Chapter 8: How to Find Your Skin Undertone

Beauty Book

Do you jump from one foundation shade to the next, annoyed at the fact that not one of them seems to completely match your skin tone? If your foundation shade, which is already the closest to your skin tone, still doesn’t look right, then you’re forgetting to consider another important factor: your skin undertone. Skin tone and undertone are two very different things. For instance, you can have the same skin color as your friend or a celebrity, but each person has a different undertone.

Determining your skin’s undertone is a must – otherwise, you’ll end up in a never-ending series of loops buying the wrong shade of foundation, concealer and even blush or lipstick. In this chapter, I’ll cover a few tricks and tips on how you can identify your skin undertone.

Are you warm, cool or neutral?

Figuring out your undertone is a lot easier than you think. You can take all the online quizzes you want but all you actually need to do is to observe the colors that lie underneath the surface of your skin. Hold out your arm and take a look at the veins on your wrist.

If your veins are bluish or purplish-looking, then you have a cool undertone.

If your veins are green, then you have a warm undertone.

If your veins look like a mix of both, then you have a neutral undertone.

Once you figure out your undertone, it’s a breeze picking out makeup that suits you. If you have a neutral undertone, lucky for you, you can get away with most foundations that provide neutral shades like Etude House’s Double Lasting Serum Foundation SPF25 PA++, which is available in six different neutral hues.

Cool undertones should pick a foundation with a slight pink hue:

MEMEBOX – PONY EFFECT Everlasting Cushion Foundation SPF50+ PA+++ (Rosy Ivory)

APRIL SKIN – Magic Snow Cushion 2.0 SPF50+ PA+++ (#22 Pink Beige)

Etude House – Double Lasting Serum Foundation SPF25 PA++ (#P02 Rosy Pure, #P03 Light Vanilla, #P04 Petal)

Warm undertones should choose a foundation with a slight yellow or gold tone:

Etude House – Double Lasting Serum Foundation SPF25 PA++ (Y#03 Ivory, #Y04 Beige, #Y05 Honey Sand)

COSRX – Blemish Cover Cushion SPF47 PA+++ (#23 Natural Beige)

moonshot – Micro Setting Fit Cushion SPF50+ PA+++ (#301 Honey)

When selecting color-correcting concealers, those with cooler undertones should go for yellow or peach correctors as these help hide any blue or purple-hued dark circles. Those with warmer undertones can go for purple correctors to cancel out and eliminate any unwanted yellow undertones.

Here are some color-correcting concealers that are available in shades for all skin undertones:

peripera – Ink Corrector

Innisfree – Smart Drawing (Color Corrrecting) SPF26 PA++

LANEIGE – Two Tone Correcting & Contouring Bar

Do you look better in silver or gold?

Another way to determine your skin’s undertone is to see which jewelry pops better against your skin and suits its overall hue. Gold jewelry suits those with warm undertones and silver tends to look better on those with cool undertones. If both silver and gold suit you, then you most likely have a neutral undertone.

HEDGY – Asymmetric Drop Earrings (available in both Gold and Silver)

Ticoo – Set of 10: Rings (available in both Gold and Silver)

Vonluxe – Layered Necklace

How does your skin react when out in the sun?

Are you one of those people who always end up getting burnt instead of tanned? No amount of tanning oil gets you the summer glow that you long for every season, no matter how hard you try. If your skin easily burns, even when you use sunscreen, then chances are you fall into the cool-toned category. If getting a tan seems effortless for you, then you’re warm-toned. But just because tanning comes easy for you, it doesn’t mean you can skip applying sunscreen. Protect your skin against UV rays with these light everyday sunscreen lotions:

SKIN&LAB – Fre-C Sun Lotion SPF50+ PA++++

THANK YOU FARMER – Sun Project Water Sun Cream SPF50+ PA+++

NEOGEN – Dermalogy Day-Light Protection Sun Screen SPF50 PA+++

Which colors look best on you?

I’m not suggesting that you set up your whole wardrobe around certain hues, but there are definitely some colors that suit one undertone better than others. For cool-toned girls, colors like blue, pink, purple, magenta, blue-based red and emerald green suit you more.  Clothing in earth tones, like yellow, gold, olive green, warm red and orange, looks great if you have a warm undertone. Of course, neutral undertones can pull off any color, including neutral hues like white, gray, black, beige and brown.

Cool undertone:

Jinyo – Notch-Lapel Single-Breasted Coat (Blue)

Moon City – Crewneck Long-Sleeve T-Shirt (Dark Aqua Blue)

Dute – Boatneck Sweater (Pink)

Warm undertone:

Romantica – High-Neck Puff-Sleeve Sweater (Amber)

Chuu – Long-Sleeved Top (Wine Red)

icecream12 – Turtleneck Sweater (Green)

Neutral undertone:

Angel Love – Short-Sleeve Crewneck T-Shirt

CaraMelody – Striped Short-Sleeve Blouse (Khaki)

Alfie – Plain V-Neck Loose-Fit Long-Sleeve Chiffon Blouse (Black)