I’m guessing that most people who wear makeup are aware of the whole finding out what your skin tone is so you can match your foundation and pick the right colours to wear thing, right? Well, here’s the thing… as a trained makeup artist I am awesome (even if I do say so myself) at doing other people’s makeup and telling them what colours would go better with their complexion, etc but when it comes to me I am useless. I don’t know if it is just because I can’t be objective enough but it turns out I got it completely wrong and have been walking round in the wrong shade of foundation for years without realising.
Tell me more about skin tone
Basically, when dealing with your skin, you have two factors to take into consideration. First of all you have your complexion, put simply, the shade of your skin. This can change dependant on how much or how little sun you have had but ultimately you are either light, medium or dark. Then you have your undertone, unlike your complexion, your undertone never changes and is the hue that sits just below the surface of your skin and is usually either yellow (warm), pink (cool), green (olive) or somewhere in between (neutral). Once you know what your undertone is you can unlock a vast amount of gems, from best hair colour or lipstick to what colour clothes would suit you best.
To find out what your skin tone is, there are a number of tests that can be done:
Hold your arms out in natural light and look at the veins in your wrist. If they appear blue or purple then you are most likely cool toned. If they appear green, you are most likely warm tones and if you can’t tell then chances are you are neutral. My veins are both blue and green in places so based on this test I would be neutral.
To get the best results for this test you should stand in a white room with your hair wrapped in a white towel. Hold a white piece of paper against your skin and see how your skin looks. If you skin looks yellow or sallow then you are warm. If your skin looks rosy, pink or bluish red your skin tone is cool and if your skin looks grey, you are a neutral olive leaning a little more to the warm side. Once again, if you cannot determine the colour then you are most likely neutral. For me, this test shows pink tones which would give me a cooler skin.
To do this test, you will need both gold and silver jewellery. Simply try on both jewellery colours and see which one makes your skin look better. If gold looks better you are warm toned, if silver then you guessed it you’re cool toned. If you don’t really see any difference then you are neutral. I wear silver or white gold as preference but yellow gold looks good so I would be neutral to warm.
Eye colour test
This is one of the easiest tests to do but it should be used in conjunction with one of the others. All you need to do is look at the colour of your eyes, if you have a more icy cold eye colour like blue or grey then you are cool toned. If you have a warmer eye colour like honey brown then you are warm toned. With my grey blue eyes, can you guess what my result would be for this one?
[click_to_tweet tweet=”You would think I would have noticed that I was walking round with completely the wrong shade of foundation wouldn’t you but I guess the difference wasn’t that vast.” quote=”You would think I would have noticed that I was walking round with completely the wrong shade of foundation wouldn’t you but I guess the difference wasn’t that vast.”]
Think about the last time you were in the sun. Do you tend to burn or do you go a lovely golden brown? If you burn then you are most likely cool, if you tan then you are most likely warm. Personally, I very rarely burn and always tan so I would be warm on this test.
These tests are there for guidance but remember, they are not always accurate. Due to my tanning and the jewellery test I always assumed that I was more of a neutral to warm olive tone – in Mac I would normally wear the shade NC20 but after visiting Boots and having my skin matched professionally at the number No.7 counter I found out that I do in fact have a cool undertone and a much paler complexion than I thought as I am now swapping my NC20 for NW13.
You would think I would have noticed that I was walking round with completely the wrong shade of foundation wouldn’t you but I guess the difference wasn’t that vast. What I can tell you now though is my makeup looks absolutely flawless and I have finally managed to find the perfect red lipstick after years of searching so I would definitely recommend getting a professional opinion.
So what do I do now I know my skin tone?
Knowing your skin tone gives you an idea of what colours will tend to wash you out or make your features pop even more. Couldn’t find the perfect red lipstick, well if you know your skin tone it makes it so much easier… and it doesn’t stop with makeup either, knowing your skin tone can affect what colours you wear or even how you dye your hair. There are no end of possibilities! I will be putting together a guide over the next few weeks so please subscribe to this website, either directly or on Bloglovin so you don’t miss out.
What is your skin tone? Let me know in the comments…
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