Is your skin warm or cool toned? | Why knowing your undertone matters | Justine Leconte


Hi everyone, it’s Justine. Today we’re talking about color again because I get many questions on that topic at the moment. If you take two women who have my skin tone, one might say, “Black looks great on me,” and the other one would say, “Black makes me look old and sick and I hate it.” Why is that? In this video I’d like to explain the difference between skin tone and undertone, first off. Then tell you why it’s good to know your under- tone and what you can do with that information, and then I’ll give you three methods to find out what your undertone is. Skin tone versus undertone: Your skin tone is your skin color the one you see when you look at yourself in a mirror without thinking about it too much, in natural daylight. It is often referred to as very fair, fair, medium, dark, tan, et cetera until very dark it’s also the range of colors you get when you go to a tanning salon and you pick which tan you want to get. So your skin tone changes in summer versus winter depending on how tan you are. That’s why you always want to measure it, for instance here, on a place that doesn’t get sun that much so that you get a better idea what your real skin tone would be. I did a video on how to help you measure your skin tone, I link it down below and in the corner here. That’s it for skin tones, now you’re undertone, on the other hand, does not change. It’s the hidden color in your skin, so to say, the one that you don’t see at first sight. It’s the one that makes your skin overall look rather cool, rather warm, but you really don’t “see” it. Why do we have a skin tone and an under- tone, you would ask? Great question-
because the color of the skin, no matter which complexion you have, is a really complex color to get. You need to mix all colors in order to get it. I had a color theory professor once who asked us, for homework, to mix paints until we got the exact color of our skin here. You wouldn’t believe how much blue I had to pour in, in order to get that color! So the undertones in your skin are the tones you don’t “see” but that make your skin look the way it looks. Why it’s important to know your undertone: When the colors in your outfit suit you well it’s because they flatter your skin, so they say. People will tell you, “Wow! You look radiant today, your eyes are shining, you look beautiful!” On the other side, when you wear colors that don’t work well for you people will tell you “Oh, you look tired. What happened?” or you look at yourself in the mirror and you think, “Wow, the bags under my eyes are so strong today. I look washed out, what’s wrong with me?” Right? There are several reasons for that. It can be that the color is too bright or too dull compared to your skin. It can also be that it’s a cool undertone when you’re in fact warm undertoned. The rule is: colors that have the same undertone as you do, as your skin does, will always make you look, somehow, a bit more radiant and healthy, so we want to find out which undertone you have. Three quick tests to find out you’re undertone: For this part, first, make sure that you’re standing next to a window, facing that window, that you get a lot of natural daylight into your face. No sunlight, no artificial light. It would screw up the results, so daylight, just daylight. First method: look at your veins right here on the inside of your wrist. Do those veins look rather bluish to you of greenish? If your veins tend towards blue or maybe purplish then you’re on the cool side. If your veins rather look green or olive-tone, you’re on the warm side. If you can’t really say which color your veins are, that’s possible. You might be in the middle. You might be neutral. Then, try the next method. Second method: take a white sheet of paper. Bring it next to you, like this. You want to compare this white with the color of your neck, or your chest (even better) not with your face because the face always looks a bit more reddish. That’s because of hormones. Men and women have that, no difference here, so don’t use the face. That’s deceiving. Use the neck or the chest. Even better, you take off your clothes and you wear only a white towel, put your hair away, so that everything else around your skin is white it’s even easier to see. When I put this sheet of paper next to my skin without… you’re hearing that in the microphone (laughs)… does your skin compared to that white turn rather pinkish or rather yellowish? If you feel that suddenly your skin looks more reddish, it is because you have a lot of blue under- tone in your skin, so you’re on the cool side. If your skin turns yellowish then you’re on the warm side. If you still don’t know after this test, you might be neutral. Third method: take a piece of silver jewelry and a piece of golden jewelry. Ideally, they should have the same size and surface. That’s the biggest piece of something golden I own- sorry about that, but it’s not ideal for this test, right? So, you have those two pieces. You hold them alternatively in front of your neck and compare until you found which one makes your skin look more radiant and healthy. The right metal among those two sorts will make your skin light up visually and you will really see the difference. If silver is the one that makes you look healthier, then you’re cool. If gold is the metal that makes your skin look better, then you’re warm. Remember that I said French women usually don’t mix metals? They wear either all silver or all gold. Well intuitively that’s the reason why. They know that one metal out of those two makes them look better than the other one. Now what if you get different results from those three tests, or you can’t really tell the color of your veins, or the colored skin, even after comparing with friends? In that case, you might be neutral which is great because neutral toned people can theoretically wear any color- lucky you! But if you found that you have a warm or cool undertone you can really work with that information. If you’re cool toned, you will find that a cool blue suits you better than a warm blue. You will also find that a bronze color or a golden dress are just too much for your skin. You’re disappearing. People see the dress instead of you, but if you are warm then golden tones or earthy tones will look good on you, while glacier blue makes you look pale and sick. Now you’re understand why Beyoncé always rocks golden outfits. In my previous video, you saw that the skin tone influences which colors suits you well and which don’t. That was basic because I used only pure colors on the color wheel. Now you see that not just the skin tone matters, but also the undertone; and there’s not just one blue and one red, but a ton of different ones so the eye needs to be trained. You can surely differentiate a blue from a green, but in fact, you also need to differentiate warm green from a cool green because the one on the left while suit people with a warm undertone while the one on the right suits people with a cool undertone. The easiest way to practice, guys, is to compare pieces that you already have in your closet. Hold the clothes right here. Chin. Fabric. No space in between. Right. Which colors make your skin look fantastic and your eyes shine? Which colors make you look older and tired? The more you practice, try, and compare, the more you’ll get a feeling for all this. I know there are painters and artists among you. Such people can tell immediately, “this is a warm color it has that much blue, yellow, and red in it.” That’s actually a very useful skill for fashion! Thumbs up if you like this video and if you want to hear more about color in the future. Let me know. I’m happy to help. Also, feel free to comment below if you have doubts about your undertone or any question remaining about the methods I explained. I’ll see you Wednesday and Sunday again. Here are two more videos for you to watch until then. Take care, bye bye!

