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A Foolproof Guide to Figuring Out Your Skin Undertone

How to Identify Your Undertone and Find Your Best Color Palette

Written by: 100% PURE®
Landscape Photo 100 Pure

Too often do we neglect finding the perfect foundation shade in favor of the dreamiest nail polish color or hair color match. While nails and hair may be some of the very first things we notice about someone, nothing will grab attention quicker than a foundation face and neck mismatch.

We've probably all fallen victim to innocently dotting a foundation shade that didn’t match our neck. Finding your skin undertone is essential for finding your perfect foundation. Need help finding your perfect undertone?

We’ll help break down the different undertones, and help you identify which shades and color palettes best suit your skin to get that flawless natural-looking match!


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What Is a Skin Undertone and Why Should You Know Yours?

While peachy and all, finding a divine foundation shade that subtly complements your skin tone is only one piece of the puzzle. The most important step and often the most confusing is figuring out your actual skin undertone. So, what is all this puzzling tone and undertone jargon?

Skin tone is the genetic amount of melanin in the outermost layer of skin: fair, light, medium or dark, while undertone is the color beneath your skin’s surface: cool, warm, neutral or olive. We’ll break it down: your skin tone determines the depth of your complexion, but your undertone is what makes your overall skin tone uniquely you.

So why is an undertone more important than your overall tone? This is the difference between choosing a foundation color that only kinda matches you, while your neck color sticks out like a ghost, versus finding your true foundation color. And, most often, when a complexion product looks off, it’s because the undertone doesn’t quite match.


How to Identify Your Undertone

The remaining part of that puzzle we mentioned earlier is not to make undertones sound like something you wouldn’t raise your hand in confidence to answer. It can actually be relatively easy to figure out your skin’s undertones once you know a few simple tricks!

Before we get started with the tests to find your own, it’s important to understand that your undertone can appear as one of six different shades. In the warm family there’s yellow, peach, and gold. On the cool side, skin might appear slightly pink, blue, or red. Below we’ll share a few easy tricks for determining where you fall in terms of skin undertone.

The White Paper Test
Hold a stark white piece of paper up against your hands. Notice a yellowish hue? You probably have warm undertones. If you find pink or bluish red hues, you probably have cool undertones.

White Vs. Off-White Test
Find a stark white piece of clothing, preferably a t-shirt or blouse. Compare that to an off-white piece of clothing. If you find that you look washed out or better in off-white clothing, chances are you’ve got a warm undertone. Skin with neutral undertones might rock both without looking drained of color.

The Vein Test
Find some bright natural lighting, and look at the veins in your wrist. Green veins usually point to warm undertones. Blue to purple veins lean towards cool undertones. Veins that blend into your skin or contain no visible color can mean you’ve got neutral undertones.

The Tanning Test
If you tanned easily in the past, you likely have warmer undertones. If you tend to get red or burn in the sun without sunscreen, then you likely have cooler undertones.


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How to Find the Best Color Palette for Your Undertone

Now that we’ve got a handle on our undertone with a few easy tests, we’ve got to take the next step into overall skin tone territory. This is where we find skin tone charts especially helpful, as they divide skin tone into different categories like fair, light, medium, and dark that make it much easier to not only find your perfect foundation shade, but the best color palettes.

But first: Remember we mentioned the nails, hair, and mismatched face versus neck foundation are instant attention-grabbers? Let’s not forget our eyes are windows to the soul, and they need the most flattering eye shadow to our skin undertone for flirty, natural peepers. That’s where we come in!

Our expertly pigmented natural eyeshadow palettes include 3 eye shadows, a blush, and a highlighter colored from vitamin rich fruit and vegetable pigments -- not synthetic dyes.

Now that you’re fired up over finding eye makeup that’s actually good for skin and safe for eyes, let’s help you pick a palette that is perfect for your unique skin undertone!


