Warm, Cool, or Neutral

We all know that certain colors bring our best feats forward while others make us look worn out. Our undertone and skin tone play a huge role in what looks good on us, including clothes and make-up.
This general guide should help you determine your undertone and your skin tone so that you may choose the rights colors and right foundation for your skin.
Remember: your skin tone can change, but your undetone never changes.

There are 3 types of undertones: warm, cool, and neutral.

Here are some tricks to help you determine what your undertone is.

What color are your veins?  Look at the inside of your wrist in natural light. Greenish veins indicate yellow undertones which means you have a warm undertone. If your veins are bluish, you have a cool undertone. If you’re having trouble distinguising the color your veins because the color isn’t so obvious, you have a neutral undertone.
(side note: if your veins are a mix of green and blue, you have an olive undertone which falls under the warm category.)

What color are your eyes and hair?  Generally, if you have blue, green, or gray eyes with black, blonde, or brown hair, you have a cool skin tone. If you have brown, black or hazel eyes with black, brown, or red hair, you have a warm skin tone. But of course, there are exceptions to every rule!

Do you look better in silver or gold?  If you look better in gold, you may have a warm undertone. If you look better in silver, you may have a cool undertone. If you look great in both, you have a neutral undertone

What color is the hue of your skin?  Tie your hair back in a ponytail, wrap a white towel around your next or hold up a white piece of paper by your face. What colors does your face look? Yellow, orange or gold hue is a warm undertone while red, blue, or pink indicates cool undertones.

After doing these tests and you are still unable to determine your undertone, you may have a neutral undertone. In this case, you are very lucky! You’ll look great in anything :)

A cool undertone looks best in rich colors like black, navy, red, hot pink, deep greens, plums and soft, pastel colors. You should avoid colors like orange, gold or beige.
A sexy navy, purple or standard black smokey eye would look super sultry on you!

A warm undertone looks best in earth colors like greens, gold, browns, bronze and soft colors like coral, peach, yellow.
A bronze face, neutral eyes and electric lips will transform you into a total hottie!

For my neutral ladies (and gents!), go wild. Anything flatters your skin!

So now that we know what our undertone is, we can easily choose the right foundation for our skin and most of the time, it’s right on the packaging!
C= cool, N= neutral, W= warm, NC= neutral cool and NW= neutral warm.

Still can’t figure it out? Visit the closest cosmetics counter & ask for help!

So now that we know our undertone, what is our skin tone?
Answer this question to determine your skin tone: How does your skin react to the sun?
Fair to light skinned people are usually pale, burn easily and rarely tan.
Medium light skinned people sometimes burn but, more often than not, tan.
Medium to deep skinned people rarely burn but almost always tan.

I have a warm undertone because I have naturally dark hair and dark brown eyes, my skin gives out a yellow hue against white and because my veins are both green & blue, which gives me an olive complexion!
My skin mostly tans but on the rare occasion can burn which gives me the medium light skin tone.

What is your undertone/skin tone? Leave me a comment :)

  • Teheni

    warm/medium light

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  • Melissa

    This was realy helpfully but why is it that M.A.C considers cool to yellow olive tones it’s confusing

    • http://www.siciliannabeauty.com siciliannabeauty

      Thanks for reading, Melissa!

  • http://www.facebook.com/emily.j.hamel Emily Jean Hamel

    I am a Neutral Cool skin undetone and have a Medium Light skintone. I get tan for the most part, but have been known to burn on occasion.

    • http://www.siciliannabeauty.com siciliannabeauty

      Thanks for commenting, Emily! I hope this post was helpful.

