How To Match Colors To Skin Tone

March 2, 2023

Most of us have heard 'That really isn’t their/her/your color' or a similar phrase at some point in our lives. What most individuals mean when they say something like this is the color does not look good on that person. Everyone wants to look good, which means they also want to avoid hearing this phrase. But what many people do not realize they have picked up on when they say 'it’s not your color,' is how the color in question just does not match the skin tone of the individual wearing it.

Matching colors on clothing, in makeup, and even in hair color to skin tone is the key to always ensuring colors are flattering. Put your best face forward with this advice on how to determine your skin tone and what colors will match and highlight your beauty the best.

Get Vein About It

Perhaps the most commonly cited test when it comes to determining what colors will look good on your skin tone is the vein color test. To perform it, check the veins on the inside of your wrist. If they appear blue or blue-purple, you have a cool undertone to your skin. If your veins look more green than they do blue, you have a warm undertone. It is important to note it’s not that the veins are actually green, rather, you are looking at the veins through the skin with a yellow tone. And as we all know, blue and yellow create green! If you are unable to determine which applies to your veins, you may have a neutral skin tone.

Gold Versus Silver Jewelry

For those who enjoy wearing jewelry, everyone typically has a preference between gold and silver or platinum colored pieces. Although this preference does sometimes play into matching skin tone and color, this is not how it usually works. To determine what kinds of colors will match with your skin tone, get a piece of gold jewelry and a piece of silver. If necessary, you can likely try on a couple of bracelets in a jewelry store if you do not have what you need at home.

Although most people can pull off both gold and silver jewelry, one will often look measurably better than the other. Gold jewelry tends to look better on individuals with a warm skin tone, and silver jewelry on those with a cool undertone to their skin.

Testing With Neutrals

Although this test is far less popular than testing with vein color and with jewelry, determining skin tone by comparing which neutrals look better is yet another way to help match your skin tone with appropriate colors. Now, neutral colors can match with just about anyone, but it comes down to their shades and undertones that truly matter. Blacks, straight greys, and bright whites tend to highlight those with cool skin tones better, and off-whites, tan, and chocolatey brown tend to highlight warm skin tones. You can easily test this with fabric swatches or actual pieces of clothing.

Skin Under The Sun

When you spend just a little too much time in the sun, what happens to your skin? Does it tend to burn or tan? Your skin’s reaction is a clear indicator of what tone you likely have. Those with a cool skin tone typically burn rather than tan, although someone with a cool-medium rather than a cool-fair skin tone may get a tan after the initial burn fades. Individuals with a warm skin tone are far more likely to jump straight to a golden-brown tan, though they may still burn afterward if they continue spending too much time in the sun.

Which Colors Work

When colors do not match an individual’s skin tone, there is more to it than the color just ‘not being their color.’ When color does not match your skin tone, and therefore clashes, it can create many effects, such as washing someone out, amplifying sallow skin, or making someone look as if they are sick or tired. So, with that in mind, consider these tips.

Dark, cool-toned skin tends to look radiant with colors such as crisp black or white, bright royal blue, deep purple, emerald green, carnation red, as well as fuchsia or turquoise. Those with light, cool-toned skin are vibrant with colors such as pastel blue, soft pink, lavender, heather grey, mint green, and other pastel colors. On the opposite end, earth-toned colors such as forest green, olive, chocolate brown, and cream tend to flatter individuals with dark, warm-toned skin the best. Other beautiful colors for dark, warm tones include deep cranberry and mustard yellow. If you are someone with light, warm-toned skin, reach for blush pink, bright purple, coral, light teal, and creamy ivory white. If you are lucky enough to have a neutral skin tone, you can likely get away with almost any color, so it comes down to preference most of the time.

MORE FROM HealthPrep