While it is important to be aware of your skin colour intensity aka how fair or dark your skin is, that is not enough to find the shades that will look best on you. You need to keep an eye out for undertone skin, meaning the hue and the intensity both are needed to get your right shade of concealer, foundation, nude lipstick, blush, highlighter, basically everything!
Determine Skin Tone for Makeup Readiness: The Basics
But how to determine skin undertone for makeup? You may have noticed that a lot of fair people have a pinkish tint to their skin. As for darker-skinned people, they tend to have a warm yellow or tint. This tint is the skin’s undertone. There are three main categories. Warm undertones include a yellow, peach or golden hue while your veins may look green. Cool undertones are pink, blue red and even the veins can look a little purple.
If you keep seeing both family of colours, then you may have a neutral undertone as it is a combination of warm and cool colours. Another very popular method is to use jewellery to find your undertone. There is a general understanding that gold colour looks best on warm undertones while silver jewellery suits cool undertones. But this method may not always be accurate, especially if you already have a pre-existing preference for jewellery.
Tips on How to Determine Skin Undertone for Makeup Readiness
So, how to know your skin undertone? To identify your undertone, take a look at a clear patch of your skin under natural light. The most common and easiest way to check is to look at the inner side of your wrist. Once you find your undertone, follow up with your CTM routine and primer. Prepping your skin is important as it not only allows your makeup to last longer but also cleans your face of any grime, so it perfectly matches the product shades you’ve picked out.
As for the primer, go for a non-tinted primer that simply blurs your pores and blemishes while acting as a base for your makeup. The Lakmé Absolute Glow Primer wakes dull skin with its moisturising and illuminating properties. It is also lightweight, so you can easily blend it in to get a natural finish with a subtle glow.
1. Warm undertones
Once you have figured out how to determine skin undertone for makeup, the fun part begins.
Concealer - For warm undertone skin, look for concealer shades with the name ‘warm’. That more or less makes it easier to find. If you are on the fairer side with yellow undertone skin, try out something like the Lakmé Absolute Mattereal Mousse Concealer in ‘Toffee’ or ‘Walnut’. Despite its creamy formula, you can get high coverage with a matte finish. If you are on the darker side, we love the ‘Sand’, ‘Cinnamon’ and ‘Walnut’ shades of Lakmé Absolute Creme Concealer. This too has an airy and velvet formula with vitamin E and skincare actives, making it perfect for sensitive and acne-prone skin. If you prefer their 9 to 5 Primer + Matte Liquid Concealer, almost all of their shades are for warm undertones. This is a fan-favourite range as it does stay on all day long and is easily blendable to give smooth and precise coverage.
Foundation - All the shades of Lakmé Absolute Mattreal Skin Natural Mousse can work in this case. And since it has a light, mousse formula with SPF that protects the skin, it's worth trying out. Meanwhile, Lakmé 9 to 5 Primer + Matte Perfect Cover Foundation takes mercy on us and names their shades according to the undertones. So just look for the word ‘warm’ in the name like ‘Warm Creme’ for lighter skin tone or ‘Warm Beige’ for those on the duskier side. Easy to blend, it gives a natural finish. And well, looks like it gets easier once we reach foundation since even the Lakmé Absolute Skin Dew Serum Foundation’s shade names mention the undertone. Thanks to the niacinamide and hyaluronic acid in it, it nourishes your skin and gives a dewy finish giving other serum foundations a run for their money.
Lipsticks - Lakmé 9 to 5 Primer + Matte Lip Color’s ‘Red Letter’ is perfect if you are fair but have olive undertone skin which may make it a chore to find the right shades for you. With intense colour, this lipstick stays all day. If you want a nude shade, gravitate towards reds and browns like Lakmé 9 to 5 Primer + Matte Liquid Lip Color’s ‘Intense Latte’, ‘Beachy Nude’ or ‘Brick Nude’. Since it has vitamin E and argan oil, you don’t have to worry about the usual cons of liquid lipsticks drying out the lips. As for pink shades, see to it that it has a hint of yellow or orange like Lakmé Absolute Sheer Lip Mousse’s ‘Nude Naturalle’ or ‘Pink Veil’. While it has a sheer and light formula it leaves you with an intense and pigmented result.
2. Cool undertones
Concealer - Most of the shades of Lakmé Absolute Mattereal Mousse Concealer are for cool undertone skin. Since it can easily cover even fine lines, it is known for its ability to provide all the coverage you need. If you love a blurry and matte finish, Lakmé 9 to 5 Primer + Matte Liquid Concealer’s ‘Ivory’, ‘Nude’ and ‘Walnut’ are part of a range of cool shades in different intensities. If you have a cool and fair tone but want something for a no-makeup look, the Lakmé Absolute Creme Concealer’s ‘Ivory’ is for you. It is so smooth, you won’t even know you are wearing any concealer. If you also love a crease-free but dewy look, this is for you.
Foundation - With Lakmé 9 to 5 Primer + Matte Perfect Cover Foundation having SPF20, it easily doubles up as a sunscreen. Just try out a shade like ‘Cool Tan’ for dark skin or ‘Cool Rose’ if you are a shade lighter. As for those with breakouts and blemishes, go for the skinified foundation Lakmé Absolute Skin Dew Serum Foundation in shades like ‘Cool Rose’ or ‘Cool Walnut’. Lightweight and not sticky, it also happens to be perfect for Indian weather. But we cannot forget our dry-skinned girls. So, we give you the matte Lakmé 9 to 5 Primer + Matte Powder Foundation which gives you a smooth finish. Shades such as ‘Honey Dew’ or ‘Natural Almond’ can probably be the perfect fit.
Lipsticks - With the Lakmé Absolute Sheer Lip Mousse being smooth and matte in just one swipe, it would be super sad if they didn’t have cool shades. But fret not as they have pretty colours like ‘Dark Cherry’ and ‘Plum Peach’ just for this situation. Now, with peach lipsticks looking super pretty on cool undertones, we love Lakmé 9 to 5 Primer + Matte Lip Color - ‘Coral Date’. It also lasts all day so no touch ups required there, a win-win! And if you know how to find skin undertone for makeup but cannot actually find the shades for the perfect nude lipstick, just turn to the Lakmé 9 to 5 Primer + Matte Liquid Lip Color. It has a shade for every brightness and darkness. So, if you are fair, try out ‘Salmon Pink’ and if you are darker, go for something like ‘Hustling Nude’ or ‘Edgy Mauve’.
3. Neutral undertones
Concealer - As for neutral undertone skin, we are not kidding when we say any shade will work. Just focus more on intensity i.e., if it is just light or dark enough for your skin.
Foundation - The same goes for foundation. However, sometimes you may see more yellows or reds, then you can try out warm colours. Similarly, if you see a little bit more of a pink or blueish tint, you can go for blue colours.
Lipsticks - Guess, we don’t have to recommend anything because you are that lucky. Yep, any lipstick you try can work. Just keep in mind that it shouldn’t be too light or it could make you look washed out.
FAQs about How to Determine Skin Undertone for Makeup Readiness
Q1. How many skin undertones are there?
There are three major undertones – warm, cool and neutral. In neutral, if you have more yellows, you can try out warm colours and if you have more of a pinkish/bluish hue, cool colours will work better.
Q2. What undertone is Indian skin?
More often than not, the average Indian undertone is warm with hints of yellow. But this does not apply to every Indian.
Q3. How to find skin undertone for makeup?
As we mentioned above, the easiest and fastest way is to check the inner side of your wrist.
Written by Lopa K on May 11, 2023