The Skin Tone Test (Makeup & Hair) – By J. Raza

Skin tone is very Important when choosing the right make up for yourself. Many wonder how to identify our skin tones especially if we have discoloration and mild redness. Working along many successful make up artists and teachers, I have learned a few easy ways identifying out skin tones.

If makeup looks like the right color in the package but looks odd once applied, you’ve likely purchased makeup with the incorrect undertone for your skin. The skin’s undertone is the warm, cool, or neutral hue that shows through the surface color of skin.

Easy example, when shopping at MAC, the foundation always has a number with the letter “c” or “w” on the package. The “c” stands for cool, and “w” for warm. The cool colors are more so for people with yellow undertones such as myself, the warm colors are for people with red undertones. Now you will notice if a cool under-toned person uses the warm under-toned make up, their skin will tend to look grey. Hence, undertones are very important to follow. We do not go fully by the shades of our skin color, it’s the undertone that is key.

A short cut test many artists teach you when studying to become an artist, relying on the color of their veins: Look at the veins on the inside of your wrist. If your veins appear blue/purple you are in the cool-toned (bluish) spectrum. If your veins appear green, you are in the warm-toned (yellow) spectrum. Those with neutral undertones will have difficulty discerning the blue/green.

You can easily go to any MAC counter and let them tell you what undertone you are and what make up colors will be best for you. Some people worry or fear of getting something too dark or too light, but for that perfect airbrushed natural look, you need to follow such rule. Worrying about how light or dark the foundation is can through out the day give you a grey, ashy look. However going two shades darker or two shades lighter is totally up to you as long as you have your cool and warm colors down pact.

Your skin’s natural melanin (the pigment that gives skin its color) level is high if you tan easily and do not burn. , and you most likely have a yellow-to-olive, warm undertone. This is true for most African-American and women of Indian descent (Pakistan,India etc). Some African-American women with deep ebony skin tones may actually have a cool (bluish) undertone, so dark copper shades look off but espresso-type shades match perfectly. This is just one example, but it would be too much for someone just starting off.


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