Have you ever searched for the perfect foundation or beauty product only to end up unhappy with the results because they don’t blend with your skin tone? This is quite frustrating! So you may ask yourself, what is my skin tone? How exactly do you find out what your skin tone is?
Your skin tone changes according to your exposure to the sun. To find out your skin tone, check skin areas that aren’t often exposed to the sun.
These areas include the inside of your wrist or the skin on your chest. Skin tone has three general categories: fair, medium, and dark. On the other hand, skin undertone never changes. There are three general categories for skin undertone: cool, warm, and neutral.
Read on to learn more about determining what your skin tone is, as well as the best colors and makeup to match your specific skin tone.
Also, for an excellent product for any type of skin tone, take a look at our top pick, the Osmotics Cosmeceuticals Blue Copper 5 Prime Sleep Tight Mask:
What Is My Skintone?
Have you ever had that moment when you’ve donned an outfit, and everyone says you look fabulous? It’s like you just ‘pop out’ to everyone. Well, chances are, you chose the right color for your skin tone.
Well, I’m here to help you have more of those moments – by finding out precisely what your skin tone is. Knowing your natural skin tone is also essential to finding that perfect foundation, BB cream, CC cream, and lipstick.
Cosmetics manufacturers nowadays are coming out with more and more shades and colors for makeup. But, if you aren’t aware of your natural skin tone, you’ll most probably have to go through that whole array of shades. And we don’t want that, do we?
Let’s discuss skin tones and undertones. What is skin tone? Skin tone is the color of the skin on the very surface. It is what you see when you look into the mirror.
Skin tone can also change, depending on how much time you spend under the sun. Know your skin tone by checking under your wrist, chest, or any part of your body that is exposed to harmful sun rays.
So, what is your skin tone? Generally, there are three skin tones – light, medium, and dark. These words are comprehensive descriptions of the term ‘skin tone.’
Light skin tone can actually mean fair. Moreover, dark can have sub-classifications of dark, medium-dark, and very dark. The melanin levels in your skin also determine the tone of your skin.
1. Light Skin Tone
Light skin tone (fair) is often connected to people who originated from Northern European countries, which have frequent snow and cloud coverage. People in these areas tend to have less melanin because there is less sun in this part of the globe.
If this is your skin tone, you tend to burn fast under the sun, so it is advised to use sunblock when going outdoors for long periods.
2. Medium Skin Tone
Medium skin tone is often observed in people from Southern Europe and Northern Asia. People with this skin tone have a neutral, all-natural beige appearance. These people also tan well under the sun.
People with olive skin tone also fall under this category. Olive skin tone is generally classified as light or moderate brown skin. This skin tone is also described as ‘tannish.’
3. Dark Skin Tone
Dark skin tones are seen in people who come from parts of the world that get a lot of sun exposure. They tend to have more melanin as they are often exposed to the sun. People from India, the Middle East, and Africa usually have this type of skin tone.
Although people with dark skin are less prone to skin damage from the sun, they are more prone to hyperpigmentation or uneven skin color. You still need to slather on that sunscreen for UV protection against dark skin.
There you have it, the three broad, general classifications of skin tone – light, medium, and dark. Dark skin tone has sub-classifications, such as brown, dark brown, and black-brown. What is your skin tone? See the picture below to serve as your guide.
What Is Skin Undertone?
Now, let’s talk about skin undertones. The skin undertone never changes. However, finding your skin undertone can be a bit tricky. There are three general classifications of skin undertone – cool, warm, and neutral.
Your skin undertone comes through your skin and affects your overall hue. Different skin tones can have cool, warm, or neutral skin undertones, so it doesn’t really matter what your skin tone is.
Here’s a guide for your skin undertone:
- Cool undertones have red, pink, or bluish tints.
- Warm undertones have yellow, peachy, or golden hues.
- Neutral undertones have a balanced mix of cool and warm undertones. If your undertone is the same as your skin tone, you fall under this category.
A big misconception about skin tone is that people who have fair skin cannot have warm undertones and that people with dark skin tones cannot have cool undertones. This impression is so far from the truth. An example is model Alek Wek who has a dark skin tone but has cool undertones.
See the below graphic below for skin undertones:
How To Determine Skin Tone and Skin Undertone?
Ok, so now that we’ve differentiated skin tone and skin undertone, the question is, how do I determine my skin tone and my skin undertone?
How to tell your skin tone is relatively easy, as I mentioned above. Just check the inside of your wrist, chest, or other body parts that aren’t frequently exposed to the sun. That’s your skin tone.
However, determining your skin undertone can be tricky. But don’t worry, it’s fairly easy once you know how to do it correctly. So, how do you determine your skin undertone?
1. Check Your Face in Natural Lighting
The best way to determine your skin undertone is to examine your skin under natural light. Check your skin in the morning, either outside or near a window that allows plenty of natural light.
Remember to wash your face at least 15 minutes before you check your skin undertone. There should be no traces of makeup or dirt on your face when you check for your skin undertone.
Use a clear mirror and check your jawline – the color here is the closest to your skin undertone than on any other part of your face, as it is usually less affected by the sun than the rest of your face.
