Have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror and felt that there’s a mismatch between your foundation and skin colour despite it being the closest tone you could find? This washed-out effect is a common occurrence regardless of what foundation formula you use – liquid, powder or cream – because the reason for that is actually closely linked to the undertone of the skin rather than the skin tone itself.
Determining what your undertone is can be slightly tricky and often confusing to many people, but the first step into grasping the concept is to understand what exactly is undertone.
Ivory, light, medium, dark – those are a few examples of what you’d describe your skin tone. Skin tone is the colour you see when you look at yourself in the mirror. Undertone, on the other hand, indicates the colour underneath the surface of your skin that affects your overall hue. There are three different undertones you could have – warm, cool and neutral – and each of them have different hints and underlying colours.
Warm: Sallow, peachy or golden
Cool: Hints of blue-ish or pink tone
Neutral: A mixture of warm and cool undertones
One of the most common misconceptions about undertones is that it’s closely related to one’s skin tone. Just because you have fair skin, it doesn’t automatically mean you have a cool undertone. Similarly, you can be dark-skinned and have a cool undertone. Your skin tone can change depending on sun exposure, which is why you might find your foundation from a year ago looking slightly off on your skin today. However, your undertone will always stay the same no matter how tanned you’ve become.
While it’s a simple task for makeup artists and beauty enthusiasts to determine the undertone of the skin, it certainly is not as easy for the untrained eyes. Thankfully, there are a couple of easy ways and hacks you can use to identify your undertones correctly.