How To Determine Your Skin Tone: Warm vs Cool

When buying a foundation, the first thing to do is to figure out whether your skintone is on the warm or cool side. Why? Because if you have warm undertones, a foundation with cool undertones will look pasty and sickly on you and if you are on the cool side, a warm foundation can make you look sallow. So how can you tell if you are warm or cool? Check out the following guidelines – it is a lot easier than you think!

warm skintone vs cool skintone

You have a Warm Skintone if:

* You look better in gold jewelry
* You have yellow undertones
* Your veins have a greenish tint

Celeb Icons:

Christina Milian and Jessica Biel

You have a Cool Skintone if:

* You look better in silver jewelry
* You have pink undertones
* Your veins have a bluish tint

Celeb Icons:

Nicole Kidman and Liv Tyler

If you do not fall into either category, you can be Neutral, which is a combination of both. Some people can also be a cool and a warm during different times of the year. The color of our skin can change according to the seasons, lighting and even your own physical well-being, which is why it is always a good thing to have foundations of different shades handy.

Phyllis Li is the Founder and Editor-in-chief of Makeup For Life, one of the top 50 beauty blogs that focuses on celebrity makeup breakdowns, product reviews, makeup tutorials and all things beauty. Having lived and traveled in North America, Europe and Asia, she was exposed to different techniques and products at an early age and hopes to put a global perspective towards beauty. Phyllis won the Best Content Award by Total Beauty in 2008 and has been featured in various publications and websites including ELLE,, Yahoo Shine!, AOL Stylelist, Nylon Korea, VOGUE China, Ming Pao Daily (Canada) and Shanghai Weekly. In 2010, she was appointed one of the nine Real Women Ambassadors in the United States to take part in the Latisse® Wishes Challenge, working with Hollywood celebrity Kathy Ireland and raised over $400,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation to grant wishes for approximately 54 children. In 2012, she teamed up with luxury skincare brand TATCHA and released a limited-edition 3-Piece Set of her favorite beauty products. Phyllis currently lives in Chicago, US. She is a regular contributor to Shanghai Daily's StyleHai Magazine and a member of the Glam Beauty Network.


  1. This is the first time I’ve heard of combination/neutral undertones. Thank you so much for mentioning it here.

    Everytime I read about undertones and how to find them, I get confused. They tell me to look at my veins and when I do I’m like, “Are they blue-ish? They look a little green, but they also look a little blue…”

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