Friday, July 6th, 2012

Temptalia Asks You


When did you realize you had a cool, warm, or neutral skin tone? Did it change how you wore your makeup? Or did you ignore the “rules” and went with what you liked?

Temptalia's AnswerWarm shortly after I started wearing foundation (which was maybe a year after I started wearing makeup). I’ve always really liked myself in warmer shades like golds, coppers, bronzes – so I was already naturally inclined to a lot of the supposedly flattering colors on me. But I will wear whatever I like, and sometimes a color may be more flattering than others. (I think I look best in natural makeup, but it doesn’t stop me from wearing something really bright!)

Thanks to Edith for today’s question!
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41 thoughts on “When did you realize you had a cool, warm, or neutral skin tone?

  1. Avatar of Veronica Veronica

    It wasn’t until I really started getting into makeup (about two years ago) that I stumbled upon a video that described undertones and how they affect the look of makeup.  Considering my skin is practically transluscent at times, it took barely a second to figure it out using the vein method.  By nature, I tended to lean toward silvers and jewel tones in clothing, so I think I understood what worked on me on a subconscious level.  I’m still a sucker for gold jewelry, though, so I break the “rules” often enough.

  2. Miss J

    I was always told I was a cool skin tone because I had such light skin. I didn’t think I looked pink, but I went for cool toned foundation since that is what I was told. I never could find a match because everything always looked so damn pink. I was then told that I was just soooooo pale that there wasn’t a foundation to match me. One day, I was just like, I am not f’n pink toned!!!! I was at MAC getting samples of HyperReal, and I decided to ask for a NC sample just to confirm my suspicion that I wasn’t pink toned at all. What do you know? I wasn’t pink, but indeed a yellow/golden/olive tone. AND…I’m not even soooooo pale. I’m on the darker spectrum of light. 
     
    I *still* get SA’s trying to match me wrong.
     
    I’m not so warm that I can’t pull off some cool shades, but my skin tone is definitely not pink, and warmer than neutral. I just had to change foundation tone more than any other kind of makeup I wore.

    • Pamela

      Yeah but MAC is somewhat backwards.  They’re the only company to call yellow, golden skin “cool” and pink, red tones “warm”.  So even though I’m NC42, I still have golden tones in my skin and look best in orange, brown, copper, etc.  That’s one thing I could never figure out with MAC…

      • Miss J

        I hate MAC’s system. Yes, yellow is warm. NC is warm. NC has yellow/golden. 
         
        Their system confuses so many people.

        • phoenix

          I think this system even confuses the MUAs! At every MAC counter I go to they tell me I have a cool skin tone then match me to an NC! When I asked about the theory of colour neutralisation and an NC actually being a warm tone the response I got was ‘Oh well sometimes we do it like that but because you’re so pale then it doesn’t matter!’ I still don’t know what tone I am

        • Avatar of Kafka Kafka

          @Phoenix - I swear, the exact same thing has happened to me with MAC.  They tell me I’m cool-toned, then ascribe me an NC colour. It’s happened *twice.* But on another occasion, a MUA told me I’m warm. Make up your mind, people! I swear, this is the most confusing subject — especially if you’re an Olive. Because then you have some people throwing “neutral” in addition to “warm” and “cool” at you. Gaahh!

  3. Avatar of Faith Whambamglambam

    Just about a year ago! I didn’t even know that you could have neutral skin until then.

  4. Going to the MAC store! I wore foundation for a few years before realizing that my foundation looked odd in pictures.

  5. Mandy

    Honestly I still have no idea. I just wear what I like.

  6. Still having trouble deciding between cool and neutral here. I think I base it too much off of foundation colors; I lean towards warmer NC shades or neutral ones because I have a good amount of redness naturally. However my veining is quite blue to me so I suppose I am a proper NW. Ah I’m getting stressed just thinking about it haha! 

  7. Avatar of artemis artemis

    when i couldn’t find a pale foundation that matched me…they all were either orange or pinkish :(

  8. Avatar of artemis artemis

    my skin is very yellow undertoned(w/ some green too, lol), even if it;s not that apparent cause i’m pale

  9. LJ777

    I’m cool-toned but I have the same taste as you, golds and bronzes and coppers! I realised I was cool when MAC decided I was NC haha. But also I knew the whole vein check, I have very blue-purple veins, hence I’m cool.
     

    • Miss J

       @LJ777 NC’s are actually the warm tones. MAC has a horrible shade system because it confuses the hell out of people.

  10. Being as pale as I am it had been an odyssey to try to find foundation that work for me. The fairest shades on the market where all pink tones that looked so wrong on me. I’ve always had a keen eye for cool had so i chose not to wear foundation for this reason. I didn’t find my shade until i hit up theatrical brand and saw Mehron’s Light Olive. That shade was still too dark on me but the hue was perfect as I found just warm yellow shades too orange as well. It wasn’t until 6 years ago when my friend introduced me to mineral make up that i got hooked in general and was able to find an blend a true match for me.

