How to identify your skin tone or skin color?

How to identify your skin tone or skin color?

Dec 02, 2022Zaryab Fayyaz
It's something you're born with, but often your skin tone is something you may not even know how to accurately describe. If you wear any type of makeup at all, it's important to understand your skin tone so you can find the right shade of foundation and concealer. Plus, by learning your skin tone, you can choose flattering shades of clothing, lipsticks, hair colors, and more. Unlike past years, when light, medium and dark categories were enough to find a decent match, today's wide range of skin products and foundation lines have more targeted shade ranges ensuring a better understanding of our unique skin tone.

However, figuring out your exact skin tone doesn't have to be confusing. First, you need to learn some new concepts.

Skin tones 

First, you'll want to familiarise yourself with two terms: surface color and undertone.

Think of surface color as how you would describe your skin to someone else, i.e. "fair", "tanned", "dark", etc. To make it easier for you, there are already four (broad) color categories that your skin may fall into, namely:


The lightest range of skin tones. You probably burn easily and have fair or red hair.


In general, people with skin considered "fair" have warmer undertones than fair-skinned people. You can probably get a tan in the summer.


You have a tanned skin tone with warm golden or olive undertones.


The deepest range of skin tones.

You probably already have a good general idea of ​​the color of your surface, but if you're trying to tell the difference between light and fair, for example, there are a few things that can help.

Some external factors can affect the overall skin tone. A tan is one of the most common examples, however, rosacea, hyperpigmentation, dark spots, acne, and overall redness can affect how you perceive the color of your skin.

How to determine the color of the surface?

There are some tried and true steps you can take.

  1. Ask a friend

Probably the easiest way to determine the color of the surface is to ask a friend or family member. Especially if you're between two color categories, it can be helpful to have a second opinion.
  1. Look at your jaw

Often your jawline is the best place to see your "pure" surface color unobstructed. Since jawlines don't usually affect typical skin conditions, this can be a great area to get an idea of ​​your true color.

  1. Get tested at your local beauty supply store

In the past few years, many beauty stores have started offering skin tone/foundation matching tests that you can complete in less than 10 minutes. If you won't settle for anything less than an expert opinion, this is the method for you.


Determining your skin tone

Undertone is one of the most misunderstood (or ignored) elements of skin tone. The undertone is basically exactly what it sounds like; the color tone below the surface color of your skin. Unlike surface color, which can change with tanning or some lightening products, your undertone remains constant.

The three undertones are:


Characterised by a bluish undertone to the skin.


Golden or peach undertones.


A neutral undertone is neither cool nor warm. For darker skin tones, a neutral undertone would have an olive undertone.

Determining an undertone takes a little time. Unfortunately, it's more of a guesswork than a surface color, but we have some accurate methods you can use. Our recommendation? Try them all and use the average of your results to confirm your undertone.

1. Check your veins

Grasp your wrists and check the veins underneath. Those with a warm undertone have green-colored veins, while blue veins are a sign of a cool undertone. If your veins look blue-green, you may have a neutral undertone.

2. Use your eyes

While your eye color doesn't have the final say, generally speaking, green and brown eyes signal warm undertones, while blue or grey eyes belong to cooler undertones.

3. Use a piece of paper

Grab a piece of bright white paper and hold it to your bare face. If your skin looks yellowish against the sheet, it means you are warm. If it looks pink? It means you are cool-toned. If you look more green or grey, you can be neutral.

I hope that now you have a better idea of ​​your undertone. The good news is that most foundations now have a range of shades including most skin tones and undertones.


If you have trouble determining the right skin tone, don't worry. It takes time, patience, and sometimes a little trial and error before you find the perfect products to match your shade. 

One thing that we can offer you that everyone can apply no matter what their skin tone or skin type is our MaGéAu Naturel hand lotion and MaGéAu Naturel Vegan Lip Balm SPF30. We are currently offering 30% our combo offer so order now!

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