Determine Your Skin Tone With These 7 Simple Steps

Knowing your skin tone can help you to choose the right lipstick colour, and figure out which hair colour is best. There are different skin undertones and they include warm, cool and neutral.

Below are ways to determine your skin tone:

1. Wash your face, then wait 15 minutes

Your skin should be clean and free of makeup, lotion, or toner. Your skin needs to rest for about 15 minutes before proceeding, as your skin may appear pink from scrubbing and make it difficult to see your true undertone.

Different lightbulbs can affect your skin differently–they may give it a yellow or green cast, and interfere with the appearance of your skin tone. Choosing a sunny spot to look for your undertones will prevent you from misjudging your undertones.

  • Try sitting next to a window.
  • If you have an outdoor seating area, go outside.

This is a quick way to determine your undertones if your veins are visible. Hold up your arm in the natural light and determine the predominant colour.

  • If you can’t tell if your veins are green or blue, you may have a neutral skin tone. If you have an olive complexion, you likely fall into this category.
  • If your veins appear green, you have a warm skin tone.
  • If your veins appear blue or purple, you have a cool skin tone.

If you tan easily and rarely burn, you have more melanin and you likely have a warm or neutral skin tone.

If your skin burns and doesn’t tan, you have less melanin and therefore a cooler skin tone.

However, some women with very dark, ebony skin may not burn easily but still, have a cool skin tone. Try a few more tests to figure out your undertone.

Looking in a mirror, try to see how your skin looks in contrast to the white paper. It may appear to have a yellow cast, a blue-red or rosy cast, or it may not appear to be either, but a gray colour instead.

  • If your skin appears yellowish or sallow beside the white paper, you have a warm skin tone.
  • If your skin appears pink, rosy, or blueish-red, then you have a cool skin tone.
  • If your skin appears gray, your skin probably has an olive complexion with a neutral undertone.
  • If you can’t determine any cast of yellow, olive, or pink, you have a neutral skin tone. Neutral tones can look good in foundations and colours on both ends of the cool/warm spectrum.

Read also: Simple Ways To Prevent Skin Darkening By Avoiding The Sun

Hold a sheet of gold foil in front of your face so that it reflects light back on your skin. Note whether it makes your face look grayish or washed out, or if it enhances your skin. Then try with a sheet of silver foil.

  • If the gold foil looks best, you have a warm skin tone.
  • If the reflection from the silver foil makes your skin glow, you have a cool skin tone.
  • If you don’t notice a difference (both silver and gold are flattering), then you likely have a neutral skin tone.
  • If you don’t have gold or silver foil, try laying gold and silver jewelry on your wrist, and notice which one is more flattering.

Your eye colour can be a key to your undertones. Lighter eyes like blue and pale brown usually mean you have cool undertones, while gold flecks usually indicate warm undertones.

  • For example, ice blue eyes usually mean you have cool skin, while honey brown eyes usually mean you have warm skin.

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Photo credit: Getty