    • expat

      So I tried to determine the colors that make me look best and I always run into this skin color/hue/tone theory and I gave it a go, now I’ll definitely stop trying… So I’ve got gray eyes, most of the people clam they’re blue but people who look close notice that they’re actually gray. My hair is light brown(ish), again close inspection will show the mix of chocolate and plain yellow hairs distributed evenly all over my head. Now the skin. After reading this I’d say I’m neutral (maybe warm). So the veins on the inside of my wrist seem blue or purple (however, some veins on my upper arm seem greenish), but I’m pretty sure I have the olive undertone (that is both yellowish and reddish – towel test), even though I appear very pale to all the people (again, close inspection. :) ). The tanning properties. I will tan in 90% of cases, however, it is impossible to tan before getting some sunburns first (I consider this to be normal, please inform me if it’s not). It doesn’t matter if I wear sunscreen or not, if I tan, I have to feel pain and burning when I go to bed. The moment the burning and pain sensations stop – my tan is completely gone (So I don’t try to tan as much as when I was younger – Now it doesn’t seem to be worth the trouble (pain) so I try to be smarter about the beauty). So do you agree I’m neutral? I cannot wear orange, true yellow and unfortunately black because I look washed out wearing them. But I was able to pool off black many times, while the orange always make me look sickish and tired. Concerning yellow, true yellow and gold make me look washed out, but pale yellow make me look wonderful. Also I noticed that my skin loves white and gray and blue (with blue I’m not sure whether it’s me or my skin that loves it). Until now I couldn’t make up mind about green, pink, purple and brown… So looking forward to hear your opinion.

      • http://www.siciliannabeauty.com siciliannabeauty

        Hey Expat!

        Regarding your tanning issue, I really don’t think it’s normal to burn first and then tan!? I know for me it’s definitely not but everyone’s skin has a different sensitivity!.

        To me, it really sounds like you’re cool toned with an olive undertone- which is completely possible!
        Neutral toned people can suit both warm and cool toned colors.

        Hope this helps!

  • Madison

    This prove’s it: my skin has neutral undertones.
    My skin’s a little unorthodox in the fact that it’s pale with, unfortunately, freckles. However, I tan very easily (I guess I can thank my Italian and Cherokee heritage for that) and only burn on occasions (but I prefer to not tan because it makes my freckles more noticable and I just prefer the look of pale skin, like Marilyn’s and Grace Kelly’s). I have blue/green eyes and my natural hair color is a medium brown. But I have had hair colors (all various shades of brown) considered both cool and warm and I thought all worked well on me. Everyone I know states how I can wear any color. I agree with this for the most part.
    I always thougth I had neutral undertones but this really helped me know that I do, indeed, have neutral undertones. I feel that it’s purely neutral because I gravitate towards warm or cool colors depending upon my mood and both look nice (however, I usual tend to gravitate towards neutral cool)

    • http://www.siciliannabeauty.com siciliannabeauty

      Hey Madison!
      Thanks for reading & commenting.
      It definitely sounds like you have neutral undertones- I’m so happy to hear this article helped you out!

      ps. your Italian/Cherokee mix sounds so exotic!

  • Daph

    I seam to have warm/olive skin because my skin is pretty yellow toned. However I do not look good in gold, i look so much better with silver and blue colored clothing look really good on me. So maybe I’m a neutral warm/ olive. Another perplexing matter is my skin is very very light bust i can tan very easily and Ive never burned.

    • http://www.siciliannabeauty.com siciliannabeauty

      Oh gosh! This sounds so confusing lol if you’d really like to know, feel free to send me a picture and maybe I can help you!

  • Kristie

    Okay your site finally helped convince me that I am indeed a neutral my veins are a mix of blues and greens, i look great in orange and coral, however I am very pale in the winter but can get quite dark if Im out a lot in the summer. My conundrum is this: I have yellow undertones but am pale with gray-blue eyes. I cannot seem to find a makeup color that brings out my eyes and my skin at the same time during the winter. Do you have any ideas? I realize Im neutral and can wear any colors but because of my light skin tone in the winter this is untrue , I cannot wear peach and the darker olive greens right now among others. Its like Im stuck in the middle until I get a bit of color in my skin again. what do you think, any suggestions? Thanks, awesome article you wrote.

    • http://www.siciliannabeauty.com siciliannabeauty

      Hey Kristie!

      I’m so glad this post helped you.
      As for eyeshadow for your blue-gray eyes, might I suggest different shades of gray? There are so many gray options out there that would look fabulous on your eyes, just try to avoid a shade of gray that matches your eyes completely.
      Also, browns would be great to warm up your skin!

