When it comes to make-up, one of the first things to know to avoid mistakes is the undertone of the skin: this is what it is about and how to understand it
Not many people know it, but it is one of the most important elements when it comes to make-up: we are talking about the undertone of the skin, different from both the tone and the overtone. To choose the right make-up and accessories that enhance your appearance, you must therefore rely on armocromia that accurately analyzes natural colors.
If the undertone is different from the tone and the overtone, how do you choose the right colors that enhance your face? So how to understand the undertone of the skin? Here is Tipsforwomens's definitive guide with all the tips to stay on top!
Skin undertone: what it is and how to understand it
First of all we must start from the very definition of undertone, to understand precisely what we are referring to. The undertone refers to hot-cold, therefore to temperature, it is a scientific characteristic because it depends on the carotene, melanin and hemoglobin, moreover it can never change, even if the skin undergoes the variations of atmospheric agents. There are therefore 2 types of undertone:
- warm, with a skin tending to yellow that tans easily;
- cold, with a skin tending to pink that easily reddens and tans instead with difficulty.
In this case, other characteristics such as hair color or skin tone do not affect: for example, the undertone of an olive skin will not necessarily be hot, indeed it could be absolutely cold.
Why is it so important to understand it? Because the undertone of the skin is fundamental in the choice of the foundation, of other elements of make up, but also of the accessories and the clothes we wear. Usually, if you choose colors in harmony with your own undertone, you enhance your image, on the contrary if you choose in contrast, the result is not optimal.
To understand then what is your own skin undertone, you can do a test in which you answer several questions to evaluate all the elements that distinguish it, including:
- skin color and tone;
- how the skin reacts to the sun;
- presence or absence of freckles;
- lip color;
- ear color;
- vein color;
- eye and sclera shades;
- hair colour.
In addition to all these variables, further tests can be carried out, including metals and textiles. For the first one take two accessories: one of silver and one of gold, based on which of the two best enhances your face, you can understand if the undertone is cold (for silver) or it is warm (for the gold).
Alternatively, you can also use fabrics: take an ice gray fabric and a cream-colored sweater. We wrap our heads with each of these, while we have our make-up removed and based on which of the two illuminates the face better, we understand what our undertone is. It is very important to be careful not to confuse olive skin with a necessarily warm undertone. It is in fact a peculiarity of the complexion that can take both shades, both hot and cold.
Characteristics of warm skin undertone
There are some characteristics that people with a warm undertone have in common, for example the skin tends to yellow, sometimes even amber. They tan easily, taking on a warm color and without redness. The hair could have some traces of coppery or golden hues, while the sclera of the eyes (more simply the white part around the iris) is usually ivory, it is never completely white.
Finally, the color of the veins can also be controlled, even if the color of the sclera of the eye is not decisive: those with a warm undertone will have veins tending to green.
Characteristics of the undertone of cold skin
On the contrary, those who have a cold undertone have a skin that tends to pink, subject to redness and tans more easily. The hair can be both light and dark: it goes from the ash blond to the chestnut, up to the black hair with blue reflections.
The sclera of the eye is usually very white and creates a splendid contrast if the iris is dark, while it is decidedly glacial with a clear iris. Finally, if the undertone of the skin is cold, the veins tend to be blue / purple.
How to best enhance the undertone
Once you have defined whether your undertone is warm or cold, you can choose the right make-up and clothing tones, which enhance your image. The first thing to know is that the undertone of the skin does not change according to the seasons: it is true that in summer it tends to be more tanned, while in winter it is clearer, but this has nothing to do with the undertone.
Colors for those with a warm undertone
The colors that best suit a warm undertone are those related to the earth such as cream, beige, powder, camel, but also brighter colors such as coral red, yellow, orange, emerald green, rust, dark green, brown and purple.
Cold colors like black and fluorescent colors should be avoided. The same also applies to make-up and in particular to the choice of lipstick and eye shadows: colors like coral red, yellow and pink are to be preferred. Finally, whoever has the skin with a warm undertone tending to yellow, the favorite hair color should have copper or gold.
The colors for those with a cold undertone
On the contrary, those with a cold undertone will have to choose cold colors like white, black, sand, gray, electric blue, fuchsia, lemon yellow, navy blue, dark brown and burgundy. So nothing that leads back to the warm colors of the earth, like those typically autumnal. As for accessories, materials like white gold, silver or platinum are preferred.
Many do not know, however, that there is also a neutral undertone, which therefore combines heat and cold, making a mix of the two. However, this combination is very rare, because it is usually more and more directed towards heat or cold.
Why is it important to know the undertone?
First of all for the choice of make-up, in particular of the foundation and lipstick. The right foundation neutralizes and blends perfectly with the skin, without creating unpleasant contrasts. Surely you are wrong tonality when applying foundation and the effect is excessively yellow or too pink. The test is important to do it on the neck, as the face may not be perfectly clean or could have a slightly different color than the rest of the body.
The same thing happens for the lipstick: warm tones like orange enhance the face of a person with a warm undertone, while they are duller and less harmonious on those who have a cold undertone.
If you find it difficult to understand which category you belong to, there are some smartphone apps that allow you to do an accurate analysis of the face to better understand its tonalities. Among these are Beautiful Me by Modiface and TroveSkin, a special virtual coach to analyze and monitor skin progress.
The undertone of VIPs
If you are looking for inspiration to understand the difference between hot and cold undertones, perhaps it may be useful to know which category some VIPs belong to, in order to analyze their characteristics. This will also make you understand that the color and tone of the skin do not have anything to do with the undertone.
Winona Rider has dark hair, dark eyes and a fair complexion: her undertone is cold.
Jessica Alba instead has a decidedly warm undertone. In contrast, Megan Fox has a cold undertone, despite having a medium complexion. The two stars Naomi Campbell and Beyoncé have the first a cold undertone, while the second has it hot, despite having both a dark complexion.
Jennifer Lopez has a warm undertone, on the contrary Courtney Cox has a cold undertone, while if you look for an example of mixed undertone, it is definitely Natalie Portman.
Even Jessica Biel has a mixed undertone, but she tends towards the heat, while she is definitely on the hot Meryl Streep.
Finally there are two examples of light complexions, with equally light hair: Blake Lively has a warm undertone with a golden skin, while Gwyneth Paltrow is clearly cold with a pink complexion.
In general it is important to know one's skin in order to always feel at its best and self-confident. It is therefore sufficient to train one's observation skills in order to better understand one's own undertone. Otherwise you can always ask for an expert's opinion, in this case specifically about an armocromist who is often also a personal image consultant: her experience will be able to guide you in the knowledge of your shades, to always choose the more appealing looks.