Skin Tone Chart: How to Find Your Skin Tone, Undertone and Foundation

Do you want to start makeup but have no idea regarding the right foundation? Does your current foundation make you look like a cold vampire from the neck above? Don’t you worry; this article will clear all your doubts and help you choose the perfect foundation.

Deciding to buy the right foundation which blends seamlessly can give you a beautiful glow. Before we start, remember that there are different types of skin tones as well as undertones. It is essential to consider them before you go shopping for makeup, clothes or want to change your natural hair color.

Key Takeaways

To get the no-makeup makeup look, you have to know the right foundation shade to look as natural as possible. Although the internet beauty gurus suggest their favorite brands or shades, please don’t follow them blindly. Here are some skin facts that can help you understand your skin better:

  • Skin undertones are categorized into three types that can determine your perfect foundation:
    1. Warm undertones
    2. Cool undertones
    3. Neutral undertones
  • Olive undertone is another name for warm undertone.
  • Melanin is a compound that determines skin tone; the higher the melanin, the darker is the skin tone.
  • Skin tone depends on your genetics and the area you stay in.
  • Skin undertone depends only on your genetics.
  • To hide your blemishes, mix colors of the opposite spectrum in your foundation to make a neutral color. For example, mix green color in your foundation to hide your red pimples and rashes.

Skin Tone Chart

Knowing the right skin tone becomes very important while buying a foundation. If you buy a color very different from your natural skin tone, your face will not match the rest of your body. This will make you look unnatural.

If you are clueless about your skin tone, here are the 3 most popular skin tone charts that can help you. You can compare your hand against the different shades.

To get the closest analysis, print out these charts and place them against your cheek to compare to get the closest analysis.

This skin tone chart displays an array of example skin tone colors as well as skin undertone colors:

Skin tone chart, source:
Skin tone chart, source:

The second skin tone chart shows you the different skin undertone colors that fall into warm skin tones, cool skin tones and neutral skin tones:

Skin undertones chart, source:
Skin undertones chart, source:

The last skin tone chart provides examples of the different skin tones in the Fitzpatrick skin type scale:

Fitzpatrick skin type chart, source:
Fitzpatrick skin type chart, source:

Discover Your Skin Tone

Your skin tone can vary from time to time as per the sun exposure. The color of the outermost layer of the skin is the color of your skin tone. The melanin increases in the presence of the sun, and hence you get tanner, darker, or get a sunburn, and the skin tone changes.

But still, there is a range of shades that can categorize the person’s natural skin tone. The three main classifications of skin tones are Dark, Medium, and Fair.

Fair to light skin tone

In this, we are talking about white Caucasians or people with similar light skin tones. You can see a lot of freckles on their face, especially on the bridge of the nose.

People with this skin tone usually have sensitive skin, which burns easily on the sun exposure.

You can commonly find this skin tone in northern European countries or places with long winters and less sun.

Medium skin tone

A person with medium skin tone is also known as having olive skin tone. This skin tone tans beautifully without getting burnt in the sun. Such people generally have warm undertones.

Their common population is found in northern Asia or southern European countries. They are the best example of well balanced beige appearance. 

Dark skin tone

Last but not least are the gorgeous dark skin tones. These people are least affected by the sun’s exposure as the high melanin in their skin protects them naturally.

There are further subcategories of this ebony skin tone. They are black-brown, dark brown, and brown.

Places like Africa, the middle east, and southern Asia usually have dark skin tones. This is because these countries are closer to the equator and under direct exposure of the sun.

Which Skin Undertone Do You Have?

Another crucial factor you need to consider before buying the perfect foundation is the skin undertone. The subtle hue underneath the skin is known as the undertone. It cannot change even if the outermost layer changes color.

It depends on your genetics, and it decides the overall hue of your skin. Given below are some simple tests that can help you determine the skin undertone.

1. The vein test

Look at your wrist and the vein underneath that area. Switch off your lights and go near a window to see better in the presence of natural light. What is the subtle hue of the vein you see? 

  • Warm undertone- If your veins seem to be a little green
  • Cool undertone- If you see the color blue in your veins
  • If you spot a hint of gray on your veins, then a neutral undertone is what you have.

2. The white t-shirt test

This is another handy test if you could not decide your vein color. Look into a mirror wearing a white t-shirt. Now change it to an off-white t-shirt and do the same thing. Which color compliments your skin tone?

  • Cool undertone- If a white T-shirt looks great on you
  • Warm undertone- If you look radiant in an off-white t-shirt
  • People with neutral undertones look great in both colors

3. The gold or silver jewelry test

Pick up gold jewelry and place it against your skin. Now replace it with a piece of silver jewelry. Which color makes you look beautiful?

  • Warm undertone- If your answer is gold jewelry, then you come under this category.
  • Cool undertone- If the silver jewelry looks good on you
  • If both gold and silver jewelry looks great, then a neutral undertone is your answer.

4. Behind the ear check

To get the best idea of your original skin tone, look behind your ear. This area of the skin tans the least due to very less sun exposure. 

  • Cool undertone- If the skin looks pink or reddish..
  • You have a warm undertone if you can see a yellow undertone on your skin. 

5. The sun test

If all these tests did not help you try answering this question. How does your skin react when under long sun exposure? 

  • Cool undertone- If you burn easily in the presence of sun
  • If you get a beautiful tan instead of a sunburn, your skin comes under a warm undertone.
  • If your skin first burns and later tans, you can be of a neutral undertone.

