How to Determine Your Skin Tone: Best Follow Process

How to Determine Your Skin Tone
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Have you ever wondered how to effectively determine your skin tone? When purchasing complexion cosmetics, you must take your skin tone into consideration. Have you ever purchased foundation that turned out to be too pink for your skin tone? Perhaps you tried a concealer that turned out to be too yellow? It’s most likely because the product did not match your skin tone or undertones.

We asked professional makeup artist Jaleesa Jaikaran for guidance on how to determine the proper hues of makeup for you based on your skin tone so you never have to make the wrong cosmetic choice again. Follow Jaikaran’s guidance and the method below to establish your undertone and see our best product recommendations for your skin tone.

What exactly are skin undertones?

The underlying hue or cast of your skin is referred to as its undertone. Makeup artist Jaleesa Jaikaran categorizes the main skin undertones into warm, cool, and neutral. Jaikaran explains that warm undertones encompass golden, yellow, or peachy hues, while cool undertones consist of pink, red, or bluish hues. In cases of neutral skin, both warm and cool tones coexist.

How to Determine Your Skin Tone
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Jaikaran also recognizes another undertone: olive. If your skin displays either a warm or neutral cast and has a subtle greenish shade, you likely have an olive undertone.

How to Determine Your Undertone  

While it’s simple to tell whether your complexion is fair, light, medium, deep, or dark, determining your undertones can be more difficult. Understanding yours may help you locate the finest foundation and concealer matches, as well as the hues of blush, lipstick, and eyeshadow that will look best on your skin.

A popular method for determining your undertone is to examine the veins on the inside of your wrist. If they have a blue-purple hue, you are in the cool-toned group. If your veins seem green, you have a warm tone. “Your undertone may be neutral if it can be challenging to tell if your veins are green or blue at times,” advises Jaikaran.

To identify your skin’s undertones, consider observing your choice of jewelry. Set personal preferences aside and analyze whether silver or gold jewelry complements you more. If you find that silver suits you better, you might have cool undertones. On the other hand, if gold enhances your appearance, you may lean towards warm undertones. If both silver and gold look equally appealing on you, it suggests you are likely neutral-toned.

How to Select the Perfect Makeup for Your Skin Tone

When selecting complexion makeup such as foundation, the goal is to closely match your natural skin tone and undertone. Makeup artist Jaaleesa Jaikaran suggests narrowing down your skin tone first and then exploring two to three shade options with varying undertones. She recommends using your jawline as a testing area in natural lighting. According to Jaikaran, the ideal foundation is the shade that seamlessly blends into your skin, making it the winner. In essence, the best way to determine the most suitable foundation is by testing different options on your jaw and observing which one seamlessly merges with your skin.

How to Determine Your Skin Tone - What exactly are skin undertones
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When selecting blush, lipstick, and eye makeup shades, Jaaleesa Jaikaran suggests swatching various colors on the inside of your wrist. This allows you to identify which shades stand out and which ones appear washed out.

“Nevertheless, you should not restrict yourself to makeup that perfectly matches your undertone,” advises Jaaleesa Jaikaran. “For example, a bold red, even with warmer undertones, can enhance and suit every skin tone. As you become more adept at recognizing the undertones of different colors, you’ll undoubtedly gain confidence in making your makeup choices.”

Jaaleesa Jaikaran’s ultimate advice is not to overly stress about matching other kinds of makeup to your skin tone, especially beyond complexion products. “Most importantly, ensure you’re experimenting with various techniques, eyeshadow, and lipstick shades,” she emphasizes. “Always bear in mind, it’s makeup, and it’s meant to be enjoyable!”

Fair or Light Skin Tone

Fair skin tones typically exhibit cool or neutral undertones and may be prone to redness and conditions like rosacea. While light skin tones often lean towards cool or neutral, it’s not unusual to find warm undertones in light skin as well. A pro tip is to maintain a beauty cabinet stocked with mild moisturizers and sunscreens featuring a high SPF to care for your skin.