      Hope this helps :)

  • Sarah

    This was very detailed and helpful, as I have been trying to figure this out for quite sometime. I am 25 years old and of Italian/German/Irish/Croasian decent, but I strongly favor the Italian in appearance. I am just taping into the world of foundation/colors and really want to find the perfect match. My features are all over the place and I am still having trouble placing myself. I have very dark brown hair (almost appearing black). I have fairly large hazel-greenish eyes that I would not really call dark or light. I my skin looks VERY light or pale with freckles across my nose and middle of my face. Despite my “snow white” appearance I tan pretty easily in the summer, and my freckles increase exponentially with sun exposure. There was only one skin type that mentioned freckles. I never thought I looked good in brown or nude colors, but good in bold or bright ones. However, I do not know why, perhaps this was just a preference. I noticed that you were helping out with individual questions and just wanted to see what you think. Thanks for the info!!

    • Sarah

      PS my veins look like an equal combination of blue/green/purple. Like my veins my face/neck does not look any obvious color next to white.

    • http://www.siciliannabeauty.com siciliannabeauty

      Hey Sarah!

      You sound so exotic. I love it!
      From your description, I’m really think you’re a cool neutral.

  • http://gravatar.com/tabby2shoes tabby4paws

    Hi, fascinating reading! I live in the UK and my mother had Scandivanian ancestory ( white/patinum blonde, cool pale skin and very pale blue eyes). My father’s parents came from Sicily to the UK to set up an ice-cream parlour! He had black hair, warm dark brown eyes and darkish olive skin. I have dark olive green eyes with warm brown rusty spots, dark warm brown hair (like an Americano coffee without milk!) but very pale, slightly yellow skin, so a lot of contrast between dark eyes and hair and pale skin. I’ve seen color analysists over the years and they either think I’m deep autumn or deep winter – but often can’t decide – which confuses me even more! Warm browns, camels, rusts and hot reds are too warm and make me look flushed. Fuchia, blues, navy make me look dead and washed out. I stick to mostly teals, warm pinks, dark reds and some greens. Gold jewellery is too warm and bright on me, silver is too cold and stark looking. I feel I must be neutral, what do you think? I wish there was more about neutrals in color analysis and a book of color swatches just for us!

    • http://www.siciliannabeauty.com siciliannabeauty

      Hey Tabby!

      From the way you describe yourself, I really don’t think you’re neutral. Especially if you feel that neither warm nor cool tones suit you!
      I’m thinking you might be warm, with yellow undertones, considering you feel that your skin is slightly yellow.

  • Caitlin

    Really interesting article, but I think I could still use some help. I’m of primarily German/Russian ancestry. My veins are more bluish by my wrists but they fade into green as I move up my arm. My eyes can change from bright crystal blue to almost silvery gray. When I was young my hair was very golden blonde but has since darkened to a light brown color. I look pretty nice in both silver and gold but I prefer golds. I tend to look best in blues, yellows, greens, and light pinks. And I can’t really tell what undertones I have in my face (paper test); it’s like some areas are kinda yellow and others are pinkish flushed. Does this mean I’m neutral?? What do you think? Thanks

    • http://www.siciliannabeauty.com siciliannabeauty

      Hi Caitlin!

      From your description, it sounds to me like you’re a neutral-cool!

  • Lindsay

    Hey there, i’m having a bit of an issue. I can’t tell what colour my veins are, as i don’t know what to look for. I’d have to see a cool-toned and a warm-toned person’s veins side-by-side in order to compare myself. Otherwise, i’m indecisive!

    But if this is of any help at all, here’s a bit of information about me.

    I’m of mostly Irish and German descent, with some Dutch and Icelandic as well as a pinch of Italian from my mom’s side. As far as i’m concerned it doesn’t show :P

    I have icy greyish-blue eyes that seem to have icy green in them at times. I also have a milk-chocolate brown dot on my right iris due to eye trauma when i was younger.