100 Comments

  1. Justine Leconte officiel

    April 16, 2017 at 10:17 am

    Happy Easter everyone! I hope you'll find this video useful. I love to do videos on color 👗👠 See you soon!

  2. Quixotic Tambourine

    August 26, 2019 at 6:53 am

    I am a “neutral” and have acne and PIH! BRING ON THE BLOODy RAINBOWS FOR ME. 🌈 😂😂

    Nice video though for normal skin! 💕

  3. E J

    August 26, 2019 at 11:51 pm

    What about black and white? Why do I look great in black but awful in white? Is that only to do with skin tone or undertones too? I am very pale, but I don’t think I have cool undertones.. my veins are both blue and greenish.. as in, some are blue and some are green.. but I look better in gold.. help! Apparently I look great in bright and rich reds, deep darks and navy blue.

  4. iop erty

    August 27, 2019 at 1:50 am

    !! I would never thought I have a cold undertone! I tried to use "seasonal" spectrum of colortypes, but only thing I thought I knew is that I look warm. I have wheat colored hair (not pepel or yellow at all, rather red-ish undertone), brown eyes (the type that are green closer to center, almost orange on the edge), and rather fair skin that doesn't look pale or white tho. But I have very blue veins, I look pinkish near the paper and any tonal cosmetics look yellow on me (not sure about metals test). I have to rethink my life rn

  5. Slipslide98_YT

    August 27, 2019 at 9:45 am

    when it is cold my skin turns a red and white sort of color pls tell me y and if i can fix it

  6. aliskey62389

    August 27, 2019 at 10:09 am

    Hey Justine, I've always been torn about which one of these I am. I have blueish veins and think I've always been more suited to cooler tones like you describe, however my skin tone, even though fair, is much more yellow than other people I compare to with pinkish skin. I've also never really been certain which jewelry stands out of me. Because of this, I mostly stick to neutrals in my whole wardrobe and makeup because I don't know. Does this mean I'm neither cool or warm, but neutral?

