how to know your skin tone and skin undertone

How to Identify Your Skin Tone? A Complete Guide on Skin Tone and Undertone

Have you ever got upset about looking like a porcelain doll, even after spending a huge amount of money on makeup products?  And it is also common to find a dress beautiful at the store. But turns out to not look good on you once you try it at home. In all these cases, skin tone and skin undertone matter. The greyish, cakey look of your makeup is because it doesn’t match your skin undertone. It is necessary to know the skin color underneath your skin. It helps to determine the right cosmetic products and color palettes. So, you might be a bit puzzled now. But keep your worries away. Because this article will help how to know your skin tone and skin undertone.

What Is a Skin Tone?

Skin tone is defined as the genetically provided amount of melanin in your epidermis. Melanin is a dark brown or black pigment that forms complex polymers. It is present in human and animal skin. It is produced by cells called melanocytes. The presence of melanin in our body is a part of evolution. Our ancestors who lived in sunnier regions have more of darker skin tones. Because melanin is produced to protect the skin from the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun. Thus, will turn your skin tone darker. So, the tone of your skin can be determined based on how much you are exposed to the sun.

Different Types of Skin Tones

Classifying skin tones into categories is difficult. Because each of you has varied skin tones. But broadly it is classified into three. They are:

  1. Light: light-skinned or fair-skinned tone had historically originated from northern European countries which have cold climates. As they aren’t much exposed to the sun, melanin production is less. If you identify your skin tone to be pale, you should apply sunscreen every 6 hours. Because you are most prone to sun damage.
  2. Medium: This skin tone got its origin in north Asian countries and southern Europe. If you find out your skin tone to be medium, you are prone to get tan under the sun. so, keep it regular to apply sunscreen.
  3.  Dark: Originated from the middle east, India, and Africa. Even if you have a darker skin tone, you are not exempted from applying sunscreen. Because you are prone to hyperpigmentation.

How to Determine Your Skin Tone?

Before determining your skin tone, you should clean your face properly. It is always better to remove all the makeup before determining your skin tone. The method to identify your skin tone are:

  1. Jawline test: Jaw area is least affected by skin tone variations. So, determining the tone under natural light will be easy.
  2. Sun test: Here, If your skin gets burned under sun exposure then you have a light skin tone. But if it gets tanned and hyperpigmented, you have medium and dark skin tones respectively.

What Is an Undertone?

Undertone is the subtle color underneath your skin. As it is mentioned above, skin tones vary according to sun exposure. But the skin undertone remains the same. It is the skin undertone that we can rely on while selecting the right makeup product or outfits.

Different Types of Skin Undertones

Skin undertones are classified into three. They are

  1. Cool undertone: These undertones are red and pink with bluish tints.
  2. Warm undertone: They are yellow, peachy, and golden hints.
  3. Neutral: These undertones are olive or a balanced mix of the above-mentioned shades.

How to Determine Skin Undertone?

  1. Vein test: this can be performed by examining the color of veins on your wrists. They are:
  2. Cool Undertone: blue or purple veins
  3. Warm undertone: greenish veins
  4. Neutral undertone: if you are not sure of which colored veins you have, then it is a neutral undertone.
  5. Jewelry test: This is done by identifying which type of jewelry suits you.
  6. Cool undertone: silver jewelry
  7. Warm undertone: golden jewelry
  8. Neutral undertone: both pieces of jewelry suit you.
  9. White paper test: To conduct this test, hold a white blank paper to the skin on the face. If the skin appears pinkish, then you have a cool undertone. If it seems yellowish, you have a warm undertone.
  10. Color test: This test is done on the basis of what colored dresses suit your skin.
  11. Cool undertone: cool colors like blue colored dresses suits you.
  12. Warm undertone: yellow colored dresses suits you.
  13. Neutral undertone: both look flattering on you.

Difference Between Skin Tone and Skin Undertone

The difference between skin tone and skin undertone is:

Skin toneSkin undertone
It is the color present on the surface of your skin (epidermis).It is the muted color present underneath the skin.
It varies based on sun exposure.It remains the same.
It is classified as light, medium, and dark.It is classified as cool, warm, and neutral.

Does Skin Tone Varies With Age and External Conditions?

Skin tone can change depending on factors such as age and sun exposure. The uneven distribution of melanin in the skin of older people is the reason for darker patches on their skin. Overexposure to the sun can cause tan and hyperpigmentation on the skin. This will leads to difficulty in finding the right type of foundation based on skin tone. So, it is better to rely on a skin undertone. Because it doesn’t change. And also be aware to apply sunscreen on daily basis. It is also necessary to reapply sunscreen every 6 hours.

