Finding Your Undertone - Cool Or Warm?

Saturday, April 19, 2014

*NOT MY PHOTO* Photo Source

Finding what colour undertone you have can be quite complicated but is very important to be sure that you have been matched to the correct foundation for your complexion. As you probably know if you are a makeup lover that foundations generally come in "warm", "cool" or if you're super lucky - "neutral". I personally have a cool undertone but my gosh if I had a neutral undertone it would make choosing foundations so much simpler!

The easiest way to learn what your personal undertone is is by looking at the veins in your wrist (these are generally the easiest to see), eyelids, or even in that sensitive spot by your elbow where you tend to get blood taken from!

If you are cool toned (like me!) then your veins will appear more blue or purple. While I was reading some articles for this post to make sure all my information is accurate I also read that you can tell by which jewellery flatters your skin tone more. I find this to be a very difficult way so I tend to stick to looking at veins - but if you're cool toned then it's silver jewelery that can flatter you. I guess that could be very true because ALL my rings and necklaces are silver. Your skin may also have a slightly pink or rosy tint to it - again this is very true for me, just look at my cheeks!

If you are warm toned then your veins will appear more green or olive. Your skin may appear more yellow or have peachy hints to it. Also - if you wanted to try the jewellery trick, then try gold! Another little trick to find out if your warm/cool tone, think about summer when you're soaking up the sun (with sunscreen of course!) if you get a stunning golden bronze tan (warm tone) or if you tend to get a little pink before tanning (cool tone).

If you are one of the lucky bunch who are neutral then you are basically a combination of warm and cool! Your veins are a blue-green colour, silver and gold rings and necklaces look awesome on you, and you can't really tell if your skin has a pink/yellow tinge.

I also wanted to touch on the MAC Cosmetics "lingo". I'm sure you've all heard it before - NC and NW. Now I did want to say that I've never tried a MAC foundation before but I do use their studio finish concealer.  If you were to take the same number shade in MAC but change the undertone you would see a huge difference. What I mean is that if you were to swatch a NC25 and an NW25 right beside each other you'd notice that the NC is more yellow whilst the NW is more pink.

Basically everything I just wrote above is almost in reverse for MAC, from my understanding. Again, I've never owned their foundation and I haven't asked the lovely associates if this is all 100% true but this is just my personal understanding - do correct me if I'm completely wrong! NC stands for Neutral Cool so for MAC this means that you have more of a yellow undertone. NW then stands for Neutral Warm - again for them this means that you have a pink undertone. Slightly confusing isn't it? Maybe this is why I've never tried their foundations...I get confused myself!

I hope that this helps you better understand what your personal undertone is which will make it easier to find the perfect foundation shade for you.

---- twitter: @kyrasbeautybag
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  1. This is probably the most helpful blog post I've ever read. I am always so lost choosing my foundation but from this I came to the conclusion that I'm a neutral. It makes sense because I'm a NW

    1. ahhh yay I'm so glad to hear that! Also so jealous that you're a neutral gal! Glad you enjoyed my post :) xo

  2. cool/warm undertones are nightmare to figure out, especially at MAC! Luckily I'm a neutral gal, so when I shop at MAC I just pick whatever looks my shade and roll with it! North American/Canadian are SO lucky when it comes to drugstore choices, theres a much bigger selection and a better choice of neutral shades than in the UK.

    Great post girl! This will be so helpful to some people x

    1. They really are a nightmare! I was thinking about doing this post for ages and I'm glad I finally did it! You're so lucky you're a neutral undertone haha! Do you not have big selections of foundation shades in the UK?

      Glad you liked it, Victoria! xx

  3. This is SO helpful! I read about this everywhere and it just ends up confusing me, I am pretty sure I am cool toned, which makes sense as I always go for silver jewellery over gold.

    1. I'm glad it could help you! That was my main goal - to just help at least one person! <3 I'm cool toned too girly. :)xx


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