  7. Thomas E

    August 27, 2019 at 11:52 am

    the three tests mentioned here …are not really helpful…because you have to take more into consideration to find that out.

  8. Phil Rorschach

    August 27, 2019 at 1:21 pm

    Почему так важно не делать ошибок

  9. fb369

    August 27, 2019 at 5:45 pm

    The veins in my wrist are purple and veins on crook above elbow are green! I’m neutral I think?

  10. hunterxhunterlover

    August 27, 2019 at 9:36 pm

    It seems like it's either warm undertone, cool undertone or complicated undertone 😂

  11. Navila Zayer

    August 29, 2019 at 2:04 am

    So, my veins aire blue/green and I kinda look a little yellow but I'm very redish and white I don't know haha

  12. Sanja

    August 29, 2019 at 3:15 am

    i love my skintone 🙂 thank you for this.

  13. Sanja

    August 29, 2019 at 3:19 am

    Golden CHild 🙂

  14. c a t h e a d

    August 29, 2019 at 5:52 am

    My skin is cold

  15. Sasha Kozlova

    August 29, 2019 at 12:52 pm

    my skin has cold undertone, but my hair is very warm blond 😳

  16. Sly Ace

    August 30, 2019 at 10:45 am

    Either blue and green look good on me or i'm a narcissist

  17. Людмила Николаева

    August 30, 2019 at 7:34 pm

    Похоже решено было, что это видео больше 2 минут не будут смотреть, поэтому перевод и пропал.

  18. Анастасия Белобородова

    August 30, 2019 at 8:41 pm

    Very useful video, thanks

  19. Leila Wolfert

    August 31, 2019 at 1:21 am

    Excellent explanation, merci beaucoup madamoiselle Justine!

  20. Cats Fang

    August 31, 2019 at 5:38 am

    Love your video but whether I have cool or warm undertones I won't stop wearing black. Black underwear, black eyewear, black eyeliner, black everything. Did I mention I love black?

  21. Garima Garg

    August 31, 2019 at 3:37 pm

    I’m neutral

  22. Melody M.

    August 31, 2019 at 7:52 pm

    Looked at my arm where the sun doesn't hit me…
    Yep i am Gouda lul

  23. Leila

    September 1, 2019 at 10:46 am

    3:08 I started singing taylor swift

  24. sarahspeaks144

    September 1, 2019 at 9:00 pm

    Justine, ALL of your videos are intelligent, informative, and very charming!

  25. monzorella1

    September 2, 2019 at 7:24 pm

    These methods only work if you are white. THANKS! 😒😒😒😒

  26. Aria Seymour

    September 2, 2019 at 9:56 pm

    Wow I’m cool as fuck

  27. Vandalyst

    September 3, 2019 at 6:14 am

    Excellent informative video, never knew about undertones I just thought skin tone is skin tone , , i tried the tests but I m unable to decipher my skin tone , i my viens appear green in certain areas and blue in other areas lol

  28. Anghy Gonzalez

    September 3, 2019 at 2:54 pm

    Hi Justine! I know this video is a bit old but I had to re visit it because I just dyed my hair and I look awful and I'm not sure why. I thought I was a warm undertone and dyed my hair warm blond but I feel like I'm bald

  29. Introvert girl

    September 3, 2019 at 6:44 pm

    I love the way you talk

  30. Eva

    September 3, 2019 at 9:55 pm

    Awesome! I finally get it!! Thank you. I have a cool undertone. And it’s true with the jewelry. I mostly wear silver jewelry

  31. wwsxxjmk

    September 4, 2019 at 8:30 am

    I am a cool tone person but gold makes my skin look much better

  32. Thu Ha Pham

    September 4, 2019 at 1:39 pm

    Hi Justine! Really like your videos! I'm kinda not sure which undertone I am. I will always favor silver metal than gold metal, cause it makes my face lighted up. But on the other hand, wearing cool color don't make me feel I'm sick and weak. Is that mean I'm neutral? But golden metal didn't look good on me so I'm not so sure. Thank you and looking forward to your answer!

