Colors for Skin Tones - Which ones look the best on you?

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What is skin tone?

Before we dive right in to finding the best colors for skin tones, we need to talk about what skin tone is or rather what your skin undertone is. Skin tone is simply a distinction between warm and cool colors.

Warm toned individuals tend to look alive and healthy while wearing earthy colors, such as oranges, bronzes, golds, peaches, brick reds, earthy greens, mocha browns and ivory. They look best in yellow based colors. 

Cool toned people look best in blue based colors such as vibrant emerald greens, royal or icy blues, rosy pinks, silvers, plums, and pure white.

It’s important to know because it serves as your personal guide to wearing the right color clothing and make-up.  You may find the wedding dress of your dreams, but if the color is not right against your skin then the dress style won’t be enough to save you.Long ago I fell in love with a designer dress.  I knew the color wasn’t right for my skin tone, but I bought it anyway. I wore it once and it didn’t take long to hear that it washed me out.  After that, I never wore it again.

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Take the Skin Tone Test

There are three very easy tests that will allow you to determine your skin tone. Take one or take all. Pretty soon you will recognize which colors for skin tones work the best.

The Vein Test
The vein test is probably the most widely used and it is an easy way to determine your skin tone. In natural light (during the day, stand by an open window), make a fist and examine your inner wrist. What color are the veins? Veins that are mainly blue are a sign of cool tones, while green veins are a hint that you are warm toned. If your veins are a mix of blue and green, it could be a sign that you are neutral toned. Lucky you! You can wear almost any color.

The Silver/Gold Test
It's a little known fact that warm and gold and cool and silver go hand-in-hand. If you can find a piece of silver fabric and a piece of gold fabric, stand in front of a mirror in natural light. Hold each piece of fabric next to your face one at a time and see which one compliments your skin.  If the silver makes your face light up, you are most likely cool toned. If the gold makes you look fresh and alive, you are probably warm toned.

DNA Test
Certain physical features such as your natural hair color, skin and eye color can help you determine your skin tone too.


  • Skin tends to have a golden or apricot undertone
  • Hair tends to have hints of orange, yellow, red or gold
  • Eye color tends to be amber, dark brown, hazel or green


  • Skin has a pink or rosy undertone
  • Hair often contains blue, blue-violet, silver, drab, and ash undertones
  • Eye color tends to be light blue, gray-green, blue green, turquoise, gray-blue, black or cool brown

If you still are unable to determine your skin tone, you could be neutral toned. Neutral toned people can wear just about any color and look great. Some neutral skin tones pull towards warm or cool. If you're a neutral pulling warm, you look best in warm, but can pull-off wearing cool colors too and vise versa. You are one of the lucky ones, you can wear pretty much all colors for skin tones.

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