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In my last entry ‘A long black please’  I shared a bit about black and what is it good for. We’re moving onto skin tones here before it will be all about colour.

Why is it that cobalt blue makes one woman look bright and energized and another drained and old. Why is it that dusky pastel pink makes one look wishy washy and gives another rosy cheeks.

It’s mainly about the undertone of your skin. There’s skintone (also called overtone) and undertone. Skintone refers to the colour of your skin like ivory, ebony, olive and so forth. There are so many different skin colours/tones we won’t bother dissecting that part.

But there are not so many undertones so we’ll focus on that instead, that way I can keep this blog entry to a manageable size. There are three major types of skin undertones: warm, cool and neutral tone.

Every colour that you wear is reflecting onto your skin, whether it is flattering or unflattering is related to various pigments in your skin such as carotene and melanin. Knowing and understanding your skin tone can help you find flattering colors that work for you, highlight your natural beauty and make you feel good.

So now you may be thinking ‘ how do I work out what undertone I have?’

Here are some ideas. Grab a mirror and go out in natural daylight for accurate result.

* Check your veins. Greenish veins – warm.  Blueish veins – cool. Mix of blue and green – neutral.

* Check with silver or gold, what do you look better in. Gold – warm, silver/white gold – cool. Neutral can do either but also look great in brass and bronze.

* Check your eye colour. Shades of blue, grey or green – usually cool. Shades of amber, hazel, brown – usually warm.

* Hair. Blond, brown or black hair with blue,silver, violet and ash undertones – cool. Strawberry blond, red, brown or black hair with gold, red, orange and yellow undertones – warm.

* Place a true white cloth around your neck and shoulders with your hair pulled back. If your face looks blue, you have a cool under tone. Cool toned people have pink or rosy undertones. If your face seems yellow, you have a warm undertone. Warm toned people have golden or peach undertones. If you seem greenish you most likely have a neutral undertone.

Are  you still unsure……………OK……….put on a neutral coloured top so that it wont distract. Pull out some different coloured cloths or clothes in cool and warm colours.

What you need is a cool green and a warm green, a cool red and a warm red, a cool pink and a warm pink and so forth. Truth be told, blue can also be warm but we’ll keep it simple for now.

Look at your face in the mirror, still out in daylight. Hold the cool green under your face and then change to the warm green. Don’t look at the colour, keep your eyes on your face to see how the cool and the warm changes the way you look. Try this with all the colours you pulled out. It’s usually in the change between the cool and the warm that you see the biggest difference in your face. Look at the areas around your eyes and mouth and your chin. Which colour seems to bring on shadows and which colour seems to make your complexion look more bright and even toned. It may help to ask a family member or a friend as well.

If you are still unable to determine your skin tone, you may be neutral toned. People with neutral undertone can wear most colours even if they may have a tendency to look slightly better in warm or cool. If you look bright and fresh in both the warm and the cool you are blessed with neutral undertone. If you look tired in both, then you’re just having a bad day and should go and do something nice for yourself like a long walk or a good book or a spa treatment and cooking dinner is out of the question, unless cooking is your passion and your art.

I inserted this here because it was the best face I could find. 

Please note that the following will stand between you and you finding out your undertone.

* Colour treatment in your hair. If you have coloured your hair it can help to cover it with a neutral grey cap.

* Make up, sort of goes without saying. You need to have no make up to find your true undertone.

* Wearing clothes with really strong colours. To make it easy for yourself when testing for true undertone. Put a neutral grey top on as well.

* Artificial tan. Also goes without saying, if you have a spray tan or a tan out of a jar of any kind, well that will alter you skin colour so you won’t be able to see your true undertone.

Once you have discovered what your undertone is then we move onto what season will look great on you. In other words you may be a ‘winter’ ‘spring’ ‘summer’ or ‘autumn’ person. I am leaving this for next time when we shall get into colours from cool orange to warm blue.

OK, I wish you all the best with your undertone colour search. I must admit I am having issues myself deciding if I am warm or cool. There’s a chance I am neutral…….or just having a bad day.