    My skin burns and freckles more easily than it tans, and i live in Florida so it’s sunny year-round. I usually wear a light sweatshirt when outside because i can feel my skin reacting to the Sun.

    My freckles cover my arms, but they’re so teeny-tiny that most everybody overlooks them. The majority of them are quite light, anyhow. Here’s a picture of my face for reference. Try to look past the dark circles, haha.

    http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/481895_619352248081531_1938080289_n.jpg

    When i was little, my hair was white blonde. I’m four in this picture.

    http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc7/403816_494607113889379_1454531975_n.jpg

    But as i aged, it gradually darkened …

    Age nine

    http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/58495_105941662798886_727040_n.jpg

    Thirteen

    http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-frc1/419223_350177321692543_1156604736_n.jpg

    I think i was about fourteen here

    http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/545/hellercat.jpg/

    Fifteen

    http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/846/brownhair.jpg/

    Fifteen and sunburnt XD

    http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc7/424419_1971755150796_1284760497_n.jpg

    And one more with my redhead cousin for comparison

    http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/383042_331779490172143_462192191_n.jpg

    Sorry this has been so lengthy x-x I just REALLY need some help.
    Thank you in advance if you dare try to help! :)

    • http://www.siciliannabeauty.com siciliannabeauty

      Hello Lindsay!

      From your description and your pictures, I feel that you are fair-skinned and cool-toned (blonde hair, blue eyes). I’m willing to bet the veins in your wrist are more blush than anything!

      Hope I’ve helped :)

      • Lindsay

        Thank you so much! I just needed a bit of insight i guess. Thanks again for the help :)

        • http://www.siciliannabeauty.com siciliannabeauty

          You’re very welcome. Thanks for reading :)

  • Peri

    Heey i have zero clue what my undertone is.. help?
    -I have blueish greenish grayish eyes (the colour changes depending on what i am wearing)
    -I have light to medium skin
    -I have a medium brown hair, not ashy, but not red undertones either.
    -I tan easily and rarely burn but it occationally happens
    -my veins on my wrist look both blue and green but futher up my arm they look mostly blue
    -I can wear almost any colour except sometimes stark white,black,yellow,and corral (it looks horrible on me). I look best in blue (whether its my eyes or my undertone that make it look good, idk)
    -my skin tone definatly has some pink under tones BUT MY FACE LOOKS WARMISH so other than that i would say i am mostly cool undertoned (according to other sites) but i undenyably have a golden glow thing going on there. I dont look ashy at all. Any help would be great thanks :)

    • http://www.siciliannabeauty.com siciliannabeauty

      Hi Peri!

      It seems to me that you may be neutral/cool. Your light eyes, medium brown hair and the fact that you look best in blue (a cool colour) tells me you’re cool. While the fact that you tan easily, have both blue/green veins, and that you look good in most colors, tells me you’re also neutral.

      Hope this helps!

  • Helen

    Hi,
    thanks for the article, it’s more helpful to me than others I’ve read.
    I am still wondering about my skintone a bit.

    My hair is dark brown which gets slightly more reddish/golden towards the ends. I also have dark brown eyes, if I had to guess I’d say they’re warm. However, both with the hair and the eyes I think this “warmth” is only visible from very near me, since they’re so dark. From further away I’m probably the typical snow white. :)

    My skin is very light. The problem that I have with determining which tone it is, is that it looks whitish or yellowish highly depending on the type of daylight, like in what colour the environment is around me. My veins color also seems to depend on this.

    Also can’t say much about tanning, since it’s extremely rare that I can be in the sun more than an hour or so. I do have some freckles, I’d say they’re probably neutral.

    The colours I think look best on me are very dark blue and darker military green. I also love to wear reds in general, but that’s just my personal taste.

    Thanks a lot :)

    • http://www.siciliannabeauty.com siciliannabeauty

      Hi Helen!

      Thanks for commenting. I’m glad you found this post helpful.

      If I had to take a guess by your description, I’d say you’re fair skinned with warm tones.

