What's your skin tone? A handy step-by-step guide

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  • Wednesday, August 22, 2018
What's your skin tone? A handy step-by-step guide
What's your skin tone? A handy step-by-step guide

We know. Finding foundation feels like a monumental task, from analysing your skin tone to determining your more subtle undertone, it can be dizzying. Luckily, it’s a process you only go through once. When you find your perfect match, you’ll wear it forever. First, we need to clarify the difference between skin tone and undertone. Your skin tone is the surface colour of your skin. This is determined by the amount of pigment present, which gives skin a light or dark appearance. These can be described as fair, medium and deep skin. Undertones are the tones that lay underneath to give surface skin its specific hue, and you’ll need to take this into account, too, when choosing the perfect foundation. Here’s how to do it: 

Step 1: Observe the skin on your face and neck in a mirror in even lighting or sunlight.   

Step 2: Swatch your favourite makeup colours onto your face and see the type of colours that blend in or disappear into your colour. 

Step 3: The colours that match your skin are described as light or deeply pigmented colours.

Step 4: Look at the colour of your veins underneath your skin. 

Step 5: Use the description below to determine what your skin tone and undertone are:


Fair Skin

Your skin colour looks beige or pink and you get sunburned easily. When your skin burns it leaves patches of red or light pink skin on your face. Your features such as your hair and eye colour are also light. Your veins appear blueish-purple in colour.


Medium Skin

Your skin has a natural tan and looks sunkissed despite not spending too much time in the sun. Your skin has an olive-golden tinge to it. Your skin appears a healthy yellow glow in the light. Your veins appear greenish. 


Deep skin

Your skin colour ranges from a light mahogany to the darkest shades of brown and your eyes are an onyx black colour. Your skin doesn’t burn in the sun, instead it either darkens or leaves dark patches on your face. Your veins appear as a combination of green, purple and blue.  

Keep in mind when looking for foundation that you’re looking to match the undertones. They are permanent whereas surface skin is susceptible to changing colour according to seasonal and biological changes. Thankfully beauty counters arrange foundations according to these fair, medium and deep skin categories to make shopping easier and the makeup experts on hand will be able to help you find the perfect one to use day or night, all year round.


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