Beauty 101: What’s Your Skin Tone?

By: | by L'Oréal
Beauty 101: What’s Your Skin Tone?

Knowing your skin tone is about as important as knowing your blood type. Okay, maybe that’s a tad dramatic, but when it comes to your beauty routine, a good understanding of your skin’s natural tone is key. Have you ever picked up a foundation that ended up too pink for your skin? Or too yellow? How can you find the right shade of foundation if you don’t know your skin tone?

Not only will knowing your skin tone assist  in picking the right makeup to complement your complexion, but it can also help you effectively protect your skin and address various issues to which you may be prone. To help you determine where you fall on the spectrum, we’ll break down the basic skin tone types for you.

whats your skin tone


On the tanning scale, you porcelain beauties are at the very bottom. Containing cool, milky, blue-ish/red undertones, your skin skips the sun-kissed bronze phase and goes straight to sunburn. You are also prone to redness and skin conditions such as rosacea. Tip: Keep your beauty cabinet stocked with gentle moisturizers and sunscreens with a high SPF.


What’s the difference between fair and light skin tone? Well, light skin tone is still pale. Women with a light skin tone have more pink undertones, but are still on the cooler side of the color scale. Containing rosy/peach undertones, your skin flushes easily and is most compatible with cool-colored makeup. Break out the blue eye shadow!


Talk about a happy medium. Your light beige complexions contain no traces of olive, pink or yellow tones. Rather, you have equal amounts of pink and yellow undertones, which leaves you with very neutral toned skin making the foundation search a breeze.

You don’t have to choose cool shades or warm shades to complement your complexion. Try L’Oréals True Match Super Blendable Compact Makeup for on-the-go coverage with a flawless finish.


Stepping into warm territory, your skin has lovely yellow, green and light brown undertones that makes it easy to tan, sans the burn. You are one lucky bronze goddess. While not as easily tarnished by the sun, your skin is often oily and prone to enlarged pores and breakouts.

Tip: Foaming cleansers (try SkinCeuticals Gentle Cleanser!) and oil-free moisturizers can help keep that oil and excess dirt at bay! As for makeup, stock up on neutral-colored products!


Dark-skinned complexions range from copper and espresso tones to dark brown and ebony. However, you are not exempt from sun damage such as hyperpigmentation, so hold on to that sunscreen.

Tip: If you’re already experiencing pigmentation and dark spot issues, try Dermablend Skin Perfector Pigment Correcting Primer under your foundation or Skinceuticals Advanced Pigment Corrector to brighten.

Not Sure About Your Skin Tone?  

Need help figuring out where you fall on the tone scale? Check out the veins on the inside of your wrist. If your veins are more of a bluish-purple color, you are in the cool-toned category. If your veins are green, you are more warm-toned. And if your veins fall somewhere between blue and green (meaning they have both tones), you probably have a more neutral-colored complexion.

You can also examine your jewelry. Do you look better in silver or gold jewelry, personal preference aside? If silver suits your complexion, you are cool-toned. If gold suits your complexion, you are warm-toned. If both look equally great, then you are neutral-toned.

Do you know what your skin tone is? Tell us in the comments below!  

Photo: thinkstock

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