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withSimplicity |  August 3, 2023


serum bottle with oil dripping

Finding the right foundation shade can be a daunting task. With numerous options available, it's easy to feel overwhelmed and end up with a shade that doesn't quite match your skin tone.

The easiest place to begin is by determining your skin's undertone. 

Not sure where to start?

Below, we've shared some of our tips and tricks that we use daily to help determine undertones so that you're on the right path when picking out foundation samples to try.

What does "skin undertone" mean?

To choose the perfect foundation shade, it's important to understand your skin's undertone.

Skin undertones refer to the subtle hues that lie beneath the surface of your skin. They play a crucial role in determining which colors of clothing, makeup, and jewelry complement your complexion and make you look your best. Understanding your skin undertones can help you choose the right shades when sampling new foundations.

What are the 4 skin undertones?

Cool Undertone

People with cool undertones typically have hints of blue, pink, or purple beneath their skin. Their veins might appear bluish or purplish, and they often burn easily in the sun. Cool undertones usually work well with shades like jewel tones (emerald green, sapphire blue, and royal purple), cool pastels, and silver jewelry. If you have cool undertones, you might notice that silver jewelry looks more flattering on you than gold.

Warm Undertone

Warm undertones have underlying tones of yellow, peach, or golden. Their veins might appear more greenish, and they tend to tan more easily than those with cool undertones. Colors like warm earth tones (rust, mustard, olive green), oranges, warm reds, and yellows often complement warm undertones. Gold jewelry tends to look better on people with warm undertones.

Neutral Undertone

Neutral undertones are a mix of both cool and warm undertones. People with neutral undertones might find that they can wear a wide range of colors, both cool and warm, without any clashing. They may have a balance of pink and yellow hues in their skin, and their veins could appear bluish-green. Both gold and silver jewelry might look good on individuals with neutral undertones.

Olive Undertone

Olive undertone is a unique blend of cool and warm hues found in medium to tan skin tones. It presents a greenish or yellowish tint beneath the skin's surface, setting it apart from traditional warm or cool undertones. People with olive undertones tan easily and can wear both gold and silver jewelry effectively. Complementary colors include earthy tones like olive green and warm reds, as well as jewel tones like sapphire blue.

Vein test for determining skin undertone

One simple way to determine your undertone is by examining the veins on your wrist.

Begin by locating a source of natural light, such as near a window. Natural light provides the most accurate reflection of your skin's undertones.

Chart Above. Cool: veins on the wrist are mostly blue and purple and skin appears pink. Warm: veins on the wrist are mostly green and skin appears more on the yellow side. Neutral: veins on the wrist are a a mix of cool and warm or it could be hard to tell. Olive: veins on the wrist are a mix of blue and green (sometimes presenting as teal) and skin appers more on the bronze-green side.

Jewelry test for determining skin undertone

Another easy method used to help determine your undertone is by observing how different types of jewelry appear against your skin.

Chart Above. Cool: skin looks more flattering against silver jewelry. Warm: skin appears more radiant, warm, and complimentary to gold jewelry. Neutral: skin shines with both silver and gold jewelry. Olive: skin and complexion look best against gold jewelry.

With these two simple tricks, you should be able to figure out your skin's undertone and be able to picking out your foundation shade much more quickly!

However, if you need further help, don't hesitate to reach out!