  11. I’m cool-toned, more or less… But I still inspire debate the second I go to a different MUA/brand. (I suspect that this is because my local department stores where I usually hunt makeup down have no natural lighting. Thankfully we have Space.NK with NARS that has windows so I can get a more accurate reading.) My skintone is ridiculous; I get matches ranging from Illamasqua Skin Base shade 6.5 to 2-3. MAC are convinced I’m warm-toned and Guerlain tell me it’s a horrible idea. I actually keep a rough tally of every time I get told something different.
     
    Wasn’t sure of this until I went to a Guerlain counter with a lovely MUA who matched me for the lingerie foundation (which I still need to get). But as for colours, I really don’t care too much. I think there’s always a way to make a colour work for you, even if the “rules” don’t say so.

  12. To this day I’m not really sure, honestly. I think I’m a NW because golds look way better on me than silvers, but my natural coloring could go either way (gray-blue eyes, pink and yellow undertones, dirty blond hair), and I look good in a variety of hair colors.  I think as long as I don’t go too warm or too cool, it’s all good.

  13. Pamela

    I first discovered my true colors from a Cover Girl supplement in Teen mag (this was the late 80s).  It outlined the basics such as whether you look best in gold or silver jewelry, have golden tones in your hair versus ash, etc.  When I found out that warm colors looked best on me, I was really disappointed.  I mean, what 14 year old wants to wear brown shadow and copper lipstick???  At the time I was all about the hot pinks and purples.  Finally, I experimented with a peach lipstick and a gold eyeshadow.  I saw my face looked brighter, less harsh.  I also received compliments from my friends.  You know when someone looks “different” or “more radiant” but you cannot place why?  That was what people were saying to me.  I am so adamant about wearing the right colors.  I hate to see a beautiful woman in the wrong colors.   To my eye, it clashes like wearing leopard spots with tartan.  I like some cool toned colors but I try and alter them to give them warmth like by using a yellow or brown base.  Or just using a warm version of a color like burgundy instead of violet or turquoise or teal instead of cobalt.  There are warm and cool variations of every color so if you hate the fact you’re warm or cool you can still make some colors more palpable to your natural tone.  

  14. Avatar of Maria Idhren

    I read a blogpost written by a Finnish beauty blogger. I had been sure I was cool toned because my face looked pale and had coupe rosa all over. But she wrote that many people are mistaken because they look at only their face, and instead should look at the veins in their wrists, you know the drill. That was really an eye-opener. I think it was confirmed by the fact that I had this old MAC foundation which was labeled NC15 – I never really bothered to think about what those two letters meant, I was just trusting that it’s the right thing for me, which it of course was. Funny thing. :D

  15. Avatar of Kafka Kafka

    Honestly, this issue confuses me to no end.  Based on the Vein Test (and going by genetics/background), I’m in that difficult olive zone in which neither warm nor cool really applies (or so I’ve read).  Based on MAC’s assessment, I’m cool-toned. Based on the Gold/Silver jewellery test, I could be both warm or cool, but probably warm.  So, who bloody knows?? Personally, I don’t think most golds, bronzes or browns (particularly taupe) suit me at ALL.  Same with any orange or brown-based blushes. I think cooler colours (like silver or grey eyeshadows, blue-toned purples, or cool-toned pink blushes) suit me much better.  Regardless, I’m not a fan of following rigid rules in ANY context, so I do what makes me feel pretty. At the end of the day, that’s what makeup is all about, right? :) 

  16. Claire

    I realized I was neutral after a frustrating few years of buying very warm and very cool palettes (and clothing) that looked like total crap on me. It’s still pretty hard to find shades that work, especially face products.. you’d think neutral means you can wear anything, but nope! You have to find colors with just the right balance of warm/cool, and foundation is practically impossible to find. Very annoying.

  17. Tamara

    I believe I lean more toward a cool skin tone because cooler colors tend to just compliment me better. I realized this back when I was in high school and saw that certain colors I was buying were looking way “off” on me. Bronze/copper/honey type colors. But I don’t really care, if I feel like wearing something warm, I’ll just use a warmer foundation to help neutralize my natural undertones. I’m doing this a lot right now because I’m really loving peaches and tangerines for summer.

  18. Hannah

    I always knew that I had a pinky, peaches and cream skintone with little yellow in it. However, I have always preferred coppers and golds on the eye. Even when I officially realized that I had a “cool” skintone, and tried the colors that would supposedly flatter me (cool taupes on the eyes, cool pinks elsewhere), I did not find these colors flattering. I still reach for coppers and peaches so much more often than anything else in my collection.

  19. I think I made the connection shortly before starting to use makeup.  I looked at the clothing I owned and i realized that the vast majority of the colors I wore were pinks, yellows and reds.  I didn’t own anything that was blue or green, and only had one piece of purple clothing.  I realized that my favorite colors were the colors that looked the best on me.  I always gravitate towards warm colors, makeup nor not. 
     