  33. Berlin Wall

    September 5, 2019 at 6:31 am

    Dark colors look good on me

  34. MiniDumka

    September 5, 2019 at 7:18 am

    Justine, thanks for your videos! Please fix the Russian subtitles, they disappear in the middle of the video 🙂

  35. EarthArtBalance

    September 5, 2019 at 8:10 pm

    Just wanted to say that this was so helpful for me. I have expanded the colors in my wardrobe because of this video and finally embraced more yellows and warm toned colors because I now understand why the look so great on me. <3 <3

  36. TheBakingBitch

    September 5, 2019 at 8:22 pm

    what am i supposed to do when i have very purple veins AND very green veins right next to each other….

  37. Clarisse Manishimwe

    September 6, 2019 at 1:15 am

    ça y est! I've subscribed! I learned a lot! This was my first time watching a YouTube video with a pen and a notebook lol! It was very instructive! Thanks Justine!

  38. Gabriella Kovács

    September 6, 2019 at 8:00 am

    I could never tell my undertone until this video, thank you <3

  39. LoReal021

    September 6, 2019 at 9:32 pm

    I've been trying to figure out my undertone for years… Still nothing 🙁 I have finally realised that I have olive (green/yellowish) undertone (although my face is a lot more pink) but I've heard that you can either be cool olive or warm olive, so that doesn't really help :/

  40. nelida kiss

    September 6, 2019 at 11:21 pm

    Love this video

  41. Aurora Thorn

    September 8, 2019 at 1:49 am

    I have blue, purple and green veins.

  42. Dghh Fhjjbhjj

    September 8, 2019 at 9:49 am

    Great, thank you xx

  43. Dina Kononova

    September 8, 2019 at 10:43 pm

    Старой и больной ее делают зубы, а не чёрный цвет.

  44. Natty Sky

    September 9, 2019 at 2:27 am

    Mmm.. always i was cool+olive, not rose. But now i like 2.0 vanilla tone in my skin! It's so amazing! If cool tone -i'm zombi! After 40 years your skin may be a little warm. I'll mix with cool and warm tone.. Sorry, but your tone rose too much, little yellow please)

  45. Jenny Abu Sharar

    September 9, 2019 at 11:55 am

    Very helpful information. Thanks 😊

  46. RUPA GANGULY MUKHERJEE

    September 9, 2019 at 12:01 pm

    Plz explain more. Plz elaborate the topic. Want to know more about color tones.

  47. swathi villa

    September 9, 2019 at 6:18 pm

    What about tan skin?

  48. h9

    September 10, 2019 at 9:58 am

    "the bags under my eyes look so strong today"

    me everyday

  49. Sagar Sharif Kaiser

    September 10, 2019 at 1:53 pm

    amazing explanation, the most useful video on this topic so far!

  50. Kim Kelly

    September 10, 2019 at 2:58 pm

    Trying all these test and they say,I'm cool toned but cool tones look so sh*t on me😂😂

  51. Island Roena

    September 10, 2019 at 8:51 pm

    I'm warm tone!

  52. Anastasia Locklear

    September 10, 2019 at 10:43 pm

    Aaaannnnddd I still can't tell 😂😂😂….

  53. Chris S

    September 11, 2019 at 3:49 am

    My Skin tone is cool and my eye color is ultra warm 🙁

  54. Fernie Jackson

    September 11, 2019 at 7:48 am

    Thank You!! I am so happy to have spotted this video!! Such a great help!!

