Figuring out your skin tone can be a struggle, and once you get it down, figuring out your undertones is another hurdle. Undertones can be warm (yellow or gold), cool (pink or blue), or neutral (no strong yellow/golden or pink/blue).
I want to share my tried-and-true method for figuring out if your undertone is warm, cool, or neutral so that you can finally figure out what colors look best on you. Knowing your skin undertone is a great way to figure out which foundations, blushes, and eye shadows will look the best on you. So let’s get started!
Use the “Vein Test”
There are several ways to determine your skin undertones. If you’re not sure, use a mirror and look at your veins on your wrist. It’s best to do this in natural light, but if you can’t get natural sunlight in your home or office, try using a lamp or flashlight to see them better.
Also try looking for them under UV lights (black lights), which can be found in many grocery stores and party supply stores. You may find that some methods work better than others, depending on where you live; if that’s the case, try different options until one works well enough for you!
Test with silver and gold jewelry
To test for a cool or warm skin tone, you can use silver and gold jewelry as your guinea pigs. The way you do this is by holding your hand up to an object made from each metal, then looking at the color that it casts onto your hand.
If it’s a yellow-y gold tone, then chances are high that your skin has warm undertones. However, if the reflection is more of a blue gray color (or even just gray), then chances are high that it’s cool toned!
Test with a white shirt and a black shirt
To test your skin tone, you can use a white shirt and black shirt. The white will look cooler on your face, while the black will look warmer. If you look good in both colors, then chances are that you’re neutral (think: no color undertones).
If you only feel like yourself when wearing one of these two colors and not the other, then that’s an indicator of what your dominant undertone may be:
TIP: A fun tip to help determine if a foundation is right for you is to apply it to half of your face, leaving the other side bare. Then take photos from three different angles — each angle should show both sides of your face so that they can compare how they look with different lighting conditions and angles.
Check your wrists for the tan line test
The palm of your hand, in natural light, is the most accurate way to tell what your skin’s undertones are.
Check out your wrists for this tan line test: Gently press down on the vein inside of your wrist and look at it closely. If it appears blue or purple (cool), you’re cool-toned.
However, if it looks greenish (warm), then you’re warm-toned—and if there’s a mix of both colors somewhere in between the two extremes (which is common), then congratulations! You have neutral undertones.
If you don’t see any kind of tan line at all—or if neither option seems right for you because either one doesn’t quite fit or neither does—then that means that your skin has golden tones instead.
Check your brows for the flash test
To find out what your skin’s undertones are, you can do the flash test. The idea is that a flash of light will show you—literally, not figuratively—what your skin’s undertones are.
The first thing to do is make sure you’re in a room with good natural lighting and no fluorescent lighting. You might even want to go outside if it’s sunny enough to get some sun on your face without getting second-degree burns or risking blindness from squinting too hard at the sun (which could happen). It’ll be easier if you have someone else there with their eyes open because they’ll see things like shadows better than you will.
Once that’s all done, look down at yourself from above as though you were looking into a mirror—but don’t actually look into any mirrors! This part is tricky because it requires looking down without seeing anything except for whatever parts of yourself happen to be visible from where you’re standing or sitting without moving around much.
Just relax and try not to move too much while doing this step; otherwise, it may be difficult to keep track of where exactly it was that the light was shining on us before we closed our eyes again after each time we looked away right after opening them up again (it would probably also help here but isn’t necessary).
Look at your hair color underneath natural light
Look under natural daylight. Not in artificial lighting, but the real deal. The sun is the best source of true, unfiltered light and will give you the most accurate impression of what your skin’s undertone actually is.
Look at yourself in sunlight: Stand outside with some friends (or by yourself if no one else will come) and look at yourself for about five minutes directly into the sun.
This is probably not something you’ll want to do all that often, but it’s worth having a go at once or twice just so you get an idea of how things might look on your skin when they’re exposed directly to sunlight!
Look at yourself in shade: Go out into nature (or an open-air area) and stand near some shade trees or structures where there are no direct beams of sunlight hitting you head-on—but still plenty around to light up your entire body (i.e., don’t stand right underneath an overhanging tree).
