Here's How To Find Your Exact Skin Undertones

December 8, 2017 by Kiarra Lyles
shefinds | beauty

Shopping for the perfect shade of foundation can be difficult. When I find myself running low on foundation, or whenever I decide to try out a new one, I head straight to the nearest Sephora and have an employee match my color using swatches directly on my face. But what about drugstore foundations? There are so many awesome dupes these days and you can’t possibly open every bottle of foundation and start swatching in the middle of the beauty aisle at Target! It is great to be able to determine which foundation matches your skin best without having to test the product out directly on your skin. But in order to do so, you have to know your skin undertones. Here are a few ways to determine your skin undertones so that you won’t need the professionals at Sephora to match you.

The first thing to know about skin undertones are the different shades. Undertones fall under three categories: warm, cool, neutral and olive, and each of these have their own hues. According to Paula’s Choice Skincare, for warm undertones, “skin skews yellow, sallow, peachy, or golden.” Cool undertones include “hints of bluish, pink, or a ruddy complexion.” Neutral “has no obvious overtones of pink or sallow skin, but rather the skin’s natural color is more evident.”

So how do you determine your own skin’s undertones?  According to Paula’s Choice Skincare, there are a few factors to consider:

1. How You Tan

Do you tan easily? Do you rarely get sunburn? Does your skin pair well with both gold and silver jewelry? If yes, you probably fall under neutral undertone. According to Cosmopolitan, Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato have neutral undertones.

Do your veins appear to be blue or purple? Does your skin pair well with silver jewelry? If yes, you probably fall under cool undertone. According to Cosmopolitan, Miley Cyrus and Christina Aguilera have cool undertones.

Do your veins appear to be green? Does your skin pair well with gold jewelry? If yes, you probably fall under warm undertone. According to Cosmopolitan, Eva Mendes and Alessandra Ambrosio have warm undertones.

Does your skin have a gray-like tint? You undertone probably falls under “olive” undertone, a combination of neutral and yellow hues. “Olive skin tone is very specific, but is not neutral, as some tend to call it,” Paula’s Choice Skincare says. According to Cosmopolitan, Kim Kardashian and Naya Rivera have olive undertones.

Now that you know your skin undertones, you may have better lucking matching a foundation on your own. Here are a few tips from Jamie Greenberg, a celebrity makeup artist for Mark., to help you choose the right color foundation:

  • Make sure your skin is clean and exfoliated. “If your skin is sweaty or isn’t totally clean, the color won’t be accurate,” says Greenberg.
  • Test your foundation in good lighting. “It’s best to match your undertone, and then if you feel pale, you can always add bronzer or blush for dimension,” Greenberg says.
  • Match the color of your skin you see the most. “The most natural thing would be to match your neck, but because of sun exposure and elements, the face/décolletage are often darker than your neck,” Greenberg says.


Want more beauty tips? Check out our guide on how to color correct at


[Photo: Shutterstock]


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