How to Tell if Skin is Warm or Cool Toned

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You may wonder why it makes a difference whether your skin is warm- or cool-toned. If you are unaware of your skin tone, you could inadvertently cost yourself a job or promotion, or the significant other of your dreams. You could reduce the sharpness of your appearance and melt into a corner just when you need to be at your most charismatic. On the flip side, if you know your skin tone and work with it accordingly, your make-up and dress will always enhance your natural strong suits. The following will help you determine whether your skin is warm or cool toned, and offer tips on what to do once you know.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • One gold swatch of fabric or article of clothing
  • One silver swatch of fabric or article of clothing

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  1. 1

    Pick a room that lets in a lot of natural light and preferably has neutral-coloured walls. Ensure that the room contains a mirror for viewing.

  2. 2

    Stand in front of the mirror and hold the silver fabric up to your face for just a few seconds, covering the highest part of your shirt’s neckline if applicable. Lower it and repeat with the gold.

  3. 3

    Watch the space underneath your eyes as you switch the fabrics out. Does one colour create dark shadows in this area, causing you to look washed-out or tired? Repeat this exercise as many times as necessary. If silver gives you dark circles, chances are your skin tone is warm. If gold gives you dark circles, your skin tone is more likely to be cool.

  4. 4

    Now inspect the veins on the underside of your forearms. Are they blue or green? Blue is indicative of a cool skin tone; green of a warm one.

  1. 1

    Stick to warm-toned make-up, jewellery and garments if you are warm-toned. A warm colour is one whose undertones are red, yellow, gold or orange. For instance, you know that yellow and blue make green. If you have a warm skin tone, chances are you will look better in a green that is made up of more yellow than blue; such as olive, pine or lime. By contrast, if you have a cool skin tone, you will want to choose a bluer green such as teal or mint.

  2. 2

    Now that you know what colours look best on you, you can begin to experiment with textures and patterns as well. Do large-print or sharply-contrasting patterns give you that tired look, even if all the elements are composed of colours that should look good? If so, you may want to try a smaller or more blended pattern. Even better, try a solid colour with an interesting texture instead.

  3. 3

    Determine your body and face shape in order to optimise your wardrobe, hairstyle and make-up collection. This will ensure that the colours you have chosen look their best on you.

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