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How can I find my complexion undertones?

How can I find my complexion undertones?
Jess Maisey
Writer and expert1 month ago
View Jess Maisey's profile

Looking to ace your base but aren’t sure where to start? You’re in luck! Before you set out to find the right shade for your skin (especially when browsing for beauty online), you need to get to know your undertone. We chat to Curate Your Style’s co-founders, sisters Hannah and Sophia Rashad, to reveal exactly how to find your perfect match...

What is an undertone?

Before you find out which undertone best fits your complexion, it’s always good to know what it actually means.

“Undertones refer to the subtle colouring that exists underneath the surface of the skin that influences your overall complexion,” explain Hannah and Sophia. “This colour remains consistent regardless of changes in your appearance, for example through age or if you’re tanned or sun-deprived.”

“It can be so easy to confuse overtones and undertones,” they continue. “Overtones are the surface colour of the skin and can often temporarily change (for example with a sunburn or tan). In other words, a person’s overtones are what you see at first glance.”

What are the different undertones?

Skin undertones fall under the three ‘umbrella’ categories: warm, cool and neutral:

  • “Warm - typically, these undertones are peach, yellow or golden.”
  • “Cool - these range from pink, purple, blue hues”
  • “Neutral - this is commonly considered to be a balance of warm and cool undertones. Keep in mind that you will lean ever so slightly towards warm or cool.”

Figuring out your undertone?

While searching for your undertone, there are a few factors to consider – first being the colour of your veins! Typically, if they appear blue or purple, then you most likely have a cool undertone but if they appear greener, then you’re looking at a warm undertone. This is a great way to start figuring out where you sit in the undertone palette but there are other indicators too - not just your skin!

Hannah and Sophia reveal: “From a Seasonal Colour Analysis perspective, we do not just consider the undertones of your skin tone. We also consider the undertones of your hair and eye colour too.”

They confirm: “This holistic approach allows us to see your colouring as a whole, which in turn creates a harmonious look with co-ordinating makeup, clothing and hair dye.”

“One of the easiest ways to identify your undertone is to test with jewellery. We recommend testing with gold (this is best for those with a warm undertone), silver (this is best for those with a cool undertone), and either rose gold or a ‘champagne’-looking gold (these are best for those with neutral undertones).”

For example, if your complexion looks dull or a little off-colour in gold, but looks even and glowing in silver, then your undertone is likely to fall under the ‘cool’ category.

What shades are right for your undertone?

Once you find your correct undertone, you can effortlessly bring your look to life and make your complexion glow. However, Hannah and Sophia warn: “Be aware of falling into the trap of skin tone stereotypes when identifying your undertone. For example, it’s common to associate those with a light overtone or fair skin with automatically having cool undertones, but this assumption is not accurate. Similarly, those with darker overtones are typically stereotyped as having warm overtones.”

Best makeup for warm undertones

“Those with a warm undertone [tend to] glow in chocolate brown eyeliner; merlot mascara; burgundy, rust and bronze eyeshadow; and apricot blush – particularly if you have rich hair and eyes (such as chocolate brunette and deep brown eyes),” reveal Hannah and Sophia.

“If you have a warm undertone and your features are bright and sunny (such as golden blonde hair or bright blue eyes), you’d look phenomenal in peach blush, tomato red lipstick, salmon, gold and coconut brown eyeshadows.”

Best makeup for cool undertones

“If you have a cool undertone, piercing eyes and dark hair, you’d look incredible in ruby red, deep purple and magenta pink lipstick. You will also look incredible with black eyeliner and mascara, as well as anything that has a silver or diamond shimmer to the product,” Hannah and Sophia suggest.

“If your hair is medium-dark, and your eyes are soft rather than piercing, you’d look stunning in soft pinks, lavender, muted greys, silver and cool blue eyeshadows. Consider experimenting with blue rather than black mascara, and opt for soft, baby or marshmallow pink blush.”

Best makeup for neutral undertones

Hannah and Sophia advise: “Those with a neutral undertone look stunning in taupe eyeshadows, champagne and rose gold eyeshadow or highlighters, as well as charcoal eyeliner.”

“If your features are muted, experiment with soft colours like faded rose, smokey grey eyeliner or muted grape, matte lipstick.” Alternatively, they recommend: “If your features are bright, you can bring your colours to life through texture, such as glossy lipstick and glitter or metallic eyeshadow.”

Want to find your perfect foundation match online? Head over to our Foundation Finder to take the quiz!


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Jess Maisey
Writer and expert
View Jess Maisey's profile
Ever since I discovered makeup and tutorials from a young age, I have been completely in love! Makeup, for me, is more than just a look - it’s a feeling. I am obsessed with the process of applying my makeup, bringing a look together and feeling a whole new level of confidence. My makeup routines and looks have been on a transformative journey over the years but now my most favourite go-to look is glowy, natural and sun-kissed. The Iconic London Radiance Booster is the ultimate game-changer and a makeup must-have!