      • Helen

        Thank you so much for your fast answer :)

        • http://www.siciliannabeauty.com siciliannabeauty

          You’re welcome! :)

  • Sarah

    I’m lost!
    I really want to spice up my look! I have virgin hair and I really would like to dye it for a more sexier look. I have mostly blue veins but also green ones. It takes me a while to get tan but I hate being so light skinned I use spray tanning to keep a golden color! I want to know my skin tone so I can see if I could rock Jessica Beils caramel hair. I have dark blue gray eyes and medium dark brown hair. Which undertone do I have? Are there hair colors similar to caramel that I could rock for the undertone I am? P.s I wear both gold and silver. Mostly gold. Although in winter I vary. And I loveeeee bronzer on my cheeks :)

    • http://www.siciliannabeauty.com siciliannabeauty

      Hi Sarah!

      It sounds to me like you have warm & neutral undertones.
      Personally, I love experimenting with my hair, so if you want my input- I say go for it. Your hairstylist will be able to choose the right tone of caramel for you!

      Goodluck!

  • Annalisa

    Interesting article. I’m a little confused though to what’s my undertone. On my right wrist, my veins are purple melding to blue up my arm. On my left, my veins are purple with blue and green on opposite ends. My eyes are black, like hard to see pupil black. Hair is about this colour http://www.google.com.my/search?q=dark+golden+brown&client=safari&hl=en&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=x96YUfu5GYqrrAfC74CIAw&ved=0CC4QsAQ&biw=768&bih=878#biv=i%7C1%3Bd%7CX9YXt2tErOiOzM%3A. My skin appears to have a yellowish-greenish tinge sometimes during warm weather but my face would be pale. During winter, my skin would have a pinkish undertone. My arms and legs tan easily but when exposed directly to the sun, my back would burn very easily. When I was a kid, I could practically any colour and it would look perfect but now, it’s change, I can’t wear really bright light blue at all. Silver jewellery looks better than gold.I’m really curious as to what’s my undertone and what colour suits me and make up. Thanks so much

    • http://www.siciliannabeauty.com siciliannabeauty

      Hey Annalisa!

      It really sounds like you have a neutral-cool undertone with a medium-light skin tone.
      Hope this helps!

  • Maria

    i don’t know how many articles of this kind i’ve read and for each time i get more and more confused. I really have no idea what to think any longer! So i hope that maybe you could help me clear it up, haha!

    I’m from Sweden but when i lived in Italy for some months and a guy told me that he would never have guessed that i was swedish he thought i looked more italian than swedish.

    – I think that my veins might lean a bit more to the bluish side (comparing to my sister who has more greenish from what i could tell) but i also find them greenish.
    – I tan lightly but i do burn before i get some color.
    – My hair is some kind of dark ash blonde.
    – I have light brown eyes
    – I think i look better in silver jewelry

    I think i look good in purple, teal, burgundy, dark green and blue.I wear a lot of black too. I never wear beige or like apricot or vivid colors. I rarely wear any lighter colors even thou i would like too.
    I do think that i have a slight green look in my skin, but i am not sure.

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BL13rv5CYAQfhSd.jpg

    Ok i hope you can make out something from this, thanks a lot !

    • http://www.siciliannabeauty.com siciliannabeauty

      Hey Maria!

      Judging from your picture, you seem to have cool undertones.

      Hope this helps :)

      • Maria

        Wow fast answer! thank you so much!

        • http://www.siciliannabeauty.com siciliannabeauty

          You’re welcome! :)

  • Candice Daviau

    Hi. I am also confused on what exactly I am. I am french, italian, and swedish. I naturally have dark blonde-to light brown hair. I have blue/green/greyish eyes ( they change depending on my hair color, or what Im wearing, or how tan I am). I may burn a little at first but can get very tan. My veins seem blueish/purplish at my wrist, but look green going up my arm. I think I may be neutral because I think I look good in silver and gold. Except I love the gold look especially when I am tan. Some people ( espeically paler, irish people) say I have an olive skin tone while others ( especially darker tones) dont think I look Itlalian, I am always so confused which way to go. I did the dark hair for awhile which some people love, but then others think light hair suits me more. SO maybe I am neutral since I can go either way. I just want to know what fits me the best,

    • http://www.siciliannabeauty.com siciliannabeauty

      Hi Candice!

