Knowing whether your skin tone is cool or warm can help you pick the best shades of makeup, clothing, and even hair color to complement your natural beauty, but most people don’t know how to accurately figure out their tone and rely on faulty preconceived notions about race and ethnicity being determinants. The truth is anyone of any background can be cool or warm. So how do you figure out which “tone” you are? There are several ways of determining your skin tone, and we are going to break them down for you right now!
The Vein Test
The vein test works best for people of fair to medium skin darkness. In natural light, examine the veins on the backside of your wrist. If your veins are a blue or purple color, you are most likely cool toned. If your veins are more green in color, you are warm toned.
The White & Black or Off White & Brown Test
This test is a bit subjective, but works for every shade of skin. It’s also extremely simple to do. Grab a piece of clothing in each of the following colors from your closet: White, Black, Off White, and Brown. Stand in front on a mirror in a well lit room and compare how the White and Off White look against your skin. Do the same for the black and brown. I know, I know, you look great in everything, but you should be able to tell if one of each compliments you better. If the white and black items look better, you skin is a cool tone. If you the off white and brown look better, you are warm toned. Can’t tell from those few items? Try comparing Gold and Silver and Orange and Blue. If the silver and blue items look better on you you are a cool tone and if it’s the gold and orange you are warm.
The White Cloth Test
Still not sure what tone you are? Try the white cloth test, which also works for everyone. Start by pulling your hair off your face and draping that white piece of clothing or a white towel over your shoulders. Look at yourself in the mirror and try decide your skin’s undertone in contrast to the white fabric. If your face has a blue, purple, or pinkish undertone, you are cool toned. If your skin looks like it has a yellow, chocolaty brown, or orange undertone next to the white, you have a warm skin tone.
Hair and Eye Color
Your eye and hair color can also be used to help you determine skin tone, but are not as accurate as the tests above. Eyes that are blue, grey, dark brown, or black and hair that is ash blonde, dark brown, or black with blue undertones can indicate a cool skin tone. Eyes that are amber, golden brown, hazel, or green and hair that is golden or reddish brown, golden blonde, red, strawberry blonde or black with red undertones can indicate a warm skin tone.
So by this point you probably have figured out if you are a warm or cool skin tone. Now that you know let’s put that information to good use!
If you’re a Cool Tone…
Cool tones look best in bright whites, black, silver, and jewel tones like blue, deep purple, and emerald green. The most flattering lipsticks for your skin are pink and blue based reds and when choosing make up in general, think pink and grey and avoid corals, peaches, and bronze.
If you have cool toned skin and are looking to change up your hair color consider the following recommendations:
- For fair skinned cool tones, colors with blue undertones try colors like platinum and champagne blonde
- For medium skinned cool tones, try ashy hues like sandy blond or walnut brown
- For olive skinned cool tones, try warm colors like chestnut brown or auburn
- For dark skinned cool tones, try an inky black or dark espresso
If you’re a Warm Tone…
Warm tones look best in earthy colors like brown, rust and olive. Off whites, beiges, and gold will also suit you. Lipsticks that are on the more orange side of red, chocolate brown, or coral will look best on you and when choosing make up in general, think peach, beige, and bronze and avoid pinks, blues, and greys.
If you have warm toned skin and are looking to change up your hair color consider the following recommendations:
- For fair skinned warm tones, try a rich honey or strawberry blonde
- For medium skinned warm tones, try a dark golden caramel or copper tone
- For olive skinned warm tones, try a color with violet undertones or an ebony brown
- For dark skinned warm tones, try warm brown colors like mahogany and toffee
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