Every sphere of the professional world has its key phrases and words — lawyers throw around ‘legislation,’ ‘doctors will use different codes, and beauty buffs circle around the word ‘undertone’ the most. We’ve heard it so often in video tutorials and in-store demonstrations, it’s begun to lose meaning. It’s just faded into another technical word makeup artists’ use to fill in the space between long sentences. You need to pay more attention to it though — it’ll wind up saving you money! For example, have you ever bought the same lipstick as a friend, only for it to not look just as great on you? It’s not the lipstick or the brand’s fault: the trick is knowing what your undertone is. It’ll help you buy lipstick colours, eye shadow palettes, and foundations that complement you more. Don’t waste any more money this year on products you won’t use — here’s your bio-guide to figuring out what your undertone is!
What Is Undertone?
Undertones are the colour of your skin beneath the surface. You may have the same exterior skin tone as someone else, but not necessarily the same undertone. A cool undertone will have hints of pink, red, and blue, while warm undertones have tinges of yellow, peach, and orange. It’s also possible to have a neutral undertone, which is a mix of cool and warm shades.
How Do I Find My Undertone?
There are plenty of ways to determine what your undertone is — here are a few of the easiest ones!
1. Check Your Veins
A simple way to find out your undertone is by checking your veins. Take a look at the veins on your wrist, because the skin there is the tautest. Are the green ones more prominent, or the blue ones? If it’s green, you have warm undertones! If it’s blue, you’ve got cool tones underneath your skin.
2. The Jewellery Trick
The jewellery trick is a tried and tested one, and won’t take you more than a few minutes. Pick out a bunch of silver and gold jewellery, and put both varieties on to see which one complements your skin more. Usually, silver jewellery will look better against cool tones, while gold goes better with warmer undertones.
3. White Cloth Test
Hold a starch white cloth and an off white, cream coloured cloth against your face. Notice the shadow it throws across your face. If white looks less starkly contrasted against your skin, you have warm undertones. If off white looks better on you, you have a cool undertone. If after all these tests you still can’t tell either way clearly, then you probably have neutral undertones.
Which Foundation Is Right for Your Undertone?
Finding the right foundation is a quest that goes deeper than just matching your complexion — it has to suit your undertone too. The best way to pick the right foundation is by testing it in direct daylight. Apply foundation onto your jaw, and go out into a patch of bright sunlight. Cool toned people will notice a tinge of pink seeping through, while the warmer toned girls’ foundations will have yellow, or more golden hues balancing out the appearance of their makeup underneath.