      It does sound like your neutral with some warm tones. Hope this helps!

  • Hillary

    Hey! So at my most natural I am a pale person with blue eyes of a very mixed ancestry. In the summer I tan easily (leaning towards the warm side) but may burn occasionally. My hair is naturally a warm light brown. It seems my veins are mixed blue and green but my skin overall definitely has a green undertone. I seem to be able to wear both gold and silver rather easily–although I look better in gold with my tan. Any ideas on a color palette for makeup and clothes? The olive skin just looks so off when I’m pale in winter.

    • http://www.siciliannabeauty.com siciliannabeauty

      Hi Hilary!

      I think you may be neutral. With you tan, you can pull off warmer colors but in the winter, you can still wear the same colors but in cooler tones. Get what I’m saying!?

  • I-O-A

    Hello!
    My natural hair is a mousy medium brown. My eyes are a mix of grey and green mostly, sometimes can appear medium blue.
    My veins are both blue and green and my very light skin initially burns in the sun but then I tan fast.
    I never could figure out if I was more warm, or more cool so I try to stick with neutral makeup, not too gold or too cool because if I go extreme in either I don’t look good.
    What do you think?
    Thank you.

    • http://www.siciliannabeauty.com/ Anna L

      Sounds to me like you’re fair neutral with an olive tone (grey/blue veins)

      Hope that helps!

  • Karen Alexander

    I would love your help. My veins are purple, my eyes teal/cornflower and a bit of lemon. I tan easily and have a medium skin tone. I can’t wear beige, true green, but I can deal with tangerine quite well, while also handlng medium pink. I get compliments when I wear intense blue. My hair was once white blonde and then turned light, flat brown. I’ve colored it blonde for years which now I see has looked harsh, but the fine hair on my arms is platinum. I’m so confused, especially on what to do with my hair!

    • http://www.siciliannabeauty.com/ Anna L

      Hi Katherine!

      It seems to me that you’re leaning a little warm (tangerine and pink) with a medium light skin tone.

      • Karen Alexander

        Thank you so much! Any ideas on what color my hair should be? It’s ash blonde now which makes me muddy. Brown or warmer blonde?

        • http://www.siciliannabeauty.com/ Anna L

          You’re welcome!

          May I suggest trying a warm brown or warm blonde? I like the blonde look on you!

  • lc

    Hi,please could you help me. What skin tone am i? i am really confused. do you think i should more blond or brown? pleas help me. thank you.Do you think i should go for fringe or just side swept hair? layers or not?

  • http://www.siciliannabeauty.com/ Anna L

    Hi!

    You’re fair skinned with yellowish undertones.
    I’d suggest going warmer for the winter months and a light blonde for summer. I think side swept bangs would look great on you!

    • lc

      Thank you for your reply. Thinking of going brown.What shade would suit me? Or do you think I should only stick with blond colour. My original colour is somewhere in between and a bit “mousy”Again, thank you for your reply..

  • http://www.siciliannabeauty.com/ Anna L

    Hi there!

    I’d really suggest consulting with a hair stylist. I’m really not good with hair. Sorry :(

    • lc

      That is ok.

  • Kaitlyn Cookie

    i know i have pale skin but am i cool warm or neutral i’m always pink btw and i have hazel eyes i have never dyed my hair what color would look best on me

  • Kaitlyn Cookie

    am i cool warm or neutral

    • http://www.siciliannabeauty.com/ Anna L

      I think you might be cool!

      • Kaitlyn Cookie

        Thank you so much so should i go for cool hair tones or warm

        • http://www.siciliannabeauty.com/ Anna L

          I’d aim towards the cooler tones. Consult your hair dresser. She’ll have a better idea :)

  • MAHABOOB ANIZKHAN

    My skin type is warm. So what type of foundation I want to use…

    • http://www.siciliannabeauty.com/ Anna L

      Foundation should be chosen by your skin type needs. Have an advisor at a beauty store determine your skin type, then go on to choose an appropriate foundation