While makeup has very few absolute rules, some colours are just going to look better on you than others; this mostly has to do with your skin’s undertone. Here are a few simple ways to find out whether your skin has a warm or cool undertone.
1. Check the veins on the underside of your forearm. Blue veins indicate a cooler undertone, while green veins indicate a warmer undertone. Feel your veins are both green and blue? Your undertone could be neutral.
2. Wrap your hair in a white towel and then hold up a piece of white paper to your bare face. Look in a mirror in natural light (fluorescent light casts a bluish tone, while incandescent casts yellow – daylight is the most genuine). If your skin looks yellowish, you are likely a ‘warm’. If your skin looks more, blue you are likely a ‘cool’.
3. Place a gold and a silver bracelet (or something similar) against your skin. Which one complements your skin more? If gold looks great, you have a warm undertone. If silver is super, you’re cool. If both suit you, your undertone is probably neutral, you lucky duck! You can wear most colours!
Experimenting is the best way to find out what colours look bad or rad but here’s a colour-coded guide to help you choose the best makeup colours for your undertone.
Cool: Reese Witherspoon
If you have a cool skin undertone, like Reese Witherspoon, these colours will complement your skin tone.
Try burgundy, plum, berry, bright pink, light pink, cherry red, magenta, or taupe on your lips.
Try cool pinks like baby pink and rose pink, plum, berry on your cheeks.
Try emerald, sapphire, garnet, taupes, grey, silver, magenta, white, or black on your eyes.
For eyes: grey and silver eyeshadows such as Stila Magnificent Metals Foils Finish Eye Shadow in Titanium ($42).
For eyes: light pink, silvery pink and crisp white eyeshadows like Shiseido Shimmering Cream Eye Color in WT901 ($29).
For eyes: jewel-toned colours like sapphire, garnet and emerald. Try Smashbox Always Sharp 3D Liner in Pacific ($23).
For lips: baby pink, bubblegum pink, violet, berry and magenta. Try Too Faced Liquified Long Wear Lipstick in Melted Violet ($25).
For lips: cherry red. Try NYC Color Expert Last Lipstick in 441 Traffic Jam ($3).
For lips: berry, plum and burgundy. Try MAC Cosmetics Lipstick in Rebel ($19).
For cheeks: blue-based pinks like plum and berry. Try Estée Lauder Pure Color Blush in Electric Pink ($36).
For cheeks: rosy pink and baby pink highlighters like Revlon Highlighting Palette in Rose Glow ($13).
For nails: baby pink, soft pink and lilac. Try Essence Colour and Go Nail Polish in Ultimate Pink ($3).
Warm: Jennifer Lopez
If you have a warm skin undertone, like Jennifer Lopez, these colours will complement your skin tone.
Try orangey-red, bronze, earth tones, fuchsia, apricot, coral, or warm pinks on your lips.
Try apricots and corals, mauve, tangerine, tawny, warm pinks, or bronze on your cheeks.
Try earth tones, gold, bronze, apricot, coral, olive green, black, sage green, mocha, cream, camel, beige, charcoal grey, or navy blue on your eyes.
For eyes: neutral earth-toned eyeshadows like gold, beige, brown and peach. Try Smashbox Photo Op Eye Shadow Trio in Focal Point ($36).
For eyes: khaki, olive, gold and shimmering green. Try Kat Von D Lightning Liner in Fyfe ($25).
For eyes: deep navy blue. Try Sephora Collection Velvet Eyeshadow in N08 Satin Navy ($19).
For lips: earthy brown, gold, taupe and apricot. Try Estée Lauder Envy Scuplting Lipstick in Impulsive ($34).
For lips: poppy pinks and coral. Try Pacifica Enlightened Natural Lip Gloss in Poppy ($16).
For lips: bright tangerine, coral pink and orange-red. Try Cargo Essentials Lip Gloss in Rio ($19).
For cheeks: warm earthy tones, apricot and coral pink. Try MAKE UP FOR EVER HD Blush in #215 Flamingo Pink ($31).
For cheeks: Orange, tangerine and pumpkin. Try Revlon Cream Blush in Coral Reef ($12).
For nails: Fuchsia, bright watermelon pink and orangy red. Try Butter London Nail Lacquer in Cake Hole ($18).