How Do I Determine My Skin Tone?
Your skin color can grow lighter or darker depending on how much sun exposure you get; but your skin tone remains constant. Skin tone is the color undertone of your skin that determines whether you’re warm, cool, or neutral.
According to fashionbeans.com, “It’s important to note that skin shade (i.e. pale skin, olive skin, or dark skin) doesn’t necessarily determine your skin’s undertones. A [person] with dark skin can have a cool complexion, and a [person] with pale skin can have a warm complexion. And all the vice-versas” (“How to Determine What Color Looks Best on Your Skin Tone”).
There are a few ways to determine your skin tone. The most popular is by looking at the veins that run on the inside of your wrist. If those veins are blue, your skin tone is cool; if those veins are green, your skin tone is warm; and if you can’t tell (maybe they’re a little bluish-green?), you likely have a neutral skin tone.
You can also do the white paper test (“How to Choose Colors That Flatter Skin Tone”). It’s important that you use the skin on your neck or chest for this test because the skin on your face often has reddish tones that could be the result of hormones or sun exposure.
In natural light, hold up a sheet of clean white paper to your throat and chest:
- Look at the colors that stand out against the paper.
- If you see more blues and pinks, you have cool skin tones.
- If you see more greens and golds, you have warm skin tones.
- The colors for neutral tones can fluctuate depending on the time of year and how much sun exposure you may have gotten.
Finally, you can use jewelry to determine your skin tone; you’ll need a necklace and/or bracelet in both a gold and silver finish for this. Under natural light, look at how your skin appears against each color of jewelry.
- Which metal finish makes your skin look brighter and healthier?
- If gold finish looks better against your skin, you have warm skin tones.
- If silver finish looks better against your skin, you have cool skin tones.
Within the warm and cool skin tones, there are additional categories: summer, winter, spring, and autumn (“How to Choose Colors That Flatter Skin Tone”). Summers and winters are considered cool tones, while springs and autumns are considered warm tones.
- If you’re a summer, your hair and eye color contrast gently against your skin color; and during the white paper test, your skin had blue, red, or pink undertones.
- If you’re a winter, your skin and hair sharply contrast against each other (i.e., think pale skin and black hair); like summers, your skin also had blue, red, or pink undertones during the white paper test.
- If you’re a spring, you might have straw-colored or strawberry red hair, freckles, rosy cheeks, and blue or green eyes; during the white paper test, your skin had golden, cream, and peach undertones.
- If you’re an autumn, your skin had golden, warm, or yellow undertones during the white paper test.
What Colors for Your Skin Tone Look Best: Warm, Cool, and Neutral?
If You’re a Warm
InStyle suggests that those with warm-toned skin stick to “warm colors, like orange, yellow, or even gold,” as well as “natural earth tones such as browns, deep tonal reds, and rich shades of green” (“What Colors Looks Best on Me?”). They state that bright colors work well with warm skin tones, as well.
More specifically, if you’re a spring the colors for your skin tone are “yellow and orange undertones like peach, ochre, and cora,” and if you’re an autumn, the colors for your skin tone are “warm, deep colors like coffee, caramel, beige, tomato red, and green” (“How to Choose Colors That Flatter Skin Tone”).
However, while there aren’t any colors warms can’t wear, InStyle’s Philippe Uter suggests you may want to avoid wearing black, unless it’s a slick, graphic piece (“What Colors Looks Best on Me?”).
If You’re a Cool
For those with cool-toned skin, InStyle says the colors for your skin tone are charcoal, cool blues, and violet. But, keep in mind that strong, bold colors can make cool skin tones look more pale. Uter suggests “adding blues and pinks, soft yellow, or green to your wardrobe” (“What Colors Looks Best on Me?”).
More specifically, if you’re a summer, the colors for your skin tone are “lilac and pale blue, and pastel and soft neutral shades with rose undertones. Softer colors will work better than vibrant ones.” And if you’re a winter, the colors for your skin tone are clothes with “blue or pink undertones, or sharp colors like white, black, and navy blue” (“How to Choose Colors That Flatter Skin Tone”).
Colors you should avoid as a cool are “bold, strong colors, such as electric blue or grassy green,” as well as oranges and yellows (“What Colors Looks Best on Me?”).
If You’re a Neutral
For those who can’t determine if they’re warm or cool, you might be thinking, “Great! I can wear any color!” Not according to InStyle; colors for your skin tone that you should avoid are “reds, yellows, and anything too bright or vibrant that can overwhelm” (“What Colors Looks Best on Me?”).
Instead, InStyle suggests neutral colors that fall in the middle of the color spectrum; and if you want to add a little spice to your wardrobe, try “shades of light peach, dusty pinks, soft rose, peony pink, placid blue, jade green, and cameo green” (“What Colors Looks Best on Me?”).
What Jewelry Colors for Your Skin Tone Look Best: Warm, Cool, and Neutral?
If You’re a Warm
If You’re a Cool
Those in the cool group tend to prefer silver, rose gold, or a mix of both.
If You’re a Neutral
If you’re a neutral, mix and match your metals for a super on-trend look.
Choose Colors and Jewelry That Bring Out Your Confidence
No matter what the “experts” say about skin tones and colors, it ultimately comes down to what feels good to you. Choose colors and jewelry that make you feel your most confident and happy.
To find jewelry in your ideal color, visit StyleDots.com and Shop by Color.