Do you prefer cool or warm-toned makeup? (In general!)

I couldn’t decide between the two because I love both cool/warm options of some of my favorite colors, like green, teal, etc. I love molten, honey golds as well as dirty, pewter-gold kind of shades.

— Christine


Comments that do not adhere to our comment policy may be removed. Discussion and debate are highly encouraged but we expect community members to participate respectfully. Please keep discussion on-topic, and if you have general feedback, a product review request, an off-topic question, or need technical support, please contact us!

Please help us streamline the comments' section and be more efficient: double-check the post above for more basic information like pricing, availability, and so on to make sure your question wasn't answered already. Comments alerting us to typos or small errors in the post are appreciated (!) but will typically be removed after errors are fixed (unless a response is needed).

We appreciate enthusiasm for new releases but ask readers to please hold questions regarding if/when a review will be posted as we can't commit to or guarantee product reviews. We don't want to set expectations and then disappoint readers as even products that are swatched don't always end up being reviewed due to time constraints and changes in priorities! Thank you for understanding!

Comments on this post are closed.
Ana Maria Avatar

That’s my same opinion on Modern Renaissance and all those other warm toned palettes everyone is launching. There are some colors in Modern Renaissance you couldn’t even pay me to wear (well… depends on the price 😅).

And I know it’s also personal preference/taste, but I never felt that most people praising Modern Renaissance and all those other very warm toned red/orange/yellow based palettes actually looked incredibly good when creating looks. They didn’t looked as awful and sick as I would look, the looks were OK, I’m not saying they were ugly… but it didn’t seem as flattering as one would expect from a color scheme many seem to consider their favorite.
Sometimes I just wonder if we people see colors so differently, we would be amazed and confused of we were to see through other eyes.

Mariella Avatar

A few years ago, I saw a young sales assistant at Bath & Body Works (I think) who was wearing a very pink eye and for the first time, it occurred to me, I was seeing someone on whom it looked good. She was young, blonde and very pretty and she’d applied her eye makeup beautifully and it really suited her. But other than that….I’ve yet to see someone who looks really good in those colours. There used to be a cashier at my local grocery store whose look was very “out there” and edgy and she always wore red (not burgundy, not wine, not plum, but bright red) eyeliner. It was part of her look and it suited her “look” – that almost scary, hard-edged look – but it wasn’t for me….

Mariella Avatar

There are so many of us who are still waiting/hoping for the demise of the red and orange based eye palette trend (along with the matte lip, in my case) but in spite of a few encouraging releases over the past 5 years, it doesn’t look like it’s going away any time soon.

Swoozy Avatar

Neutral to slightly cool. I’m pretty pale, so anything too cool makes me look like I’m trying to be a Goth. I can wear some warm golds, but oranges and reds are a hard no.

Marg Avatar

Same here, i.e. neutrals leaning cool. Anything too cool – I look drained of life. Anything a bit too warm (rusts, oranges, olives, etc.) – I look sick and jaundiced. It’s not that easy to find a really good palette for me, so I tend to buy singles, but even then it’s not that easy to find what I’m looking for. I remember many years ago in the mid/late 90s, Revlon had a quad called Stones (or something like that) and it was a perfect combo of really neutral browns. Was never able to find really good dupes for it.

Swoozy Avatar

It is so hard to find a good palette, especially at a reasonable price! I do like Pat McGrath’s Mothership I, but it’s huge to carry for travel. I’ve fallen in love with Trinny London’s cream eye shades over a good primer – mystery, wisdom, magician – I’m all about varying shades of taupe 😉

Haley Avatar

I need cool tones or if warmer, leaning more neutral. The orangey-browns and golds look completely wash me out and make me look extremely pale/sick. I am so glad some newer palettes are bringing back neutral browns/golds which are my holy grails for every day looks.

Catherine Avatar

I’m someone who can’t really identify warm or cool tones unless they are extremely warm or extremely cool. I’m not color-blind, but I think I just don’t understand or can’t process. Sometimes I’ll see a swatch and purposely try to associate it with warm or cool before reading Christine’s description, and I am often wrong and sometimes grossly wrong. Hahaha.
I don’t wear foundation, either, so I don’t know my shade and cannot even hazard a guess as to whether I am light-medium or medium, or what my undertones are. Someone else would have to tell me.
I like what I like, and I don’t really know if it’s warm or cool. I think my coloring is more warm and I think I lean towards warm???

