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Know Your Skin Undertone

Posted by Julie Hafer on

Figure out your skin undertone so you don't overspend on random makeup.

If you neatly stacked a bunch of your colorful (i.e., not black, white or gray) t-shirts, which pile would it most resemble? I am so sorry, these images look enticingly clickable but they are NOT, just look at them, no clicking, it won't work!

Warm Family

Cool Family

Neutral Family

If you choose A, you're most likely a Warm person - B, most likely Cool - C, most likely Neutral.

Other real-life scenarios:

  • Warm people are prone to saying things like "I LOVE corals!" If you have ever said this out loud, you know you CAN do a coral and look amazing. You're probably also into brick reds, bronze shades and nude shades. People with warm undertones tend to have warm eye colors (warm green, warm brown, golden hazel).
  • If you're lipstick shopping and tell a salesperson "PLEASE don't put me in an orange lipstick. Everything turns orange on me!" then you're probably a Cool. You lean toward mauves, berry shades and blue-based pinks and feel most like yourself in them. Often people with cool undertones have cool blue eyes or darker brown eyes.
  • If you often say "I have no idea what looks good on me" or you come up to a counter searching for that "perfect pink" (without too much purple or orange), you're probably seeking Neutrals. Which means you'll also usually be excited about a true red and sheer colors that don't make too warm or cool of a statement. People with neutral undertones tend to have eyes that are green, hazel blue/green or hazel brown/green. 

Note: If you've ever had your "seasons" done back in the day, this is a bit different. I don't divide into 4 categories, I stick to 3 families because I think Neutral people can have their warmish neutral days and coolish neutral days so we shall lump Fall and Spring into one thing, and Summer and Winter people will still roughly correspond to Warm and Cool. Also, hair color is out of this equation. It means less than you think (for example, all redheads are NOT warm!!), and besides, so many of us color ours anyway) 

Will you ever look good in other color families?

Usually if a person buys outside their color family they're going to either return it or never wear it. Skin tone makes such a huge difference in how makeup looks on the face.

People who have Cool undertones and buy warm shades feel garish; people with Warm skin undertones find using cool shades makes their face look ghastly. Neutral-undertoned people can experiment a little more if they're wearing coordinating colored shirts and match their eyes, cheeks and lips, but it's going to look pretty dramatic on them if they choose a Warm or Cool palette. SO, just for the sake of not wasting money, it's usually best to stick within your color camp.

"I feel bored now!"  Understandable! Loving makeup means you are a "creative" and it can be hard when you're told what to do! But you can stick within your color family and have a totally different look every day if you want! It's actually quite freeing, and you'll end up saving money and not junking up your makeup drawer. Plus, at our shop new shades come out every season, evenly distributed among the color families so no one will feel left out.

Need a little more help determining your color family and which shades will look best on you? Schedule a makeup lesson with Beauty Ethics! 

But I hope this info has been helpful, and that the next time you're shopping for colors it's a bit more of a happy hunting trip -- because knowing your color family should keep the hunt from taking all day!

You don't know your color family? I bet you do, instinctively. Take a look in your closet!


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