Summer, winter, spring, autumn? Warm, cool, somewhere in between? I'm not talking about the seasons, or their corresponding temperatures. I'm talking about your skin tone, the thing that's supposed to tell you what shades of makeup will look best. I confess, I have no idea what mine is, and I got to thinking that I should really learn. If you're in the same boat, maybe these 7 ways to figure out your skin shade will be as helpful to you as they were to me.
Sometimes, all you need to tell is a bit of basic information. There are some general rules that may help you define your skin tone. For instance, typically if you have warm skin, then you look best while wearing earth tones, like gold, bronze, peach, brownish reds, brown, ivory or cream, and greens. In that case, makeup shades with yellow bases look best on you. The general rule for cool skinned people is that they look good in more jewel like shades, such as ice blue, royal or cobalt blue, rose tinted pinks, emerald green, plums and darker purples, silver, and pure white. In that case, colors with blue bases look good. But what if you look good in colors from each category?
This may sound kind of creepy, but the so called vein test is actually really helpful. Here's how it goes: in natural light, such as during a sunny day while you are near a window, fold your fingers into a fist and take a look at the inside of your wrist. If your veins look blue, your skin tone is cool; if they look green, then you're warm. If, however, they look like a combination, you have the much loved neutral tone – you look good in combinations of the two main tones!
Your hair color and eye color also help to indicate your skin tones. People with warmly toned skin usually have gold, red, orange, or yellow tins in their hair, while their eyes are usually brown, hazel, green, or variations thereof. Their skin will have undertones of gold, peach, or apricot. Conversely, cool toned people have hair with hints of ash, blue or blue-violet, silver, or even something drab, like mousy brown. Their eyes are usually shades of blue, grey, or green, and can also be either black or a cool shade of brown. Their skin has rosy undertones.
Warm goes with gold, cool goes with silver. So, you can use fabric or jewelry to determine your skin tone. Stand in natural light, preferably in front of a mirror, and hold the fabric or jewelry up beside your face. If your face lights up with silver, you're cool; if the gold does the trick, you're warm.
For this method, all you need to do is pull or slick your hair back. Make sure your face is completely clean. Then, stand in front of a mirror and sling a pristine white towel around your neck. The white of the towel should reflect the undertones in your skin. So, if your skin appears yellow, you're warm toned; if it appears blue, you're cool toned.
This may sound strange, but it can help. In the better department stores that have a huge makeup section, you can find makeup artists to help you. They can examine your skin for you, determine your skin tone, and then help you decide what specific colors will look best with your complexion. You should take notes, thank them politely, and then go buy the makeup some place where it's more affordable!
Then, there's this option. It's still a tip! Basically, wear whatever makeup you look. If it looks good and you feel pretty wearing it, then it's all good. Above all else, you have to be comfortable. If you're warm toned but like wearing jeweled shades and look good in them, go for it!
If you have neutral toned skin then, again, you can typically get away with wearing everything, or else you might look good in mossy greens but not golds, and in plum shades but not emerald greens. Do you buy and wear makeup based on your skin tone?
Top Photo Credit: Antony Baker
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