Remember that cute top you bought and condemned to the back of your wardrobe where it will never see the light of day again? You loved the way it looked in store but whenever you wear it, you can’t help but think it doesn’t suit you. Something doesn’t look right, but you can’t quite tell what. What if I told you, it’s not all in your head after all?
The journey towards building the perfect wardrobe is one riddled with trial and error. However, you can save yourself a lot of time, money and unfortunate outfit combos by understanding what works for you specifically.
Chances are, you’ve heard about ‘dressing for your body’, but what about dressing for your skin undertone?
Knowing your undertone will help you choose the right colours next time you shop for clothes. By matching the undertone of your clothes to the undertone of your skin, you will be naturally complimenting your skin. You’ll notice that you don’t need as much makeup to look and feel great.
Let’s start by eliminating the common assumption that skin undertone = skin tone.
Skin tone and skin undertone are NOT the same thing.
If you want to know the difference between skin tone and undertone, feel free to read the first part of this article.
There are three types of undertones: warm, cool and neutral. Finding out under which you fit can be tricky, but, by the end of this article, you’ll definitely know how to identify your skin undertone and your wardrobe will thank you for it!
The Vein Check
Have a good look at the green or blue serpentines that line the inside of your wrist. Ideally, you should do this at a window in broad daylight. If your veins are on the blue side, you’re cool toned. If they contain more of a green tinge, you’re warm toned. Don’t worry if they seem to vary between both, it only means you’re a lucky neutral, meaning that all colours should, in theory, suit you.
However, it can be sometimes hard to gauge what undertone you are and the more tests you carry out, the more likely your self- diagnosis will be correct. We definitely recommend using the tips below as well so you’re sure you’ve got your undertone right.
The Tanning Scenario
We all dream of coming back from holidays looking like a golden goddess. Unfortunately, not everybody tans beautifully. If you’re that person who burns to lobster hues and suffers from the sun’s rays, you’ll now know that you’re cool toned. On the other hand, if you are that person who is envied by all for their glorious tan, you most likely fit in the warm-toned category.
The Silver/Gold Distinction
This test requires two necklaces; a gold coloured one and a silver coloured one. Sitting in front of the mirror, alternate between the two necklaces and pay close attention to your face. Which necklace makes your face look illuminated and vibrant?
If the answer is silver, it means you’re cool toned and, you guessed it, gold means a warm undertone.
The White Towel Test
Still can’t figure it out? Don’t worry, we have a last test for you to try. Put a white towel next to your face and pay attention to the hues in your face. Do you see more yellows or reds? Yellow hues are associated with warm undertones and red hues are associated with cool undertones.
If you still can’t tell, it could mean that you’re simply neutral.
So now that you know whether you’re cool, warm or neutral, you might be wondering what to do with that piece of information.
All colours have a cool version and a warm version. So if you’re warm, it doesn’t mean you can’t wear blue. It only means you can’t wear certain shades of blue. Similarly, if you’re cool-toned, it doesn’t mean you can’t wear orange and yellows, it means you can’t wear certain shades of orange and yellow.
The trickiest part of dressing for your undertone, is finding out whether the shade of a clothing item is warm or cool. Use the images below as a guide to know which shades are on the cool side and which ones are on the warm side. In general, if a colour has a tinge of yellow in it, then it’s warm. If a colour seems to have blue hues, it’s cool.
Taking the time to do this when shopping for you clothes will make a huge difference in how wardrobe complements you and we all want less time time spent standing in front of the wardrobe, staring at a pile of clothes and racking our brains as to what to wear.
Understanding which colours are warm or cool might seem like a difficult process but once you get the hang of it, it will feel like second-nature.