Wednesday, 20 March 2013

What colour is your skin undertone?

Have you ever heard people speaking about skin undertones and wondered what on earth they were talking about? How can you tell if you have WARM undertones or COOL undertones in your skin? And no, before you ask I am not referring to the temperature of your skin or whether or not you suffer from hot flushes! Warm & Cool refers to the colouring, not the temperature of the skin. :)

As a makeup artist, my eye has been trained over the years to pick up on skin tones at first sight- it is one of the facial assessments I do on auto-pilot for every client I see. By having an understanding of my client's skin tone, I can see what colours will best suit their facial features, complexion, hair and their clothing.
 Without a proper understanding of your skin tone, you may unknowingly be using the wrong colours on your face, or in your wardrobe. By getting this correct, you can really give your appearance the fresh boost it needs. People won't necessarily be able to put their finger on the change, but they will certainly notice the difference in your healthy glowing complexion!

A majority of the population, including a large percentage of my personal clients have yellow-based (warm) undertones in their skin. It is usually more common to have yellow undertones than pink ones (cool). So what does this mean, and how do you know which category you belong to? See my simple checklist below, and keep in mind that sometimes people can have a bit of both and be more in the middle.
We all know that EVERYONE is unique and no two faces are the same, so there aren't any hard and fast rules when defining your skin tone- however the pointers below will help to work out where your colouring best fits in. Once you have determined what colour undertone you have, you will be able to make more informed choices about the colours in your wardrobe, and the products you use on your face.

Cool/Pink Undertones:
-Your skin appears to be ivory or fair with pinkish colouring.
- Skin usually burns first, and may take longer to tan
-The veins on your wrist (underside) will appear blue in colour
-Your cheeks may be prone to natural redding or flushing (particularly after exercise or drinking alcohol)

You may also have COOL undertones if you have any of the following:
- light-medium brown hair
- light green, hazel, grey or blue eyes
- natural blonde/fair hair
- pale skin colour
- skin freckles easily
- naturally red hair colour

Warm/Yellow Undertone:
- Your skin has a more yellow or peachy complexion.
-You tan easily and don't tend to burn as much.
- The veins on your wrist (underside) may have a slightly greenish tint to them.

You may also have WARM undertones if you have any of the following:
- Naturally dark brown, black, auburn, or golden tones in your hair.
- Brown or Green eyes

Olive Undertones:
- Your skin is golden brown colour.- You tan very easily.
- Your veins will appear more green than blue.
- Certain foundations tend to look too pink or ashy on your skin
- You may have European or Asian heritage

Olive skin tends to be a mix of warm tones (orange/beige/yellow) with a slight coolness to it (from a greener undertone). For this reason, olive skin is very versatile when it comes to choosing colours to use/wear.

Orange/Red Undertones:
- Dark brown/black natural hair colour
- eye color is amber, hazel, brown, or black
- Warm colours like coral, apricot and orange work well as bronzers and blush.
-If you want to wear a red lipstick, make sure it has orange undertones (like bright Christmas red), not bluey-reds (like pinky/raspberry red)

Blue/Black Undertones:
- Dark Hair
- Brown Eyes
- Slight blue tinge around the outer rim of the lips
- Dark blue tone coming through on the knuckles and elbows.
- Cool blues bring out the highlights in the face.
- Cooler pinks work well on this colour skin.

If you are still having trouble working out which tones you have, try these little tricks:

White test-
Take a white towel, top or piece of fabric and wrap it around your hair and neck so that all you can see is your skin against the white. The whiteness of the fabric/towel will reflect the toning of your skin. If you are seeing more of a blueish tint, you are most likely cool toned. If your skin is looking more yellow against the white, you are probably warm toned. Make sure you do this test without makeup on as any foundation may mask the true undertones of your skin.

Jewellery Test:
Take some gold jewellery and place it against your face/ears/neckline. How does your skin look? Does it make it glow with warmth, or do is clash and look like cheap gold jewellery? If it looks nice against your face, you are probably in the warm tones.
Now take a piece of silver jewellery. How does it look when placed against your face/ears/neckline? Does it brighten your skin? Does it clash less than the gold? If so, you are most likely cool toned. If you have a biased preference for gold or silver jewellery despite whether or not it suits your skin tone, do this test but get someone else's opinion. They might see it differently to you!

I also wanted to show you a photo of me with my gorgeous sister. This illustrates that even siblings can have different undertones. She has beautiful dark hair with creamy cool-undertoned skin (pinks work best on her cheeks) and I have blonde hair (not ENTIRELY natural!! hehe) with noticeably yellow undertones (peach/apricot cheeks look better on me!)

If you have any questions about this post, or are still uncertain about what undertone you are after reading this, feel free to email me your questions:

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