face makeup How Do You Know What Undertones You Have?

Determining your skin undertone can be the key to a better makeup application.

December 07, 2022
How To Determine Undertones

If you’ve ever wondered what you can do to get your face to look flawlessly natural even when wearing a full face of makeup, look to your undertones. Understanding how to find your undertones helps with everything from picking an outfit to choosing a hair color, and when it comes to undertones for makeup, it’s the key to finding your best foundation match, a more seamless eye makeup look, and even lip color application

Don’t know where to start? Below, all the information you need to know about determining undertones, as well as the difference between cool undertones, neutral undertones, and warm undertones.

What Is An Undertone Skin Color?

So, what does “undertone” mean in the first place? Undertones refer to the colors that sit under the surface of your skin, and they don’t change no matter the season. There are three types of undertones you can have: warm, cool, and neutral. 

If you have warm undertones, you’ll notice hints of peachy, golden, or yellow hues — hence why warm undertones are also sometimes referred to as yellow or olive.

If you have cool undertones, your skin leans on the pink, red, and bluish side.

If you have neutral undertones, look for an even mixture of warm and cool tones that balance each other out.

How to Determine Your Undertones

While some people are able to take a quick look at their skin and determine which undertone they have, if you’re having some trouble figuring yours out, here’s what you need to do.

1. What Color Are Your Veins?

Flip your wrist over and take a peek at your veins. If the color of your veins leans toward the blueish-purple end of the spectrum, you have cool undertones. If your veins look slightly greener, you have warm undertones. If you’re unable to really nail down what color your veins are, that means your undertones are likely neutral.

2. Do You Burn or Tan at the Beach?

If you burn rather easily in the sun, there’s a good chance you have cool undertones. On the other hand, those who tend to tan will have warm or neutral undertones.

3. Does Silver or Gold Complement You Better?

While you can absolutely accessorize with both, take a minute to really consider which metal looks most flattering on you. Cooler undertones tend to look better in silver, while warm undertones are generally flattered most by gold. Neutral undertones will look good in both.

How to Find the Best Foundation and Concealer for Your Undertone

To determine which foundation and concealer will pair best with your undertones, simply dab a little on your neck or wrist, along with still swatching on your face. This way, you’ll be able to match your undertones, but be sure to try a few so that you can compare in order to find the truest match.

The Best Foundation and Concealer for Every Undertone

Now that you’re armed with everything you need to know about undertones, it’s time to stock up on face makeup. Here are a few options to get you started.

L’Oréal Paris Infallible Up to 24HR Fresh Wear Foundation

Available in 30 shades for every skin tone and undertone, this foundation provides medium-to-full, buildable coverage that lasts all day and allows the skin to breathe. The formula’s oil absorbers also resist sweat, water and transfer.

L’Oréal Paris Infallible Full Wear Concealer up to 24H Full Coverage

This concealer can be used to contour the face and conceal the under-eyes. Available in 25 shades, the waterproof formula provides full coverage that won’t transfer, fade, or flake.

L’Oréal Paris True Match™ Super-Blendable Makeup

Available in warm, cool, and neutral ranges, this foundation provides medium coverage and a natural finish. Matching your undertone has never been easier, as the undertone of each foundation is included in the shade name.

L’Oréal Paris True Match™ Color Correcting Crayon

These concealer crayons provide a correcting solution for every unwanted hue that makes an appearance on your face —from redness to dark circles. This provides an even base for your foundation.

How to Find the Best Blush and Highlighter for Your Undertone

Beyond foundation and concealer, you likely also apply highlighter and blush. You should decide on shades for both products based on your undertones. Bronze, rust, and orange shades work best with warm undertones, while pearlescent silvery finishes, plums, and cool pinks are gorgeous on those with cool undertones. Neutral undertones can take their pick of either category.

The Best Blush and Highlighter for Every Undertone

To find a blush and highlighter that’ll work for you, take your pick from these options below.

L’Oréal Paris True Match™ Super-Blendable Blush

Some blushes can be too harsh in color, but this pick is available in a wide array of shades in neutral, warm, and cool undertones, so you can easily find the one that pairs best with your skin.

L’Oréal Paris True Match™ Lumi Glotion Natural Glow Enhancer

For days when you don’t want to wear a full face of foundation, reach for this highlighter lotion, which comes in shades that will work on each undertone. The enhancer will hydrate and brighten your skin, and it can be used for an over glow, as a spot highlighter, and even to contour.

How to Find the Best Eyeshadow for Your Undertone

Beyond face makeup, you can select eye makeup shades based on your undertones as well. Choose eyeshadows that have the same undertones as your complexion. So, if you have warm skin, use shades reminiscent of sunsets, and if you have cool skin, opt for pink, mauve, navy blue, white, and gray. Neutral undertones can use most shades.

The Best Eyeshadow for Every Undertone

Ready to find an eyeshadow that flatters your undertones? Try one of the following options.

L’Oréal Paris Brilliant Eyes Shimmer Liquid Eye Shadow Makeup

This eyeshadow is a shimmery option that’s sparkly and crease-resistant. Use Bronze Light on warm undertones and String of Pearls on cool undertones. 


L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Monos Eyeshadow

This eyeshadow collection features a wide variety of shades with matte and shimmer finishes for different undertones. Try Acro-Matte or Sunset Seine for warm undertones, while cool undertones can go for Mademoiselle Pink or Grand Bleu.


L’Oréal Paris Infallible 24 HR Eye Shadow

This velvety, waterproof eyeshadow formula comes in 21 beautiful shades. If you have warm undertones, give Bottomless Java or Eternal Sunshine a try. For cool undertones, swipe on Always Pearly Pink or Timeless Blue Spark.

How to Find the Best Lip Color for Your Undertone

Your makeup routine wouldn’t be complete without some lip color. Here are some guidelines: For warm undertones, go for oranges and orange-based shades. For cool undertones, blue-based reds, fuchsias, and blue-based berries will look beautiful on you. Neutral undertones can pick from either category. 

The Best Lip Color for Every Undertone

Here are the best lip products that offer options for your undertone.

L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Les Nus by Colour Riche Intense Nude Lipstick

Non-drying and smudge-proof, this lipstick is a great choice for nude lip lovers. Warm undertones will love Nu Extreme, while Nu Artistique will look great on cool undertones.

L’Oréal Paris Glow Paradise Lip Balm-in-Gloss Pomegranate Extract

For a glossy finish, try this nourishing balm-in-gloss that combines the color payoff and shininess of a gloss with the hydrating power of a balm. Angelic Daydream will be perfectly complemented by a warm undertone and Celestial Blossom would look great on a cooler undertone.

Next: The Best Powder Blushes to Add to Your Makeup Bag

Edited by: Témi Adebowale, Photographer: Chaunte Vaughn, Art Director: Hannah Packer, Associate Creative Producer: Becca Solovay, Production Assistant: Jason Parigian, Digital Tech: Sam Kang, Photo Assistant: Hannah Lewis-Lopes, Makeup Artist: Jonet Williamson, Hair Stylist: Akihisa Yamaguchi, Wardrobe Stylist: Melina Kemph, Wardrobe Assistant: Kayla Martinez, Prop Stylist: Katrina Rozeville, Prop Assistant: Zach Molina, Model: Avery McMahon