    Then, when I was starting out with makeup, I bought myself a palette of purple eyeshadows.  They looked terrible on me, and that just cemented that I was indeed warm-toned.

  20. eltscott

    I noticed my undertone was neutral when I started to wear foundation too, but I noticed it more when I realized I could wear cool toned and warm toned colors on my eyes, lips, and cheeks. 

  21. Verladesh Gilles

    When I was introduced to Prescriptives about 15 yrs ago.

  22. Megan Holman

    It wasn’t until recently when I started working in a makeup store and I realized how much of a pink undertone I have

  23. Tabea Jehle

    When I noticed that most mac foundations are either too warm or too cool… So I know that I am neutral with a tiny warm touch…

  24. Michelle Corey

    I’m still not sure, I don’t really wear foundation.

  25. Avatar of GloriaKate GloriaKate

    I still don’t know what I am, honestly. I’d kind of like to get an opinion on that but photos are never accurate and we don’t have a mac counter anywhere close… and sephora is an hour away. Oh well I guess.

    • Pamela

       @GloriaKate Without any professionals you can still determine your undertone.  See if the veins on the inner side of your wrist are blue or green.  Blue=cool, green=warm.  Put a white fabric next to your face then do the same with ivory.  Which one “brightens” your skin? White=cool, ivory=warm.  (You can also try the same with a cherry red [cool] fabric versus a tomato [warm] red.)  Between silver (cool) or gold (warm) jewelry, which one makes your skin radiant?  Your curiosity will be solved.

  26. When I finally got matched at the Bobbi BRown coiunter. She is AMAZING

  27. amy829

    I’ve always known. It’s hard not to see the pink hues on my cheeks! :)

  28. blueraccoon

    I think I’ve always known – I’m very pale but definitely pink underneath. For a while it was hard to tell because I was *so* colorless, due to anemia, but now I have some color in my skin again. I’m still pale, but I’m no longer translucent! Although I think I”ve gotten paler as I’ve gotten older, somehow–I have memories of being matched to MAC NW25 in college, and I *think* that was the foundation the makeup artist used on me for my wedding, but these days it’d be way too dark. 

  29. avamiav

    The N Collection.  I felt that the shadows really looked good on me.  I find the colors that lean grey look best on me.  I’ve been matched for foundation by MA’s, usually with pink leaning foundations. 

  30. I’ve just recently really come into accepting and glorifying in my cool undertone. My mother and various consultants have pushed me my entire life toward warm neutrals. I suppose because I have light eyes and very fair skin with a red cast to my hair. But I’m so cool that neutrals don’t even do well on me. I’ve always started with warms, test, find them atrocious and get a comparable cool. I’m glad now to be confident in cool and buy what I’m naturally drawn to instead of what someone else says.

  31. I have no clue after wearing makeup for more than 30 years.  I just go to the counter and buy what shade blends well with me.   Some purple shadows look good on me…some dont.  I use a blend of every undertone.   I “discover” U.D. 13 years later that its colors work well with me overall.  Though I use Estee Lauder foundation, I stay far far far away from Estee Lauder, Clinique. Bobbi Brown, Clarins, and the likes of muted color makeup, shadows and lipsticks…..Their colors do not fit well on non- Caucasian skin tone.

  32. h_e_green

    I wear NC20 as i’m warm toned. NC apparebntly is Not Cool. Stupid isnt it?! I suit orange/peach/brown/gold tones best, however i do love a nice yellow based pink lipstick. It can be hard for me to wear pinks though as i always wear peach toned blush such as MAC Melba, and it feels like the pink and peach together dont “link” well. Any hints or suggestions on a more pink toned blush that would suit me would be gratefully accepted.

  33. Growing up, my mom always informed me that we were “winter” palettes, which translated to fair with pink undertones. I’ve kept that in my head while picking colors. Also, when I was a teenage I’d wander into the drugstore and head immediately to the fairest foundations I could find. I was usually the lightest or second lightest color…I’ve always known it, I guess!  

  34. Avatar of Leticia Leticia

    I first heard about “warm”, “cool” or “neutral” undertones in a Pursebuzz video. I did the tests but I honestly am not sure – the veins on my wrist sometimes look blue, sometimes green; sometimes I believe golden jewelry suits me best, but silver jewelry does not look bad on me. In the end I usually pick my makeup by instinct – if I stopped to think about warm or cool undertones I would never choose anything, it´s still confusing!

  35. diamond_8806

    I first learned about the undertones of makeup when I decided to buy my first high end foundation.  I went into make up store to be color match and the sales lady was extremely helpful in explaining the difference in warm and cool products.  I no longer wear that product because it doesn’t agree with my skin type, but that info has helped save me a lot of grief when purchasing foundations now.  I can now spot the difference in a warm and a cool product from miles away.  =)