Some people just look fantastic in certain colors, and everyone knows it. They’ve been told all their life that they look great in olive green, or earth tones, blues, etcetera etcetera. These are the people who, whether they know it or not, already have a good grasp on what their skin undertone is!
But if you’ve ever wondered to yourself Hmm, am I warm or cool toned? What does the olive skin tone look like? Which colors should neutral undertones wear? Then this is the post for you! Together we’re going to peruse the four different skin undertones, and determine which colors of clothing and makeup will look best on YOUR skin!
The Four Undertones
Just to keep things clear, your skin tone and skin undertone are two different things. Skin tone is what we measure on a scale of light to dark. Undertone, however, is the colored hue that lives beneath your normal skin tone. Anyone can have any combination of skin tone and undertone — fair with warm tones, deep with cool tones, medium with olive tones, and everything in between. The possibilities are endless!
Warm Toned Skin
Unsurprisingly, warm toned skin really resonates with other warm colored things. Here’s what warm undertones look like:
- Green or green-ish colored veins
- Skin that feels more peachy, yellow, or golden
Don’t feel too peachy? Don’t worry, we’ve got plenty more to cover:
Cool Toned Skin
Many assume that everyone who has pale or fair skin has a cool undertone — not true! Many people with dark or deep skin tones find themselves with a cool undertone. Here’s how to tell:
- Veins will appear blue, purple, or both!
- Your skin will feel more pinkish, blue, or even red (yes, cool red exists!)
Not feeling very cool? You still have two more totally valid options:
Neutral Toned Skin
Neutral skin tones can lean in two different directions. For some, they have a really true neutral look…not too warm, not too cool. For others, they have a combination of the above! They might have very blue veins, but cast a very golden glow. Here’s how to tell if you’re neutral toned:
- Honestly, you’re not sure if your veins are green or blue colored
- You look neither cool nor warm or;
- You have a mix-matched combination of warm and cool toned features
If you didn’t identify as either warm or cool toned, it’s possible you’re just neutral! Still not sure? We still have one more:
Olive Toned Skin
A lot of people actually tend to overlook olive toned skin, which isn’t very fair! This undertone is seen mostly in Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Asian, and Indigenous cultures, although it can be found in Africa and Latin American as well. You may be olive toned if you have:
- A vein color that’s hard to name (similar to neutral)
- A greenish-yellow look, sometimes even ashen or grey
The yellow-green tones are what really mark those with olive toned skin.
So how do you know what skin tone you are? Here are a few easy test questions that should help!
Skin Undertone Quiz
Fun in the Sun
How our skin reacts to time in the sun is a huge indicator of what our undertones may be. But be careful — you should still consider your main skin tone, too. For example, medium skin tones with cool undertones are likely to burn first, but they can count on that burn to eventually fade into a tan thanks to the increased melanin. But be careful — deep skin tones can still burn, too!
Warm: Those with warm undertones are more likely to tan than burn when in the sun! But watch out — if you have a pale skin tone, you could still end up with a nice side of sun burn if you’re not careful!
Cool: If your version of tanning is actually just developing freckles, you may be cool-toned. Skin shades with cool undertones will burn, turn pink, red, or purple, or freckle instead of tan.
Neutral: Once again, neutral skin tones fall somewhere in the middle. Maybe you can tan, but still have to be careful not to burn.
Olive: Olive-toned skin will tan easily, and may not burn as easily as other skin tones!
And of course, all of this sun exposure is accompanied by sunscreen, right…? A daily sun cream should be worn every day to help protect your skin, but we know it can be annoying to wear under foundation.
That’s why our foundation formula is crafted with SPF50! No sunscreen-infamous white cast or flash back — just good old fashioned UV protection that seamlessly blends into your skin, regardless of your undertone!
Hair and Eye Color
Warm: Warm skin tones tend to accompany warm brown, amber, or hazel eyes with strawberry blonde, golden, auburn, or black hair that has red, orange, yellow, or golden highlights or undertones.
Cool: Cool skin tones are associated with blue, grey, cool brown, or green eyes with blonde, brown, or black hair that has platinum, blue, silver, violet, or ash highlights or undertones.
Neutral: Those with neutral tones can see any combination of the above, or perhaps they have blue veins indicating cool tones, but warm-toned amber eyes.
Olive: Olive skin tones are usually accompanied by darker hair and eye colors, usually brown or black hair with green, hazel, or brown eyes, although other color variations are possible.
Best Colors for Your Undertone
Admittedly, this can be tricky. We’ve all seen how awkward a bad foundation color match can be…too pink, too orange, too yellow, too gray. Check your jawline — if there’s a clear color difference between your face and neck, you should probably try again.
Luckily, both Glow and Matte Lava Art Compact Cushion formulas come in a variety of skin tones and undertones! And if you’re not sure which of our colors is a match for YOU, just email customer support! We’d be thrilled to help you find your perfect match.
