Do you ever put together an outfit you think you’ll love, just to find that the colours totally wash you out? Or try a lipstick that looks amazing on your friend, but it somehow looks strange on you? The reason for this is probably to do with your skin’s undertones.
When we wear colours that clash with our undertone, it can totally change how we look, dulling the natural beauty of our skin, hair and eyes. This is why it’s so important to learn about our undertones and, if we can, cater to them through our wardrobe and makeup. Wearing colours that suit our undertones is a way to accentuate our natural features and elevate any ensemble.
What Are Undertones?
Your “undertone” refers to the colours that exist naturally underneath the surface of your skin. This is as opposed to the colours on the surface of your skin, also known as your skin tone, which are influenced by external factors. Your undertone is not subject to change, while your skin tone can be affected by things like sun exposure, medications or conditions such as rosacea. It is useful to know what your undertone is because it has a huge influence over what foundation will be right for you and what colours suit your hue. When we confuse undertones with skin tone, we often end up choosing makeup and clothes that don’t flatter us.
Discovering Your Undertone
While the full spectrum of an individual’s colouration might include many different colours, there are generally two basic undertones: warm and cool. A warm undertone describes complexions that have yellowish colours, whereas a cool undertone will have pink and bluish colours. You could also have a neutral undertone, which means that your undertones are roughly the same colour as those on your skin’s surface. While less common, there is also a chance that you might have a natural olive tone. Olive skin is characterised by a combination of warm and neutral undertones, along with green. Whatever your undertone is, there are several very simple methods you can use to discover and define it.
Consider Your Hair & Eye Colour
Natural features such as our hair and eyes can actually be indicative of our skin tone. If you have lighter coloured eyes such as blue or pale brown, you probably have a cool undertone, while gold flecks usually suggest warm undertones. Furthermore, platinum or ash-coloured hair tends to suit cool undertones, while mahogany and golden colours look better if you have warmer undertones. If your skin contrasts quite significantly with your hair and/or eye colour, you are also more likely to have cool undertones, while the opposite is true for someone with warmer undertones.
Check Your Veins
The colour of your veins will give an indication towards what your undertone is. For example, greenish veins suggest that you have warm undertones, while blue or purple-ish veins indicate cooler undertones. You probably have a neutral undertone if your veins appear to be colourless or matching the colour of your skin. If your skin colour is light enough, you should be able to see your veins through the skin on your wrist, elbows or temples.
Observe Your Jewellery
A lot of people have a preference for either gold or silver jewellery because of the way it looks against their skin. If you prefer the look of gold jewellery, you most likely have a warm undertone that complements this yellowish colour. On the other hand, a preference for silver jewellery indicates that you probably have cooler undertones. If you happily switch between gold and silver jewellery, you are more likely to have a neutral undertone. People with neutral undertones don’t necessarily suit one colour over the other, and usually prefer to base their jewellery around their outfits.
Styling Yourself to Suit Your Undertone
Everyone can achieve that effortless glowy, flattering look, it’s just a matter of styling yourself according to your skin’s undertone.
If you have cool undertones, consider accentuating your lips with red, pink or purple hues. You will also probably suit blue-based eye shadows and a pink, rosy blush, which will bring out the pink pigment in your cheeks. For those with warm undertones, we suggest darker shades of red, along with a coral blush and earthy eye shadows. Those lucky enough to have neutral undertones can suit all kinds of makeup, so focusing on colours that suit your hair and eyes might be more productive.
While there’s no need to wear the same colours all the time, it can be useful to gravitate towards clothing that suits your undertone. By incorporating more colours into your wardrobe that compliment your skin, hair and eyes, you’ll be able to put together outfits that really make you feel good. If you’re of a warm undertone, the best colours for you will be rich and nature-inspired, or warmer versions of cool colours. These include colours such as red, peach, coral, amber, gold, olive, moss, orchid, cappuccino and cream. You should generally avoid cold colours like icy blues or jewel tones. For those with cool undertones, you’ll look best in colours inspired by deep winter and water. Bright blue, icy blue, emerald and deep purple will look great. You can also try warmer colours such as pink, ruby, bright rosy red, or super pale yellow, as well as neutrals like white, cool grey and navy. Avoid orange, tomato red, and strong yellow.
Embrace Your Natural Beauty!
The wonderful thing about matching colours to our undertone is that it draws attention to the beautiful features we already have. We don’t need to wear our perfect colour matches every day, but by incorporating more of these colours into our wardrobes and makeup routines, we fully embrace our natural appearance. Discover your undertones today, and have fun revamping your look!