Do the Sun Test Your skin type is the first step in determining your skin tone. Does your skin tan really easily? If so, then your natural melanin is high and you probably have a caramel, olive, bronze or darker skin. If you burn easily, your skin type is pale, beige or pinkish-hued.
Three Ways to Uncover Your Skin Tone Now that you know your skin type, you need to consider your skin’s undertone. There are two: warm and cool. Usually darker skin tones have a warm undertone while paler ones have a cool undertone, but this is not a guarantee.
Let’s say you’re shopping with a friend who has the same skin type and after you both try on a pink top, you find that she looks great and you look washed out. What gives? You have the same skin type as your friend but completely different undertones! Bear in mind: you can change your skin color, such as with lightening products, but you can’t change its undertone!
To discover your skin’s undertone, here are three things to do:
1. Check Your Veins Look at the veins on your wrist in good lighting and see what color they are. If they are blue, then you have a cool undertone. If they are green, you have a warm undertone. If there is a mix of both, then you have a neutral skin tone. (This means your undertone is both cool and warm!)
2. White T-Shirt Test
Move your hair away from your face and take a white t-shirt (or towel) and hold it against your skin. If your face looks like it has a yellowish tone to it, then you have a warm undertone. On the other hand, if your skin looks a bit blue, your tone is cool.
3. Try on Your Jewellery People with cool undertones tend to look gorgeous when they wear silver jewellery; on the other hand, warm undertones rock gold beautifully. If you’re neutral, then chances are both will suit you. Match Me! Knowing what colors match your undertone can uplift your image from head to toe.
● People with warm undertones tend to look good in earthy shades. Think colors such as yellow, leafy green and burnt orange.
● Cooler undertones look gorgeous in white, royal blue, gray and black.
Pro tip: when in doubt, match a cool skin tone to cool colors and a warm skin tone to warm colors!
What happens if you really love a color, such as red, but it doesn’t suit you? Look for a hue in the color that complements your undertone. For instance, a red lipstick that has a blue hue will look good with a cool skin tone, while an orange-infused red will complement a warm skin tone.
Play with Contrast
The contrast between your skin, hair and eyes is an important part of working with your skin tone. If you have a high contrast, your hair and eye color are quite different from your skin. For instance, if you have pale skin and black hair. On the other hand, a lower contrast means that this gap is not so big. You might have lighter hair with pale eyes or darker skin with darker hair.
Contrast influences what is known as the season of your skin— just like regular seasons these are summer, winter, spring and autumn— which plays a role in what colors suit your skin tone.
● A high contrast with a warm skin undertone makes you a spring season. This means warm colors, like golden-yellow and peach look good on you. Darker or dull colors should be avoided.
● If you have a high contrast and a cool undertone, you’re a winter season. You should opt for bold colors that are sharp and clear. Options include black, white, bright pink and navy. Avoid pastels.
● If you have less contrast and a warm skin undertone, your skin is autumn. Earth tones look gorgeous— rock the gold shades! However, give bright colors and strong blue tones a miss.
● If you have less contrast and a cool undertone, you’re summer. Soft neutrals and pastels like lavender and powder pink look good on you. Avoid harsh tones like black and orange. Now that you know all about your skin tone, you’ll never leave the house feeling less than fabulous!