2. Check the Color of Your Veins
Take a look at the veins on the inside of your wrist, the back of your knees, or wherever they are visible. Do this method under natural light and determine their predominant color.
If your veins are blue under natural light, your skin undertone is cool. If your veins are green or bluish-green, your skin undertone is neutral. If you cannot tell if your veins are blue or green, you most probably have a neutral skin undertone.
If your skin tone is olive skin tone, and you can’t tell your vein color, you fall under the neutral undertone category.
3. Which Color Suits You Best: Gold or Silver?
Set aside your personal preference and put on gold and silver jewelry. If you find that gold jewelry flatters your skin more, you most likely have a warm undertone. But, if you find that silver jewelry is more flattering on you, then you probably have a cool undertone.
If you do not notice a considerable difference between silver and gold popping up against your skin, you are leaning on having a neutral skin tone.
4. Do the White Paper Test
If you are still asking yourself, “what is my skin tone?” or “what skin tone am I?” try this tip. Hold up to your face a piece of white paper. Look into a mirror and try to see how your skin looks against the white paper.
It can show you as having a yellow cast, blue-red cast, or a rosy cast. It can also give you a grayish appearance.
If your skin appears yellow or perhaps sallow and pallid, you have a warm skin undertone. If it seems rosy, pink, or bluish-red, you have a cool skin undertone. If it appears to be gray, chances are you have an olive complexion and a neutral skin undertone.
If, however, you cannot see any yellow, olive, or pink hues, you are also under the neutral skin tone category.
5. Check the Skin Behind Your Ears
Have someone check the skin at the back of your ear. This area gets the least sun exposure and will show your real skin undertones. If your skin here is yellowish, then you have a warm skin undertone. If it appears pink or rosy, you have a cool undertone.
6. What Is Your Eye Color?
Eye color can help you determine your skin undertone. Light eye colors, such as blue and light brown, usually indicate that you have a cool skin undertone. Darker shades like black, dark brown, and hazel often mean that you have a warm skin undertone.
7. Your Skin’s Reaction to Sun Exposure
Does your skin tan or burn whenever you’re out long under the sun? If you tan easily, you probably have a warm skin undertone. If you burn under the sun, you could very well have a cool skin undertone.
Now that we’ve looked at how to tell your skin tone or how to determine skin tone, let’s now look at the best colors for your skin tone.
Products That Work with Any Skin Tone
One of the best face toners that you can buy in the market, for any skin tone, is the Blue Copper 5 Prime Sleep Tight Mask. This facial toner will visibly lift, restore, and tighten the lost volume of your skin overnight.
It will also intensely hydrate and minimize fine lines and wrinkles on your face.
If you think that your skin needs revitalizing, one product that you can use is the NuFACE Super Antioxidant Booster Serum. This serum contains ingredients designed to rejuvenate your skin.
The Best Colors for Your Skin Tone
After knowing your skin tone and skin undertone, it will be easier to find colors and shades that will work on you – for clothes, makeup, and accessories.
For people with fair skin tone, the best colors to wear are ivory, mint green, coral, lavender, blush, peach, and soft yellow.
For people with medium skin tone, the best colors to wear are royal blue, pink, purple, mustard, olive green, forest green, and cranberry.
For people with dark skin tone, the best colors to wear are white, orange, citrine yellow, ruby, emerald green, pink, plum, and sapphire blue.
If you have a fair skin tone, the best colors to dye your hair with are golden blonde, red, dirty blonde, butterscotch, strawberry blonde, and light brown.
If you have a medium skin tone, the best colors to dye your hair with include ash brown, dark brown, caramel, and golden brown.
For dark skin tone, the best colors to dye your hair with are jet black, espresso, and dark brown.
If you have a cool undertone, select a foundation, BB cream, or CC cream in the shades of rose, cocoa, sable, and porcelain. For blushes, stick to the pinks, such as light pink or bright pink.
For a warm undertone, choose a foundation, BB cream, or CC cream in the shades of gold, caramel, tan, beige, and chestnut. For blushes, pick shades of mauve, bronze, berry, brick red, and orange-red.
If you have a neutral undertone, select a foundation, BB cream, or CC cream in the shades of nude, ivory, buff, and medium brown. For blushes, go with peach and pink shades, including other rich and deep colors.
Conclusion – What Is My Skin Tone?
So to revisit our initial question: What is my skin tone? Skin tone has three general categories – fair, medium, and dark. To determine your skin tone, you’ll need to check certain areas of your body that aren’t regularly exposed to the sun.
These areas include the skin on your chest and inside your wrist. Also, make sure to check your skin tone under natural light.
What about your skin undertone? The following tips will help you determine your skin undertone:
- Check your skin under natural lighting
- Check the color of your veins
- Check if gold or silver suits you best
- Do the white paper test
- Check the skin behind your ear
- Check your eye color
- Know how your skin reacts under the sun
Once you know how to tell your skin tone, or how to find your skin tone, you’ll have greater confidence in choosing colors that are best for you. You’ll know which skin tone category you fall under – cool, warm, or neutral skin undertone.
I hope this article helped you find your skin tone and then choose the right shades and colors to wear.