Have you ever tried on a blouse or a shade of lipstick that makes your skin, eyes, and face come alive, only to try another one that’s almost exactly the same shade but makes you look tired, washed-out, and just generally off? The first one probably matched your skin’s surface tone and undertone perfectly, while the second shade may have a totally wrong undertone.
What’s that? You kind of understand, but don’t really know the difference between surface tone and undertone? Join the club. When it comes to fashion and beauty, there are few buzzwords as prevalent as “cool undertones” and “warm undertones” In fact, we’re always hearing that identifying which category we fall into is integral to our overall attractiveness, but finding out where we fall is still shrouded in confusion.
The first step in grasping the concept? Understanding that our skin’s surface tone is the color you’d describe yourself as having (ivory, light, medium, tan, dark, etc.) Your skin’s undertone is the color underneath the surface. You can have the same skin color as someone, but a different undertone, which are broken down like this:
Cool (pink, red or bluish undertones)
Warm (yellow, peachy, golden undertones)
Neutral (a mix of warm and cool undertones)
One big misconception: That pale girls can’t be warm-toned. In fact, many fair-skinned women have warm undertones (Nicole Kidman is one of them!) and dark-skinned women have cool tones (supermodel Alek Wek is a cool tone.) So, how can you determine which category you fall into? Click below.