How Do I Recognize Warm or Cool Skin Tones?

Christina Edwards

Determining whether you have warm or cool skin tones can be a bit difficult. Generally, people who tan well, as opposed to those that burn, usually have warm skin tones. You should also take into account which colors look best on you. Most people will be able to tell their skin tones, however, by looking at the color of the veins just underneath their skin.

People with hazel eyes usually have warm skin tones.
People with hazel eyes usually have warm skin tones.

One common misconception about skin tones is that individuals with fair skin have cool tones, and individuals with dark skin have warm undertones. In reality, individuals with fair or dark skin could have skin tones that are either warm or cool. It is true that people with fair skin who burn easily typically have cool skin tones. On the other hand, people with dark skin who tan well have warm skin tones.

Whether skin tone is warm or cool plays an important role in choosing the best makeup colors.
Whether skin tone is warm or cool plays an important role in choosing the best makeup colors.

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Hair and eye color may help you recognize your skin tone. Generally, people with red or strawberry blonde hair have warm skin tones, while those with brown or hazel eyes will also have warm skin. People with blue, green, or gray eyes will usually have cool skin.

People with green eyes usually have cool skin tones.
People with green eyes usually have cool skin tones.

Another way to tell is by paying attention to how colors affect your skin. If you tend to look better in cooler colors, like blue, you most likely have a cool skin tone. On the other hand, if you tend to look best in warmer colors, like orange, you most likely have a warm skin tone.

People with pale skin usually need a hair color that falls into the cool category.
People with pale skin usually need a hair color that falls into the cool category.

Your jewelry may also help you determine whether you have warm or cool skin tones. Silver jewelry typically looks best on people with cool skin tones. Gold jewelry, however, is better suited for individuals with warm skin tones.

When determining skin tone, keep in mind that these rules are just generalizations. Some people with cool skin tones may look great when wearing orange garments, for example, while some individuals with warm skin tones may look great wearing silver jewelry. An easier way to determine skin tone is by looking at your veins.

You should be able to easily see your veins where they are close to the surface of your skin and where the skin is thin; the inside of your wrist or elbow is usually best for this. Individuals with cool skin tones will usually notice that their veins appear blue. On the other hand, if you have a warm skin tone, you may notice that your veins appear to be green.

People who have brown eyes typically have a warm skin tone.
People who have brown eyes typically have a warm skin tone.

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Discussion Comments

anon357340

What if you have both a warm and cool skin tone? What does this mean?

amypollick

But you really can't even rely on hair and eye color when it comes to determining whether you have warm or cool skin tones. I have brown hair and eyes, and fair skin with cool tones. Orange and peach make me look gray, as does anything with a strong yellow undertone. I can wear a very pale yellow, but I have to be careful.

I was at a salon where one of the cosmetologists determined I must have a warm skin tone, since I have brown hair and eyes. I told her I didn't, and when she tested the foundation that should have been "perfect" for my skin, it left a yellow streak, whereas the foundation for cool tones blended right in. She couldn't understand it. I told her my skin tone beaks all the color rules, and it does. I look great in blue-reds, fuchsias, pink, emerald -- all the jewel tones -- as well as black. The only exception is I wear a diamond white or warm white equally well.

So really, you just have to decide for yourself what looks best on your particular self, rather than allowing "rules" to dictate what looks good. Start with the rules, but feel free to break them if they don't apply to your skin!

tigers88

I love to wear green but I have heard people say that it clashes with cool skin. It looks fine in the mirror when I go out but I read style guides and see the fashion shows on TV and they all say that green clashes with lighter skin tones. What do you guys think? I am inclined to trust the experts, but my wardrobe has so much green in it that I would hate to let it all just sit there.

backdraft

How do I find the right hair color for skin tones that are on the more cool end of the spectrum? I definitely have cool skin and I am thinking about changing my hair color for the first time in my life. Right now it is a very light brown.

I am thinking of going darker, maybe a deep brown or even a black. But a friend of mine says that I should go red to offset my skin? What do you think? Are there any cool skinned girls out there who have been in my boat?

jonrss

How do I determine If I am warm or cool skin toned? I am pretty sure that I am right on the border and it drives me crazy. I am not pale and I am not dark. My skin has a little bit of color but not a lot.

What is even worse is that my skin tone depends a lot on my tan. And we have long winters and hot summers. So sometimes I am a lot lighter and sometimes I am a lot darker. It makes it such a pain to do makeup or pick a hair color.

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