Health and Beauty
The Importance of Skintone and How to Find Yours
By Cassie Brewer
Have you ever worn a color and felt that you looked tired or washed out in it? This happened because it was wrong for your skintone. Instead of just choosing fashionable colors based on your skin type, dig a little deeper and take your skintone into account to make you look your best.
Skin Type and Tone
It’s all about the undertone! This is the hue of color just beneath your skin’s surface. There are three undertones: warm, cold and neutral.You can figure out which undertone is yours by first looking at your skin type. Usually olive, caramel and darker skin colors tend to have warm undertones. This means they might have a yellowish hue under their skin. Cold undertones refer to lighter skin types, such as beige or pale skin. These will have a blue or pink undertone.
However, the catch is that your skin type does not always correlate to your undertone. Added to this, you can change the surface color of your skin, such as by using a skin whitening product to achieve a lighter complexion, but your skin’s undertone never changes. You’re stuck with it and so it’s far more important than your skin type.
DIY Tests to Discover Your Undertone
There are some further tests you can do yourself to find out if your undertone is warm, cold or neutral:
1. Look at your wrists. Do your veins appear blue or green? If they’re blue, then you’ve got a cold undertone. If they’re green, your undertone is warm. If you have a mix of both colors, then you’re neutral.
2. Take a white piece of paper and hold it against your face (when you’re not wearing any makeup and your hair is pulled away from your face). Now look closely in a mirror to see what hues it brings out of your skin. Does your skin appear to have a blue or pink hue, or is it a bit yellow? If it’s blue or pink, then you have a cold tone; yellow would result in a warm tone.
3. What jewellery suits you? If your skin looks sultry in gold, you’re warm-toned, but if it looks much more attractive in silver, you’re cool-toned. If both look good, you’re neutral - and lucky!
Once you know your skin undertone, you can choose the right colors to flatter your skin. There’s an easy general rule you can follow here: if you have a warm tone, choose warm colors. These would include golds, yellows, orange-reds, and dark browns.
Cool skin tones tend to look good in cold colors, such as purple, blue, pink, and green. If you have a neutral skin tone, you probably look good in colors taken from both warm and cool palettes.
How to Work with Skin Contrast
Finally, taking contrast into account is important for an overall fabulous look. For this you need to look at your hair, eyes and skin. Do they differ a lot? For example, if you have dark hair and light skin. Or, is there less contrast? For example, if you have reddish-brown hair and pinkish-beige skin.
Contrast reflects the season of your skin. Is your skin summer, winter, spring or autumn?
Summer skin means that you have less contrast and you have a cool undertone. So, you might have dark hair, dark skin and a pinkish tone under your skin. Or, blonde hair, blue eyes and pink coloring. Summer skin looks best with soft neutrals and pastel colors. A celebrity example would be Naomi Watts.
Winter skin means that you have a high contrast - such as pale skin and dark hair - and also a cool undertone. You look good with bold colors. Anything too soft or pale will make you look washed out and should be avoided. A celebrity example would be Lucy Liu.
Spring skin has a high contrast but with a warm tone. So, for example, you might have translucent skin but with yellow undertones. Choose colors based on this warmth - opt for gold, peach, earthy tones and stay away from anything too dark. Bright colors work well, but keep them warm. An example of spring skin is Amy Adams.
Autumn skin means you have less contrast and a warm undertone. Like spring skin, you want to focus on earthy tones, but you can make them a bit richer. Leave anything too bright or strong behind. A celebrity example is Jessica Alba.
Making fashion choices based on your skintone pulls together your entire look. Your hair, skin, eyes and style come together perfectly!