Why undertone is importantVladimir Gjorgiev/Shutterstock
Color plays an integral role in the world we live: Its effects have been proven to sway thinking, change actions, raise your blood pressure, and even suppress your appetite. Regardless, not all colors are complementary and every hue falls under a spectrum. If you’ve ever tried out a neon crop top or vibrant shade of lipstick that looked stunning on someone else but fell flat on you, you’ve fallen victim to an undertone clash. When it comes to the realm of fashion and beauty, identifying the subtle shades that comprise your skin is an intrinsic component to proper styling. But while it’s critical for your shopping cart to know this, finding out exactly how to decipher one’s undertone poses for many a perplexing task. (Don’t miss these 51 fashion secrets from personal stylists).
How to determine your undertoneNicha11/Shutterstock
There’s a rainbow of shades of skin, but fortunately, there are only three categories of undertones. The first step in understanding this concept? The skin’s surface tone may have various shades—ivory, light, medium, tan, dark, etc. (as anybody who’s picked out a foundation must surely know). However, this is not to be confused with undertone, which is the color underneath the surface. While you may share the same skin color as someone, you won’t necessarily share the same undertone. The processes of identifying this is actually rather simple: Roll up your sleeves and examine the veins on the inside of your wrist. If they look more blue or purple, you likely have cool undertones. If the veins look green or yellow, you’re warm-toned. And if it’s a medley of the both, you’re blessed with neutral undertones. Another technique can stem from your sunburn habits—when you’re out in the sun, does your skin turn a golden-brown, or does it burn and turn a fiery red? If the former sounds familiar, you’re likely warm-toned. On the contrary, cool undertones tend to roast and sunburn easily.