Confused About Your Skin Tone and Undertone? Here are Your Answers

HK Vitals

Medically Reviewed By Dr. Aarti Nehra

‘Skin tone’ is a familiar word that we hear generally but not everyone knows exactly what it means. Skin tone refers to a wide range of human skin color, ranging from the fairest porcelain to the deepest ebony, showing how beautiful diversity is. The skin tone color does not only determine what we look like but it also has a role to play in determining the kind of clothes or makeup and practically any other part that is related to how we look from head to toe.

It is also important to know your skin tone color and undertone in order for you to look better. Working on your natural beauty is important as it helps an individual feel comfortable in their own skin. Let’s dive into the colorful world of names of skin tones and undertones.

Types of Skin Tones

Kinds of skin tone can vary widely but they are often categorized into several broad types:

  • Fair Skin Tone: Fair tones imply low melanin contents and thus are pale or light colored. Individuals with fair skin are easily burned by the sun and they may have freckles.
  • Medium Skin Tone:  Medium, in this case, means a moderate amount of melanin that causes an olive shade or tanned shade. Such a skin tone has the tendency to tan easily without much effort but with continuous sun exposure, it may also burn.
  • Dark Skin Tone: Melanin content is high in dark-skinned people and their skin color tends to be richly pigmented, ranging from brownish tints up to ebony. Although darker skin tones provide more natural sun protection, they still need to be protected by using the right amount of good quality sunscreen.

Understanding Undertones

Let’s have a look at the different types of undertones:

  • Cool Undertones: Cool undertones have hints of slight blueness, pink, or purple beneath the surface. Cool undertones usually make people look best in jewels such as sapphire, emeralds, and amethyst. Their veins can seem blue, and silver jewelry usually complements their skin tone.
  • Warm Undertones: Warm undertones skin are yellow, peach, or gold hints. Earthy tones like terracotta, olive, and mustard are best for those having warm undertones skin as they often turn out to be very radiant. Their veins may look green and gold jewelries suit them well.
  • Neutral Undertones: There is a balance of cool and warm skin tone in neutral undertones. Those with a neutral undertone can wear several colors and look fabulous in both silver and gold jewelry.

Determining Your Undertone

Here’s how you can determine your undertone:

  • Vein Test: Look at the part of the veins on your wrist. If they look blue or purple, then you likely have a cool undertone. When they are greenish, mostly you have a warm undertone skin. If you can’t quite tell, then perhaps your undertones are neutral.
  • Jewelry Test: Notice how silver or gold jewelry suits you. If silver suits your skin better, then you probably have cool undertones. If gold appears better, you probably have a warm undertone skin. If they both work equally well, you may have neutral undertones.
  • White Fabric Test: Place a piece of pure white fabric or clothing in front of your face under the natural light. If your skin color shows through better against white, you most likely have cool undertones. If you are brighter against white or cream, then most probably you have warm undertone skin.


Using a Skin Color Chart

In case you are still unable to tell the differences in your skin tone and undertone, then a good reference skin color chart can help. The skin shade chart usually shows a variety of shades and undertones for you to be able to determine which group is closest to your complexion. Most makeup brands and beauty websites have a face skin tone quiz or tool available to help you determine your own type of skin color, skin tone, and undertone precisely.

Choosing Makeup and Clothing

When choosing your makeup and clothing, here’s what you need to know:

  • Foundation:  Match your skin’s undertone and tone with the foundation shade to ensure a smooth and seamless finish. Most foundations come with undertones like cool, warm, or neutral to help you find a shade that will match your skin.
  • Lipstick: Opt for lip shades that coordinate with your undertone. Cool undertones look beautiful in shades of berries, while people with warm skin tone may prefer peachy or coral colors.
  • Clothing: Choose colorful clothes that highlight your natural features. In terms of primary colors, those people with cool undertones will prefer hues like blue, purple, and gray. People holding a warm color undertone may go for an earth tone, which comprises colors like brown, olive and orange.

Skin tone and undertone make an essential part of our identity, personality as well as appearance. Therefore, through knowledge of our skin characteristics and types of skin color, we can choose the right makeup and clothing and apply relevant skincare products that will enhance our natural beauty. Be it a light, medium, or dark skin tone color, your best weapon to feel confident in your own body is by accepting and appreciating yourself.

HK Vitals


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