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Here Are the Absolutely Ideal Makeup Shades for Your Skin Tone

03 Jul, 2018
By Andie Reeves
Finding the best lipstick or eyeshadow to suit you should be easy – right? After all, you just have to quickly check if it looks good on your skin. But so often we fall in love with a gorgeous eyeshadow palette or the latest lippie only to find when we actually wear it, it looks seriously ‘bleh’. Why’s this?

You already know that you need to consider your skin tone when choosing your ideal makeup shade, but most of us often forget about another crucial factor: our undertones.

Your skin tone is the colour of your skin on the surface, somewhere on the scale of fair to medium to deep. Your undertone, however, is the far less obvious hue that tinges your skin. While your skin tone may lighten and darken slightly with the seasons, your undertone will remain the same for your whole life.

When a colour doesn’t suit you, washes you out or makes you look sick it’s because it’s clashing with your undertone. This is why it’s so important to know your undertone when choosing makeup.

How to Find Your Skin Undertone

Don’t worry; there are only three possibilities, warm, cool or neutral, and it’s pretty easy to figure out what undertone you have. Here are a few easy tricks to determine what yours are:
  • The Wrist Test: Examine the colour of the veins on the inside of your wrists in natural light. Cool undertones have blue or purple-looking veins, warm undertones have veins that appear green or olive and neutral people’s veins look blue-green.
  • The Paper Test: Hold a piece of white paper next to your face and look in the mirror. If your skin appears yellow-y you have warm undertones and if you look more on the pink/blue-y side then you probably have cool undertones.
  • The Sun Test: Cool undertones burn easily and go red after being in the sun, while people with warm undertones just go more brown or golden.
  • The Jewellery Test: Forget what colour jewellery you like, think about which colours actually look best on you. Silver and platinum pieces suit cool toned people and gold looks better on people with warm undertones.
  • The Neutral Test: Certain neutral colours have the power to wash you out, so think about which ones do the opposite and make your skin and eyes look fresh and bright. If you suit white and black then you probably have cool undertones and if browns and creams are more suited to you then you are likely a warm-toned person.
Now that you’ve figured out what undertones you have, let’s get specific about what is going to look amazing on you and what to avoid if you don’t want your make up to do the opposite of what it’s meant for and actually make you look worse. If you have tried all the tests and just can’t figure out what your undertones are, you are probably neutral. This is good news for you, as neutral people can pull off just about anything.

Read More. Want to Find Your Perfect Foundation? Here's What NOT to Do

Cool Skin Undertones

Your skin: Can be super pale or super dark and has a blue-ish tinge or pink hue to it.

Your hair: Could be anything from blonde to black, usually with blue, silver or ash undertones.

Your eyes: Are often blue, green or grey.

Celebrities with cool undertones: Liv Tyler and Lupita Nyong’o.

Colours that really work on you: It goes without saying that cool colours really make your features pop so go for blues, greens and purples. If you want to wear colours on the warm spectrum then be sure to choose shades with cool undertones to them, like shocking pink, cerise or ruby red. Neutral tones that are too warm can make you look sallow and sickly so stick to icy whites or jet blacks.

Colours you should probably avoid: Anything too orange or yellow.

Your go-to shades:
Lips: Baby pink, purple-y pinks and berry tones work best: Catrice Ultimate Lip Colour in Purple Pinker Ball and Revlon Colorburst Matte Lip Balm in Elusive.
Eyes: You can rock metallics, icy blues and cool pastels: Catrice The Ultimate Chrome Collection Eyeshadow Palette in Heights and Lights and Essence Mermaid Eyeshadow Box My Shell Is My Castle.
Nails: Pinks and purples with a blue hue and pastel cool tones look great on you: Essence Gel Nail Polish in Sweet as Candy and Essie Ballet Nail Lacquer in Perfect Posture.

Read More. Simple Insider Secrets on Exactly How to Apply Eyeshadow Right

Warm Skin Undertones

Your skin: Has a golden, olive or yellow-ish tinge to it. This is the most common undertone found in South African women of all skin tones.

