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Differences Between Warm and Cool Undertones

You have probably wondered why some make-up won’t fit your skin no matter how hard you try. It’s all in your undertone. Some people have warm and others cool undertones. In this article, we look at the differences between the two and learn how knowing your undertone can be of help to you.

Undertones refer to the color beneath your skin that determines your overall color shade. 

Undertones are classified into 3: cool, warm, and neutral undertones.

Neutral undertones are a mix of the two.

Warm undertones

Warm undertones have a base of yellow, gold, or peach.

How to Know if You Have a Warm Undertone

  • Vein color

If the color of your veins leans towards green then it is likely a warm undertone.

  • Silver or gold jewelry

If you look better in gold than silver, you are warm-undertone.

  • White vs. off-white

Warm undertones look better in off-white and creamy hues than white.

  • Burn vs. tan test

Finally, if you tanned rather than burned on your last beach day, you have a warm undertone.

Cool undertones

A cool undertone is associated with skin that hints of a blue, pink, or ruddy red complexion.

 How to Know if You Have Cool Undertones

  • Vein color

If your vein color is blue or purple you most likely have a cool undertone.

  • Silver or gold jewelry

 Cool undertone beauties look best in silver than gold.

  • White vs. off-white

If you look better in stark white, then you have a cool undertone.

  • Burn vs. tan test

If you burn quickly in extreme temperatures, you probably have a cool undertone.

Similarities between Warm and Cool Undertones

  • They are both associated with the skin.

Differences between Warm and Cool Undertones


Warm undertones refer to the color beneath your skin that has a base of yellow, gold, or peach. Cool undertones refer to the color beneath your skin that hints of blue, pink, or ruddy-red complexion.

Vein color

Vein color leans towards green in warm undertones while in cool undertones it is blue or purple.

Silver or gold jewelry

Warm undertones look better in gold while cool undertones look best in silver jewelry.

White vs. off-white

Warm undertones look better in off-white and creamy hues while cool undertones look better in stark-white fabrics.  

Burn vs. tan test

Warm undertones tan rather than burn while cool undertones burn when exposed to extreme temperatures.

Warm vs. Cool Undertones: Comparison Table

Warm Undertones vs. Cool Undertones: Conclusion

Knowing your undertone will help you find the right kind of makeup for you. 

With this knowledge, you are better placed to make the choice that suits your skin. 


How do I know if I have cool or warm undertones?

Check your vein color, white vs. off-white, gold and silver jewelry, and burn or tan tests.

 Can you have both warm and cool undertones?


 What are cool undertones and warm undertones?

They are color beneath the skin that determines the overall color shade.

 How do you know what skin tone you are?

Compare yourself with your friends. You can be lighter or darker in complexion.

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References :

[0]Ann Marie Fiore. Understanding Aesthetics for the Merchandising and Design Professional. A&C Black, 2010. https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=v2A9AwAAQBAJ&pg=PA140&dq=Differences+between+Warm+and+Cool+Undertones&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwimnMy38qH0AhUGHxoKHTnGCuYQ6AF6BAgDEAI#v=onepage&q=Differences%20between%20Warm%20and%20Cool%20Undertones&f=false

[1]Mary Sheehan Warren. It's So You: A Light-Hearted and Easy Way of Finding Your Personal Style. Scepter Publishers, 2017. https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=FHufDgAAQBAJ&pg=PT151&dq=Differences+between+Warm+and+Cool+Undertones&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwimnMy38qH0AhUGHxoKHTnGCuYQ6AF6BAgHEAI#v=onepage&q=Differences%20between%20Warm%20and%20Cool%20Undertones&f=false

[2]Sarita Sharma. The Beauty Garden: Basic Guide. Verses Kindler, 2020. https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=Cv8EEAAAQBAJ&pg=PA68&dq=Differences+between+Warm+and+Cool+Undertones&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwimnMy38qH0AhUGHxoKHTnGCuYQ6AF6BAgJEAI#v=onepage&q=Differences%20between%20Warm%20and%20Cool%20Undertones&f=false

[3]Image credit: https://www.canva.com/photos/MAEeLk3wKXA-makeup-foundation-bottle-and-contouring-brush-on-marble-make-up-concealer-bb-cream-as-cosmetics-product-for-luxury-beauty-brand-holiday-design/

[4]Image credit: https://www.canva.com/photos/MAEtBj4GUGA-makeup-foundation-bottle-and-contouring-brush-on-marble-make-up-concealer-bb-cream-as-cosmetics-product-for-luxury-beauty-brand-holiday-design/

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