post designed by amy nadine

Ok ladies.  If there is ONE thing that I could ever teach you about beauty that will change your life, it’s determining your skin undertones.  I know it sounds trivial, but when you know yours and then adjust your make-up colors accordingly, something magical happens and you’ll light up a room.  Here are a few of the best ways to detect yours:

1. Stand in front of a well-lit mirror in the privacy of your bathroom wearing only a pure white towel/bath robe and wrap your hair under a white towel. Drape another white towel over any furniture behind you because the more you are surrounded with white, the easier it is to see what colors are hiding beneath the surface of your skin. Now what do you see? Does your skin look blue-ish? If so, you have cool undertones.  If it looks yellow-ish, you have warm undertones, and if it’s green-ish, you have neutral undertones.

2. Hold up a piece of silver or platinum jewelry next to your skin, then a piece of yellow-gold jewelry and determine which one looks better, regardless of your personal preference (I love a yellow-gold necklace, but if I hold both up to my skin, silver is much more harmonious because I have cool undertones). So if the silver/platinum looks better on you, you have cool tones, if the yellow gold looks better, you have warm tones. If both hues look equally good on you, you probably have neutral.

3. Look at the veins on your underside of your forearm or underarm in the sunlight.  If your veins are blue or blue-purple, you have cool undertones.  If your veins are yellow or olive, you have warm undertones.  If you have both blue and green veins, you are neutral.

After taking all three tests, you should have a good idea what your undertones are.  Here’s what to do with this invaluable information (with a cheat sheet):

If you have warm undertones, you look best when you wear eye shadows that are gold, copper, bronze or any of the earth tones (orange, olive, yellow or brown) paired with a warm peach or coral blush.  When picking out your perfect red lipstick, choose an orange-based red and when choosing your foundation, look for a yellow-based or peach-based shade.

If you have cool undertones, you look best when you wear eye shadows that are silver, grey, magenta, pink, white or any of the jewel tones (emerald, sapphire, garnet) paired with a cool pink or rosy blush. I have so much pink naturally in my face that I always fought it with peach blush until one day Scott Barnes was doing an appearance at Saks Fifth Avenue and told me not to fight the pink but embrace it.  I’ve been wearing pink ever since and it works so much better. When picking out your perfect red lipstick, choose a blue-based red and when choosing your foundation, look for a pink-based or neutral shade.

If you are lucky enough to have neutral undertones, you get to wear EVERYTHING!  And black is the exception and looks good on cool, warm and neutral undertones.  But of course, rules were meant to be broken (like mixing a printed skirt with a striped top) and you can wear whatever you’re in the mood to wear… So if you have warm undertones but your favorite make-up line just came out with an amazing silver liquid liner that you have to have, go for it, just know that the copper one will look better on you. But don’t break the rules when it applies to your foundation shade; there’s nothing pretty about a yellow-based skin tone covered with pink-based foundation.

XO Amy Nadine