What is my skintone?

Buying the right foundation can be extremely difficult. It can sometimes take individuals years before they find the right shade. The biggest thing that people generally overlook is that the first thing that needs to be considered even before looking at the shades, is figuring out what your skintone or undertone is.

It’s not always as easy as looking at someone’s face and seeing the skin tone, however it’s not that difficult to determine either.

It’s pretty obvious to say that regardless of race there is always a dark, medium and light colouring of skin. None have precedence over the other, they’re just different; just as we all are. However when determining skintone, regardless of what ‘shade’ we are, we all fall into two types of skin tone – Warm (Yellow) and Cool (Pink). I like to think of it as a pink to yellow spectrum, and so of course on the rare occasion there is of course neutral, which falls in between the two.

Still not quite sure how it works? Let’s take a look at some visuals…

Pink Undertone (Amanda Seyfried)
Yellow Undertone (Kate Hudson)

Pink Undertone (Kim Kardashian)


Yellow undertone (Frieda Pinto)
Pink Undertone (Kelly Rowland)
Yellow undertone (Alicia Keys)

Some people do insist that people that are Asian or Black people have other undertones such as green and blue, but I personally think regardless of race undertones are usually only on the pink to yellow spectrum.

Wearing a foundation that isn’t made for your skin tone can often result in an ashy look or it can make you look orange/completely off. Foundation is supposed to look invisible, so how is that possible, if the colour isn’t right?

How do I test for my skintone?

There are a number of very easy ways to check what your skintone is:

1. Check the veins on the underside of your arms. If they appear a greenish colour, it’s because of yellow in your skin. Other wise you’re probably more pink.

(However, this isn’t very accurate in very pale people who don’t have enough pigment in their skin, or in very dark skin).

2. Hold a white sheet of paper up against your face in natural day light and look in a mirror. The contrast against the pure white should make the yellow/pink in your skin more obvious.

3. Wear a blue top, and then try on an orange top. Whichever looks the least flattering is probably not your tone. The blue will suit people with a pink undertone better & the orange will suit the yellow skin better.

For MAC lovers a handy tip to remember is that:

MAC Cosmetics break their foundations into cool & warm shade groups, NC & NW.

NC = Neutral Cool = Yellow based

NW = Neutral Warm = Pink based

One final comment. If you’re Asian like myself, don’t fall for foundations made for Olive skin tones. That is not for us! you’re better off finding out your skin tone and then finding a shade that is made for that tone. Don’t be afraid to ask someone for assistance and a second opinion always helps!


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