Warm, cool, additional resources

From MAC’s shade guide:

If your skin looks more Golden Beige, you match with Neutral Cool or NC shades.

If your skin looks more Pink Beige, you match with Neutral Warm or NW shades.

If your skin looks more Yellow-Golden Olive, you will find those undertones in the Cool or C shades.

If your skin looks more Beige, you will match with the Neutral or N shades.

If your skin looks more Pink, you will find those pink undertones in the Warm or W shades.

From Aromaleigh’s website (which is excellent):

Cool: Eyes are typically blue or grey. Haircolor typically blonde, brown or black. Skin has definite blue and pinkish undertones. Cool-toned people look best in colors such as blue, red, pink and purple, or “gem-tones”. Usually look best in silver jewelry. In natural light, the color of the veins on the underside of your wrist are bluish. You can wear a white shirt and it is flattering on you.

Neutral: Eyes may be any color. Hair may be any color. Skin has unspecifiable undertones, such as pink, olive or yellow. Those with neutral coloring can wear just about any color clothing and look good. Can wear gold or silver jewelry (no preference as to which looks better)

Warm: Eyes are typically brown, green or hazel. Haircolor typically brown, black, red, auburn, blonde or strawberry blonde. Skin has yellow/orange or olive undertones. Warm-toned people look best in earthy-toned clothing, such as browns, yellows, oranges, yellowish green and ecru. Look best in gold jewelry. In natural light, the color of the veins on the underside of your wrist are greenish. You are most flattered by an off-white, cream or ecru shirt (i.e., pure white makes you look washed out)

Alima’s website used to have a really detailed breakdown of skintone categories (cool, neutral, warm, golden, olive, bronze, and ebony) as well as the most common heritages of those skintones… They’ve pared that down, and this is the explanation currently on their site:

Cool: Your skin tends to be pinkish, and you burn rather than tan in the sun. If your skin is a bit deeper, your tan tends to be reddish rather than brown.
Neutral: Your tone is peachy, without obvious yellow or pink tones. You either burn immediately or burn and then tan slightly.
Beige: Your coloring is beige-peach with a touch of yellow, and you may tan a bit.
Warm: You have noticeable peach-to-yellow undertones and tend to tan easily. If you are very pale, you may still burn a bit at first. Your tan tends to be warm golden brown.
Golden: You have a rich yellow skin tone, without a hint of pink or beige. You tend to tan easily, unless you are very pale.
Olive: Your skin tone is beige without a hint of pink or yellow (like cafe au lait). You probably tan easily, even if you are pale. (Our Olive shades tend to run a little deeper than our other foundation lines.)

Double-check by looking at your inner wrist. Cool skin tones will have blue-looking veins. Warm, Beige and Golden skin tones will have greenish veins. Neutral and Olive skin tones can have either.

I really liked the old reference guide though — I thought it was useful. So I rescued it from my cache.

Choosing Colors
Knowing your skin tone will help you choose the most flattering colors. Look at your skin on your inner arm (or anywhere that is seldom exposed to the sun). Do you notice yellow or pink undertones? Do your veins look more green or blue? Does ecru tend to flatter your skin, or does white? If you tend toward yellow/green/ecru then your skin tone is warm. If you favor pink/blue/white then your skin tone is cool. If it is difficult to tell, then you may be neutral.Now look at your wardrobe. You are likely to be naturally drawn to colors that flatter your skin, hair, and eyes. These are the very colors you will look for in makeup.

Cool skintones
If you have a cool skintone you may have Northern European ancestry. You are likely to burn easily in the sun, especially if you are fair. You have a slight blue or pink undertone and tend to be flattered by:

Silver jewelry
Pink-based colors and blue/grey tones

  • White
  • Pink
  • Violet
  • Blue
  • Blue-based green
  • Navy
  • Grey taupe
  • Blue-red
  • Charcoal
  • Grey/khaki
  • Jewel tones

Neutral skintones
If you have a neutral skintone you may be able to see yellow, pink, beige and/or peach undertones in your skin. If you are fair you may burn easily, but if you are light/medium or deeper in tone you may tan fairly easily. You tend to be flattered by:

Both gold and silver jewelry
Warm colors without too much yellow, and cool colors without too much blue

  • White and/or ecru
  • Rose pink
  • Green
  • Navy
  • Neutral taupe
  • Brown
  • Soft grey
  • Black
  • Some reds (not too orange)

Warm skintones
If you have a warm skintone you may notice yellow, orange, or peach undertones in your skin. You are flattered by:

Gold jewelry
Yellow-based colors and earth tones

  • Ecru
  • Amber
  • Olive green
  • Peach
  • Browns
  • Brick red
  • Taupe with green or yellow undertones
  • Brown/khaki
  • Camel and beige

Golden skintones
Golden skintones are similar to warm skintones but with stronger yellow undertones. You may notice a soft yellow to strong golden brown undertone in your complexion. You are flattered by:

Gold jewelry
Warm

  • Ecru
  • Warm brown
  • Khaki
  • Brick red
  • Orange
  • Warm green
  • Earth tones

Olive skintones
If you have an olive skintone you may have Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, or Asian ancestry. Likely to tan easily, and you may notice a neutral beige or even a very subtle green undertone in your complexion. You are flattered by:

Silver jewelry (sometimes gold as well)
Neutral to cool colors

  • White
  • Black
  • Cool, blue-based brown
  • Khaki
  • Red
  • Navy
  • Grey/green
  • Jewel tones
  • Taupe

Bronze skintones
If you have a bronze skintone you have medium to deep brown skin with red, orange or yellow undertones. You are likely to be flattered by colors similar to those with warm skintones, and look especially wonderful in deep, vibrant versions of those colors:

Gold jewelry
Yellow-based colors and earth tones

  • Both white and ecru
  • Amber
  • Warm greens
  • Peach, orange, rust
  • Warm browns (not grey-based brown)
  • Brick red
  • Brown/khaki
  • Camel and beige

Ebony skintones
If you have an Ebony skintone you have medium to deep brown skin with red, blue, or yellow undertones. You will look best in colors which flatter your undertone, and look especially wonderful in rich, vibrant versions of those colors:

Gold or silver jewelry

  • Both white and ecru
  • Rich jewel tones
  • Earth tones
  • Black
  • Brown
  • Red
  • Taupe
  • Khaki
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2 Responses to “Warm, cool, additional resources”

  • Vichaya says:

    >Oh… this makes me think of the first time I went to MAC counter and bought my first MAC foundation. (Actually, I just want to know what number I am. :P ) My facial skin is really a NW. I think the MA match it to some NW15. It’s so funny the color looks so fake on me like I just got a bad fake tan. She match me again with NC20 to match my body and that looks better. That’s the first time I know you can be both warm and cool in the same person. But I always looks better in the cool tone makeup though.

  • aksaiyo says:

    >Hi!
    I said I was gonna stalk you on your blog, so I'm leaving a comment to let you know I really am here! :D
    I like this entry a lot! I used to think that warm, golden, bronze, and olive are the same things. lol
    Can you do me a favor please? Can you look at my profile pic in facebook and tell me whether I am warm or golden or something else? Thanks so much!

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