Knowing Your Skin Undertone – Why is it Important?

So far, I have read a copious number of articles relating to skin undertone and tips on how to find yours. However, none of them seem to be explaining why it is important for you to know your undertone and in what ways it can be a real game changer.

The importance of knowing your undertone.

Have you ever bought a red lipstick that looks gorgeous on your friend only to find that it looks horrendous on you or bought a dress because of its colour only to put it aside after a few futile attempts at wearing it? You can’t quite place it, but some colours simply don’t suit you. Well, not so fast. It’s not really the colour which is an issue. It is the shade, underlying hue or undertone of a colour which you have to take into consideration. There are multiple shades of red, blue, yellow and green out there and finding out which undertone you are, will help you identify the shades of colour that will suit you.

The difference between skintone and undertone.

Skin tone refers to the skin’s shade at the surface, so from ivory to ebony and everything in between.

Undertone, on the other hand, refers to the underlying hue of someone’s skin. There are 3 undertones; cool, warm and neutral. Regardless of what skin tone you are, you could be warm, cool or neutral. It is a MYTH that people with paler skin tones are cool and people with darker skin tones are warm.

Now, a cool undertone will usually have the a hue/tinge of red or blue coming through, whereas a warm undertone will usually have yellow, green or golden undertones coming through.

For example, you can be ebony with red undertones (cool) or golden undertones (warm).

You can also fall in the ‘neutral’ category – meaning that the skin is colour-balanced and can, therefore, get away with wearing both cool shades and warm shades.

Applying a neutral-toned foundation on a warm-toned person will usually result in the skin throwing off the red/blue/cool tones and looking slightly off-balanced.


Warm v/s Cool

If you are pale (but warm), it is recommended that you choose foundations which have very subtle peach (pinkish-yellow) tones and if you are cool (and pale), choosing foundations with slightly pink tones might be a better option. Usually, the darker the skin is, the deeper the warmth/coolness of your skin will be. So for a person of medium skin tone, they will either have yellow undertones (warm) or pink undertones (cool). A person of very deep, rich skin colour will have very yellow/golden undertones (warm) or red/blue undertones (cool)


When it comes to other forms of makeup, understanding the concept of undertones can be quite handy too. For example, if you are warm toned, a red lipstick with an orange hue might complement you better and if you are cool toned, a red lipstick with a blue base might be best suited.

While a cool toned nude with a very beigy-tone might look dead-dropping gorgeous on a cool-toned person, it gives me warm-toned) that corpse-look which I’m not really a fan of. If you are warm-toned, wearing a nude lipstick with a peachy hue can make a world of difference in my opinion!


Knowing if your undertone is yellow/golden or pink/red is not as easy as one might think. You can read part two of this article for tips on detecting your undertone!

Leave a Reply

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


Be the first to know about any new posts! I value your privacy, so it’s completely secure and no spam. Promise!