Why Is It Important to Identify Skin Undertone?

You all have faced a lot of problems while selecting the right foundation or dress. These are mainly due to it doesn’t suit your skin tone and undertone. Buying things that you like is not a smart method for purchasing. But acquiring things that suit you, will help you look flattering. But you can’t rely on skin tone because it varies according to your exposure to the sun. so, the better option is to determine your skin Undertone. This can be done by following the various tests mentioned above. Performing the tests will help you to select makeup, outfits, and hair colors that look good on you.

What Is the Right Color Palette for Your Skin?

If you are done with determining your skin undertones, then it is your turn to choose the right color palette for your skin.

  1. Warm skin undertone: People who have a warm undertone should choose colors that bring out the golden quality in them. You can choose colors like yellow, orange, chestnut, burgundy, caramel, warm red, and deep berry. Choosing colors with a golden hue doesn’t mean that you can’t choose cool or neutral colors. You can consider using turquoise, olive, and creamy off-white that come under cool and neutral tones.
  2. Cool skin undertone: you can choose cool colors like cobalt, sapphire, blue, and emerald. Warm shades like ice pink and ruby and neutrals like classic grey and crisp white can be considered.
  3. Neutral skin undertone: For you almost every color suits. But It is always better to choose colors that are neither too bright nor too bold. You can use colors like medium grey, dusty pink, etc. These are the best colors for neutral skin tone.

How to Select Right Foundation for Your Undertone?

Selecting the right foundation shade is always a task. As there are various cosmetic brands in the market, shades vary according to the makeup line. Another problem that matters is that most brands available aren’t inclusive of different shades. So, identifying inclusive brands is also important. Here you will get an idea of how to select the right foundation for your undertone.

  1. Cool undertone: foundations for cool undertones appear slightly pinkish in the bottle. Avoid foundations that look yellowish. Because it makes your skin sallower.
  2. Warm undertone: You can choose a slightly yellow foundation.
  3. Neutral undertone:  choose a foundation that is neither too pink nor too yellow. Choose a peachy foundation.

Makeup Brands With Inclusive Foundation Shades

As mentioned above, most makeup brands are not inclusive of various foundation shades. It becomes difficult for people with darker skin tones to find the right shade. Here is a list of inclusive brands available in the market.

  1. Maybelline New York
  2. Bobbi brown
  3. Fenty beauty
  4. Kay beauty
  5. Huda beauty
  6. Nars
  7. Flesh


Selecting the right make-up, outfits, and hair colors is necessary to look elegant and classy. You might feel dresses on a mannequin at a fashion store appealing. But this may not suits you. Purchasing things wisely is important. Because this will helps you from wasting money on things that aren’t good for you. For that examining your skin tone and undertone is necessary. Hope this blog had helped you to solve all your queries regarding skin tones and undertones.

Read More:

ABC Juice; Benefits, Side Effects. Why Is It Called a Miracle Drink
Wheatish Skin Complexion: How to Take Care of Your Skin and the Colours That Matches Your Skin
Sebum Plugs; Are They a Matter of Concern? How to Get Rid of It?
Know your lips to decorate your smile | 7 Different Types of Lips
16 Natural Remedies for Lightening Your Dark Lips


1. How to know your skin tone and skin undertone?

Skin tone can be identified by performing a jawline test and sun test. While undertone can be identified by jewelry test, color test, white paper test, and vein test. Please go through the blog for more details.

2.  How can I check skin tone? What are the types of skin tones?

Skin tone can be checked by jawline and sun test. The various types of skin tones are light, medium, and dark

3.  Which part of my body shows my real color?

Your real skin tone is visible on your jaw area because it is the least prone to sun damage. This is why the foundation is swatched to choose the right shade.

4. What color was the first human?

Skin tone was an adaptive measure for human beings. It varies according to the area you belong to. The ancestors from sunny areas do have dark skin tones because they are highly exposed to the sun. This leads to the production of excess melanin to prevent sun damage. But people belonging to cold areas, have lighter skin tones due to less melanin. This is because they don’t have high sun exposure.

5. Why is my face darker than my body?

This is because of the uneven distribution of melanin on your skin. Your face is more prone to sun exposure than other parts of your body. This results in the production of more melanin compared to other parts.

6. What hair color suits my skin tone?

To know that, you need to check your skin’s undertone. Then refer to the color palette preferred for various undertones in this article.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *