HOW TO FIND YOUR UNDERTONES
There is no doubt that applying makeup can be a very difficult task, especially when it comes to applying colours to particular areas and proper blending. Application is only half of the battle though. For some, choosing what colours to wear is daunting enough to stop them completely from even makeup out. Have no fear though! This first set of tips should help with choosing what to try out for a simple look.
STEP ONE: KNOW YOUR UNDERTONE
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, an undertone is a subdued colour; specifically: a colour seen through and modifying another colour.
Put simply, an undertone is the colour you are beneath your skin colour. It’s kind of like your base layer in a way. You can have the same skin tone as someone (fair, light, tan, medium, deep, etc…) but a completely different undertone.
Undertones usually fall into three categories:
– Cool: Pink, blue, violet
–Neutral: (a mix of warm and cool)
–Warm: Yellow, golden, orange
Some people like to throw in Olive as its own category since it’s very unique. Sometimes olive undertones can take on a greyish colour, or they are too yellow to be considered warm. Olive undertones can also be neutral.
Undertones, when properly determined, can make outfits and makeup come together flawlessly. There is no definitive way to determine undertones, but there are a few guidelines that can help you determine where you fall on the spectrum:
Take a look at your wrists/arms, and look carefully at your veins in natural lighting.
✫ If your veins are green/olive, you’re most likely warm toned
✫ If your veins are blue/purple, you’re most likely cool toned
✫ If your veins appear blue/green, or you can’t really tell, you’re most likely neutral toned
White Fabric Test
Pull your hair out of your face, and make sure your face is naked & bare. Also make sure you’re in natural light.
✫ Place a white (as pure white as you can find) towel or cloth around your neck and shoulders. If you look more yellow/orange against the fabric, you are warm toned.
✫ Do the same thing as above with the towel or cloth around the neck and shoulders, but if you look more blue/pink against the fabric, you are cool toned.
– A L T E R N A T I V E –
✫ Place a white shirt (as pure white as you can find) on. If this is more flattering on you, you are probably cool toned.
✫ Place an off-white/cream/ivory shirt on. If this is more flattering on you, you are probably warm toned.
✫ If both of these look flattering on you, you are probably neutral toned.
Try on some jewelry.
✫ Put on something silver (earrings, necklace). If this is more flattering on you, you are probably cool toned.
✫ Put on something gold (earrings, necklace). If this is more flattering on you, you are probably warm toned.
If both gold and silver jewelry look good on you, you are probably neutral toned.
✫ If you find that you typically look better in oranges, reds, yellows, and non jewel tone greens, you are probably warm toned.
✫ If you find that you typically look better in vibrant jewel toned blues, greens, purples, and other colours like grey and pink, you are probably cool toned.
✫ If you look nice in both groups of colours, you are probably neutral toned.
★ A L T E R N A T I V E | T R A I T S ★
Light – Medium Eyes/Skin
Hair: Light Brown to Medium/Dark Brown, Strawberry Blonde, Golden Blonde, Red, Warm Highlights
Eyes: Blue, Blue-Green, Blue-Grey, Aqua, Green, Turquoise
Medium – Dark Eyes/Skin
Hair: Red, Auburn, Light – Dark Brown Hair, Dark Blonde, Warm Highlights
Eyes: Hazel, Green , Brown, Deep Teal Blue
Light – Medium Eyes/Skin
Hair: Naturally Blond, Ash Blond, Ash Medium Brown, Mousy Brown, No highlights
Eyes: Blue, Blue-Grey, Blue-Green
Medium – Dark Eyes/Skin
Hair: Black/Dark Brown, No Highlights
Eyes: Dark Brown, Blue-Green (Deep), Blue-Grey (Deep)
★ L A S T T H O U G H T S ★
Think fire, golden, bronze, warm, earth tones, peach.
Think silver, grey, pink, bright blues, white, jewel tones, violet.
All in all, when it comes to foundations/concealers, and things of that nature, it’s best to adhere to these guidelines as best as you can so that you don’t end up looking wonky. When it comes to the other stuff eyeshadows, liner, blush, lipstick, etc… DO WHAT YOU WANT! These are just guidelines! Sure for your undertone some shades will look better than others, but if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! If you’ve been rocking what you’ve been doing and it’s been looking good, you don’t need to follow any of this at all. If you’re killing it, keep it up!
Let me know if this was helpful! Keep an eye out for the next post in this series: Skintones
Photo credit: http://dreamglow.deviantart.com/art/Rainbow-eyeshadows-2-171971312, http://thebeautydepartment.com/2011/08/going-undercover/, http://sundaymon-id.blogspot.com/, http://beautyandbedlam.com/figuring-out-the-best-colors-for-your-skin-tone/
*Disclaimer: I am in no way, shape, or form a professional. Information provided here is merely suggestion/advice*