How to Find Your Skintone

Finding Your Skintone

Once you’ve got your undertones down, selecting proper shades for things like foundation and concealer becomes slightly easier. In this post, I’ll break down various skin tones, as well as complementary shades. Keep reading to learn more!

Unlike your undertones, which are basically the colours people are beneath their skin, skin tone is the actual colour of the skin itself – the hue. This is determined by the amount of melanin that is in the skin.




The Fitzpatrick scale is a pretty widely accepted scale developed by Harvard-educated doctor, Thomas B. Fitzpatrick. It is based both on a person’s complexion, and the way their skin reacts to sun exposure (especially UV rays).

According to this scale, skin tones fall into 1 of 6 major types. Generally speaking, they are Light (Type I), Fair (Type 2), Medium (Type 3), Olive (Type 4), Brown (Type 5), and Dark Brown (Type 6).

The three most important questions to keep in mind when determining your skin tone:

  • What colour on the scale does your skin look like the most?
  •  Pigmentation? Type I, or people who have very light skin, typically have more pale white skin with freckles. Those who are Type VI have very dark skin.
  • How does your skin react to good ol’ Mr. Sun? If you burn very easily, you’re probably Type I. If you rarely burn, or never do, you’re probably Type V or VI.

Here is a rough break down of each type:

Type I (Light) – Very light skin; does not tan, burns

Type II (Fair) – Light to medium skin; tans slightly, but not with ease. Burns easily

Type III (Medium) – Medium to olive skin; sometimes burn, and tans gradually

Type IV (Olive) – Olive to light brown skin; burns slightly, and browns when exposed to sunlight

Type V (Brown) – Dark skin; basically never burns, browns significantly when exposed to sunlight

Type VI (Dark Brown) – Very dark skin; does not burn, and does not change colour in the sun.

Here are a few visuals for guidance




If you fall in between two shades, it is not a problem, it simply means when looking for foundations you might have to mix two shades to get your perfect match. You could also play around with lighter and darker shades by applying lighter ones in the center of your face and darker ones in the perimeter to mimic natural highlights and contours on the face.

Let me know if this is useful! Comment any questions below 🙂 And look out for the next post in this series: Skin Types

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3 thoughts on “How to Find Your Skintone

  1. Pingback: ★ MAKEUP 101| Skin Types ★ |

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