Your hair: Is probably somewhere between black/dark brown and dark blonde and in the light, you can see hints of gold or red undertones.

Your eyes: Are usually brown, hazel or amber.

Celebrities with warm undertones: Beyoncé and Blake Lively.

Colours that really work on you: Warm colours make you glow and look healthy so choose reds, oranges and golden tones. If you want to play around with cool tones then try ones with a warm hint to them, like moss green, magenta, deep turquoise and orchid. When choosing neutral colours avoid crisp extremes, like pitch black or pure white. Chocolate-y shades, off-whites and taupe tones will flatter you best.

Colours you should probably avoid: Anything too cool and icy will wash you out and look unnatural.

Your go-to shades:
Lips: Lipsticks in peach, orange and rich red tones: Maybelline Color Sensational The Loaded Bolds Lipstick in Orange Danger and Yardley Stayfast High Definition Lip Gloss in Rock Red.
Eyes: Go for bronze, rust and gold tones to play up your natural glow: Essence Moonlight Cream Eye Shadow in Gilded and LA Girl Eye Lux Mesmerizing Eyeshadow Energize.
Nails: A taupe for an everyday look, and a glitzy sparkly shade for the weekend: Catrice Iconails Gel Lacquer in Taupe League and Essence Brushed Metals Nail Polish in Fame Is The Name.

Read More. THIS Is the Secret to Finding Your Perfect Nude Nail Polish

Neutral Skin Undertones

Your skin: Has a mixture or warm and cool tones to it, giving you a more neutral colour that is neither pink-blue nor yellow.

Your hair: Could be blonde, black, brown or red with a mixture of warm and cool undertones in it.

Your eyes: Are usually hazel and change according to what colour clothing you wear.

Celebrities with neutral undertones: Jessica Biehl and Kerry Washington.

Colours that really work on you: You can pretty much play with all the colours of the rainbow but slightly muted pastel shades look best.

Colours you should probably avoid: Very bright and bold colours can be overwhelming to your complexion, unless it’s a statement red lip, which always works for you.

Your go-to shades:
Lips: Muted berry and red tones add life to your face, and of course a beautiful deep red should be a staple in your make up bag: Revlon Superlustrous Lipstick in Berry Couture and Rimmel The Only 1 lipstick Best of the Best.
Eyes: A neutral undertone deserves the perfect neutral palette to play around with: LA Girl Beauty Brick Eyeshadows in Nudes and Maybelline The Nudes Eyeshadow Palette.
Nails: Get experimental with any shade in any finish, from matte to chrome: Catrice Iconails Gel Lacquer in Go For Gold and Sinful Colors Sinful Shine Gel Nail Polish in Devious.

Read More. Here’s How to Choose Your Absolutely Ideal Lip Colour

The Universally Flattering Shades

If all of this information about undertones and cool and warm colours has left you overwhelmed don’t worry. True red, teal, eggplant and blush pink are said to be equally as flattering to all skin tones, no matter the undertone. So when you’re feeling overwhelmed you can play it safe with any of these colours.

Shop Your Products Now

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Catrice Iconails Gel Lacquer - Go For Gold 11
R 59.95

Catrice Ultimate Lip Colour - Purple Pinker Ball 140
R 79.95

Essence Gel Nail Polish - Sweet as Candy 05
R 16.95

Essie Ballet Nail Lacquer - Perfect Posture 450
R 159.95

La Girl Beauty Brick Eyeshadow Nudes
R 79.95 R 99.95
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LA Girl Eye Lux Mesmerizing Eyeshadow - Energize
R 99.95

Maybelline The Nudes Eyeshadow Palette
R 255.00

Sinful Colors Sinful Shine Gel Nail Polish - Devious
R 36.95

Is Your Skin Warm or Cool? | Why Undertones Matter | Justine Leconte

Visuals: Pinterest

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