Warm or Cool? How to Determine Your Undertone

How to find your undertone - Politics of Pretty
Shopping for foundation can be overwhelming. Especially if you’re alone in a drugstore, debating between two shades with no beauty expert to help you. I know this because it happened to me.

Instead of wasting my money on a potentially wrong foundation shade, I went home, did some research, and realized I was unprepared for my beauty haul. I needed to know the answer to this basic but surprisingly complicated question: what’s your undertone?

To help make things simple, there are a few self-evaluations you could make to determine your true undertone. Here’s how to find it.

How to find your undertone - Politics of Pretty

There are three types: cool, neutral and warm. And the principles to figuring out your undertone apply to all skin tones (from very fair to dark).

What color are your veins?
When you examine the inside of your wrists, do your veins appear blue or green? If they look more blue/purple, you’re cool-toned. If they appear more green or olive, you’re warm-toned. Having trouble determining one or the other? Then you’re probably neutral.

Do you prefer silver or gold jewelry?
This is an easy one. Does silver jewelry flatter your skin tone more than gold? Or vice versa? If you look good in both, you’re neutral.

What colors do you look best in?
You might have already figured this out a long time ago. If you look best in jewel-tones such as blues, purples, and emerald-greens—you’re cool-toned. If you favor earth-tones like reds, oranges, yellows, and olive-greens, you’re warm toned. If you can rock every color under the sun then that means you’re neutral.

Other factors:
Do you burn or tan easily? If you burn easily, you’re cool-toned. If you tan, you’re warm-toned. If you’re not sure, don’t stress—it’s not worth the sun burn to find out!

What if you don’t fall into any of these undertones types?
It’s very possible you don’t necessarily fall into the category of “neutral” if you have olive skin. It’s a wild card because it’s a combination of neutral with yellow and greenish undertones. I found this awesome Reddit thread, which compiles many factors into determining your undertone for olive skin and also includes swatches and product recommendations.

I hope you found this helpful and I encourage you to save this cheat sheet above when shopping for beauty products that will complement your skin tone. For more beauty tips and tricks, follow me on Pinterest!