Have you ever tried on a beautiful necklace only for it to look a little meh?


Do you love the classic trench coat but when you try one on you look like a flasher instead of the Casablanca classic beauty you always dreamed of?……. Just me then? Ok, moving on.


Is there a hair color you want to try but not sure if it’ll work on you?


Check out this image.

(image sources: Pixaby.com and lifewithlyss.com)



Both of these ladies have pale skin yet one looks ill and the other looks healthy. Putting photography settings aside and assume these are perfectly accurate as if they were in the room with us. It’s because one has a skin tone that matches her dress, which is not a good look. While the other girl wears a pale pink dress but her skin tone has more contrast against the fabric making for a much better look.


It all has to do with skin tone.


I’m not just talking the surface either. Your undertone is actually what dictates what metals look best on you and which neutrals you can pull off. If you know your true skin undertone you can pick out the best jewelry, makeup and clothing and even hair color. It really is a tool that can level up your entire look.


It isn’t easy to figure out undertones sometimes. At least for me it took some trial and error and I’ve been to art college!


Different lighting, the paint on the walls and what you are wearing can all come into play when trying to figure out your true undertone. And your skin color doesn’t matter. You can be black, white or any lovely color we humans come in and your undertone could be either cool,  warm or neutral.  


So I decided to spend WAY too much time and try all the experts tips on how to find skin tone so you don’t have to.


Here’s what really worked.


Before you start:


Grab a white piece of printer paper and a mirror.  


Go outside on a clear day. Don’t go directly into the sunshine but get in some light shade like a porch. If you have a bathroom that has a great amount of natural light that works but pay attention to your bathroom walls. If they are painted a color other than white or a neutral like grey or tan than your bathroom won’t work. It will bounce that wall color off your eye and your true undertone won’t be easy to see.


One test everyone recommended was the white paper test. If you have a trained eye for color this test works. You hold up your arm ( preferably the lighter under side) and see what tones you notice most. Or you can hold it up to your face and look in a mirror. Be sure to have a clean makeup free face for this one so that none of the colors in your makeup confuse the eye. Again, these images aren’t perfect, camera settings make it really difficult to accurately portray what undertone my skin is.


No makeup, ahhhh!


Or use your arm.


See how how different these images look? It won’t be that way with the naked eye thankfully.


Does your skin look yellow, peachy ( mix of pink and yellow) or golden next to the white? Than you have warm undertones.


Does your skin have a reddish pink or blue hue? Than you have cool undertones.


And here’s the frustrating kicker. If you can’t tell and it looks like a combination of both, you might be a neutral skin tone.


I happen to have neutral skin tone that depending on the time of year leans slightly more towards a cool undertone (in winter) and looks warmer in summer when I get a little sun. I’m basically a skin tone chameleon. I also happen to be super pale, freckled and have red hair. Plus, even though I have a more neutral undertone I still can’t rock whatever I want and there’s a good reason for that but I’ll get to that in next week’s post.


The other test you can try is the vein test. This one is a bit easier.


Look at the veins on your wrists. Do your veins look blue or purple?


You have a cool skin tone.


Do your veins look kind of greenish blue?


You lean towards the warm tone spectrum.


Can’t tell? Than you probably have a neutral skin tone… Isn’t that annoying!?


Those are the two tests that have helped me the most. It’s hard to argue with the color of your veins right?

Hard to tell here but they look blue in person.


Now that you know your skin tone the next question is what can you wear? That is the fun part and a whole other post for next week! There is a whole spectrum of colors that will rock and others that will sabotage you and you’ll be surprised at some of the tricks of the trade for pulling off a color that your were told “won’t work”.


See you next week!


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