While it’s fun to break the rules when it comes to fashion, it can be helpful to have some guidelines when making clothing choices. If you want to invest in pieces that will bring out the best in you, knowing your skin tone is a great place to start.
We are all wonderfully different. The variations between hair, eye, and skin tones are endless, with the spectrum of shades creating a beautifully diverse population.
Knowing your base skin tone and overall colouring will help you determine which colours will enhance your natural beauty. Choose colours and prints that will make your eye colour pop and your skin glow. You can always experiment with different shades knowing you can come back to the tried and true colours that suit you best.
What is your base skin tone?
Your base skin tone will either be cool, warm, or neutral. Many women can identify their tone straight away, while others will need to experiment with different colours before discovering their skin tone. These women will most likely be neutral.
There are several easy tests to determine your base skin tone.
Check your veins to discover whether you are cool, warm, or neutral. Look at the inside of your forearm where the sun hasn’t affected your skin. You should be able to see your veins through your skin.
Blue or purple coloured veins indicate a cool base skin tone, while green veins are noticeable on warm skin tones. If you are struggling to identify the colour of your veins, you potentially have a neutral base skin tone.
Another simple way to determine your base skin tone is by working out what jewellery suits you best. You possibly already have a chosen jewellery colour but take the time to test other metals against your skin to see which one works with your skin tone.
Silver, white gold, platinum, and rose gold look best on cool skin tones, while yellow gold, and bronze tones work better for warm skin tones. Put on a silver and gold piece at the same time to see which one looks better on your skin.
Again, a lucky neutral tone will be able to wear either.
While we don’t suggest going out in the sun to determine your skin tone, you probably already know how the sun affects your skin.
Chances are, if you burn easily and rarely or never tan, you have a cool base skin tone. Your colouring has a pink undertone, and you are more likely to flush or present redness.
If you have a golden undertone, tan easily, and rarely burn, you have a warm base skin tone.
Cool Base Skin Tone
- Pink or rosy or bluey-red undertones
- Burns easily and struggles to tan or not at all
- Silver, white, or rose gold jewellery
- Blue or purple veins
Warm Base Skin Tone
- Golden, yellowish, or olive brown undertone
- Tans easily
- Gold jewellery
- Green veins
Once you’ve determined your base skin tone, you can investigate a little further to discover your overall colouring.
Your overall colouring takes into consideration your hair and eye colour, as well as your base skin tone. For example, if you have pale blue eyes, ash-toned blonde hair, with a cool skin tone, your overall colouring is “Summer”. You can now choose colours more specifically suited to your overall colouring.
If you are still struggling to determine your base skin tone or overall colouring, remember that your colour can change over time with greying hair, colouring your hair, or tanning. These can all contribute to your overall colouring and change what hues and tones suit you best.
- Cool skin tone
- Naturally ash-toned blonde or light-mid brown hair (no red or gold highlights)
- Pale blue, green or grey eyes
Wear soft pastels with blue undertones. Light blues, pinks, grey, navy, lilac. Soft neutral tones with rose undertones. Softer colours will look better than vibrant ones. Opt for soft, off-white tones as pure white can wash you out.
Avoid yellow based colours – orange, tan, mustard, coral and salmon pink.
Swimwear prints - Santorini Blue, Provence Blue, Navy Honey Comb
- Cool skin tone
- Ash-toned medium to dark brown hair (no red or gold)
- Deep blue, green, brown eyes
Wear bold and rich blue-based and pink hues. Vivid blues, reds, and gold yellows. Jewel tones such as scarlet red, emerald green, fuchsia pink, royal blue and deep purple. Sharp colours such as black, navy blue and pure white.
Avoid muted pastels, yellow/orange tones and rusty browns and brick reds.
Swimwear prints - Molokai, Magenta, Acapulco
- Warm or neutral skin tone
- Golden blonde or light-medium brown hair with golden highlights
Wear brights such as brick red, coral, salmon pink, and true blue. Beige, ivory, dusky pinks, and soft greens. Warm and delicate yellow undertones, peach, and ochre.
Avoid icy pastels, deep tones or muted shades.
Swimwear prints - Corsica, Coral Bloom, Metallic Green
- Warm skin tone
- Pale skins will most likely have freckles
- Red, auburn, dark brown, or black hair with red, gold, or chestnut highlights
Wear rich autumnal colours – earthy reds, bronzes, rich browns, chocolate, and golds. Warm muted tones – olive and dark greens, terracotta red, burnt orange. Coffee, caramel, beige, and tomato red.
Avoid pastel tones and harsh brights. Navy but not other blue-toned hues.
Swimwear prints - Leopard, Navy and White Dots, Turquoise Snake.