Article by BR Kellie
You know how sometimes you pop on a bit of red lippy and it looks weird? Which is strange because other red lippies look fine on you? Or maybe that new foundation you’ve just applied is making you look drawn and tired, whereas your usual foundation makes you look like you’re glowing. More often than not it all comes down to your undertone, and how it’s relating to the undertone of the product you’re applying.
Now your undertone isn’t the same as your skin colour, it’s not the colour of your skin it’s the colour underneath your skin, and for most of us it’s either cool or warm. So how can you tell which undertone you have? Here are three easy ways to help you suss it out.
The vein test: Take a look at the veins on the inside of your wrist. Are they blueish or purply? Then chances are you’ve a cool undertone. If they’re green you’ve a warm undertone. Can’t tell whether you’re sporting green or blue veins? You may have hit the jackpot and be a neutral tone, which means you can get away with pretty much any colour.
The jewellery test: Think about the jewellery you wear. If you prefer silver, chances are you’ve a cool undertone. And if you like to wear gold? You guessed it, you’ve a warm undertone. And once again if you can wear silver or gold and they both look fab, you’ve a neutral undertone.
The clothing test: Think about the clothing you wear. Which pieces can you pop on and feel a million dollars in? You know the items I’m talking about, they make your eyes sparkle, your skin look fresh, and people will no doubt lavish you with ‘you look great today’ compliments. If those colours are rich jewel tones, like purple, emerald greens and blues, you’ve a blue undertone. If they’re pinks, oranges, reds and even olive-green, welcome to the warm undertone club. And if people say you look great in everything you wear (you lucky, lucky woman), you’ve a neutral undertone.
So how does this apply to the makeup you choose to wear? Buying the right nail polish to suit your undertone is pretty easy – just think about the clothing colours you wear that make your look pop and attract those wonderful compliments, and work around the same sorts of shades. Foundation however can be a little tricky, especially if you’re buying in a place with no natural light. You want to see if the foundation holds a cool or warm undertone, (which is made easy if the brand features the words ‘cool’ or ‘warm’ in their descriptions or names), take a look then pick out the colours you think match your undertone, then if possible test them, or take home testers, and be sure to wait a few minutes after applying to see how the product reacts with your skin. If it’s too pale you’ll look ill, too dark and you’ll look like you’re wearing a mask, but if it’s just right it’ll blend in beautifully. Lipstick can also be a little dicey because you have to pay attention to both your skin colour, eye colour, hair colour and your skin’s undertone, but once again the basic rule of thumb is to ensure the undertone of the lipstick suits the undertone of your skin. So if you’re wanting a red lipstick and you’ve a cool undertone, look for a lippy with blue undertones. If your undertone is warm, pick up the red lippy with a hint of orange undertone. And, once again, if you’re neutral... well, you can buy them all!
So there we have it – the basics of undertones. Have you already warmed up to this idea? Are you cool to give it a go next time you hit the beauty stands? Do you have any tips and tricks you use to help find the right shades for your tone?