All About Undertones: What’s an Undertone and How to Find Yours

All About Undertones: What’s an Undertone and How to Find Yours

Have you ever tried a lip color or foundation shade that just doesn’t look right? You can’t quite describe it, but the color doesn’t want to work with your skin tone. This is where knowing your undertone can come in handy.

If you’re debating between two shades, knowing your undertone can help you understand which one will look better without even trying it on! While two slightly different colored foundations may work for your skin, finding the foundation that matches your undertone will make your makeup look more natural.

Find your perfect shade using the QUIZ on our foundation page.

What’s an Undertone?

Before we help you figure out your undertone, let’s go over what an undertone is. An undertone is the color from underneath the surface of your skin that affects your overall hue. There are three undertones - cool, warm, and neutral. You’ve most likely seen makeup products with shades like “cool linen” or “warm bisque,” and these descriptions refer to skin undertones.

A cool undertone is generally associated with skin that has hints of blue, pink, or a ruddy red complexion. A warm undertone is more peachy, golden, or yellow. Neutral is a mixture (or neither!) of the two.

Undertone Test #1: Vein Color

There are a few ways to find out your undertone. First, look at your veins. Are they a blue or purple hue, or are they greenish in color? A blue or purple hue means you likely have a cool undertone, while green leans towards warm. If you find your veins are neither or in-between the two, you might be neutral.

Undertone Test #2: White vs Off-White

Next, hold up a piece of white fabric and an off-white fabric (such as a shirt or dress) next to your face. Which do you look better wearing? If you look better in white, you have a warm undertone, whereas if you look better in off-white or look too washed out in white, you have a cool undertone. If both look good, you’re neutral.

Undertone Test #3: Silver or Gold

Now do the same with jewelry, using gold and silver earrings or a necklace. Does silver look sophisticated and sexy against your skin, or do you look more glam and gorgeous in gold? Cool toned beauties look best in silver, while warm beauties look better in gold.

Undertone Test #4: True Complexion

Your undertone is also often determined by your hair and eye color. If you have brown, black, or blonde hair with blue, grey, or green eyes, you likely have a cool undertone. If you have red, brown, black, or strawberry blonde hair with brown or hazel eyes, you probably have a warm undertone.

Undertone Test #5: Burn vs Tan

Lastly, think about how you tan. If you burn quickly or burn and then tan, you probably have a cool undertone. If you tan quickly, you’re likely warm-toned, and if you tan slowly, but don’t burn very often, you’re most likely neutral.

Choosing the Right Makeup Colors

Now that you know your undertone, it’s time to choose the right baked goods! Complexion products - like foundation, bronzer, highlighter, and concealer - should have a very slight dash of pink for cool tones, and a pinch of yellow or golden for warm tones.

For blush and lipsticks, stock your pantry with blue-reds, berries, and rosy pink flavors if you have a cool undertone. For warm undertones, go for peachy pinks, orange-reds, and nude pink flavors.

Pop over to the Bakerie to stock your pantry with the best variety of flavored treats for all undertones!

4 Responses


December 24, 2018

Thanks so much for this!!! Very helpful. Now I know why silver looks better on me than gold, and which besutybbajerie products will compliment my skin tone best. I love this company.


December 24, 2018

I’m finally confident that I’ve got it right. Best post about this subject. Thanks


September 17, 2018

Thank you soo much for this. Very helpful. I was mever able to determine my undertone. Always had an issue. You are my gardian angel 👼

Soprano Musings

April 06, 2018

Thank you so much for this!
Now I can confidently go into Sephora solo and find the right shades for my complexion.