• TheFineRefine

How to Determine your Skin's Undertone

Updated: Dec 20, 2020

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Use the graphic below to determine your undertone.


how to determine your skin undertone


Why is knowing your undertone so important?

Here are 5 ways knowing your undertone can help you look better!


01. Undertone determines which colors suit you best

Too too hot essie nail polish

Let's be clear... You CAN wear whatever color you want. You CAN look good in any color.

BUT, it's incredibly useful to know which variation of the same color will look best on you.


Let's use nail polish as an example;


There are around 400 reds in your nail salon. Fiery red, orange-red, berry red, passion red... the list goes on and on.


They are all slightly different tones of the same color.


So which one do you choose?


This same logic can apply to hair color and clothing!

02. Undertone helps you correctly identify your exact foundation shade


correct foundation for your underton

How? We usually focus on skin tone when choosing our foundation and while that is a very important consideration it's only half of the equation.


That's because our skin tone is dynamic throughout the year. Changes in skin tone can depend on sun exposure, physiologic conditions, redness or pigmentation issues.


On the other hand, our skin undertone remains the same.


Nowadays, most brands have come up with a ton of tones (about time) PLUS multiple undertones (warm, cool, and neutral shades).


Choosing the right undertone will allow you to continue using the same foundation through the dynamic changes our skin tone endures even if it's a little off.


Because I, for one, cannot truly buy a different foundation for every season.


Favorite Foundation

Armani Beauty - Luminous Silk Foundation

Tips for choosing a foundation:

  • Determine your skin undertone (Neutral, Warm, Cool)

  • Determine your skin type (Oily, Normal, Combination)

  • Determine the type of coverage you want (Full, Buildable, Sheer)

  • Bring your own mirror, apply your foundation in-store, and check it out in direct sunlight (walk out of the store if you have to!)

A good foundation is expensive, but owning 5 or 6 products that don't suit you is more expensive.

Related: How to Determine your Power Colors


03. Undertones guide you in choosing the right blush


correct blush for you skin undertone

Blush is supposed to stand out against your complexion and contrast your undertone.


  • If you have a cool skin undertone avoid pinks and reds and go for peach, orange, or terracotta shades like Nars - Luster.



Cool Options

Nars - Luster



Nars - Taj Mahal


Warm Options


Nars - Sin



Nars - Deepthroat

Universally Flattering and Neutral Option

Nars - Orgasm

The soft golden tones in this blush make it universally flattering and one of the best selling blush palettes in beauty history!

Related: Don't Splurge on these 8 Beauty Products


04. Undertone helps you choose the correct bronzer


Bronzers are mainly used for contouring and creating depth and definition. The key here is SUBTLE you want your contour to blend so keep your bronzer complementary to your undertone. This will keep you from looking like a streaky clown and help you create depth in a more natural way.

  • If you have a cool skin undertone go for cooler bronzers like these.

  • If you have a warm skin undertone go for more reddish bronzers like these.


Need more guidance on everything Color and Style? check out these related posts!