  55. inparadise

    September 11, 2019 at 10:25 am

    Has anyone else noticed silver and gold each come in cooler and warmer tones? Like I have bag chains that are warm-silver, cool-gold, neutral gold, warm-gold

  56. Ana Santiago

    September 11, 2019 at 5:45 pm

    I’m warm ☺️

  57. annab b

    September 11, 2019 at 7:26 pm

    Warum englisch wenn der Titel deutsch ist? Mistige clickfisherei…

  58. frederika marita enindita

    September 12, 2019 at 9:27 am

    Is it possible that someone with medium to dark skin tone has a cool undertone? I just can't imagine that

  59. Татьяна Иванова

    September 12, 2019 at 5:21 pm

    Перевод на русский внезапно исчез (((((

  60. percha099

    September 14, 2019 at 5:55 am

    I'm very simar to you and i can see my artheryes ans veins super blueish and bit of green.. I can not tell yet

  61. April Rains

    September 14, 2019 at 2:30 pm

    Very interesting and helpful thank you

  62. Gucci Del Taco

    September 14, 2019 at 11:05 pm

    The veins in my inner elbow look greenish, but the veins in my wrist look blue. That & the only foundation that I've found that really suits me is in the L'Oreal "neutral" range, makes me think I'm neutral skin tone. I don't think I look that great in anything that's either very cool OR very warm toned.

  63. Lovetheveganlife

    September 15, 2019 at 3:13 am

    I love you!!!! Thank you for this and all your other videos 🙂

  64. Алена Пенькова

    September 15, 2019 at 10:07 am

    Вам черный цвет волос вообще не идет

  65. E

    September 15, 2019 at 4:36 pm

    I'm olive skinned, which one is that? Warm?

  66. kdoll83

    September 15, 2019 at 11:22 pm

    OH MY GOSH THANK YOU! I have been curious how to tell my undertone, definitively am a cool!

  67. Lyudmila El Shourbagy

    September 16, 2019 at 6:30 am

    Почему написано название и описание на русском?

  68. Katerina Huskova

    September 16, 2019 at 7:37 am

    I simply get used to the fact that I'm just in the middle (or unable to choose) – when sun tanned my skin is more warm and radiant & around Christmas the tan glow is gone and the skin in my face is more ashy and pinky. So I adapt to this, esp.my eye makeup. My tops are colour neutral for most of the year so no problem. On the other hand I wear only silver and it's absolutely OK for whole year.

  69. adee ha

    September 16, 2019 at 11:07 am

    Right wrist my veins are blue, left are green, so i guess im neutral?

  70. Wrongway Conway

    September 16, 2019 at 7:01 pm

    I see that my veins are green, so I figure I am warm…but I love silver jewelry and my hair is naturally grey (white in some areas) and I think it suits me best. I love Jewel tones colors and I "light up" when I wear turquoise, lime green, or a strong orange colour.
    Am I truly warm? I watched your lipstick video and I think for years I have been choosing colours for cool skin tone and was never completely happy with the colour I picked. Oh no!

  71. yeahzeeroo

    September 17, 2019 at 1:08 am

    oh dear all this research for my own hobby (photography) lol nice to know.

  72. Agnieszka A

    September 17, 2019 at 4:33 pm

    You are a very nice person. Its a huge pleasure to listen to You 🙂

  73. Punky Bruiser

    September 17, 2019 at 8:35 pm

    big thank you xoxoxo where has this video been all my life omg

  74. Veronica McCarrison

    September 18, 2019 at 12:37 am

    I can wear silver and gold jewellery they both look good on me does that make me neutral toned?

  75. ARIA B.

    September 18, 2019 at 1:19 pm

    So I'm neutral, thx

  76. BearBearBears 13

    September 19, 2019 at 10:26 am

    I have blue and green veins)

  77. Querolts

    September 19, 2019 at 3:34 pm

    The two first tests says I'm warm, the last says I'm cool. At the end, I'm totally lost

  78. Laura Robinson

    September 19, 2019 at 3:40 pm

    Love you but I’m still confused!
    🤗

  79. Za P

    September 19, 2019 at 9:24 pm

    I used the white paper test and turns out I'd have to add A LOT of brown. Also I found out I'm black.