Ana Maria Avatar

I have the same issue, I can’t tell from a picture online if a color is cool tones or warm toned most times, I also play the guessing game with Christine’s descriptions. 😁

But once I apply them on my skin I can easily see the undertones. For example, most times I can’t tell from the bullet if a lipstick is a blue (cool) based red or yellow (warm) based red, but I can see the undertones on my lips.

Seeing swatches online can also be deceiving, since we all have different settings for our computer monitors or smartphone screen, some have too much yellow saturation or apply blue light filters (some people also wear glasses with screen filters).

Meredith Avatar

Warm tones. Soft Glam is the perfect palette within my comfort level but can be oh so boring. I can deal with blues and greens but cool toned purples are just out of the question. Cool toned browns just appear ashy on me but I have That’s Taupe in the mail from Colourpop so we will see where we land.

Nancy T Avatar

Having very neutral coloring, I can truly get away with wearing almost anything. Good thing, because I love playing with color and various unexpected shade combinations! Therefore, I would have to say that I do veer to warmer side just out of a general preference, but still love taupes, purples, emerald green, teal, navy, sometimes even silvery shades also.

kjh Avatar

I think a mixture. Cheeks warmer, for contrast as lt to med cool disappears. L/s either in red, cooler in neutral (taupe, rather than brown,) pinks and pink corals clash massively w/skin tone. Eyes: everything short of saturated, bright, neon, metallic. Grown into liking neutrals, w/cools taking a preference, again taupe rather than brown. Think CP stone cold fox or fame. Fave palette for the aged side of me is Zoeva En Taupe. It’s good that almost all of Christine’s questions have an analytic ‘subtext’ to make you think why you think what you think. If that makes sense, because it’s getting too meta for me. And I hate buzzwords…like subtext….

Ana Maria Avatar

Although I have a warm undertone, my go-tos and the shades that flatter me most are cool tones. Give me dirty greys and browns, cool tones plum blushes, ashy cheek and eyes contour shades, blue based grey or taupe eyeshadows and red lipstick.
Anything with the slightest warm tone, especially yellow and orange based colors, looks bad on me.
Not that I am all for every cool tones. Cool tone pinks and lavenders are just not for me.

Jess Avatar

Cool! Warm tones make me look ill especially around my eyes. I had to give my original Naked palette away because it made my skin look jaundiced.

Genevieve Avatar

That’s an interesting question – my complexion is definitely cool toned and so is my eye colour (grey/blue eyes). However my hair is a genuine red shade, which gives me an overall warm toned look.
So I stick to cool toned foundation, coral blushes etc for my face, but I can wear both warmish and cool toned eyeshadows (but not pink – rose gold – yes, but not pinks, reds and oranges).
I love both my golds, neutral browns, olive shades and rose golds as warmer toned shades, but can also wear grey, pewter, teals and blue shades.

Pamela Avatar

I prefer warm tones for makeup and clothing. At this time of year where I live in New England the foliage has passed its peak but I still find inspiration in the colors of turning leaves. Those shades of red, orange, gold, yellow, chartreuse, olive and burgundy make me complexion look its absolute BEST–so radiant and glowing.

Susan Nevling Avatar

I am light medium neutral and lean towards cool colors but do like many warm colors. Oranges are my enemy. I simply can’t wear them and must be very careful with yellows in makeup and fashion.

Nikki Avatar

I tend to prefer cool tones because I’m cool-toned myself, but I can also wear a surprisingly large amount of warm tones. My overall coloring is cool but my hair is somewhat neutral-red highlights, blonde strands, and a blue cast, all on a brown base-so I think that opens up my color options.

Cara Avatar

I’m vampire pale with a strong cool undertone so I can’t wear warm tones because they make me look sick and almost hungover. It’s hard building a collection that’s completely cool and true neutral in undertone but that’s what I’ve done over the last few years.

We try to approve comments within 24 hours (and reply to them within 72 hours) but can sometimes get behind and appreciate your patience! 🙂 If you have general feedback, product review requests, off-topic questions, or need technical support, please contact us directly. Thank you for your patience!