analyzing your eye color. Generally, people with lighter eyes like blue or green have a cool skin undertone. Meanwhile, brown or black eye color can indicate that you have a warm undertone. 

2. Use gold and silver jewelry

Another way to find your undertone is to try different jewelry colors. For example, you can put a silver earring in one ear and a gold one in the other ear. Analyze how they make your face look and which one you consider a better fit. If you see that the gold earring looks better, chances are you have a warm undertone. On the other hand, if the silver earring fits you best, your skin undertone is cool. Here’s a video on how to choose the right jewelry according to your skin undertone.

3. Compare your skin to a white piece of paper


There’s a little trick that beauty experts use to determine their skin undertone. You simply have to take a white piece of paper and hold it next to your face. After that, look in a mirror, preferably in natural light, and check the contrast between your skin color and the paper. 

If your skin seems to be pinky in contrast with the paper, you have a cool skin tone. On the other hand, if your skin has a tone of yellow in comparison to the paper, then your complexion is in warn undertone. Olive, grey, or unsure shades are proof that your undertone is neutral.

4. Think about your reaction to the sun


Summer is the best moment to determine what skin undertone you have. Just think about how your skin reacts after a day at the beach. Are you red like little cancer? Then you have a cool skin undertone 100%. Is your skin becoming gold-chocolate-toned? Then, lucky you. Your skin undertone is warm. If you first become reddish, and your tan resists and becomes brown after a few days, your skin may be neutral.

5. Analyze your veins


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This is probably the most professional way to know a skin undertone. Look at the underside of your wrist, preferably next to a window, and check what color you see. If your veins appear to be blue or purple, your undertone is cool. If your veins are green or olive toned, you have a warm skin tone. If the color is unclear or it changes often from green to blue, you have a neutral skin undertone.

6. Compare your skin to other people’s skin


The easiest way to determine what is your skin undertone is to compare yourself with someone who already knows how their skin is. For example, you can simply put your hand next to someone’s hand and compare it. 

If you consider it too difficult or if you’re unsure about what you should pay attention to, I’d highly recommend you book an appointment with a make-up artist. All the beauty schools teach you the basic information linked to skin, like how to determine a skin tone or undertone. You can simply visit a make-up artist and ask her kindly to help you determine your skin undertone. It will take her just a few seconds to identify it, and she’ll probably have some precious advice for you.

7. Test different foundation tones


Now, this solution may be a little bit tricky. Why? Because if you test foundations in a shop, lightning in there can influence the undertone you see. If you want to determine your skin undertone by testing foundations, it’s better to apply them and then analyze them in a natural lightening. 

It’s good to remember that the foundation applied to your hand does not always look the same on your face. So, when you want to know your undertone for foundation, it’s better to apply it directly to your face. 

If you want to check online what foundation color is right for you, here’s a foundation guide from Estee Lauder.

8. Dress up colorfully


Last but not least, if you’re wondering how to know your undertone by trying different clothes, the answer is really easy. 

Open your closet (or if you have more black and white clothes, go to a mall) and divide your outfits into the three undertone categories: warm colors, cool colors, and neutral. 

Let’s start with the warm colors. If you dress up with red, orange, and yellow clothes and they fit you very well, your warm skin undertone makes them look good on you.

If you try pink, pastel-colored, blue clothes and you like how they fit you, it’s because you have a cool skin undertone. 

If you like all those colors on you, then, lucky you… you have a neutral skin undertone, and the chances are that everything you put on yourself will look stunning. 


Remember that knowing what your skin undertone is is essential, especially when it comes to creating a harmonious look. Even though we talk about a new hair color, a new summer dress, or a make-up style you didn’t try yet, always think about applying or buying things that fit best with your skin undertone. 

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