How to Determine If Your Skin Has Warm or Cool Undertones

These celebrity examples should help.
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These celebrity examples should help.
How to determine your skin's undertones

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Q: Any tips on how to figure out whether you have warm- or cool-toned skin? I have no idea which one I am. — Dani 

A: Dani, I am sure many women wonder this very same thing. It's hard for me to know without seeing a picture of you. However, I find that 80 percent of people tend to have a warmer, yellow undertone. 

When you look at your skin, does it tend to look more yellow/olive or more pink? An easy rule of thumb is:

  • If you can tan, then you probably have a warm skin tone.
  • If you burn up as soon as the sun touches your skin, then you probably have a cool skin tone.

Warm Skin Tone Examples

Examples of a warm skin tone include Jessica Alba: 

Jessica Alba, March of Dimes Celebration of Babies, 2015

Jessica Alba at the 2015 March of Dimes Celebration of Babies.

Blake Lively:

Blake Lively, Golden Heart Awards 2014

Blake Lively at the 2014 Golden Heart Awards.

Scarlett Johansson:

Scarlett Johansson, Captain America The Winter Soldier London premiere, 2014

Scarlett Johansson at the 2014 London premiere of 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier'.

And Beyoncé:

Beyonce, Billboard Women in Music Luncheon 2014

Beyoncé at the 2014 Billboard Women in Music Luncheon.

They vary in the darkness of their skin tone, but all have a warmer undertone. 

Cool Skin Tone Examples

Examples of a cool skin tone include Kate Winslet:

Kate Winslet, New York Film Festival 2015

Kate Winslet at the 2015 New York Film Festival.

Nicole Kidman:

Nicole Kidman, Strangerland Sundance premiere, 2015

Nicole Kidman at the 2015 Sundance premiere of' Strangerland'.

Liv Tyler: 

Liv Tyler, The Leftovers New York premiere, 2014

Liv Tyler at the 2014 New York premiere of 'The Leftovers'.

And Lupita Nyong'o:

Lupita Nyong'o, Image Maker Awards 2016

Lupita Nyong'o at the 2016 Marie Claire Image Maker Awards.

However, there are some people who can be considered "neutral" because their skin, eyes and hair have a mix of warm and cool undertones. 

Neutral Skin Tone Examples

Examples of a neutral include Jessica Biel:

Jessica Biel, Baby2Baby Gala 2015

Jessica Biel at the 2015 Baby2Baby Gala.

Drew Barrymore:

Drew Barrymore, Women's Leadership Awards, 2014

Drew Barrymore at the 2014 Women's Leadership Award Honouring Stella McCartney.

Julia Roberts:

Julia Roberts, Secret in Their Eyes premiere, 2015

Julia Roberts at the 2015 premiere of 'Secret in Their Eyes'.

Kerry Washington:

Kerry Washington, NAACP Image Awards 2016

Kerry Washington at the 2016 NAACP Image Awards.

And Jennifer Aniston:

Jennifer Aniston, Cake premiere, 2015

Jennifer Aniston at the 2015 premiere of 'Cake'.

Your skin tone will help dictate what kinds of colours work for you, so it's good to know what your undertones are before choosing eye or lip colours. 

If you're still not sure, I would suggest going to a makeup counter and having someone assess your skin. They should also be able to recommend you products and colours that work with your specific undertones.

Sabrina Rinaldi is a Toronto- and Montreal-based hair and makeup artist.