If it’s particularly cloudy out, this may be all there is available; take advantage of it anyway! You can also try looking into other types of shade, such as through curtains or blinds.
Just make sure whatever material is blocking out sunlight isn’t also filtering out too much color information from other areas behind them so as not to skew results due to uneven lighting conditions across various shades/colors, which may have different intensities depending on what type of lighting you’re using.
Check Your Wrists For Your Veins
If you want to know what your skin’s undertone is, then one of the best places to look is at your veins.
This method isn’t foolproof, but it’s a decent way to get an idea of whether you’re warm- or cool-toned. It’s also one of the quickest and easiest ways to check!
All you need to do is take a good look at the veins on both of your wrists. If they appear bluish in color, then that means you have cool undertones. If they look greenish, then you have warm undertones.
And if they’re somewhere in between the two colors (or if you can’t really tell), then chances are you have neutral undertones.
One thing to keep in mind, however, is that the color of your veins can change depending on a number of factors, such as the temperature of your skin or the amount of oxygenated blood flowing through them.
So if you’re not sure what you’re seeing, it’s best to err on the side of caution and go with whatever undertone is most dominant.
Skintone and Undertone FAQs
What Is The Difference Between Skin Undertone And Overtone?
Your skin’s undertone is the color that comes through your skin. It’s what makes you have a warm, cool, or neutral coloring. Your skin’s overtone is the surface color of your skin. It can be affected by a number of things, including sun exposure, hormones, and the natural aging process.
Many people believe that their skin has one undertone and one overtone, but this is not always the case. In fact, it is possible to have multiple undertones and overtones. The best way to determine your skin’s undertone is to look at your veins. If your veins appear green, then you have a warm undertone.
If your veins appear blue, then you have a cool undertone. If you can’t seem to identify a specific color, then you likely have a neutral undertone. Once you’ve determined your undertone, you can start to experiment with different colors of makeup and clothing. Knowing your undertone will help you choose shades that will complement your natural coloring.
Does Your Skin Tone Get Lighter As You Age?
As you age, your skin cell turnover rate slows down. This means that the younger, more evenly pigmented cells hang around on the surface of your skin for longer periods of time before shedding. Additionally, the number of melanocytes in your skin decreases as you age.
Melanocytes are cells that produce melanin, which is the pigment that gives your skin its color. So, when there are fewer melanocytes present, your skin will appear lighter in color. Additionally, the structure of your skin changes as you age. The fatty tissues below the surface of your skin decrease, and blood vessels become more visible.
These factors can also make your skin appear lighter in color. Finally, exposure to UV light causes changes in melanocytes that can lead to Patchy brown spots (age spots) on sun-exposed areas like the face, hands, and chest. These age spots can make your overall skin tone appear lighter.
However, it’s important to remember that everyone ages differently, so there is no one answer to this question. Some people’s skin tones may darken as they age, while others may experience no change at all.
Does Your Skin Tone Get Lighter When You Lose Weight?
If you’ve ever gone on a diet and lost weight, you may have noticed that your skin tone also gets lighter. This is because when you lose weight, you lose fat from all over your body, including your face. Fat cells contain pigment, which is what gives your skin its color.
So, when you lose weight and fat cells are lost along with it, your skin tone will become lighter. This effect is more pronounced in people who are overweight or obese, as they tend to have more fat cells than people of a healthy weight.
However, even if you only lose a few pounds, you may still notice a difference in your skin tone. So, if you’re looking to achieve a healthier appearance, don’t forget about the benefits of weight loss!
In conclusion, there are a few different ways that you can determine your skin’s undertone. The most accurate way is to look at yourself in natural light, but you can also check your veins or ask a friend for their opinion.
Whichever method you choose, just make sure that you’re consistent with it so that you can get an accurate idea of what your undertone actually is. Thanks for reading!
Hi, my name is Gemma, and I’m the owner of MakeupMuddle.com. I’m a true beauty obsessive, and love writing about anything to do with beauty. In addition to Makeup Muddle, I also own GemmaEtc.com, and love sharing my thoughts and feelings about the greatest (and not so great) beauty products!