Every beauty obsessive knows the struggle of finding your perfect shade. From cringing at the orange tinged foundation you deemed acceptable when you were thirteen to frantically Googling which bronzers celebs with your skin tone use, finding your makeup match can feel like a losing battle.
Want to know the secret to finding your perfect hue every time? It’s all about figuring out your skin undertone. Crack that, and you’ve cracked the online makeup game for good. Keep scrolling for the inside scoop. Things are about to get a whole lot easier from here on out…
What Is A Skin Undertone?
Let’s start with the basics. First things first, your skin undertone is not to be confused with your skin tone. They’re different things. The difference? Your skin tone is the surface colour that can be seen when you look in the mirror, whereas your skin undertone is the hue underneath the surface of the skin.
Skin tones are usually described as light, medium, or dark (with a whole host of shades in between) and skin undertones are generally split into warm, cool, and neutral.
Your skin undertone affects which blusher shades flatter you, dictates which foundation shades you should steer clear of, and explains why certain lipsticks look great on your BFF, and not so great on you. With us so far?
How Do I Find My Skin Undertone?
There are a few hacks in the beauty biz which make identifying your skin undertone easy. Our favourite (due to its simplicity) is the vein check.
Simply look at the veins in your wrists under natural light, and they’ll guide you towards your undertone. If they look green, your undertone is warm, if they have a blue or purple tint, your undertone is cool, and if you can see a mix or find it hard to tell, then you have neutral undertones. Easy, right?
Which Products Should I Use If I Have A Cool Undertone?
Cool undertones tend to include pink, red, or blue tones. When searching for base products, look out for shades that are labelled with a ‘C’, look pinker in the bottle, and are described as Fawn or Beige, like Dose Of Colors Meet Your Hue Foundation in 121 Light Medium and Milani Conceal & Perfect Long Wear Concealer in Cool Sand. Read about 8 foundations we love for cool undertones here.
When it comes to bronzers and highlighters, warm peaches, beiges, taupes, and soft brown hues complement cooler undertones. BH Cosmetics Floral Blush Duo Cheek Colour in Caribbean Coral features deep pink and peachy shades which will deliver a healthy, radiant flush to your cool complexion. For the perfect peach-toned shimmer, give Dominique Cosmetics Skin Gloss in Glossed Peach a whirl.
Which Products Should I Use If I Have A Warm Undertone?
Warm undertones feature peach, yellow, or golden tones. Base products designed to flatter honied hues are often labelled with a ‘W’, look more golden in the bottle, and are described as Sand or Caramel. Try Nabla Close Up Futuristic Foundation in T50 and Jeffree Star Cosmetics Magic Star Concealer in C9, both were created with warm undertone complexions in mind. We’ve rounded up some more of our favourite foundations for warm undertones here.
Ok, we need to talk about setting powders. Although most powders claim to be translucent on all skin tones, many can leave behind a noticeably white or grey finish on warmer complexions. To avoid, you’re best opting for those that cater specifically for golden or olive undertones, like Milani Pressed Powder in Honey Amber.
Love an illuminated finish? Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Glow Highlighter in Peach Fizz is a great option for warm undertones. The golden copper hue can be worn alone or over makeup to deliver a soft, buildable glow – the perfect finishing touch to any look.
Which Products Should I Use If I Have A Neutral Undertone?
Neutral undertones are a mix of the two, containing both warm and cool tones. To find your perfect base product shades, look for foundations and concealers that contain both tones, evening each other out to flatter your skin’s natural shade. UOMA Beauty Say What! Foundation in White Pearl T1N and Makeup Revolution Conceal & Define Concealer in C13.5 strike the perfect balance between the two, flattering neutral undertones.
If you have neutral undertones, it’s a good idea to go for a bronzer that features natural, brown-based shades and is suitable for a variety of tones, like the Ofra Versatile Matte Bronzer. Gliding smoothly over the skin, this pressed bronzing powder diminishes the appearance of imperfections and offers a smooth sun-kissed finish.
Add an extra dimension to your neutral base with Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops in Candlelight. These innovative highlighter drops can be mixed with your skincare or foundation to deliver a subtle, glowy finish. Candelight is a gentle, shimmering golden bronze shade that effortlessly complements neutral undertones.