Product Picks

Including a green color corrector in your makeup collection is beneficial for neutralizing any redness that may appear in your complexion. We also love how a light dusting of a cool or neutral bronzer can instantly bring fair and light

L’Oréal Paris Infallible Up to 24H Fresh Wear Soft Matte Bronzer

L’Oréal Paris Infallible Up to 24H Fresh Wear Soft Matte Bronzer

Bronzer may easily take on an orange hue on fair and light complexion tones, so select one with a cool or neutral undertone. We recommend the L’Oréal Paris Infallible 24H Fresh Wear Soft Matte Bronzer in Fair for lighter skin tones. This bronzer offers your complexion a delicate, sun-kissed hue. Dust this powder on your skin and you’ll appear like you just got back from a vacation.

For those with a medium skin tone

Typically, individuals with medium complexions often exhibit neutral undertones, simplifying the process of finding products like foundation and concealer. If you have a neutral undertone, it’s advisable to steer clear of anything overly warm or cool. However, an exception to this rule is an olive-tinged medium tone. For those with olive skin, warm undertones are likely, and they tend to tan easily. If warm undertones are present, Jaaleesa Jaikaran cautions against selecting a bronzer or foundation with a reddish tint.

Once you’ve identified the correct undertone, search for a bronzer that is two to three shades darker than your natural skin tone.

Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation 

Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation 

The Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation boasts an extensive shade range, offering numerous fantastic options for those with medium skin tones. Specifically tailored for individuals with olive-toned medium skin, shade 6 is a perfect choice. Staying true to its name, this foundation applies smoothly, creating a blurred, airbrushed complexion. With its medium buildable coverage, the foundation remains flexible, breathable, and ensures a natural-looking finish.

Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Liquid Foundation

Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Liquid Foundation

If you favor a foundation with a matte finish, consider the Maybelline New York Fit Me Matte + Poreless Liquid Foundation. With an array of medium shades, this option comes at a budget-friendly price of $9. Not only does this foundation seamlessly match your skin tone, but it also effectively absorbs oil and controls shine, making it an excellent choice for individuals with oily skin types.

For Deep or Dark Skin Tone

Deeper and darker skin tones encompass a spectrum from copper and espresso tones to dark brown or ebony. Alongside the varied tones, deep and dark skin can have cool, warm, or neutral undertones. Addressing the common skin concern of hyperpigmentation, it’s advisable to seek products with brightening ingredients and ensure sun protection with SPF. Similar to medium skin, when choosing bronzers, aim for shades that are two to three tones darker than your natural skin tone.

Glossier Cloud Paint

Glossier Cloud Paint

We highly recommend the Glossier Cloud Paint, a luminous liquid blush, for darker skin tones. Its remarkable pigmentation ensures a beautiful and vibrant appearance, and its effortless blendability makes it an excellent choice. Even if you have minimal makeup experience, applying this product is simple. Simply tap a small amount onto your cheeks and use your fingertips to gently blend it out. Once you’ve experienced the results, you may find it hard to go back to powder blush.


How can I identify my skin tone at home?

One simple method is to observe the veins on the underside of your wrist. Veins with a greenish tint typically signal warm undertones, while those with a bluish hue suggest cool undertones. If you find it challenging to distinguish or notice a mix of green and blue, you might have neutral undertones.

Is there a quick way to determine my skin undertones with jewelry?

Absolutely! Try wearing both gold and silver jewelry separately and observe which one enhances your complexion more. If gold looks more flattering, you might have warm undertones, while a preference for silver could indicate cool undertones. If both look equally good, neutral undertones are likely.

What’s the best approach to finding the right foundation for my skin tone?

Makeup artist Jaleesa Jaikaran suggests testing foundation shades on your jawline in natural lighting. Look for two to three different shades with various undertones, and choose the one that seamlessly blends into your skin. This technique ensures a better match for your skin tone.

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