Best Colors for Warm Skin Tones
When we think of warmth, we think of golden sunlight, campfire yellows, cozy reds, and orange sunsets. And the same thinking should be applied to the colors you wear, too!
Clothes for warm skin tones: Those with warm skin tones look most natural in earth-tones. Don’t be afraid of reds, oranges, and yellows! You’ll look great in olive greens and other shades of brown, and you’ll just glow in coral, peach, and amber shades.
Jewelry for warm skin tones: Warm skin tones really light up next to yellow gold, brass, or copper jewelry! Try warm gemstones such as fire opals, peach pearls, or orange sapphires.
Makeup for warm skin tones:
- Foundation: Look for foundations that have just a slight yellow or golden base — if it’s too strong, though, you’ll look unnaturally yellow or dreadfully orange.
- Warm Lava Art foundation tones: #20W – Golden Ivory, #23W Golden Latte, #26W – Hazel Macchiato
- Lipstick: The theme, again, is warm colors! Try coppers, corals, peaches, bright reds, and other rich shades of brown.
- Blush: You’ll glow best under oranges, peaches and bronze.
Best Colors for Cool Skin Tones
Cool colors evoke imagery of oceans, skies, and jewels. It’s a theme you’d best stick with!
Clothes for cool skin tones: Try jewel tones, like rich blues, lovely purples, and emerald greens. Don’t be afraid of pinks and lavenders; cool pastels fit you well, and on the other end of the spectrum, you’re likely to rock an all-black look, too!
Jewelry for cool skin tones: Cool skin tones shine best when paired with silver, platinum, or white-gold jewelry. Try cool gemstones such as emeralds, amethysts, and topaz.
Makeup for cool skin tones:
- Foundation: Seek out a cool foundation tinted a tad bit pink. Watch out for shades that are too pink, as you’ll look more like a doll than a human being!
- Cool Lava Art foundation tones: #21C – Peach Porcelain, #27C – Rose Cinnamon
- Lipstick: Stick to the cool colors, like magentas, purple browns, and blue reds. Avoid oranges, but experiment with metallics!
- Blush: Rock a classic pink cheek, or try purple shades, like a cool lilac!
Best Colors for Neutral Skin Tones
You’ve picked up on the neutral theme, right? Let’s get straight to the point:
Clothes for neutral skin tones: You’ll probably look good in any color, so this just comes down to personal preference! Do you feel best in light pastels, or more powerful in dark neutrals? The choice is yours!
Jewelry for neutral skin tones: Lucky for you, most tones will suit you just fine! Rose gold, though, if your ace player. Rose gold has elements of both cool and warm tones, just like you.
Makeup for neutral skin tones:
- Foundation: This is where you have to do some testing. You may feel like you lean more towards warm tones, but warm foundations can leave you looking too yellow or orange. Try to find a slightly golden hue, and stay away from anything too yellow or pink.
- True Neutral Lava Art foundation tones: #25N Honey Cashmere
- Lipstick: Again, a manner of preference! Feel free to play with classic colors and experimental shades alike to find what YOU feel best in!
- Blush: This is where your skin tone comes into play. Lighter and darker skin tones require different shades of blush. Any color is likely to look good on you, just make sure it doesn’t get lost against your skin tone…or even worse, come off as way too dark or clownishly bright!
Best Colors for Olive Skin Tones
Those with olive skin tones can really get away with most colors, but may want to lean more warm. It’s important to pay attention to the yellow and green hues in your undertone, though, and choose colors accordingly!
Clothes for olive tones: Try both warm and cool colors, but rich colors are more your friend than pastels. A pastel color runs the risk of making your skin tone appear more ashy. Instead, go bright, bold, or richly neutral. A nice splash of coral could really make you pop!
Jewelry for olive skin tones: Rose gold will glow against your complexion, but experiment with warm-toned jewelry, too, like gold, bronze, and warm gemstones.
Makeup for olive skin tones:
- Foundation: Try something slightly yellow, to counterbalance the green in your skin tone. In general, though, olive skin tones will do well with other warm or neutral foundation shades.
- Warm Lava Art foundation tones: #20W – Golden Ivory, #23W Golden Latte, #26W – Hazel Macchiato
- Lipstick: Olive skin tones can rock bold lip colors better than any other skin tone! Try a dark purple, deep pink, or bright red, but stay away from anything too light and ashy. Grey, beige, and some shades of pink will make you look a little washed out.
- Blush: Olive skin tones really glisten under rosy corals and warm peaches!
It’s fun to read about ourselves, right? And it’s fun to get into color theory, but ultimately, you should wear whatever clothing makes you happy! If you’re cool toned but love earthy neutrals, go for it! Wear what makes you feel most confident.
However, we don’t recommend the same level of free spirit when it comes to foundations. No one wants to look too ashy, yellow or pink! Stick to your skin undertone’s recommended foundation shades, and you’ll be glowing no matter what!
– Rose from Lava Art