  80. Sumera Harun

    September 20, 2019 at 3:16 pm

    This was a very informative and helpful video! Thanks a lot! ❤️

  81. Isabella Yuki Cross

    September 20, 2019 at 4:24 pm

    What if my vein is purple and greenish

  82. Tama2587

    September 20, 2019 at 11:37 pm

    Black is a neutral color, wtf. I used a color a picker in photoshop. Mine is # ffd4c1, which looks pink to me, but is "very pale orange", so must be warm. However, cool makeup looks better on me, and my veins are ambiguous. https://www.colorhexa.com/ffd4c1

  83. priscilla Mays

    September 21, 2019 at 2:55 pm

    I'll just wear whatever i want and wait for people to tell me if i look good or sick xD
    Only then I'll know if I'm warm or cool tone

  84. Boo A

    September 21, 2019 at 9:07 pm

    Tu es française nan ?

  85. Vik Toria

    September 21, 2019 at 9:13 pm

    Maybe I am neutral. All the people told me I am a winter type, so I was looking into cool deep colors. And it works for clothes most of the time. But lipsticks. I also always buy cool colors, sometimes they don't look good and all the veins are really blue and evident with them from time to time. And recently I decided to buy warm orange-pinkish lipstick. And my face looks bright and healthy with this one on. Crash of the personal universe.

  86. Andrea. Ivanova rodriguez

    September 22, 2019 at 12:05 am

    I'm a neutral, but not everything look good on me. Plis make a video with suggestions for us

  87. Adylen

    September 22, 2019 at 3:29 am

    Justine, maybe you can talk about your diet,, because someone that is so minimalista and with a clean style

  88. d g

    September 22, 2019 at 8:32 pm

    The app from the skin tone told me I had light brown skin/orange, gray/orange, white/orange….I did the paper one and i can see more yellow, try the veins and they are green, but silver looks better on me than gold 🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️

  89. Taylor Mcfarling

    September 23, 2019 at 5:20 am

    I love your smile

  90. BambiLena666

    September 23, 2019 at 2:38 pm

    I think im cool to neutral? Weird I always thought I was warm since when I compared with my cool toned friends my skin always looked yellowish gold compared to theirs, I did the fabric test with some of my clothes and I noticed some mildly warm colors look really nice on me. For example I have a cool yellow blazer and a warmer yellow T-shirt and they both make my skin look great. I have a cool beige shirt with a warm purple all over pattern and it looks great, but full on warm colors dont.
    I guess I shouldve assumed as much with the insanity that my natural long hair is: Ends turn dark blonde, top is brown with gray blueish shine, and the hair on my neck (underneath) is brown red. 😀

  91. عبدالله A

    September 23, 2019 at 9:29 pm

    Undertone green vain blue vain cold color warm color
    My Allah I love French woman

  92. irmawati febriani

    September 24, 2019 at 7:43 am

    I'm cool ,

  93. B D

    September 24, 2019 at 10:25 am

    Bloody hell, I have a green vein running alongside a purple vein. Am I neutral or just a weirdo?

  94. Sofia Fattore

    September 24, 2019 at 3:04 pm

    3 out of 3!!! I'm a yellow lady!! thank you!

  95. khoirom Milton

    September 24, 2019 at 5:40 pm

    Im a man and i just wanted to buy a ring for my girlfriend and here i am now.
    There were only two options when i started,gold and platinum…now there's white gold,rose gold,black gold,platinum,palladium,then there's skintone,undertone,which undertone,warm,cool,neutral……im getting very confused at this point now.

  96. Gabriella Morrow

    September 25, 2019 at 5:40 pm

    My issue is my face is cool toned and pink, my chest and arms are super tan and warm toned 🙁

  97. Interesting Stuff

    September 26, 2019 at 3:34 am

    I don’t know if I am warm or neutral

  98. Shyfillie

    September 26, 2019 at 9:39 am

    I'm a winter

  99. Fernanda Leal

    September 26, 2019 at 4:23 pm

    Fantastic! 😄

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