Fair to Medium Skin + Pink to Neutral Undertones

Our original Pretty Naked Palette is a beloved 100% PURE beauty staple, and is an unbeatable asset in creating natural makeup looks. This fruit pigmented® palette celebrates soft, neutral tones to enhance and beautify without looking too made-up. This is our classic ‘everyday’ makeup palette that includes:

Pink Champagne: A pink-toned, luminescent highlighter with pearly-gold shimmer
Pretty Naked: A sheer, peachy-nude blush
Flax Seed: A pale, pinkish eyeshadow with taupe undertones
Toffee: A silver-toned, taupe-gray eyeshadow
Chestnut: A chocolatey-bronzy eyeshadow with rosy
undertones


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Light to Medium Skin + Yellow to Neutral Undertones

Our Better Naked Palette is a collection of classically flattering rose, taupe, and shimmery tones. It is pigmented from antioxidant rich fruits, vegetables, tea, and other skin-beneficial plants. The timeless romance and classic beauty of this color palette is versatile enough for day or night; and includes:

Fox: Beige pearly-gold, luminescent highlighter
Bunni: Rosy nude blush with warm undertones
Kitty: Golden shimmering eyeshadow with warm undertones
Bear: Milk chocolate brown eyeshadow with rosy undertones
Butterfly: Deep taupe eyeshadow with charcoal undertones


Medium to Dark Skin + Neutral Undertones

Our Rose Gold Palette is an ultra-flattering rose gold treasure trove, featuring warm metallics and stunning shimmer from real gemstones. This beautiful makeup palette features rose and copper hues, and shimmery tones; versatile enough to serve both edgy and classic makeup looks; and includes:

Prism: Pale, rose gold highlighter with pearly shimmer
Primp: Coppery, rosy blush with slight golden shimmer
Luster: Warm bronze eyeshadow with plum undertone and shimmer
Gleam: Pale, rose nude eyeshadow with pink undertone and shimmer
Glimmer: Rose gold eyeshadow with neutral shimmer


Fair to Medium Skin + Yellow to Gold Neutral Undertones

Our dreamy Fruit Pigmented Eye Shadow Palette was inspired by pink clouds and gorgeous sunsets. These powder eye shadows are colored with vitamin-rich fruit pigments like vitamin E, avocado butter, papaya, and coffee and responsibly sourced mica, to offer a versatile range of matte, metallic, and shimmer shades and includes:

Illume: Pale, dusty pink luminescent powder with pearly shimmer
Afterglow: Rustic peach-pink blush with slight shimmer
Beam: Gold flecks sparkle in a base of nude gold tones
Splendor: Deep, taupe-brown charcoal and bronze shimmer undertones
Vivid: Deep, charcoal-purple with hints and flecks of ruby sparkle

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Medium to Dark Skin + Peach to Gold Undertones

Our Berry Naked Palette is perfect for when you want a little bit of romance added to your look. With a trio of metallic and nude eyeshadows, accompanied by an extra-delicate dusting of pearly pinks and peaches, the Berry Naked is incredibly versatile. You can use it to create the perfect everyday look; includes:

Illume: Pale, dusty pink highlighter with a pearly shimmer
Afterglow: Rustic peach-pink blush
Beam: Nude gold eyeshadow with soft gold flecks
Splendor: Deep, taupe-brown eyeshadow with a bronze shimmer and charcoal undertone
Vivid: Deep, charcoal-purple eyeshadow with flecks of ruby sparkle

There’s nothing more satisfying than a perfectly matched foundation – not only does it boost our confidence, it’s an essential part of wearing complexion products. A matching foundation that flatters our skin undertone and suits our lifestyle can be like spotting a rainbow – a beautiful sight- that turns heads the right way!

We carefully hand-select products based on strict purity standards, and only recommend products we feel meet this criteria. 100% PURE™ may earn a small commission for products purchased through affiliate links.

The information in this article is for educational use, and not intended to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should not be used as such.


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