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Finding your skin tone

By Catalogs Editorial Staff

Finding your skin tone will help you select flattering cosmetics and clothing

Finding your skin tone will help you select flattering cosmetics and clothing

Finding your skin tone isn’t a difficult task. Simple quizzes can help you determine coloration by entering your answers to the following questions:

Is silver or gold jewelry more flattering next to your face?

What color are your eyes?

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What color was your hair when you were a child?

Are the veins in your inner wrist blue-green or blue-purple?

Do you look better in stark white or beige/ivory?

Do you burn or tan easily when in the sun?

Upon finishing the quiz you will learn whether you are ‘warm’ or ‘cool’ which is good to know when selecting cosmetics and clothing.

What is skin tone?

It is the range of coloring running the gamut from nearly black to nearly white. The color of skin is important in determining the shades of makeup you choose and which clothing looks best on you. The wrong color makeup or outfit can make you look bad and most would like to avoid that.


Many cosmetic products are pink-based which doesn’t work for those with yellow undertones.

Consider the four skin tone categories: Pink, yellow, olive and brown. Those with pink coloring are usually very fair and burn when in the sun. They have porcelain or pink undertones. Not all Caucasians are ‘pink.’ Some have yellow coloring. Mixed race and Asians also have yellow coloration.

Those who are Latino, Mediterranean or any woman of color generally have olive undertones.

If you do not burn easily when in the sun you have more melanin than the fair-skinned women and you probably have yellow or olive undertones. Melanin is pigment. A person’s coloring is determined by how much melanin she has.

Some individuals have sallow (yellow) undertones. Others have olive undertones that can make a person look gray or ashen because there is a greenish cast. Those with neutral tones don’t have any overt overtones such as sallow, olive or pink.

Going Red

If you are considering dyeing your hair red you need to know what your coloration is before proceeding because it is going to determine the shade you choose. When a woman has yellow hues she should choose a gold copper red for her hair color. The fair woman shouldn’t opt for burgundy or wine-colored tresses because it will wash her out. Instead, select a bright copper or a light, golden strawberry blonde shade.

The medium skin toned woman is advised to stay away from dark purplish red colors because this makes her look yellow. Go with a medium auburn or medium copper shade.

Women of color wanting to go red should step away from brilliant red because it may have too much blue in it. Chestnut brown or medium auburn is the best choice.

Black Hair

Some women are born with black hair and it looks fantastic. Others want to acquire it. Proceed with caution. When hair is too black it can wash you out and age you. Fair-skinned women need to be careful about going too dark. It is not flattering. Older women should take care not to go too dark when covering gray hairs because it ages them.

Albinism or Lack of Melanin

A person born without any pigmentation (melanin) is an albino. Melanin produces color in the dermis, hair and eyes. When a body doesn’t produce the normal amount of melanin a person has a condition called albinism. This individual has white hair, very light eyes and is extremely pale. Sometimes albinism only impacts the eyes and not the rest of the body. Some albinos have reddish or pinkish eye. This is the result of the iris having very little color. What you are seeing are the blood vessels on the retina showing through the iris. This iris isn’t actually red or pink.


Seventeen Magazine:  online skin tone quiz


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