The perennial question that arises whenever anyone talks about foundation or colours is this:-
How can I tell if I’m warm or cool toned?
Well, you know what? When I choose my foundation or my makeup I don’t consider colour tones. This is because I always try to buy my foundations and makeup in person and I always choose a colour that looks good on me irrespective of “tone”. This way, you don’t have to wrestle with the question of whether you are warm or cool and which foundation or colour will suit you.
But these days with online shopping being the norm, it might be useful to know whether you are warm or cool so here is a general guide. Please don’t take it as gospel. It isn’t, because at the end of the day, we are all usually a nice mix of warm and cool tones and the question really is “Am I warmer or cooler toned?”
A general guide to tell if you are cool toned:-
- You have pink undertones to your skin – Usually this translate to a rosy outlook.
- You burn easily instead of tanning.
- Your eyes might be blue or gray and you may have blonde, brown or black hair – not applicable to Asians.
- You look good in strong colors of blue, red, pink or purple or jewel toned colours
- You look better with Silver jewelry
- You look good wearing white
- In sunlight, your visible veins have a bluish tint
A general guide to tell if you are warm toned:-
- You have yellow undertones to your skin – The common perception is that if you are Asian you are warm toned. Not quite true. Many Asians are neutral toned.
- You tan instead of burning.
- Your eyes may be brown or hazel or green and you may have brown, red, black hair – not applicable to Asians.
- You look good wearing browns, yellows, orange, yellowish greens or lime greens.
- You look better with Gold jewelry
- You look good wearing ivory or cream
- In sunlight your visible veins have a greenish tint
However, do note that the above is just a general guideline. Unless you have very obvious pink or yellow tones to your skin, you are likely to fall into the neutral category.
That is the category I fall into – neutral.
I look good wearing most colours, but due to my lighter colouring, I look best wearing jeweled tones in clothing – royal purple, aquamarine, emerald greens, bright reds etc. I can take these colours well in makeup too. I can also carry off yellow green shades and browns but yellows and orange depends on the shade. Ditto makeup. I try not to go for colours that are too warm i.e. colours with strong red, yellow, brown or orange tones. That said, I can pull off a coral lipstick hence I must be pretty neutral :P
Do note however, that even clothing colours have subtle undertones to them so it isn’t quite a cut and dried technique – you’d know what suits you once you put it on and you know you look good ;)
I can wear both silver and gold jewelry but I look better wearing cream as opposed to stark white which enhances my yellowish undertone. This might prompt you to think I’m “warm” but I burn easily instead of tanning which is a “cool” trait. My veins are both purple and green – about as confused as I am LOL…
So what does this mean in terms of makeup and clothes? Once I learnt that I was neutral, I then worked out also that anything too warm did not look good on me. It had a tendency to make me look “dirty”. If I wear something too cool, I look a little ashen – like a zombie.
So, I take the middle path and I’ve learnt that I can handle many sorts of colours – I can even wear purple eyeshadow now provided I find the right purple tone i.e. a blue based purple or lilac and lavender. Similarly with blushes. A strong peach blush is a no-no for me. But a pink peach blush or a straight pink suits me just fine. Yet if a color is too cool like plum, I look like someone punched me.
At the end of the day, don’t crack your brains over whether you are warm or cool – pick a colour that looks good on you. With technology these days able to create colours from the whole spectrum and all the different shades in between, there is a shade for everyone in every colour :)
Does it bother you to know whether you are warm or cool toned?