Choose the Right Foundation for Your Skin Undertone

From the above section, you can guess that people with neutral undertones can enjoy the best of both worlds. There are no color restrictions for a person with a neutral undertone. However, for others, it is important that they do not pick up the wrong shade of makeup.

Here are some top suggestions for each type of skin undertone and the benefits of each product.

Warm Undertone

People with warm undertones must choose a foundation that consists of a base color of golden or yellow. Beige, gold, caramel, and tan are the right shades for you.

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The color of this NYX foundation is white ivory with a yellow undertone. The exceptional full-coverage product will blend seamlessly and leave the skin looking beautiful. It has long-lasting coverage, lasting up to 24 hours.

Because it has a matte finish and reduces shine, this foundation is excellent for oily or acne-prone skin. It also decreases the appearance of spots, pigmentation, and pores and is transfer-proof and waterproof.

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Belloccio’s lightweight foundation features beautiful yellow undertones and a unique water-based formula that gives a natural finish while hiding all flaws. The foundation has hyaluronic acid, a potent hydrator that plumps and softens the skin.

Additionally, aloe juice in the composition has anti-aging and moisture-locking effects. It will not block your pores like other foundations and gives you a flawless, luminous finish.

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This compact mineral foundation from Bellapierre should be your top product if you have exceptionally sensitive and dry skin. This revolutionary 5-in-1 formula works as a foundation, concealer, setting powder, finishing powder, and sun protection.

This foundation provides a full coverage finish with brilliant color pigmentation and warm undertones that blend effortlessly. It contains jojoba oil, which nourishes and hydrates your skin. It also contains SPF 15, which protects your skin from the sun’s UVB and UVA radiation while providing a flawless, natural-looking finish.

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Cool Undertone

For the cool skin undertone, ladies, it is best to go for a red, pink, rose, or blue base foundation. Sable, porcelain, cocoa, and rose are the right shades for your skin.

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This is a beautiful foundation perfect for the cool undertones which will leave your skin glowing. This foundation is buttery smooth and gives medium coverage. To achieve full coverage you can build up to two layers. It has a semi-matte finish that brightens your skin while also nourishing it.

Hydrogenated castor oil, as well as Jojoba oil, are included in the composition to hydrate and preserve the skin’s moisture. The blend also contains sunflower seed, lavender, chamomile, lemon peel, and calendula extracts, which help treat breakouts, acne, irritation and soothe the skin. 

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Peek-A-Boo by EVXO is an organic beauty balm. It improves the natural skin tone and provides a glossy and glowing finish lasting the whole day. This is a  highly hydrating foundation containing thyme, vitamin E,  chamomile, and oregano leaf to battle acne, free radicals, aging indications, and decrease inflammation, making it a must-try for individuals with dull skin.

Shea butter and Aloe leaf juice hydrate and soothe your skin. Furthermore, the rosemary, olive oil, goldenseal root, and lavender olive oil infusions will soothe and relax the rashes or acne on your skin.

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Neutral Undertone

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Mirabella Skin Tint Crème Foundation is a hydrating, medium-coverage, oil-free liquid foundation that minimizes the fine lines while hydrating the skin. Most sensitive skin will also appreciate the light-feeling finish of the water-gel formula.

It is a perfect blend for a neutral undertone. A mineral-based water-gel composition keeps skin moisturized all day. The formula applies smoothly and swiftly to a satiny, luminous sheen. It won’t drag or strain the sensitive skin during application, and it won’t fade, cake, or wrinkle during the day.

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With a groundbreaking whipped blurring formula that blurs pores, covers blemishes, mattifies, and even skin tone, you can get the look of primer and foundation in one easy step. This multi-tasking makeup contains everything you’ll need for a flawless matte finish.

Its tinted whipped texture contains skin-evening and self-adjusting pigments for a weightless finish that perfects your complexion. Use your fingers to apply it. 

Still Confused? Follow These Tips

If you are still unclear about the right foundation for your skin toe, consider these tips before you go shopping:

1. According to the skin type

There are four types of skin types in this world. To choose the perfect foundation or any kind of product, you should take your skin type into consideration.

  • If you have oily skin: An oil-free and matte foundation will suit your skin
  • If you have dry skin: A hydrating water or gel-based foundation will be best for your skin
  • People with sensitive skin: It is best to choose a product without fragrance or allergic ingredients
  • People with combination skin: Choose a powder foundation to get the best results

2. Test a few shades before buying

If it is your first time buying a foundation, we suggest buying it from a store. Cosmetic shops have testers that help you decide better. Apply a few shades and compare them to get the right shade.

3. Go to top-rated stores

Always research before going to any store. Top-rated stores have a highly knowledgeable sales team that can provide suggestions according to your needs. If you are buying online, compare the rating and read the reviews before making the purchase.

4. Determine the coverage

Do you want to hide a few acne scars on your cheeks, or do you want a full coverage foundation? Depending on how much natural skin you wish to expose, there are sheer, light, partial, medium, and full coverage foundations.

5. Mix your right shade

Sometimes you get the right shade by mixing two colors. You can mix one light and one dark shade to create a medium shade. If you have only one foundation, mix a pinch of turmeric to add the yellow undertone or a bronzer to make it darker.


Hope this article gives you a better understanding of your skin tone and undertone. Do not forget to take your skin type into consideration as well. Do not choose a color more than 2 shades lighter than your natural skin tone. Embrace your color, and do not try to hide it.

Makeup is an art that one can master only with practice. Feel free to experiment, as finding the right makeup is a journey, and there is no one fit for all solutions.

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